it’s 6:15pm and i’m driving down the interstate at a speed much faster than the posted recommendation. of course it’s not really a recommendation marc but you’re running late for a show! that’s right, i’m suppose to be on stage performing at 6:30pm and here it is 6:15pm and i’m not even at the venue yet! at this rate if i’m lucky i MIGHT be there with 10 minutes to spare for setup. i’ve never been late to a show before. will this be the first?

so i’m weaving in and out of traffic, like i’m going for a new high score in the video game frogger, when all the sudden my rear view mirror is overwhelmed with red & blue. uh oh. it’s the police! well so much for having 10 minutes to setup, which already is a third my normal allotted time for setting up. (actually, if i had my way there would always be 2 hours setup before a show for all those little details that nobody can pinpoint but make the live show so great!)

the officer walks up to my car with his blinding flashlight, while i feebly try to stick my hands out the window showing that no weapons are in store for his arrival. he asks me for my license and registration, a very common ice breaker among police officers, while i notice his thick southern accent and bushy mustache. this is a big old boy, state trooper none the less, who i quickly assume isn’t in the mood to mess around. so i’m digging through my various insurance papers while, almost unconsciously, rambling away along the lines of “i didn’t mean to be speeding officer. i play the violin and i’m running late for a concert. and i’m never late for concerts. although this may be the first time. but oh well. it’s my fault after all. here’s my registration.”

and you know what he says? “do me a favor and drive more carefully. have a good night.”

so if you’re of the female persuasion, you may be bored with this story. something along the lines of “that happens to me all the time,” right? well as a male let me tell you, it never happens. i have nothing within view to sexually flaunt at officers and playing innocent just doesn’t seem to work with the presence of that Y chromosome. none the less, i thank the officer and drive off with 5 minutes less for setup but i get to the venue and manage to somehow unload and setup in record time, starting my performance at 6:30pm on the dot. then something strange happens. later that night when i get in my car i’m very careful with my speed. and then the next day too. a week later and i’m still careful. we all watch our speed after getting a ticket but how long does that last? a few minutes? a few days? i have a theory…

the gratitude i felt from what appeared to be a hardened southern state trooper [insert many southern state trooper cliches] just because he let me off the hook when i uttered the words “i play the violin and i’m running late for a concert.” this is what has kept me aware. because every time i see a speed limit i don’t think “i should go this speed because it is dangerous to go faster and it is the law and i might get in trouble if i don’t obey the law…” but instead i think of this guy. this guy who surpassed all the cliches and let me go.

thank you. for your gratitude is stronger than any law you can lay; any financial distress you can put upon my shoulders.



i love grabbing photos of the photographers.



this one is of my friend joe longobardi who came out to a recent music video shoot to act as “a fly on the wall” during the filming process. he got some great shots and posted them on his blog over here and his flickr album over here. he’s a wonderful photographer and i recommend checking out his other works if you’re into photography.



check out the music video that joe was taking pictures of here:

Love Asheville Go Local

Love Asheville! Go Local! This poster is from the Asheville Grown Business Alliance. Although the poster represents a specific program in Asheville, the theory behind it resonates very well. Grow Asheville’s Local Character and Inspire Entrepreneurship. Encourage Local Decision-Making. Focus on Collaboration and Healthy Competition. Keep Dollars in Asheville’s Local Economy Resulting in More Jobs and Increased Wages.

To All My Dear Friends recently used the support of downtown Asheville to raise funds for the new album Bloom. Marc Hennessey on violin. Josh Newton on drum. Together this duo hit the streets over the last year and raised the necessary funds to complete Bloom, dollar by dollar. Similar to what Amanda Palmer suggested in her famous Ted Talk “The Art of Asking”, they decided to ask for help. The response was phenomenal!

Asheville locals and tourists alike have offered their support, through dollars tossed into a tip jar or even just a few motivational words like “Keep doing what you’re doing!” Josh and Marc know how fortunate they are in what is such a vibrant artistic economy. Because of this, they actively try to give back to the community with a percentage of what is earned. It’s like a form of tithing. Tip your fellow street musicians. Maybe help someone in need who lives on the street. This is something that To All My Dear Friends will continue to do, even when they go beyond the local music scene to tour other parts of the world.

As a way to “put your $ where your ♥ is,” To All My Dear Friends is donating an entire days income from the streets to local organization Asheville Music Professionals. AMP is a new organization formed this summer that aims to provide education, advocacy, connection and collaboration for the people who work and thrive with music in Asheville. It’s peak tourist season in Asheville, with the leaves changing color along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and this means opportunity for any street performer downtown. Josh and Marc had no idea what the number would be when they decided to donate a day’s income from performing. But Universe said “If you’re going to do this then I’m going to make the message clear.” Josh and Marc performed throughout the day on Sunday October 19th, knowing that they would be donating all the money received. The grand total came to a whopping $333 on the dot!! It’s mysterious how life flows, yet the message couldn’t be more clear with such a energetically significant number.

Thank you AMP for all you have done and will do for the local music economy in Asheville. Thank you to every person that helped make this donation possible. As To All My Dear Friends continues to grow, we hope to always give back to the communities that weave throughout our existence.

Read more about Asheville Music Professionals on their Facebook page.

sometimes i’m out on the street as much as 9 or 10 hours in a day, performing music for up to 7 of those hours. i’ve met a lot of interesting people during this time, like this kid who looks as if he’s kicking butt and taking names:

kid on the street
…little does he know that he’s actually being one of the most adorable children i’ve ever seen on the streets of asheville! and yes, i know what you’re thinking: when he walks the little man on a bike does pedal with his feet. and then there’s the regulars, like cherokee here who lives on the street but you would never guess it at first glance. cherokee has a strong spirit and a big heart.

cherokee on the streets
i’ve learned a lot from the folks out here, especially the ones that live on the street. they teach lessons you’d never pick up in school or by reading a book. it’s a culture and a tight knit community, with little gems to be found hidden away all over the streets. i’ve become both a better performer and a better person from all the time spent out here. there is the monetary value of raising money for the new album but then there is something else… life lessons that can’t always be put into words, which will take me farther then any dollar received in a tip jar. all i have to do is listen, keep my eyes open and stay humble.

vance monument flower balloon



just got the keys to my new studio!

Rehearsal Studio Keys

spending most of my time in here until the new album comes out. gearing up for some live stage shows! now for the shows to be booked somehow. come on universe! i’m making my call out into the world. i’ll be rehearsing nonstop for a national tour or something similar. i’m not picky either. just like to be around good music that changes people’s lives for the better.



We are proud to announce the upcoming release of Bloom, a new album by To All My Dear Friends.

Listen to Bloom the single

Enjoy this title track from the upcoming album! Download it here even for free.

It has been a long road to finishing this beautiful album. A year and a half long road to be exact! But it has been well worth the wait! Recorded in Columbus Ohio at The Tone Shoppe, Marc had the wonderful opportunity of spending two weeks in the live-in studio with recording engineer Eric Cronstein. This provided the perfect environment for getting lost in the music, raising each melody to it’s highest potential. Drums were recorded at Black Bear in Gainesville Florida with the very talented drummer Zachary Randall.

Now here’s where the fun begins. Everything is recorded. All that’s left is mixing and mastering. So what did Marc do? He took a chance and contacted some of the best in the industry in hopes of elevating the album to the next level! Bloom was mixed by Grammy Award winning engineer Malcolm Burn. Malcolm has recorded and mixed albums for many amazing artists including Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Kaki King, Emmylou Harris, and now even To All My Dear Friends! Marc spent a week up in Kingston New York at Malcolm’s iconic recording studio La Maison Bleue. Malcolm agreed to work on the album because he enjoyed the music. Awesome!

Mastering is being done by the world renowned engineer Greg Calbi of Sterling Sound who has mastered albums for many talented artists including John Lennon, Talking Heads, Paul Simon, St Vincent, Norah Jones, and now you guessed it.. To All My Dear Friends!! We feel so honored to be working with such talented engineers on this new album. For all you audiophiles out there, the single Bloom was mastered by Marc because Greg is currently mastering the album. That means the album version will be even better! Yay!


But what’s the best part about the new album? It was entirely funded from the streets of Asheville North Carolina! Marc has spent the last year diligently raising the funds, dollar by dollar, to finish this album. He calls it  “analog crowd funding,” without the use of a computer.


Working with such talented folks as Malcolm Burn and Greg Calbi is not cheap! Countless hours have been spent out on the street with violin in hand. So much so that there hasn’t been much touring in the last year. But don’t you worry! That will change soon. To All My Dear Friends hopes to hop on a national tour in the near future, and hopefully even an international tour. To start up the stage performance again, there is an album release show happening on Saturday September 20th in Asheville North Carolina.

Keep your eye out for the upcoming release of Bloom, available everywhere on Friday September 12th. You can even sign up for our email list to automatically be informed of the new release.