I do stuff. It’s what I do.

Yes. Its’ what I do.

Stuff.

I do things. I create things. I try things. Take a risk. A shot. A gamble. Expose myself to critics. Whatever.

Actually, if I’m being bluntly honest, it doesn’t really phase me. All of it. Certainly, not anymore.

Thankfully.

I gather that maybe I’m wired a bit different. For the most part, I gave up any concern I had about a decade or so ago. Gave up any concern for wide acceptance.

My late father once told me that I was a bit odd. He further went on to say that I ‘wasn’t for everyone.’ Kind of an ‘acquired taste’. And he lamented how powerful this fact was if I came to grips with it.

The question is then… did I come to grips with it? No idea. Not a clue.

I do know that I really don’t give a shit about my likeability quotient. Actually, I don’t even give it a passing thought any longer.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I want and enjoy friendships. I value them. I value my reputation with my clients and my reputation at my chosen craft. Whether that be as a Real Estate Agent, Podcast Show Host, Guitarist, etc. And of course, more importantly, as a Husband, Father & Friend. I value those relationships and the opinions of those people as to my work for them and/or my connection to them. Naturally.

But gaining wide acceptance? I honestly can’t be bothered. Not any longer. And so, I create. Selfishly, at this point. I create primarily to make myself happy. If acceptance is gained on a small or large basis – great. And so be it. But it’s not my purpose. The ‘inner spark’ does not come from any place connected with acceptance. Not any longer.

Reflecting back over the past decades, it worked out. We did OK. Folks were happy. Our reputation appeared solid.

While never intimidated by risk – I believe I would have done more. Taken more creative risks. Maybe started another guitar brand. An instrument mfg company. Done more branding. More lines of clothing. Who knows what else.

The pull of acceptance. The acceptance of others. It held me back. Really held me back.

With life experience comes clarity. Shame really. Shame to have this clarity, this much emotional freedom, this much lack of fear – so late in life.

Best I start crackin’.

One on One with Eric McKenna

Humbled to be invited to appear and share a bit of my story on Jaime Chesney’s show, One on One.

We can learn from everyone. And everyone’s story and journey is unique and valid. I enjoyed the opportunity to share a bit of the challenges and successes of my journey. Overcoming personal and career setbacks, discovering and refining my personal philosophy, the raw emotions of loss, grief and recovery and more. It’s my hope that others will find similarities with their unique stories and maybe some comfort in knowing that anything is possible if one wants it bad enough.

Show #82 – Freddy Kowalo

Fred’s back! Fresh off another tour. This time with TSO. And Fred is just back from NAMM! Sneaking backstage a Dimebash, a typical day on the road with TSO, trials and tribulations of the TSO ‘Tesla Machine’, spotlight madness, tour bus life, tour sobriety, Fred tries juicing, setting up a violin, boredom, chip reviews, big tours vs his early Black Label tours, trouble with grubhub, Zakk Wylde’s toxic sweat, studio wrestling on the bus with BLS, the worst tour bus in all of Europe, the tour bus driver labeled ‘Stinky Britches’ and much, much Kowalo madness! Join us!

Show #13 – Abby Abbondanza

Abby Abbondanza was at the table with Eric on pOdcast #13 of The Eric McKenna Project. Abby is the singer, songwriter and frontman of THW (The Hillbilly Way) and of course singer, songwriter and frontman of one of Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pa’s most successful acts every, The Povertyneck Hillbillies.

A fun and lively discussion as Abby shares his musical story including much about PNH and THW and everything in between. Including how he got his start in music. Abby discusses how quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers came to be in PNH’s hit video ‘Mr. Right Now’. And how Bob Cobin plays into the picture with Abby and PNH’s development. And ultimately how PNH came to an end and the birth of THW began.

Great guy, great talent and great show!

Show #3 – Sir Freddy Kowalo (Part 1)

Recorded April 1st, 2019, LIVE at the Boogie Street Studios, at the table with Eric is Sir Freddy Kowalo, Part 1. Fred is a Pittsburgh native who, for more than 20 years, has toured the world multiple times in the role of Guitar Technician for Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, Shinedown, Alice in Chains, INXS, TSO and Medadeth. Fred shares plenty of road stories with artists he has worked directly for including Zakk Wylde, Dave Mustaine, Chris Broderick, Jasin Todd and many others. Fred also shares his experiences living and working ‘on the road; touring. The pitfalls of working and – eating – while in India. Having his ego shattered in an out of the way, Dublin bar. Bungee jumping in Vegas. Missed private plan opportunities. Working and appearing in the movie ‘Rockstar’. And much, much more. A relaxed and fun conversation with one of the Music Industry’s true gems, Sir Freddy!