Bluegrass Music

Review of 2022 Resolutions

I decided to use this final day of 2022 to look back on how much I followed/missed on my resolutions for the year (

As for getting my house cleaned and sold, that hasn’t moved too far along. Mom is now 90, and I am literally at her house taking care of her when I am not at my job. I have been able to sell a few things on Craigslist, but there is a ton more. Every time I think that I have something big accomplished with that house, I turn my head and see something bigger that needs to be done. My getting that new job then quitting two days later did not help, as I could have been taking some PTO (that I lost when I returned to my old job) to get in there for a day or two to make a dent.

The guitar and fiddle practice has also slipped. I picked up the guitar for a bit around Christmas, but the fiddle has been dry since around Thanksgiving. Well, this weekend I should grab both of them for some refresher. The arthritis is starting to kick in more with the fretting hand as well as the first finger of the picking hand, so I may need a bit of aspirin or put something on them before diving in to a regimen with the two instruments.

The Songwriters Anonymous group has been getting together in-person since the spring, and I have been able to attend a few meetings. However, because of mom’s care, as well as getting up early for work, I have missed the past few months. I hope to be able to hit a few more over 2023.

Songwriting itself is still lukewarm at best. I have jotted down a lot of ideas, and even bought myself a little pocket recorder to record some lyric ideas just in case a pen and paper are not around. However, no complete song for 2022. God, I hope something inspires me enough for a full song or two in 2023!

Attending SPBGMA last year fell through, but not this year! In a few weeks, I will be in Nashville! Everything is set – hotel, registration, and a rough itinerary. This is my first vacation in over three years, so I won’t let anything screw it up!

As for lutherie, that was also slow. I did some minor work on one of the Yamaha guitars that I bought specifically to clean up and make more playable. But again, I wish that I could have done more.

I was able to get to two days of the Milan Music Festival this past August. Unfortunately, the festival has been retired for good, so I am hoping that something else will take its place, at least for that weekend or near it. Other than that, Bela Fleck’s show, a few indoor shows at the Kentuckians of Michigan Hall and the Michigan Old-Time Fiddle Contest, I really didn’t get to see much live music. I’m not interested in large concerts at all, and The Ark still has high COVID restrictions, so I don’t plan on attending that venue soon. I do find myself scanning the internet for live music in the area, especially bluegrass shows, a lot more than I used to.

So for 2023, it seems that I am on Repeat from 2022. More songwriting, more guitar/fiddle practice, more cleaning of the house, and more searching out live music.

One thing that I did do this past year was video myself performing one of my old songs in my Kitchen Koncert series.

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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