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2023 ISSA AWARDS SHOW - And the Winner is.....

Saturday August 5, and it's the 2023 International Singer Songwriters Association Awards Show in Atlanta, GA. Jill and I got an early start, drove into downtown Atlanta for breakfast and then came back to the hotel to get changed into our formal attire. At 11:30 we headed off to the Performing Arts Center. The Red Carpet photo taking and interviews started at Noon. While in line we met so many old friends, made new friends and had an absolute blast. What really made the Red Carpet experience so great was that these were fellow musicians, radio stations, promoters and other industry professionals. The awards show started at 2:00pm and the first couple of awards were for Promoter and Radio Station of the Year. Two people that I had become friends with over the years each won, Angela Marie Eidenmiller for Promoter of the Year and Music Mafia Radio in Oak Island, North Carolina for Radio Station of the Year!

The show was not just awards, but also numerous artists and bands also performed. One of them was the Say Never Band from Georgia, they were part of the group that was in the Red Carpet line with Jill and I. We had so much fun joking with them and by the time we went to our seats, we had all become good friends.

So I'm saving the best part for last.. Right before they started handing out the International Awards, they got to the Storyteller Award. I'll admit that I was lost in listening to the Emcee describe the attributes of what it meant to be given the award and didn't hear and the winner is, but I did catch the words Todd Apfel, looked up and say my name flash across the screen behind the stage!

Now prior to the show, we were all told to have a 1 minute or less speech prepared. I never wrote one down, but I did have it memorized in my head. That is until I got to the 3rd step up on the way to stage and my brain went blank! My hands were shaking as I accepted the award and although I seriously don't remember the whole speech, I do know that I made sure to thank my wife, the fans who got me there, the judges and Tamanie Dove the creator and CEO of the ISSA.

The rest of the show was a blur as I sat there holding on to the box holding my crystal trophy. But while sitting there I started to reflect on the other awards that I was a finalist for (Album of the Year, Single of the Year, and Emerging Artist of the Year) but didn't win. It was then that I realized I couldn't have asked for a better award than the Storyteller Award. Winning a Single, Album or Emerging Artist of the Year is an awesome honor, but they're for something specific, whereas Storyteller is for what I do, I write songs that tell stories. This is an award and honor that I will always cherish.

Coming soon, I'll be writing about the awesome trip home and my next release. Until then...... Be nice to everyone!

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