Each year around Thanksgiving, we survey a wide swath of our music scene to find out who/what they are thankful for regarding a particular topic. In the past, this has focused solely on music. Such as what song is Randy Rogers most thankful for or what album is Evan Felker most thankful for. However, this year in light of the hostile and crazy times we’re living in, we decided to open things up to a broader degree. We asked several artists…what person are you most thankful for? The responses are beautiful, enraging, witty and wide-ranging. We hope you’ll enjoy this and that it reminds you to be thankful of someone this season. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.
2012–lost to the great server collapse of 2012
Larry Hooper, singer/songwriter
I am thankful for my brother, Jeromy Hooper.
Cody Canada, singer/songwriter/guitarist
I’ve turned down European gigs and opening for badass people to be home with them. I am not, for one second, regretful of those choices. Those three are my world. Their aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents are pretty solid as well.
Kayla Ray, singer/songwriter
This year, I am thankful for so many. It’s hard to pinpoint just one. 2015 was a year of struggle in my personal life but 2016 was one of healing and one of fiercely loyal friendship. I have so many incredibly close friends, relationships that I never dreamed I would have.
They have pulled me out of a shell and taught me the value of being vulnerable enough to trust.
I must say that while it’s hard to pinpoint just one, I’d like to take the time here to mention Jason Carter specifically. The one we call Clyde. He’s the bass player in the rhythm section we call “The Standards”. His work ethic is unmatched. His friendship has been a present force in my life and my career. Always willing to lend a hand, grow the band, grow the calendar, grow my spirit, do whatever needs to be done, I could not have found a more incredible person to help lay down the “pocket”. He loves his beautiful wife Megan, and his sweet little girl Wiloh with such depth, he is an example to husbands and fathers twice his age. He carries himself with a joyful yet just spirit.
Chris King, singer/songwriter
I am most thankful for my future wife, Lauren. I am a man that is growing. I’m full of flaws. I’m trying to better myself for her, that I might be more understanding, empathetic, sympathetic, and reliable. She loves me, and I’m lucky for that. I’m very sure that I would not be typing this, that I would be long dead, had I not found her when I did.
Rich O’ Toole, singer/songwriter
This year – as in every year for the past 20 years – I’m most thankful for my wife, Gwen.Since the beginning of my music career way back then, she’s been my biggest cheerleader, believer, motivator, teammate, and partner. She’s always been unwavering in her support of me – as a person and a musician. That includes a lot of late nights, long days and weeks when I’ve been on the road, and times where we’ve been in one of the tough financial droughts that all musicians go through. She encouraged our move from Georgia to Nashville during the years that I felt that’s where I needed to be for my music career. She encouraged our move from Nashville to Texas a few years ago when I finally realized THIS is where I fit best musically. I have a song (actually I have several songs) inspired by her, and the message still fits our relationship:She loves me like I’m Elvis – she treats me like I just might be “The King”She won’t mind if I’m never famous, she’ll stay up all night just to hear me sing
We may not ever have a mansion in Memphis – but she loves me – Like I’m Elvis
Bobby Duncan, singer/songwriter
2016 has been a difficult year for many reasons uncontrollable to us. We’ve lost heroes, watched horrendous atrocities throughout the world, and dug a deep trench right the the heart of our own nation that, hopefully, isn’t too deep to fill back again. Personally, 2016 carried its own challenges as it was my first trip through the calendar as a father. As parents, it’s hard to view the world around us without dreaming of what it might resemble when our kids are grown. Therefore, I’m most thankful for my wife, Taylor. Her calming touch has brought such stability to our lives and her skill as a mother is unmatched. I would be lost traversing the ever changing landscape of my life without her, and I hope I tell her that enough.
John Dempsy, singer/songwriter
Jonny Burke, singer/songwriter
This year I’m thankful for my close friends. Playing music for a living may not make you rich, but I feel lucky to have a wealth of good compadres I know I can call on in good times and bad.
Drew Kennedy, singer/songwriter
I am thankful for the doctors and nurses at the NICU’s at both Christus Santa Rosa in New Braunfels and The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio who all worked so hard to help our son Oliver after he was born. Angels, all of them.
Mike Ethan Messick, singer/songwriter
The list of who I’m thankful for, musically speaking, goes on too long to list. I’m less-than-grateful for how many of them 2016 took away, but I guess there’s a lot of that feeling going around.
So I’m going to go with a personal answer, and I guess it’s a pretty common one at that, but it needs to be said: I’m thankful for my wife Codey. Love and support and appreciation can make a day, a week, a lifetime go down richer and smoother than money or any material thing. She gave me two kids that I can’t imagine my life without, and gave me the encouragement to grow and change in ways that I don’t think time itself would’ve taken care of. Left to my own devices I’d still be living like a 40-year-old college kid. And she’s beautiful and fun, and she’s kind, and she’s intelligent. A lot of life comes down to standing around talking, driving around talking, drinking whiskey & Topos and sitting around talking. Those of you who haven’t tied the knot yet, don’t underestimate the value of marrying someone you like talking to. Think our friend Jamie Wilson (who helped introduce us in the first place) has a song about that …
If 2016 was a fish I’d be highly tempted to throw it back, although Lord knows it wasn’t as hard on me as it was some of the folks around us. But as a husband and family man, those parts were great, and those parts will endure.
Josh Grider, singer/songwriter
I am thankful for a lot of people in my life, but my boys keep me grounded and focused on what is actually important. This year I’ll say JJ and Evan top my list.
Randy Rogers, singer/songwriter
This year I’m most thankful for all my Cubbie friends that finally won the World Series!