Steve Cook's soul, song, and sweat.

Shinybass Journal 12-21-14

It’s the end of the year as we know it…

2014. The year it all hit the fan. Race issues, global tension, war, Ebola, and a lost airliner were some of our ‘highlights’. I’m a little frustrated at the sensationalist reporting of all the country’s problems. We hear all the bad stuff the first 28 minutes of the news, then we hear the one ‘happy kitten/grandma’ story at the end. Can I hear about the kittens first? I realize that happy news makes for low ratings (why do you think you love reality shows so much – the fighting!), I can’t help but think that sometimes the fuel comes from the reporting, but that’s a debate for another time…

We see all these things happening around us, and it’s sad. Really, really sad. The white rhino is down to 5. ┬áThat’s right – 5. The argument could be made that 99% of all species ever are extinct, and it’s the natural order. Not when bullets are the ‘order’, folks. The cops vs. the world issues are crazy as well. I’ll keep my opinions to myself, but I will say one thing that I have said for years : Respect. On both sides. That’s where it all starts.

But is it as bad as we think? Remember that little thing called the Civil War? That kinda sucked. You know, our whole country at war? Shortages of food, goods, and limits to everything? We’re not there. Remember a little thing called The Plague? It’s estimated that 30-60% of the WORLD’S population died. Granted it was the 1300’s, but it still happened. Imagine living with that looming over our heads? We still have carousels, iPods, and take-out pizza. We don’t have Jax Teller anymore, but always look on the bright side of life. It could be worse.

But I am not here to do any political grandstanding, nor push anything on anyone. I just folks to live with eyes and ears open to everything. Let’s make 2015 better than 2014.

I have friends that do year-end recaps, and I just don’t have that kind of memory. I know where we played, I know I had a lot of fun, and were allowed to do some really great things. I keep this journal going so I don’t have to remember so much. One day I’ll have it all in a book that will sell 4 copies. For now, I have a short term memory, and so that’s why I am here. To fill you in on the latest and greatest.

Last week we were in Chicago for a private event, and with an afternoon off, Jeff and I went to heaven, otherwise known as Chicago Music Exchange. It’s all guitar nerd stuff, so those that get it, get it. Chicago is always a wonderful city to explore, and with a few more weeks of warm weather, I could find myself living there. Come on, global warming!


I flew home from Chicago on the 12th (nothing like having a tour bus be your taxi), and my wife and I had date night. Our night was hearing the legendary Tony Bennett at the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall in Nashville. I opened up the checkbook and had the ‘good’ seats, right above Mr. Bennett. I had chills the whole show. He shows the rest of the music world how it is done. We’re all just hanging on for dear life.


The next night we (Phil Vassar and gang) played our annual show at the Franklin Theater. For those that don’t know, Franklin is a little town south of Nashville that is a ‘must see’ if you visit music city. The theater is a great old place, renovated and hosting great concerts and showing classic movies. It’s always nice to play a show in town, and to ‘end’ our normal touring year with a great show.

The following week I was on Daddy Day Care. I loved spending a lot of time with the boy, and I am looking forward to the next few weeks off to watch him grow and teach him to drive.

We jumped back on the road this past Thursday for a couple nights out that were really under the radar. The first night we were on a ‘personal’ trip to see University of Wisconsin at Whitewater play in the Div III football championship. We know Coach Leipold, and we had Geno from Milwaukee’s Calderone Club in tow as well, so Gordon, Geno, Phil, and myself froze our collective butts of watching our friend win his sixth ring. Pretty dang cool. Even better – a visit from my oldest brother, which was a treat around the holidays.


The next day we played a small private show for Elliot and Hermie Sadler to raise money for their charity. (NASCAR drivers for those scoring at home). ┬áThe Sadlers are great guys, and any excuse to play Virginia is just fine with me. Emporia is only about an hour from my Dad’s house, so I was able to have dinner with him as well. Win/win.

We then trucked back to Nashville and unloaded our suitcases of dirty clothes for the last time this year. It’s been a whirlwind year of amazing sights, sounds, and smells, and I can’t tell you all how much I appreciate all of you. I love talking with you at shows, and hearing that people read this makes life even better. I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store. Here’s to a wonderful touring year, and many more to come!

See you on the road!


1 thought on “Shinybass Journal 12-21-14”

  • I love reading your blogs! Thank you for your refreshing positive attitude. There is so much good to be found in the world – it’s just a matter of changing our thinking. You nailed that description with your brilliant words. Enjoy the precious moments you have with your wife and your beautiful baby boy this Christmas. The memories you make will last a lifetime. Merry Christmas and happy new year!

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