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Goodbye, Merle Haggard

(April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016)

Country music icon Merle Haggard passed away today on his 79th birthday. He had been battling illnesses for quite some time, and cancelled several concerts recently due to bouts with pneumonia. I was going to see Haggard several years ago in Gatlinburg during a Duke of Hazzard fan festival, but he was forced to cancel that performance as well due to health issues. His brand of classic outlaw country will be sorely missed.

This is a reminder to enjoy our legends while they are still with us, and to take advantage of the opportunities you have to see them perform.

Hank Williams, Jr.’s New Album “Old School, New Rules” set for July 10th release

Duet tracks with Brad Paisley & Merle Haggard highlights of album

Hey Hank Fans!

Today Hank Williams Jr. announced the details of his upcoming album set for release on July 10, 2012. The twelve-song package, available for pre-sale now at www.hankjr.com, will include a duet with Brad Paisley on “I’m Gonna Get Drunk And Play Hank Williams” as well as a new duet with the legendary Merle Haggard on his classic “I Think I’ll Just Sit Here and Drink.”

“I’m excited about this new album,” Hank said. “I’m definitely ‘Old School’, and I am making music with ‘New Rules’. People know I’m gonna say exactly what I think and this album is exactly that.”

Pre order packages available on Hankjr.com include an instant download of ‘Keep The Change’ from the upcoming album. The exclusive ‘You Win Again’ package includes a t-shirt, the vinyl album, as well as an AUTOGRAPHED ‘Old School, New Rules’ CD album. Get yours today!

Track Listing:
1. Takin’ Back The Country
2. I’m Gonna Get Drunk And Play Hank Williams (with Brad Paisley)
3. Three Day Trip
4. Old School
5. We Don’t Apologize for America
6. You Win Again
7. Cow Turd Blues
8. Who’s Takin’ Care of Number One
9. That Ain’t Good
10. Keep The Change
11. Stock Market Blues
12. I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink (with Merle Haggard)

Motivated again!

I have set a goal for myself: get my screenplay written by the end of May! It’s not as daunting as it sounds…I already have 18 pages written in one night, and I have plenty of nights to work on it! Screenplays are generally 90-120 pages in length, so I’m about 1/5 of the way there.

What about the novel, you ask? Well, I just got stuck…and at only 80 pages, I decided I’m not wordy enough. I can’t bring myself to describe minute details the way most novelists do, and I’m much more interested in dialogue, so I figure a screenplay is the way to go. I already have at least one person willing to read it when I’m finished, and I will of course register it with the WGA. My biggest concern is finding an agent or representative to shop it for me, since I don’t live in Hollywood (nor do I really want to). Hopefully it won’t be as difficult as I fear.

In other news, the radio program is really taking off. I’ve had some great guests on lately, including George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob) and Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big). This Saturday I’ll have Joey Allen (Warrant) on the program, and I’m working on possibly getting Rob Halford (Judas Priest) in the near future. Check out the Hard Rock Nights blog and let me know what you think of what I’ve got going on over there.

And on the sports front, meh. I’ve lost so much interest in baseball it’s not funny. My 9-year old son and I will be attending Opening Day for the Reds, and that may rekindle some interest in the sport, but I’m not banking on it. My fandom has waned so much that I’ve canceled my trip to Cooperstown this summer and will instead be attending the Dukes of Hazzard Fan Fest in the Smokey Mountains. Merle Haggard is playing that weekend, so it will be a blast.

My movie watching has been insane lately. I’ve seen “Once Bitten,” “Vampire’s Kiss,” “Twilight,” “Queen Of The Damned,” all within the past two weeks…and those are just the vampire flicks. “Nosferatu” is on the screen right now. A classic, but a bit of a pain to follow at times. I much prefer “Shadow Of The Vampire,” but really some knowledge of “Nosferatu” is essential to enjoying that movie to its fullest.

That’s all for now. It will soon be bedtime, and then work tonight. Hopefully I’ll be able to equal my productivity on the screenplay during my 12-hour shift.

Peace out.

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