Sunday, December 30, 2012

Kennedy Center Honors Music 2012

You know this year's Kennedy Center Honors was on my radar. Led Zeppelin and Buddy Guy being honored. The show alone would be interesting with one of Late Night Televisions best in David Letterman, actor Dustin Hoffman, and ballerina Natalia Makarov.

If you missed the show on PBS check it out on youtube. No none of the honorees performed. However, Tracy Chapman, Jimmy Vaughan, Gary Clark Jr, Bonnie Raitt, Beth Hart, and Jeff Beck played tribute to Buddy Guy. It is hard to say Led Zeppelin is my favorite band of all time, but they are at least the most influential band on my music taste. Now they were honored, I am a big fan of Buddy Guy, and then they add my favorite guitarist performing in Jeff Beck.

During the Led Zeppelin tribute part of the show. They had The Foo Fighters, Lenny Kravitz, Kid Rock, and Heart. Heart performed with Jason Bonham on drums and they brought the house down with their performance of "Stairway to Heaven." They even added a choir to the song.

Here is Lenny Kravitz...

That is just on the music side. Add in Tina Fey and Robert DeNiro and others and you have one fantastic show. Something to check out...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

December Football Post Number 2

A little delayed since I was busy with the holidays. However, none the less  I have written some new football related articles since my last football post and I wil give you update on my fantasy football team.

Fantasy Football

My fantasy football team did not make the playoffs. So, the next best thing is to win the consolation round. Not only did I step away from my blog due t the holidays I also stepped away from my fantasy team. My lineup was what it was. I did not make any moves or change anything. My team won anyway. Now if they would have won the previous week I would havebeen in the playoffs. Oh well that is life and my team survives to play one more week.


Okay the team I cover for Outside the Redzone, the Jacksonville Jaguars are having an awful season. However, they did play the New England Patriots and the score was closer than most folks expected. You can read my recap here.


Bowl season is here! I wriote an article about place to watch the bowl games around me. If you like you can read it here.I also wrote an article about the Florida Gators five best moments in Bowl History which turned out to be about five different bowl games. You can read that here. Since the Gators are going to the Sugar Bowl here are highlights from their last visit...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Reflections on the Holiday

Well I made it through Christmas. The night before Christmas Eve I was able to go caroling with my daughter, stepson, and my parents. It was neat to go on a winter hayride through Charles Town, West Virginia. The fellowship was nice sharing cookies, cider and hot cocoa. Caroling is something I haven't done since I was in college at a small school in the southern mountains of West Virginia some 20 years ago.

The snow came Christmas Eve day. My daughter was able to make it to her pageant at the Christmas Eve service. My wife couldn't make even though she tried the slow traffic kept her from making it. I tried to it but my front wheel drive was not making it through the icy snow. My roads were not treated.

However,, my kids were able to have an awesome Christmas. Thanks mostly to my parents and my Uncle. My Christmas was humble. However, it is more for the kids and seeing them happy.

Now it is just another snowy, icy day. The house is quiet. My wife had to go to work and is spending the night at a friends so she doesn't have to venture out on the roads. My stepson is Iowa to see his dad, and my daughter is at the hotel with her grandparents.

Here I sit alone, typing the blog. The grey skies have darkened to black. The sleet has dwindled down to drizzle. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Just songs..

Just a few songs for the way I feel. Sometimes there is a lot of smoke and mirrors. There are things in my world not going the way I would like and then there are things in the world that aren't going well too. So, I thought I would share some songs. Perhaps a bit of musical therapy for me. I hope you enjoy.

This song I heard for the first time in the Wine Country of California. At the time a relationship had gone sour and I heard this on public radio. Northern California Public Radio sounded pretty cool back then. It kind of fits for the way I feel tonight. The situation is a little different but I could use a little Hope..

This song from Tom Petty grabbed me when I heard it. Again another good fit for tonight...

When in doubt always go with Bob Marley. His music always provides those positive vibrations...

Well just sharing a few tunes. Good night and I will be back with another post soon,,,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Keith Richard's Birthday

Okay, I blogged about his birthday last year so maybe this blog is finding consistancy. You can read last year's post here. The year before as well.However, it is Keith Richard a memer of perhaps the greatest rock band on the planet, a riff master, a songwriter, and sometimes a singer so maybe this will be an annual celebration.

Well let's post some videos and music I will try not to repeat from last year.

Here he is performong with Norah Jones,,Love Hurts

Here he is being interviewed by the great, late Hunter S. Thompson.

Here he is this year performing with The Rolling Stones at the O2 Happy

Here he is performing Something Else

Well I hope you enjoy! I hope Keith is able to keep going for many years to come...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Paul Rodgers

Getting back into the groove! Today is Paul Rodgers birthday he is 63, I thought he was older than that. I have been fortunate enough to see him a few times. Well let's start the party off with some Free...

Alright Now

The iconic vocalist was also in Bad Company

Can't Get Enough

He also teamed up with Jimmy Page in The Firm

Then he was in The Law...

He did some solo songs as well

Then he fronted Queen for a reunion

probably the way most ppeople want to celebrate..with his kids

I hope he enjoyed his birthday!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tears for the Children

Sad news for Children and their loved ones yesterday.Here in the United States  and in China.


22 children and one adult were injured as a man went on a stabbing spree in China. The children are believed to be between 6-11 years old. In 2010 approximately 20 students were killed and about 50 were injured in a series of stabbings at schools in China. Most attributed to the assailants being mentally ill. You can read more about the stabbings here.

China and the United States don't always agree politically. However, being a parent is a universal thing. No one wants their child to be hurt or killed. Parents are grieving in China over the attack.


In Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut 28 are dead. 20 of them were children, seven adult victims and the gunman. I can't fathom what the parents of the children are going through. I would imagine pain, grieve, and lots of other emotions. I know I would be devastated if this happened to my child. I feel for the families of the adults who were killed. I am sure many of them had spouses, lovers, maybe children of their owns. You can read more about the killings here but I am sure if you are you already know the story.


I remember way back when I was in high school and they started implementing security procedures. I know know it was more for the students and staff protection. However, from the perspective of a student it felt like oppression as the institution became more prison like. I suppose perspective changes from time to time. My daughters elementary school is locked up like Fort Knox and you need to be buzzed in. I have felt like it was a relatively small inconvenience. As is anything that slows us down in this rush rush world even though when I have gone to her school I really didn't have anywhere else to go. It is on the level of having to wait in line at a super market. You know ah, man okay I will wait a moment type thing. The one that really gets me is the high school when I am waiting for my son to get out of practice after school or during the summer when i have the little one. Parents know what I am talking about when all the doors are locked up and the little one starts complaining about needing to go potty!

Now I see why it is needed. Okay the gun man shot through the glass to get in. However, at least it slowed him down. Perhaps it has stopped other would be shooters, stabbers, or kidnappers. I hope so.The small inconvenience at the elementary school is a price I am willing to pay to have my child be safer. We didn't have all this when I was in school. It reflects on our ever changing world. Unfortunately our world evidently isn't changing in the right directions.

Child Victims in War Areas

I viewed a post about children dying in Pakistan due to my country's miltary drones. It stated no press talked about it. I heard about it earlier on NPR so yes some press choose to discuss it. My heart goes out to those children who died that way or any other way during war or terrorists activities. Those children could have grown up and been leaders of change, perhaps they would become the peacekeepers. Sadly we will never know. I support the people in the military. I question our leaders and hold them accountable as best I can when I vote. I live in country where I can speak out against what our country does and try to influence laws. I don't think it was the best time for that post on facebok, but really there is no best time for war and the innocents that die.

Gun Control

Guns in the right hands are good. They are tools that feed families where I live. I am talking about deer hunters. Around me the hunters also feed their neighbors and the hungry. Some folks enjoy the sport of tearing up paper targets and shooting clay discs. Some choose to use it for self defense or defend their homes. People claim it is the guns that kill, but more precise it is the bullet. However, it is the one who pulls the trigger that ismaking the choice to kill or injure. People are responsible for their actions. Sure they don't need 13 round magazines, hallowpoint ammunition, or exploding rounds, or armour piercing rounds but the right to have guns should be protected. It doesn't matter what I think. You may disagree and that is fine. Diversity is a wonderful thing in opinions and often delivers a better answer. I don't want to get to deep into that debate.

In the End

No matter what law, what reaction, whatever happens it can bring back the ones who died. It can't remove the scars the survivors both children and adults will carry. The community needs healing, comfort and love. We need to look back and see who we were and see how we have spun out if control in the wrong direction. It is millionaire athletes killing their child's mom, it is a gunman in Colorado opening fire in a movie theater, it is shootings in school. Call it mental illness, domestic violence, people just going crazy it doesn't excuse it. The problem continues. Wouldn't more love help? Wouldn't it help if people in the dog race paused and help ones behind them catch up. We have massive natural disasters, we have big economic troubles, we have holidays, we have family problems, and I am sure the list could go on. People are losing hope.

Well I guess there is a reason I call this Mike's Ramblings since this is certainly a ramble. However, it is a sad event. My heart breaks for the victims, my prayers and thoughts go out to those in Newtown, those in China, and yes those stuck in the terror of war or terrorism. They say children are our future. What happens when they die? Do we not lose a bit of our future? Perhaps they were the ones who would make it better, find peace, and make the world a better place. Sadly we will never know.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A One Man Christmas Carol

Chances are at a theater near you, someone is putting on a production of A Christmas Carol. Some of these productions are quite amazing. If you are close to the Washington, D.C.  area and you want to see it done totaly different mayu I recommend going to the Olney Theatre Center. Why you might ask? Well the talented Paul Morella is performing a one person version of the classic Holiday tale. You can read my review here.

Here is a little teaser...

Well there are lots of Holiday plays going on right now so find one you like and enjoy! I will be back with a new post soon.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holidays at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre

I admit I like It's A Wonderful Life after all it is a great story. However, watching the movie over and over again year afrter year gets a little stale. Well this year in Frederick, Maryland you can see It's A Wonderful Life: A Life Radio Play in a completely different way. They take us back to a time before television, back to a time where stories were told over radio airwaves. They did an awesome job with this production and you can read my review here.

They are also doing a production of A Christmas Carol ast the Weinberg Center this weekend. It is a bigger stage and a wonderful venue. It has become a Holiday tradition in Frederick. I reviewed the show last year and here is a link to my review.

And yes The Puss and Boots show is still going on a great performance for younfer audience and another play within a play. They are one busy theater right now with three productions going and all three are great!

Here is a comercial for the theatre highlighting their Holiday offerings...

Here is a promo for It's A Wonderful Life: A Life Radio Play

Well I hope you enjoy andd I will be back soon with a new post...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

R.I.P. Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar who many consider to be the best sitar player in the world died sat the age of 92. He is regarded as the person who introduced the sitar to the West. H was friends and an influence on George Harrison. He performed at the Monterrey Pop Festival, Woodstock and the Concert for Bangladesh. He influenced the world of rock and roll when they search for world music and the music of India.

To the current generation of music fans he may be best known as the father of Norah Jones. HE was a master of Indian classic music, an influence on the world music scene, and a father to two daughters who continue to make music.

I found a tribute to Ravi...

Here he is performing with his daughter Anoushka..

Here is an interview with Ravi and George Harrison

We are grateful Ravi lived a long live and for his musical legacy he left behind. We celebrate his life and talents. Thanks Ravi Shankar and R.I.P.

I will be back son with a new post...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Welcome to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2013

The breaking news of the day of who will be the new members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 kind of trumped what I was planning to blog about.

Lou Adler

Lou Adler made it as owner of the Roxy, a manager, a songwriter, basically a music insider responsible for a lot of the California Rock Scene having a hand in Monterrey to Carole King.

Here is an interview I dug up on him...

Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones made it as well. Trumpet player, arranger, musical director, had his own solo career, did music for movies and TV shows, and he produced numerous hit albums.

Here is a song from Quincy..


This Canadian Rock trio deserves to be the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.Songs like "The Spirit of the Radio" and "Tom Sawyer" have made the group staples of classic rock radio stations everywhere.

Here they perform "Fly by Night"


I know Ann and Nancy Wilson started in the 70s but they were everywhere in the 80s. Songs like "These Dreams," "Magic Man" bring up so many memories. "Barracuda" just rocks. They are having a great 2012 just performing this month at the Kennedy Center to honor Led Zeppelin, the girls have been on tour most of the year.

Here they are performing "Barracuda"

Rush and Heart definitely top the list of rock bands that made it.

Albert King

Deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame if nothing else for his influence. The blues man influenced the likes of Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Winter and Derek Trucks to name just a handful.

Randy Newman

It is hard to put him in a musical box his songs went from country, to film, to R&B, pop...
However it is hard to argue with a resume that has 6 GRAMMY Awards, 3 EMMY Awards and 2 Oscars.

Donna Summer

She was the Queen of Disco. 5 Grammy Awards and 6 American Music Awards help paved the way for her to be in the Hall of Fame. Sadly she passed away in May.

Public Enemy

Hip hop is represented as well. Public Enemy made it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band has won a Grammy and been nominated for several. They also have won a Soul Train Award. The band was political and influential.

The people, bands, and musicians above got it and I congratulate them. Yes, there are a few who haven't made it in that deserve it. At least in my opinion and we all have opinions so I know there are few who probably should be in. Maybe one day we will celebrate them. Today we celebrate these.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Football Post

Another week another death in the NFL. This time due to an alcohol related accident. Sad, a taxi ride or a designated driver could have saved a life.

Fantasy Football

Speaking of sad my streaky fantasy football team lost this week. So I missed the playoffs. I just needed a win or tie to advance. Oh well bring on the consolation round. How did you do in your league?

College Football

No recaps this week since there was only the Army Navy game on tap. Here is my final regular season rankings, Do you agree or disagree? So it has been two weeks without a college football recap. The Gators did not play. Georgia Tech lost to FSU so the Florida State cover person got the recap. I am a team player you can read their recap here.


Well the Jacksonville Jaguars dropped their last two. First the Buffalo Bills crushed them 34-18, you can read that recap here. Last week the Jaguars played the New York Jets close but lost 17-10. You can read that recap here.

Mixing it up this month a little football, to go with all the death notices, birthdays, and other stuff. I'll be back with a new post soon. Will have some theater ones coming up.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thank You and Upcoming Posts

Thank you for visiting my blog. Since April it has been averaging more than a thousnd visitors a month. I know I shamelessly promote my other writtings on here. I try to break it upo a bit and add other posts as well. I try to promote other writers on occasion and post things that come across my mind. I also will join different blogfests from time to time to add a bit of spice to my blog. However, I am glad my posts are finding an audience.

Here is a song I dedicate to my visitors:

Led Zeppelin's Thank You

Well I am in the process of writing another review. So, there will be a couple of blogs on recent plays I have seen coming up this week. Perhaps another sports related posts. Plus some surprises. Like always feel free to leave comments, let me know what you like, what you want more posts of, or just stop in and say high. Well, I just wanted to say thanks and I will be back with a new post soon.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Jim Morrison

Today is Jim Morrison's birthday. The poet, the front man, the singer for The Doors. He was called The Lizard King. One could call him a rebel. In the end he died before his time at 27. His musical legacy lives on. His influence, his myth and legend is also very much alive.

The Doors on the Ed Sullivan Song..the band was no stranger to controversy and were asked to change a word in this song...

Jim Morrison's take on the future of music..

Here the Doors perform on the Smother Brothers Comedy Hour

Celebrate the music! Happy Birthday Jim Morrison! I will be back with a new post soon...

Friday, December 7, 2012

R.I.P. Drummer Ed Cassidy

Ed Cassidy, the drummer for Spirit, passed away yesterday at the age of 89. He served in the Navy during WWII, He played in many jazz bands and a group with Ry Cooder and Taj Mahel before joining what would be come Spirit.

The band's biggest hit was "Got A Line on You"

Cassidy is the bald one. Below is a profile on the drummer.

In the late 60's Led Zeppelin toured with Spirit as an opening band. It has been said Spirit was influential to Zeppelin and Cassidy's drumming was of some influence on John Bonham.

Here is Spirit performing a song live in 1979,,,

Sad news but atleast he Dave Cassidy lived a long life and his music lives on.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

R.I.P. Dave Brubeck

Today Dave Brubeck, the great jazz pianist, would have turned 92 years old Unfortunately his heart stopped yesterday. He was a Kennedy Center Honoree, he had played the White House twice, he has been awarded the National Medal of Arts and a lifetime achievement GRAMMY Award.

Here is a link about his death from the USA Today. He lived a long live and left behind a legacy of jazz standards which will be performed by future jazz musicians. He also left behind his recorded career for jazz fans to listen and appreciate for years to come. In honor of his life I will share a few videos so we can appreciate his music.

I'll start with what some consider to be his Jazz Standards he composed such as "In Your Own Sweet Way"

"The Duke"

Probably his best known piece "Take Five"

In his own words he discusses "Take Five"

The jazz world lost a great one yesterday however Dave Brubeck leaves behind an impressive legacy. I will be back soon with a new post.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Greater than football

My weekly football postwon't happen this week. Yes I wrote about football and I will write plenty more about it this month. However, there are things greater than football. I know it is more than a game, the NFL is an industry, it is big money but still some things are greater.

A human life is more important. It is doubled when two lives are lost. A baby now without parents is more important. Kasandra Perkins did not deserve to die. I know relationships can be tough. Jovan Belcher killed her. He was obviously troubled. Then he killed himself. Now Zoey Belcher has no living parents. I don't offer any excuses, he was seeking help, unfortunatly he did not find the help he needed.

Here is video of the news..

This happened Saturday, the NFL and the team played the game on Sunday. If anyone cares the Cheifs won. However, Zoey lost her parents.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mid Week Blues

I write about the blues in the washington D.C. area and farther out as well. The area has been a blues Mecca recently with shows by B.B. King, Joe Bonamassa, Bobby "Blue" Bland ad more. This week is no exception Buddy Guy was honored at the Kennedy Center on Sunday. You can read my preview on that along with David Letterman, Led Zeppelin and more here.

However, the bllues continues with the great Robert Cray performing tonight at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia. You can read my preview article here. He has played with greats like John Lee Hooker and Eric Clapton. Here are some videos to help refresh your memory...

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark...

Here he is with Clapton...

Daryl Davis is opening...

The blues don't stop there. On Wednesday night Devon Allman performs at the State Theatre in Falls Church. You can read my preview here. He has great a sound I have seen him twice with Honeytribe once at the Wanee Festivsal and once at the Western Maryland Blues Fest. This will be a bit different since he will be promoting a solo album.

Here he does one of his Dad's songs...

Here he does one of his Honeytribe songs..

Check out the album teaser on the preview article for more fun. I'll be back soon with a new post.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Happy Birthday Ozzy

Today is Ozzy Osbourne's 64th birthday. So today the blog is climbing aboard a crazy train to celebrate..

We can't forget his Black Sabbath days...

He even did he is with Lita Ford...

well we will wrap it up with this song..

Happy Birthday Ozzy! A good way to rock out your Monday.  Thanks for stopping by I will have a new post up soon...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Saturday Concert

I must admit going to see great concerts is awesome. I get to do it alot as a reviewer. So it is a special treat when I get to a concert and I don't have to review it. No worries about the set list, jotting notes, or taking photos. I simply get to listen and enjoy my company and the music.

Saturday night I was fortunate enough to see a performance of the NAtinal Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. It is kinda filling in the gaps, since I have covered jazz, country, bluegrass, Christian, Burmese pop, rock and blues that I add a classical show. Unlless you count the California Guitar Trio, who have an excellent classical album out, it is not a frequent genre of mine.

It was cool. The musicians were talented. The sound terrefic. The company my wife so that is fantastic. It wasn't holiday musicwhich I will be hearing plenty of soon. So it was just a different night out full with great sounds.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

World AIDS Day

It is sad I didn't realize today was World AIDs Day until I read a post on FACEBOOK from HIV survivor and basketball great Magic Johnson. It is almost as if this disease was kind of forgotten about in my world. The majority of the folks I have blogged about in my blog have died from cancer. Cancer is the disease that has effected my family in recent years. It is like cancer has been the elephant in my room and AIDS has been covered up, hidden in a corner.

It shouldn't be hidden! It is not a disease which should be hidden or forgotten about. It is a dangerous disease which needs to be cured. In the main time people should take steps to protect themselves, test themselves, and help prevent the spread of AIDs. It is something that people shouldn't be made fun of for having, it is a medical condition, it is something that should be treated and folks with it should be strong and lifted up with love, prayers, and thought.

In my lifetime we lost a great singer and perhaps the greatest rock frontmen of all time in Freddie Mercury

I cover music, theater, sports and entertainment a world that has had its share of AIDs losses.

Magic Johnson is an example of someone living with HIV and making a difference...

And many have died in the the theater world. I was lucky enough to see Lonely Planet which dealt with the AIDs epidemic earlier this year. You can read that review here. Hopefully AIDs/HIV will be wiped out! One can hope.