Sunday, April 23, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Tar Heels NCAA Basketball Champions

I blog about sports from time to time on my blog. I try to do this after someone wins a National Championship. Well with today's letter starting with T it is time to give the University of North Carolina Tar Heels their due for winning the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.

Here are some highlights from the game..

Gonzaga deserves kudos as well. They had a great season, an awesome tournament, and came close to being /champions.

Here is how North Carolina was able to get to the finals.

The Tar Heels crushed Texas Southern 103-64

Then they beat Arkansas...

Next they pulled away from Butler...

The Tar Heels edged past Kentucky to reach the Final Four...

UNC nipped Oregon to reach the Finals..

The NCAA Tournament is a lot of fun for basketball fans. Congratulations to the Tar Heels for winning the Championship. Who will win it in 2018?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Snakes

I live in Florida so snakes are common. You can run into snakes almost anywhere. This snake decided to join us in the Church yard for Easter..

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It was a non-venomous snake. The snake was treated properly, everyone was able to get a good look and then everyone left the snake alone.

My daughter last held a snake about two years ago. This Spring she was able to hold a few more at our trip to Alligator Alley.

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They even let me hold the snake...

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This snake was a tickler...

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Notice the smiles on her face. My daughter has been able to hold alligators, birds, kangaroos, monkeys, snakes, and even fed a baby tiger. I've been lucky enough to fill her life with adventures and still hope to add a few more adventures into her life.

My wife is not a fan of snakes. Two years ago, I had someone comment that wrapping a big snake around a  young child wasn't a good idea, that the snake was stronger than I thought and could squeeze at anytime. Yes there is some risk to it. Even if a smaller snake decided to bite it would upset my daughter, which would surely earn me an earful from my lovely wife and her Irish temper. So yes there is risk. However, look at the smiles!

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I win she is happy, she is learning to respect snakes (and other animals), she is making memories and having adventures. As for me I'm spending quality time with my daughter.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A to Z Change: Robert Smith's Birthday

It is R day on the challenge. R is for Robert, like Robert Smith of The Cure who turns 57.

R day lands on a Friday so this song is a perfect way to start our birthday celebration..

It's "Just Like Heaven"...

"Pictures of You"...

"Close to me"...

That should be a good way to spend your Friday with some great hits from the 80s and 90s.

Happy Birthday Robert Smith!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A to Z: Queen Quiz

It is a good think  I'm not in school anymore this might have been my answer...

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If you were the teacher would you mark it wrong?
Would you give credit for creativity or heck even knowing who Queen is?

I stumbled on this in facebook so I don't know how if this was a real quiz.

Ever answer a quiz with an answer like that?

The student is a Champion..

It's a miracle...

Stay tuned for the next A to Z post coming tomorrow....

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A to Z: Prefer the paperback

I wonder if there are any paperback writers left. The Beatles probably thought there song was timeless.

We live in a digital age, books on PCs, Kindles and even Smart Phones. I most be old fashioned, out of date, perhaps even out of place.

Give me the old dog eared covered, yellowed page, paperback novel that even smells aged. Watch the dust when you open it!

Ah, the old adventures you will find where the typed words meet your imagination. The magic of the story within the vintage paperback.

Just remember the batteries never die in the old paperback.

What kind of books do you enjoy?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Orioles, Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore the city where I watch my first Major League Baseball game. I came to the area at the right time for some great talent.

The place I saw my first game and several more through the years...

Eddie Murray provided many memories..

Of course there was Cal Ripken Jr..

Here are some highlights from 2000-2015...

Do you like baseball? Where did you see your first Major League Baseball game?

Monday, April 17, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Night or Day?

Starting off the second half of the A to Z Challenge. I'm keeping my post simple and short.

My title Night or Day satisfies for the letter N.

When do you write more Night or Day? I write more at night. I am more nocturnal by nature. Most days I am working so it is hard to write in the morning. Night time after the kids are sleeping and the wife is doing her thing provides a better opportunity. Unless I am not working that day then it could be night or day.

Neat fact, this is the first challenge in about three years where I am working a day shift. It hasn't been a big difference since I have been working so much lately it has been day and night shift.

What has been working for me during the challenge is writing the post at night, saving it and then publishing it during the day. What works best for you, or do you just publish it when you finish writing it?

When do you read other blogs? I tend to do both night and day. Smart phones help since I can scan a blog during a break or lunch at work.

See a quick post on blogging. I wish you the best on the second half of the challenge and tune in tomorrow for an O post.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Half Way Through the A to Z Challenge

Half way through the A to Z Challenge. How is it going for you? I've been good at keeping up with the writing part pretty well. I'm behind on my pageview/comments for visiting other blogs. However, I am not that far behind on it.

There have been a lot of changes this year to the A to Z Challenge. I completely understand the changes. However, what do you think about them? Like most things there are some pros and cons.

I've been using the facebook list for the days to find interesting blogs to visit. When I have time. I have posted a few posts in there. Again it has been when I have time, which has been at a premium this month.

Anyway if you are a usual reader of my blog, or a newcomer who has read a few of my posts do you have any recommendations for blogs for me to visit? Don't recommend your own, I will visit your site just for commenting, but play it forward. Whose blog do I need to see?

Well it is about time to start the second half. Are you ready?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A to Z: Maybellene Battle of the Bands

Today's A to Z letter is M which fits nicely for music! Speaking of music it is time for the Battles of the Band! 

It is a simple game to play. I pick a song and then I pick to covers. You tell me which one you like the best. I count them up and tell you the results in another post. The post will be on Sunday, April 24. If you like the game check out the other players here.

Chuck Berry recently passed away so it is fitting he would show up in a Battle of the Bands. Besides being one of the first rock songs "Maybellene" the song also starts with a M fitting in perfectly with the A to Z theme.

Here is Chuck's version. It is for your reference and entertainment. Please don't vote for it.

Vote for one of the contenders below!

Contender One: Marty Robbins

The co-founder of the Battle of the Bands had  a battle not to long ago featuring Marty Robbins against Marty Robbins. I'm not going to do that with this battle, but chalk up another M to this post.

Contender Two: Gene Vincent

Which one gets your vote? Marty of Gene? Please vote in the comments. Pretty good music post featuring three legendary artists. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

A to Z: Lizard Adventures

So last year I posted a video about lizards that chill. Staying on that theme I thought I would share some lizard adventures.

This lizard wanted to fish..

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This one made friends with my daughter..

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At least we don't have lizards like this..

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Wonder what M will bring?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A to Z: Kevin Eubanks beyond the Tonight Show

Kevin Eubanks became know to many as the bandleader, guitarist, for The Tonight Show during the Jay Leno years. Seeing him play in that band and with guests one was able to get a small glimpse of his talent.

He has recorded with a who's who list of jazz giants including Stanley Jordan, Art Blakey, and Jean Luc-Ponty to highlight a few.

Let's jump into the music..

"Morning Sun" with Stanley Jordan...

Here he is with Art Blakey, Wynton and Bradford Marsalis...

A new piece from hi just released this month "Time Line"...

What are some of your favorite Kevin Eubanks moments from the Tonight Show? Did you know about his music outside of the show?

Thanks for visiting and I will have a new post up soon as the A to Z Challenge rolls on!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A to Z: J. Geils may you R.I.P

John Warren Geils better known as J. Geils  the guitarist/songwriter for the J. Geils Band has passed away at the age of 71.

The song was probably no the most appropriate song for a 11-year old to like, however "Centerfold" became one of my earliest favorite rock songs.

Another favorite from them is "Love Stinks"

"Most of Got Lost" was one of their early big hits..

Here issome blues from his band Bluestime...

A talented musicians who leaves behind a string of hits and passionate covers. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A to Z: Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop the rock and roll Hall of Fame musician who influenced Punk music. Nice simple, rocking post for I on the A to Z.

Come along for the ride.."The Passanger"

Let's add in Kate Pierson for "Candy"

He was a "Wild One" here he is on Letterman..

Does he make a good pet.."I wanna be your Dog"

"Search and Destroy"...

Well I hope that rocks up your Tuesday. I'll be back soon with a J-post!

Monday, April 10, 2017

A to Z: Hemingway

Hemingway is my favorite classic author. I thought I had read all of his works but while checking things out I discovered there are a few I have missed. I hope they are good.

My two favorite Earnest Hemingway books are similar yet different. My favorite is "The Old Man and the Sea."


My second  favorite...

"Islands in the Stream" is more of deep track pick, However, it is more of that Tropical Adventure that I am drawn to like Benchley, Bob Morris and others.

Again doing this blog I found there is a movie version of the book, is it any good?

Not only has Hemingway influence authors I like he has influenced artists like Guy Harvey..

What is your favorite Earnest Hemingway book?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Battle of the Bands Results: The Winner is me!

The results of my Battle of the Bands battle for April 1 are in and the winner is me! No my readers didn't vote me in as the winner as an April Fools prank. Trust me my version of "Amazing Grace" would sound more like fingers scratching down a chalk board than Charlotte Church or Celtic Woman.

No, I say I won because I had a new voter. Thanks Jz! I also say I won because the results came in as a tie. Sure, I could vote but I don't. My readers determine the results not me. I also win because I get to celebrate both groups.

so lets start . . .

Charlotte Church "Dream a Dream"

Celtic Woman "The Call"

Keeping it short on the celebration since there is a lot of blogging to do. Join me on the 15th for another Battle of the bands. Will it be a tie, shutout, close, or a blowout? Come vote and help to decide.

I will be back tomorrow with another A to Z post!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

A to Z: Gators

Near the end of last month my daughter had her Spring Break. I knew she hadn't had a big Spring Break but I had a day off during the week to make her Spring Break special. A day that would feature, Gators big ole Alligators!

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She is always happy to hold a baby..

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My advice on handling alligators: It is better to hold an alligator, than to have a Gator hold you!

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The alligator  pictures came from Alligator Alley in Alabama. If you are in Southern Alabama check them out. There site is here. More A to Z on Monday!

Friday, April 7, 2017

A to Z Challenge 2017: Fishing

It is a repeat topic from last year but hey it is what I do. Working out time to go fishing is the biggest challenge. Don't worry I will get my fish time in sometime. Squeezed in with other great adventures.

Even squeezed in a fishing trip this week. This was my view earlier this week..

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I did catch an interesting fish...

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It's called a Trigger Fish. The bite was slow and the fishing was disappointing. That happens.

So is a bad day fishing better than a good day at work? Sometimes. Even in rough seas, there is something relaxing about being on a boat. I did get to see a ton of dolphins. You don't get to do that in your cubicle. You have to realize there is more to fishing then catching fish. I've been lucky to see sea turtles and other cool things.

I did get a day to me. Still got back in time to pick up my daughter and go on a dinner date.

I did better at the catfish farm last month..

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Kind of cheating. But the sure thing of catching is good sometimes.

My boat trip squeezed between two stormy days may not of helped my efforts. However, looking at my calendar I had to go when I could make it work.

Stay tuned to my blog after the A to Z challenge, because I have been known to post a fishing post or two on here,

Thursday, April 6, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Eddie Murphy

I came of age in the 80s and 90s which coincided with the peak of Eddie Murphy's career. Needless to say he was popular with me and my peer group. Some of his work was well received earning great awards and some earned him Raspberry Awards.

He was among the entertainers who helped make Saturday Night Live so fun to watch.

Some forget he was stand-up comedian, here is his first appearance on Johnny Carson's show...

Of course there were the movies! "Coming to America"

A clip from "Beverly Hills Cop"

How about Eddie as a donkey..

What roles did you like Eddie Murphy as? Do you have a favorite movie he was in? Feel free to share in the comments.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A to Z Challenge: D is to Dumpstaphunk

A great thing about the A to Z Challenge is that is gives you a chance to write about some of your favorite things. Yesterday I wrote about one of my favorite musicals and today I am going to post about one of my favorite bands of this millennium.

Today's post is about Dumpstaphunk, a funk rock band out of New Orleans. You may not of herd about them, which is fine I certainly will introduce the to you. The band features two generations of one of the best known musical families from New Orleans the Neville family. The band was founded by Aaron Neville's son Ivan Neville who has played with Neville Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, and more. Ivan has his cousin Ian playing guitar with Dumpstaphunk.

Sometimes you just have to "Put it in the Dumpsta"..

Here the are the first time I saw them performing James Brown's "Camel Walk"..

Let's "Turn This Thing Around"...

Here is some fresh Funk, featuring the talented Trombone Shorty

Hope you enjoyed my funky little post and stayed tuned for an exciting E post coming soon!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Chicago the Musical

Today, I'm switching over to musical theater. At one time I did write about theater for this site. Why am I picking Chicago besides the fact it starts with a C? It was the first National Touring musical that I ever went to see back in 2002. I won tickets from a fabulous record store (remember them?).

What's not to like the musical has catchy songs, an easy to follow plot, eye candy, and "All That Jazz". We caught the show at The Lyric, a beautiful venue in Baltimore, Maryland.

It was back on mind since, I just watched another touring version of the show in February in Pensacola.

Chicago - The Musical Poster

That tour is playing sat The Kennedy Center now through  April 16, with Grammy Award winning singer Brandy Norwood portraying Roxie.

 I notice there were some small differences since the last time I witness the performance, which was nice. Seeing the show before, watching the movie version you do get used to the show.

This is just a quick post on /c and /i will be back with a D post soon.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

A to Z Challenge: B is for Lonnie Brooks

Today's letter for the A to Z Challenge is B. My post fits the letter in two ways. One Lonnie's last name starts with a B and this is about the Blues. Lonnie Brooks was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2010. Sadly he passed away on  April 1.

I actually was able to see Lonnie Brooks perform 15 years ago at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Form. He performed in the Blues Tent which was a very intimate setting to experience an artist perform.

Lonnie passed way at 83 and had started his career in the 1950s. Two of his early singles where recorded by The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Here is The Fabulous Thunderbirds cvering Brooks' "The Crawl"

Here is Lonnie with "Voodoo Daddy"

Here he is live...

The Blues world lost a great one. He will be missed and I hope he can Rest in Peace. His family legacy lives on with his sons Ronnie Baker Brooks and Wayne Baker Brooks.

Friday, March 31, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Amazing Grace Battle of the Bands

Welcome to my blog. This is my first entry for The 2017 A to Z Challenge. April 1st is also a day I normally would post my Battle of the Bands post. Today I am fusing them all into one post.

This time around the song I am going to use is "Amazing Grace." Usually for my Battles of the Bands post I would insert a version of the original song or a well known version for a reference point. I am going to forego that on this post since the tune is one of the most recognizable hymns in the Christian faith.

How it works: I post two versions of the songs. You listen to the songs and let me know which one you thought was the best in the comments. I count up the votes and announce a winner at a later day which will be Sunday, April 9. Adjusting the result the day due to the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

2017 Participation Badge!

Contestant One: Celtic Woman

Contestant Two: Charlotte Church

If you are interesting in visiting other Battles or interested in the Battle of the Bands please visit this site for the complete list and more information.

Please vote in the comments. I'll be back with the results on the 9th. I will have my A to Z Challenge post on Monday, April 3.

The Eve of A to Z

2017 Participation Badge!

It's the eve of the A to Z blogging challenge. If my math is correct this will be my seventh A to Z Challenge in a row. So my seventh time around, winging off A to Z challenge posts on the whims of my imagination. I don't pre-write, don't plan out the month I just write the posts.  The pre-writing and the planning might be sage advice. However, I do the challenge like I do my blog. What you see is what you get.

If your new, welcome! If your an old reader welcome back! It is going to be a challenge. My life has been busy. I haven't been blogging everyday and now I am going to have to shift gears. The beauty of the challenge is that some how it all works.  

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Happy Birthday Eric Clapton!

Happy Birthday Eric Clapton! The guitar legend turns 72 today!

Kicking off the Celebration from the last time I saw Slowhand..

Me and Eric have a Rock N' Roll Heart...

A little Cream...

He used to be a Yardbird..

He's been Wonderful on many nights..

I'll be back  soon with a new post!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Battle of the Bands results, life and upcoming events

Beth Cassidy won my Battle of the Bands Battle 5 to 1. I'll have a new Battle April 1st which more than likely will be connected with the A to Z Challenge.

I plan to do the A to Z Challenge this year, which is fun and challenging. The biggest challenge will be time for me.

Life has gone onto a crazy circle full of changes. I have a new boss at work and work has been busy with a lot of overtime. That has put my "free time" at a premium which I have chose to try to turn into valuable family time.

Anyway I plan to finish out the month, hopefully have a post or two before March ends. Then I will see what April brings.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

R.I.P Chuck Berry

Fitting I open my post with "Rock N' Roll" music as I write about te death of Chuck Berry.  Chuck Berry was a pioneer, perhaps one of the Fathers of Rock N' Roll. Sadden as a fan of his passing but 90 years is a long life for Rock N' Roll. The female singer was Etta James a legend in her own right.

Here is a vintage clip of "Johnny B. Goode"...

Here he is again with Keith Richards performing his classic "Nadine"...

"You Never Can Tell"


I could go on with classic song after classic song. What was your favorite Chuck Berry song? Did you see him in concert? Any favorite memories? He is a legend who will be missed.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Battle of the Bands: Box of Rain

Time to get Grateful on the Battle of the Bands. Today is Phil Lesh's 77th birthday. Phil was the bass player for the Grateful Dead. I'm also going to see Grateful Dead alum Bob Weir next month so it all kinda fits.

The Song: Box of Rain

Box of Rain was written by Phil Lesh and contestant one...

Contestant One: Robert Hunter

Contestant Two: Beth Cassidy

Who gets your vote? Robert or Beth? The lyricist or the singer?  Vote for the one you like the best.  I will count up the votes and provide the results around the 21st. Vote in the comments and we will have a winner soon! If you liked this Battle please check out the other Battle links here. That site has the most up to date list.

Well I hope you enjoyed the Battle and come back and visit soon!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Battle of the Bands: Carlos Nunez Wins

In my return to the classical piece performed by a classical artist with a twist versus the Rock Star Battle of the Bands the classical artist won. I was happy it wasn't another Shut Out like my last Battle of the Bands.

The Battle of the Bands started out even through the first four votes. However, Carlos Nunez pulled away for a 6 to 2 victory.

How about some more from our winner Carlos Nunez?

Here he is with The Chieftains...

Something for St. Patrick's...

Something Celtic...

Now I have eight days to think of new Battle! Any suggestions? Well see you soon with a new post!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Battle of the Bands:Ravel's Bolero: Bagpipes versus Guitars

In the Madness of March I want to revisit a theme of a classical piece covered in a different genre or setting if you will. My first Battle of the Bands of this year used Chopin this time it is Ravel. The madness part, think Bagpipes versus crazy classic rockers.

The piece for reference...

Contender One: Carlos Nunez

Contender Two: Jeff Beck

Who gets your vote? Carlos or Jeff? Bagpipes or Guitars? Both covers are certainly creative.  Vote for the one you like the best.  I will count up the votes and provide the results around the 7th. Vote in the comments and we will have a winner soon! If you liked this Battle please check out the other Battle links here. That site has the most up to date list.

Well I hope you enjoyed the Battle and come back and visit soon!

Monday, February 27, 2017

My 5 Favorite Black Guitarists

Back in August I did a list of my favorite five guitarists. You can read that post here. I'm sure I could exchange a few names on that list at anytime depending on my musical taste at the time. Since, it is Black History Month I thought it would be fun to list my 5 favorite Black guitarists. Some of them were on my 5 favorite guitarist list.

Here it goes...

1) Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix was at the top of my other list two.

2) Buddy Guy

Buddy Guy is incredible he was number three on my other list but he moves up to number two on this list.

3) Prince

He is one of the guys I can't believe I left out of my first list. He could be the very best at guitar when he wanted to be, but he was such an artist and musician that he didn't always stick with the guitar.

4) Hubert Sumlin

He was a sideman, the guitarist for Waters and the Wolf.

5) Wes Montgomery

Ending the list is so hard. Should I include one of the King's? Albert Collins? Maybe Slash? The influential Chuck Berry? Oh well I went with jazz

Who would you have added into the list? Well I will see you soon with a new ost

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Battle of the Bands Results: A Shutout

 My first shutout of 2017. I thought D'Angelo did a great job with the song. The comments didn't indicate he was bad. However he wasn't a big name and he was pitted against two well known artist.
Huey Lewis and Gwyneth  Paltrow ran away with it. But I am still happy with how the month went for BOTBs for me. I wanted to spotlight genres for Black History Month and show how the music has influenced other artists. I think I accomplished that and I did it with two of my favorite genres so that was a plus.

Celebrating the winners is what we do so sit back and enjoy the music!

Here is Gwyneth with Tim McGraw..

Here she is with "Coming Home" from the movie Country Strong...

Here is HueyLewis "Workin' for a Livin'"...

and the "Heart of Rock N' Roll"..

I'll be back on the 1st with a brand new Battle so stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Happy Birthday Nina Simone!

I've had a bit of a Black History Month theme going on my blog this month. Some of it planned and somethings were added due to life events.

Today is Nina Simone's birthday and she is an artist who certainly deserves to be celebrated during Black History Month.

Starting the music with this civil rights era tune..

She is probably best known for this song..

Nina Simone was awarded a lifetime Grammy Award and was nominated for several other Grammys

Ain't Got No..

What's your favorite Nina Simone song? Feel free to share in the comments. Thanks for visiting I will have a new post soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

R.I.P Clyde Stubblefield

It is great to pay tribute to Black Artists during Black History month. I just wish they weren't dying. Another important musician, Clyde Stubblefield passed away during the weekend. He is best known for his work with James Brown.

James Brown "Funky Drummer"

The beat from the above song is the most sampled segment in the World and Stubblefield is considered one of the greatest drummers.Here he is with "Funk Thing"

Back with James Brown "Ain't it Funky Now"

He will be missed but his music will live on!

Happy Birthday Smokey Robinson!

Today is Smokey Robinson's 76th birthday! I celebrated his 75th birthday last year with this post.  I am also featuring one of his songs in my current Battle of the Bands post. There is still time to vote if you like!

Five years ago, I had the honor of reviewing his performance at the Kennedy Center. It was for a charity event and Robinson still gave a full show. You can read my review here.

Enough about what I've posted, you know my celebrations are all about the music.

Here he is with the Miracles, "You Really Got a Hold of Me"

Elliptical Man posted last year his favorite song from Smokey was "Just to See Her"

I do requests and mentions so feel free to share your Smokey Robinson memories, favorite songs and such in the comments. Here is "Baby Come Close"

Hope you enjoy and I will be back soon!

Friday, February 17, 2017

R.I.P Walter Morrison

The music world lost another one. Walter "Junie" Morrison has passed away,  He was a member of the Ohio Players and later joined P-Funk, Parliament-Funkadelic. Morrison also released seven solo albums.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Parliament-Funkadelic. 

Here is "Friends" from his last solo album in 2004..

"Tightrope" from his first solo album..

Here he is singing lead for the Ohio Players...

Here is some P-Funk...

May he rest in peace!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Battle of the Bands: Cruisin' into Black History Month

February is cruising along. February is Black History month and I am using it for a theme for my Battle of the Bands. I started with the blues and this time I am going to another musical place called Motown.

Smokey Robinson is a legendary singer and songwriter. He was is one of the greatest artist from the Motown era and he has a birthday fast approaching. Obviously he is a great choice to pick a song from since he has a large catalog of songs and he has been covered by many musicians.

The Song: Cruisin'

Smokey Robinson isn't in this competition so please don't vote for him. 

Contender One: D'Angelo

Contender Two: Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis

Who gets your vote? I think they are both great covers. One has two big names, so we have a little bit of a Samson and Goliath thing going on. Names don't matter. Hopefully it is all about the music and who you vote for, I just count them up and provide the results sometime after the 21st. Vote in the comments and we will have a winner soon! Please check out the other Battle links here. That site has the most up to date list.

Well I hope you enjoyed the Battle and come back and visit soon!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Absalom Jones

Absalom Jones died on this date in 1818. This date being February 13th. An important figure in black History for his abolitionist activity. Jones was also the first African American ordained priest in the Episcopal Church of the United States. 

Connections are easy to find when celebrating musicians, sports figures, and actors. As fans they become part of your life. But what do I have in common with Absalom Jones?

I'm Episcopalian and he is part of my church's history. He is listed among the Saints and is even included in our Book of Common Prayers. 

If you belong to a denomination, who was your first Black clergy member?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

R.I.P Al Jarreau

Seven time Grammy Award singer Al Jarreau passed away today. His music crossed the genres of R&B, jazz, and soul. If you were a television fan in the 80's you might remember him for the Moonlighting title track...

He won his first GRAMMY Award for this song.."Look to the Rainbow"

He won his last GRAMMY Award by himself for this song..."Heaven and Earth"

He would win another one for a song featuring Jill Scott and George Benson as well. What is your favorite Al Jarreau song? Do you have any Al Jarreau memories? If you do feel free to share in the comments. We will miss Al Jarreau's vocals but we are thankful for his recordings.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Battle of the Bands: The Doors win but results closer then you think!

The Doors were the bigger name and the clear favorite to win my Battle of the Bands. Sometimes these Battles look like they are going to be blowouts before I even push publish. Sometimes battles I think will be close end up being shutouts.

Stephen thought the results of my Battle of the Bands would be "a slam-dunk for THE DOORS!."  Battles The Battle ended up being a 4 to 3 nail biter with Quicksilver Messenger Service hanging tough.

"Celebration of the Lizard" (very long)

But I celebrate winners on BOTB result posts. It's "Love Street"

Bringing it back to my Black History Month Theme..The Doors with the great John Lee Hooker..

I think the real winner is Howlin' Wolf ...

Stay tuned for my next Battle on the 15th....

Monday, February 6, 2017

Happy Birthday Bob Marley!

Last year I celebrated Bob Marley's birthday with a love theme. You can revisit that post here.  Today, I am looking for the theme to go more with Black History Month. Perhaps to give me the opportunity to dig deeper into his musical catalog.

"Babylon System"

"Buffalo Soldier"

"Redemption Song"

I hope you enjoy and I will be back soon with a new post!

What a Super Bowl

What a Super Bowl! The Atlanta Falcons played very aggressive and for a while were dominating the game. Lady Gaga performed a solid halftime show. The New England Patriots rallied back and won the game in overtime! What looked like it could be a blowout turned into quite an exiting game.

Enjoy some highlights..

The Halftime show..

Was the game what you expected? Did you enjoy the Halftime shoes? What was your favorite commercial?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Battle of the Bands: Black History, Blues and Rock

Today is February and it is Black History month. I will celebrate by incorporating it into my theme. Imagine today's music without the  black contribution, imagine the music of the last century without the black contribution. The truth is we pay tribute to black musicians without even realizing it every month when we do these Battle of the Bands. Black culture and black musicians have created some outstanding music, creative musical genres, and have influence musicians of many races.

I will start with the Blues. I got into the Blues by travelling the musical influence of my Rock and Roll music. I was a huge Led Zeppelin fan (still am), Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton. The roots of this music was easy to find and follow.

I'm going to pick a song written by Willie Dixon and performed by Howlin' Wolf. I love Dixon's songs and could (and have) listened to Howlin' Wolf sing the blues for hours. Wolf died in 1976 so I didn't get to see him perform, but I did get a chance to see and meet his guitarist Hubert Sumlin which was a thrill.  The song is "Backdoor Man" was written in 1960 and recorded in 1961. This version by Howlin' Wolf.

My contenders are going to be from he Rock world to show an example of Blues and black musicians helped shape and influence it.

Contender One: The Doors

Contender Two: Quicksilver Messenger Service

In the end it turns into a fun rocking battle. Who gets your vote? Vote in the comments and we will have a winner soon! Please check out the other contestants links should be up here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Battle of the Bands Result: The Classic Start the Battle Early and Post the Results Late

The Battle was early due to travel and it was either post early or have no battle for January. That would have been bad because after you take a month off, it becomes two and then eventually you just stop. At least that would be in my world. I do the Battle of the Bands because they are enjoyable to create and it is cool to listen to the other participants battles too.

The results are late because I haven't been online as much. One benefit about being offline is that I've been able to read quite a bit. I never thought I would be reading 10 plus books in a month. The downside of not being online is that it makes it hard to blog.

This battle was more experimental than others for me. I based it on a classical piece. The piece is more commonly associated with the piano so the first twist was making it a guitar battle. Then I twisted by competing a classical guitarist against a fully plugged rock legend. I prepared myself for the possibility of blowout like my December battles.  However, there was no blowout this time around. The battle was tight and was decided by the final vote. Michelle from Angels Bark voted for Jimmy Page and he is the winner.

I'll leave you with a live version of the tune...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Circus is leaving...

This post has nothing to do with Eric Clapton and everything to do with the Circus. When I think of the Circus, I think of The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. Sure I have enjoyed going to see other ones. The Big Apple Circus was awesome when I reviewed it here. However, it wasn't the Circus and that is what is ending.

The last time I went to the circus was two years ago and here is my daughter trying on costumes before the show..

Michael Spain's portrait.

Maybe she will become a daredevil motorcycle rider..

Michael Spain's portrait.

Her mom my not approve of that occupation for her. Guess it is too late for me to run off and join the circus now, I would probably have been a clown.

I've been lucky to share the circus with my stepson when he was young and my daughter. Of course I have memories from when I was young too..

Image result for legendary circus animal trainer

I remember watching the late, great Gunther Gebel-Williams perform. As a child I had  dreams of being him and working with the big cats. I grew older and worked with house cats. Those house cats have always thought of me as their own chew toys so I guess it is probably for the best I didn't work with the big cats. Did I miss calling? Below is my daughter and me hanging out with a tiger..

Michael Spain's portrait.

The circus had their fights over animal shows. A circus isn't always politically correct. It did bring people together and did entertain. However over 146 years entertainment has changed. I will miss the circus but I am glad I have fond memories and that I had the opportunity to share the circus.

A circus train from 2016..

Circus Opening..

What are your circus memories? Feel free to share. I will miss the circus.

Friday, January 13, 2017

On the road again...

Well I am to see the Mouse this weekend. It will be a couple of days of late night driving back and fourth. So my blog pressence will be slight. Maybe after Tuesday things will go back to normal.

It has been crazy, San Francisco in November, the Holidays and now to Orlando.

See you soon!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Battle of the Bands: Early Edition Chopin nylon or electric?

I know the Battles of the Band is supposed to be on the 1st and the 15th. Since I will be out of town on the 15th I am going to post it early. Plus this was one of the few "rules" I haven't broken on the Battle of the Bands.

The piece..

Frédéric Chopin - Prelude in E-Minor (op.28 no. 4)

The above is just for reference.

Contestant One: József Eötvös

Contestant Two: Jimmy Page

Should Chopin be played on guitar? Is the classical piece better suited for the classical guitar? Do you like what Jimmy does with the piece? Who gets your vote? Vote in the comments and we will have a winner soon! Please check out the other contestants links should be up here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Clemson Tigers National Champions!

Last year when the Clemson Tigers lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide I watched a team that did not quit. The Tigers fought for 60 minutes and never gave up. They fell short in a very entertaining game.

This year the Crimson Tide led by 14 points in the second quarter. They were up by 10 at the end of 45 minutes of game time. However, these Tigers did not have any quit in them either.  The Tigers took the lead in the fourth quarter.

Alabama wasn't done they regained the lead with just 2:07 left in the game only to see the Tigers win on a last second play.  Wow!


These championship games are fun! 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Happy Birthday Jimmy Page!

Jimmy Page at the Echo music award 2013.jpg  Image from Wikipedia.

Jimmy Page turned 73 today. I figure his birthday was a good excuse to get the Led Out and more. Jimmy Page is a good way to start out my blog in 2017 in earnest.

Let's start out with The Yardbirds.."Shapes of Things"

Then a few years after Zeppelin ended Jimmy playing some Chopin..

"All The King's Horses" from The Firm...

Ah the solo album.."Wasting My Time"


"When the World Was Young" Page and Plant..

With the Black Crowes,,"Oh Well" an old Peter Green Fleetwood Mac cover...

Somethings missing.."Heartbreaker"

Then and more recent,,reunited Zeppelin.."For Your Life"

Vintage "Rock and Roll"

Hope you enjoy and see you around soon!