Good Morning from sunny Nashville, Tennessee!
With this first entry, there’s already so much to report in the first 700 miles of this promotional journey. Where do I start? First, thanks to my publicist Jill Kettles, everyone at American Blues Scene, and my co-pilot John Gifford III for their help with this trip! As cliché as it sounds, making MY CLAIM TO FAME over the last year and a half was much more than a dream come true; I was validated for what I loved the most and found myself again musically
We start things off right with a double order of Buffalo wings from Duff’s back home at the very same location they brought President Obama when he visited Buffalo NY. Then we packed the car and made our way to the first major destination of Cleveland OH to visit Gotta Groove Records where the vinyl copies of MY CLAIM TO FAME were pressed.
Matt, Vince, and Vince Jr. have been so very kind and were gracious enough to welcome us in and go over the safety requirements at this time so that we could get a glimpse into the record making process. John and I agree it’s not at all what we pictured, and we have a much deeper appreciation for all that went into making this record a physical product. The overall highlight of this was seeing the how their Hamilton press from the late 70’s makes 7” (45 rpm) records. That particular machine has made some many great records over the years, that it was great to see it running and betting the odds in today’s digital age.
Afterwards we headed over to Blue Arrow records to meet Pete and his wife Debbie who were just as hospitable and kind enough to open their store to us on a day when they were closed. Now this is my favorite FAVORITE kind of used music store and I hand-picked them for this very reason. Their shop was full of charm from the floor tiles that were painstakingly made from old record jacket’s, the vintage music magazines, the golden era component stereo equipment to the overwhelming stock of records from all genres!
As a collector, I can say with absolute certainty that we came across some 45’s there that I have never actually seen in person. We talked at length about music, the music industry, music history, and of course how can we move forward at troubled times like this. That’s when we found out about what I will call… “The music store with a heart inside of it.”
Pete and Debbie have dedicated their back parking lot and a significant part of their life to rescuing neighborhood cats. When they showed us their operation we were completely astounded, one of the homes for the cats there was bigger than my apartment in California many years ago.
You can read more about what they do, and please consider getting involved at the websites below:
Between John and me, we bought about 50 or so records from their store and a number of those selections were recordings from FAME and Royal Studios (more on this later). We feel that significant part of this trip is to align ourselves with people and businesses who deserve exposure, support, and a healthy dose of positivity right now. I’ll be posting some of the records that we found on my Instagram, too, for anyone to see as well as some “from the road” stuff.
Afterwards we checked into our hotel at the Double Tree in West Lake OH and had a terrific lunch at the Burtwood Tavern. Highly recommended!
Looking forward we have a chance meeting today with an old friend at Gibson Guitars here in Nashville and much more planned this week, so buckle up and stay “in-tune”. (Sorry for the corny musician joke.)
Oh! Lastly, we are shooting video footage throughout all this trip that we will edit and post later on my YouTube channel.
Thanks for everything, everyone!
You are loved and have my very best wishes,
“I wanted the record to be vivid, whether the songs demanded playing that was loud and jagged or intimate and beautiful.” – Elvis Costello