“Thank You 2019 and Here’s to 2020!”
Hello, my friends, I wanted to take a moment wish you all a very healthy, happy and prosperous 2020! I’m thinking because we’ve already had ‘The Roaring 20s’, why don’t we dub this decade ‘The Soaring 20s!’ Might as well, right? Just remember where you heard it first.
So, to the MUSIC I was a part of in 2019, THANK YOU!…
I just counted up all of the shows I was a part of and it totaled up to 87! WOW! That was a lot considering I spent most of the year in my full-time position as a Paraprofessional, which took away many opportunities for additional afternoon shows. Speaking of my afternoon shows, which are the solo shows that I sing in the many senior assisted living facilities throughout the state, I performed 61 times! That’s 61 times I tried my best to put a smile on a senior’s face by helping them relive their past. These shows will always be so very important to me. Each time I enter a facility I remember the struggles that my Mom had before she passed. And I remember how she would smile when I sang to her. It’s her love that gives me the strength to perform at these shows as by no means are they ‘easy’. Most of my shows are in ‘Memory Care’ units or wings just for seniors with Alzheimer’s. So to ‘reach them’ per se is not always a given. But I watch very carefully as I sing. Sometimes it might just be a very slight toe-tap or a pat of a hand on their leg in time to the music. And when I see that, I know they’re listening and it warms my very soul. I want to thank the actual caregivers at these facilities. Their jobs are incredibly difficult and take an immense amount of patience to do what they do. I also would like to thank my Agent Sue Davis at Entertainers Plus for her continued confidence in me. She knows I know how to ‘work a room’ as they say.
And Thank You to the musicians and bands that I was lucky enough to share a stage with as a bassist! For more than three years now, I’ve been subbing for one of the best bassists on the planet, Kenny Aaronson! Playing with John Eddie & The Dirty ‘Ol Band is always such a treat! John is the best front-man I’ve ever worked with and such an amazing storyteller. And for a bassist to play with Teddy Russell (pedal steel guitar), PK Lavengood (guitars) and Dave Halpern (drums), well, it doesn’t get any better!I am also very grateful for my annual shows with my dear friend Joe Hughes and his band Goldenseal! Joe has been using me to sub for his bassist, and my good friend Jesse Kessler for 13 years now! Talk about a vote of confidence! Thank you, Joe, and to my brothers Pat Martucci (drums), John Bongiovanni (guitar) and Art Hoffer (guitar). And for 7 years now, I was lucky enough to still share the stage with the incredibly powerful vocalist and songwriter that is Darren DeMarco. These shows were either under Darren’s name or his latest band line-up known as the Honeybadgers. And like with the previously mentioned bands, I was once again lucky enough to play with musicians that are just so freaking talented!! So, Thank you Darren, Joe Piparato (guitar), Chris Hedges (guitar), Dave Becker (drums), Alfonse Nevoli (keyboards)If you live in North Jersey there’s a great chance you’ve heard the chant “JOE MAMA!” My brother from another Mother and outstanding frontman Nick Ferreiro has been so very kind to offer many of his shows to me, and I always accept! Witnessing, and let alone playing a ‘Joe Mama’ show is something to behold. The shows are always incredibly energetic as Nick just commands his audience. So, thank you Nick, Joe Hornacek (drums), Mike Maino (guitar), Phil Liebergall (guitar).In 2019 I also had the opportunity to play shows with the very talented singer-songwriter Michael Patrick! Michael is very well known throughout NJ as his brand of country music has filled countless venues, Thank You, Michael. And finally, in 2019 I had the chance to reunite with a friend and guitarist that I performed with 40 years ago! Gene Molino and I were part of a very popular cover band back in 1979 called ‘Main Squeeze’. Gene is still performing in a cover band called ‘Silver Reign’ and I filled in on bass with them for a few shows. Thank You, Gene!
And now to my continued journey in Oneness, ‘Thank You’…
In 2019 as I continued to market my book “I Am God” (and so are you my friend) A Common Man’s Guide to Oneness (Balboa Press) and my message of Oneness, I ventured into the world of BOOK-SIGNINGS! These are not easy events to secure by any means. Even when I showed managers that my book is in their store! But I remained diligent in my pursuit! I wound up having 4 book signings and 1 special performance/book-signing at various Barnes & Noble stores throughout New Jersey. These events were great experiences for me. There weren’t any lines out the door, but I did sell books and I did meet many really nice individuals who shared their spiritual journeys with me. And in hindsight, that’s all I can ask for. I got the chance to meet people and share the importance of Oneness.
As I take that annual look-back after Auld Lang Syne is sung yet again, I’m extremely grateful. 2019 was a trying year for me like I’m sure it was for many of you. Not so much because of anything I was going through personally, but because of what I witnessed going on around us. Once again there was way too much hatred, killing, and divisiveness (and I thought that we could never top 2018 in those fields, but boy we sure did). And unfortunately, as we start out this new year, we’re on the verge of a war with Iran.
If I could ask anything of you, it would be to simply focus on the peace and love that you have in your heart. If we are to ever live in peace, it will only start with me and you. Make that your resolution. I look forward to seeing you in 2020, and I thank you for your continued support.
photo: with John Eddie & The Dirty ‘Ol Band at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City NJ
photo: at Mattison Crossing, assisted living home in Freehold NJ. Singing to ‘Ann’. A beloved resident who sang every word of every song. She got to celebrate her 100th birthday and passed away shortly after this picture was taken. I love you Ann.
photo: taken at my book-signing at the Barnes & Noble store in Brick, NJ