Episode 4: Johnny Neel

Tonight, I sit down with southern rock and blues legend Johnny Neel. Johnny is probably best known as a member of the Allman Brothers.

He is an exceptional piano and organ player, and his distinctive, blues-tinged voice can be heard on everything from the Allmans to Disney.

He is a fellow Creeker, living just down the road from me. We talked history, music, politics, health, and the spirituality of delivering a song.

I think you’re going to enjoy this next hour with the one-of-a-kind, Johnny Neel. Let’s get started.

Episode 3: Climbing to a New Life

Tonight’s episode, “Climbing to a New Life,” features the husband and wife team of Drew & Sarah Hulsey. They are a newly married couple but share an obsession beyond one for each other. They have a climbing gym in their garage and an old van they converted for camping, named Phannie the Vanny. They have an influential Instagram account all about rock climbing and a growing podcast focused on the outdoors. Their journey into the climbing and outdoor world is unique; one-part weight loss, one-part wilderness passion, and one-part fierce advocacy for body positivity and changing the narrative about what an outdoor person should look like. I think you’ll be inspired by this conversation. So let’s get started.

Episode 2 – Part 2: The Impact of Uruguay and Cuba on Two Master Musicians

The Impact of Uruguay and Cuba on Two Master Musicians.

Welcome to Episode 2, The Impact of Uruguay, and Cuba on Two Master Musicians.

In part two, we hear all about Ron de la Vega teaching Eddie Van Halen to play the Cello. We talk South American, Cuban and American politics and a “musician’s place” in speaking out. We hear about who inspired these two virtuosic musicians and get their advice for young, up-and-coming players. We also hear a lot more live music from pianist Enrique de Boni and bassist and cellist, Ron de la Vega.

Episode 2 – Part 1: The Impact of Uruguay and Cuba on Two Master Musicians

EPISODE 2 – PART 1- The Impact of Uruguay and Cuba on Two Master Musicians.

Welcome to Episode 2, The Impact of Uruguay and Cuba on Two Master Musicians.

In this episode, we talk about the influence of the blues, jazz, and early pop music coming out of Uruguay and Cuba, and its impact on my guests. Tonight, I’m joined by two virtuosic musicians, jazz pianist Enrique De Boni and cellist and bassist, Ron de la Vega.

Enrique grew up in the famous Hot Club of Mont de Video, Uruguay. And starting in the mid-sixties, he traveled the world playing blues and jazz clubs and festivals. Enrique was taken underwing of the famous American jazz pianist, Hampton Hawes, becoming fast friends and sharing many musical experiences. He’s opened for Miles Davis and was probably the last piano player to play with legendary bassist, Jaco Pastorius.

Ron de la Vega, born to a Cuban father and an American mother from Alabama, has played cello and bass in big bands and orchestras like Dave Brubeck, Benny Goodman, and Mannheim Steamroller. He’s played live and recorded with a ton of artists from Los Angeles to Nashville, including The Crickets, Jerry Lee Lewis, Albert Lee, Eddie Van Halen, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Reed, Brenda Lee, and Nanci Griffith’s Blue Moon Orchestra. I’m gonna’ stop there because if I read his complete list, we’d run out of time to talk.

I promise you that I did my best to make this episode a single hour. But I failed miserably. So, once again, I have separated this episode into two one-hour parts. I had two master musicians hanging out talking about their extraordinary lives and jamming together. I didn’t want the night to end. And you won’t either.

So, let’s get the conversation started.


Episode 1 – Part 2: The Racial Divide

Welcome to Part 2 of the inaugural episode, The Racial Divide.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to go back and listen to part 1, where you’ll hear an introduction to our guests tonight and gain some perspective on our topic at hand. You can also check out the show notes on our podcast Facebook page.

Of note: since the taping of the second part of episode 1, there have been 3 additional, high-profile police shootings and killings of black men; one in Georgia, one in Louisiana, and the other in Wisconsin. Kenosha, Wisconsin has been filled with tear gas and mostly peaceful protestors until Tuesday night, when 17-year-old vigilante gunman, Kyle Rittenhouse, opened fire on a crowd of peaceful protestors, killing 2 and wounding another. For more perspective on part 2 of this conversation, please click on, and listen to part 1 first.

Let’s get started. We’re going pick up right where we left off, talking about police brutality.


Episode 1-Part 1: The Racial Divide

Welcome to the inaugural episode of Conversations on Cub Creek. I can think of no other conversation to start with, than the one all of America is having right now, the racial divide, Black Lives Matter, police brutality, individual accountability, and civic duty.

On a producer’s note: I went back and forth on whether to invite all-black guests or to mix it up. There were definite pros and cons to that decision. In the end, I decided to ask four black friends to join me. This is a conversation, a listening session, and a beer summit, with some hard questions thrown in. Thank you to those who submitted questions online this past week. I will ask many of them over the next hour.

My guests tonight include a father-son combo, Phillip Wood Sr. and Phillip Woods Jr.

Phil Sr. is from Hayti, Missouri, a small town along the Mississippi River, in the bootheel of Missouri. He graduated with a bachelor’s in science from the University of Missouri in 1995 and later, a Bachelor of Nursing. He has been a psychiatric nurse, and now a supervisor at Vanderbilt Behavioral Health for the last 16 years. He volunteers with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and is a youth football and basketball coach.

Phil Jr. was also born in Hayti. He received his Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Middle Tennessee State University and his Master of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Alabama. He’s worked as a strength and fitness coach for gyms, big corporations, and hospitals.

I’m joined on the phone by my friend Vanessa Hill. She was born in Northern Michigan but raised in southern Alabama. She is first and foremost an accomplished singer-songwriter, and recording artist for Sony-Tree, CBS Records, and New Freedom Records, a sister label of Warner Brothers. She’s had a ton of songs recorded by artists including the Bellamy Brothers. She’s been a professional chauffeur to the stars, including Danny Glover, CC Winans, and Jeff Foxworthy. She’s also been the mayor of Greensboro, Alabama, just 39 miles from Selma, Alabama. She is currently the founder and CEO of the Color of Music, a 501-C-3 organization, teaching youth the value of life through the arts

Last, but certainly not least, welcome my pal Tracye Davis, originally from Lexington, Kentucky. And not just “from” Kentucky, but she played for the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team. She’s been a federal corrections officer, a juvenile justice parole officer, and a Mental Health Specialist for Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital.

This podcast is split up into two one-hour parts. Sit back, and feel free to join us in a beer, we’ve got a bucket-full in the middle of the table. Thank you for joining me and thank you for being willing to listen. Let’s get the conversation started.