"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is NOTHING." - Muhammad Ali
It was 1992. Or was it 1993. I had just moved to Nashville from the metropolis of Keyesport, Illinois. Unlike many of my peers who had also recently graduated from college, I found myself back in the classroom rather than on the 8th floor of a large, major corporation. By this time, I had decided against pursuing a career in law and politics....a path I felt passionate about at a very, very young age. Instead, I felt the music industry tugging at my heart....a tugging that started in the 7th grade after seeing a news story about some rising Christian singer named Amy Grant. So after graduating from Southern Illinois University with a BS in Political Science (yes, I know...do you, too, get the irony?), I enrolled in a few music business courses at Belmont College. I'm not going to sugar-coat it, I was A-F-R-A-I-D. I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. But because I was convinced that I was being led by the hand of providence, I had to believe that everything would be A-OK. During my time at Belmont, I took a particular music business course (by which name I no longer remember), led by Professor Larry Wachholtz. I'm sure that Dr. Wachholtz was a brilliant teacher, but out of everything he taught, I remember only one thing that he said to the entire class: "YOU can start your own record label." What?!? Isn't that impossible? I can? Really? Me? And ever since, I've been hooked on....well....that possibility. So now fast forward to 2016. As I continue to be blown away by how my journey forges on....for all of the opportunities I've been given....for all of the incredible people I've been blessed to meet along the way....it's long overdue that I pull the trigger on yet another dream. A dream called Music. Music that I make. Music that I release. Music that I promote. Music that I perform. That's why Nicole and I started "The 500 Hats Music Company"....an outlet for a dream to become a reality....atleast in some form. Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not changing my career. I'm not necessarily redirecting the course that I've been set upon. I'm just upgrading my life to include something else that I'm passionate about....and those who know me best know how deep that passion runs (Right Jane? Right Linda? Right Mike?). There's much to do before I release this upcoming, 6-song EP entitled "Raincoats & Other Short Stories". There are more photos that need to be captured. Graphics that need to be created. Radio and PR to be considered. Blogs to be written. Distribution. Videos. Licensing. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. (Can you guess why we named our company "500 Hats?) As you can tell, there are a lot of moving parts involved, but I'm determined to focus on the possibilities rather than the impossibilities. Right now, I've been focusing on building a live show with the direction of my musical director, Mason Embry. Mason is a brilliant pianist and has been the keyboard player for country artist, Chris Young, for the past several years. I'm extremely thankful to have his expertise on board. We got together for our final pre-production meeting before we pull in the rest of the band for rehearsals in November and thought you might enjoy an inside look at what we're doing to plan the show. I've also included a few sound bites of several songs we're adding to the mix. Although they're merely piano tracks for rehearsal purposes, I thought you might want to take a listen. So grab a glass of wine, plug in your earbuds, and take a moment to relax to some very beautiful music. Oh...and you might hear me hum or sing along from time-to-time....complete with missed or strained notes....and a cough or two....hey....I'm just keeping it real, folks. But before I let you go, I'd like to ask one thing: What possibilities are on your horizon that you've been convinced are impossible? Think about it. Til next time, live magnificently and love each other well!