Sunday, April 08, 2007

Back in the day has moved...

to a new home over here. I'm just getting settled in, but I would love it if you would come by and see me!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Old Pipes and Easter

Most project-type crises around our place seem to happen at the most inopportune times. Not that any time is really a good time for a crisis, and not that we really have big plans for Easter, but it is a cooking holiday nonetheless. Determined not to call a plumber right off the bat, particularly on holiday weekend dollars, Willi and Cali are fast at work on the kitchen sink. Most projects we begin this way end up far larger than we bargained for, mainly because one problem generally leads to another due to the age of this house and its innards. I can relate since the house and me are about the same age.

Easter seems to be kind of a non-holiday these days. All of our kids are past the age for egg hunts and baskets, and we do not have any grandbabies. Back in the day it was a pretty big deal. What seemed like HUGE Easter baskets would sit on the mantel ready to be devoured when we got up. My mom was great at filling them. I especially remember those little wax pop bottles filled with some kind of juice, egg shaped malted milk candies, and lots and lots of chocolate. Oh, and there were Pez, too. My mom would put dinner in the oven before church so that it would be ready when we got home. The smell of dinner would knock our socks off when we walked through the door. Everyone went to church; even my dad. And we were all dressed to the nines. I don't remember much about church really except that as I got older the connection between Jesus and candy didn't seem to make much sense. It still doesn't.

How's this for a bag of mixed emotions? This blurry picture was taken Easter Sunday after church with Gram. My son has it down pretty good, but Sarah is not the least bit interested in the bunny or the picture either one. I love this picture. Usually Josh was unhappy and Sarah had the pretty smile, but not so here. Thankfully, I don't often see that look in the eyes of the strong young woman she has grown up to be.

Easter reminds me of the story of the Velveteen Rabbit; one of my favorites. I also remember one of the little neighbor girls, Stacy, telling me all about her skeeter baggit. She went on and on. Much of what she said I could not understand, but she talked and I listened just the same. A few days later I saw her mom and told her all about our lovely conversation, which turned out to be about her Easter basket. I still giggle when I think of it. I saw her just a few weeks ago with her dad and her son. He is getting ready for kindergarten. Time sure does go by. It seems like yesterday that Willi's daughter and I were making bunny cakes. Now she's in high school!

It looks as though we will be seeing a plumber the first of the week. That's ok. After giving it a valiant effort, Willi is smoking ribs and Sarah is bringing plastic plates for our pre-Easter dinner. Not having running water in the kitchen is kinda sorta like camping. Well it's not that the water isn't just doesn't have anyplace to go! Oh, well. A few years from now this will be one of those Easter rememberings! Hope your day is a good one.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Aloha from Nashville

Disclaimer: This is not a paid advertisement for Tin Pan South, even though it may look like one! For the third time Willi and I have had vacation days that coincide with the songwriter's festival. Once again, we have come away feeling like it was better than ever. I'm going to roll through the shows we were able to attend. I've linked to pages that will give you an idea of some of the great music we heard. Sadly enough there are eight other shows going on at the same time and the choices are really tough to make. There were no disappointments here...
Tuesday, First Show at the Mercy Lounge:
Benefit for the New Orleans Songwriting Community
Grayson Capps

Dr. John

The first time I heard Dr. John was in high school. I dug out my GRIS-gris album which was originally issued in 1968. He's changed some since then. But then again, so have I. This was a great way to start Tin Pan South. We have just started hearing Grayson Capps on XM Radio and pairing him with Dr. John was a real treat. There were good folk there from the New Orleans NSAI chapter which brought the benefit even closer to home.
Tuesday, Second Show at the Mercy Lounge:
Gibson Baldwin's Texans in Tennessee
Gary Nicholson, Lee Roy Parnell, Leslie Satcher,
Jon Randall, Jessi Alexander

We all came to see Lee Roy Parnell, but there were other draws as well. Willi was anxious to see Gary Nicholson, and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why...that is until partway through the show when I remembered that we have an incredible CD he recorded under that name of Whitey Johnson. My pick here was Jon Randall. We saw him at our first Tin Pan South and his new CD is outstanding. You may remember him as a member of the Nash Ramblers playing with Emmylou Harris earlier on. I was not familiar with Leslie Satcher or Jessi Alexander, but plan to be. John David Souther was scheduled for this show, but was unable to attend. I have followed him from way back in his own singing career, through Souther, Hillman and Furay, and enjoyed his writing for the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt. Wish he could have been there.
Wednesday, First Show at 3rd and Lindsley
ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Rivers Rutherford,
Anthony Smith, Tammi Kidd, Radney Foster

This was definitely one of those shows where I was not on the same page as most of the others attending. At least not in the beginning. In fact when we were waiting in line to get in, a big black Hummer pulled up on alongside us on the curb and the occupant got out and came over to the couple in front of us to say hello. Then he told Willi and I he was glad we came out to the show. We both smiled and nodded and then looked at each other for a clue. What a nice guy. He turned out to be Anthony Smith. We were probably the only ones at the show that didn't know who he was...that is until he started singing the songs he wrote. Sheesh. Both he and Rivers Rutherford have songs recorded by the biggest country stars. Radney Foster was our choice here. He is another one I have been listening to for years - back in the day when I had to check new music out at the library...the cassette was Foster and Lloyd, now out of print.
Wednesday, Second Show at the French Quarter

Troy Johnson, Bonnie Baker

I Googled Bonnie Baker and ended up on her myspace page. Her music stole me away. Sometimes there are slots where we know right off the bat which show we want to go to. For others we start searching to learn a little more. This turned out to be a great show. I have since found that Troy Johnson has a CD available, but nothing by Bonnie Baker and I'm sorry for that.
Thursday at the Bluebird
Jon Randall, Danny Flowers
(on left not pictured Darrell Scott, Kevin Welch)

"A thin place is anywhere our hearts are opened. To use sacramental language, a thin place is a sacrament of the sacred, a mediator of the sacred, a means whereby the sacred becomes present to us. A thin place is a means of grace." -This is how Marcus Borg, a theologian we are fond of, describes a "thin place". Daddy D, if you are reading this, you will remember that we talked about this one Sunday. The music we heard this night surrounded me and lifted me up. I cannot explain it. It was a thin place for me if there ever was one.

These pictures are not very good. In the top picture you cannot see Kevin Welch because he is sitting so close. You can see his empty chair in the picture below.

Darrell Scott and Jon Randall

Darrell Scott is the best. That's all there is to it. His lyrics say what I feel and the guitar and mandolin seem to be extensions of his being. All four of these gentlemen were such talented musicians that they accompanied each other as they went the rounds from one to another. It was like sitting in a living room where four friends were playing together. It just doesn't get any better than this.
Friday at 3rd and Lindsley
Sacha Skarbek, Jeff Cohen, Sherrie Austin, Chris Barron

This was our last show, but what an interesting story here. I wanted to see Chris Barron; you might remember him from the Spin Doctors. Willi was looking forward to seeing Jeff Cohen. We both had made a good choice and the show was another great one. The fun here was behind the scenes. One of the people we shared a table with drew my attention to the next table over, talking about Nick Lachey. I had no clue who he was until he mentioned MTV and a show he was in when he was married to Jessica Simpson. OK - now I got it, and so did a lot of other people. By the time the show was through we could not get out because of the gawkers. Poor guy. It turns out they were right though according to this article.

If you have made it this far, you are probably my daughter or music lovers like Willi and me. If so, maybe we will see you next year at Tin Pan South.