A tribute to my friend Cacey Combs, who lived a beautiful life no matter how it ended. Originally published September 23, 2010, I share this again as October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. #shinethelight #endDomesticViolence #loveshouldnthurt

September is a deeply transformative time. The earth passes from its summer orientation in route to winter here in the northern hemisphere. I personally feel that hurried rush of plants and animals responding to the rapidly shortening days. The leaves are just starting to turn across these Blue Ridge foothills; but despite today's 95 degree heat, one feels that this is summer's last gasping "gift" to those of us not yet ready for the bare tree season...

Has interacting with our community of geography become quaint and old-fashioned?

I was biking up to town yesterday running errands. I often do - driving 30,000 miles or more each year means I leave my van in the driveway for days on end when I’m home. As I turned up the blacktop, I saw my elderly neighbor whose house burned down in January. He was just dropping by his property to check on things after a weeklong veterans trip to Korea....

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I have done what little I can when I can to help prevent suicide with local organizations, and sharing available resources I know about whenever I can. I share this anecdote today because it illustrates one of the most important aspects of suicide prevention. We often never know what impact a little kindness, or some other little thing we do, might have on someone in dire crisis.

Thoughts on a parent's milestone birthday, and the first day of 4th grade (with best wishes to kids everywhere for a great school year)

Another beautiful steamy late summer morning to herald the arrival of another “1st day of school”. Our 5th first day of walking down our driveway and up our gravel road towards our little old village school that we so cherish. It is far different now than kindergarten was, especially her height!....

"I feel best in that little space between a smile and a tear"

I didn't want to let this week's passing of 94-year old jazz legend Toots Thielemans go by without sharing a little tribute and a lot of respect. Jazz guitarist, harmonica virtuoso, and whistler too, this gentle Belgian's musical gifts have been known to millions of kids who may not have heard his name til now - his welcome and familiar harmonica refrain that was the theme to "Sesame Street".

Music. It's my life because it is the language of life. I had the most incredible experience last night at the Epicure Café in the DC suburb of Fairfax VA. There were several fantastic musicians in the lineup over the course of the Songwriters Association of Washington sponsored showcase, and a very special guest. Karim Wasfi is a virtuoso cellist, but also happens to be the Principal Conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra...

My last full day at Ferry Beach Park Association started with a cup of coffee on the beach as my bagpiping friend summoned the sun and saluted my ancestors homeland. We gathered for our last chapel in the echoing majesty of the ocean pines to the sounds of "Amazing Grace" on the pipes, bookended our week with a different hymn to Sibelius "Finlandia", sang "We Shall Overcome" hand in hand and "Amazing Grace" when no one was ready to leave...

An Independence Day weekend spent immersed in the swirling and ever-present past. Dedicated with love to my uncle Douglas McKnight, USN (1928-2016).

We spent a day over the 4th of July weekend bringing my cousin to visit DC for the first time. We caught a glorious sunny cool day, more like May than July, so we slathered on the sunscreen and walked most of the National Mall. It was my first visit to the World War II, Korean War, and Martin Luther King Memorials, and of course we did the traditional visits to the Lincoln and the Vietnam Wall.

It was an amazing experience. Along with my cousin, my 9-year old daughter had never been to the monuments. So in addition to my own awe, I got to explain some of the significant pieces of what she was witnessing. She carefully and solemnly did a pencil rubbing of one of the eight women whose names are engraved on the Wall....

One gift of aging is an appreciation for the constancy of change and the inconsistency of the journey.

I recently received several poignant gifts from out of the cosmos. Good and amazing things, and events which completely derailed me from some seeming momentum of thought and purpose. If you have ever thought that creative people are constantly creating and always have some vision for what they are doing now and next, I can emphatically say that’s not how my life goes. I wish it did sometimes, though I think I am grateful for some relief from the manic bursts of creative obsession...

Music has always been in my immediate family. My dad has sat in with me here and there at shows when I'm in the neighborhood, and my grandmother's sister was a renowned concert pianist. My dad's father's family had a lot of music too, but they scattered in all directions and we never had any contact with most of them in my lifetime.

Until last week...

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Tour Dates

  • 03/25/2017
    The Falls Church Episcopal - Falls Church, VA
     
  • 04/08/2017
    Monroe's Restaurant - Kingwood, WV
     
  • 04/09/2017
    Positano Ristorante Italiano - Bethesda, MD
     
  • 04/15/2017
    Riverbend Park - Great Falls, VA
     
  • 04/22/2017
    Franklin Park Arts Center - Purcellville, VA
     

HAPPENINGS

SPECIAL THANKS

Andrew is a grateful Endorsing Artist for Elixir Strings and Fairbuilt Guitars, and a member of the Virginia Commission for the Arts Touring Artist Roster. He also is a member of The Standing "O" Project and Concerts in Your Home.

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