What's new? This Warm Weather Music
website has just been launched in mid-July
I know what
you're thinking ... "what took you so long," right? The
truth is my calendar hadn't changed that much since I posted
it in 2005. I'll be posting photos and fun links from time to
time and "special thanks" for many of the opportunities
afforded me over the recent months. I've been blessed with a long career as a
professional musician. It began in May 1982 with my first live
performance and continues to this day (in fact 2009 is nearly
full of play dates already). Alot has happened in my life in
the last seven years and I thought it was time to bring you up
to date with what has been going on with me
professionally and personally...
As you can tell by my calendar I stay pretty busy,
splitting my time between Kalamazoo and St Joseph, Michigan.
My Saturday Special Events and Private Parties take me as far
away as Bloomington and Chicago, IL or as near as your
backyard. There are many advantages to working without an
agent all these years, the biggest being that I
decide where I perform and who my audience is. It's the
reason I haven't had a bad day since 1982!
I began working on a musical version of the Lord Of The
Rings in 2001. For six years I have concentrated on the lyrics
and created fifty songs that tell the story of the
Trilogy. Since 2007 I have been putting the words to music and
have completed ten melodies, four that I believe are the
anchors to the piece. Writing for fourteen instruments and a
string quartet is proving to be quite a challenge. I spend
much of my "free time" in my home studio writing and
recording. I had once thought that it was a five-year
project. I think it will take eight years to complete
instead (good thing I don't have a day job!)
In 2002 I began the Need To Read Foundation (http://www.needtoread.org/
in an effort to inspire reading in our youth. Over the years
we developed a unique reading program suitable for middle
school and high school students alike to encourage (not
teach) them to read. Funding from area businesses
became available in September 2007 to further our efforts. In
July 2008 one of the 57 Michigan Intermediate School Districts
has decided to use our program in their curriculum and is
slated for release in the second semister of this school year.
To say the least, we are all very encouraged.
Over the years the CD "Bilbo's Great Adventure" found a
level of popularity, especially since it's banner was featured
director Peter Jackson's Fan Club website. In February 2004 I
was invited to perform the music at one of the Lord Of
The Ring's Oscar Parties in Hollywood, CA. My "fifteen minutes
of fame" turned into a weekend to remember!
Also in 2004 I had a brush with greatness. Greg "Fingers"
Taylor and I worked together as a duo for a Summer Parrot Head
Party. He flew in from Texas that morning, took a nap on my
couch and we raced off to Harris' in St. Joseph, MI where an
intimate crowd of JB fans enjoyed an evening with Greg and I.
We recorded it for posterity and then decided to release it in
the WWMC Store.
Two years ago I formed a band with Jeff Mueller to
play for Ted at Shakespeare's Pub in Kalamazoo on
St. Patrick's Day. Since we built the band for that one night
(Mike First brings his violin and Tom Offkus plays drums), he
called us "The One Night Stand Irish Band". The name
stuck and we play Irish flavored music only at
Shakespeare's Pub and only on St Patrick's Day each year.
Nobody wants to change the name of the band.
A year ago I started a new band, or should I say a band
started with me in it. Jeremy Timmer plays electric guitar and
Aaron Miller plays the congas. Jeff Meuller is our bass player
and second vocals when duty calls. Together we are the Warm
Weather Band, playing what I play solo, only amped up.
That's the news for now. A big
announcement is scheduled for October 2008. I hope you'll
check in here or come see me at one of my many locations
throughout the year. See you somewhere!