Wednesday, December 16, 2009


The Good Thing About Depression © Eddie Rhoades 2010

Depression is a terrible state of mind and most all of us have it from time to time in our lives. Think about the first extended trip when you were young and away from home and how homesick you were. Or how about when your first romance ended.
Later in life one or both of your parents died. Then you might have gone through a divorce and were living alone. Dear Abby said there is nothing worse than being lonely and I believe her. So you have a drink or two or more and guess what? You wind up being even more depressed. But if you're a songwriter you're all about capturing raw emotions and setting it to music because you're not alone in your feelings. There are plenty of people who can identify with your emotions, sometimes right down to the letter. It's good for your soul to step back and take a look at your condition and the accompanying emotions in the process of writing them down. And to tell the truth, many a great song is a tear-jerker. What's your favorite sad song? One of mine is Bobby Goldsboro singing Honey I Miss You. I tear up just thinking about it. My brother,Robert Rhoades, wrote a song about suicide. Despite the morbid subject matter it is a beautiful song. And how about Johnny Cash singing Give My Love To Rose. Those are sad songs but they were big hits and I'm sure you can think of lots more examples. When my daddy died I wrote a song about how hard that was. Same thing when my mother died twenty years later. These are great songs and at first they were extremely hard to perform due to my emotional ties to them. Yes, it was depressing for my parents to pass away but from that family tragedy came two beautiful songs and I know mother and daddy would have been extremely proud to know I wrote these songs for them. Now if you are battling depression and you are a songwriter then use these strong emotions to tell the world how you feel - It's what we do, express the human condition and the feelings that accompany them. Good times and bad times and memories of them all, that's what life is all about so write about it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

FBISF Songwriter Festival 2009

Frank Brown Songwriter Festival 2009

This year was different. Due to a down economy the list of invited performers had been cut in half. Neither I nor my brother Robert were on it. I was a bit depressed about that but Robert was all excited and wanted to go anyway. On the way down I was feeling guilty about going there uninvited but when we walked in the door they were glad to see us, hung a badge/pass around our neck and invited us to eat. We had brought food from home and a cook stove just in case but thank goodness we didn't have to use it.
Breakfasts were a bit sparse but lunches were great. We burnt the candle at both ends while we were there, staying out till 3, 4 or 5 in the morning and back up the next day sometimes at 7:30. I think about 9am is as late as we ever slept and we weren't taking naps during the day. We saw lots of famous songwriters: people like Aaron Barker, Marc-Allen Barnett and many others. We got to perform at Newcomers Showcase at the Silver Moon several times, at the FloraBama Lounge several times and at open mics at Tipseas and the Market. We also went to after hours jams at the River House. I had my picture made with Aaron Barker and I met a lady named Peggy who wanted her picture made with me. Just as Robert snapped the picture she raised her top and - well, you get the picture. One of the mornings Robert had gone fishing along the beach while I got a cup of coffee and relaxed in the outdoors hot tub. We usually headed to the Silver Moon an hour or so before lunch so we could socialize. I love being around other songwriters. They run the gamut in talent levels. I don't think we sold any CDs but we gave a few away. Sometimes you have to do that to promote yourself and your music.
I found myself a couple of times talking gardening instead of music. Right now those are the two biggies in my life. My neighborhood association wants me to put my garden on next Springs first Tour Of Gardens. I don't have any grass in my front yard, just fruit trees and flowers but I think they'll like it.
I started going to this event several years before Robert decided he wanted to join in. He is better at learning people's names than I am. He takes pictures of lots of the fellow musicians and posts them on his myspace page:
I am pleased to see Robert taking it all in and learning about the music business and the social aspect of it all. He also is exposed to what it takes to lift his music to the next level, although, I think on a lot of his songs he is already there. He doesn't realize how good he is. When he gets onstage and puts that smile on his face and sings those beautiful love songs he's as good as anybody out there. I tell him "Listening songs have to have substance, dancing songs mostly need sound." As if I knew more about songwriting than him. But I am the older brother so I do get to offer my advice. Robert has a ten song CD and every song on it is great. Problem is, he doesn't offer it for sale on MySpace or CD Baby. You HAVE to promote your music in order to sell it. My goal is for me and Robert to be invited to perform at the Silver Moon during the late hours where they charge admission and the place is packed and no one talks because they're hanging on your every word -sometimes singing along. Your dreams can't come true if you don't have a dream to start with. Robert is working on the artwork for the cover of my second CD titled Universal Love which should be released early 2010. It's perfectly okay to pre-order yours now and maybe I can get it to you before Christmas. (You can still say Christmas can't you?)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oh Wow! Jump Up And Down

Oh Wow! Jump Up And Down!

I just found out that I was accepted to play at the FBISF: Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. This is truly an honor as I will be associating with people who write the songs for well-known stars. Lots of little things running through my mind right now like which songs to play? what to wear? should I put new strings on the guitar? what all should I pack?
I should take my camera and I wish I had some business cards. Nonetheless, I should exude confidence and get up there and perform my heart out. I think I'll start out with a couple of my rocking tunes then hit them with a tear jerker or two. I must go now and practice. I am so excited. This is going to look good on my resume.

We arrived in Gulf Shores, Alabama on Thursday Nov. 16, 2006 and drove to the Silver Moon cafe & bar at around 2 pm. The volunteers were handing out goodie bags and name tags and we found out where our accomodations were to be and where meals would be. Mealtime turned out to be the best time for networking. I found myself a little shy about approaching these successful songwriters and performers because let's face it, I'm a sensitive guy. It's true. I have to admit I cried the first time I ever had sex but I think that was because of the mace.
I got to perform twice officially with the "New Friends Of The Festival." To me a couple of the singers sounded like folk singers or what they call Americana. Nothing wrong with that and I do the same sometimes but too many slow songs in a row and I tend to get sleepy so when it came my time to sing I picked some of my peppier songs to liven things up. According to the applause, I think they liked it. In fact, this guy announced that I had single-handedly created the biggest genre shift of the evening. I personally like traditional country and old time rock and roll. I was born before there was such a thing as rock and roll so I have had the great fortune in this life of watching rock being born. The two biggest thrills while at the festival were going across the street to FloraBama roadhouse and watching the performers there while the "Lolas" were there. LOLA stands for Ladies Of Lower Alabama. The Lolas are a group of women similar to the Sweet Potato Queens who dress outrageously in bustles, leotards, fishnet stockings, boas, pink wigs (or blue), and ridiculous accessories. There was a big, loud crowd there and everyone was having great fun in the middle of the afternoon. The second big thrill was going to RiverWatch. That's the name of the house directly behind the Silver Moon. The protocol there is, you come in with your guitar and take a seat around the dining room table and each person takes a turn playing a song. If you stay as long as I did (till 3 am) you eventually get to play all your songs. I heard some amazing songs that night. Songs about a rhinestone Jesus outside the Taco Bell, a song about RCs and moon pies, a song about a southern girl that calls everybody honey and sweetie and is always fixing to go over yonder, a song about waltzing the two-step all the way back to Texas and many, many more. You needed to be there to experience the magic of the moment. It was so great I am really a little bit stunned and haven't had it all sink in yet. I told the coordinator that if I didn't get invited back next year then I would more than likely kill myself and she did not want to be responsible for that happening. I learned that beside the hospitality room where we all ate there was a place called Hub Stacy's where they hold the kick off party and the closing festivities. Not only that but the Hub hosts several open mic nights. Sadly I didn't learn all this till I got back home.
While I was there I did a little fishing and when I got back to the room my wife said "Did you catch anything?" I said "God, I hope not."
Now I am seriously going to work on my second CD. I have all the songs written and the finished sound is in my head. It's an expensive venture but I am going to bite the bullet and do it. Although I write great songs, I drop the ball when it comes to marketing and promotion so it winds up being a labor of love. I would love to hear anyones comments on any part of this.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Here's The Plan

MONDAY, MAY 24, 2004
Here's The (Revised) Plan
Every Monday night (almost) I plan to be at McCrackens which is on Atlanta rd. just before the Marieta Square then every Tuesday night (almost) I plan to be at Crystal's on the Square in Marietta which is right around the corner, for their open mic. night. I did this last Monday and Tuesday and had a ball playing my guitar and kazoo - of course they laughed but they liked it. Never been there before? It's on the southeast corner of the square on Roswell Road right across from the courthouse. I think the address is 150 Roswell road. Great music, friendly people (even friendlier long about midnight) and no admission charge. I'm not sure it's a good thing to have a favorite bar and a favorite drink: Crown Royal & Sprite. There is additional seating outside on the sidewalk where the next player up can be found practicing. I have seen bass, harmonica, keyboard, and conga drum players congregating there. So far, I am the only one that plays a bit of country music along with the eclectic mix of songs I do. Why don't you come up and see me sometime and sing along?

Couple Of Things

A Couple Of Things
I went to the hospital Oct 6 for heart catherization and the possibility of angioplasty and maybe having more stents put in. This would relieve my shortness of breath and improve my memory. Turns out I am not a candidate for any more stents as my vessels are diffused. I will have to treat my heart condition with a combination of diet, exercise and medication.

On a more cheerful note, I should have a CD of ten of my original songs out before Christmas (I hope). I hope this happens as it would be a dream come true. Then I will be back to square one with my shortcomings in marketing. I can write great songs I just don't know how to sell them. Any ideas out there?

Musical Performance

Musical Performance
My two brothers and I played at Borders Bookstore last night. besides the general public, we had a pretty good contingency of friends and family. We may have even chased off a few people who come to use the place as if it were a public library. My mother was there disguised as a bag lady where she commenced to empty her pocketbook on the table and go through all her stuff. I used a Marshall mini-amp I had just bought. That thing is only about half as big as a cigar box but sounds like a full size amp. The neat thing is, you can plug in an adapter or play it off the 9 volt battery. My brother Robert has acquired software and will learn how to record our songs. I hope someday we can produce a music CD. I would even like to attempt a music video. I have all these ideas.

My First CD

My Latest Song

My younger brother, Robert set up an appointment for Monday 11-15-2004 at Bird Nest Studio in Covington to record some of my songs. The hourly rate was steep but I figured what the heck, we would probably do three or four songs. I was wrong, we only did one song in nine hours at a cost of $400. Hopefully there's a learning curve involved and we can get more done next time or else I won't be able to afford doing all ten songs of a CD in the studio.
The title of the song we recorded is "Rock Bottom Bar".
I thought it turned out real well. I don't have the greatest singing voice but it is okay and was really enhanced by my brother singing backup. All harmony parts are done by him alone and when he finished I paid him the highest compliment I could bestow on a backup singer: I told him "You sound like the Jordanaires."
When I played the musical interlude on lead guitar it sounded like it needed more so we backed up and played lead again on top of the other. That made it sound like a twelve string guitar or a six string with reverb. The finished recording sounded actually better than I had expected, especially there in the studio. Brother Robert and I are working hard toward having a finished disk of ten of my original songs as soon as possible. Looks like I am going to miss the Christmas market and when I am a vendor at the State Master Gardener conference in Perry Georgia in January. UPDATE: Just finished the second song called "One Good Woman"at a cost of $225. It is the best one so far with more of an old-time rock beat and great piano. Rob, my webmaster, posted a short piece of three songs on my site. Check them out. As with gardening, music is a big part of my life so let me know what you think of these snippets. You can post comments on my guestbook or email me. Down the road I need to decide what to name the album: Basement Boogie, Last Man Standing, One Good Woman or something else. Comments?

Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm Back

©2009 Eddie Rhoades

In November I went to Gulf Shores for their Songwriter Festival. I was there for the kickoff ceremonies and signed up to play. The Emcee that night said I was the only performer people got up and danced to. Following me was a guy named Buzz Kieferand. I'm glad I played first because I'd hate to follow him. I couldn't remember his last name so I kept calling him Buzz Lightyear. He sang the most outlandish funny and bawdy song I've heard with lines like "I want to be a Christmas tree, with that angel on top of me." That same night I also heard Sam Anderson and later Marc-Alan Barnette, both great performers. Look any of those names up on

No one mentioned providing me a place to stay and I didn't want to be pushy so I spent that first night in my car in the parking lot behind the Silver Moon. It was a pretty cold night plus the parking lot was well lit and I sleep better when it's dark.

Next morning breakfast and lunch was provided at the Silver Moon. The Newcomers (that's me) had a block of time in the afternoon plus there was an open mic directly across the street at the FloraBama Lounge. I signed up for both and was running back and forth to play at my assigned time slot. These events are not always perfect so the old-timers signed up and performed during the Newcomers performance time but there was a time gap before the next scheduled performance so we did finally get to play.

Late that night they had a picking party at the Silver Moon and I stayed up till I guess 2am. I had inquired about a room and they said even though I was invited down I wasn't scheduled to play any of the venues therefore I didn't get a room. So I got a room at the Holiday Inn Express and since I was with the songwriters they gave me a discount.

The next day was a repeat of the last with me running back and forth to play in as many open mics as possible and playing at the newcomers time slot. That night I stayed up playing till 3am and it was so late I spent another night in my car. Well I only slept 3 hours and woke up at 6am and drove back to Marietta.

I spent a couple of nights at home and the wife and I both went back to Gulf Shores. We booked a couple of nights at the Holiday Express as there's no way my wife was going to sleep in the car. Though it was cold, the next morning we got coffee and got in the hot tub outside. It was nice and relaxing. I fixed me a drink about 10 am because, what the hell, I'm on permanent vacation.

On my last performance at the Silver Moon my brother Robert was there and besides doing his own songs he sang backup for me and played conga drums on a couple of fast numbers. I got a big response with my new humorous song "Toss It" and many people came up to me afterwards to tell me how much they enjoyed all my songs. All in all I had a ball and look forward to doing it again next year.

My brother Robert and I keep writing better and better songs. I've gotten standing ovations for some of my performances and Robert has been asked to sing other peoples songs for their demo recordings. He has a great voice. Got to run, I think I will try to catch Aaron Barker at the Swallow at the Hollow in Roswell, Georgia.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

First Annual Amelia Island Songwriters Festival 2008

By Eddie Rhoades

Just about a year ago, I was noodling around on the Internet searching for songwriters conferences. On Dogpile search engine I keyed in Songwriters Festival and up popped two; a dot com in Nashville and a dot org in Ameila Island, Florida. There was not a lot on the dot org web page, just a few lines saying they held weekly songwriter contests for locals but wanted to expand to something bigger and were open for ideas about how to accomplish this.

I emailed the link given and received a response from Joe Warwick asking me to call him. I gave him a call we talked for 30 minutes or more about how to host a songwriters festival on a national basis. I had not been involved in hosting a festival but I had attended the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival in Gulf Shores for several years and was scheduled for one in Nashville plus the Durango Festival was also coming up for the first time in the East. The very first idea suggested was for him to contact BMI & NSAI and they would tell him exactly how to do it and would step up and help a lot with the logistics and preparations but there would be plenty left for Joe to do. We also discussed lining up local sponsors like the Chamber of Commerce, radio stations and local businesses plus anything related to music or beer & liquor (sponsors). I explained how the Frank Brown International Songwriter's Festival lines up venues all over town instead of just one location where attendees might overwhelm the one location. I gave him contact information for Reneda Cross who heads up FBISF. Joe said he would consider all suggestions and that he intended to go to Key West to observe how their festival was run.

Joe explained how the local songwriter's guild met weekly at the Frisky Mermaid Bar which is inside the Florida House Hotel he runs and how they always had a theme to write their songs about.

Everyone would write and perform songs about these theme topics. I didn't think that would be a good idea because it seemed limiting. Of course I was completely wrong. If you're simply going to perform, then play anything you want providing it's original, but if there is a contest you do need guidelines. Joe had great ideas about the themes such as: drinking, guitar, Island life, and several more. All these festival are a lot alike but there is always something different about each one and I think Joe’s idea of themes and cash prizes sets it apart from others.

The event ran from Wednesday August 27th thorough Sunday August 31st - Labor Day weekend. I didn't arrive until Friday so I had missed the "Drinking" category contest - too bad because I had a great song for that. I did enter two contests and did not win either. I didn't even place. So much for putting "Contest Winner" on my resume' But as Jason Blume said, "These contests are fun but don't be discouraged if you don't win, it's no reflection on your talent," Even he had placed last in an international contest in England many years ago but never lost faith in his songwriting ability. I can guarantee you I will be attending Jason’s workshop next year.

Even though I didn't win, there were times between programs where I was able to perform several of my best songs at the different venues. I had a lot of fun acting as emcee and telling jokes. Anyone could have done this as they asked for volunteers to fill the time gaps between judging. No one else volunteered so I jumped at this opportunity.

BMI sent some of their big-name songwriters down for several showcase performances. I spoke to Mike Geiger who was born and raised in Fernandina Beach, Florida and now resides in Nashville. He commented that this festival ran smoother than most he'd seen, especially since it was the first time for it. John Wiggins was there, he's the guy who wrote "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" which he performed at Whacky Davey's. I would like to point out that these professionals are all very approachable. I spoke to one of these professionals and promptly forgot his name only to later see him several times and he always called me by name - how embarrassing. I got to see him perform at a venue and he began playing this fantastic lead guitar and it dawned on me his name is Chuck Jones and I had seen him play in Georgia at a place called Swallow at the Hollow performing along with Chuck Cannon.

Every year I attend songwriter festivals in Nashville, Gulf Shores, and Asheville. Now I will be adding Amelia Island, Florida to that list. These four events are wonderful places to meet and hang out with other musicians who play their original songs, plus you get to showcase your songs, have lots of fun (party), and make new friends. It’s living the dream.

email Joe Warwick at or go to and sign up for their mailing list to be notified about the next Songwriter Festival.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Introducing Eddie Rhoades' New Music Blog

Mark this spot and visit often to read postings from Eddie Rhoades' music world!