Monday, March 31, 2014

A to Z Challenge: A is for Allman Brothers

The Allman Brothers Band have announced they are calling it quits after this year. I guess the road does not go on for ever for the band. Then again perhaps maybe forever has reached its end.

With Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks  announcing they were leaving the band, I can see why they would call it a career..

Above was a clip of Warren and Derek performing "Old Friend."  Okay, I'll put an Allman Brothers song or two in this blog. I'll start out with one of my favorites..

I wrote about the Allman Brothers on Yahoo Voices about them being one of my Top 10 Jam Bands which you can read here. They also made the cut as being one of Top 10 Southern Rock Bands which you can read here.

Did I get a chance to see The Allman Brothers Band live? Yes I was lucky enough to see them on back to back nights at The Wanee Festival in 2011..

My thoughts on the festival can be read here. I would recommend going this year if you want to see The Allman Brothers, info on Wanee can be found here.

Above is Whipping Post from last year's festival.The band is a classic and they will be missed. I am sure there might be a reunion or something down the road, maybe just to grab a peach or something!

Anyway I am back for the A to Z April Blogging Challenge and this is my first post. I hope you enjoy and come back and visit soon!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Eric Clapton's Birthday

Today was Eric Clapton's birthday, March 30. Like I needed an excuse to blog about a legendary guitarist.

Thought I would start the post off with a more current video. Don't worry it is all good an less likely to be a repeat video from one of my earlier blogs.

Here is an article I wrote nearly 4 years ago called "Ten of My Favorite Eric Clapton Songs" I am sure I could have wrote that article ten years ago or tomorrow and probably come up with a different top ten.

His catalog of songs offers so many choices, there is always one "Somewhere Over The Rainbow."

No doubt he has seen his share of tears. Perhaps it is the cost of riding with the king..

Perhaps it is part of his Rock and Roll Heart..

Well I hope he enjoyed his birthday and /i wish him many more!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Luisa Maita

Luisa Maita is a Brazilian singer, musician who is performing a sold out show at the Artisphere in Arlington, Virginia tomorrow or more properly tonight. The award winning artist has been called the New Voice of Brazil by NPR. I had the opportunity to speak with her and you can read my interview here.


I also plugged the show on the Examiner. The interview also marked my return to DC Metro Theater Arts. I might be a few hundred miles away but I'll be back with more stuff.Please check out the interview if you like her music there are a few more videos attached as well.

I will be back with a new blog soon as well.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Poetry

Thought I would search through some of my published poetry that I have done on the subject of Spring.

This one is a full open verse poem on Spring I hope you enjoy. Also on Yahoo Contributor Network here is a haiku called Sunshine's Warm Kiss. I even did a haiku about March Madness.

On Helium I published a poem called A Soft Spring Rain. I wrote this one about a year ago.Sometimes I experiment with styles here is a Tanka called Spring Wildflowers. Yet another free verse poem called Spring has Sprung. Here is a rather recent haiku I published called Groundhog's Early Spring. Haiku writing sames to be a place I find myself recently. I like how quick they can be created, how they often just role out onto the screen. 

I know I share a lot of my other articles, but I don't share my poetry as often. It is important to me since it is where I started as a writer. 

BP: Another Oil Spill

British Petroleum once had a great solar energy program. I once believed they cared about this planet. I know their offices in Frederick, Maryland closed a few years back. Those offices worked on the solar energy stuff. I am sure there are a few people working for BP who care about the environment and the planet.

However, I watch them say the gulf is fine and now four years after their disaster oil still finds its way to the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Probably Texas and Mexico too. I see them try to weasel out of doing more, for taking responsibility, and perhaps it is a disaster that can't be made right. It is business and BP wants more funds going to their profits than going to clean up projects. Most companies would do the same thing.

Our government sames to want to let them off the hook. I didn't like the way Bush handled Katrina and I don't like the way Obama handled the oil spill in the gulf. I want the gulf cleaned up at least as cleaned as it was before the spill. New Orleans appears to have healed from Katrina but I would like the levees improved to help the city survive the next Katrina. Maybe I have too many I wants.

I want to enjoy the salt life, the bayou life, the swamp life instead of making due in the crude life. Then if I think things might be getting better there is the news of another oil spill by BP. It is a smaller spill but it stings a bit knowing they haven't cleaned up their big spill.

As I teach my daughter how to fish the waters of the gulf, something I am learning as well, I wonder when she has children will she be able to teach them?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happy Birthday Aretha Franklin

Today is Aretha Franklin's 72nd birthday! So sit back and listen as we celebrate her big day.

"You Make Me Feel" kicking off our celebration for the Queen of Soul..

Here is her take on a Sam Cooke classic..

Does anyone remember the Merv Griffith show? Below is a flashback reminder...

Sometimes we got to say a little prayer..

and sometimes we need to think!


Sorry I had to throw in a movie clip from The Blues Brothers! She's 72 and I think we all know she deserves some Respect..

Hope you enjoyed! I'll be back with another post soon...

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bracket Busters Part 2

The second day of the second round featured more upsets! I don't count the play in round as a separate round. 

Stephen F. Austin upsetting VCU

  I love the irony here, Virginia Commonwealth has become a basketball power since being a Cinderella story. Will SFA become one?


Mercer shocks Duke

Big shocker but I have to say Coach K's visit after the game was very classy.

Tennessee taking down UMASS and Stanford dropping New Mexico I guess could be upsets as well.

First day of the third round...

Dayton upsets Syracuse

Dayton is having an impressive tournament eliminating Ohio State and Syracuse in back to back close games.

Connecticut Huskies eliminate The Villanova Wildcats

More will come...

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bracket Busters

The madness known as March Madness lived up to the name yesterday! Did your bracket survive day one?

North Dakota State shocks Oklahoma for their first ever tourney victory

The Bison march on to play San Diego State next.

Harvard stuns the Cincinnati Bearcats in another 12th seed upset of a five seed. 

Harvard will play Michigan State next.

Dayton Tops Ohio State..

Dayton plays Syracuse next.

Who will be shocked next? I don't mind the blemishes on my brackets because I love the upsets. It adds to the excitement and there is something about pulling for an underdog.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Walter Trout Needs A New Liver

Walter Trout is an incredible blues guitarist that rocks.I have been fortunate enough to see him several times at the Western Maryland Blues Fest. His musical resume includes working with John Lee Hooker. He was a member of Canned Heat and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.

Here is Walter with Coco Montoya, John Mayall and his Bluesbreaker...

Below Mr. Trout with Canned Heat...

Walter as a solo artist...

You can help Walter Trout. Here is a link for what you can do or share!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Billy Donovan, The Florida Gators and the making of a basketball school

Yes football is king in the SEC. The Florida Gators were a football school and probably will be one again (hopefully soon). This past season was a train wreck for the football team. However, the University of Florida has turned into a basketball school under Coach Billy Donovan. Coach Donovan has been building his legacy at Florida since 1996.

Today's blog was going to congratulate Florida for barely holding off the Kentucky Wildcats to win the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The Gators went 18-0 in the conference and hold a 32-2 record overall.

Reason Number One

Reason number one why Donovan should be considered a coaching legend at Florida is conference success. Before Billy Donovan took over as head coach for the Gators the team had won just one SEC regular season championships and zero SEC Tournament Championships. The Gators have won six regular season championships and four SEC Tournaments in the Billy Donovan era.

                                                                  Reason Number Two

For a long time 20 win seasons in college basketball have been a measure of success. The Gators have won at least 20 games for the last 16 seasons.

                                                            Reason Number Three

The Florida Gators had never won a men's basketball championship before hiring Coach Billy Donovan now they have two. Here are highlights from the first one..

And from the second one...

Reason Four

Probably the biggest measure of success in college basketball is getting into the big dance, the NCAA Tournament. It is probably more important than a 20-win season. The Gators have gone dancing 19 times and 14 of those times have been under Billy Donovan. Florida has gone to the Sweet 16 nine times in school history. Seven of those were teams coached by Mr. Donovan. Six of seven Florida teams to reach the Elite Eight have been Coached by Billy Donovan. Florida has reached the Final Four four times, three times lead by Billy Donovan.Coach Donovan has lead the Gators to the NCAA Finals for the only three times in school history and has won the schools only two National Championships.

Case closed!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Congrats to Lionel Messi

A sports blog today. I haven't dived into the wide world of sports lately so I am probably due for a sports blog. My blog today congratulates Lionel Messi on becoming Barcelona's leading scorer. He did it with grand style recording a hat trick. A fitting way to break a record that hasn't been passed since 1927.

In 2010 I wrote an article about Lionel Messi becoming Argentina's next Soccer Super Star which you can read here. Since hen he has become Barcelona's super star and perhaps soccer's biggest star. A true football star.

Here is CNN International's take on Messi's record breaking achieving. I echo their statement about Lionel Messi only being 26. I don't think it is scary unless your on an opposing team. I think it is an incredible stat for this footballer and the future of soccer. At 26 and if he stays healthy what more can he accomplish?

His past has been fantastic and his future looks to be magical! Congratulations on your milestone and I look forward to what Messi achieves in the future.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy Birthday Quincy Jones

Today Quincy Jones celebrates his 81st birthday. Today we celebrate his career and wish him a happy birthday. We started the music videos off with n appearance he had on the David Letterman Show.

Has anyone had a career in music entertainment as successful as Quincy Jones? I am sure some probably have made more money. However 79 Grammy Award nominations and 27 Grammy Award wins surely puts Quincy Jones near the top, if not at the top.

Above he is with Simply Red and Chaka Khan. One of the perks of having a great career is the chance to perform with so many other talented musicians crossing musical genres.

Hope you enjoy and I will be back

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Happy Birthday Bill Payne

Bill Payne is best known as a founder and keyboardist for the legendary band Little Feat and today is his birthday. Today's post will have a throwback Thursday feel to it as I revisit some memories, share some music and celebrate his birthday.

"Let it Roll"

The musical writing highlight of 2013 for me was getting the chance to interview Bill Payne. You can read my interview at DC Metro Theater Arts. Also four videos of music were added to the article by editor for your listening and viewing pleasure!

Below is a video from his solo tour with Gabe Ford performing "Gringo"

Here is my review of Bill Payne's tour stop at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia.
Below he performs with The Hooligans, a band whose latest release Bill produced..
We will end this post with some classic Little Feat...


Glenn Ford 30 years lost

Glenn Ford was released from prison after serving 30 years for a murder he did not commit. Ford is 64 so 30 years is nearly half his life. He can't get those 30 years back. I suppose it is better than alternative since he was on death row.

Two big flaws in Louisiana's system come to mind. The first one is how can you have an innocent man serve 30 years without finding out he is not guilty? The second would be the efficiency of death row and capital punishment. If you are going to have inmates waiting on death row for 30 years you might as well just give them life is prison.

I'm glad Glen Ford is free if he did not commit the crime. I feel for him losing 30 years of his life. I feel for Isadore Rozeman's family. Rozeman was the victim of the crime. The family may have felt closure with Ford serving time for the crime. Now the question is who really murdered Isadore? Just like Ford can't regain the 30 years he lost, we can't bring Rozeman back from the dead, and somehow justice was not found.

Was race an issue? It could be. He had an all white jury. A jury also flawed with supposed inexperience. It wasn't exactly a jury of his peers. In an ideal world justice should be color blind. It is a case with a bunch of flaws and a case were justice was lost.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


I like most people have my issues, my problems, my worries and the such. Most people have their own. Don't think you do ask your spouse or significant other. If you truly don't then you are very fortunate.

My addictions usually involve food or soda. I have battled with soda for a while. My addiction costs me probably a bit on my waistline and isn't that healthy. I have a couple of older friends who are in the mist of giving up cigarettes. Apparently that is a hard habit to break. Smokes, sodas, and the such are mild me how addictions. Something that we think about what we are giving up for lent. What about more powerful addictions?

I'm writing this because  a guy I know was living the dream life. He is a musician, a guitarist who is darn good. He is working on a super project with some bigger named folks, he has a beautiful family. Wife, kids, home in the burbs. Life you would think would be grand for them. Except his addiction, which is alcohol, showed up. He made a post on social media which I guess was disturbing.

I applaud him for telling what was going on, how he felt about it, and how far down he was at that point. Most people don't post like that due to the fear of what people are going to say. Which people do choose to judge, and employers spy on what is said, and everyone wants to appear conformed to the Joneses so to speak.

I worried about him. We are cyber space friends and I do admire his talents. I was touched by how many friends wrote supportive messages. That was nice to see. Compassion is lacking a lot in the cyber world unless you are a hurt cute animal or something.

The important thing is it opened my eyes to the world of addiction. It showed me how it could change what appears to be something normal. Showed me how it effects a family. Showed me how much I don't understand addictions. It made the problem of addiction real to me. How do we stop addictions? I don't have the answers. The situation showed me how little I really know about addiction.

Friday, March 7, 2014

This is Spinal Tap..30 years ago

This is Spinal Tap was released in 1984 this week. It was a mockumentary, a fictitious look at hard rock/metal band. Did it just poke fun at rock documentaries of the time? Was I poking fun at rock bands of that era? Was the movie spot on?

Here is a trailer..

Here is a clip...

Really it wouldn't be my blog without a music video if the blog is about a music subject...

A little Friday humor as we look back at a fun, cult film. I hope you enjoy and if you see any bands this weekend remember it could be Spinal Tap!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Irritations in a forest at midnight" my latest Flash Fiction

I suppose my creative juices have been stirred lately as I have been writing a bunch of haikus and senyru. However, my poetry is a post for another day. Poetry is where my poetry began and I do return to it from time to time.

As my juices were stirred I wrote another piece of flash fiction called "Irritations in a forest at midnight." You can read it here if you like. I think the topic was easier to write about then my previous attempts at flash fiction. A forest at midnight kind of worked with my imagination.

I wonder what I'll write about next. Whatever it is I will probably blog about it here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fat Tuesday: Carnival

Yes it is that time of year Fat Tuesday, Mardis Gras, Carnival are just an excuse for a party. Above is a taste of Fat Tuesday from last year.

Here is a little theme music, Tommy Malone with a song called Fat Tuesday...

It is a time od indulgence before Ash Wednesday and Lent. Mardi Gras is celebrate in a lot of places one of the more famous is the Carnival in Rio. Below is a taste of their parade..

Here is a classic song to get you in the Mardi Gras spirit Professor Longhair...

Here is some video from the carnival in Trinidad in 2011...

If you are going to Mardi Gras be safe, have fun, catch some beads and enjoy!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Thoughts on the Oscars

The Oscars just brought it to my attention that I did not go to the movies very often in 2013. The only Oscar Award winning film I watched in 2013 was Frozen. I went with my girls and the film did win two, Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original song.

Dallas Buyer's Club, 12 Years a Slave, The Great Gatsby and Gravity were big winners too. I guess I will wait and catch them on Netflix. Besides the Oscar winners what were the best movies of 2013? Any movies get the Oscar snub?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Happy Birthday Jon Bon Jovi

Today is Jon Bon Jovi's 52nd birthday. If you are around my age you were listening to his band Bon Jovi when you were a teen. He is a likeable guy. Successful rock star. (okay he was pop, but back then some pop rocked) He owns an arena ball football team. He likes music and sports. Sounds like enough to celebrate his birthday on my blog.

He gets bonus points for working with Jeff Beck..

Here is one of the songs from my teenage years..

In recent times with the Boss, Bruce Springsteen

Happy Birthday you have many years to go...