3 Ways to Encourage a Young Musician

Welcome! to a place that talks about the real life of Country Music artists! Today I want to talk about encouraging young musicians who can become our future stars.


 3 ways to encourage the dream

  • acknowledge the value of a dream
  • enable as many opportunities as you can for your young person to be exposed to the world of their dream
  • Leave room for growth and change

First, a short Eli story. Eli fell in love with Country Music before he entered kindergarten. He was also into trucks, construction, bull-riding at rodeos and shopping for boots at the  B&B Western clothing store. Everything stayed with him into adulthood- except bull-riding. Music took the center stage!

Eli at 2 yrs. old on his bull dozer.

  1. Acknowledge the dream Kids are interested in so many areas at once. It’s part of learning about the world. But certain interests pop up and  bring a sparkle to their eyes. That sparkle is very important. It’s a clue to a heart’s desire. Your child hungers to learn more.
  • Encourage!  Enjoy your child talking about his/her interest. Let him bring it up and share his thoughts freely. At this point they don’t need to know if it’s practical, has benefits, a good retirement plan, or how big the student loan will be. Let the dream be fun!
  •  Dreams have value. The ability to envision something great comes from simple encouragements. It’s where all the good things we enjoy start.
  • Treat it sincerely but lightly. Life is lots of things! Lots of interests will come and go- but the heart ones will stay.  Eli didn’t become a bull rider- but he loves songs about them and the country life. He saw the tough challenge bull riders face and chose to become a Marine and challenge himself to face challenges too.

(Eli-age 5 at rodeo seeing a dream)

Enable opportunities to explore the dream-

  • Go to places where your child can see the dream he has in action. We took Eli to Country Music concerts to see his favorite stars, when we could and in appropriate venues. We’re blessed to have some fairs and an amphitheater near by that are family friendly concert venues.
  • Get age appropriate classes for him. There are classes for nearly every interest!
  • Get him a quality instrument. It has to be good enough to play well at his level- Eli has constantly traded up guitars as he’s mastered his skills. But he’s never giving away that first guitar from his grandparents!


Leave room for change!

  • Some kids like to load up activities and interests, like the carnival plate spinners. They want to try everything all at once! It’s ok! Activities that don’t give them heart satisfaction will drop off. Interests will come and go – don’t despair that the dream will get lost.
  • Some kids do things in cycles- he pours his heart and mind into an interest. Then just when you think that he’s absolutely dedicated -he jumps into something else! He’s just adding a new aspect to his dream.
  • Exposure to the Arts is always a good thing. A song writer who travels has much more to write about. – a singer who plays sports learns lessons in winning and losing. ( I won’t mention the songs about Mama in jail, the dog dying, the truck wrecked by a wild woman, etc..)
  • Once in a while a person takes the slow and steady way of falling in love with a dream; gaining knowledge and skills along the way and creating their dream. If you have one of these dreamers, gently be there to help with the ups and downs that come with the journey.

Dr. James Dobson ( Focus on the Family) once had a program on what happened to the things we wanted to do when we were children. He noted that most people who have a chance to make a second career choice will go to the thing they loved the most when they were kids. Interesting, isn’t it?

What do you think? Please let me know how you encourage your your child’s dream. Or, how you were encouraged to follow yours?








How Family Encourages a Love For Music

When you think of Country Music, what’s the first image that comes to your mind?

Musicians, right ? There are so many incredible people in the music industry who make that sound that we love. Here is a story of one of my favorites!

“Be Original! You are worth more than a copy.  Be Yourself!” 

Country Music Mama Spotlight.

Today I’d like to introduce you to Country Music Mama- Tracy Rowsey. She is Kheagun Fleckenstein’s Mom. Kheagun is Eli Mosley’s lead guitarist and great friend. I had the honor of interviewing Tracy by phone for my first Country Music Mama Spotlight. 

Kheagun, an accomplished 24yr. old guitarist, is from the farmland of Indiana and loves the country life and Country Music! He’s also a working artist, an ornamental welder making beautiful gates and fences. The guys in the band call him “the ginger” for his striking red hair and  handsome complexion.

Here’s what his Country Music Mom Tracy had to say-

“When did Kheagun first show a passion for music?”

“Music was part of our home life. His Dad and I were in a band and had music on in our home all the time.”

” How old was Kheagun when he got his first guitar?”

“He was 13years old when he got his first guitar. He immediately started taking guitar lessons and stayed with that teacher for three years until he had learned all that teacher had to teach him. Then he joined a high school heavy metal band. They were really good! They played around Auburn, Indiana. The band entered a Battle of the Bands, for a local radio station, and won Second Place!!!”

Did Kheagun have a special mentor? “

“Yes, it was his Grandfather. He enjoyed music with him and encouraged Kheagun’s musical talent.”

” How did you inspire your son to follow his dream?”

“We wanted our son to follow his unique purpose.

“I put posters up in his room with motivational sayings. One of his favorites said,

“Be Original! You are worth more than a copy.  Be Yourself!” “

Kheagun and Eli

Kheagun fell in love in love with Country Music after his High School graduation.   He started an online conversation with a young guy in Florida who was busy building a Country Music career from scratch, Eli Mosley. Kheagun began considering a move down to Florida to join Eli. One night, after recently moving to Tampa to visit his grandparents, Kheagun stood in line to see a Brad Paisley concert. Standing in front of him in line was Eli. They were texting about seeing Brad’s show- a favorite artist of both guys. Eli turned around and recognized Kheagun from his online photos! That was the beginning of a close friendship and a winning country music sound.

Tracy and Kheagun’s family are so excited about Kheagun’s work in Eli’s band. They come to his concerts when they can and they follow his career on Kheagun’s facebook page. In the near future they hope to move down to Florida where they can take a more active part in the business of the band. Tracy is a professional photographer and marketing specialist.


The Possibility Thinkers Prayer

 When faced with a mountain 

                I will not Quit

          I will keep on striving

    until I climb over

              find a pass through

     tunnel underneath

        or simply stay and turn

           the mountain into a gold mine

               With God’s help!

                                                                                    Dr. Robert Schuller

Please check out About

When You Get Mud- Make Pie!

Welcome back to Country Music Mama! I’m grabbing a cup of coffee and ready to share this road trip with you.

(see my About page )About

I promised you a back stage look into the life of country music artists. Here is my story of our trip to N. Carolina, Georgia, and the S. Carolina Peach Festival. You can read my story below and/or see a video post that Eli has about the event. I think you’ll enjoy it!

Thank you South Carolina Peach Festival for your hospitality despite the stormy weather!

Eli’s South Carolina Peach Festival Video

Continue reading “When You Get Mud- Make Pie!”

How to Create a Mini-Country Music Festival

How to create a mini- Country Music Festival for your small town

Independence Day Festival

         The last vibrations of the guitars melted into the cheering crowd and the booms of the fireworks streaked into the darkness. Eli Mosley let the success of the Independence Day Country Music Festival spread across his face with a smile and a fist pump “YES!”

      Across America, small towns are already planning next years’ 4th of July celebrations. As a Country Music artist you have an opportunity to contribute your music to the event.

How did this event happen?

Last year Eli and his band joined the line-up of local entertainers on the small town Bartow, Florida bandshell stage. They found that they were basically background music for the crowd coming to see the fireworks. That’s when he got a vision of a much better musical offering to his hometown.

What was Eli’s vision?

  • Eli thinks quality. That’s what he wanted to bring to the 4th of July celebration. He saw a quality mini- country music concert.
  • to give Florida related artists a professional performance platform
  • To introduce young, upcoming artists to a new audience

What happened?

At the end of my post, I have created a gift for you. A detailed guide for anyone interested in creating a mini-country music festival. You can click on the selection there and follow the steps for a successful festival.

For now, let me describe how it all went.

  • Eli began planning this festival last year.
  • He worked with the Bartow committee to gain permission to alter the decades old traditions and insert a quality country music concert.
  • He lined up three young upcoming solo artists, ( Ayla Lynn (Coral Ridge) and Dylan Johnson (Wauchula)), Anna Lee(Lakeland), a Nashville recording duo- (Olivia Baker and Brian Emmons), talented Nashville songwriter and performer, Jay Taylor and band (Ft. Lonesome), and his own Eli Mosley and Band ( Mulberry).
  • He designed the bandshell stage ( thank you Sunshine Growers) and all the show details. (except the rain!)
  • The Reflect Sons Gospel group also performed.
  • A young boy received his first guitar as a gift from Eli and Carrolton’s Music Store!
  • Several hundred fans came to the bleachers and brought their lawn chairs to watch the show 3 hrs. before the fireworks stared.
  • Ayla Lynn and Eli Mosley had merchandise available for the fans.
  • Thank you  Superfan Rachel Aguilar for the delicious meal you provided for our artists!! Your barbecue is outstanding!
  • Thank you city of Bartow and the fantastic police officers providing security so we could enjoy this event in safety!
  • Thank you to the hundreds of fans who waited out the rain and enjoyed the performances despite the wetness! You’re the best!
  • From 5pm. until the fireworks were lit at 9:30pm., Bartow was treated to a top quality country music festival!
  • Thank you Debbie and Mike for the use of the motor coach to give relief from the heat to the band during the day!

 What was Country Music Mama’s involvement? 

  • When the bands came in they needed food, shelter and care! I teamed up with Eli to see that they had the comforts of home. One of the hits with the bands was a big pot of my Barbecue Stew! They liked it so much that I’m going to include a recipe for you here! It’s an easy recipe that feeds a crowd. Enjoy!
  • Country Music Mama’s Barbecue Soup Recipe! click below!
  • Barbecue Stew

I also got to know another Country music mom – and Dad. Ayla Lynn’s folks are her managers and we manned the merchandise table. Ayla will be heading to college to further her music career in a couple years- I promoted our Southeastern University where Eli earned his Music/ Business degree as one of the best choices out there! It’s a joy to me to get to know these amazing artists and parents.

What’s Next?

Next stop for Eli-July 21- South Carolina Peach Festival! Eli is the headliner- following in the footsteps of  past headliners-Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney!

Here is a detailed outline for those who want to put on a small town- music festival! 

How to Create a Country Music Festival

Please follow me and get more insight into the backstage life of a rising country music artist.

Eli Mosley:


Anna Lee:



Jay Taylor

4 Ways to Make a Difference with Your Music



A voice and a stage are an artist’s tools to help others.

  • Sing in benefits whenever you have a chance
  • ask other artists to join you for benefit shows
  • encourage musical gifts in young children
  • be the one one who gives that “first guitar”


This weekend Eli sang for a festival in a small town of Mulberry, Florida, to help a young man raise funds for his medical care.

Eli Mosley is quick to say “yes!” to sing for local and National causes. He is especially drawn to children’s health causes and military veterans.

Eli has performed for

  • St. Jude Children’s Hospital Fundraisers
  • Kidspack Meal events
  • SPCA Animal Shelter
  • Polk County Fire Benefit
  • Toys fot Tots
  • “BubbaFest” fundraiser for a young man with MS.
  • A Christian ranch for horse therapy for Autistic teenagers event

Country Music Mama’s Heart

Eli has had a guitar in his hands since about 6 yrs. old. He suffered from epilepsy until a brain surgery at age 8.  He was always grateful for the care given to him. Eli has a heart for kids who are suffering medical problems. You’ll see him go out of his way to make people in wheelchairs and  with mental problems feel special at his shows. He’s “playing it back”.





God Bless Country Radio!

Eli’s on the Radio!

We rushed out to the truck to hear our son’s first song come on the radio. There it was- coming on the radio screen- Eli Mosley- “Man and His Wife”-Feb. 2015- WLKF Lakeland, Florida. We still do that every time a new song comes on!  Even though his music is now on regular playing lists for 27 radio stations throughout the South.

You know how that feels! Your son’s first time at bat, your daughters’ first dance recital, the lead lines in a school play, -any public performance that you’ve put your heart into- butterflies!

Country Music Mamas- please share with us your story of the first time you heard your son or daughter on the radio!

Eli just returned home from a Texas tour of small radio stations and venues to play. He’s no stranger to radio work as he interned with 97 Country in Lakeland , Florida and continued work there as an assistant sound engineer.

What does Country Radio do for us?

  • makes our work day seems lighter
  • makes miles fly by – especially with the “windows cranked down and the radio on”  and someone you enjoy to share the lyrics with,” sitting in a little white tank top”.
  • brings a whole “country” together- more than any sport!
  • let’s us express what we really can’t or shouldn’t in our real lives
  • shares real ups, downs, and stories

I’ve had the pleasure of being with Eli a few times when he visited radio stations for interviews and new song introductions. These stations are often in surprising places

  • old homes converted into a station
  • small storage sheds in fields
  • a corner store in a strip mall

What do they have in common? These guys and gals really know Country Music! They professionlly point out the details in production, lyrics, writing , marketing, etc… Don’t let the storage shed fool you!

They are some of the most welcoming and encouraging people I’ve ever met! Thank you everybody for making our days and nights flow with music!

Country Music Mamas’ Encouragement Corner

Confidence is key when meeting new people and promoting what you do. When you’ve created something that’s a quality product-as far as your ability allows at the time- it’s easier to be confident.

Confidence falters when we start comparing what we’re doing as a newbie in our work to a pro of many years experience. Be honest about where you are and save the stress! Keep your eyes focused on where you want to go, and your feet solidly on the ground where you are growing.


Country Music Mama.

Bonita Mosley




On The Road Again!

Racking Up the Miles for Country Music!

“This is the life!,” Eli Mosley says. He loves being on the road. Last weekend Eli and a couple band crew  members rolled into Rabun Gap, Georgia to sing at one of his favorite venues- 12 Spies Vineyard. 

Fans came from near and far to see and visit with Eli. Several fans drove more than 150 miles to attend this intimate concert at the winery. One couple came to stock up on Eli’s merchandise to complete their collection of Eli stuff! Thank you 12 Spies Vineyard Staff and fans for making this trip so much fun!

It’s a beautiful winery in  a valley with gorgeous views. If you’re ever in the area please stop in here to spend a delightful time. Incredible wine! Don’t forget to see the pipe organ wash basin in the men’s room!

Exciting News!!  It’s about Lipstick!

Eli  released his new single “Shades”!  Radio Directors all over the South called with congratulations on this exciting song that you girls will really love. It’s on rotation on stations all over! “You really knocked it out of the park!” one station manager told Eli when he reviewed “Shades”. You can find “Shades” on Spotify, Pandora, I Tunes, ReverbNation- all over the internet and on Facebook.com/elimosleymusic.


Country Music Mama’s Input

Eli’s Cd cover for “Shades” was my fourth music Cd cover art project. I also illustrate Cd covers for my brother, Mark Murdock, a progressive jazz artist in Tokyo, Japan. In addition to music art, I’ve recently completed illustrating my second children’s book for author, Carol Viner. 

Encouragement Corner

Creativity is about learning the skills of your craft. You have to put the miles on the tires, like Eli is doing now. Time has to be spent doing the grunt work, learning the scales, cords, music theory- composition, photo fundamentals, voice control.

I’m an artist. I heard a story that tells this lesson well.

When you see a Masterpiece of artwork from the Middle Ages, the incredible Vermeer’s, or Da Vinci’s- the beauty and skill that impresses us was actually the last thing painted. There were a “stable”of students working on the painting. The lesser skilled students roughed in the initial painting,over the Masters drawing, on the canvas. Then each layer was applied by a more skilled apprentice. Finally, the Master brought his special touches and finished the piece. It took decades of learning to become the Master!

“Whatever you can conceive, and believe, you can achieve”, Napoleon Hill. It’s not magic, its persistent effort and learning.

Encourage your children to keep at it, make it fun, enjoy the process and don’t worry about being great. The results will come in the right time. Fame before the foundation of hard work and purpose is seldom successful. It makes bright comets. Burn outs. No, you want stars, bright lights inspiring others.

Blessings, Bonita

Country Music Mama



One Way to Get From Here to There- Showcasing Your Talent


Hi! Welcome back! You’ve come to the backstage look at the making of a Country Music Artist from the ground up!

How does a rising artist get his band exposed to hundreds of venue deciders at once? Showcasing his talent!

Last week Eli Mosley and band  “showcased” for the Florida Fair Association convention in Orlando.  “Fair folks” were seeking talent for their events.

“I Got Friends in New Places!”

I walked into the banquet hall, stages were being set up and sound techs were busy connecting wires all over the stage. Then I saw her! A Country Music Mom!  I sat next to her and said, ” I bet you’re that guys’ Mom!”. She said “Hi, I’m Heidi Moon”, and  that tall, good looking young guy in the cowboy hat was her son, Cale Moon. He came to showcase. Heidi and her husband are Cale’s managers – just as my husband and I are for our son, Eli.

I watched as Heidi did exactly what I do to encourage her son. We’re just like sports Moms, on the bleachers, ready to help in any way we can, but trying to be invisible. Trying to be Mom without being a pain. Tonight Cale is having some pain issues and she’s concerned. Like a true professional, he muscles through it. Only Mom and Dad know what it’s taking him to do it. He’s paying his dues to rise to the top. This fair convention was Cale’s 14th this year.

I hope Heidi will give us some glimpses of life on the road in future blog posts. But here are some things I learned about them.

Their lifestyle is constant travel. Home is in Oregon. they drive from booking to booking in a motor home. Cale, 24, is homeschooled and a very talented self -taught artist.

An interesting fun fact- when Cale is performing with a band, he flies his musicians in from several different states for the gig. For an artist, it’s a big challenge to get your band with you for distant performances. Our band lives fairly close so they have been able to travel with Eli.

Meanwhile, back on the stage—

Eli and band showcased near the end of the roster.  They had 20 minutes to make these venues want to line up outside to sign them up. I was pretty nervous when our spot kept shifting further down and people started trickling out. When they finally hit the stage, the band did a great show that revived the audience and were very well received! 

I love stepping into worlds that are new to me. It was amazing to see these entertainment experts shopping for the rides, magic acts, food trucks, racing pigs, and entertainers. Many fairs put it all together at the convention. And they have classes and seminars to attend on subjects like ride safety, terrorism, advertising- and much more. It’s not all cotton candy and Ferris wheels!

This would’ve made a great home school trip! Unfortunately it was for association members only- or I should say the “fair family” – they really were like a big family gathering. A fun event for us. Now, my husband, Michael, who does booking for Eli, will make dozens of follow up calls and get some great places for the band to perform in the next year! See you there!

Blessing, Bonita

You can hear Eli Mosley’s  music on Spotify, Pandora, I Tunes, ReverbNation- and on his website






How to Have a Sweet n’ Sizzling Success at a Barbecue Festival

 Eli Mosley & Band at Smoke On The Water Barbecue Festival

Ft. Myers,Florida

What’s Happening?

I hope you were there with us! Sunny Ft. Myers,Florida at it’s best- and so were Eli Mosley and band! The Smoke On The Water Barbecue Festival, on the marina, had a large and enthusiastic crowd in attendance. Eli and band brought a smoking hot performance! I love to see those smiles  and swaggers when they know they’ve hit a home run!

How do you prepare for an outdoor barbecue festival?

  •  Hours of practice for the musicians
  • merchandise prepared for the sale table; the tent and tables packed, t-shirts, and CD’s, change for sales
  • equipment packed into the trailer so it can be easily be taken out in order of use on stage
  • Musicians pack in their personal guitars, drums, fiddle-
  • banners or the stage and near the tent
  • Fans for each musician on stage
  • lawn chairs
  • performers change of clothes .
  • Make sure you have everybody in the van before leaving!
  •  This show was two and a half hours from home.

How does Country Music Mama pack for the show?

As the band “Mom”, I always carry a bag full of things we might need-

  • bandaids for those guitar fingers
  •  duct tape,- for anything that need held together
  • Tylenol or aspirin for heat headaches especially
  • protein bars or quick snacks for blood pressure drops
  • if we’re in a location where it sn’t possible to get meals, I pack subway sandwiches, chips and drinks for each band member
  •  a roll of tp. for the portable toilets- an essential!
  •  Kleenex and wet wipes
  •  umbrellas, and plastic bags for rain
  • A big cooler of ice for water bottles and Gatorade to go near the stage
  • a small battery operated fan for the merchandise tent during really hot days
  • Then I need to bring along lawn chairs, hand fans and my hat, of course! I try to have whatever might be needed.

I keep all this stuff under the merchandise table or in my trunk – I don’t drag it all around with me- I’d need a wheel barrow!


How to encourage a winning attitude before you even get to the show

When my sons were young, we used to read them inspiring poems and stories – here’s the first stanza of one you might enjoy-

It Couldn’t Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,

But he with a chuckle replied

That “maybe it couldn’t” but he would be one

Who wouldn’t say so till he tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin

on his face. If he worried he hid it.

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

by Edgar A. Guest


If you’re a Country Music Mama I hope this helps you to get your guys and gals up on that stage singing their hearts out, knowing you’ve got them taken care.

Any thoughts that we can add to our list of helpful things to bring?


You can find more information about Eli Mosley’s band on his facebook page



Have a day full of success! Country Music Mama- Bonita



Barbecue Sundaes and Eli Mosley Music!

I had no idea how many Barbeque Festivals there are in the South! These guys are serious contenders for some of the biggest trophies I’ve ever seen. And they love Country Music and Eli Mosley and band!

This festival was in Grant, Fl.  Eli’s band left early for the 3 hr. drive to the venue. Their stage time was from 10am-2pm. Grant Barbeque Festival has a nice stage facing the caravan of Barbeque and beer trucks. Crowds started really pouring in about 11am. For lunch, music, and craft show.

I have several jobs at festival shows. One is to sit in the middle of the crowd and applaud. Yes! I would anyway because I love Eli’ band’s performances, but it’ s surprising how many crowds hang back until someone applauds- then they enthusiastically take over. Group dynamics!

I also get to talk with fans! They come from all over. Once they’ve experienced one of Eli’s shows they follow his website and come to any performance they can. Two ladies came especially to get new pictures with the band. They’re keeping a photo journal as Eli climbs the entertainment ladder to success. I’ve met so many fun fans!

Would you like to know how to a Barbeque Sundae?

  • Use a soup bowl- cover the bottom with Barbeque pulled pork
  • next add a layer of baked beans
  • then add a layer or sweet coleslaw
  • over the top add drizzled Barbeque sauce