Thank you, Johnny Reid

At the end of the year, it's good to look back and think about the people who have helped you along the way in the past 12 months, or longer.

When I was quite young I memorized a poem about a self-made man who was only self-made in his own mind. The truth was he'd forgotten about all the people who'd helped him along his way.

I hope none of us will ever do that. I have a long list myself of people who've helped me – intentionally or not.

Not the least of those is Johnny Reid.

Now although I'm a fan of his on a couple of web places, Johnny has very likely never heard of me. But the creativity, passion, and excellence in his CD, Kicking Stones, helped me in a number of ways this year. Listening to this CD entertains me, encourages me, and inspires me both as a person and as a writer.

I've even played the title song from the CD at my writing workshops because it's one of the best examples I've found for  teaching people how to "show, not tell" as you write. Kicking stones video 

If you don't know Johnny, who was the 2009 Canadian Country Music male singer of the year. and whose CD Kicking Stones has sold over 100,000 copies, you might want to watch this video of his performance of one of the many great songs on the Kicking Stones CD –  "Thank You."

And you might want to make a list of the people who've helped you this year.

Some of my favorite CDs

I just ordered Buddy Jewell's latest CD, which I've heard is great, and that got me going through my CDs to pick out my favorites.

Since I've been a huge fan of country music since I was about 5, I started there.

Most of these aren't major ones where they had all the bells and whistles, like Toby Keith and Brooks and Dunn, or some of the classics like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams, but maybe some lesser known ones that I think are very well-done.

George Canyon – George Canyon

John Berry – Faces

The Roadhammers – The Roadhammers

Johnny Reid – Kicking Stones

Lisa Brokop – Hey Do You Know Me?

Ian Tyson – I Outgrew the Wagons

Prairie Oyster – I love pretty well all their stuff – esp. some of the early ones.

Terri Clark – Pain To Kill

The Mavericks – several – esp. Trampoline

Buddy Jewell – Buddy Jewell

john Arthur martinez – Lone Starry Night

And one of my all-time favorites – Joyce Martin's Diamonds on a Dusty Road – a Christian one but very Mary Chapin Carpenterish – I think it's her only solo CD and it was a departure from her other stuff with her family, but I just love it