Mike McKaskle// Nashville, TN

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Well, I thought about putting (aka- Pops) in the title for this entry, but I figured I’d leave a little suspense. For those who don’t know already, Mike McKaskle is my Dad, and probably the greatest reason I play music at all right now. I grew up listening to him finger-picking his 76′ Martin guitar- which he paid $600 for new, btw- and he and my mother would sing together in the kitchen after dinner, and at coffee shops and county fair sort of events in West Tennessee. When I was really small I’d sing with them, but mostly I got to soak up the influences of the greats like Doc Watson, Merle Haggard, Jimmy Rogers, John Prine, and Greg Brown, as played by my father.

I began singing with him again when I was about 17, and for my 18th birthday/ high school graduation, he got me my first guitar! He tried teaching me a few chords, but it wouldn’t be until the end of my first (and only) semester away at college that I’d start to really be interested in learning. One of the greatest joys I have is the gift of getting to share music with him, and it has been a connection that has carried us through difficult periods in our relationship.

He played in bands growing up, and most recently has formed a band with his fancy-fingered friend John Zajdel, under the moniker, “The Grindstone Plowboys”. Have a listen!

I Love you, Daddy! Thank you for the gift of you=]

Andrew @ Cotten Music// Nashville, TN

For Inventory, Service Inquiries, and Hours of Cotten Music- Click Here!!

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So. The summer between my 4th and 5th grade years(1999), my dear ol’ dad decided to finally get a pick-up put in his 1976 Martin, (which, I might add, he bought new for 600 bucks.. lucky) so we made the 3 hour trek to Nashville to have it installed. I remember it was raining, I remember going down a one way street near Hillsboro Village, I remember being bossy with directions to the movie theatre, and I remember the man fixing up my dad’s guitar was named Andrew.

I also remember being pretty intimidated by this gruff luthier, only to find out 12 years later that he’s actually one of the sweetest, most tender-hearted people you may have the pleasure to meet. I have come to find this out since I began taking guitar lessons with John Mock (who you’ll meet soon) at Cotten Music last summer.

Cotten Music has become a second home to me, and thankfully Andrew, Kim, and Darcy have allowed for that. I can come in that place having exactly the kind of day I’m having, and Andrew will pick me out a guitar to play and listen to me talk through some of it, as well as doing some of the talking. His presence, encouragement, and sense of humor have become invaluable pieces of my weekly life for which I could not be more grateful.

Andrew is one of so many people who have loved and encouraged me until I could do it myself, and even still.

Love you, Andrew! Thank you for the gift of you.