Monday, March 31, 2008

Another Lowell Folk Fest Performer Announced

They just keep digging up great people!

Blues Pianist, Baton Rouge, LA

Henry Gray’s seven decade long career as a blues and boogie-woogie pianist spans both the geographical and musical roots of the genre and makes him arguably one of the most influential blues musicians of the past half-century. At 82, Henry continues to deliver his rollicking, two-fisted boogie-woogies and passionate blues to audiences throughout the world.

full biography

Healing Beams to a Jazz Giant

Legendary jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson is ailing:

JOSHUA TREE, Calif.—Nancy Wilson was hospitalized Monday for treatment of a collapsed lung, a spokeswoman said.

The 71-year-old Grammy-winning singer was expected to recover but will not be able to make a performance scheduled in Memphis, Tenn., next weekend, said Devra Levy, wife of Wilson's manager, John Levy.

Wilson's lung was being reinflated at Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree and she was in good spirits, Devra Levy told The Associated Press

Aloha Videos

Here are a couple of videos of Aloha Airlines in its glory days. First up, one of their ads, and then, 59 years of Aloha Airlines history in 11 minutes.

Aloha Airlines Fallout

There's been quite a bit of fallout already today about the impending shutdown of Aloha Airlines. Here's a few examples in digest form. Pictured above is the first jet the airline bought, which they received in April of 1966. As I mentioned my brother got an early ride on this sucker.
(BAC Courtesy Photo)

Aloha shutdown impacts the hula dancers headed to the Big Island for this year's Merrie Monarch Festival:

How the end of Aloha is playing on the Garden Isle-

And a timeline of the airline's history:

Saving Maunalua Bay

The east shore of Oahu, between Diamond Head and Koko Head, is known as "Maunalua Bay". It technically starts at the eastern side of Diamond Head, passes world-famous Hanauma Bay, and ends at Koko.

There's a new push on to preserve this nice stretch of coastline:

Monday Music Digest

More good stuff:

1980s group X returns

Slidell LA is a suburb of New Orleans, and has a new Katrina video now online, using music by REM

Elvis Costello and Twyla Tharp team up for a new ballet

A bit torrent site facing legal woes

The National Guitar Workshop announces its 2008 season

Last night it was Keef, today here's Mr. Jagger on the new Stones film

And finally, great label Shout! Factory Gets the High Tone Records catalog

Pull Up a Chair....

As I post this, the Los Angeles Dodgers just shut out the SF Giants, 5-0, in Chavez Ravine. Sitting behind the broadcast mike, as usual, was Vin Scully, who started announcing Dodgers games in 1950, when they were still "Da Bums" from Brooklyn. He's now 81 years old, and in the final year of his current contract. He's the longest-serving baseball play by play announcer still with us who has been with the same team his entire career.

He's called a lot of great games, including when the Brooklyn Dodgers won it all in 1955, the 1965 perfect game by Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron's 715th home run, and many others, but perhaps his most memorable call (and the most heartbreaking, at least here in New England) was this one in 1986, which ended Game 6 of the World Series between the Red Sox and Mets:

"Little roller up along first . . . behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!"

Here's a nice tribute to Vin:,1,3870083.column

And his call of the '65 Sandy masterpiece:

Pacific Islanders' Origin Discovered


Got Snow?

Report from Saddle Hill: 2 more inches of Global Warming today, pushing our total since December 1 2007 to...176 inches.

And now, from our "neighbours" to the north:

OTTAWA — 'I'm crazy," he keeps saying.

"He's nuts," says his next-door neighbour.

"All my friends think it's crazy," says his youngest son.

But perhaps it is the rest of us who have lost it.

Just maybe Luc Guertin of Orleans has figured out how to love this winter when the rest of us are cursing it - particularly after this weekend of the endless snowfall for most of the country.

Guertin's driveway snowbank stood higher than two very tall men Friday morning before the latest blast hit in the Wicked Winter of 2008. By yesterday afternoon, the growing bank had passed the second storey of his home in this Ottawa suburb and was threatening the chimney.

Guertin is certain he now holds the world's record because, well, who else would be "crazy" enough to spend an entire winter hauling the snow up from his drive to pack it into a monolith? It has become the National Capital Region's oddest tourist attraction - and many hope its most fleeting.

gory details here

Aloha to Aloha Airlines

A fixture in the islands since 1949, Aloha Airlines has apparently reached the end of the line. My brother Steve was one of the first people to take a ride in Aloha's very first jet, a BAC-111, in early 1966, and Bob Kerch, a childhood friend of ours from Ulupalakua Street, later became an Aloha pilot on the HNL-South Pacific route. Many Aloha fliers fondly remember the old days- sitting behind the pilot who was flying with his window open. And the refreshment service: (With dixie cups and can in hand) “Guava juice? Or no guava juice? Guava juice? Or no guava juice?”

They started out with DC-3s, and later used a unique version of the Fairchild F-27. Currently they have a fleet of about 25 737-200s, and lease several 737-700s for their transPacific flights. They will continue their cargo division. (photo taken by Craig, HNL 2003).

HONOLULU - Aloha Airlines said yesterday it will halt all passenger service after today, signaling the end of an airline that has served Hawaii for more than 60 years.

Aloha, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 20, was a casualty of fierce competition and rising fuel prices. The airline said it will stop taking reservations for flights after today.

More details:

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Here's the first "heirloom" tomato of the 2008 season. Of course, this isn't from my garden (those are still 4 months in the future) but instead comes from a supermarket. And they're tasty!

This is an "UGLYRIPE" heirloom tomato, which have been showing up here in New England for a couple of years now. This variety was derived from a tomato grown in France and is grown in several locations in the US. For several years, the Feds would not let the creator of this tomato ship them across state lines due to their irregular size and shape, but the USDA finally changed the rules.

More on this unusual tomato here:

Small Town USA

Here's a look at small-town USA, in this case the little village of Waimea on Kaua'i. I snapped this picture of some locals making groceries in 2003 just before we headed up to Koke'e and Waimea Canyon.

Waimea is where Captain Cook first came ashore on what he named "The Sandwich Islands". It's also the home of Barking Sands, where the US tests missiles, as well as the WWVH shortwave station that broadcasts time signals around the world. And the famous pink Hawaiian salt is also produced here, along with much of the poi consumed on the island. The town was also the site of "Fort Elizabeth", which was built in 1816 by a Russian in anticipation of his country taking over the Hawaiian Islands (obviously he was wrong about that one).

Waimea leads a new list of classic examples of Small Town America:

Sunday Music Digest

I hit the jackpot today...

City Stages in Birmingham AL has long had one of the best festival lineups, and this year is no exception

Keef discusses the new Rolling Stones movie

70s band Derringer gets back together for a tour

Live music lives on in Wolfgang's Vault

Jake Shimabukuro wows the kiddies in Micronesia

Another concert review...Ray Davies in Fran Sanfrisco

Phil Spector's lawyer wants a new judge for his murder re-trial

And finally, a new DVD set looks at lesser-known Motown music

What? Me Worry?

The NY Times takes on MAD Magazine:

And MAD is available on disc now:

Crab Fest

This story is four years old, so those crabs have probably eaten all those Norwegian fishermen by now and crossed the Atlantic, ready to invade our coastal waters...

Millions of giant Pacific crabs, whose ancestors were brought to Europe by Joseph Stalin in the 1930s, are marching south along Norway's coast, devouring everything in their path.

The monster crabs, which can weigh up to 25lb and have a claw-span of more than three feet, are proving so resilient that scientists fear they could end up as far south as Gibraltar.

Energised by a mysterious population explosion a decade ago, whole armies of the crustaceans - known as the Kamchatka or Red King Crabs - have already advanced about 400 miles along the roof of Europe, overwhelming the ports of northern Norway.They now number more than 10 million and have reached the Lofoten Islands off north-west Scandinavia, leaving in their wake what one expert described as "an underwater desert".

In a graphic display of the extent of the crab's submarine domination, some photographs of the ocean floor in Kirkenes in northern Norway show a writhing mass of the ugly, spiny animals.Northern clams and other shellfish, once so numerous that divers could scoop up handfuls, have been all but eliminated.

Fingerstyle Guitar Fest

Check these guys out.

Merle Travis was a certified country legend, and did a lot of his picking using only one finger and his thumb

Merle was a major influence on the late Chet Atkins, who some of us were lucky enough to see do this Don McLean song live about 15 years ago in Waterville Valley:

And here's Hawaiian slack key legend Led Kaapana, who we saw at the Lowell Folk Fest in 2000. As Led says, "watch the fingers". This is one of his signature tunes.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Spend a vacation at an organic farm:

Latest Wireless News

Tucked way back up in the Himalayas is a tiny country called Bhutan. Back in the days when international shortwave radio was the only means of communication across vast distances, this country, along with Nepal, were "Holy Grails" for dedicated listeners who sat up all night huddled over their radios trying to pull in a weak signal. Of course, times have changed...thanks to Anker Peterson in Denmark for this tidbit:

" BHUTAN This Kingdom in the high Himalaya has isolated itself for centuries until recently. But the wise, old, absolute King decided that democracy might make the people happier, so it is gradually opening its borders to the outside world. TV was introduced around 1999, but now it goes fast.

At the birthday of the young King Jingme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck (28) on Feb 21, he got a new service as a present from the Bhutan Broadcasting Service: A website with streaming audio.

It is heard well here in Denmark at *0000-1500* with the last hour in English. 6035 on SW is in parallel, but much more difficult to hear. "

I just gave this a listen, and was pleasantly surprised with how good it sounded. Lots of great Bhutanese music, too.

Their website also has a separate page with 14 traditional folk songs available for download as mp3s. Great music!

More Sugar!

March is Maple Syrup time here in northern New England, as we supposedly have warm days and cold nights, which get the sap moving. Things have slowed down over the past couple of days as it's been below freezing during the day for 3 days in a row.

Most maple syrup producers now use relatively high-tech plastic tubing and spigots to gather the sap, but some, like my neighbors the Blakes, still hang the buckets on the trees. That's their dog guarding the goods.

AP-Maple syrup lovers may be hit with sticker shock in New Hampshire.

The state Agriculture Department says syrup is selling for $45 a gallon, an all-time high.

The price has been pushed up by dramatic hikes in fuel costs and supplies.

The New Hampshire Maple Producers Association says the price per gallon was $39 last year and $38.20 per gallon in 2006.

Rest of story:

In Memoriam

Devin Ossman, a son of Firesign Theatre member David Ossman and his equally talented wife, producer Judith Walcutt, died last week of hypothermia while attempting a descent of Mt. Rainier. His Memorial Service is underway on Whidbey Island as I submit this post.

Here's some words of thanks from the Ossman family for all the support they have received:

"As most of you know, we lost our son Devin on Mount Rainier last
week. We have felt such love and support from our community and
friends--even those who haven't written because it's hard to know
what to say and some of you who are just finding out with this
announcement--we feel your love around us and know you are with us

Here is what the flute player looked like and the way we will
remember him. Please forward this announcement to anyone you think
should know in the many communities Devin was a part of

All our love to all of you--
David, Judith, Orson, and Preston

Aloha Airlines/Book 'Em Danno/Hawaiian Honey

State to step in to help Aloha Airlines

Jack Lord's condo sells for a third of the list price

Less honey produced

Saturday Music Digest

World's oldest sound recording played

Yet more high end audio from the fine folks at Altec Lansing

The song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" turns 100 years old

Martin Scorsese talks about his new Rolling Stones film,0,6977038.story

Herbie Hancock and Joni Mitchell will team up for a performance on Yahoo! next week

And finally, BBC Music Host Jools Holland celebrates the big 5-0 by going on a big tour of England.

Dueling Ukuleles

Latest news from Hawaiian ukulele land: shred-master Jake Shimabukuro (left), who is right now touring Micronesia, will be starting a major US tour in the next few days, lasting until early July. He'll then begin his "regular" summer job as opening act for Jimmy Buffett. Dates here:

Jake is now starting to get some serious (but friendly) competition from the person on the right, 19 year old Brittni Paiva, who hails from Hilo on the Big Island. She's already got 3 albums out.

Check out Brittni's rendition of Carlos Santana's "Europa" here:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Turn Down That Stupid Music!

Here's the great guitarist for the post-World War 2 Bob Wills band mentioned in my blog header, Junior Barnard, as well as a couple of views of him at work.


Courtesy of Fred Silver of the NRBQ e-list, here are his Top 10 favorite quotes from 'Q shows past:

10) Westfield, Mass. 2000-somethin:
"I don't get it." - Young girl, to her friend, during "Sukiyaki"...

9) Manchester, Conn. 2000-somethin:
"That BEAT !! THAT BEAT !!" - Young man, probably seeing the band for the first time

8) Agora Ballroom, W.Hartford, Conn., 1970's :
"That piano player leaves something to be desired." - my roomate's friend Harry, who clearly didn't get it.

7) Howard Johnson's, Windsor, Conn. New Year's Eve, 1980 or 90's ? :
"...mmmmm....ooohhh......(smack)......mmmm..." - Drunk young woman I'd never met who started kissing me about the neck and face. Impressed my buddy quite a bit, who was then slightly less impressed when we saw her continue stumbling through the crowd kissing on another guy, then another, etc.

6) Somehere in Mass., 1990's:
"Donn Adams was checkin me out all night ! He wanted me, I could tell!" - Young woman, my date for the evening. Usually they fall for Terry...

5) Ironhorse,Northampton, Mass. 2000-somethin ( with Captain Lou):
"Is he always like that ?" - My attorney's girlfriend, checking out Terry's antics. Yes dear, he is.

4) Rusty Nail, Sunderland, Mass. 1980's:
"THIS SHIT SUCKS !!!" - Girl who had been smiling and cheering only moments before, during "Who's On First?"

3) Howard Johnson's, Windsor Conn. Moon Pie Festival, 1980's ?:
"Why are you all standing here ?! We got here early so we could get a table in back and now all these people are in front of the stage and we can't see anything ! It's really rude !!(ad infinitum)" -

Told this before, irate woman who decided to single me out for her angry tirade. I tried to explain that this was a dance floor,and she should really come up here and dance to the band. Finally I gave up and sat down on the floor crosslegged, much to the amusement of the strandees.

2) Springfield Municipal Auditorium, Spfld. Mass. 1980's:
A young woman expressed herself nonverbally by getting up on her boyfriend's shoulders and baring her breasts during "Macho Maria" . BIG smiles from the boys in the band, who obviously appreciate effective nonverbal comunication...

And finally, from the 'What The #$@& !! Department' :

Katina's. S. Hadley, Mass., the ol' Quonset Hut, 1980's.They kept a large snake in the floor in front of the stage, under plexiglass, people standing on it all night. Kinda cruel I thought. I stole one of Al's and Joey's picks off the stage that night . Overheard in the men's room, a young college student type to his friend :

1) "Wow, they're like really kinda, like ....Country, huh ? I thought they were gonna be more like,, Reggae..."

And thanks to "caleb" for this nice photo from the balcony of the Calvin Theatre at the 2004 Q reunion show. She musta been right in front of Gino and I!

I guess I really should give a couple of links to NRBQ performances for you newbies. Here they are.

The "New" Randall Hall

Over the past couple of weeks the demolition of 1850's era Randall Hall on the New Hampton School campus has been chronicled here. Here's the new Math and Science Center which will rise in its place. Groundbreaking will be held on April 11 (hey, that's my birthday!)

(New Hampton School Courtesy Photo)

Friday Night at the Movies

Why go fight the crowds at a live music show? Rent a concert film instead.

Today in Music History

2000 - JIMMY PAGE agreed to accept "substantial" libel damages and a public apology over a magazine article that claimed Page contributed to the death of LED ZEP's drummer, JOHN BONHAM.

1998 - PAUL SIMON and DEREK WALCOTT's musical, The Capeman, closed on Broadway. It was killed by rather nasty and negative reviews.

1996 - PHIL COLLINS announced that he was leaving GENESIS to concentrate on his solo career.

1995 - Singer LYLE LOVETT and actress JULIA ROBERTS announced a legal separation after 21 months of marriage.

1992 - Almost $150,000 in damages was done to the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater in Irvine, California when OZZY OSBOURNE invited the first two rows of the audience on stage. A few more rows decided to jump up there as well, forcing the band to exit, stage left.

1986 - More than 6,000 radio stations of all format varieties played We are the World simultaneously at 10:15 a.m. EST.

1986 - The number one song in the country was Rock Me Amadeus by FALCO. What were we thinking?

1982 - DAVID CROSBY was arrested after crashing his car on the San Diego Freeway. Police also found cocaine and a pistol in his car.

1979 - ERIC CLAPTON and PATTI BOYD were married. Patti was GEORGE HARRISON's ex-wife.

1976 - GENESIS made its first U.S. concert tour with PHIL COLLINS taking over for PETER GABRIEL as lead singer.

1975 - Lady Marmalade by LABELLE was a #1 Billboard hit. It gave us that immortal phrase, "Voulez-vous couchez avec moi ce soir?," which means "Do you want to sleep with me tonight?"

1974 - THE RASPBERRIES officially split up.

1971 - THE TEMPTATIONS were at number one with Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)

1969 - JOE COCKER made his American concert debut at the Fillmore East in New York.

1968 - The late OTIS REDDING had the number one song with (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay. The song hit the top spot three months after Redding was killed in a plane crash near Madison, Wisconsin.

1964 - THE BEATLES' Can't Buy Me Love was released to the record stores and sold over 940,000 singles the first day alone!

1964 - Madame Tussauds of London unveiled the wax works images of THE BEATLES. The figures would later appear on the cover of Sgt. Pepper.

1957 - ELVIS PRESLEY appeared live in concert at The Chicago International Theater.

The Mother of All Keg Parties

Dustin Zebro insists he didn't throw a root beer keg party to embarrass the police. His school, yes, but not the police.

It struck him as unfair that D.C. Everest Senior High suspended students from a dance team awhile back because they were pictured on Facebook drinking out of red plastic cups that tend to signal a beer bash.

So Zebro, an 18-year-old senior, devised a plan to show that things are not always as they appear. He bought a quarter-barrel - of root beer - and a tall stack of red cups, and he spread the word that the party was at his house in Kronenwetter, a village just outside Wausau, on a Saturday night this month.

"There were keg stands and root beer pong and all that, so it looked like a real party," he said. The idea was to post photos on the Internet and fool the school, he said.

Police showed up because of a complaint about cars blocking the road, and an officer administered breath tests to 89 teens.

Every kid blew 0.0.

There was not one underage drinker in the whole place, at least on this night, because they were all consuming 1919 Classic American Draft Root Beer, brewed in Minnesota and named for the year Prohibition was enacted.

"I'm going to be so diabetic in the morning," one of the kids says on a five-minute videotape of the faux kegger that has been viewed nearly 17,000 times on YouTube.

rest of story

And the youtube video

Friday Music Digest

Rhino Declares "WAR" (with Eric Burdon)

Women in Jazz Fest

New music fest on the Island of Antigua in the Caribbean

Phil Spector's defense team won't be ready for his re-trial until fall

A group that's been all too quiet in recent years, the Kentucky Headhunters, will do a major tour this year.

Snowfall Record...Not Quite

As of early Friday afternoon, due to today's spring snowstorm the weather station at CON (Concord Airport) had recorded 115.2 inches of Global Warming this winter, which moves them into second place all time, breaking the previous second place record set in 1873.

They need 6.8 inches now to break the all-time record, set in 1872. Chances are very good they will get it!

UPDATE: Strangely enough, the highest point in New Hampshire, Mt. Washington (elevation 6,288'), better known as "Home of the World's Worst Weather", has seen LESS snow this winter than usual. In a "normal" winter, MWN gets between 200 and 250 inches of snow, with an all-time record winter snowfall of 566.4 inches in 1968-69 (that's 47 feet). This year they have "only" received 170 inches.

There are several theories as to why MWN has received a lesser amount of snow this winter than "down below", but the best bet is that most of the snowstorms were below the 6,288' level. This theory seems to be confirmed by the huge amounts of snow accumulating in the east-facing ravines lower on the mountain.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

R.I.P. "Chester"

Chester, a Hawaiian Monk Seal who has charmed visitors to Kaua'i and Oahu over the past few years, was found dead, apparently of natural causes, on Rabbit Island off Waimanalo yesterday. Most recently, Chester had been hanging out at Kailua Beach.

Full story and video here:

Start 'Em Out Young!

Here's one of the pics NRBQ lister "caleb" took at Wild Weekend, the infamous NRBQ Convention. This is no doubt the world's youngest NRBQ fan!

"Swing Gitan"

One of the certified "hits" at the 2007 Lowell Folk Festival in Massachusetts was this hot group from Paris, France called "The Django Rheinhardt Festival", led by gypsy guitarist Dorado Schmitt and French air compressor player Ludovic Beier. They led their band thru a spirited set of Django Rheinhardt songs, along with tunes by the Gershwins and Cole Porter, among others, and even played some original compositions. I got there early and got a front row seat, as these pics will show.

Here's a video example of Mr. Schmitt and band at work. Dorado also plays a mean fiddle, by the way. Not too shabby for a guy who was in a horrific car crash in 1988, spending 11 days in a coma followed by two months of physical therapy.

(Video) Guitar Fest

Some of us were lucky enough to see the "first" incarnation of the John McLaughlin-led Mahavishnu Orchestra at the peak of their powers in the early 1970s; this band also included former Flock violinist Jerry Goodman, bassist Rick Laird, future "Miami Vice" composer and keyboardist Jan Hammer, and the always-amazing Billy Cobham on Fibes drums.

Here they are in their prime-turn up the volume...and check out Rick Laird's see-thru bass on "One Word"

Music Digest for Thursday

Today's Music Lesson: How to play the pennywhistle

Former Red Knuckles band member Tim O'Brien has a new album:

Patti Smith opens her first art show in Paris

New England One Man Guitar Fest Johnny A:

Speaking of guitars, a fascinating look back at the lap steel

New Orleans music comes to New Hampshire

And in a related story, New Orleans Public radio station WWOZ is set for their annual Piano Night

Madame Pele Awakens, Part 2

Evacuations possible

Closing In On a Record

The "Winter From Hell" keeps rolling merrily along-we now are awaiting an additional 4 to 8 inches of Global Warming which will start shortly after midnight tonight. Total so far here on Saddle Hill since December 1 2007: 169 inches.

The "official" state records for weather are recorded at CON in the State capitol of Concord, which is 30 miles further south but more importantly 700 feet lower in elevation than where I have been measuring. Going into this event, they have recorded 112 inches, and only need 10 more inches to break the alltime record set in the 1870s. It should also be noted that CON airport, where the snowfall is measured, is in an urbanized area with a "heat island" effect, so their snowfall amounts circa 2008 are probably less than when the airport was first built.

Happy B-Day Prince Kuhio

A belated (Wednesday) Happy Birthday to Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Piikoi, who served as Hawaii’s second congressional delegate from 1903 until his death in 1922. His presence is still felt all over the islands. I even had to cross his namesake Kalanianaiole Highway to get to school every day (a pedestrian bridge has since replaced this dangerous crossing). His birthday is pretty much a day off for everyone in the Islands, even schoolkids.

There’s a more complete story on Prince Kuhio’s life and the impact he had on Hawaii in the March/April 2007 issue of HAWAII Magazine.

Much Mahalo to Sherie Char and the folks at HAWAII Magazine for the photo, info and link. Here's their entire Prince Kuhio Day story:

Happy As A Clam

A New Hampshire seacoast pig-out seafood legend, Newick's has finally opened their new emporium up by the Steeplegate Mall on Loudon Road in Concord.

Here's their takeout menu-"Looks Tasty!"


Original NRBQ guitarist Steve Ferguson finally has a web presence

All Pau (Randall Hall RIP)

Sad to say the weather and lighting were not the best today-but Randall Hall has left the building, as they say.

For our novices-the large structures that have suddenly appeared from behind the late Randall Hall are:

(on the left) Frederick Smith Hall (AKA "FS"), the brick gym part of which was built around 1960. The large metal addition to the left was added many years later, as was the structure connecting FS to the Dining Hall which is the right hand building not visible to the right of the flag.

Gone Fishin'

If you look closely, out on the pond behind the dirty snowbank there's a frickin' BIRD sitting on the edge of an iceberg looking in the water for something to eat.

Things are tough all over-tonight there was a large starving racoon on the porch busily eating the pine cones on my X-Mas wreath, which I had not put away. Sad for the racooon, those pine cones, like the rest of the wreath, were made of plastic.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Back in the politically non-correct 1960s, New Hampshire "seacoast" restaurant Yoken's, which was actually located well away from the ocean on "the coastal route the tourists use" (AKA US Route 1), actually offered whale meat on the menu.

They never got it in this fashion though!

"Everybody Is a Star"...

Legendary rockers Journey have hired a Filipino fan to front the band after parting ways with Jeff Scott Soto earlier this year.

The band discovered Arnel Pineda, from Quezon City in the Philippines via YouTube, when they saw footage of him singing Journey songs in his homeland with his band The Zoo.

Original frontman Steve Perry was replaced in 1998 with Steve Augeri who was forced to leave the band due to health problems.

Legendary rockers Journey have hired a Filipino fan to front the band after parting ways with Jeff Scott Soto earlier this year.

Definitely NOT "Vahsity"

Another movie theatre in Hawaii bites the dust

Fly This!

We have a new rotating ad at the bottom of the page, namely Hawaiian Airlines. Welcome and Aloha!

More Global Warming

Not my friends John and Kelley, luckily. This incident took place 4 miles west from here as the crow flies.

BRISTOL NH- It took 16 people — 13 firefighters and three police officers — to lift about a ton of ice off a 49-year-old man who became pinned by the frozen mass as he pulled logs from his woodpile.Shortly after 7 p.m. on Easter Sunday, members of the Bristol Fire Department were dispatched to 1441 Peaked Hill Road after emergency operators received a report of a person trapped under a fallen piece of ice estimated to weigh about 2,300 pounds, according to a Fire Department statement issued Monday.

The victim and a woman had reportedly been working outside of their home collecting wood from a stack when a 15-foot-long piece of ice slid off the top of the wood pile and onto the victim. The sheer size and weight of the ice trapped the man underneath.The falling ice also pinned the female from the waste down.

After about 20 minutes she was able to free herself and call for help.The weight of the ice block was distributed between the ground and a wheelbarrow that was next to the woodpile at the time of the accident. Wood blocking were used to support the ice and prevent the victim from sustaining any further injury.

It took firefighters from two departments 20 minutes to free the man after they shoveled through the hard snow to get to him. The man, whose name was not released, suffered undisclosed injuries.Rescue workers credit the woman's ability to free herself and call for help with saving the man's life.

Bristol Fire Chief Norman Skantze said with all of the snow that has fallen this winter coupled with the mounting roof problems that the area has seen, heavy loads of ice falling from those same roof tops is a growing problem as temperatures begin to warm up.Skantze said he has seen several cases where businesses had blocked off areas where these ice blocks have fallen or were going to fall. However these warning signs are not always present.

The Bristol Fire Department is urging all residents to be mindful and avoid driving, walking or parking in areas located beside or under roof overhangs that still have unusually large amounts of snow and ice built up."We are just seeing the residual of (the winter)," said Skantze.

After being freed, the man was transported to Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth were he was treated for his injuries

Fly This!

SEATTLE - The FBI says it's analyzing a torn, tangled parachute found by children in Washington state to see whether it was used by plane hijacker D.B. Cooper.

Officials said Tuesday that children playing outside their home near Amboy, in southwest Washington, found the chute sticking up from the ground this month.

FBI agent Larry Carr says they pulled on the fabric as much as they could, then cut the ropes. They had seen recent media coverage of the Cooper case and urged their father to call the FBI.

Cooper hijacked a plane from Portland, Ore., to Seattle in 1971, got $200,000 and asked to be flown to Mexico. He parachuted from the plane somewhere near the Oregon border, and officials doubt he could have survived.

Hump Day Music Digest

The "Guitar Hero" computer game is coming out with an Aerosmith version

Johnny Cash DVD gets the full treatment

Elvis returns to the building

This sounds like the mother of all guitar summits-dobro great Jerry Douglas, Hawaiian slack key master Bob Brozman, Derek Trucks, and Indian guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya.

Newest Peter Gabriel project

Hawaiian ukulele shredder Jake Shimabukuro is touring Guam and Micronesia this week. Here are the 2 youtube videos that made him a star

And finally, a heartfelt "tribute" to certified Beach Boy a-hole Mike Love


Believe it or not, we have another "Seufhead" in our midst:

Acclaimed Cape Cod film maker Chris Seufert took these nice aerial videos of the Nantucket area.

"Hey, Seufhead!"

"Hey Seufhead!" was what the guy pictured above said to me whenever he saw me-this would be the pride of Hoboken New Jersey, Gerard "Jerry" Citro, who lived in the dorm room directly next to the one Fred Willingham and I shared at UNH from 1972 til 1973. Citro was drafted to UNH on a basketball scholarship, and got run over by a drunk driver and broke his leg, which ended his college career.

The screen cap above was when he was featured in the early 1990's on ABC World News Tonight, when he was profiled as the oldest college player to retuen to school and make the vahsity team!

He's now a public school girl's basketball coach in Montclair, New Jersey, right down the road from the land of the Seufs, Nutley.

Hula Blues by Way of Scranton

It took me awhile but I finally managed to open and view a wonderful photo CD sent up to Saddle Hill by certified NRBQ e-mail lister Annette Caleb out of Scranton PA.

Annette drives a train for a living (yes, she's a railroad engineer!) and has not only been an NRBQ fan for ages, but has had many other wild stories to tell-she was proposed to by jazz bagpiper Rufus Harley in Philly some 30 years ago, and spent the winter of 2006-2007 living with her cats in a railroad caboose at the Steamtown National Historic Site. She was also a fixture at all of the NRBQ reunion shows/Wild Weekends, and busily did a great photo chroncile of each event. For one of them, she had each attendee hold a picture of Alfred E. Neuman up in front of them. Zany!

"caleb" also takes some not too shabby concert pics, and here's one she took of Taj "Hanapepe Dream" Mahal at the Poconos Fest in PA a couple of years ago.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

JazzFest Schedules Announced

Tuesday's Music Digest

After 15 years MIA, Bill Million has resurfaced and The Feelies have begun practicing together.Apparently they will play a few gigs in and around NJ over the 4 eekend, including a slot opening for Sonic Youth in Central Park

Fine acoustic guitars made on the Big Island of Hawaii

New ear-buds from a respected speaker maker, Altec-Lansing

Smashing Pumpkins sue their former label for using their music in a Pepsi ad,23836,23430013-7642,00.html

And a practicing clarinetist who also makes movies will be playing at this year's Montreal Jazz Festival...

"I Just Lost My Song. That Girl Took It Away From Me."

According to Peter Guralnick, Otis Redding presciently told Jerry Wexler upon hearing Aretha's version of "Respect" for the first time: "I just lost my song. That girl took it away from me." Onstage at the Monterrey International Pop Festival later that year, he repeated: "The girl took that song away from me."

Today's Aretha's 66th birthday. Here's her thievery:

More B, S & T

We were having a Blood Sweat and Tears chat on the NRBQ e-list and guitarist Larry DeBari's name came up; brother Dan and I saw Larry with B S & T in Waterville in 1992. Sadly, he died 7 years later of brain cancer. An all-star benefit in January of that year included performances by Southside Johnny...and B S & T founder Al Kooper!

Here are a couple of videos of him at work with the band.

"God Bless the Child"

"Go Down Gamblin' " at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 1993. Ironically, David Clayton-Thomas played sizzling lead guitar on the original recording of this song back in 1972

Another bit of B, S & T trivia was unearthed in our discussion that I was unaware of-in 1975-76, B, S & T's bass player was non other than Jaco Pastorious! Jaco had become buds with drummer Bobby Colomby, and Bobby in fact produced Jaco's brilliant debut solo album.

Madame Pele Wakes Up

A plume of ash towered from Kilauea Volcano's Halema`uma`u caldera on Monday, according to scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey.
Lava erupted from the crater overnight in relatively small amounts. It is the first time lava erupted from Halema`uma`u Crater since 1982, according to USGS officials.

Scientists candidly told KITV that this is new ground for them. The ash plume thousands of feet high, erupting from the Halema'uma'u caldera of Kilauea indicates a change of geophysical plumbing deep under the volcano which scientists said they do not understand quite yet.

more here, including a video link

Finnish Music Fest, Part 2

Below is a link to perhaps my all-time favorite world music video, by JPP from Finland. This is the "short" version which covers the second half of the original (I have the full length 6+ minute version on VHS someplace but it's not available for download online).

To set this scene up, a little Finnish bar and its patrons are being harassed by thugs, and the Fearless Finnish Folk Fiddlers JPP soon ride to the rescue...on their tractors!

Finnish Music Fest Part 1

Thanks to Dave "Doc" Gordon at Windswept Acres Farm in Vermont, here's Finland's Leningrad Cowboys, joined by the Red Army Choir. This is from the 1992 “Total Balalaika Show”. They join the Red Army Choir to do “Knocking on Heaven's Door,” “Dark Eyes.” “Meadowlands,” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” in the same evening.

The Leningrad Cowboys are a Finnish band who perform parody covers of classic rock. They are perhaps the only band whose hair matches their shoes (don't ask). Their humor is so deadpan and ironic it's hardly there at all, which makes it even funnier. Someone had the truly strange idea of a concert with the Cowboys and a Soviet Army orchestra, chorus and dance group.

You haven't lived until you've seen a Russian basso profundo, in full Soviet Army uniform, singing “Happy Together” with a bunch of Finnish parody rockers in outlandish wigs.


Monday, March 24, 2008

"I Am Shocked, Shocked!"

Last spring I wandered into the tiny Red Hill Cemetery just off the Bean Road in Moultonboro and found the grave of a former local NH resident.

This guy co-starred with Bogie in a little movie called "Casablanca", and his stone is on the right. In the early 1960s he purchased a huge colonial house in Sandwich, and spent his final years there.

Here's his big scene:

We Travel the Spaceways

Scientists have found a small but significant deceleration in the Pioneer spacecraft, which was launched in March of 1972, as it makes its way through interstellar space. What could be slowing it down?

A Pile of Bricks

Day 10-this was taken just after 10 AM Monday, so Randall may as I post this be totally gone.

I have created a separate blog with all of the Randall demolition pictures, and will be posting the link to this as soon as I have finished fine-tuning it.

Monday's Music Digest

BB King buys a club in his Mississippi home town

New online Hawaii entertainment guide debuts

Interesting profile of Quincy Delight Jones, Jr.

A push is on to create a postage stamp in honor of Sun Records founder Sam Phillips: &

And finally, the proposed Sirius Satellite radio merger gets initial OK


There's a joke people still tell about two guys working in the oilfield and one gets bitten on the ass by a snake.

"Hurry, go get the doctor," he pleads to his friend. "Ask him what we're supposed to do."

His friend heads into town and finds the doctor, who is rushing out the door to deliver a baby.

"I can't help you right now," he tells the man. "But here's what you do. Cut two Xs over the fang mark and suck out all the venom. I promise, your friend will be fine."

So the man drives back out to the oil field where his friend lays in agony holding his swollen ass.

"What did the doctor say?"

"The doctor says you're gonna die."

Here's a story about a recent rattlesnake roundup in Texas, and info about this year's event in Sweetwater:

The Sweet Potato Crosses the Pacific

Fascinating account of the journey of the lowly sweet potato across the world's widest ocean. While in Hawai'i in 2003, we actually consumed some Okinawan sweet potatoes, which are purple! They were ono (delicious).

Neil Aspinall, RIP

Neil Aspinall, a lifelong pal of the Beatles from their scuffling days in Liverpool, England, who became their road manager and then spent 40 years as the chief protector of the group's recorded legacy as head of Apple Corps, has died of lung cancer. He was 66.

Aspinall died at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He had stepped down last year after four decades of running Apple Corps, where he led the company's trademark-infringement lawsuit against Steve Jobs' Apple Inc. At the time, a source in the Beatles camp said Aspinall retired at least partly because of his health.

rest of story,1,2750549.story

Got Snow?

Naturally for New Hampshire in late March, our daily high temperatures have been well BELOW normal. Today's high was just barely above freezing.

Luckily, Al Gore came to visit this afternoon, and thoughtfully defrosted my driveway. Hot stuff!
Where are Mr. Ed and his surfboard when you need them?

Hawaiian Music Returns to New Hampshire

Great news-beloved Hawaiian band The Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau, led by Uncle Moon (shown above with a giant crawdad he caught at the Sanders Lobster Company in Portsmouth last year) will, as promised, make a return to the Granite State this September. They're always great entertainment, and always bring along some of their fellow Hawaiian musician friends and a batch of hula dancers.

They will also be doing a show at "the Big House", New York's Carnegie Hall, at the end of May. Be there-Aloha!

The Sons are best known as being the band where the great Bruddah IZ got his start.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

We Travel The Spaceways

While docked and onboard the International Space Station, a STS-123 Endeavour crew member captures the glowing green beauty of the Aurora Borealis March 21, 2008. (NASA/Reuters)

R.I.P. "Popeye"

NEW ORLEANS-Al Copeland, a hard-charging, high-living entrepreneur who built an empire on spicy fried chicken and fluffy white biscuits, died Sunday in Munich, Germany, of complications from cancer treatment. He was 64.

He had gone to Munich for treatment of his illness, which had been diagnosed in November, said Kit Wohl, his spokeswoman.

Born in poverty, Mr. Copeland burst onto the scene in 1972, when he opened his first Popeyes fried-chicken stand, in Arabi. It was the start of a franchise that, under his leadership, had 700 outlets, not only in the United States but also in Puerto Rico, Panama and Kuwait.

rest of story

Popeye's website

Sunday Music Digest

I've decided to try and make this a daily feature. Hopefully there will be enough news on a daily basis to get at least 5 stories a day here.

The man who rented Max Yasgur's farm for a little rock show in 1969:

New high res download store announced:

McCartney flies to NY to hold bedside vigil with ailing "5th Beatle" Neil Aspinall, who has lung cancer-

A hard day's wife: trials and tribulations of the assorted Beatles wives...

George Harrison's Australia home sells for a hefty price-I thought he only lived on Mau'i, but apparently not.

And finally, the Jackson family has fallen on hard times:

Don't Fly This!

Here's a follow-up story about the go! airlines flight enroute from Honolulu to Hilo where both pilots fell asleep at the wheel. No fighters were scrambled to intercept the flight...

B, S & T + 40

Well known jazz-rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears is celebrating its 40th birthday this year by welcoming co-founder Steve Katz back into the group for the first time since 1973. Steve, who plays guitar and harmonica (he's on the right in the second picture, which along with the logo are courtesy of the B, S & T website) started out in the Even Dozen Jug Band with John Sebastian and Maria Muldaur and 9 other people, then joined B S & T founder Al Kooper in The Blues Project before starting B, S & T, which was named after a Johnny Cash tune.

Steve's bio, and other B, S & T info, at their website here:

And here's an interesting B, S & T story from the late 1960s with an NRBQ twist. Thanks to Q-lister Bobby Lloyd Hicks, who plays with Dave Alvin and The Blasters, for this bit of trivia:

" a 60s CBS artist [ [I've since learned it was Terry Adams] was a big fan of Thelonius Monk. While passing an office one day at CBS he noticed a cover for a new album called, "Monk, Sweat & Tears". So enraged was he by the idea of his idol consorting with this band he took out a knife and cut a message into the cover saying it should not come out and then stabbed the cover for good measure. Must have worked as it never came out."

I did some research and found the connection between Monk and B, S & T-Harry Colomby, the older brother of B, S + T original drummer Bobby (who still owns the B, S + T name) was Thelonious Monk's personal manager at the time. We're still trying to figure out if the "M, S & T" album ever came out...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Aloha, Wilbur!

Only in Hawai'i...

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — A horse is a horse, of course, of course, but the one brought to visit a patient at Wilcox Memorial Hospital was the wrong horse.

Hospital spokeswoman Lani Yukimura says a drunken man brought the horse to visit an ailing relative earlier this month, thinking it would cheer up the patient to see his stallion.

Yukimura says the man and the horse rode an elevator up to the third floor, where they were met and stopped by security personnel.

She says the patient was brought out to see the horse, but he said it wasn't his horse.

Yukimura says security then managed to get the man and the horse out of the hospital with only a few scuff marks.

"On Kaua'i, we have a very warm inviting atmosphere at Wilcox," Yukimura said. "We just hope people understand this is not a place for a horse."

Bottom photo is the horse's ass we saw about 20 miles down the road from Wilcox Hospital in Waimea, circa 2003, just below the outlet of Waimea Canyon. Nice pose!

Saturday Music Digest

A new Steve Miller interview-many people don't know that Steve is Les Paul's godson!

Review of the new Van Morrison retrospective DVD

Nice video of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who's been honored the past couple of years at JazzFest in New Orleans

"Hey Joe" was covered by Hendrix, and even later by Buckwheat Zydeco, but The Leaves did it first:

A new Rolling Stones movie is due out soon...

And finally, the (remaining) Beatles will try to block release of the previously mentioned early Star Club recordings.

Only A Few Bricks Left

Randall Hall, Saturday morning.

Soon, for the first time ever, "FS Hall", seen in the background, will be visible from Main Street for a brief period, until the replacement building goes up. Of course, once they finish knocking down the above-ground portion of the structure, they have to dig down and get rid of the basement. This may also require some environmental cleanup and mitigation, as Randall was at one time heated with ancient furnaces that included some pipes enclosed in asbestos.

Talkin' Baseball...

Our beloved (World Champion) Boston Red Sox took a 16+ hour nonstop plane ride from Florida over the Great Circle Route via northern Canada, Alaska and the Aleutian Islands to Japan the other day, and will open the regular MLB season Tuesday in Tokyo against the Oakland A's.

Here's a look back at some classic pitcher-batter matchups from days past:

Decline of Caribbean Reefs

Several hundred years ago, the coral reefs of the Caribbean had up to six times more fish than they have today, according to a study published Wednesday.

The estimate is made by US scientists poring over the fate of the Caribbean monk seal, a fish-loving mammal driven to extinction in 1952.

Historical records from the 17th and 18th century show there were huge numbers of monk seals, distributed among 13 colonies across the Caribbean.

More here

Today in Music

Today in music history

Alan Freed, the American D.J. who coined the term “rock and roll”, had his 1952 Rock ’n’ Roll Stage Show at a local arena cancelled when 30000 fans overcrowded the venue. Fire regulations allowed only 10000.

The Guess Who released their biggest hit, “American Woman,” this week in 1970. Randy Bachman left the band four months later because of religious conflicts with the rock and roll lifestyle. Burton Cummings carried the band until 1975.

Bob Dylan’s song, “Hurricane,” caused enough publicity to get Rubin “Hurricane” Carter released from jail in 1976. The song promoted Carter’s innocence and is from the 1975 album, Desire.

Strawberry Fields, an area in Central Park bought by Yoko Ono in memory of her late husband was opened in 1984.


1953- Robert Johnson, KC and the Sunshine Band

1951- Russell Thompkins Jr, vocals, The Stylistics

1943- Viv Stanshall, vocals, ukulele, Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band

1950 -Roger Hodgson, guitar, Supertramp

1949- Eddie Money, (Edward Mahoney)

We Travel The Spaceways

"It's all coming back to me..."

TOKYO (AFP) - In an unprecedented experiment, a Japanese astronaut has thrown a boomerang in space and confirmed it flies back much like on Earth. Astronaut Takao Doi "threw a boomerang and saw it come back" during his free time on March 18 at the International Space Station, a spokeswoman at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said on Friday.

Doi threw the boomerang after a request from compatriot Yasuhiro Togai, a world boomerang champion. "I was very surprised and moved to see that it flew the same way it does on Earth," the Mainichi Shimbun daily quoted the 53-year-old astronaut as telling his wife in a chat from space.

The space agency said a videotape of the experiment would likely be released later.

Aloha Airlines Goes Bankrupt Again

Aloha Airlines Inc. is searching for a buyer for some or all of its business.

A day after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the airline told a federal bankruptcy court yesterday that it is seeking a buyer for its cargo and contract services, and interisland and trans-Pacific passenger segments, as well as investors to provide long-term financing. The state's second-oldest airline is facing plummeting revenues caused by record-high fuel prices and an interisland fare war sparked by Mesa Air Group's local carrier go! in June 2006.

It got approval yesterday for a cash collateral arrangement and other measures that enable it to continue operating for 10 days.

Photo by yours truly, Lihue Airport, May 1, 2003. That's the 737 we had just flown over on from HNL. At the time, unlike their competition, Aloha had a First Class Section for inter-isle flights. The only "perks" in First were getting an extra glass of POG (Pineapple-Orange-Guava Juice).

Friday, March 21, 2008

Before The Fall

Here's what New Hampton School's Randall Hall looked like circa December 2005. Taken on a VERY cold day.

Still Hanging In There

Randall Hall as of Friday afternoon-the section on the left still remaining was converted from student dorm rooms into a 3-floor faculty suite in the early 1970s, and was first occupied by legendary NHS English teacher Norman Brown and family.

Best guess is that unless the demo guys work on weekends, Monday or Tuesday of next week will be "the final elbow".

Friday Music Digest

Assorted nuts and bolts...

First up, Philly Joe Jones, with the Sun Ra Allstars? Yep, that's right, and Archie Shepp, Lester Bowie, etc.

Next up, no mention on who actually "won", but the 5 year dispute between certified A-Hole Mike Love and Al Jardine has been settled:

No music, no cry-licensing issues stall the film biography of Bob Marley.

Boo, hiss department: CNN picks their top 5 "rockumentary" movies. What? No "All You Need is Cash"? They get a couple right, though.

A look at Gibson Guitar's 1999 "msuic simulation" patent, which figures in their lawsuit against the "Guitar Hero" game software:

Levon Helm-life and music after The Band

VH1 will repeat last week's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, in an edited 2 hour version, Saturday night at 11 PM.

Vermont's "Guitar Sam" really likes a smaller stringed instrument:

And finally, Tom Petty and his original Florida band Mudcrutch are getting back together for an album and tour.

Save the Monkeypods!

Here are a couple of shots I snapped in May of 2003 on Kaua'i. On top you can see in the foreground some old monkeypod trees in Old Koloa Town and below that is one of the last undeveloped parcels of land in said town. This article ties the two together...

KOLOA, Hawaii (AP) Two mature monkeypod trees on Kauai are getting a new home. Kukuiula Development Incorporated has agreed to adopt the trees so it can build The Shops at Koloa Town. The plan is to have a nursery company relocate the trees at a 20-acre community park along Poipu Road in Koloa.

Mayor Bryan Baptiste says county officials are grateful the developer has agreed to save the treasured trees. The new park is to include picnic areas and baseball and soccer fields. Its creation was a condition for Kukuiula being allowed to develop areas on Kauai's south shore.