Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Preseason College Football Rankings

It is that time of year again, college football is scheduled to kick off tomorrow with games scheduled through Monday. My rankings are returning to Hubpages this season like they were last season. I've added the Hype videos for the Alabama Crimson Tide and Ohio State Buckeyes on the post as well. Alabama and Ohio State are my top two teams to start the season.You can see my rankings here. I have addeed a pole and comments are always welcome to make it more interactive.

Here is hype video for the Georgia Bulldogs, a team I have in the top five...

Here is a preview for another top five team, the Stanford Cardinals..

Well I hope this post and my rankings help you get ready for football season.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick played all their favorites at Wolf Trap recently. The guitarist threw out a ton of picks and had a blast during the show. The sound washed out the vocals a bit at times in that typical rock show sound. All and all it was a great show and they kept the crowd ready to rock some more when Pat Benatar came out. You can read my review here.

On my review you can check out a live version of "I Want You to Want Me." Also my editor added in a full show of Cheap Trick at Austin City Live. So, make sure you check it out on DC Metro Theater Arts. I'm going to add a few more to add a bit more to it!

Here they perform "Surrender"

"The Flame"..

Well I hope you enjoy and I will be back soon with more...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pat Benatar

I recently reviewed Pat Benatar in concert with her husband Neil Giraldo and rock legends Cheap Trick.
I wanted to blog about their marriage. No, I am not turning my blog into the TMZ. I just found it neat that the pair have been working together for 35 years and that they have been married for 31 years. You really don't hear about people in entertainment, much less rock being married for that length of time. I found it neat they were still joking, having fun, and sharing banter with each other.

In concert they were great. I came away with a lot more respect for Neil as a guitarist. Pat looked great for her age, sounded wonderful, and was trying to help Brynn Marie with her career.You can read my review here.

Okay you might be asking who is Brynn Marie. She is a rising country music star. Her current video being played on CMT is on my review. Here is a taste of her at a recent sound check the song is "I'm Sorry"

Here is a compilation of Neil's guitar solos..

Here is Pat Benatar in action..."Hit Me With Your Best Shot"

I will be back soon with a new post in the mean time enjoy! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lawrence Gowan of Styx

Some how this summer I ended up interviewing a lot of musicians.I had the privilege of interviewing Lawrence Gowan who is the main lead singer and keyboardist in the band Styx. You can read my interview here.

If you go to the article their are YouTube videos of interview with REO Speedwagon who Styx is currently touring with, Styx songs "The Grand Illusion," an interview about Styx's charity Rock to the Rescue and an REO Speedwagon video for "roll with the Changes." I know more videos will be put up from REO Speedwagon and Styx when my review of tonight's show is published, hopefully Saturday.

Anyway like always I try to add a little more into my blog.

Here is a video for the song Gowan was probably best known before joining Styx called "A Criminal Mind"

Here is Styx performing "Lady" with Lawrence Gowan...

Well I am going to see the show tonight in Baltimore at Pier Six Pavilion the show starts at 7:30, Styx is scheduled to go on at 8 and REO Speedwagon is set to close out the Friday night show. If you read my blog too late or you are not in the area check out the Styx website for more dates.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Medieval Storyland

After this play made a run at The Capital Fringe Festival a new production of Medieval Storyland came to live at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn. Here is a review of The Fringe production.

Here are some behind the scene fotage probably from the Fringe production...

The Arts Barn is a much better looking venue then most of the Capital Fringe venues. Some of ther Fringe venues are very nice including The Studio Theatre and some of the Galleries. Some are very run down but it is space is an expensive town and the emphasis is on talent and variety.

Photo: The mansion in kent lands

The Arts Barn is directly behind this mansion enough said..

Well. with the venue change and a new cast they were still able to deliver a great, family show. You can read my review here. The show contiues through this weekend.

I will be back with a new post soon so enjoy! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Happy Birthday John and Robert

Today I am going to celebrate two birthdays on my blog. John Hiatt turns 61 and Robert Plant turns 65. I thought I would pass on Plant since I covered his concert this summer and I had just posted about Led Zeppelin's birthday but I thought 65 was quite a milestone.John Hiatt is a great songwriter. The best way to celebrate these artists is through their music so sit back and enjoy..

Here is John Hiatt with Sonny Landreth (one of the best slide guitarists on the planet) performing a song B.B. King and Eric Clapton made famous "Riding with the King"

We will start the Robert Plant celebration with "In the Mood"

This song is perhaps my favorite John Hiatt song "Have A Little Faith In Me"

Yes this is a cover song, here is Robert Plant from his Honeydripper days.."Sea of Love"

Here is John Hiatt with a song you might know "Perfectly Good Guitar"

Here Robert Plant covers the beautiful "Song of the Siren" from his Dreamland project...

Here is John Hiatt performing "Thing Called Love" with the great Bonnie Raitt...

Stepping away from the covers with Robert Plant here is "Ship of Fools"

Both artists may be in their 60s but literally I could keep adding songs from both of them all day. I could go back to Roberts pre-Zeppelin days, or the Led Zeppelin days, continue on his solo years, I didn't even touch on his Alison Krauss project, or his new Band of Joy, there is simply so much. John Hiatt has written songs performed by Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Jimmy Buffett and many more. I shared a few songs but trust me he has  written so many more gems. I thank them both for their music, I look forward to what music they might still create, and I wish them both a Happy Birthday! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Don McLean

I split this post into two  and I spent the first one talking about the opener Judy Collins. Don McLean will be rememberd for the song "American Pie." The song overshadows everything else he ever wrote.

He has some other songs that are great too! Here he plays one of those classics at the concert I reviewed...

You can read my review here He said this Elvis Presley's version of this song McLean  wrote is his favorite verssion...

Well I will be back soon with a new post.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Led Zeppelin Started 45 Years Ago

Sure they came together as The Yardbirds, Jimmy Page's old band, or The New Yardbirds. They later would be known as Led Zeppelin and they would carve out their own niche in the Rock and Roll world.

They started with song called "Train Kepta Rollin`".. I picked this version because it was near Zeppelin's end. Kind of like a start and end point. If you listen to the tune you can see how the song had grown over the years..

They also played "Smokestack Lightning" and an early version of "Dazd and Confused."

Live in concert they would play Yardbird covers like "For Your Love"

Ad the rest is history...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Judy Collins

I had a chance to see and review Judy Collins and Don McLean in concert. One question comes up when reviewing aging stars is how does their voice hold up. At 74 years young Judy Collins was able to hit any note she desired, her voice never cracked, and she performed music from throughout her career. I've read other reviews where her voice has cracked in the past. Maybe I was lucky, perhaps she played it safe and chose songs she new she can handle, perhaps a combination of the two. I don't know. I do know she sounded great. You can read my review here.

Here she is performing "My Father" a song she performed Friday. This was at the same venue but 11 years ago...

She has played Wolf Trap 30 times, 28 times at the Filene Center which is the outdoor amphitheater and two times in the more intimate Barns. She has been performing longer than I have been alive. Yet stripped down sets, simple voice and guitar, or guitar and piano, or voice and piano, or just voice is something Judy has down. Here she performs back in 1963.

Of course she performed her break through hit "Both Sides Now" and a few other songs written by Joni Mitchell which was fine by me. I am a fan of Joni's songwritting.

There were some surprises as well...She oerformed "Helplessly Hoping" by stephen Stills

I picked the above version since it had Ari Hest performing with her. I reviewed him in concert last year. HEr doing the song by herself vocally was daring. She is good but the song is fitted for the three voices in Crosby, Stills and Nash.

She also performed "Someday Soon"

She is a wonderful singer and I could sit here all day and plug in musical videos. Perhaps I will...

She ennde her show with this cover..

Well I hope you enjoy! I know I enjoyed watching her in concert.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Have a lot going on in my life. My son is doing football practice, I am preparing for a big change in September. However, I have a couple of concerts to review this month, I have an interview waiting to be published, and I have an idea or two for some other articles. So a lot more posts will be coming...

July was busy.  A couple of festivals, a few interviews, and a few concerts. Plus I worked on a project. The most important thing I did was spend time with my daughter. I tried to get most of summer in on one week before she went to see the Grandparents. I didn't do bad two zoos, two movies, family night dinner date, and topped off by a party at the river. It was cool to be able to include the stepson in more activities. That's a parenting challenging with a teen and a younger sibling.

Anyway it is busy times, changing times, so there should be some interesting blog posts soon stay tuned!

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Major League Baseball Suspensions


The New York Yankees are 57-53 without Alex Rodriguez. They are currently 9.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox and 4.5 games out from a wild card spot. The Yanks get A-Rod back while he appeals, which will give New York an extra bat for a couple of games. I don't see the Yankees losing much. Sure A-Rod's bat might have helped the team, but he alone isn't enough to catch up that kind of ground. I think the Yankees win in the long term as they find a replacement for A-Rod. A-Rod will be 40 years old when he returns for the 2015 season.The Red Sox, Orioles, and Rays are glad he won't be returning.

Ryan Braun

Ryan had the second longest suspension. However, he had a few days to distance himself from the pack which might help Braun out in the future. The Milwaukee Brewers are 47-64 and in the cellar of their division. Twenty games out of first and over 13 games out of a wild card spot. He had battled some injuries and had only played in 61 games this season. Still he was hitting .298 with mine home runs and 38 RBIs. Ryan Braun gets to get healthy and play next year with a clean slate.

Nelson Cruz

The Texas Rangers are a half game out from a playoff spot and just two and half games behind the Oakland Athletics. It is the worst time to lose an All-Star outfielder for the final 50 games of the season. Cruz was hitting .269 with 27 home runs and 69 RBIs. Cruz leads the Rangers in homers and RBIs so it is a big loss for the Rangers.

Johnny Peralta

The Detroit Tigers (64-45) enjoy a three game leas in their division. However, the Tigers lost their All-Star shortstop Johnny Peralta for the next 50 games. A .305 bat is going to be missed along with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs.

Antonio Bastardo

The Philadelphia Phillies are fading fast losing five straight. The team is 50-61. Bastardo had appeared in 48 games and had a 2.32 ERA along with a 3-2 record plus two saves. The suspension won't help the Phillies but they weren't going anywhere anyway.

Jordany Valdespin/Cesar Puello

The New York Mets are not going anywhere either. Valdespin, an outfielder, was only hitting .188  The suspension is going to hurt his career a lot more than it will the Mets. Puello another outfielder who has no stats is also out for 50 games.

Jordan Norberto

Norberto a free-agent pitcher can put his job search on hold for the next 50 games.

Everth Cabrera/Fautino De Los Santos

The San Diego Padres probably are out of the playoff race. /losing a .283 hitting shortstop doesn't help. Cabrera doesn't have a lot of pop with just four home runs in 95 games. No stats on De Los Santos. He just lost his chance to help the club in September.

Fransico Cervelli

Cervelli is a Yankees catcher who has played in 17 games this season. He has shown power hitting three homers while batting .269. He is missing a chance to help his career with some late season playing time.

Jesus Montero

The Seattle Mariners aren't going anywhere this season. Montero has played in 29 games and is batting .208 for the season. The suspension will cost him a chance to get more playing time and improve his stats. Not good for his career.

Sergio Escalona

The hapless Houston Astros need all the help they can get. Escalona won't be coming up from the minors to help the Astros as the pitcher was suspended for 50 games.

Big Picture

Nelson Cruz will be the biggest playoff factor in the suspensions. A-Rod will grab the highlights. Braun is among the top players but if he had to be suspended this is the season. The team is out of the running, he has injuries, ride it out and get ready for the next season. A lot of the suspensions are for minor leaguers and minor players. They won't be missed. Lots of players, lots of missed games, a couple of big names it grabs the headlines. Makes up for the quiet trade deadline.

Sources: Fox Sports for news, stats, records, opinions are my own thoughts

Friday, August 2, 2013

My Interview with Sevendust Guitarist John Connolly

I had the honor to interview guitarist John Connolly from the band Sevendust. You can read my interview here. Their latest album is "Blackout the Sun." I will share some clips of the band in action. They are a hard rock, metal band so the songs are louder.

Here is a teaser for their new album...

The song "Decay" is the first single from the album...

Here is one of their older songs "Praise"

They are currently on tour with Devour the Day see my post about an interview with that band if you are interested. Well, a new month is here and I am pressing forward with new posts.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia would have been 71 years old today. The ever changing music world misses him. Jerry being gone is more than just one must see concert erased from the calender. Yes their is Furthur, The Dead, Phil Lesh and Friends but they all miss one person and they are not the same without Jerry Garcia.

Here is Jerry Garcia playing "Tangled Up in Blue" with the Jerry Garcia Band

Here he plays bluegrass...Jerry Garcia was a very talented musician

Here he plays with "Ripple" with The Dead

I really enjoyed Warren Hayne's tribute to Jerry Garcia earlier this summer. Below is a clip from that show...

Jerry Garcia may be gone but he left us with plenty of songs..

"I'll Take A Melody"

Enjoy and I will be back soon with a new post...