Well, it’s semi-official. I’m going cut a new record in August. I talked with Brad Jones Friday about producing it. Government Cheese had such a great time doing our record with him that I wanted to just stick with him for this go ‘round. It’ll be the fifth album I’ve cut with Brad at Alex the Great studios in Berry Hill.

Exactly how I’m going to PAY for this I’m not quite sure yet, but I have a feeling God will provide. I feel a little skittish doing a crowd-funding campaign right now, since people have so recently been so generous to me in the fundraising this last two weeks to cover my medical expenses and lost income in the wake of my wreck. Even though it wasn’t ME who spearheaded that venture, it might look different to Joe Public; hence my reticence.

However, Will Kimbrough thinks this would be the PERFECT time to do a fundraising. He pointed out that, regardless of how it happened, my visibility is high right now, and I should strike while the iron is hot. I take Kimbrough’s advice seriously; he’s smarter than I am. So I’ll soon see what feels like the right thing to do money-wise.

I gave Brad demos of twenty songs and when we talked Friday we earmarked eight or nine of those as winners that would fit together well. I’ve got all July to play them and sing them over and over and become proficient at them. (Although I’ve been playing several of them live already.) I’ll also use this coming month to try and write some more stuff, more melodic and poppy stuff, since I already have a lot of rustic three-chord folk songs.

The reason I’ve picked August is because I will have no gigs and may even still be in a wheelchair. I don’t have any gigs on the books ‘til September – my calendar was wiped clean in the wake of the accident – so by August my body, brain and soul will be screaming to play some music. It should make for some good energy.

Wreck? Accident? What’s he talking about? Okay, if you’re one of the one or two percent who surf my page but don’t know yet, I pulled in front of a tractor-trailer truck Friday June 12th. It was a country crossroads near the I-65 on-ramp not far from Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Best as I can reckon, I just had it in my head that the intersection was a four-way stop. I hardly thought a thing about it, and certainly didn’t consider that cross traffic didn’t have to stop. I THINK this is what I did: I looked to my right, looked to my left, looked forward, and pulled into the intersection, by which time the truck to my right was barreling through and t-boned me. He hit my passenger side and that half of the car was demolished. I was spun around and wound up on the other side of the intersection where I wanted to be in the first place. The windshield and passenger side windows were shattered, the air bags had deployed and, in the sudden stillness, with only the sound of steam escaping, I was left thinking, what just happened?

My driver’s side door opened with no problem. There were several cars from all angles already pulled over and a gentleman was coming over to check on me. I made it about a step outside of the car before I nearly collapsed to the pavement, and would have if this gentleman had not caught me on the way down and supported me on one side. My right hip and leg was unable to take my weight. My torso was sore, I knew right away that I was pretty banged up. Several cars were pulled over by now and he led me to the nearest one. Soon enough, an ambulance came; I was rushed to the ER and thus began the whole mélange of aftermath and convalescence.

My pelvis has four cracks in it. Two of my lower vertebrae and my sacral bone are cracked. I have a huge hematoma/gash/bruise below my left knee, and my chest, ribs and sternum are very, very sore. I can’t walk without assistance and have a lot of difficulty going from lying down to sitting up.

I’m very very lucky. If the truck had hit me in the driver’s side, I’d be dead now. As it is, my injuries could also be way more profound. I was told that there have been multiple fatalities at that intersection, and that local residents have been petitioning the state for years to install a traffic light there.

Another way I’m very lucky is, that if an accident like this had to happen, I’m really glad I had it now. Thirty years of driving to gigs, no accident ever; now it happens. It happened when there wasn’t a Jack Daniel’s bottle rolling around in the floorboard, no joint in the ashtray, no nothing. In the ER, a technician took my blood. I could tell what she was doing, she wasn’t starting an IV, she was just… taking my blood! For inspection! Go ahead, I thought, take my blood! I’m very lucky. Nobody else was hurt and there are no legal ramifications. It could all have gone so much worse.

So aside from practicing my new songs (and seeing if I can sing right now with my chest hurting like it is) and trying to get some writing done, I’m kinda down for the count. Shoot me an email, come visit. I’ve been on the receiving end of so much love and generosity the last two weeks and I might spend the rest of my life thanking everybody who has been so nice. Folks ARE nice, by the way. Most of ‘em!

XO

Tommy