Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Music is such an amazingly large part of my life; which is probably why I'm a singer/songwriter! Music has always been a part of my life: my Mother was a member of a trio in High School; Dad was a honky tonk guitar player and Mama was a piano player, vocalist and choir member. Our house was always filled with music. As a youngster I remember Becky Varnado, Sister Varnado with David and Barbara in our living room gathered around the piano. Then there were the Gilbert girls with their Dad and mine on guitar with both Mama and Cynde on the piano.When there weren't people from church at the house, there were Dad's honky tonk musicians there.

And there was always music coming from the radio, record player or tape deck. I grew up on The Rambo's, The Chuck Wagon Gang, The Happy Goodman Family, Hank Williams, Lanny Wolfe Trio, Bill Gaither Trio and many more. Is it any wonder I began piano lessons at age 5?

I wrote my first song at age 4. I "borrowed" the music from "The Old Rugged Cross" and wrote new lyrics for it. I made Mama play it while I sang it. Then my brother and I began singing at church and I appeared with Dad on the stage of The Louisiana Hayride, all at the tender age of 5.

Music is more to me than just entertainment: a song is a 3 minute message. I've loved Rock and Roll, Pop, Disco, Country, Gospel and Contemporary Christian genres. Several years ago I made the decision to listen, pretty much exclusively, to only Gospel/Christian music. The message of music that enters your ears also enters your soul. And I want to concentrate on that which is uplifting and edifying. I don't judge others who listen to something else, but for me, I know that because I take music so intimately, it's better to limit my listening to Christian music.

Music is an emotion. It reflects the mood we're in or it can influence our mood. I can be feeling down and listening to uplifting praise music will pull me up to where my mood changes to one of joy, praise and excitement. Very few things in this life can influence how we feel, what we express and how we project the way music can. The Bible tells us that whenever King Saul was troubled, David would play his harp and soothe Saul, altering his mood.

When I write a song, I try to write what will be edifying or instructive to whomever may listen. I have just 3 minutes or so to deliver a message to the listener that will bring about a change in their mood, cause them to rethink a position or give them hope. It's an awesome responsibility!

I am anxious to get my debut CD recorded. We have some great songs for this project. Most have been written by myself and my producer, but there's a couple I wrote with others. Then there's the songs written by others. Every song has a special meaning to me, and I hope they will mean as much to those who buy the album. That this project will change lives and hearts.

Keep the music flowing!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Friendship is an odd creature. I have very close friends whom I often find myself disagreeing with their opinions and views; and we don't enjoy doing the same things or like the same types of music, movies, television or books. Yet, they are very near and dear to my heart, even during those times we disagree or they're being disagreeable. Then I have friends who are very much like me: we enjoy the same quirky taste in movies and books, have the same goofy sense of humor and can talk on the phone for hours at a time. Sometimes, when we're together, we don't even utter a word, we just sit and watch a program or read our separate books, yet we're content just knowing the other is right there.

I also have cousins who are friends. Closer friends than many of my other friends. And I have friends of all ages - from their early 20's to their 70's. I've always seemed to have friends who were older than me. Even in my teens, I had many friends in their 30's and 40's. I often found I had more in common with them than I did the friends of my own age. I also have cousins and brothers and sisters who aren't as close as my friends.

Friendships are very important in our lives. Our friends tell us when we're missing the mark, when we're being impertinent or they support us when we're hurting over a stupid mistake or decision. Friends stick by you no matter what you're going through: good or bad. But there's one friendship that's above all others.

Jesus said He'd be our friend, one that sticks closer than a brother. He's there beside us even when we deliberately walk outside His will; always there to guide us back to the right path, to hold us when we weep, to encourage us when we're uncertain and to cheer for us when we've won. During the times in our lives when we are the most down, He carries us through the valleys. He fights our battles for us, but allows us to enjoy the victories.

Just as I don't always understand why my friends on Earth love me, and stand by me, I always marvel at why Jesus, the Son of the Living God would love me so much He would die for me; take my place on Calvary and suffer the most inhumane suffering imaginable, just so I could be His friend. That's love, and that is friendship!