#SundaySpotlight – George Navarro @GNavarroMusic

Welcome to another segment of Sunday Spotlight where I get to share a unique and talented music artist with you!

I had the pleasure of conducting a Q&A with this young man, George Navarro, and his story is not only uplifting (which we can all use a bit of right now) but also inspiring! George is proof that you CAN follow a dream!

Let me first give you a little background:

George Navarro is a young artist, born in Chihuahua, Mexico and though being young in years, he already has a decades-long heritage of music and performing with his father and uncles Latin Grammy-winning band, Caballo Dorado. Leaving his home, family and country in search of a solo country music career in the United States landed him at his new home away from home, in Fort Worth, and most recently recording in a studio in Nashville.

​The U.S. country music scene is exactly where George wants to be and where he belongs.  While gaining experience on lead and acoustic guitar, he continues to add instruments to his ever-growing musical holster, and is also an accomplished bass, fiddle and mandolin player.  George’s biggest asset comes in the form of his signature vocals with his warm tone and wide vocal range he has the ability to perform emotional ballads to country rock anthems with ease.

Now on to our Q&A:

Q: First of all, tell our readers how old you are, George.

A: I’m about to turn 29 on August 12th.


Q: When did you first play music professionally and what was the circumstance that prompted that first performance?

A: It was a school talent showcase when I was about 6 years old, I performed as if I was born to do that. At least, that’s what my friends and family say. I have scattered memories about the day, but for sure it defined a lot of who I was gonna become later on.

Q: You were born in Mexico, but saw your opportunity in the U.S. Have you been disappointed, or has it been like you visualized it to be?

A: Since playing country music is my passion, I always thought of being in the U.S. as my ultimate goal. Despite all the adversities, I took the chance and worked really hard on building a career in the states, which thanks to all the support from my team and the audience has been growing since then.

That’s a wonderful testimony to the premise this nation was founded on!

Q: Let’s talk a little about the art of songwriting. What does that process look like for you? In other words, does the melody come first, then the lyrics, or do the lyrics pop out first or both together?

A: I am very driven by the beat, by the “Catchiness” of a melody in music. I think mainly that’s because English is not my first language, and whenever I heard albums growing up, I’d be attracted to the beat and melody more than to the content of the lyrics. So, I get an idea of a catchy melody, and then a beat as the base of what later I’ll try to relate with  words.

Q: Where do you look for songwriting inspiration?

A: As of right now I look for inspiration inside experiences, either personal or of someone close to me. I’ve been trying to experiment and expand the source of inspiration to other things but that is still in a very early stage.

Q: I’m going to shift gears for a minute and talk about how COVID-19 has affected you and your ability to get out and promote your new music.

A: Mainly I’m doing the radio tour to promote the new music. The live shows are a strong part of who I am as an artist, so that’s been affected, but my team put on an amazing promoting strategy which I was glad to do from home, and we got a great reaction. Also as many other artists have been doing, I’ve been using this downtime to learn new skills. I started learning piano, which has been relaxing and a lot of fun. Plus I’m still practicing fiddle, guitar and vocals.

Q: Do you ever see yourself returning to Mexico to live?

A: My whole family is still in Mexico, and I still like various aspects of the culture and society. It’s what I grew up with, and it shaped part of who I am right now, so definitely I feel I have a place both in the U.S and in Mexico.

Q: What does the future look like for George Navarro?

A: I think that’s always gonna depend on the country music fans out there. I love being on stage and in the studio. As long as I have an audience, I’ll be there pouring all my heart into my music.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who has your same dream – to break into the music business and make a big splash?

A: Hard work beats talent. And you should probably to stay hungry, looking for what’s next, and for the next opportunity. Having a good career should have a strong base.

Q: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

A: My love for the music is what keeps me grounded. It’s been my dream to be a country music superstar since I can remember. I’d love nothing more than to fill up arenas and take my shows to places where this great genre of music hasn’t been heard yet. I don’t know how close I am from bringing that into reality but I am giving all I’ve got to make it come true.

I think it’s safe to say that George Navarro has a great start on his way to realizing his dream! If you like what you have read and heard, head on over and pick up a copy of his new music!

Follow George Navarro:




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Welcome to another SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT!!

Deryl Dodd is a Texas singer/songwriter that I’ve followed and been a huge fan of for a very long time. And, I am thrilled to turn my blog over to him today and let him share a story a new/old song with you!

Hello friends!!

I want to share a story behind a song, “Let Me Hold You Tonight.

This song is an old-fashioned country waltz. Nothing flashy about it. But it’s pure and it’s honest. And it lends itself perfectly to a cryin’ steel guitar, ( played by my friend and legend, Junior Knight ) and lonesome harmonies ( sung by the great Courtney Patton Eady, and myself ). I wrote it after a break-up at the ripe old age of 19, and man was I feelin’ blue. I had only written a few songs at that time, and the lyrics sound like it. But ya’ know, ya’ just can’t write from that place ever again … that place of innocence … of being 19 years old and having all those feelings. And to me, that’s the charm, and why I wanted to record it and share it with you. It’s how I felt my music was supposed to sound. I used to play this song acoustically in the bars back in the late 80s and early 90s. But I never recorded it until last summer – 2019. Something moved me to finally do it.

And partly because of this: It was 1991 and I had been playing music full time for about 4 years. And at this particular time, it seemed that things had kinda run their course. I thought the music ride I was on was coming to an end. But then my good friend Nancy Davis Clark, who managed a club called Cody’s in Waco TX, asked me if I’d open up for Dean Dillon who was coming to play. And of course I did. It’s DEAN DILLON !! So we did like a 20 minute set and I played this song. It was the only original song I played in the set that night. But apparently Dean was listening. Because after his show, his road manager came over to me and said that Dean would like to meet me. Yes it happened just like that. So I went backstage. He asked me if I wrote this song, and I said yes. Then, he said it was a damn good song and that I should come visit him in Nashville.

WHAT !! So I did. I packed up a few things, loaded up my little red truck and drove there. I hung out with Dean for about a week and I met all kinds of great people. It was so dang incredible. And one of these people happened to be a booking agent who asked me if I wanted a job playing at the Opryland Hotel. WHAT!?! I said yes sir !! So I drove back to Texas. But this time, when I got home, I packed up everything. And like another song I wrote says, “I moved to Nashville back in, 91…”

Never Ever Give Up On Your Dreams… God Bless You All…dd

This is an exciting moment for me! Thank you for allowing me to share with you for the very first time, the new and never before recorded, studio version of “Let Me Hold You Tonight.” Studio – Bart Rose Fort Worth Sound Acoustic – Deryl Dodd Vocals – Courtney Patton Eady Drums – Andrew Raley Bass – Kerry Wilson Steel Guitar – Junior Knight Piano – Frank Hames.

Me and Deryl Dodd several years ago.

I hope you enjoyed this story from Deryl. I’m posting links to his website, facebook, twitter and music below. If you have enjoyed this segment of Sunday Spotlight, please follow him and let him know!





MUSIC ON Itunes apple



Sunday Spotlight – Mark Herndon

Welcome to the first post in my new series, Sunday Spotlight, featuring music artists!

One of the greatest joys in my life is supporting fellow artists. And, I know from experience that often singer/songwriters/musicians don’t have the time or energy to create a blog. Therefore, I have opened my blog to guest posts from music artists for a Sunday Spotlight.

Today, I’m thrilled to welcome Mark Herndon, drummer with the supergroup, Alabama!

Mark has lots to share AND he has a brand new book release.

Welcome, Mark!

Thank you, Jan, for giving me a platform to talk about my work. I am super happy about my new book release, The High Road – Memories From a Long Trip.


As the book cover says, these are memories from a long trip. I played drums for the group, Alabama for almost thirty years. But that was a second career for me. I also dreamed of being a pilot. I’m one of those lucky guys that got to have both of my dreams come true.

One of the main things that inspired me to write this book was my father. I was always very curious about things that he did in his life, but he played his cards very close to his chest and didn’t share much. He was a military man and he was trained to do that plus people of that generation didn’t talk too much about themselves. I was never able to coax him to share his stories with me. So, I looked around one day and realized that I had a collection of stories from my own life, which was a little bit on the unusual side, compared to the average folks.

When my daughter became an adult, I started thinking that history was repeating itself like it did with me and my dad, and that maybe someday she’d want to share my stories with her kids. That was when I got serious about telling them. I started typing that first story, and by the time I was two or three paragraphs into it, I realized I was entertaining myself. Also, I want to say that I didn’t start my book at the beginning of the story. I jump into the middle around 1985 or 1986.

There’s a lot in the book that you have to read between the lines because either I had to write it that way, or wanted to write it that way. This is not a “tell all.” It’s a “tell almost.” And I have to thank my wife for that. We originally hired a Hollywood show business type publicity firm that put an enormous amount of pressure on me to write more dirt, because dirt sells. But, my wife was adamant about not doing that. She knew I wasn’t that kind of person, and it was important to stay true to myself. I’m glad I did!

As I said earlier, I am just one of those lucky guys that got to do what I wanted to in life. Of course, I had to do the work. I had to study and I had to learn, but I have managed to enjoy two completely different careers.

Country Music Hall of Fame Drummer, Mark Herndon
Pilot, Mark Herndon

Book Blurb:

  • What drives a man to spend 26 years performing night after night?
  • How can he persevere through a stifling tour bus, bad food, strange women, flared tempers, a plane nearly blown from the sky?
  • Just how did that troubled military brat with a dream claw his way from dirt-floor dive-bar shows to the world’s biggest stages?

Aviator, author, and Country Music Hall of Fame drummer Mark Herndon lived that dream with one of the most popular and celebrated bands of all time. He learned some hard lessons about people and life, the music industry, the accolades and awards, how easy it is to lose it all . . . and how hard it is to survive, to embrace sobriety, to live even one more day.

Herndon’s poignant memoir offers a tale at once cautionary and inspirational, delightful and heartbreaking, funny yet deeply personal. From innocence to rebellion to acceptance, can a man still flourish when the spotlight dims? Are true forgiveness, redemption, and serenity even possible when the powerful say everything you achieved somehow doesn’t even count? That you’re not who you and everyone who matters thought you were?

Mark Herndon refuses to slow down. So look back, look ahead, and join him on the trip.

He’s taking The High Road.

Author Blurb:

Legendary Country Music Hall of Fame drummer Mark Herndon yearned to fly jets as a military brat, then discovered the dream of playing drums, vowing to come back one day and perform at the very place where he once had to stand outside just to hear. Along the way, he loved and lost and made plenty of mistakes, persevering to achieve all that he imagined before having so much taken away. After decades with one of the most celebrated bands of all time, he still lives his dreams, playing, producing, flying, and now writing with keen observations about life and living in the spotlight.

And now, Mark is managing, and playing drums for his beautiful wife, Leah Seawright in her band. So, the road goes on and Mark is looking ahead! They have new music coming, and I will happily showcase it here once the record is released!

Thank you, Mark for gracing my blog site and I wish you and Leah well with all your endeavors!

Follow Mark and Leah:

Mark’s Facebook

Mark’s Website

Leah’s Website

Leah’s Facebook

PLEASE NOTE! When you purchase “The High Road” from Mark’s website, you will receive an autographed copy! https://www.markherndon.com/

Stories From the Road #18

STORIES FROM THE ROAD!A series of first-hand tales from a Texas Musician and songwriter...

This is part of a series of posts I’ve entitled, “Stories From the Road.” Each week I will post a new story from Rick Sikes, a Texas musician who traveled the roads of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and out to California for well over twenty years. With hours to pass in a bus full of sweaty musicians, they found ways to entertain themselves. These stories are told in Rick Sikes’ words. I’ll do my best to correct grammar, but I want to keep them in his own voice.


“I had a tall skinny bass man that we used to play tricks on. His name was Thomas Jenkins but we all called him Red because he had red hair. He wore glasses with thick lenses. He had a lot of trouble with his eyes. I remember one time we were in a motel out in California when he went to sleep on the floor watching TV with his glasses on.  My brother, Bobby, had some watercolors and he painted the lens on his glasses with red, yellow and orange paint. When it dried on them, after a minute or so, he put a paper sack in an aluminum pan and set it on fire. Once the room filled with smoke, everybody started hollering, “Fire, fire, fire.” Red woke up. He jumped up off the floor and of course, all he could was red, orange and yellow and he could smell the smoke. He was panicking until he pulled his glasses off. Of course, he failed to see the humor in it but we were all rolling on the floor laughing.

Another thing we used to do to him when he would zonk out like that was spray shaving cream on his glasses. He would wake up and couldn’t see anything but white shaving cream and he’d think he’d gone blind. I suppose that was pretty cruel, but it was all in fun. No harm was ever meant by it.

This same guy, Red Jenkins, greased his hair down with Brilliantine oil, that was popular back then. He was bad about falling asleep; one of those guys that nodded off real good, kind of a Rip  Van Winkle sort of guy. So anyway, this time, someone else was driving, Red was in the middle and I was on the passenger side. Three other guys were in the back of the car and we were heading to a gig. I was wearing a white western shirt. Red went to sleep and fell over on my shoulder with that greasy head so I pushed his head back up. He didn’t even wake up. We went a little farther down the road and he fell back over on my shoulder again. I raised his head back up but by this time I was getting a little perturbed. So, the third time he fell over on my shoulder, I popped him upside the head and told him to wake up. He said, “That’s alright, you sonofabitch. You’re gonna want to sleep someday.”  It was kinda funny though. The guys all cracked up when I popped him good.

I will say this about Red Jenkins. He always had my back. I met him when he was hitchhiking through Texas on the way to California. I stopped to give him a ride. He wound up staying with me and playing in the band for many years and even went to prison with me. I felt responsible for him. He wasn’t real bright, but he could play good and he was loyal. I often wonder whatever happened to him…”

Thomas Red Jenkins

Rick Sikes and the Rhythm Rebels at London Hall – Red Jenkins far right

Rick Sikes and Red Jenkins