Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Helping out a friend”)

I got a call the other day from one of my best musician friends. He is a drummer and his name is Ray C. Williams. He is talented and gifted, and he has performed for big name celebrities including Billy Paul and Stevie Wonder. Ray has been able to accomplish this since being “blind from birth.” This handicap effects more than just his sight. While he is an accomplished drummer his inability to see directions has cost him many gigs in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas, particularly from those who labeled him before getting to know him. Ray can actually “feel” when a song is about to change or even end. His senses are acute and he makes up for his sight with how well he hears. Ray told me that he has the opportunity to move down to Florida to play with a band that works just about every day. He will do what he does best and make a lot more money with a group who appreciates him without labeling him. He knows this is the best opportunity for him and he is truly excited about it. He is also extremely nervous about it. He doesn’t have much money and he can’t see, so he won’t know his way around. This would be a tough move for most people with sight, and yet Ray knows that he will be on his own. Ray started a Gofundme page to help him raise money for his move. I am not quite sure of how well this thing works but I have heard of several people using it to help raise funds for different needs. I told him I will do whatever I can to help him so today I am posting his account for those who wish to help such a talented musician. Please keep in mind that we all will face adversity in life, and sometimes the unknown can be frightening for most of us. This is a “big leap of faith” for Ray, but it is one journey that he “must” make. The people who were helping him get around here will not be with him in Florida, so he will have to make new friends and acquaintances, all while adhering to a new way of life. For those interested (I hope I am doing this right) here is his account:

In life we all need a little assistance now and then. I am sure he will welcome any donation he can get, no matter how small. Life transitions can be tough on us all, but his special circumstances only add to the monumental task ahead of him. He is my friend and I wish him well. I will miss him, but I understand what he has to do. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.


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Aretha Franklin onstage with Brett Jolly


Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Finances”)

Just about everyone has bills to pay. That means that you have to take whatever amount of money you make and try to live comfortably (after supposedly paying your bills of necessity). I have heard many people complain about not having enough money. No matter how much money you make you still need to pay your bills. The problem is not about how much you make. In most circumstances it is about how you “manage” the money you make. Are you one of those people that buys luxury items for yourself first before spending on things like rent, food and shelter whenever you make some extra money? Do you have lots of credit card debt? The first thing I would advise anyone to do is to “examine your finances.” In other words, take a look at what you make, what you have to pay each month, the times you have to pay them, and what you can do without. “Time” is essential in paying bills because in order to increase your credit you need to pay your bills in a timely manner (plus you want to make sure everything is synced up with your payment schedule). If you have a credit card that may have a balance of a couple hundred dollars (that might have payments of 25 dollars a month) then you should try to pay it outright. Once you no longer have to pay that money then it is the equivalent of getting a 25 dollar a month raise (because instead of paying that money, you are now saving that money instead). If you don’t have enough money to pay the balance off at once then just devote smaller payments to it each pay period until it finally goes away. Once that bill is gone then find the next credit card and overpay on that one until it disappears too. Each time a card is paid off then your budget gets bigger. While you are at it, take a look at the purchases you make and see if there is anything you buy continually that you can actually “do without.” Anything that you can sacrifice means a raise of money in your budget. For example, if you smoke cigarettes (at a cost of 10 dollars a week) then once you stop smoking you will make 40 more dollars a month. No matter how small the cost of an item may seem it still adds up over time when you sacrifice that item. A good idea would be to take a piece of paper and just jot down what you spend. Make sure to include everything. Then examine that list and see if there is “anything” you do without. If you have a high car payment you might be able to “refinance it and make your payments lower.” For my car payment I always pay “more” than the monthly payment because once I pay it off early my budget will increase “significantly.” Examine the details of your car loan as well because making a payment earlier than the due date might save you some interest charges. Each person’s budget is different. Only you know what you need and what you can do without. Take a look at “how and what” you are spending and see if you can find a way to make a difference in your own finances. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you can accomplish. Thanks for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.


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Singer Jill Scott in concert with Brett Jolly on bass guitar


Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Red Bass guitar photo shoot with Tieshay”)

Tieshay is a young woman who had never tried modeling before (but she told me that she has a strong interest in doing modeling work). She wanted to know if she could try pictures so we scheduled a small session. Now I think she is “hooked on it.” She wants to try more (so we may be seeing more of her in the near future). Her expressions are good. Her smile seems natural and she seemed to feel very comfortable in front of a camera. She admitted that this was her very first photo shoot. Judging from the results I highly doubt it will be her last. I hope you enjoy her pictures. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.


Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Another one of my favorite tunes”)

I could go into a lengthy discussion about why I like this song, but the fact is that I just “like it.” The harmonies are cool, the music is even cooler. The breaks in it are appropriately timed. AWB (Average White Band) has had many great hits. I always seem to love the tunes that didn’t receive as much popularity as others. I’m not sure why that is. Musically (and vocally) I just love this song. Today in Philadelphia we are about to a VERY ‘”un-winter-like day” because the temperatures are expected to be in the late 60’s to possibly even 70’s. That is unheard of for Philadelphia weather during the winter. I won’t complain (at all) and will probably do a photo shoot today. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“overcoming television shyness”)

Yesterday I had a television taping on a local channel here in Philadelphia. In my career I have had many to this date. However, I had to overcome several things to get to this point of feeling comfortable when doing a television show. When I first performed on television, I had someone tape it. When I eventually saw the tape, I did not like what I saw. I was playing with my head down through most of the filming, and I could not even tell who I was. At that point I realized I needed to change the way I played. It looked as though I was so shy that I couldn’t face the camera. When I was younger I do admit that I was “extremely” shy. In fact, many of the girls used to laugh at how shy I was (and rightfully so… I was a mess). I had to change this, so the very first thing I worked on was changing the “way” I played. I looked at film footage of other professional players and I noticed that most (if not all) learned how to play their instruments without having to look down at them. That means they could play and keep their heads up without making a mistake. I worked diligently on this and I eventually managed to conquer it. Now I can play my bass guitar while keeping my head up. In fact, I can sing and play, hold a conversation and play and even watch television while playing and not have to worry about missing a note. After this, I had to work on my own psychological state. I had to look confident onstage, which meant that I had to feel confident in order to look confident. For this I also watched how other performers acted onstage. You can learn a lot from watching others. I took it all in. It finally got to the point where I just imagined myself being superior to the audience (not in an overconfident way) and addressing the crowd as though I actually had the advantage. It worked, and now I can honestly say that I am much more comfortable performing in front of 3 hundred thousand people than I am performing in front of 3. I “love” large crowds now, and if there are television crews filming us I will gladly be the “first one” to stick my face in the camera. When I did the touring thing the stage crew gave me my own riser platform where I could do anything I wanted while playing. I would often jump up and down, dance around and make faces with people in the audience. Yes, I was a mess (but a happy one). I still love the stage and huge audiences. Michael Jackson once said that performing onstage is the best feeling in the world (and I would have to say that he was right). When I performed years ago for the Republican National convention the (then) speaker of the house (Trent Lott) told me that I was about to perform in front of 10.5 million people. He then asked me if I as nervous. My response to him was “No… are you?”). I love music, and I love the stage, and I love television. My shyness isn’t gone altogether, but onstage it is no longer an issue. Confidence can go a long way… once you incorporate it.. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.


Skype: Brettjolly1

Legendary blues singer Bonnie Raitt in concert with Brett Jolly on bass