Well folks, it’s that time of year again. people are being nice to each other, reminiscing, making “best of lists” with reckless abandon! I can’t say I’m much different. I’ve certainly been reviewing my year the past week or so.
Typically I’m so full of Love and spirit of the season this time of year I can barely stand myself. While, I’m currently in a great frame of mind, I can say that it wasn’t easy getting there. I landed home on Dec 1st from my third tour of Canada this year and nearly immediately fell into a rather rough bout of depression. Caught me off guard big time. I’ve had my ups and down with depression my whole life and have had a pretty good grip on it for most of my adult life so when it kicked in this time it was unexpected. It made it really hard to get into the Christmas season for me this year, which only made me feel worse as I LOVE Christmas time!!! Anyhow, I’m doing very well now and feel “normal” again! I do want to send a shout out to folks out there who battle with the “blues” more than other folks. You need to know that there are people out there rooting for you and who care deeply about your well being. Even when you don’t.
Earlier this year we lost a great east coast guitarist to suicide while he was on tour. What a huge travesty. The loss of a talent, parent, friend. It’s very sad. What struck me even more sad was no one spoke about what happened to him, even though most people knew what happened. I’m not sure why this is. I am certain some folks will think I’m out of line speaking about it but silence is NOT the answer here people. If you need help, and who doesn’t from time to time, it is there for you. I promise. No giving up in 2014 folks. Life is hard. Let’s live through it together with each others support ok?
Ok, enough of the down side of last year…how about the good?
Looking back over this year, I just have to shake my head. I did so many things I never thought I would or could do! I went to The Allman Brother’s Museum in Macon Georgia. I got to play Duane’s 57 gold top, the “Layla” guitar. I played “going down slow” at his grave. All one of the best days of my life. I recorded a new album that I’m STILL proud of, with musicians I love and admire! I toured Canada Three times (once on a train!) and I got to go to the Crossroads Guitar Festival in New York City where i watched Derek Trucks play the very guitar I had played, only months before, with Eric Clapton ! My solo cd, The Shack Up Sessions, won best blues recording at The New Brunswick Music Awards. I got to play WITH Alvin Hart, Hook Herrera, Ron Holloway, and Bruce friggin’ Katz! Any one of those things would be an amazing year let alone getting to do all of them.
What a year for music! I’m not going to make a “best of” list but I can tell you some of the best music I listened to this year on recording was: North Mississippi Allstars, Jay Bowcott, Lucero, JJ Grey, The Perpetrators. Some of the best Music I saw live: Crossroads Festival, Harvest Jazz and Blues, John Hiatt, Lucero, The Perps and the one that might have blown my mind the most…Keith Hallett and The World’s Fair. I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch of great stuff but that’s a bit of it right there.
I want to say thanks to all our friends and family who help us on tour by giving us floors, couches, beds, food and friendship when we’re so far from home. All the great bar owners we’ve met across the country for giving us a place to rock. Most important, every single person who believes in my dream. I could not do this without your help.
I’ll be kicking off 2014 by taking January a little easy and doing some writing. At the end of January I’ll launch my annual solo tour. I’ll be traveling the country again. Tour dates are posted on the site now so head over and see when I’m in your town. There are still a few dates left to fill so if it looks like I won’t be by for a visit, don’t panic. It could still happen.
Another thing I’ll be doing for the first few months of 2014 is taking a bit of a hiatus from my personal facebook page. I’ll check it once in a while to see what I’m missing but mostly I’ll be focusing on the band page Ross Neilsen Music . So if you want to stay in contact with what’s going on in my world via facebook, head on over and click like so we’ll keep in touch ok?
2013 was quite year for the elements. My heart goes out to those who suffered this year through floods and worse and those right now without power. Here’s to better days ahead. I hope you all find 2014 to be a prosperous and loving year, where we’re all allowed to grow as human beings and try and get on a little better. It’s hard. Stand up for what you believe in. Don’t be afraid to raise your voice when you disagree. Life is short. Make your mark.
Here’s to 2014.