Saturday was the culmination of the long road I had taken a few years ago, based upon a promise I made to a dying man. I had never realized it years before that this man would share the stage with me, because his own skill was shadowed by all the praise that had been heaped on my more famous mother, her brothers, and her family. You see the man was real good, but he had not really set foot on the stage as my mother had, at least not in the same capacity. Musically, as he was portrayed, dad was an afterthought. What I very quickly learned when I first had the opportunity to play in his band was that he was quite good. He was rock solid and he was a showman. And over the years as we had the opportunity to play the stage together, I knew for certain that this guy was meant for the stage. He was it. If I thought I could play drums well, I was wrong and I really needed to step up my game to be able to be the other half to his rhythm section. He pushed me to be better and to fine tune skills I didn’t know I had, to attack my weaknesses relentlessly. When I went behind the mic, there was a whole other parameter I had to face: I was not my mother. Mom was fairly famous back in the day at the very beginning of her musical adventure. As the family told the stories, she was famous right away. Anyone who saw her sing was pulled in immediately. She had charisma and a voice no one had ever heard before. She had power and control and this amazing tone. And here I had the opportunity to finally stand behind the mic and sing. Daunted? Yes. Again, with dad beside me in the practice room and on the stage, I had no choice to step up my game and get better. The pressure I put on myself was intense. I could not let my dad down. Hell, he had married that famous singer. And now some young upstart was sharing the stage with him, a stage my mom always owned? I am happy to say that I did step up my game. Endless hours of practice, 2-3 hours a day, year in and year out I was able to improve and at least be good enough to not lose an audience. I had to be able to get on stage and sing for 4 sets in a night. And because we played covers, I had to sing in a variety of vocal ranges. All that and keep the crowd’s energy level high all evening to keep that dance floor moving. And because of circumstance and timing, also had to fill in on the drums when the drummer could not make it. And still I was trying my best to impress that guy. My dad. As hard as dad was on me I know it was because he knew I could do it, that I could push myself, become a great musician, write some great songs, and… and this was the kicker… bond with my brother in a way that mom and her own family had done all of those years ago. So after that promise made to dad that I would keep doing it--- music--- here I was on stage, my brother Todd at my left holding down a groove like no one else could, and two new “brothers” at my right and behind me, playing OUR own music. This was music that was crafted over endless hours; each song was written, then arranged, then played, then re-arranged, certain parts dropped or rewritten. Every part had to work and meet a certain high level of expectation. No one will ever be as hard on our songs as us. We beat these songs to death to make sure we all were happy with each song. We wanted to write music that we ourselves would listen to, that we could not get bored with. On that stage, in the final night of competition, this was the results of our labor and at a certain point it no longer mattered who won or who lost, because we ourselves had already achieved victory. WE made it to that final night on our own, with nothing but our own conviction and a belief in our music. There is really nothing we could or would want to change. As you can understand now, I am exhausted and beat. This was our trial by fire to really see if we could do it. And we did. I feel like we have only finished the prologue for the book of Dome.