Personal lessons on love

Friday the 13th is a good day to talk about love, right? Right?! RIGHT??!!!

With my long history of depression and the #sadboi songs I write, I’m always a little caught off guard when asked for life advice. I immediately think of the times I was barely holding it together (or, you know, having a full-on breakdown in a friend’s kitchen or in front of a therapist) and wonder what I could possibly help another person with.

Of course, there’s a twofold answer in there: 1. Sometimes people just need to be heard, and in general, I am a pretty good listener, and 2. Sometimes going through experiences and being vulnerable to discuss them can let others know that they’re not alone in what they’re going through.

So in thinking about the concept of the word “love” – and I’m well aware that trying to sum that up in a blog post is inherently going to leave out so many important aspects, so bear with me – there are a few thoughts and lessons I’ve had, especially on my current journey.

One of the main ones is this: Not everyone who says they love you actually does.

Now look, I’m not out here calling people liars. Lying involves malice, and I’m not trying to judge a person’s intent here. Maybe they thought they loved you. Maybe they genuinely wanted to love you. But the lesson I’ve learned over the years is that love comes from the actions, not just the words. I even included an aspect of this in one of my songs.

“An Empty Phrase” from my Carry the Wounds album has the lyrics:

But now I know…
Not to take it at face value
I ignored your actions in favor of your words

(Side note: That song starts out with “‘I want you in my life’ is just another empty phrase…” So… uh… please never tell me “I want you in my life.” Literally everyone who has ever said that to me is either not in my life at all or currently at the outskirts of it. I dunno… the phrase just feels a bit cursed at this point [LOL? Shrug emoji?])

OK, back to the main point: love and actions. In the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, he says:

“If others say one thing, but do another, you are lying to yourself if you don’t listen to their actions.”

Words are great. Words are important. Words can affirm. Words can encourage. Words have power. In fact, the first agreement in that book is “be impeccable with your word” and he writes, “Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” Some people’s love language is Words of Affirmation.

But are the words followed by actions? And if the actions and the words don’t match… well… look at the actions. I firmly believe that truth is seen in the actions.

Another aspect that I will absolutely not do a deep dive into for this post is love vs. attachment. It’s an interesting subject to examine, and one in which I am personally examining and thinking about. I’ve heard Kyle Cease talk about this in some of his YouTube videos, and I remember him bringing up some popular love songs that, if you took away the music and had a date say those words to you at dinner, they’d be kind of creepy. He says that what we think of as “love” much of the time is actually “attachment.” It’s an interesting subject to delve into.

Anyway… I think I’ll stop here. This is one of those posts where I just needed to get my thoughts out, so if you made it this far: thank you. Thank you for reading, caring, supporting, listening, watching, and encouraging me. It’s greatly appreciated. Find the beauty in the world. Much love.

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The12thhour – full Oct. 2022 performance

Hey everyone!

If you missed the Octoberfest 2022 event, the entire performance by The12thhour is now available on YouTube. I put together a playlist featuring the set in the order we played it.

Also last fall, we released some older recordings and demos on streaming platforms (like Spotify) so if you haven’t checked those out, they are available.

Aight… quick post… that’s all for now… more later. Thanks for reading, watching, supporting, loving, etc. Much love! (Also, sign up below to never miss a post!)

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From Alabama to the UK

My friend Gini Thomas, one of the main subjects of my feature documentary Commit to the Song: The Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull, is featured in a piece titled “Woman who lost her husband and leg in horror crash becomes disability advocate” on the UK’s Metro newspaper website.

Check out her inspiring story, and then watch her tell it on screen on Amazon or Tubi.

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A re-release, of sorts, to end the year

I know my last post read “I don’t know if I’ll have another post to share before the new year or not,” but surprise! Here’s another!

Back in 2013, a month before the release of my third solo album Ghost of a Town, I released a little EP to help promote it titled Ghost​.​Ocean​.​Sirens. It was available exclusively on a website called NoiseTrade, but at some point it seems they were bought out by Paste Magazine, and I guess they deleted everything by little unknown artists like myself [shrug emoji vibes].

So… I was able to locate the cover art (at the appropriate size, that is) and the live tracks in .wav form and have uploaded them to Bandcamp.

So here they are for your listening enjoyment (or non-enjoyment since my songs are sad and all…) 🙂

With that being said, thank you for reading, listening, supporting, and just being the all-around magical, loving person that you undoubtedly are. I hope you have a wonderful day and a happy new year! Much love.

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A 2022 Non-Recap

It’s that time of year where we start seeing end-of-year recaps (it’s not just Spotify, y’all.) I saw one a little while ago, and it reminded me that I actually started to write one last year and decided not to post it.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with recaps. I think it can actually be a good thing to review your year, especially if it’s self-reflective and shows you where you’ve grown – whether in business, art, or mentally, physically, emotionally, all of the above. Celebrate your wins. Celebrate your growth. Celebrate the unique person that you are and the things you’ve accomplished. I’ll cheers to that with you [with a good craft beer, hopefully 🙂 ]

I can’t say with certainty why I didn’t post it last year. For some reason, it just didn’t feel right. That was before my current journey really started where I’ve begun to pay more attention to how I feel about things, which I find kind of interesting in that I seemed to be tapping into something without consciously realizing it.

Maybe I’m just paying more attention now. I’m trying to be more present, in the moment, whereas previously it was always about what’s next. (I’ve had people ask “when do you sleep?” over the years because I always seem to be working on something.)

Sure, I still plan things and have goals and continue to have an inherent need to create. And with music and film and art, all of that can take a lot of time and planning. And there’s a time and place for all of that. I’m just trying to be more present, even in the midst of doing those things.

So… I don’t know if I’ll have another post to share before the new year or not, but either way, I hope you have the happiest of holidays and a wonderful new year. I hope you embrace the here and now. I hope you tap into and experience the love that you already are and that you share your unique gifts with the world.

Thanks for reading, listening, watching, supporting, existing. Much love.

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On Community and Giving Tuesday

“Am I active enough in my community?”

That thought hit me awhile back, and I thought about it more and more for a few days, maybe weeks. It’s something that I still think about, really.

At some in the last couple of months or so I was at a coffee shop I frequent. It was evening, and a friend of mine was sitting there, laptop open, in a meeting with another person. After his meeting, I sat with him and caught up for a bit. He’s an artist, head of a nonprofit, and very active in our community.

So I brought my question up to him. I want to support many events and gatherings, but many times I have something else going on, or there may be multiple events close to the same time. There have been times where I was working on a film and the project went late. Band practice, recording, video editing, etc… Lots of things.

He looked at me and said the following: “You’re just one man.”

He reminded me that I work, I create, I get to some events, and that I still need rest on top of that. I definitely needed to hear it. But admittedly, I still feel some guilt when I have to miss something (or fall into an antisocial mood… That has happened as well. Your mental health is important, too.)

So, if there are organizations doing things and maybe you’re busy or feeling antisocial or have conflicting schedules, but you still value and appreciate the work they do, today happens to be “Giving Tuesday.” You can make a donation to help keep them going.

I made a list on Facebook and linked to some that I recommend for my area. If you’re not in my area, I’m sure there are some great organizations to support where you live.

Please check out that Facebook post and consider supporting one of them or some organization in your area that means a lot to you. (And while you’re on my Facebook page, give it a follow if you haven’t already done so.)

Thanks for reading. Much love.

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Well here’s some news… Aaaand Guitar Pull photos!

Many thanks to Shannon Heupel and the Montgomery Advertiser for writing about the Towering Above music video trilogy in the upcoming Montgomery Film Festival!

Also… photos from last night’s Guitar Pull at the Cloverdale Playhouse are up on my Facebook page. See the entire gallery here.

Much love!

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Montgomery Film Festival 13 – this weekend!

This weekend is the return of the Montgomery Film Festival at the historic Capri Theatre in Montgomery, AL. If you haven’t checked out the lineup, you should do so and plan to attend. It’s always a good time. (And if you haven’t seen the documentary about the history of the Capri Theatre, what are you waiting for?! It’s on YouTube.)

Here’s the MFF13 lineup:

Friday, Nov. 18 at 7pm: The Civil Dead

Saturday, Nov. 19 at 1pm: Narrative and Doc Shorts*
Saturday, Nov. 19 at 4pm: Rise! Roar! Revolt! (RRR)
Saturday, Nov. 19 at 8pm: Videodrome

Sunday, Nov. 20 at 4:30pm: Throne of Blood
Sunday, Nov. 20 at 7pm: Butterfly in the Sky

*The shorts block includes the short film Tamam Shud 10.16.6 by the band Towering Above. That’s my band’s music video trilogy, but this is a supercut that includes additional footage and music not seen in the individual versions.

Make plans to attend! I hope to see you there!

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‘Clover/Capri’ documentary out now!

I released my first feature film as director on Nov. 1, 2018. I chose that date because it is my mother’s birthday, and she was always very supportive of my art, so it felt fitting in a way that would honor her.

So I’m picking this date again for the same reason to release this short documentary about the Capri Theatre in Montgomery, AL.


Here’s the synopsis:

Clover/Capri details the decades-long history of an independent art house movie theater in the heart of Montgomery, Alabama, weaving through racial segregation, adult films, and its fight for free speech along the way.

See the full film on YouTube:

When we were submitting to a few film festivals, I wrote up a director’s statement, so I might as well post that here:

Like many businesses in 2020, the Capri Theatre in Montgomery, AL closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. During their shutdown, the director, Martin McCaffery, continued to send out their weekly email newsletter, usually with a subject such as “The Shutdown – Week 29.” Sometimes he delved into the Capri’s history, which is where I learned of a separate entrance that was used for Black patrons during the Jim Crow era of segregation. That got me curious about other things I may not know about this historic theatre that I have enjoyed attending over the years, so I contacted Martin and put together a team to explore the history of both the Capri and some general cinema history as well. I think there is a lot more to this little movie theatre than most people realize, and I hope they find Clover/Capri as interesting to watch as it was to make.

The IMDb listing is here (please leave a review on there!)

Also, if you like the music in the film, that was done by Alex Hill (Tequila Nylon) and myself (Glorious 70mm.) It’s available on Bandcamp.

Thanks for watching, reading, listening, and for just being the loving, authentic human that you area.

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Two short films debut Monday and Tuesday!

Monday is Halloween, and starting at the stroke of midnight, the short film Bad Deal will premiere on YouTube!

Here’s the synopsis:

Guns, Drugs, and Something Other-Worldly. Jody is looking to make a quick transaction, but a drug dealer named Creole suspects ulterior motives. It’s going to take some sort of miracle to get Jody out alive.

WARNING: It is no way, shape, or form safe for work (and probably most other things in life.) Just FYI. It’s got cursing, nudity, drug use, violence, and all the other fun stuff you and your co-workers like to watch while NOT at work. So there. You’ve had your NSFW warning, so proceed with caution.

It’s also age-restricted on YouTube, so you may have to log in. The Foolish Henry Films team ain’t trying to get a YouTube restriction…

With all that being said… here’s the link!


And I know I mentioned this in the last post, but just a reminder: the short documentary Clover/Capri will premiere on YouTube Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 10 a.m.

Be sure to tune in for the premiere if you’re able to and jump in the chat!

Both films are listed on IMDb, so feel free to leave a review, and share with your friends!

Thanks (in advance) for watching! Much love!

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