Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

All about music, guitar, spirituality, personal development and being happy


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Busy and Joyful in Nashville

As a stone cold, New York, Harlem bebop funk kinda guy the last place I ever thought I’d appreciate and love is Nashville. Wow, it was amazing!

I have just returned from 2 trips to Nashville in a course of 2 weeks. First trip was to visit the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) annual gathering. The second trip was to attend Summer NAMM where I did demos for Cole Clark Guitars.

It was my second time at CAAS and already it feels like a family. Correction – it is a family. And youtube makes it all the stranger and lovelier…I walked in knowing the names, faces and music of many of the fine players there and they knew me. It really makes me wonder…how love and appreciation of guitar and music draws certain souls together. Beautiful!

I spent quite some time hanging out with Tomi Paldanius of fingerstyleheaven.com, Joscho Stefan, Joe Robinson…but there were so many other fine players there…Edgar Cruz, Muriel Anderson…the list goes on. Oh yeah, there was also some talented guy named Tony Enamel…Emmanuel…or was it Tommy? I forget what the heck his name was, but he seemed to play pretty good 🙂

NAMM was also neat-o! The convention is much more personal and less of a freakshow than L.A. NAMM. Everything has it’s place, but I really liked the vibe of this NAMM show. HIghlights included – buying a “porchboard” and rocking the house (product review will come), Muriel Anderson’s All Star Guitar Night (best guitar concert I have ever seen), Jerry Douglas stopping by the Cole Clark guitar booth, and eating breakfast at Cracker Barrel 3 days in a row. More butter, please.

The musicians in Nashville are generally…well…awesome to say the least. Great taste, great feel and no room whatsoever for attitude. For a guitar picker like me it felt like home, I must say!

Well…back to work. I am still preparing my handouts and lessons for the Swannanoa Gathering where I’ll be teaching “the ways of the funky fingerstylist” from July 26 to Aug 1, 2009.

Until next time…God Bless, and keep pickin it – never let it heal!


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A Taste of Eternity

Once you start feeling time in a less linear way things get stranger, stranger and stranger. I feel that life has gotten more mysterious than ever, and it has gotten more precious and more lovely. It is more beautifully strange than any movie could depict.

Discovery – when Einstein discovered E=MC2 lets say, – he didn’t create it as much as he “uncovered” it. There was this principle hanging out there waiting to be discovered. Do we ever discover anything new, or do we simply uncover yet another eternal possibility – in relationships, experience and life? Isn’t it all out there and we need only “tune it in”?

Time – what is time? To the mere mortal it’s the memory of former “now moments” and the projection of “now moments” based on our ideas of former moments plus an “itty bitty right now” which slips and quickly becomes a former “now moment”. Hmm….I don’t buy it.

Outside our mind, what the heck is time? In a sense it stands still. But on the other hand, it pulsates and lives, and changes. It’s both. Our linear idea is off, eschew. It is a delicious Kaleidescope, every moment as precious as the next…always changing but from within like a pulse. What if it were one big fat right now? (hint…it is)

The only reason for all the now moments is all the little forgetfulness moments breaking up the all pervading now.

When you really love deeply, you forget about time. When you dance and a rapt in the joy of music you are not seeing a linear score…..it is a big fat joyous now moment. This is beyond the mind, don’t try to understand it…just let your heart love an animal, nature or (gulp) a person, or God…and then ask where time went and you’ll see – your mind went to a higher place where time does not exist: the realm of love.

Now when I travel, meet new people hear new music and experience fresh exciting things – it is the uncovering of what always is, what always has been….just like E=MC2….these people places and experiences have been waiting, like a TV station, to be turned on, tuned in and activated before my eyes, based on my willingness and readiness to see.

I am always finding that which I have known, people I have always known, music I have known.

It is all a “coming home” and like Merlin, I am heading into the past and looking forward to it. I am remembering the future. With every new bit of information I get I just say “of course!” When I receive a new melody to a song from the angels whispering in my ear I say “of course”. And when I meet a new friend whom I love and cherish I smile and say “of course! ….well, what took you so long?” 🙂

So “forever” is not a stairway to heaven or a line fading forward. It is and expanded, delicious “right now”. This is a but a taste of timeless eternity. Wow. Yep, right here right now.


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Attention Artists! Success Comes from Within…

Greetings Friends!

It’s been a busy month over here at Adam Rafferty’s humble home / office / studio. This past month we all witnessed the launch of the Stevie Wonder DVD so it’s been BUSY. Things are calming down now that the initial rush is over. Talk about exciting! I am catching my breath.

A bunch of my musician buddies are asking me how I got my stuff out there on youtube and am having this guerilla success in terms of making a whole lotta friends, fans and making noise in general about gigs, tours, DVDs and the like. In fact, my buddy Peter Mazza and I had lunch the other day to discuss this.

I’d love to do a book or course on this stuff. While it reeks of “success guru” crapola, it works. And I vow to never spew info unless I can back it up 100%.

There is a combo of “heaven and earth” in success, I am finding. What I mean is that there has to be a spiritual element. You can’t fool the universe. You can’t bulls–t people, or yourself. Whatever it is you do or offer should hook into your integrity and be intelligent.

Ok, there are guys who sell toilet paper and fill a need, but I am talking about being a musician or an artist. Just look at any musician who has to play music where the soul disconnects – usually that type of musician is miserable. So, I play music that really feels good to me. That’s step 1.

Before I get to step 2 (and I am improvising this step by step method…) let’s go quantum. I listened to a Greg Braden (author, philosopher, and very cool dude) interview, and he mentioned an experiment in which photons in a vaccum “lined” up in the presence of human DNA. Yep, light particles assumed form in the presence of human DNA. This suggests on a quantum level that we create our reality.

This truly fascinates me. And hey, a Stevie Wonder DVD was first a vision, and now it’s real. That’s just lotsa little photons lining up….

So – step 2 would be to retrain the mind to look for, find and create success. Rather than tell my buddy about the step by step actions, I gave him my favorite book titles to learn about the mind.

When you learn that we have 4 billion bits of info available to us at any second, but “see” only 4000 – you learn that we see what we train ourselves to see. Insane. The mind and the universe are more mysterious than we’ll ever know.

In my case, I have truly had to re-program my mind to see and live success. The choices I make – whether it’s song choices, design work, who I hire for my team, what I spend time on – all these choices are now aligned with a deep, subconcious “problem solving” mechanism of achieving success. Each action is merely a metal shaving being pulled by a bigger magnet, which is the subconcious.

Bottom line – I love people. I want to make ’em happy and bring ’em music. The success I speak of is multi dimensional, and has “money” as a sliver of the pie. Jeez, what do I do with money anyway? Put out another CD! Of course it helps survival also. The real joy I get is to brighten people’s lives, for real, yo!

Well, this is just coming attractions of some type of course I hope to teach on day. I find it to be utterly upside down that there are so many gifted talented people out there who can’t “get out there” and figure their business stuff out. Maybe I can turn some people on to the good stuff now that I am finally discovering what works.

Until next time!

– AR