- THIS YEAR WAS PIVOTAL
this year unfolded, it became very clear to me that my role in
of music is to compose and, when I'm ready, perform my
path is changing. I'm at a crossroads in my
ended with the tragedy of September 11, 2001. I feel the same
- now as I did
This event changed our
country's way of life forever.
- What I didn't realize
then is how much it
- NOW MORE THAN EVER,
PEOPLE ARE SEARCHING FOR INNER PEACE
- I see it everywhere.
There is a lack of calm in peoples' faces and restlessness in
- Lives are frenzied
with self-imposed schedules impossible to maintain. Instead of
- life simpler, modern
technology only adds to the chaos. The "Communication and
is rapidly aging us. No one is
taking time to count their blessings. Prescription
is at an all-time high yet people
are more tired, anxious, over-weight and stressed out
at any other time in our history.
They are seeking peace and comfort from a world that is
to give peace and comfort. The
need for inner peace is getting stronger every day. I
- it in the books
I read, the conversations I
have and even in the television shows and
- that I watch.
And yet, as strong as the quest
is, very few will find it.
- WHY I WANT TO COMPOSE
- It's my way of giving
people comfort. I want to contribute the only way I know how.
- In the coming
year, I have decided that I will not perform nearly as much as in
- I want to work in the
studio more, perfecting that craft and writing the best music of
- both vocal and
instrumental. I want to focus on my thoughts and have them
- my music. I have so
many musical creations inside of me, crying to be
- I know this is what I
- The world around me
has also shown that my decision to not vigorously
is the right one. Many venues are
having difficulty sustaining their business.
- Crowds are
dwindling and budgets are being
cut. It's a sign for me to concentrate
- for my income
so I can focus on my dream. Music
will always be what defines me.
- * * * * *
- Now, on to the
highlights of this year. Michael
Kontras CD sales
went very well in this,
- the second year. My
sales are also doing
- Signing a CD is
always fun. It means a lot to me when people ask for my
- Having audience
members join me on stage is always a treat.
- This group of
participants could really sing!
- * * * * *
- THE GREEK COMMUNITY
- GETS A HIT!
was invitied to a private showing of the film,
"MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING"
the spring. I haven't laughed this hard at a movie in a long
are some photos shot during the filming.
- Thank you
- for making us laugh
so hard this summer.
- * * * * *
- This past summer, my
Godmother & Godfather, Bill & Dee Fikaris, came
the July 4th Holiday. They came to
two of my performances while they
- were in town
and had a great time! They live in
Houston, Texas. They celebrated
- their 50th
Wedding Anniversary this
- * * * * *
had an opportunity to go to Pennsylvania on 3 different occassions
- This photo was taken
by my wife, Lonna, when we were at her family's cabin
- La Porte.
Is there any doubt this is "God's
Country"?. What a view!
- * * * * *
- In September, my
son brought his one man show, "Adam & The
- to Columbus, Ohio for
one big night.
- It was an incredible
evening. This is the show that brought the house down
- year ago
at The Comedy Store in
- He sold nearly 40 DVDs
that night in between the two performances
- received a standing
ovation for both shows.
- I couldn't have been
happier for him. He is a truly gifted creator,
(BTW - That IS him
performing all the
contrary to what some
ON A GREAT NIGHT, ADAM!
* * * *
- WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE
- THIS CONCERT
I'll try. I had the incredible privilege of seeing Paul McCartney
live when he performed his
hour and 40
minute concert at the Value City Arena in October. This five man
a 60 + year old
Paul McCartney sounded unbelievable. No one is pickier than I am
accuracy of the music and overall performance. I don't
words in my vocabulary
to give all the compliments this show deserves. Not only
sound and play beautifully,
his band played the music perfectly. Their vocals
It was great to see
five musicians having so much fun playing music that
many generations. Only the original
Beatles could have sounded as good. (Notice, I didn't
I said "as good".) If you closed
your eyes, that's who you were listening to -
down to the very last note. Nothing was missing
or vocally. The arrangements
excellent! Everybody in the band contributed so much to the total
(except the drummer) and their vocals were dead-on. Paul's vocal
range is as
as it was 40 years ago. The music brought tears to my eyes. The
truly a blessing for
all of us in the audience. So many great songs, and yet, in the
played, they barely scratched the surface
of the list of great songs written by
this concert is truly one of the highlights of my
- * * * * *
to eBay and some wonderful online buyers and sellers,
- was able to
completely renovate my
- Here are some of the
people who made it happen:
Harvey drove from North Carolina to Ohio and back all in one
- just to buy my
Altec Voice of The Theatre Speaker
Cabinets. The usually
- 10 hour trip (one way)
took nearly 14 hours due to
engine trouble in the hills of
- West Virginia. He said
he had to get back that
same day because he
- his daughter he would
be there for her birthday party.
dropped off my old Yamaha keyboard at a McDonalds in Toledo,
- to Brian Skene.
He was buying the keyboard for his
daughter as a gift.
- She wanted something
that she could tie into her
computer and compose.
- Thank You Brian!
- I dropped off my Sunn
Sentura II Amplifier to Scott Allen in
- Kentucky. He
collects old guitar amps and this
one was a nice addition to
- his collection.
He immediately plugged in his Les
Paul and started jammin',
I was then on my way to Nashville,
Tennessee for my
- This is Jimmy Nichols.
He purchased "My Baby" - my Hammond B3 Organ
- and Leslie Tone
- But the story only
- Jimmy is a Nashville
studio session player who lived in Columbus many years ago.
- was in
a band called "The Nichols", and
before that, "The Silver Nichols". At that
- I was in
Both bands played many of the same clubs back then, in the
- Jimmy moved to
Nashville shortly after that and became one of only about 10
keyboardists in Nashville. When he
saw my listing on eBay, he went to my website
- and learned
more about me. He then put the
winning bid on the organ and we spoke over
- phone that
night after the auction.
When he realized that I knew who he was and he knew
- I was, the deal
was sealed. He offered to
pay me to deliver the organ and tone cabinet.
- We set up a date and
off I went, trailer in tow,
with "My Baby" in it. My cousin Nick came
- We stopped in
Louisville and delivered my
Sunn Amplifier to Scott Allen and then went
- to Nashville. Jimmy
and his wife, Tonya, were
very gracious, extending their
- us for a time when we
first arrived. We then went to the
home of David
- one of Nashville's top
producers. Jimmy and David are building a
"project studio" in
- home, much like the
one I've built in my home,
and that's where Jimmy wanted the
organ to go.
- Here's where the story
really gets interesting.
- Back in 1971, I was on
as a sound and lighting technician.
- The lead role in the
play was being performed by a friend named Dane
- worked together in
Columbus for a time before the tour was formed. One evening in
- we took a couple of
days off from the tour and went to Nashville to meet with some
- After we were wined
and dined, we went back to our hotel, the Vanderbilt Holiday Inn,
- No sooner than we got
in the room, someone knocked on the door. When we opened the
- an assistant engineer
at Jack Clements' Recording Studios was standing
- He was 19 years old.
He asked us if we wanted to go to the studio and lay down some
- We certainly took him
up on his offer!
- That young man's name
was David Malloy.
- So here I am, over 30
years later, re-meeting David Malloy and Jimmy
- Life certainly has
some interesting twists. David and I talked for a little while. I
- of that night. I still
have a copy of the tunes we recorded that night. He was shocked to
- least and I offered to
send him a copy.
- The following day,
Jimmy invited Nick and me to come down to Sound Emporium
- Studios where he was
doing a session. I had an eerie feeling about the studio. As I
- around the facility,
it felt as if I had been there before. When the session players
were taking a
I asked the assistant engineer if
the studio had ever been called anything else other
- "Sound Emporium". He
said, "Yes. Back in the 70's it was owned by a record producer
- Jack Clements." I
nearly passed out. It was in this very studio, 30 years ago, that
our tour recorded
- its version of
Donohue, David Malloy and I
- recorded 2 songs on
that December night in 1971.
- BTW - David not only
engineered the session, he played the drums as
- THANK YOU JIMMY!
- (I'll be back down to
see you soon.)
- * * * * *
- MY OLD RECORDING STUDIO
- This is the equipment
I used to record the all-instrumental Michael
Kontras CD that
- released in
2001. When I play the CD for other
engineers, they can't believe it was done on
- a 30-year-old 8
channel tape deck. (I'll take that
as a compliment, thank you.) Other
- recordings done with
this equipment include all
of the background tracks for my live
- show "Songs
You Grew Up
Adam's first CD "Stronger
- Renee Taylor Demo
Smith 'N' Kontras'
- Cassette and over 60
other songs that were never released.