Archive for August, 2015


Here is the thing;  IT happens.  LIFE happens.  Doors open.  Doors lock.  Time is too short.  Reinforcements too late.  People are nice.  People are mean.  Nature Is beautiful.  Nature is deadly.  You can look at this post as poetry or preaching.  A waste of time or a gold mine.  These events WILL happen.  They will happen to you.  They will happen to someone you know.  Each will occur during good times and terrible ones.  The optimist and the others have their answers and their advice.  Here is mine; These events will happen – prepare for them.  That means back up plans for the back up plans in some situations but also taking advantage of the opportunity.  I am an opportunist.                  

To follow our past conversation, we all want those that have succeeded to reach out and help struggling artists.  I am suggesting here that we are helped all the time, but too often we are not prepared to actually hear or understand the message.  We need to be prepared and look for the opening door, because it will happen.  It happens all the time. As I read great articles and poems, learn of projects and accomplishments and all the comments from this blogging community I KNOW people are encouraging others all the time.  We share struggles and that helps others prepare, because it will happen.  I just wanted to give you some idea of how impressed I am with so many intelligent and caring people I hear from every day in comments and your posts.  I count my blessings.  Cheers!    


                                                                                  © 1-12-2010 MSK

You worked all your life to get to the Finish Line

And when you get there ….it feels good for a while.

Now you learn there is always another Line to cross

Paid for by the family and friends you never knew.


The question comes up from time to time

Blazing like the sun, mile after mile.

You can’t recapture youth or love that you’ve lost

By repeating a lie until it becomes true.


Was it worth it?

You have fame and everything you planned.

Was it worth it?

Would you do it again now that you understand?


Was it worth it?


You’ve earned every dollar, every target you achieved

It was a lot easier than even you had believed.

It’s not hard to get what you want if nothing else matters.

What will you have left when there is nothing you want?


Thank you, thank you, thank you! For the next few days I’ll be offering all of my blog friends a free download of my song Miracles In Your Hand off of my upcoming EP, “Before The Chase.” I have been struggling to find a proper way to thank you all for your support and encouragement over the past year. I was very close to throwing in the towel, but I started this blog and thanks to all of you and your kind words, I’ve been motivated to keep pushing forward.  As I watch this year’s calendar fill with major events and milestones, there are usually small celebrations here and there.  At each one I am not only surprised at the positive response and friendships created, but also by the amazing amount of talent and creativity this community produces.  Please stop by and add this original song (Click here – Miracles in Your Hand) to your personal libraries as part of my continued appreciation for all you have done to support and spread my works.

After a break-up some of these lyrics just poured out.  Seeing the same thing and coming to opposite conclusions.  Having an early exposure to poetry first, I try to keep those ideas reflected in many of the songs I write.  The chorus was an idea I had been playing with lyrically for a while and it seemed to immediately fit with the loss described in the verses.  What would you do if you held a miracle in YOUR hand?  What if that couldn’t save you?

“Miracles In Your Hand”  (c)  MSK

A reason is such a small thing,

Can’t you give me one?

Seems to me you were holding out,

Were you really just holding on?

The things we did won’t mean a thing,

The memories drift away.

The things you said hang in the air,

Like a light that will not fade.

CH:  You’re alive one day with miracles in your hand,

Then you’re heading for a wall, drivin’ fast as you can.

I settled down uneasy, I’m just waiting for tomorrow to come.

When the answers seem so distant,

Questions lose their fun.

You thought that I was shutting up,

I was really just shutting down.

It’s time we found the meaning,

In the games we have made.

And a reason makes the difference,

When the last trick must be played.

CH:   You’re alive one day with miracles in your hand,

Then you’re heading for a wall, drivin’ fast as you can.

I settled down uneasy, I’m just waiting for tomorrow to come.

Thank you so much to everyone who participated so far in my “Who Do You Love” post.  There were some very interesting lessons as I collected and listened to the recommended songs  that have influenced us over the years.  I say us intentionally.  You are the best group of people I have never worked with!!  LOL.  I mean that in a kind way.  It is easier for some people to develop good relationships with some one they work with or “serve” with.  The bonds can last a life time.  We do not have that work platform, but the friendships made here are also very strong.

I was equally surprised by two things:  1) I knew a lot of these songs and bands and 2) I didn’t     know a lot of these bands and songs!!  It took me a long time to go through them all.  But there are some gems in here.  Many are the best of their category – NOT necessarily the most popular or the one with the most airplay.  I encourage you to look deeper into comments as I will not list them all here again, but I want to point out a number of them that caught my ear.   A lot of your suggestions were passionate and you can tell there is a lot of history and emotional connections in the lists. Here are just a few – but again not a complete list of the gems you suggested. Please continue to post your musical influences.  I have thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from your suggestions.  I hope others get a kick out of these too!  IN NO ORDER WHATSOEVER

Active Child – what a range the vocalist has.  Unusual set of musical toys, and lyrical   themes and vocal textures blend into a unique soundscape.  They create a house and invite you in.  Well worth the visit.

Switchfoot –  “Hello Hurricane”, This is a clean sounding song. Well recorded and mixed. Driving beats and vocal power that can be smooth and open.  Good blends in harmonies.  Good energy and I like the ay the song builds at a slow pace.

Jon Foreman – The Wonderlands.   Here is another great blending artist.  Nice harmonies and the background music surprises with different arrangements and instrumentation.  Very good dynamics.  Addictive style that is pleasant and easy to relate to.

Bat for Lashes – Laura is a great example of this artist’s prowess.  She quickly sets up the mood and the tone and then lays the lyrics on you with vocals that seem to have more control than humanly possible and enough emotion to cause global warming.

For raw power with a message it is hard to beat La Dispute.  Combining a number of styles into a passionate assortment of lyric driven songs.  A speaking style not trying to be rap that works very well for this group.  Great driving music for a long trip.

I have to mention this because it was cool from an historical point:

I was really fascinated to check out Barclay James Harvest.  These guys are right up my ancient alley and I have never heard of them.  I know this might not be the most popular suggestion the community has suggested, but they cover all the progressive territory of other bands I am familiar with.  Some of the video clips from around 1979 are out there and worth an evening or two.

I had heard Ed Sheeran before, but wasn’t that familiar with his works.  Nice variety, works on a good image – that is a good guy image and it comes of very well for him. He tries to add variety and the songs are great.  It was definitely worth my time digging more into his songs and videos.  Great voice.  Solid music and production.

Kate Nash – Nicest Thing.  I can see why this is a favorite.  The style is intentionally out there and it has the sneaky ability to pull you in instead.  When you can make comfortable and eerie blend perfectly you have a great emotional landscape play in.   She calls this her territory and of course the lyrics pull you right into the main theme. Good call.

City & Color – As Much As I Ever Could is another great example of a band that has it all. The vocals are outstanding and his control is impressive.  Lyrics are fine and fit the ballad style of this song.  Band dynamics are worked out by what seems to be magic. Harmonies kick in and punch it for added tension and for me the keyboards are a great touch.

Dave Koz’s tunes are cool jams and the performers are all top notch.  You don’t have to be a genius to get into their grooves as well.  Slick mix production.  If it is time to sit back and enjoy, take in a few of these live performances and watch the players do some cool stuff.

Ian Carr’s Nucleus – Roots: This is a great progressive jazz.  Maybe an acquired taste for some but worth checking out for the chops and creative jamming.
Frankie Beverly’s Raw Soul – I Need You: This is another great jam band with solid grooves and guys that know their axe.  Percussion to die for and the organ player is pretty top notch.  Great live musical fun.

The Hep Stars got by me completely somehow.  You can hear a lot of influences that were dominant at the time.  Good vocal blend and the recordings are actually pretty good. They captured the times and the look and ran with it.  For a blast from the past this is a good history lesson.

 The Raconteurs are a great groove band with a heavy guitar sound.  The vocals and the harmonies are well worth the price of admission. For a lively rocking jam, this is a great place to start soaking up some new tunes.

This video stands on its own, but the vocals have to be heard to be believed from The Temper Trap.  Great name too. is a great song with a vision.

 Lana Del Rey is one of those artists you have to sample more than one song to get a feel of the true talent.  Maybe listening a few times would help, but once you cross over she has a powerful musical presence.  Try for the unfamiliar.

Manic Street Preachers have a great Brit rock/POP sound. is a fun video to start with.  Good clean style, great vocals and they are not afraid of dynamics.  They also love a song with a theme or message, so good for a fun musical cruise.

Acoustic Alchemy are worth noting for a band that has chops and a smooth modern jazz style. is a good example of their live performances.  Fun jams and precision licks from a talented group and for a nice addition try a “Shelter Island Drive”.



Sufjan Stevens for eye candy.

From The National, try to set the tone for the evening.  A vocal and visual treat.

Amaia Montero – Quiero Ser and I have no idea what she is singing, but I can understand why it was recommended’

Thank you again.  I really enjoyed this project and thank all that participated and to all the thought put into it, even if you did not post your list!

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You may think this funny, but my first real concert was a Grateful Dead concert.  I was seventeen or eighteen at the time.  I had seen bands perform at parks or other small events, but this was my first concert.  The thing I remember most to this day were the huge balloons that the audience and band members would smack back and forth the entire evening.  I was not that familiar with their music but I had heard references (“It’s not for lack of bread, like the Grateful Dead; dying”, from the musical play Hair, which I also saw!) but had not really heard much of their music before.

The second thing that I noticed was how communal the audience was.  It is unlike other concerts.  Everyone was friendly and happy to be there.  It was a different group of people.  They enjoyed the music, enjoyed the event and everyone got along.  I wish more of the concerts I have seen had audiences that resembled The Grateful Dead fans.

What was your first concert? What do you remember about it?

MIDIMike’s Reviews Are Coming Soon!

As a result of requests from fellow bloggers and ReverbNation members, we are just a few weeks away from launching the new ​MIDIMike’s Reviews Site.  This site will be dedicated to reviewing original music and creative writing submissions every week.  I assembled a​n amazing​ team of reviewers to work with me and they are ​also ​excited to help with this new project.

I have been writing and performing for decades, but recently I struggled to get my material professionally reviewed for my on-line presskit.  I have seen a number of artists struggle to acquire this simple but necessary stepping stone.  Several of you have asked me for opinions on your material and I want to make that advice available to everyone.  I want to be able to give back to all of you for the support and encouragement you’ve given me over this last year.

MIDIMike’s Reviews will  be free and honest.  I will be posting the reviews on my site (which has thousands of views per month) and on the upcoming review site.  You are also welcome to use the review for your own website/blog/presskit when referencing MIDIMike’s Reviews as the source.  The individual review posts are not guaranteed for all submissions, but every submission will receive feedback from us.  I enjoy raw talent, but the submissions should be presented ​as professionally​ as possible.  Your creative works will be handled with the utmost care and you retain full ownership.  HOWEVER: You must guarantee you are the sole author and have full permissions to publish these works.

If you are interested in having your material reviewed, please e-mail:

Music – You may submit a song or an album for review.  Please send a link to the material in full and any additional presskit material or websites (if available).

Poetry – Please e-mail the poem or poems in full to the e-mail address with any websites/social media (if applicable).

All levels of experience accepted. (If you have any questions, you can also e-mail them to us at

Please keep in mind; I do what I can, but sometimes life gets in the way. Please be patient with us while we get this up and running.  I tried to avoid as much legal jargon as possible but there are exceptions, exclusions and I have the final say on what reviews will be posted and for the content of the reviews.

On a more pleasant note, I get to hear a lot of great music from new bands and artists before they become wildly famous and read great poetry before it’s professionally published! Thank you for making the first half of 2015 a blast, and it is just getting started!


Lyrics or poetry? You decide…

Nothing but Memories”                                                       ©  MSK 3-2014

 I feel like I have nothing 

‘Cause you keep reminding me. 

Even if I have nothing; 

I have my memories. 

As long as I have my memories 

I will have enough. 


You are my everything 

Lost; you keep on finding me 

The Safe and the Mystery; 

Love: knows where it wants to be 


Thunder doesn’t frighten us 

Creatures howling in the night 

Would more likely delight us. 

To sit under open skies. 

As long as we have open skies 

The heavens will be free 


For as long as it wants  

The reason is “because”. 

Because I’m the one that flaunts; 

I’m guilty of the crime. 

As long as I have my memories 

I will have enough.  


You are my everything 

Lost; you keep on finding me 

The Safe and the Mystery; 

Love: knows where it wants to be   


We all want to win the race.  Take home the trophy.  Buy the bacon.  We work hard to get ahead but where do we start from?  If only life was like professional sports.  A Referee standing by.  Coaches and support staff ready to assist.  Umpires or Officials always watching objectively to call foul or restart if necessary to make sure the game is played by the rules.                

But what are the rules and who makes them?  I do not make the rules.  Voters do not make the rules.  They say there are three branches of government, but I think now there are four when you add big business.  When one company can own multiple news, TV and radio stations in a large market area, should you believe everything they say?  

Maybe if the general public was given accurate information there would be more trust of business or governments.  We go to war for this reason.  Tobacco is not addictive.   Racial prejudice is justified.  The war on drugs is a success.  The Earth is flat and the center of the universe.  Global warming is a hoax. Maybe if the general public was given accurate information there would be more trust of business or governments.  Elvis is alive.

Even as science gets better and clearer pictures and descriptions of the worlds around us, it is increasingly difficult to get unbiased information.  It seems everyone has an agenda and if they need to mislead or deceive citizens to reach their goals so be it. Look past the hype.  Follow the money.  If everyone is shouting the same thing…. go out and see what they don’t want you to hear from other sources. There are three sides to every story…..

Everyone’s a member of the Human Race.  Give them all a chance to run, but let’s start it from the same place”   From “Cut The Fat”  © 1995 Michael and Ellen Kennedy

I wrote this song as a plea from the past. A message in a time capsule planted in you memories. It is in remembering that we learn.

Maybe it is because I have worked in the service area in one form or another for years, but I see a lot of people that do not want to wait their turn. They think they have a better reason to be first than anyone else already in line. The bass player with The Merchants Of Death (equal part original / cover band I played in) had a fascination with trains so I added the part about the train being on time after using some of his images while talking excitedly about their beauty and how powerful they are. It seemed to fit. You don’t have to wait, but neither will the rest of the world if you are not here to get on board.  It exposes a point in time where too many things seem to push you the wrong way, and very little anyone can do about it.  Life stacked against you.

It is also a reminder that somethings are better understood when looking at them in the distant past. As we remember events – especially through our dreams – our part in those events can become clearer. Often, I am not the saint or righteous person I thought I was when it happened. We can all be fools. Sometimes our dreams and the path to paradise is right in front of us and we do not realize it; or worse we refuse it for mysterious reasons.  This is one of my older songs that I really love even after all these years.

This is another song recorded on my 12 string Ovation guitar I have. For this song you can tell I have two vocal tracks and I am singing all the way through the song. Using slight panning separation I try to add distance in the vocal parts. The guitar is open-tuned to G, which makes the chords seem full and spacious at the same time. I like it, anyway! To me this is a gorgeous sound all on its own.

“Get Out Of Line”

Just after my dream fades,

I hear her say,

“There will be many days,

For Fool Parades.


If you don’t want to stand,

Then get outta line.

But don’t be surprised,

If the train is on time.

Still, it seems funny how,

Lost track of now.

Things that might have helped out,

They won’t allow.


If you don’t want to stand,

Then get outta line.

But don’t be surprised,

If the train is on time.

“Don’t forget what I said”,

And I shake my head.

Feel the sweat on my bed,

Or tears instead.


If you don’t want to stand,

Then get outta line.

But don’t be surprised,

If the train is on time.

Just after my dream fades,

I hear her say…..

“Don’t forget me”.


Encouragement – the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.

This also applies to writers, artists, poets, performers, photographers and so on… Let’s build each other up instead of competing with one another. Once you’ve reached the next level, reach down and lend a hand to everyone still striving to get where you are. Be thankful to each and every person who encourages you and GO OUT OF YOUR WAY to support and encourage others.