Bluegrass Music Musical Instruments

My 2022 Resolution

My new year’s resolution for 2022? Pay more attention to the music, especially bluegrass music.

I’m getting rid of my house and moving back to my mom’s house to take care of her. I’ve been practically living at mom’s for the past five years, and my house is in shambles. Having to take care of an 89-year-old woman on my own, along with my day job, has been stressful to say the least. When I was laid off, it was fine, but I can hardly stay awake now that I’m working.

With that said, I have been spending an hour or so every day at my house getting rid of junk. It has now come down to getting rid of furniture, music equipment I know that I’ll never use again, and other big items. Time doing that has taken time away from practicing the fiddle and guitar, as well as concentrating on songwriting. I haven’t picked up the fiddle since well before Christmas, and I have only picked up the guitar once in the past three weeks.

So I need to get back to the music. I don’t want to lose that piece of personal enjoyment to the struggles of my life. I definitely need some inspiration as far as songwriting goes, and that has been very lacking. My one songwriting group Songwriters Anonymous has been holding Zoom meeting for nearly two years now, and I have not had the opportunity or even motivation to check one virtual meeting out.

I remember one YouTuber named FiddleHed that I wrote about a few months back telling those people that one needs to pick up the fiddle every day, even if just for a minute to pluck the strings or drag the bow across, in order to keep being motivated. Yes, I need to get back to that.

I certainly realize that the COVID thing has really killed off a lot of motivation with me and others. I was practicing the fiddle enough to want to try and hit a jam session, b ut forget that. None to be found in the area. Online jam sessions do not have the same warmth, comradery, or feedback. I was planning on going to SPBGMA in Nashville at the end of the month, but between the house, caregiving, and my job, that was cancelled.

As for songwriting, I am hoping that some camp will happen in the spring or summer. I will definitely travel to get to one, as I have very little motivation around my area right now. I’ve been checking online for some possible camps or workshops, but none seem to be popping up.

Since I dropped Sirius/XM a few years back, I have been a bit out of the loop when it comes to what is new in the bluegrass field. I try to keep up by reading Bluegrass Today online, still subscribe to Bluegrass Unlimited, and I still listen to “Daybreak in Dixie” every Sunday morning on CJAM-FM in Windsor. However, I looked at the Top 50 songs for 2020 on a Bluegrass Today chart a few days ago, and I don’t think that I recognized 10 songs. I don’t see me going back to the Sirius/XM subscription, so I will have to spend some time surfing around on the internet to get my ear back on the ground.

I hope the COVID lockdown apathy will disappear soon for me. I really enjoyed the few times that I was able to see some live music last year. I do know that there are plans to make the Milan (Michigan) Bluegrass festival a five-day event this August. I may not make all five days, but I will certainly be there for two or three days.

Let’s hope that things get better. I need some motivation. In the meantime, here’s something I posted on YouTube a while back. Inspired by Tom T. Hall. We’ve learned some sad news about Tom’s death this past week, but I don’t love him any less.

Chew on it and comment.


By Matt Merta/Mitch Matthews

Musician and writer (both song and print) for over 30 years. Primarily interested in roots music (Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk). Current contributing writer for Fiddler Magazine, previous work with Metro Times (Detroit), Ann Arbor Paper and Real Detroit Weekly, as well as other various music and military publications. As songwriter, won the 2015 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (Bluegrass Category, "Something About A Train," co-written with Dawn Kenney and David Morris) as well as having work performed on NPR and nominated for numerous Detroit Music Awards.

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