Friday, June 1 • Doors 7pm • Show 8pm • $12 Advance • $15 Day of Show • All Ages • Tickets On-Sale Fri. 4/6 @5pm I’m not a welder, at least not in the typical sense of the trade. But my daddy is, by way of 2300 hours of training that certified him, courtesy of the Atlanta Federal penitentiary. I myself couldn’t put a rod in the thingamajig. And heavy equipment makes me nervous. But I do tend to fuse things, confuse things, sometimes with sparks, sometimes like a lava melt, sometimes backed by a tank of compressed air ready to blow, sometimes quiet as a slow leak. The beauty of writing, recording, gigging and the like to me is, when it’s right, it comes together and makes a glow in my soul, so intense it pierces a hot afternoon like a hissing firecracker. “Don’t look at it directly…it’ll burn your eyes!” mama used to yell. I stood bare-footed hanging on the inside of the screen door of our Florida patio. I loved watching the electron-beam of our family business, Cook’s Welding, at work in our tiny dirt yard. It was so hard not to look. Couldn’t help but look. And the rawness of my new album Welder is case and point. Apparently, I still can’t help but look. In the way my career has come together so far in unforeseen ways, via things like my satellite radio show “Apron Strings” on Sirius’ Outlaw Country, the Grand Ole Opry, great places to play and people to play them with, accomplishments in songwriting, acting gigs, my team of Tigers, this kind of mish mash continues. The story melts and bends. For my fifth all grown up studio album, I’m enjoying the journey more and I see how welding continues to shape my life. This record was really tough to make in some ways and really easy in others. From a material standpoint, I’ve never had more to write about…didn’t have to dig too deep at all. For instance, I never thought I’d be singing about my Mama’s funeral. Just never thought I’d write, much less sing, about that. But here it is on Welder…alongside other tales of the harshness and delicacies of romantic and familial love. Welder is my way of bringing it all together. And it’s just the truth. Though emotional whiplash is a serious condition, as an artist, I’m grateful for experiences that have grown me up a little bit, even if it hurts like hell. And although I didn’t really want to, the fact that I “couldn’t help but look” is what made Welder possible. It’s my damnation and my salvation. And it’s my job. I have to look. I hope the musical journey on Welder brings the condolences that come with sharing, through commiserating about life, in laughter and in tears, for the old fans, the newly added, and the all around music loving public, to whom I’m so grateful, each and every one. Thanks for looking.