Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Goals as a Musician



No. I do not have any illusion that I am a good singer. Yes, I wish I were. It would make things so much easier for me. What I am is someone who tries to make the best of what I have.  And, what I have is a cheap guitar,  the ability to sometimes write songs, the desire to find someone to play the songs I write in public, and a lot of time on my hands. And, the cover songs that I sing, I would say they come from a (however brief) part of my life that is important to me in that they tell why I am who I am today, and I want to see if those brief moments mean anything to someone else. Besides, I figure if someone that is no better of a singer than Bob Dylan (remember his work from the ‘60’s)  can make a gazillion dollars with his songs maybe I can learn to provide some entertainment for people from a sidewalk in downtown Megalopolis, America. So, I will keep working at my music. And, maybe someday I will have the opportunity to play for an audience that appreciates the fact that I at least want to use what I have to try to entertain them.

The best that I think I will ever be able to do, and all I really want to do, is make enough money to allow me to travel to work with my photography and music. My retirement pension is enough to keep a roof over my head, and to feed me. So, basically the breakdown of my income from my music and photography will go like this:
25% - to pay travel expenses.
25% - to buy business equipment, pay business expenses and grow my businesses of photography and music.
25% - personal salary for a better diet, luxuries such as entertainment, and an improved lifestyle.
25% - to charities such as Wounded Warriors, and a child and elderly abuse center.


I am lucky in that I have no need for anything else.  My God and my pension meets my needs for today.



Monday, January 21, 2013

Keep It Simple! Keep It Fun! Get It Done!



OK. I have been told many times over the years that I should try my hand at writing as a profession. The fact is that I have many ideas on almost a constant basis to use for writing books. Another fact is that I could write volumes about how to make mistakes in your life that will cost you everything you have worked hard to accomplish. But, I am going to have to make some decisions about my life before long. For example, do I move to Vegas to pursue goals that I have worked for over two years to reach? That appears to be the best place for me to do exactly what I want to do. Or, do I move to OKC to be closer to what part of my family is available to me? Or, do I give it all up, stay where I am now, and try my hand at writing?

Now, I want to admit that I have done one thing very wrong over the past two years. It has driven me nuts at times, but it has also been very rewarding in a personal sense for me. I retired for health reasons three years ago. It took a year for me to qualify for my pension. I spent that first year trying to recuperate my health. In August of 2010 I bought a guitar to get re-involved with what was actually my first career choice way back in my high school days. In January of 2011 I purchased a full set of camera equipment to start working on a new career in photography. Over the years I have made a little money with my photography.

Anyway, over the past 2 years I have become deeply involved in music and photography, and I am now hoping to build a new career in each field. And, this may be my downfall. I cannot help but continue working with both my photography and my music. But, I am very lucky that my pension will support me if I make no money at either. What I am getting at is that I want to warn those who are reading this article to adhere to my personal philosophy better than what I have done. I would not have it any other way for myself, but I want to warn people that there is a reason photographers who specialize in one photographic specialty have a much better chance at succeeding than photographers who spread themselves thin by trying to earn money at several types of photography. What I am saying is it that there is too much to learn in any profession worth pursuing to try to tackle two professions at once. Over the past two years I have wasted a lot of time doing photography jobs that did not pay at all, or pay well. And, my marketing program is the pits simply because it takes far too much time. And, I have spent at least the same amount of time working with my music. I would have been much better off to concentrate working with either my photography or my music, and getting one going as a career, and using the other as a hobby. My suggestion: choose one career, and give it your best shot. However, I have enjoyed the past two years. And, maybe that is the main purpose of life.

In other words, do as I say, not as I do.

Keep it Simple! Keep it fun! Get it done!

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Just a little side note before you read this article: The following little quote of mine that I have learned to live by has treated me well all of my life. It has just taken me far to long to learn to live by it. But, my life has been better since I have learned to practice what I preach. Here is the quote:

Keep it simple! Keep it fun! Get it done!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Slightly Battered and Abused - Keith Birmingham




I woke up this morning with the title running through my head. I wrote and put the chords to this song this afternoon. I will try to do my usual rough recording of it asap. Also, I plan to post several of the recordings I have on Sound Clound here on my blog over the next few days.
************
Slightly Battered and Abused
Copyright 2013, by Keith Birmingham

Slightly battered and abused,
And, today he's feeling used.
He'll be rollin' into town sometime tonight.
His old lady's done him wrong,
Stayin' out 'til after dawn.
And, tonight somebody's gonna pay the price.

There's a gun under his shirt.
There's more bullets in the dash.
Blood is in his eyes, he's ready for a fight.
You'd better get it through your head,
Or, your gonna wind up dead,
Gas your truck up and get rollin’ down the road.

Well, he knows that your to blame
And, it’s driving him insane.
And, he’s coming here to put an end to you.

Well, she should not have done him wrong,
He has loved her for so long,
Doing all that he could do to treat her right.
Well, she had her little fling,
But buddy, you don't mean a thing.    
And, tonight he aims to end your carefree life.

Well, he knows that your to blame
And, it’s driving him insane.
And, he’s coming here to put an end to you.

Don't  you be a foolish man,
For a carefree one night stand.
Well, you'd better hit the road, don't hesitate.
You'd better get your butt in gear
Long before the sky turns black.
It's time to hit the road. You'd better not come back.
It's time to hit the road. You'd better not come back.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Macro Abstract Photography

Last night I decided to run some test with my Nikon AF-S, Nikkor 60mm 1:2.8G ED lens, and Nikon D700   camera. I am trying to get better at adjusting my White Balance to the temperature of my surroundings. I am also testing to see just how still I am holding my camera. I seem to be having a little trouble in that regards, and I think it is a result of my 35 year occupation as an over-the-road trucker. I had a habit of resting my right hand on the gear shit, and (of course) holding the steering wheel with my left hand. That gear shift, I believe, is still shaking my hand. Anyway, it wasn't long before I was also just having fun shooting macro shots of the stuff around me in my living room. And, it gave me the thought that I should  be doing a lot more close up shots like the ones below in my down time, of which I really have very little.









Saturday, January 12, 2013

MY GOD, I'M COUNTRY!!!!!


Yesterday I spent 8 or 9 hours working on finding more songs to play, and trying to organize my workload. I have a good portfolio of rock, southern rock, and some great stuff from southern rock bands, all dating from the '50's through the '90's. I also have a good portfolio of country songs dating from the '50's through to today's country music. Now, I started turning to country in the early '70's when Johnny Cash had his television show, and to my way of thinking the best rock stars of the '80's and '90's began to turn to country in the late '80's and during the '90's. today it is quiet obvious to me that today's "younger" fans of country are the children and grandchildren of the country fans from the '70's through the '90's. On July 4,1993, in Dallas, Texas I fell madly in love with Classic Rock (that's another story), and stayed with it for about a dozen years before starting to filter in a little Country music again. But, after looking at my entire portfolio last night I come to one simple conclusion:

MY GOD, I'M COUNTRY!!!!!

Last night I jotted down my conclusion. About 30 minutes ago I set down and wrote this song. I have not put it to music yet, but the tune is in my head, and I will do it shortly. It took me longer to figure out and write the above statement than it took me to write the song. I guess because it was about myself.


MY GOD, I'M COUNTRY!!!!!

Last night I jotted down my conclusion. About 30 minutes ago I set down and wrote this song. I have not put it to music yet, but the tune is in my head, and I will do it shortly. It took me longer to figure out and write the above statement than it took me to write the song. I guess because it was about myself.
**********


My God, I'm Country!!!!!
Copyright, 2013 by Keith Birmingham

I never knew that I was country, 'til I bought this
damned guitar.
Now, I'm up here on this stage, and singin' in this bar.
I’m not thinking’ that my Momma would be very proud of
me.
I think she'd burn my guitar if she could only see.
My God, I’m Country!!!!!

My daddy loved his music, and he loved his beer and
rum.
He painted quiet a picture,  how his youth was so
much fun.
But, he couldn't hold a candle to his one and only son.
That's why he never told me why country's how it's
done.
My God, I’m Country!!!!!

My momma tried to teach me a better way of life.
And, every Sunday morning she would make me pay the price,                                          
Of staying out the night before, and raisin' Hell 'til
three.
But, I never learned the lesson that she tried to make me
see.
My God, I’m Country!!!!!

I never knew that I was country, 'til I bought this
damned guitar.
Now, I'm up here on this stage, and singin' in this bar.
And, I’m not thinking’ that my Momma would be very proud of
me,
I think she'd burn my guitar if she could only see.
My God, I’m Country!!!!!
Thank God, I’m Country!!!!!
Thank God, I’m Country!!!!!





Thursday, January 10, 2013

Music Marketing with Social Media in Only 30 Minutes a Day



What Will You Do


This song was started 2 days ago, and finished yesterday. My songs are posted here in hopes that readers will contact me for the chords and other info on the song. You are free to use the songs at anytime, but if you record them for sale and distribution I do then expect fair payment. Thanks.
**********

What Will You Do
Copyright, 2013 by Keith Birmingham

What will you do
When the time has come
To admit to yourself
That your race has been run..

What will you do
When you come to the day
You find that your future
Is slipping away.

Will you sit by the window
And, stare into space
Will you lie in your bed
The world not to face.

When time is against you
Do you sit there and cry.
Are you wasting away
And, hoping to die.

What will you do
When it comes to that day.
Will you lie in your bed,
And, waste it away.

My body was weakened
And, slow was my pace.
And, I was afraid of
Of the world I would face.

But, each day I manage
To find a new way.
To rise from self-pity,
To sing and to play.

And, time, it has shown me
That life’s will is strong,
And, I will keep dancing,
And, singing my songs.

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