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Norm and Linc THRIVE 2010

It’s been a great past few days for me, with two clinics in Southern California and lots of hangtime with my amazing family.

It’s also been slightly strange, because this weekend also marked the beginning of a new season for me.

Let me explain.

I’ve been working with Lincoln Brewster as his recording & live bassist since 2006. It’s difficult to describe what an honor and blast it’s been on every level: musically, professionally, ministry-wise, personally. Undeniably, it’s also been loads of hard work, to be sure…but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Linc has become one of my closest friends, as have the other guys in the band – absolutely great, dedicated, gifted, hilarious people. Such a HUGE privilege to be part of that team.

That said, this past fall - after much prayer - I began really sensing that a change of season (literally and metaphorically!) was approaching.

This past January, Gina & I celebrated 19 years of amazing marriage. Our daughters (15 and almost 14 years of age) are both incredible, brilliant, extraordinary young ladies. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive and loving family…I’m blessed beyond words.

As I reflected on how the past 8 years of my daughters’ school seem to have elapsed in a blink, it became increasing apparent that in another blink, the remaining 4 years of high school would be over.

I absolutely can’t miss this time with them.

Being a professional musician, travel is part of life and I actually still really enjoy it. But it occurred to me that I needed to get as strategic as possible, to allow the maximum time home while still providing for my family.

To that end, my focus needed to shift from one of primarily involving concerts & festivals with Lincoln (with occasional clinics, conferences & recording sessions interspersed) to one of primarily involving the latter.

Linc has been incredibly supportive ever since I shared this with him at the beginning of 2011. As a dedicated dad & husband himself, he clearly appreciates and understands.

As both a professional and a friend, I urged him to seek out a replacement bassist who could commit to the entirety of his tour and recording schedule. I told him that, should he ever need a sub, I would definitely love to be on his list of players to call.

While we don’t know what the long-term future holds, Lincoln instead expressed that, for the time being, he’d still like me to remain involved on whatever level I’m able…and has essentially extended to me an open invitation to do any of the dates I can while subbing out those I can’t.

Unbelievable. I’m extremely grateful that our friendship also prevails over whatever happens, work-wise.

SO…that brings us back to this past weekend. This was the first occasion in this new season where the band went on a trip (Ft. Wayne, IN and Mt. Vernon, IL) without me. Kip Johns (LB drummer Mike Johns’ bassist dad & overall great guy) played bass and, from what I’m hearing, did a fantastic job. The incredible testimony of the Johns family was also shared in a way that wouldn’t have happened had I been there, which is further evidence that God’s in this whole situation. So cool.

Anyway, that’s all to say that:

1. As of this time, the bass chair in Lincoln Brewster’s band is being split between me, Kip Johns, and my good friend/bass monster Adam Nitti.

2. I have accepted road dates with Lincoln as far out as October. Barring any change in the situation, I plan on continuing to accept any dates beyond then that work with my schedule.

3. There are a handful of dates that I won’t be on (please check the “Dates” tab for my schedule). That said, regardless of whether or not I’m in attendance, don’t hesitate to come to an LB event – you’ll have a blast! :^)

4. My Events Calendar shows some other really exciting upcoming events, including clinics, bass events, worship band consulting, conferences, Norm Stockton Group concerts, and much more – hope to see you!

I received word today that a handful of people traveled to the LB concerts this weekend with the expectation that I would be there, and I’m so sorry to disappoint. I humbly ask for your understanding, and hope that the explanation above illuminates the situation. Your grace is hugely appreciated!

I’m stoked for the future. In addition to the clinics, conferences and recording sessions, as well as the LB dates I’m slated to do, Linc and I have been discussing an upcoming instrumental project – I’m confident you’re going to love it!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and ongoing support for my family and I. I look forward to our paths crossing!

Blessings-

Norm

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