‘The Last Time’ live


Photo by Wes Brown.

I performed at Gypsy Rose Music in Roswell, GA last month, and my friend Wes stopped by and happened to bring his camera.

Here is a live version of “The Last Time” from my album The Final Scene.

Authenticity, mental health, and social media

I recently saw a post from a friend of mine in the Atlanta area. It started out, “The more I see my friends (especially male friends) sharing their mental health struggles and reaching out, the more inclined I am to do the same.” He proceeded to talk of his own struggles with depression.

Scrolling just a few posts later, a friend in southeast Alabama shared a post from a veteran’s page listing phone numbers to specific helplines – suicide, eating disorder, addiction, transgender suicide, domestic violence, etc.

These posts reminded me of something that has been on my mind recently regarding authenticity and social media, especially as it relates to mental health.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve seen previous posts about mental health and my personal struggles with depression. A lot of the past five-ish years have been rough, and earlier this year, it got really bad again.

Lately, I’ve actually been in a pretty good head space. I’m fully aware that things could change for the worse at any moment, but I’m enjoying the good days while they’re here and appreciating them. Gotta say, it’s nice. And I hope my friends are able to get to a better head space soon.

Another thing that I discuss on this blog periodically are my thoughts on authenticity, and this one photo has been popping into my head recently. The photo and my thoughts surrounding it, along with the posts mentioned above, made me think I should finally take a few minutes to put these thoughts on paper – or the digital equivalent.


That photo was taken almost three years ago now – Christmas night 2016. After the family gathering during the day, I went over to hang out with some friends. Good times. A great way to end the holiday – laughter and friendship.

What that photo doesn’t tell you is that in that same night, just a little bit prior to that photo being taken, I had a full-on crying fit breakdown in that very kitchen in front of those very people.

That photo doesn’t show that I was in a deep depression at the time. It doesn’t reveal how I spilled it all about how I didn’t want to live, while one of my friends wrapped their arms around me and held me.

We have a tendency to post the good times and not the bad, and hey, I encourage you all to definitely celebrate the good times. Post away! But I also think it’s important once in a while to remind ourselves that much of what we’re seeing is fake. It’s a pretty facade that covers the despair.

I think it’s natural for us to compare our lives to what we’re seeing, even unconsciously, but again, much of what we see is not real, or at least not the whole story.

I know that not everyone feels comfortable being public about their struggles, and that’s OK. If you’re able to “fight in the open,” go for it. If you’re not at a place where you feel comfortable doing so, reach out to a close friend. Or hey, there’s a contact form on this website – I’ll email you back.

Bottom line: remember that much of social media is fake; you are loved; and check on your friends (yes, even your strong friends.) This time of year is difficult for a lot of people. And I’m sure they will appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks for reading. Much love.

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Nov. 2019 Guitar Pull photos are up!

Full gallery on my Facebook page.

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Six years to the day


Facebook memories reminded me that six years ago today, I performed at the Cloverdale Playhouse for the first time as part of the Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull. Yep, Nov. 19, 2013.

(Related – it happens to be the third Tuesday, and there is a ‘Pull’ tonight. You should go.)

I think that was the first time I ever stepped foot into the Playhouse, and if you’re a regular reader of this blog or follow me on social media, you know it wasn’t the last.

I never thought six years ago that this event would be the subject of my first feature-length film as director. I never would have thought that I’d have created so many memories, taken so many photos, helped film promo videos for productions.

I’m reminded of what Mike Winkelman said in Commit to the Song, “One of the things I love about this place is everybody’s welcome.”

Props to the staff, volunteers, and donors that keep that community theater going. It’s a great thing to have in Montgomery. Keep up the good work.

See y’all tonight!

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Stay spooky, my friends

Yes, Halloween has come and gone, but… before your ears get completely inundated with Christmas music, check out this video from Halloween night.

(Side note: I said “completely” above because last night, as I’m getting out of my car to enter a restaurant for dinner, the home decor place nearby was blasting Christmas music outside causing my WTF face to magically appear.)

Anyway, here’s the video. It was a really fun shoot for a law office that became a haunted house for Dracula’s Ball.

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This should be a fun shoot. #halloween #hauntedhouse

A post shared by Josh Carples (@joshcarples) on

One year of ‘Commit to the Song’


Commit to the Song: The Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull, my first feature-length documentary, has been available publicly for an entire year now! In light of this, I want to say something:

Thank you!

To everyone who has rented or purchased it, thank you. To everyone who has taken the time to write a review, thank you. To the people who agreed to be interviewed on camera in order for this to happen, thank you.

If you haven’t yet seen the film, it’s on Amazon. And the event the film is based on continues to this day and is part of the Cloverdale Playhouse‘s upcoming 2020 season.

And one of the stars of the film – Robert “Bubba” Hall – is continuing the spirit of the film by hosting Commit to the Song “SongRighters” series aaaaaannnnndddd…. he even made some t-shirts. I purchased one a while back from him, and he went all-out, getting the highest quality shirt he could find. You can purchase one from him here. (It’s the shirt I wore when BARRENS performed for the Montgomery Advertiser, as seen below.)


Photo by Shannon Heupel, Montgomery Advertiser.

So again, thank you. And if you haven’t seen the film, check it out and leave a review.

Much love.

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‘Remembering Anarcha’ original score by Glorious 70mm


Back in July, I announced the completion of my new feature documentary film Remembering Anarcha which examines the controversial history of Dr. James Marion Sims and the enslaved African women he experimented on to become known as the “father of modern gynecology.”

The film was produced by myself (Terrible Master Films,) C. DeWayne Cunningham (Carolyn Jean’s Son Visions,) and Royce Williams (803 Films.)

I also wrote and recorded some instrumental pieces for the score under my Glorious 70mm project moniker. That music is now available on Bandcamp.


Like all of the Glorious 70mm releases, I have this one set as “name your price,” even if zero. Yes, that means you can type in “$0.00” and download the music. However, if you’d like to help cover some film festival submission fees by throwing in a couple of bucks, my team and I would be grateful.

Keep up with the film’s progress on social media – Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.

Thanks for your support!

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I was invited to an event recently put on by the Alabama Indigenous Coalition. On October 14, the holiday known by the state of Alabama officially as “Columbus Day/American Indian Heritage Day/Fraternal Day,” the Coalition held a “Call to Action Rally and Info Session to Abolish Columbus Day.”

The event was held in 1977 Books, located in Kress on Dexter, and was followed by a march to the State Capitol and a smudging ceremony.

I decided to film some footage and a couple of interviews while attending the event, and I’ve put together a short documentary film about the event, titled in·dig·e·nous.

The film can be seen on YouTube.

A photographer with the Montgomery Advertiser was there as well. They published some photos here. (I look like I’m about to get hit by a car in one of them 🙂)

Thanks for reading/watching.

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Authenticity = good + bad


I talk about authenticity a lot, so in order for me to be authentic and not hypocritical, I try to be open about things.

A lot has been going on recently. A friend and I have started working on a new documentary project, and this weekend I was part of the Ozone Songwriter Festival, which has been great.

I’ve gotten to hang out with friends, meet new friends, hear and perform music, and work on film stuff. Good things have been happening.

This weekend also marked two years since my mom died.

It’s still hard. It still sucks. I miss her.

For me to be authentic, I have to talk about the bad times as well as the good, and sometimes, such as in this case, they hit at the same time.

I think about loss a lot – it’s probably a side effect of depression – and social media reminds me of the friends I’ve lost, and good times that are gone.

Maybe I romanticize the past. Maybe that’s normal. I don’t know what counts as normal; I just know how I think.

I don’t really have a big overall point to this post, I suppose. Maybe it’s just a reminder that social media can be fake, along with my attempt to be real – authentic – within that realm.

Anyway, hug your loved ones, and tell your friends you love them.

Thanks for reading. Much love.

CloverJam 2019


On Saturday, Royce Williams (producer, Remembering Anarcha) and I headed out to CloverJam in Montgomery’s Cloverdale area to test out some camera gear. We figured it would be a good area to shoot some video, especially with it being a street party.

Anyway, I put this video together with footage from the event, and I decided to use a BARRENS track for the music in it because, well, why not? So check out the video footage set to the song “Stay” from the album <Content>Obsolete.

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