It’s around this time of year that I start to think about what I might want to resolve to change in the new year. Last year, I decided to get a handle on my “road rage.” Not that I’ve had a real bad case of it since the majority of my driving is here at the beach. By January 2nd, I had already broken my resolve by having a conversation with someone I never met. The bad part is that they never even knew that they were a part of said conversation. In order to redeem myself, I allowed myself a pass if I forgave them for their driving mistake. So, I released it right then and there. By the time I got to where I was going, I was at peace, instead of all stressed out. At that, I decided to revise my resolution. I’d allow myself one opportunity to forgive the person who cut me off, or whatever, and just let it all go, or the resolution was broken. I found each time I broke my resolution, that if I give myself one quick opportunity to back off and totally let it all go, that then qualified for keeping the resolution. So, as New Year’s Resolutions go, I think this was the first time in my life that I actually was still working on my resolution this far into the year, and the best part is that I have developed a new habit that will serve me well, for many years to come.
Now what in the world has that got to do with music or Meet the Band? Actually, quite a bit. As I found myself more able to forgive others for what I thought they might be doing against me, my thoughts would turn to gratitude. I was grateful that I could drive, grateful that we lived here at the beach, and on and on. As my thoughts turned more towards gratitude, I was spending less time forgiving others for what they were doing wrong on the roads. Nothing really changed except my own sense of gratitude.
With each band or artist that I had the good fortune to interview, I found that there is a spirit of harmony amongst the musicians here at the beach. It was demonstrated in full aplomb last Sunday night at Galaxy 66, where Brenda Golden had the Coconut Times end of the year party. Randy Lee Ashcraft and the Saltwater Cowboys headlined the event until it morphed into an all-star jam of epic proportions. Not only was the music at its absolute finest but, so was the camaraderie.
Which brings me to my point. The one thing that I find stands out is how grateful everyone who plays here at the beach is. And they are open to express it. I went back to when I first started writing for The Coconut Times in April of this year just to see who mentions their gratitude for doing what they do here at the beach. From here on, I”m going to just randomly select a few artists and their unsolicited quotes as I interviewed them.
It is a great life. Ocean City is where I call home. When it’s time to head to Key West for the winter, my wife Bethany and 2 sons, Devin 7 and Chase 4, all go with me. Key West is such a highly traveled vacation destination that hardly a day goes by where I don’t run into someone I know from up north. So, I’m grateful that I get to do what I do, year round, in warm climates and fun environments.
Manny Zapeda (Arizona):
I also want to thank Dr. Berger for allowing us the opportunity to work here for over 10 years. It has been a wonderful venue for us to get to know so many people who live and vacation in Ocean City, Md.
Dave Matthews (Three Sheets Acoustic):
There is a lot of talent out there. I consider myself blessed as I have never played with two extremely good men like Marc and Chris. Our chemistry is second to none. When those harmonies kick in, we just look at each other and we know that the magic is happening because we can see it reflected back to us through the audience.
: I think that, if anyone has any musical ability at all, they should play some kind of instrument. Even if only a little. It’s just too much fun. Whether you are sitting in your bedroom picking on a guitar or jamming in front of thousands of people, it is just so rewarding to do it.
I’m grateful that I get to do what I do. I love playing with Dave and Chris. We have an incredible level of communication and camaraderie.
I like to say that I’m thankful for what I get to do and I thank the Lord and my other spiritual heroes after every gig. I’m especially grateful that my wife, Mickie, is always completely supportive.
I’m thankful that I can play music for a living and I’m looking forward to a great summer.
My parents have always been encouraging and positive about my career choice. I’m grateful for teachers and friends that have always been cheerleaders and mentors. I’ve never really had any of the hard luck stories and I can’t remember anyone ever telling me that I couldn’t do it. Occasionally, I encounter the well meaning person that wants to know when I’m going to get a real job.
I am grateful and blessed that I get to do what I love to do.
Mike Givens (Monkee Paw):
I’m grateful that I get to do this full time. We love going out and adding to other people’s happiness. When it slows up in the off season, I spend more time on my computer graphics business. I’m living my dream. We try to help new bands that are coming along. We’ve had a lot of people reach out and help us. The camaraderie in this area among musicians is second to none. I believe there are any number of bands that could be signed at any time.
Adam Ask (Monkee Paw):
I love this town. I love what I do and I would just love to keep doing what I’m doing, playing at the choice venues we’ve been able to play. A lot of musicians say they are waiting for their music to blow up and then they will be really happy. I feel like I’m fortunate to be just where I am right now. A lot of people pay tons of money to visit and vacation here. We live here.
Leo Carlins (RLASWC):
Thanks to my Uncle Leo for giving me my first bass and all my teachers along the way.
Kenny Roughton (RLASWC):
- I want to say that I love this town and am grateful that I’ve been able to make a good living here at the beach owning a great business and playing drums.
Jimmy Rowbottom (RLASWC):
I’m grateful that I get to play guitar as a full time job and it’s been 11 years since Randy and I started gigging together. The greatest part is the people that I get to meet and many have become life long friends.
Mickey Michaeljohn (RLASWC):
- It’s all about playing golf and playing music. Life is good.
Randy Lee Ashcraft:
I love this town. I’m grateful. I love the fact we’re able to do what we do. You can go into some cities and it can be difficult, at times, to find good live music. Here in Ocean City, there is a great group of musicians and I’d just encourage everyone to get out and listen to them all. If everyone supports the live music scene here at the beach, hopefully, it should be around for a long time to come.
Jay Vizzini (Thin Ice):
This whole town is one big family. We all go out and support each others’ bands and many of us hang out socially. We hang out with just as many non musicians. I can’t think of another town in this country where the music environment would be so cohesive.
Linda Sears (Old School):
All of our dearest friends are here where I get to sing and live out my dream. There are probably only a handful of people in the world who actually get to live out their dream. I feel so blessed.
Wrapup: Now we know what the glue is that holds us all together as a family of musicians and music lovers - it’s the gratitude that we get to live here and be a part of it all with each other.
So, May God bless you and your family throughout this entire holiday season. Be safe and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Everyone!
RandyJamz is the frontman for The RandyJamz Band and half of the duo with, The Baltimore Boyz, featuring Jay Vizzini. Available for gigs of all types as a solo, duo, and full band act. If you would like to be interviewed for a Meet The Band article, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org