Doors open at 7:00 tonight at The Double Door Inn in Charlotte. I hit the stage at 8:00 to get the party started. This stage and room is one that is special to me and has hosted many of my heroes over the years including Eric Clapton, BB King, Tab Benoit, Bernard Allison and Tommy Castro. My friends in Skinny Velvet will end the night tonight after I get tired and I can't wait to hear them again. For the 2nd time we will both be going to Memphis together to represent the same blues society, we did that in 2011 when we both won in Roanoke. We both made the semi-finals that year and it's awesome we get to go back together again this year. That has to be a very rare thing indeed. They are an awesome band with great guys who love music and work hard at making great music. If you haven't heard them yet you're going to love them.
By the way, this is a Charlotte Blues Society benefit event to help raise money to send us to Memphis to represent the Charlotte area in the 30th annual International Blues Challenge on Beale Street in Memphis this month. The boys in Skinny V and I appreciate your support. I know the guys in the CBS will be out celebrating tonight. Many of you in the Charlotte area are always asking me to come here for a show... tonight's your night!
Like I said earlier today, this was a day that I wrote a lot of songs... Most days I do well to write even one... today, was a record breaking day for me... I wrote and recorded the voc/guitar scratch recordings for 4 songs. This song, Old Man in My Mirror, was the last one today. I actually was working on the 3rd song and this one just came to me. Every day I look in the mirror and realize I look more and more like my dad and my granddad. That's what's behind this song. My older friends will appreciate this one.
Some weeks it seems I have what I call song dhiarea... I literally write song after song very easily. But something many probably don't know is for longest time I have been able to write songs in my sleep. I used to keep a notebook beside the bed so I could jot them down. Now I just keep my iPhone there.
What will happen is I'll dream I'm performiing a song I've written at some time during the night. I used to think oh well I'll remember it but I never did. The mind is a powerful thing though... somehow I've trained myself to wake up after this happens and write the words down and go back to sleep. A few times it's happened twice in one night. Last night and this morning it happened 3 times. The first one is a song called "The Keys To My Castle". I dreamed I was on a stage playing the guitar while a woman sang the song to an audience member. I realized what was happening and woke up and wrote it down. The second one probably came from a conversation Lynn and I had late last night about insanity being the result of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. It is called "Wrong House, Wrong Key, Wrong Girl".
Then after waking up this morning I got to trying to remember all the songs I have written this way and the ones I might not have finished. One came to mind that came from something my old friend Shane used to say, "Don't Let the Screen Door Hit Ya Where the Good Lord Split Ya". I went back to sleep then 45 minutes later wokke up with the words. Crazy huh?
I'm not sure if it's a gift or a curse though. It gets really frustrating when a song won't come out no matter what I do when at other times they seem to flow like water. Lynn and I have learned to take advantage of this well spring of songs when they're coming. I appreciate her support and patience. It can't be easy waking up to the light of the phone and happily saying, "Another song?". The guy in my sleep sometimes writes good songs. Sometimes he's an idiot and we wonder, what was he thinking? :-) But I think that probably accurately portrays who I am when I'm awake too.
So do any of you get work or other creative things done while you're sleeping?
Those of you who know me well know that I get a lot of my "crazy" from my late grandfather "Tebo" Poteat. Lynn and I tried to visit him 3 or 4 times a month and we always took stuff to him when he was in his later years. We took a lot of stuff like pies, cereal, milk and even his favorite chewing tobacco. Every time we always took him a 6-pack of his favorite toilet paper. We didn't know it until a few years later, but we'd taken too much. He ended up with a whole building of soft toilet paper. I still remember him laughing so hard we all cried when he finally told us. One day, as we always did when we were leaving, we asked him what he wanted next week. He said anything but toilet paper. I don't need anymore damn toilet paper. I have enough to last the rest of my lifetime so no more toilet paper. Bring more food instead... said we always brought stuff for the wrong end... if you didn't put much in the end on the top you didn't have to worry too much about the end on the bottom. So lesson learned... the more you eat the more toilet paper you're going to need. Might be too much information but I sure ate a lot yesterday. I sure miss my grandfather a lot these days.
This Sunday, January 5th I am so excited to be performing at the infamous Double Door Inn in Charlotte. I can remember 25 years ago seeing folks like Eric Clapton and Taj Mahal there and dreaming that one day I would be on that I stage performing. Well this Sunday is that day. The doors open at 7:00 and I start the night at 8:00. After my show (which will feature the songs I'll be performing in Memphis) Skinny Velvet, good friends of mine and the CBS band winner this year, will continue to tear the roof down. Ironically, the boys in Skinny Velvet went to Memphis in 2012 along with me with both of us representing The Blue Ridge Blues Society. We both made the semis that year and since we're repeating that feat this year I'm hoping our experiences taught us enough to move us both into the finals this year. Pretty strange we're both going back this year representing the same society again. I bet the odds of that are pretty slim wouldn't you think?
I' m looking forward to it. My friends in the CBS are awesome supporters and fans... Xavier is one the best sound techs I've ever worked with... and the walls are literally covered with pictures of my heroes who have performed there too. So if you are anywhere close to Charlotte Sunday you need to come out to this event... I would love it and you would too I bet!
It's hard to believe, but in just 3 weeks on January 21st I'll be back on Beale Street in Memphis, competing in my 3rd International Blues Challenge. In 2012 I was honored to make the semi-finals while representing Virginia and the good folks of Roanoke. This year I will be representing the Charlotte Blues Society. During the month of January leading up to the IBC I have several web events and activities planned to help keep you informed as well as give you an opportunity to be part of the experience.
So... keep your eyes open and check back with me often to see what's going on. If we're not friends on Facebook, find me there at www.Facebook.com/owenpoteat and "friend" me so we can get to know each other. Those who are friends with me there can attest that most of my fans become friends and most of them really become family.
The Month of Memphis has begun!!! More info is available at https://blues.org/
Many of my friends and fans have expressed an interest in helping purchase the harmonicas we give to homeless men and women at my shows. We usually just cover the costs ourselves out of tips received but so many have messaged me and asked to help I gave in and put the link to help out on my website.
Those of you who saw me in Myrtle Beach know we give out harmonicas to our homeless friends and the pester the crap out of each other and us as they play and play and play. They became quite good and actually became part of my daily show. It turned into something we've continued to try to do. The problem with the harps was they very quickly got broken, lost or stolen. Then the idea to make necklaces for them came to me. I actually bought one of these at a PBPS IBC event a few years ago and I ran across it recently and that spawned the idea.
If you'd like to help, please know we appreciate it greatly and will do our best to use the extra funds to make even more to take the big homeless concert event in Knoxville, TN next Wednesday.
What we've learned from being close to so many homeless men and women is music makes the day brighter. Having this with them helps make the burden a little easier. And many of the guys we've given harps to actually become quite good at playing them. If you listen to my song, Not Much Different Than You, at the very end you can actually hear one of the guys playing for you
Last night while doing some planning for my winter shows in Florida I came across my picture on, of all places, the KOA website. As I was keying in some dates to check rates their header image was moving through pictures of the place and then all of a sudden an image caught my eye. I thought... geez that looks like my kayak.... then geez... that looks like me. Hey that is me. I love getting my picture in places for my music, but it was really cool seeing me doing what I do when I'm not playing or recording on someone's site too. Waking up every morning and being able to fish on the bayou was a real treat!
Tonight I was honored to compete in the Charlotte Blues Society's IBC Solo/Duo challenge at the infamous Double Door Inn in Charlotte, NC. I was so happy to win this challenge too and I'm now looking forward to representing the CBS in the Internatinal Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN on January 21, 2014.
This will be my third time competing in the IBC event in Memphis. Each previous challenge has taught me more and more about what I'm good at and also what I'm not. My first time going I represented the PBPS and even though I thought I was ready, I wasn't even close. In 2011 I represented the Blue Ridge Blues Society of Virginia and was so blown away to make it to the semi-finals that year.
My set at the CBS included 4 original songs with my old Gibson guitar, my harps and my suitcase foot drums. I was in a zone for sure and think I performed these 4 songs the best I've ever done them. And I was so happy when Jerri called my name. The best part about this night was meeting so many old and new friends and having all those folks join me on stage for an encore set. It was a blast performing at the Double Door Inn finally and it is a memory that is even sweeter with the first place finish. Memphis here we come again. I can't wait for January to get here. It means we have to delay our trip to Florida but it's for a good reason for sure.
Last night while performing at the Lil' Briar Patch (had a great time too guys) I learned something from Robyn Godfrey. While they were closing up and paying me and catching up on things she mentioned a table of of folks who had cut out the "article" they'd read, wrote the date I'd be at BP and brought it with them last night. So I said, "What article"? And proceeded to learn that Andy Fenn, of Forsyth Woman Magazine, had featured me in the Local Vocals section of Forsyth Woman Magazine. Well, that was cool to learn. Anyway Robyn and Janice proceeded to go on and on about how "famous" I was and how much they kept hearing about it. Really cool, so last night I found the article on page 112 at this link.
Here's a copy of the page: