Aaron Howard BELTS it OUT!

I was back in my room at the hotel in Scottdale. My wife was still in Kansas City keeping vigil with her sister as their mother was very ill in the hospital. She’s improving… good news.

With nothing to do on my own, time for another stogie! I wanted to check out the Talking Stick Casino on the East side of Scottsdale. They have a cigar bar there called Shadows. An elegant place, much like the rest of the establishment, and I’m sure the hotel rooms must be as nice as the lounge.  I really LOVE the light show on the outside of the building too.  You can see it from the freeway – great marketing!


Shadows is their lounge, martinis, scotch and cigar bar.  They’ve got lots of easy chairs and a full bar, even a very large open air patio with a fire pit.





I lit up a trusted favorite, Rocky Patel Cigar, 15th Anniversary, 55×6″. Easy draw and full bodied. Amazing… always.

They usually have a live music and I do my best to stay away from that side of the (expansive) room. Typically, the musicians are good but have a recorded background while they play their instrument of choice and eek out popular hits from yesteryear.

But tonight the artist was a singer/songwriter by the name of Aaron Howard. His rendition of “Blackbird” by the Beatles caught my attention. I drew away from whatever  game was on the big screen and thought I’d step closer for a listen.


This guy was  damn good. The thing I noticed right away was his vocal dexterity to handle low notes and high notes, and never miss one. Ten years ago, I might have not stopped to pay attention, but the harsh notes of so-called talent on American Idol and The Voice, often painful, but trying really damn hard, this guy handled a wide range with ease and smoothness. Mind you, all he had was his guitar, which he played with equal dexterity.

He did a mix of covers and songs he composed. A few of his songs, man, he’d belt it out! Some folks are able to hold a note or two, but fall apart when pouring on the strong emotion. Aaron convinced me that he has a future. He’s a little bit of country and folk. If you like James Taylor, you’d like Aaron. Looks a bit like Chuck Norris or Hugh Jackman..

My favorite cuts off his CD are “Long Way To Go”, very soaring and inspiring, and “Heart on Fire”, his title track.

Glad I ducked in to catch a smoke!

If you wind up on American Idol or The Voice, you’re gonna knock ’em dead.

Aaron’s starting a nine month tour. Good luck, man. See you on TV!

“Long Way to Go” video… Emotional POW! It’ll stick in your head.

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