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The Honeydrops have come a long way since guitarist and trumpeter Lech Wierzynkski and drummer Ben Malament started busking in an Oakland subway station, but the band has stayed true to that organic, street-level feel. Listening to Lech sing, it can be a surprise that he was born in Warsaw, Poland, and raised by Polish political refugees. He learned his vocal stylings from contraband American recordings of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Louis Armstrong, and later at Oberlin College and on the club circuit in Oakland, California. With the additions of Johnny Bones on tenor sax and clarinet, Lorenzo Loera on keyboards, and Beau Bradbury on bass, they’ve built a powerful full-band sound to support Wierzynski’s vocals. More like parties than traditional concerts, their shows feature extensive off-stage jamming and crowd interaction. “The whole point is to erase the boundaries between the crowd and us,” Wierzynski says. “We don’t make setlists. We want requests. We want crowd involvement, to make people become a part of the whole thing by dancing along, singing, picking the songs and generally coming out of their shells.”
The Wood Brothers are an American roots band consisting of brothers Chris and Oliver Wood, as well as multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix. Their music is a combination of folk, gospel, blues and jazz. Wikipedia
The Wood Brothers’ sixth outing, ‘One Drop of Truth,’ dives headfirst into a deep wellspring of sounds, styles and influences. Whereas their previous outings have often followed a conceptual and sonic through-line, here the long-standing trio featuring brothers Oliver and Chris Wood along with Jano Rix treat each song as if it were its own short film. The plaintive, country-folk of the album’s opening track “River Takes The Town” gives way to the The Band-esque Americana soul of “Happiness Jones.”
They have several new recordings since and continue to create wonderful music and tour the country.
THE JERRY DOUGLAS BAND
Dobro master and 14-time Grammy winner Jerry Douglas is to the resonator guitar what Jimi Hendrix was to the electric guitar: elevating, transforming, and reinventing the instrument in countless ways. In addition to being widely recognized as the foremost master of the Dobro, Jerry Douglas is a freewheeling, forward-thinking recording artist whose output incorporates elements of bluegrass, country, rock, jazz, blues and Celtic into his distinctive musical vision. Called “dobro’s matchless contemporary master,” by The New York Times, fourteen-time Grammy winner Jerry Douglas is one of the most innovative recording artists in music, both as a solo artist and member of groundbreaking bands including J.D. Crowe & the New South, the Country Gentlemen, Boone Creek, the Grammy-winning The Earls of Leicester, and Strength In Numbers. Douglas’ distinctive sound graces more than 1500 albums, including discs released by Garth Brooks, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Elvis Costello, Earl Scruggs, and Ray Charles, among many others. Since 1998, he’s been a key member of “Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas”, touring extensively and co-producing and playing on a series of platinum albums. He has produced albums for Krauss, the Del McCoury Band, Maura O’Connell, and Jesse Winchester and is is co-Music Director of the acclaimed BBC TV series Transatlantic Sessions, and his latest solo album Traveler features guest appearances by such notable friends as Paul Simon, Mumford & Sons, and Eric Clapton, among others. (from NPR)
An author with an impact and a message – see Don Winslow Films
April 2022 – The start of a new trilogy – City on Fire
April 2023 – City of Dreams
“Epic, ambitious, majestic, City on Fire is The Godfather for our generation.” – Adrian McKinty, New York Times bestselling author of The Chain
Two criminal empires together control all of New England.
Until a beautiful woman comes between the Irish and the Italians, launching a war that will see them kill each other, destroy an alliance, and set a city on fire.
Danny Ryan yearns for a more “legit” life and a place in the sun. But as the bloody conflict stacks body on body and brother turns against brother, Danny has to rise above himself. To save the friends he loves like family and the family he has sworn to protect, he becomes a leader, a ruthless strategist, and a master of a treacherous game in which the winners live and the losers die.
From the gritty streets of Providence to the glittering screens of Hollywood to the golden casinos of Las Vegas, two rival crime families ignite a war that will leave only one standing. The winner will forge a dynasty.
Exploring the classic themes of loyalty, betrayal, and honor, City on Fire is a contemporary masterpiece in the tradition of The Godfather, Casino, and Goodfellas—a thrilling saga from Don Winslow, “America’s greatest living crime writer” (Jon Land, Providence Journal).
A most unusual review – #BooksWithWallace
2020 release, “Broken.”
In six intense short novels connected by the themes of crime, corruption, vengeance, justice, loss, betrayal, guilt and redemption, Broken is #1 international bestseller Don Winslow at his nerve-shattering, heart-stopping, heartbreaking best. In Broken, he creates a world of high-level thieves and low-life crooks, obsessed cops struggling with life on and off the job, private detectives, dope dealers, bounty hunters and fugitives, the lost souls driving without headlights through the dark night on the American criminal highway.
With his trademark blend of insight, humanity, humor, action and the highest level of literary craftsmanship, Winslow delivers a collection of tales that will become classics of crime fiction.
Of all the blows delivered by Don Winslow’s Cartel trilogy, none may be as devastating as the timing of “The Border,” its stunner of a conclusion. Though Winslow cannot have engineered all of this 14 years ago when he started this series, his sweeping new novel concerns subjects that put it right on the culture’s front burner: the Mexican-American border, the handling of migrant children, the opioid crisis and some barely fictionalized claims about how foreign money has bought influence at the highest level of the U.S. government.
The book’s title, “The Border,” refers to both physical and moral barriers. Winslow is well aware that both that and its cover image, which depicts a razor-wire-topped wall spreading across a desert landscape, are politically loaded. “Loaded phrases, like loaded guns, are more interesting, aren’t they?” Winslow said to Entertainment Weekly in September. As for the book’s depiction of fiercely partisan American politics, including its treatment of characters who are unmistakable versions of the current president and his son-in-law: “I know this book is going to make some people angry. I can live with that.”
Even though the first installment of this trilogy was named “The Power of the Dog,” after a biblical intimation of evil (“Deliver my soul from the sword; my love from the power of the dog,” Psalms 22:20), it only hinted at the magnitude and ferocity of what was to come. That opening novel now looks like the series’ relatively innocent prologue — and it is as blade-sharp, violent, pulse-quickening and reportorially shocking as the pinnacle of some lesser series might be.
“The Power of the Dog” is, in brief, about the first decades that bind the destinies of Art Keller, a Vietnam veteran and later D.E.A. agent, and Adán Barrera, a young Mexican who will go on to achieve the most dizzying heights of power. The book begins in a burning Mexican poppy field in 1975 (“Only in hell, Art Keller thinks, do flowers bloom fire”) and leaves Keller among more poppies in 2004. Many unspeakable acts happen in between, melding the personal with the political (Iran-contra). It is all rendered unputdownable by Winslow’s unrivaled skill at his game.
Willy Porter is a contemporary American rock musician and singer-songwriter from Mequon, Wisconsin. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. In April
Willy Porter Biography
by Richard Skelly – from Allmusic.com
Like Greg Brown, John Hammond, Leo Kottke, Stephen Fearing, Richard Shindell, Kelly Joe Phelps, and so many others, Willy Porter is often at his strongest as a solo act. He does work with a band periodically, but given the economics of touring in recent years, he seems to perform more frequently accompanying himself with guitar and mandolin. Porter honed his chops the natural way, busking across Europe and playing every little coffee house and dive bar on both sides of the Mississippi. He’s a veteran performer who takes his audiences with him on the journey. He elicits a rare kind of communication between artist and audience, mostly because he’s able to read his audiences so well.
Porter was raised near Milwaukee, and his first big breaks were playing theater-sized shows there and in Madison. As could be expected from someone from this part of the country, there’s an element of blues in Porter’s singing and songwriting and in most of his live shows, although he’s best thought of as a contemporary singer/songwriter, straight out of the world of folk music. He began playing viola, a notoriously difficult instrument to master, in his youth, but found he lacked the discipline for classical music as a career path. He had a revelation in his teens when he found Leo Kottke’s album, “6 & 12 String Guitar.” Kottke‘s playing opened up new vistas for Porter, who began playing guitar after dropping his viola studies.
As the occasion or tour dictates, you can catch Porter solo or with a backing band of veterans from Wisconsin.
FULL DISCLOSURE: WHY THE RULES HAVE CHANGED FOR EILEN JEWELL
MAYBE IT’S THE MIDWEST UPBRINGING of politeness and reserve that lay behind it. Maybe it’s the natural defence of someone who already was out and exposed as an artist in a corner of Americana that values the personal as much as the historical. Whatever it might be with Eilen Jewell, in about 13 years of interviewing her, she has always shown herself adept at talking about her songs and her life in a way that deflected personal revelations.
It’s not that she didn’t answer questions, but those answers made the generalities of her characters the focal point and gave just enough to let us see how she’d build relationships to them but not be defined by them. It was politely done of course, and was not without things to chew on given a sharp intelligence and an eye on American culture whether it was her love of Loretta Lyn and Howlin’ Wolf, the pay gap between the sexes, or political resistance as something of a progressive island in a state that’s anything but.
Well, things have changed with the coming record, Get Behind The Wheel. Not only has Jewell written an album that came out of the Covid-era breakup of her marriage to long-time drummer, co-manager, and co-parent, Jason Beek, and some deaths in her wider family, but she has been talking openly, frankly, about her circumstances.
It’s hard to imagine that was a comfortable transition, not least because growing up in Idaho you kept your business to yourself, but you have to wonder if it has been dragged out of her, or did she feel it was inevitable and stopped fighting.
“It is really new for me to talk about anything having to do with my personal life,” the Boise-based Jewell says. “But this time around it seemed like it would be wrong to not discuss it because this album is so, so directly influenced by everything that I’ve gone through in the past couple of years. I just feel like I would be lying if I said ‘oh, I don’t know, it’s just about people and things’ [she laughs].
“Also the pandemic taught me that that there’s something really important about sharing parts of ourselves. That’s what sharing my music is [and] I guess it dawned on me this actually could be a good thing for me, it could open me up to my fans and there’s a chance there could be some cathartic sharing on both sides.”
There probably won’t be any problems getting her fans to share their thoughts next month when she will spend several weeks in Australia (heaven knows we’re not a quiet bunch), but when you put these things out like Jewell is now doing, not only are you exposing yourself but you are setting the agenda for how things are interpreted. And this is before even considering that Beek is still playing in her band and will be on the tour.
How people interpret your songs and your album, and inevitably yourself, will be shaped by these revelations and explanations. Is that a good thing? Was it even planned?
“The label was saying you’ve got to figure out how to talk about this new album, so I was like, yeah, shoot, I’ve gotta decide how much do I want to disclose? How much do I want to set the stage for these songs?,” she says. “Because, yeah, in the past I’ve not done that and thought that the songs should stand on their own and people can interpret them how they want. People are still free to interpret them however, obviously, but this album really did occur at a particular point in time for me. It was a disaster of a moment in my life this album was born out of, beyond anything else I’ve ever experienced, and I felt this album deserved an exception to my normal rule.” It was time? At 43, maybe it’s as simple as that.
“I guess I do want to talk about this stuff, this stuff being the pandemic, the divorce that came out of that, or coincided with it, and then family losses, people near and dear to me – not even Covid-related, but just one after another,” Jewell says. “For the first time in my life it feels cathartic to talk about what was going on behind the scenes. I don’t think it’s necessary information to appreciate the album, but there’s a few Neil Young albums where I gleaned he was going through a particular thing in his life and then read later that in fact, yes that’s happening, and something about that makes me appreciate the album just a little bit more. I have a sense of who he is more.”
From a long low base of knowledge about the album so far – it’s not yet available to media, let alone the public, though we will hear some songs from it at her March shows – a title like Get Behind The Wheel suggests maybe taking control of her life, or at least setting the direction. How did she handle this resetting and reclaiming of control?
“It’s really been a mixed bag,” she confesses. “I think when I wrote that song – the song that contains that phrase ‘get behind the wheel’ is called Alive – I felt so inspired to take control and have agency, it was all very new. I was like, well, so much is crashing down around me but this is an opportunity to just up inside my life in a really authentic way. And that’s still present, but I’m also realising that it’s much harder than it sounds, and sometimes [she laughs ruefully] it’s awful.” No one would blame her for looking away.
“There’s part of me that would just love to drift around and say ‘I don’t know, someone else take the wheel: I’m getting tired already’,” says Jewell. “But I was guilty of some of that for many years, going with the flow with my career, and my personal life too … being cooperative, and they really comes at a cost eventually. You can’t keep whittling your life away like that. Eventually you realise that your heart is not fully in it, and there’s always a reckoning with that.” When she looks at who she was, even three years ago, and who she is now, how does she judge that person?
“I … think … that … person … was … somewhat,” she says slowly, before a long pause. “Somewhat overeager to find distractions. The old me really didn’t want to look at life just as it is. The old me was always kind of looking into the future, thinking about how things will be better or should be better, or the past. The here and now was something that I tended to avoid. “But all we really have is the here and now. The past is gone and the future is a fantasy.”
LISA JEWELL was born in London in 1968.
Her first novel, Ralph’s Party, was the best- selling debut novel of 1999. Since then she has written another twenty novels, most recently a number of dark psychological thrillers, including The Girls, Then She Was Gone, The Family Upstairs and The Night She Disappeared. Lisa is a New York Times and Sunday Times number one bestselling author who has been published worldwide in over twenty-five languages. She lives in north London with her husband, two teenage daughters and the best dog in the world.
From: Publishers Weekly
Lisa Jewell Raced Through Writing Her Latest Novel
“I love to write thrillers about creeps and coercive controllers, and about letting the wrong person in,” Lisa Jewell says via Zoom from the sun-dappled bedroom of her London home, which is packed with books and looks out onto a leafy communal garden. “You can literally wake up one morning, meet someone, and let them into your life, and that can be enough to destroy everything. With thrillers, there’s so much to play with. So many emotions to investigate, so many secrets to uncover.”
Jewell’s novels, which include romantic and family dramas and psychological thrillers, can feel like hornets’ nests pulsing with secrets. The 54-year-old has written 21 page-turners that have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide over the past 30 years and been translated into 29 languages, according to her publisher, Atria. Her next, None of This Is True, out in August, follows a successful podcaster in search of her next project who meets an odd, mousy woman at a restaurant and, at the woman’s suggestion, agrees to interview her for her podcast. The podcaster then discovers that behind the woman’s meek facade is a dangerous character with control issues—who may be trying to dismantle the podcaster’s life.
t took Jewell five months to write None of This Is True—it’s the fastest she’s ever written a novel. “There’s something terrifying about working that quickly,” she says. “I felt slightly out of control.” The idea for the book came to her last January while she was out walking her dog. “I saw a man sitting at the window, working on his laptop, minding his own business, and couldn’t get rid of this feeling that there was something dark going on, that there was some dysfunctional atmosphere there. I wanted to focus on this stranger and find out what could be happening behind him. The front door is a huge thing for a writer. To breach that door and see how people behave when nobody’s watching, that’s fundamental to writing.”
Jonny Geller, Jewell’s agent at Curtis Brown, praises Jewell for her ability to get into the heads of her characters and build rich worlds around them. “Lisa understands that characters come first and that you sort out your plot twists after,” Geller says. “She doesn’t plan out her books. I’ve thought, there’s no way you’re not planning those twists—but she doesn’t. She’s at the peak of her craft, and she’s always hungry for new stories.”
Born in North London, Jewell was a painfully shy kid—nothing like the confident author fans meet at book events today. “I had pigeon toes and a terrible blushing problem,” she recalls. “I would turn this brilliant red at the suggestion that anyone was about to talk to me. I could never just throw myself into anything. My mother says I was always on the edge looking in.”
As a young woman Jewell was “desperate to settle down” and feel grown up. After earning a diploma in fashion communication and promotion from Epsom School of Art & Design (“I had no clue what I was doing and where I was going,” she says), she married an emotionally abusive man. “He love-bombed me and proposed after three months, and the minute I agreed to spend my life with him the abuse started,” she continues. “He threw out my photos and diaries. He told me I was bad at sex. I wasn’t allowed a front door key. He chose what we were going to eat and watch. There’s no sunshine when you’re living like that. I’m still confused by how I let it happen.”
When that toxic marriage ended after five years, in 1996, Jewell set out to reinvent herself. She began dating her current husband—they’ve been together for over two decades and share two daughters—and, after getting laid off from her job as a secretary, started working on a novel at the suggestion of a friend who promised to buy her dinner if she could write three chapters. That novel became Ralph’s Party, a rom-com released in 1999 after Bridget Jones’s Diary ushered in the chick lit age. “It was the right book at the right time,” Jewell says. “London publishers wanted to snap up as many young female writers as they could. Had there not been that zeitgeisty thing going on, I might have missed my moment.”
As Jewell’s readership expanded in the 2000s, she began to focus less on romance and more on the dark sides of human nature—and she used her first marriage as source material. “I’m constantly drawn back to writing about coercive controllers,” she reveals. “My first marriage was probably the most interesting thing that’s happened to me—in the bleakest, most gothic way imaginable. It’s character building for a writer.”
“Lisa’s stories come from a place deep within her,” says Atria publisher Libby McGuire. “They come from an interest in exploring women, men, and control. She’s a number one bestseller and her profile is building, and that’s what I find most heartening. She’s on the cusp of being that big brand-name author that so many strive to become.”
Sophie Kinsella, author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, has been friends with Jewell for more than 20 years and chats with her often about life and work. “Lisa’s writing has changed over the years,” Kinsella says. “I love the thrillers she writes now. Lisa knows exactly how to play the reader, what details to drop in and when, and she creates such compelling characters that you want to follow their stories, whatever happens. I’m so proud of her.”
When Jewell isn’t writing, she’s spending time with friends and family, especially her daughters, who bring her boundless joy. “I love living with teenage girls,” Jewell muses. “I love their sass and potty mouths. I love their mess and wet towels. I love driving them places and fixing meals. I like looking after teenagers in a way I never liked looking after children. I’m not a fan of babies. Toddlers do my brain in. Whereas with teenagers, I’m in my element.”
Clearly Jewell has hit her stride—as a parent and a novelist. “I’ve found myself in a position where, by any reasonable measure, I’m comfortable now and could actually stop writing,” she says. “Truly it’s nothing to do with money. I just have to do something with these feelings I get, where people jump out of the street and get in my head, or I see a house and want to walk into it and find out who lives there. I need to use these weird things and make something out of them. With every book I publish, it seems like an extreme privilege. I’m not sure what the secret is. I’m just following my instincts.”
Elaine Szewczyk’s writing has appeared in McSweeney’s and other publications. She’s the author of the novel I’m with Stupid.
A version of this article appeared in the 07/03/2023 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: Stranger Danger
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Mary Chapin Carpenter (born February 21, 1958 in Princeton, New Jersey) is a highly successful country music singer, guitarist, and songwriter. According to Songfacts, Carpenter had a fairly privileged upper middle class upbringing. Her father was at least partly responsible for her embarking on a musical career. The song “House of Cards” was inspired by the divorce of her parents when she was sixteen.
One of her most widely known singles is “Passionate Kisses” (written by fellow singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams), a song with a rock flavor musically and lyrics listing simple desires such as “a comfortable bed”, “food to fill me up”, and “time to think”. Another big hit was “Down at the Twist and Shout“, which she performed in January 1997 at Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans.
A number of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s songs speak to women, urging them on through hard times or troubled relationships. In “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her“, co-composed by Carpenter and Don Schlitz, the singer makes the case for strength and self-respect. Another common theme in her music is that of taking life at your own pace, rather than rampant goal-driven materialism, such as “The Long Way Home” from her 2001 album Time*Sex*Love, which pokes fun at a man who “retire(s) at thirty to his big-ass house next to the putting green.” The album has a relatively different feel musically, incorporating elaborate orchestra melodies, but with her characteristic lyrical depth.
Her album Between Here and Gone, was released in 2004.
Carpenter’s 2007 album, The Calling, on Rounder Records’ rock/pop imprint Zoë, features commentary about contemporary politics, a reaction to the impact of Hurricane Katrina on a track entitled “Houston,” and an incendiary track entitled “On with the Song“, dedicated to the Dixie Chicks, and addressing the visceral reaction to the trio. In less than three months after its release, The Calling sold more than 100,000 copies in the US.
Carpenter has won five Grammy Awards and is the only artist to have won four consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, which she received from 1992 to 1995. On October 7, 2012, Carpenter was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Editor Note: The wonderful video of Down at the Twist and Shout was filmed at the Spanish Ballroom, Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, Md. Take note of both John Jennings and Pete Kennedy on guitar and the wonderful BeauSoleil. Also special because I was there.
Allman Betts Band
Devon Allman and Duane Betts unite in this exciting band.
Back on the Road. (Somtimes with friends)
The Allman Betts Band includes Devon Allman & Duane Betts on guitars and vocals, Berry Oakley Jr. on bass, Johnny Stachela on slide guitar, John Ginty on Hammond B3 (Robert Randolph/Dixie Chicks) and Devon Allman Project percussionists R. Scott Bryan (Sheryl Crow) and John Lum. The show features original music from their two recent BMG albums, songs from their solo projects as well as classic songs by The Allman Brothers Band, the legendary group founded by Devon and Duane’s fathers, Gregg Allman & Dickey Betts.
Their sophomore album, Bless Your Heart, was released on August 28, 2020. Like their debut album, Bless Your Heart was recorded at the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studios and produced by Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, John Prine and Elvis Presley).
“This is The Allman Betts Band’s best offering yet, showcasing a band still tethered to their legacy but finding their own way with a sound that honors their roots without stepping all over them.” – No Depression
I’m With Her – three talents, indivdually and collectively…
I’m With Her is a band rooted in a rare alchemy: three celebrated songwriters coming together to create music that reveals entirely new possibilities in their distinct and deep-seated talents. Since forming in 2014, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan ,(also of Crooked Still) have imbued their songs with a sharply detailed lyricism, graceful musicianship, and—perhaps most powerfully—mesmerizing harmonies that endlessly reflect their extraordinary chemistry.
Check out their performance: NPR Tiny Desk Concert
The Avett Brothers
The Avett Brothers are an American folk rock band from Concord, North Carolina. The band is made up of two brothers, Scott Avett and Seth Avett along with Bob Crawford and Joe Kwon. Mike Marsh and Bonnie Avett-Rini are touring members of the band. Wikipedia
The band has gotten much exposure over the last few years and need no further introduction. Explore their site.
Hello, Bookstore – Lenox, Massachusetts
As Roaming the Arts reflects on the last year or so, the most heartwarming story about books and the people who love them is the story of a small New England bookstore, on the verge of closing due to the pandemic, and the documentary film made to tell the story of survival.
In 2020, on the verge of closing down, a GoFundMe was started and the owner’s friends, the town, and many others stepped up to save this independent bookstore. It’s a great story, and for this website, at the heart of why our passion for authors and books is a sharing experience.
Check out some of what was said in Print:
In the Local paper.
What Variety said.
(also find stories in the NY Times, the Boston Globe, and many others.)
With Paul gone and Lowell George, gone so long we can only imagine what he may have accomplished as his 78th birthday recently passed.
Now, a Billy Payne led band has opened a new chapter, out on the road, hosting festivals and featured on a cruise (Big Easy Cruise.)
Gotta Love ‘Em. FEAT, FEAT FEAT FEAT.
Check out the embeded video featuring very young guests, Emmy Lou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, and Jesse Winchester.
By Lara Zarum
“The reincarnation of Allen Toussaint.” Craig Charles, BBC Radio 6
“Think New Orleans meets the Midwest with a little bit of California sun shining in the background.” -TwinCitiesMedia.net
“There’s a good chance you’ll have heard of Francis by the time the year is over…classic Funk, Soul and R&B.” Cincinnati CityBeat
“…gleefully mired In 70s style funk.” – NPR
“Soulful style…uplifting vibe…” – Dusty Groove
“Instant Americana-funk classic…R&B, blues and touches of gospel and good old fashioned funk merge into pure beauty and soul here, making the appetite and excitement for whatever Francis does next all the more intense.” – Record Crates United
Read: The Golden Couple
is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. Prior to becoming a novelist, she spent two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. She obtained her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.
is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight previous solo novels and the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. A former investigative journalist and award-winning feature writer, she has published work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many others. She is the mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C.
The Cactus Blossoms
“Hey baby, do you wanna take a trip with me? / I’ve got a feeling there might be a silver lining all around.” So begins One Day, the captivating new album from critically acclaimed Minneapolis duo The Cactus Blossoms. Written and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, the record explores the tension between optimism and despair that’s defined much of the past few years of American life, examining the power (or naïveté, depending on your perspective) of positive thinking in the face of chaos and uncertainty. The songs here are tender and timeless, with straightforward arrangements centered around brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum’s airtight harmonies, and the performances are warm and intimate to match, delivered with a soulful, ’70s-inspired palette of playful Wurlitzer, breezy guitars, and muscular percussion.
The Cactus Blossoms broke out nationally in 2016 with their JD McPherson-produced debut, You’re Dreaming. Dates with Kacey Musgraves, Jenny Lewis, and Lucius followed, as did raves from the New York Times and NPR, who praised “the brothers’ extraordinary singing.” The band was further catapulted into the spotlight in 2018, when David Lynch tapped them to perform in the return of Twin Peaks, and continued to build on their success with their 2019 sophomore LP, Easy Way, which led Rolling Stone to laud the duo’s “rock-solid, freak of genetics harmonies.” High Road Touring
If you love the harmonies of the Everly Brothers, do not miss listening to The Cactus Blossoms. Brothers, they are.
All Set Playlists open in Spotify and are free to listen to whether you subscribe or not.
(Click “Show All” when playlists are on screen)
Time Capsules and Progressive Radio Sets created over more than 45 years.
Each Time Capsule was created in the year shown. (1975-1994)
Followers are saying they have listened while driving cross country and have not run out of music.
What is your favorite year?
Go back to December 31, 2008 when guitarist Derek Trucks and his wife, singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi, were preparing to ring in the New Year. Married since 1999, these two soulmates, equally steeped in the musical roots of blues, jazz, and gospel, had finally decided the time was right to set aside their successful solo careers and commit to a new band melding their vision and talent. It wasn’t the first time they had collaborated; they had shared a stage countless times and traded album guest appearances, all while starting a family together. But on that night, hitting the stage together with members of the Derek Trucks Band and a guest horn section they heard the future.
“The 12-piece outfit puts out a big band sound that still rings intimate, shaking listeners to their emotional core.” – Rolling Stone
Two years later, the couple debuted Tedeschi Trucks Band. The nation’s economy was heading into recession. The popular music landscape was filled with technological theatrics and auto-tuned singers. And here were Tedeschi and Trucks along with their (then) 8-member band, loading up two tour buses and hitting the road with a sound that defied conventional genre boundaries or traditional labels; a gypsy caravan on the rock-and-roll highway. To call it ambitious was an understatement.
During their five-year rise, the group toured incessantly, raising their profile and being handpicked to play with the likes of Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, and Santana
In pursuit of their ideal sound driven by world class musicianship, Tedeschi and Trucks put together a musical collaborative like no other, flying in the face of any practical or economic considerations. There have been evolutionary changes to the band along the way, but the freight-train force of veteran drummers J.J. Johnson and Tyler Greenwell were there from the start, along with two brilliant Trucks Band veterans to amplify the rhythm section: Kofi Burbridge with his prodigious talent on keys and flute, and Mike Mattison, with his dynamic vocals and songwriting skills. A 3-piece horn section brought on for studio work proved indispensable to the group’s sound and became a permanent addition – now composed of Kebbi Williams’ intergalactic saxophone, Ephraim Owens on trumpet and Elizabeth Lea on trombone. Industry-renowned bassist Tim Lefebvre (David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Sting) joined in 2013, and two years later a third incredible voice, Alecia Chakour, was added to the background vocals provided by Mark Rivers and Mattison; each more than capable of delivering a stirring turn as a lead vocalist.
On the road for upwards of 200 days a year, the TTB family has grown strong, bonding over backyard BBQs and long bus rides, all the while developing a growing repertoire of original material and paying homage to an extensive canon of influences ranging from Sly & the Family Stone, Miles Davis and George Jones to Joe Cocker, Nina Simone, and even Indian sarod master Ali Akbar Khan. Embracing improvisation over convention, and set lists rarely repeated, the collective is adept at exploring almost any musical territory. The genuine respect within its ranks is evident on stage. Trucks’ masterful guitar skills and Tedeschi’s soaring vocals and bluesy guitar shine but don’t overpower the breadth of talent, happily yielding the spotlight as needed in service of what the song deserves.
“I saw them live and it was mind blowing. [Derek] has taken the guitar, specifically slide guitar, somewhere it has never been. His phrasing both with and without slide is uniquely his and just odd and jarring and exciting to listen to. [Susan] is an earnest blues player as well and her voice is astounding. The band was mind-blowing. They take a form that is arguably tired and turn it inside out with originality and musicianship and make it totally their own.” – Marc Maron
Trucks and Tedeschi’s uncompromising vision has paid off. Now 12-members strong, and with a catalog of five albums and nearly a decade of steady touring in the U.S. and abroad, Tedeschi Trucks Band carries a distinguished reputation earned from both audiences and critics as one of the premier live bands in the world. Sold-out multi-night runs at venerable venues like the Beacon Theatre, Ryman Auditorium and Red Rocks Amphitheater are a testament to the can’t-miss concert experience fans have come to anticipate. The band’s own “Wheels of Soul” tour has become a sought-after summer experience from promoters across the country, bringing TTB’s unique stew of upbeat rock and soul together on stage with a slew of guests, sit ins, and supporting bands that have included the late Sharon Jones, Los Lobos and most recently The Wood Brothers and Hot Tuna. 2018 will also mark the sixth year for the TTB-curated Sunshine Music Festival, hosted each January in their home state of Florida.
“Epic is an overused word, but if one contemporary rock band were to rightfully wear it, the Tedeschi Trucks Band might be the ones.” – Santa Barbara Independent
TTB’s most recent CD/film release, Live From The Fox Oakland (2017) was nominated for a Grammy and follows a quartet of critically-hailed and commercially successful albums, including the Grammy-winning debut, Revelator (2011) and Let Me Get By (2016), called “one of the great records of the year” by the Associated Press. The film documents the progress the band has made since its inception, while also showcasing its endless potential to bring out the best in each other every night in any musical direction they choose. It’s clear that the leaders have no intention of slowing down now. As Trucks remarked to Mark Maron on his WTF podcast featured in the film, “I haven’t found this band’s ceiling yet.” For Tedeschi Trucks Band, there may not be one.
Josef Kelly — The Artist Josef
“Some artists are blessed to “emerge” when they are young, allowing them the luxury of decades of development and sharing of their gifts. Then there are artists who, at a later stage of life, take the opportunity and the risks to launch their artistic gifts and see where they may go. I am such an artist.”
“My goal is to instill a unique view into emotions, feelings of wonder, and joy that odd and beautiful moments lend to life. I love painting in the impressionistic style with a hint of realism, or “Impressionistic Realism”. ” Josef Kelly
Location – Moab, Utah
Rich Curtin writes a mystery series, featuring Deputy Sheriff, Manny Rivera. He is everything you would want in a hero. and more. Rich Curtin is one of a few fine authors who take the big city police procedurial into the back country setting.
With each mystery comes a travelogue of southeastern Utah featuring Moab and the surrounding majestic landscape. Along with strengh of character, Curtin delivers stories steeped in the history and culture of the area. Now, Moab has grown in popularity as a destination not to be missed the in southwest. Spend some time there with Manny Rivera before you go. And, once you read one of the books in the series and look at some pictures, you will want to go.
The Record Company
The Record Company is an American rock band from Los Angeles. The members are Chris Vos, Alex Stiff, and Marc Cazorla. Their music is influenced by blues musicians like John Lee Hooker, early punk bands like The Stooges, and rock bands like The Rolling Stones. Wikipedia
These rising stars have been riding up the charts with their latest release Play Loud.
Below is an excerpt from an excellent article featured in RELIX…where Music meets Journalism
From Play Loud’s first notes, it’s quite evident that something has changed. The raw, bluesy feel that lined The Record Company’s first two albums is no longer there; instead, there’s a rockand-roll swagger that shines through. It’s energetic in ways that feel more apt for arenas instead of the home-studio recordings that often looked inward. On the album’s opener “Never Leave You,” Vos laments being a bit lost, searching for answers, finding solace in the sun. It’s a simple song about relationship confusion, but it sets the tone for Play Loud: The music here is catchy as hell. The single “How High” is an anthemic number, driven by Stiff and Cazorla’s thumping rhythms. At times, it feels like a pure adrenaline rush, especially when the chorus asks listeners to consider “how high do you want to fly”—in an aspirational way.
That’s not to say that their past is completely devoid on Play Loud. “Today Forever” is a slow, bluesy number that finds Vos passionately declaring to a lover that a great move would be to run away for “a day that will last forever.” It’s grand gesture thinking, but that’s the running thread throughout Play Loud—be yourself, take a chance, do it with some gusto.
Most of the songs were written pre-pandemic, but the Play Loud recording sessions took place in the spring of 2020. Unexpectedly, the lyrics seem to take on a new life once they started laying down the tracks, particularly “How High,” which seems to touch on themes relating to recovery.
“We were in a new, challenging time,” Vos says. “But at my core, as a human, I was back to being a 14-year-old kid sitting on the edge of my bed, playing guitar because I had nothing else to do today. The only thing on my mind was music. It was the only thing that would make me feel better, making the record. It became the absolute focal point of our lives. That was unexpectedly positive in a field of a lot of negativity. That was one area where we did benefit from being isolated. These songs for me were very emotionally profound. We’d written a lot before [the pandemic] but, all of a sudden, you’re taking it into the studio, and you’re singing this song—and this life, it means something different. We all have a relatable struggle. We all didn’t see our moms and dads for a long time. We all didn’t see our friends for a long time. That’s something we all share.”
Kindle has a new app called Vella.
The idea is to publish stories, one episode at a time. Quick reads for “on the go” readers.
Designed for reading on your phone or any device with a browser.
And, the best part for readers, the first three episodes of any Vella story are FREE.
Lucy is a dog. A Labradoodle to be precise. She can record her thoughts on Vella.
Want to know what your dog might be thinking?
Share, Like, Review, Follow.
More by Jeff Schwartz – Mother’s Day and Other Stories
Samuel Stephen “Steve” Forbert is an American pop music singer-songwriter. Bob Harris of BBC Radio 2 said Forbert has “One of the most distinctive voices anywhere.” His 1979 song “Romeo’s Tune” reached No. 11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and No. 13 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart. Wikipedia
Latest release – Early Morning Rain — In Steve’s own words:
“For the past few years things have been extremely hectic–nonstop issues and distractions. Now we’re trying to cope with a full-on pandemic – the very kind of contagious thing we studied back in history class! My new record is my idea of rather a “breather”. I’ve released 20 studio albums of original material by now and I’m taking my time writing more songs…but this EARLY MORNING RAIN “cover” album is a what you might call an “easy assignment” for Americana/folk music fans. You don’t have to study new chapters here, just enjoy these renditions of songs you already know and probably love!”
For more video variety vist Steve Forbert on social media.
And check out his book:
Location – Maryland
Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working full-time and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001.
Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards.
She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor’s Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association. Ms. Lippman grew up in Baltimore and attended city schools through ninth grade.
After graduating from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Md., Ms. Lippman attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her other newspaper jobs included the Waco Tribune-Herald and the San Antonio Light.
“Dion, like a circling star that never fades, generates the energy and fire we need to pull ourselves up and start again.” (Pete Townsend)
Dion may be a household name and Hall of Famer but has earned a post here as he remains relevant at 82.
Currently charting with a new record, Stomping Ground, featuring collaboration with over a dozen major artists.
Read and remember:
Dion DiMucci had a career unlike any other in 20th century popular music, one that took him from harmonizing doo wop on the streets of the Bronx to baring his soul on a series of singer/songwriter albums in the ’70s, spending his later years bringing his blues into the 21st century. First famous for the hits he had as a teen with the Belmonts, “The Wanderer” and “Ruby Baby” were covers that established Dion as a solo star in the late ’50s, while “Runaround Sue” and “Lovers Who Wander,” which he co-wrote, revealed a songwriting talent that would flourish over the years. DiMucci kept recording after the British Invasion changed the rock & roll landscape of the ’60s, but he didn’t have another big hit until the bittersweet “Abraham, Martin and John” in 1968, a single that introduced a period as an idiosyncratic singer/songwriter, an era encapsulated on the 1975 cult classic Born to Be with You. Dion spent some time singing Christian music and oldies before returning to fresh material with 1989’s Dave Edmunds-produced Yo Frankie. From that point forward, DiMucci split the difference between R&B throwbacks and new tunes, eventually settling into a blues groove, beginning with 2006’s Bronx in Blue and stretching into 2021’s Stomping Ground.
When Dion began recording in the late ’50s, it was as the lead singer of a group of friends who sang on Bronx street corners. Billing themselves Dion & the Belmonts (Dion had released a previous single with the Timberlanes), their first few records were prime Italian-American doo wop; “I Wonder Why” was their biggest hit in this style. Dion‘s biggest single with the Belmonts was “A Teenager in Love,” which pointed the way for the slightly self-pitying, pained odes to adolescence and early adulthood that would characterize much of his solo work.
Dion went solo in 1960 (the Belmonts did some more doo wop recordings on their own), moving from doo wop to more R&B/pop-oriented tunes with great success. He handled himself with a suave, cocky ease on hits like “The Wanderer,” “Runaround Sue,” “Lovers Who Wander,” “Ruby Baby,” and “Donna the Prima Donna,” which cast him as either the jilted, misunderstood youngster or the macho lover, capable of handling anything that came his way (especially on “The Wanderer”).
In 1963, Dion moved from Laurie to the larger Columbia label, an association that started promisingly with a couple of big hits right off the bat, “Ruby Baby” and “Donna the Prima Donna.” By the mid-’60s, his heroin habit (which he’d developed as a teenager) was getting the best of him, and he did little recording and performing for about five years. When he did make it into the studio, he was moving in some surprisingly bluesy directions; although much of it was overlooked or unissued at the time, it can be heard on the Bronx Blues reissue CD.
In 1968, he kicked heroin and re-emerged as a gentle folk-rocker with a number four hit single, “Abraham, Martin and John.” Dion would focus upon mature, contemporary material on his late-’60s and early-’70s albums, which were released to positive critical feedback, if only moderate sales. The folk phase didn’t last long; in 1972 he reunited with the Belmonts and in the mid-’70s cut a disappointing record with Phil Spector as producer. He recorded and performed fairly often in the years that followed (sometimes singing Christian music), to indifferent commercial results. But his critical rep has risen steadily since the early ’60s, with many noted contemporary musicians showering him with praise and citing his influence, such as Dave Edmunds (who produced one of his periodic comeback albums) and Lou Reed (who guested on that record). Dion continued to be active as the 21st century opened, releasing Déjà Nu in 2000, Under the Influence in 2005, and Bronx in Blue in 2006. His first major-label album since 1989’s Yo Frankie, Son of Skip James was released by Verve in 2007, while 2008’s Heroes: Giants of Early Guitar Rock saw him tackling 15 songs from the classic rock & roll era. Influenced by a conversation with rock critic Dave Marsh about his long and still relevant career, and a dare from his wife Susan to prove it, Dion cut Tank Full of Blues, producing and playing the guitars himself on the recording and writing or co-writing all but one track on the set. Issued on Blue Horizon, it is the final recording in the trilogy that began with Bronx in Blue.
Dion signed to Instant Records in 2015 and immediately set to recording a new studio album. Entitled New York Is My Home, its first single and title track — a duet with Paul Simon — was pre-released in November digitally and as a striking video. The album was issued in the winter of 2016.
Then the singer/songwriter and Norton Records surprised everyone. In 1965, DiMucci was signed to Columbia, and had cut 15 new songs — all produced by Tom Wilson, who was recording Bob Dylan in the same studios at roughly the same time — for an album that the label, for whatever reason, decided not to release. Dion left the label over the decision. Some tracks were issued on singles, others later on various compilations. But for over 50 years, the tapes sat. That’s where Norton’s Miriam Linna and Billy Miller came in. They received the rights to release the entire record as it was originally intended, completely remastered from the original tapes. Featuring ten originals, one by Mort Shuman (who had co-written “Teenager in Love” with Doc Pomus for Dion & the Belmonts), and three by Dylan (who had been enamored with Dion since the ’50s). Though Miller passed before it was issued, Kickin’ Child: The Lost Columbia Album 1965 was released by the label in May.
In 2020, Dion released Blues with Friends, a collection of original blues songs performed as duets with such superstar pals as Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Van Morrison, and Billy Gibbons. The album was released by KTBA Records (it stands for “Keeping the Blues Alive”), which brought out a similar set in November 2021, Stomping Ground. Another star-sprinkled set of original songs, Stomping Ground featured guest appearances from Rickie Lee Jones, Boz Scaggs, Keb’ Mo’, Mark Knopfler, and many more. In between those two albums, in November 2020, Dion issued a Christmas single, featuring his versions of “Hello Christmas” (featuring Amy Grant) and “You Know It’s Christmas
Artist Biography by Richie Unterberger – via All Music Guide
In the Fall of 2021 Dina published her first full novel, Nermina’s Chance.
In the realm of discovering new writers, it is often by chance.
Enjoying this book. Great chance.
War sears its imprint on the human spirit in infinite ways.
After her family is murdered and her body ravaged by Serbian soldiers, Nermina Beganović’s only chance of survival is to flee her Bosnian homeland during the Balkan War, circa 1992.
Nermina’s Chance by Dina Greenberg reimagines the essence of family and plumbs the depths of a mother’s ardent connection to her daughter.
Related links for independent authors:
What sustains a band for more than three decades? Not a hit radio band, but a roll-up-your-sleeves/drive to the next gig overnight/carry your own gear up the steps and night after night make people happy kind of band. One that makes them dance; sends them home to come back again—and again. What makes that kind band stay together through relatively few personnel changes? Answer: A good idea; a universal yet somehow unique, good idea.
The Nighthawks sought not so much to reinvent rock and roll, but simply to have it reinvent itself by taking the original ingredients and following—if somewhat loosely—the original recipe. And like good cooks, the individual personalities involved ultimately affected the outcome.
The band was over 10 years old and had baffled the mainstream industry before the term “roots rock” was coined to explain the likes of West Coasters like Los Lobos and The Blasters. By then, the affiliation with many of the living blues greats seemed to brand The Nighthawks a “blues band” despite the fact that they played with Carl Perkins as well as Muddy Waters.
The Nighthawks had its genesis when lead singer-harmonica player extraordinaire Mark Wenner returned to his native Washington, D.C. after six years in New York City, lured back by the success of his friend Bobby Radcliff’s local acclaim with a blues band. Mark joined forces with a then very young Jimmy Thackery and formed The Nighthawks in 1972. They spent a couple of years building The Nighthawks’ reputation with a revolving cast of characters until, in 1974, they decided to get the best rhythm section the area had to offer: Jan Zukowski on bass and Pete Ragusa on drums.
The Nighthawks set off on a musical mystery tour that took them to 49 states and a dozen countries. They played with nearly all the living blues legends as well as a new generation of bands, sometimes called “the Blue Wave”, and released several important albums including the best-selling Jacks and Kingswith Pinetop Perkins, Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, Calvin Jones and Bob Margolin. (Servern Records 2017)
Could not resist the throwback video..enjoy
Read Obit from Rolling Stone Magazine
was an American country folk singer-songwriter. He has been active as a composer, recording artist, and live performer since the early 1970s, and is known for an often humorous style of country music that has elements of protest and social commentary. His legacy is being noted in every corner of the globe. Evidenced by the hundreds of recording on Facebook and Youtube by musicians covering his songs almost daily since his passing from Covid-19 in April 2020.
Check out long time lead guitarist Jason Wilber
Lawrence the Band
They are brother and sister with an eight-piece band delivering soul-pop music with some hints of funk, R&B, and rock and roll.
Most of all they are young and having fun.
Latest release – Hotel TV
Funniest Video – It’s Not All About You
Clyde Lawrence and Gracie Lawrence have been writing songs and listening to countless Stevie Wonder, Randy Newman, and Aretha Franklin records in the living room of their family’s New York City apartment since they were little kids. After years of playing together, they officially created Lawrence, an eight-piece soul-pop band comprised of musician friends from childhood and college. In June 2019, Lawrence became the first band to sign with Beautiful Mind Records, the label of Grammy-winning producer/song-writer/artist Jon Bellion. In the weeks following the signing, they released the Bellion-produced single “Casualty,” and embarked as support on Bellion’s Summer 2019 Glory Sound Prep Tour. The signing followed the release of Lawrence’s sophomore album, Living Room, in September of 2018. Co-produced by bandmates Jordan Cohen and Jonny Koh, Brooklyn-based producer Eli Crews, and Clyde and Gracie themselves, Living Room chronicles the trials and tribulations of growing up, including break-ups, make-ups, and a family loss. Living Room built sonically on the band’s first album, Breakfast (2016), which was produced by Grammy Award-winner Eric Krasno (Lettuce/Soulive). In addition to the band, Clyde has also amassed a considerable resume writing songs and score for films and television, while Gracie is an accomplished film, television, and theater actress. (Splitter.fm)
born in 1944, is an American/German artist whose work is associated with Op Art, visionary art, and Space Art. He is considered one of the key innovators of Metal Painting. During a career spanning over fifty years he has created collectible artwork on canvas, paper, and primarily on aluminum. He has spent most of his last forty years in Northern California and currently resides in Hawaii.
He has had over 150 one-man shows. His paintings have been shown in galleries and museums worldwide, including the Smithsonian Museum and the Crocker Museum in Sacramento, Ca. Over the years the value of his artwork in one-of-a-kind original format has steadily increased. Crocker Museum curator observed that Nottebohm “teases the eye and challenges the mind.”
Active galleries: Lahaina Gallery , Laura Rathe Fine Art
Museum Show – University of Arizona
Visit website for Limited Edition Prints on Metal and Silkscreens on museum quality paper.
Follow him on Instagram
Click on “Visit Site” button below for full biography, portfolio, and additional video.
Joe Rothstein – Author and Political Strategist
In his words:
Can democratic government provide the answers? That’s the question at the core of “Menace.”
Three decades ago, a meeting at Kyoto, Japan confirmed the threat of a warming planet and produced a plan for dealing with it. Three decades later, with unprecedented heat, fire, storm, flood, drought, and climate-related migration accelerating even beyond the Kyoto forecasts, governments still have not responded in a manner equal to the threat.
Eight decades ago, atomic bombs were used in warfare. The danger of their use again has not receded. More nations have them stockpiled. Delivery systems remain trigger-ready, and with delivery speeds now approaching hypersonic levels.
Even a technology seemingly as benign as the Internet has been transformed into the beating heart of political turmoil and repression.
I wrote The Moment of Menace and its prequel, The Salvation Project to imagine these threats in the context of fiction. But the question addressed is our reality. How does democracy survive in this age of advanced science?
The irony is that aside from nuclear weapons, much of what is being created can contribute to a golden age—a better life for all who come after us. Far from being bleak, the future can be glorious. Can it be both glorious and remain the democratic system most of us cherish? That’s the question The Moment of Menace addresses.
Location – London and elsewhere in Great Britain
Robert Galbraith a.k.a. J.K. Rowling
When you browse Roaming the Arts you may note that the mission is to drive web traffic to known artists who may be familiar, but not “household names.” Thus you won’t find Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, or authors whose reach is worldwide such as James Patterson or, in this case, J.K. Rowling. They don’t need this post to send fans to their web presence.
You will also note the Word and Film connection, where it is found to be exciting when a great book has been turned into good film or television. That, in our opinion, is not easy, and is a bit rare and extremely exciting when located.
Ms. Rowling, writing as Robert Galbraith, had ducked under our radar, and in all honesty was found by taking note of the HBO series C.B. Strike, where the first four books in the series have been presented with book five, Troubled Blood, in production. Whether looking for a good read or the next show to stream, Galbraith has created characters in Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott who will live in your consciousness for some time.
Good news for fans : Book six in the series, The Ink Black Heart, available August 30, 2022
Lead singer and guitarist for The Marcus King Band, 25-year-old Marcus King has a lot of experience under his belt despite his young age. With over a decade of performing live, King has already made a name for himself among today’s top indie artists. Not many musicians can claim to be a professional by the age of eleven! With King’s dedication to his craft, he has sought to revamp the indie music industry through his unique spin on the genre. Read on to learn more about The Marcus King band from Roaming the Arts.
Marcus King And The Early Years Of His Life
Music was a huge factor in King’s upbringing. With a four-generation legacy of musicians in the family, King seemed to be destined to leave his mark on music as well. Learning from both his father and his grandfather, Marcus King learned how to play the guitar by the tender age of just four years old. His passion for the guitar has only grown with time, prompting the design of the Marcus King Gibson ES 345, a custom vintage design inspired by the Blue Ridge Mountains King called home. Talent for string instruments can be traced back to King’s great-grandfather, who was an avid fiddler. With his grandfather transitioning from fiddle to guitar, and dear ol’ dad being a professional guitarist himself, King certainly had a lot of talent to learn from.
Further Inspiration For King’s Unique Brand Of Music
Through his upbringing in Greenville, South Carolina, much of the influence for The Marcus King Band can be attributed to his hometown. The indie music artist can be described as a powerhouse combination of classic rock-n-roll blended with soul and country influences. Some inspiration for this sound can be seen from King’s father, guitarist and singer Marvin King, who is known for his own band, Marvin King and The Blues Revival. King’s grandfather lent his guitar expertise to the country scene, contributing again to the type of music King would later showcase.
Where The Marcus King Band Is Today
Alongside Marcus King (guitar and vocals), The Marcus King Band is made up of members Stephen Campbell (bass), Dean Mitchell (sax and guitar), Justin Johnson (trombone and trumpet), and Jack Ryan (drummer). The five musicians have been performing together since 2013 – That’s 8 years performing as the Marcus King Band! Their record, El Dorado, is out now and available to be enjoyed by music lovers everywhere! The group is currently located in Nashville, Tennessee, where they continue to write and perform music regularly. Concert information can be found on their website, along with all of the latest updates on The Marcus King Band.
Looking to stay up to date on the latest in indie rock trends? Visit us at Roaming the Arts for more top indie artists like The Marcus King Band. We strive to update you with the top performers and more. Find us on your favourite social media sites to always stay up to date on the latest and the hottest topics Roaming the Arts can offer.
Location – Boston Area
Spenser / Jesse Stone / Sunny Randall
and the old west with – Cole and Hitch
With the passing of Robert B. Parker, now over ten years ago, his estate has engaged numerous authors to continue his legacy, but more so, to satisfy the longing his readers have for these characters. Throughout, television has engaged these characters. Spenser for Hire as a series, Jesse Stone in regularly released TV movies and a Cole & Hitch western – Appaloosa.
Now, Ace Atkins continues the Spenser series, Michael Brandman, (3) and Reed Farrell Coleman (5) added Jesse Stone stories from 2012-2019, Robert Knott contributed five Cole & Hitch westerns and most recently Mike Lupica, known for his books and sports commentary, has brought back Sunny Randall in three books and is about to publish his second novel in continuation of the Jesse Stone saga.
In this editor’s opinion, they are all gifts and well worthy of keeping these iconic characters alive in fiction. Having only recently finding out about Mike Lupica’s four entries in the mix, I read them all and will continue to do so. What fun to hang out in Boston with Sunny and Jesse. Thank you all.
An Incredible Cover Band From The LA Music Scene
Scary Pockets are a dynamic funk band formed from the LA music scene (Los Angeles, USA). The band consists of Ryan Lerman and Jack Conte who are joined by a continuously rotating line up of quality musicians to form Scary Pockets.
Ryan Lerman spent his twenties touring as a bassist for the American singer-songwriter, Ben Folds. He also has performed as a guitarist for Micheal Bublé and as a musical director for John Legend. A very impressive back catalog of performance history. The other half of Scary Pockets, Jack Conte, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, disc jockey, entrepreneur, and filmmaker. When these two talented individuals mix their skills together, along with some of the best session musicians from the LA music scene, the results are phenomenal.
Tom Meyer has been referred to as an ‘outsider’ artist.
He is indeed a self-taught painter. Working primarily with acrylic on canvas or board, Meyer’s paintings originate from impulses within his soul. He has referred to this collection, his first to be exhibited, as ‘narrative visions’.
His cast of characters that inhabit his paintings give an account of his inner life and his imagination. They tell a story with his themes, “of redemption, forgiveness, acceptance, rejection and love,” as he has described it.
Meyer has said, “I don’t paint things, I paint ideas.” His work is informed and inspired by a variety of ideas, from current events to ancient philosophy. Through an outsider or visionary artist, Meyer’s work is part of a creative tradition with roots that include early American folk art and that has continued to evolve in numerous and dynamic ways up to today. Meyer has created a personal universe with his paintings, as many outsider artists have done. This exhibition is a dazzling display of that universe.
A blues musician from Kansas City, Missouri, Samantha Fish impressed industry professionals as a teenager before scoring her first Billboard blues number one in her mid-twenties. Fish grew up in a musical family with a variety of genres, including a steady diet of classic rock radio. Her father played guitar and would sometimes jam with friends at home. Young Samantha started out as a drummer but switched to guitar at the age of 15. As a teen, she would sneak into local blues landmark the Knuckleheads Saloon to hear touring musicians, and she began sitting in with them from time to time after she became legal at 18.
In 2009, Fish recorded the live album Live Bait as the Samantha Fish Blues Band, and the rock-edged guitar work brought her to the attention of Ruf Records. The label featured her alongside Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde on the 2011 release Girls with Guitars, which featured covers of the Rolling Stones and the Steve Miller Band as well as original material from the three guitarist/singer/songwriters. Later that same year, Fish released her solo debut, Runaway, also with Ruf Records. It was produced by mentor and frequent collaborator Mike Zito.
She saw her first chart success with her sophomore LP, Black Wind Howlin’, also produced by Zito. It hit the Billboard Heatseekers chart and reached the Top Ten of the blues albums chart upon release in 2013. She followed it with Wild at Heart in 2015, which became a blues number one. In 2017, she returned with her fourth studio album, Chills & Fever. Recorded in Detroit with members of the Detroit Cobras it featured covers of obscure pop and soul tunes.
Also in 2017, Fish issued Belle of the West, recorded in Missouri with Luther Dickinson and featuring musical contributions by guitarist/harmonica player Lightnin’ Malcolm, former-Squirrel Nut Zipper Jimbo Mathus, violinist Lillie Mae Rische, and others. The album helped the guitarist pick up a 2018 Blues Music Association award for Contemporary Female Artist of the Year. Fish‘s seventh studio album, Kill or Be Kind, arrived in 2019 and found her working with producer Scott Billington in Memphis.
Artist Biography by Marcy Donelson
(For all “red links” above, please use back button to return here – see AllMusic.com to browse their site)
The son of a preacher man, Mississippi-raised Thorn spent much of his childhood in church, participating in multiple weekly services with his father as well as at neighboring African American congregations, where he became entranced with the music whose infectious spirit is captured on the new album. (from Paul Thorn.com)
See loads of great video linked from his web site. Our offering above is an older one with an great message.
For “relationship smiles” watch these favorites: “Just Stay Married” and “Temporarily Forever”
Location – Montana/Wyoming
C. J. Box
C. J. Box is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 27 novels including the Joe Pickett series. He won the Edgar Alan Poe Award for Best Novel (Blue Heaven, 2009) as well as the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, two Barry Awards, and the 2010 Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Award for fiction. He was recently awarded the 2016 Western Heritage Award for Literature by the National Cowboy Museum as well as the Spur Award for Best Contemporary Novel by the Western Writers of America in 2017. Over six million copies of his books have been sold in the U.S. and abroad and they’ve been translated into 27 languages. Two television series based on his novels are currently in development.
Watch “Big Sky” on ABC & Joe Pickett on Paramount+
William Kent Krueger
William Kent Krueger is an American novelist and crime writer, best known for his series of novels featuring Cork O’Connor, which are set mainly in Minnesota. In 2005 and 2006, he won back-to-back Anthony Awards for best novel. In 2014, his stand-alone book Ordinary Grace won the Edgar Award for Best Novel of 2013. Wikipedia
His latest This Tender Land is a Roaming the Arts favorite of 2020.
Band of Heathens
Performance Video — Heaven Help Us All
When The Band of Heathens decided to dub their sixth studio album of original material Stranger (its first since 2017’s Duende), the veteran band, formed in Austin, TX nearly 15 years ago, had no idea how prophetic that title would turn out to be. Although the name references the famed existential Albert Camus novel and Robert Heinlein’s sci-fi classic Stranger in a Strange Land, it also touches on the “strangers” who make up the band’s loyal fan base, who supported the band during this period with all touring canceled.
As co-founder Ed Jurdi acknowledges, it is certainly an unusual time to release a new album. “The strangest,” he says. “Maybe no time stranger. Since we started, there have been sweeping, revolutionary changes in the music business, but, in this global pandemic, we’re just a microcosm.”
“We’re really fortunate that we have been able to turn directly to our fan base during the pandemic,” adds fellow co-founder Gordy Quist. “The last few months we’ve spent four nights a week live-streaming personal private concerts to fans, and one night a week publicly live-streaming with the whole band Zooming in from their respective homes in California, Texas, North Carolina and Tennessee. At first it seemed very strange until
these walls started coming down and we realized how connected we are by the fabric of music.”
Extending the metaphor of Stranger even further. The Band of Heathens traveled to another city, Portland, OR, with a brand-new producer, Tucker Martine [The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket, Modest Mouse, Camera Obscura], and the result is something different – a more airy, intimate atmosphere, with added emphasis on songcraft and intricate arrangements set in a spacious sonic landscape that reinvents the band’s sound. These are songs stripped of pretense, but teeming with the emotion borne of personal experience, as has been The Band of Heathens’ method from the very start. Stranger moves off into a new place, but still echoes the group’s artful songwriting and multi-layered narrative observations.
The Stranger was released in 2020 and is a top ten roots rock album riding high in the charts.
Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, eleven-time #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost sixty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. The fourth novel, THE BEST OF US, in her fan-favorite Sullivan’s Crossing Series was released in Jan. 2019. Robyn’s new women’s fiction novel THE VIEW FROM ALAMEDA ISLAND, released in April 2019, deputed on four bestseller lists: The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Publisher’s Weekly! Robyn is a recipient of the Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award 2016, and in 2017, VIRGIN RIVER was named one of the HarperCollins 200 Iconic Books of the past 200 years. The Virgin River Netflix Series season 2 is now streaming on Netflix (Nov. 2020) with season 3 coming soon. Robyn currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nataniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
Nathaniel David Rateliff is an American singer and songwriter based in Denver, whose influences are described as folk, Americana and vintage rhythm & blues. Rateliff has garnered attention with Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, the soulful R&B combo he formed in 2013. Wikipedia
One of the characters in the story is based on a special resident of Laguna Beach, Ca.
— see this article about Skipper Carrillo
Suzanne is the bestselling author of four novels: Hadley & Grace, In an Instant, No Ordinary Life, and Hush Little Baby.
Born and raised on the east coast, Suzanne moved to California when she was fifteen. She currently lives in Laguna Beach with her husband where they own two restaurants: Lumberyard and Slice Pizza & Beer. In addition to being an author, Suzanne is an architect specializing in residential and commercial design.
Everybody gets in a musical rut once in a while. Are you on the hunt for something new to capture that feeling you had way back when? Just clicking through Spotify or Pandora may not be enough due to how our brains work. While allowing a streaming service to choose songs for us can sometimes work, it’s not the best way to find new jams. Read on to learn more about some tips to find new music so that you can lift your mood with some new rock artists and shake off that routine! Roaming The Arts is a music curation platform whose goal is to promote other musicians/authors/artists. Visit Roaming The Arts to discover some new rock, classical, and indie musicians today!
Try Roaming the Arts Radio – check out the 2020 Time Capsule
Finding New Rock Artists
The first thing we should get out of the way is that old music isn’t always better, you were just younger and more impressionable when it came out. Many people have the mindset that modern music is “not good,” which is not the case. The real story is that newer music just isn’t hitting you emotionally the same way that stuff you liked in your youth did. Older brains are quite resistant to forming new connections to music, and tend to prefer music from our formative years to the exclusion of pretty much everything else. When you look for new music, it’s important to clear your head and eliminate as many distractions as possible. There’s no wrong answer on how to find new music; your goal should be just to consume as much new media as you can, while enjoying the tunes. Kick back with your favorite drink in a comfortable pad, and let the tunes take you back to your happy place. Some useful implements include music streaming service and some way to enjoy the streaming service such as good speakers or headphones. Of course, while you’re going through this music discovery process, make sure to be mindful of your surroundings and those who live in you.
Our world of 2020 is offering very limited live performances, so check out BandsInTown for a daily guide to nationally known artists who are streaming a performance.
Tips To Find New Music
When finding new music, make sure to check out our reviews of each streaming service in order to figure out how to find new music with each. For many streaming apps there’s a “radio” setting, and sometimes you may want to continually make new radio stations when you find another song you enjoy in that same auto-generated playlist. Keep repeating this process until the radio station you make begins to match your mood. Some other tips to enjoy are:
- Change how you listen, such as using Amazon Music or Tidal rather than Spotify
- Watch your favorite movies and add their soundtracks to your library
- Check out the background tracks to your favorite YouTube videos
- Find artists that work with your favorite bands
Of course, these suggestions can only point you to where to look for- putting yourself in a situation that lets you form a fond memory or connection to the cues that would bring back a positive emotional response.
Contact Us Today
Are you looking for ways to fall in love with some new rock and indie artists? Roaming The Arts is a place for you to find new music anywhere in the US. Email Roaming The Arts to find out more today!
James Lee Burke
Location – New Orleans/Iberia Parish Louisiana
James Lee Burke, a rare winner of two Edgar Awards, and named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels and two collections of short stories. He lives in Missoula, Montana.
The Pretenders/Chrissie Hynde
Over the years, the Pretenders became a vehicle for guitarist/vocalist Chrissie Hynde’s songwriting, yet they were a full-fledged band when they formed in the late ’70s. With their initial records, the group crossed the bridge between punk/new wave and Top 40 pop more than any other band, recording a series of hard, spiky singles that were also melodic and immediately accessible. Hynde was an invigorating singer who bent the traditional male roles of rock & roll to her own liking, while guitarist James Honeyman-Scott created a sonic palette filled with suspended chords, effects pedals, and syncopated rhythms that proved remarkably influential over the next two decades. After Honeyman-Scott’s death, the Pretenders became a straightforward rock band, yet Hynde’s semi-autobiographical songwriting and bracing determination meant that the group never became just another rock band, even when their music became smoother and pop-oriented.
Originally from Akron, Ohio, Hynde moved to England in the early ’70s, when she was in her twenties. British rock journalist Nick Kent helped her begin writing for New Musical Express; she wrote for the newspaper during the mid-’70s. She also worked in Malcolm McLaren’s SEX boutique before she began performing. After playing with Chris Spedding, she joined Jack Rabbit; she quickly left the band and formed the Berk Brothers.
In 1978, Hynde formed the Pretenders, which eventually consisted of Honeyman-Scott, bassist Pete Farndon, and drummer Martin Chambers. Later in the year, they recorded a version of Ray Davies’ “Stop Your Sobbing,” produced by Nick Lowe. The single made it into the British Top 40 in early 1979. “Kid” and “Brass in Pocket,” the group’s next two singles, were also successful. Their debut album, Pretenders, was released in early 1980 and eventually climbed to number one in the U.K. The band was nearly as successful in America, with the album reaching the Top Ten and “Brass in Pocket” reaching number 14.
During an American tour in 1980, Hynde met Ray Davies and the two fell in love. Following a spring 1981 EP, Extended Play, the group released their second album, Pretenders II. Although it fared well on the charts, it repeated the musical ideas of their debut. In June of 1982, Pete Farndon was kicked out of the band due to his drug abuse. A mere two days later, on June 16, James Honeyman-Scott was found dead of an overdose of heroin and cocaine. Pregnant with Davies’ child, Hynde went into seclusion following Honeyman-Scott’s death. In 1983, two months after Hynde gave birth, Farndon also died of a drug overdose.
Hynde regrouped the Pretenders in 1983, adding former Manfred Mann’s Earth Band guitarist Robbie McIntosh and bassist Malcolm Foster; the reconstituted band released “2000 Miles” in time for Christmas. The new Pretenders released Learning to Crawl early in 1984 to positive reviews and commercial success. Ending her romance with Ray Davies, Hynde married Jim Kerr, the lead vocalist of Simple Minds, in May of 1984.
Apart from a performance at Live Aid, the only musical activity from the Pretenders in 1985 was Hynde’s appearance on UB40’s version of “I Got You Babe.” Hynde assembled another version of the Pretenders for 1986’s Get Close. Only she and McIntosh remained from Learning to Crawl; the rest of the album was recorded with session musicians. Get Close showed the Pretenders moving closer to MOR territory, with the bouncy single “Don’t Get Me Wrong” making its way into the American Top Ten in 1987. Hynde recorded another duet with UB40 in 1988, a cover of Dusty Springfield’s “Breakfast in Bed.”
Hynde’s marriage to Kerr fell apart in 1990, the same year Packed! was released, although it failed to ignite the charts in either America or Britain. Hynde was relatively quiet for the next few years, re-emerging in 1994 with Last of the Independents, which was hailed as a comeback by some quarters of the press. The album did return the Pretenders to the Top 40, with the ballad “I’ll Stand by You.” In the fall of 1995, the live album Isle of View was released, then the group remained silent for a few years. Hynde finally returned in 1999 with an album of new material, Viva el Amor. Three years later, the Pretenders left their longtime label for Artemis. The reggae-tinged Loose Screw appeared in November and a tour followed in January 2003. In March 2006, the band released their first-ever box set, Pirate Radio, via Rhino. The four-disc package included over five hours of music and a DVD of rare performances. Two years later, the Pretenders released Break Up the Concrete, their first album in six years; it debuted at 32 on the Billboard charts and 35 in the U.K.
Following the release of Break Up the Concrete, the Pretenders spent the next few years touring, but after 2012, Hynde put the band on hiatus. In 2014, she released Stockholm, her first-ever solo album, which was followed in 2015 by her memoir Reckless: My Life as a Pretender. In 2016, Hynde revived the Pretenders to record a new album with Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach as producer. Alone emerged in October 2016. 2019 saw the belated release of The Pretenders with Friends, a CD, DVD, and Blu-ray package that documented both sound and images from a 2006 concert in which Hynde and her bandmates were joined on-stage by Iggy Pop, Shirley Manson of Garbage, and members of Incubus and Kings of Leon. The Pretenders reunited with producer Stephen Street for 2020’s Hate for Sale, which also was the first album since Loose Screw to feature Chambers on drums. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Location – London (Soho) and around the world.
Check out the 2012 film version of Cloud Atlas on Netflix.
Extended Interview – w/ Neil Gaiman @ virtual Politics & Prose Bookstore
David Mitchell was born in Southport, Merseyside, in England, raised in Malvern, Worcestershire, and educated at the University of Kent, studying for a degree in English and American Literature followed by an M.A. in Comparative Literature. He lived for a year in Sicily, then moved to Hiroshima, Japan, where he taught English to technical students for eight years, before returning to England. After another stint in Japan, he currently lives in Ireland with his wife Keiko and their two children. In an essay for Random House, Mitchell wrote: “I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was a kid, but until I came to Japan to live in 1994 I was too easily distracted to do much about it. I would probably have become a writer wherever I lived, but would I have become the same writer if I’d spent the last 6 years in London, or Cape Town, or Moose Jaw, on an oil rig or in the circus? This is my answer to myself.” Mitchell’s first novel, Ghostwritten (1999), moves around the globe, from Okinawa to Mongolia to pre-Millennial New York City, as nine narrators tell stories that interlock and intersect. The novel won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (for best work of British literature written by an author under 35) and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His two subsequent novels, number9dream (2001) and Cloud Atlas (2004), were both shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In 2003, he was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. In 2007, Mitchell was listed among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in The World. Mitchell’s American editor at Random House is novelist David Ebershoff. (Goodreads)
His latest novel (July 2020) Utopia Avenue tells the fictional story of a British band of the same name, who emerged from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967, against the backdrop of real world characters and events.
Check it out on Goodreads (Click cover below)
Mother’s Day and Other Stories
A book of short stories written by Roaming the Arts webmaster.
Mother’s Day and Other Stories is comprised of six short stories. The first three take place on Mother’s Day weekend. As in modern life, cell phones play a role. The stories weave family, growing up with and without, and the role of chance in life. Filled with seriousness and humor, they are quick reads with memorable characters and events.
from Kirkus Review:
Schwartz thoughtfully addresses real life dilemmas that other writers may overlook, such as the question of deleting a parent as a cell phone contact after the loved one’s death: “There at the top of her favorites list was the name ‘Mom.’ She had not had the will to delete the contact. Would anyone?” His use of a question is particularly effective here, provoking uncomfortable reflections from readers. It is also compelling to learn how each of the tales is interlinked–which the author reveals incrementally.
And in the Life Imitates Art category — check out this related story:
A bittersweet Thanksgiving for the grandmother and teenager who met via an accidental text in 2016
Four years ago, a grandmother accidentally invited a stranger to her Thanksgiving dinner via text message. Ever since, they’ve celebrated the holiday together and despite the pandemic, this year was no exception. Watch VIDEO
See Kirkus Review
Chuck Prophet shapes his restless career with inimitable subtle flair: a vivid parade of razor-edged one-liners camouflaged in a slack-jawed drawl, songs about heartbreak and everyman heroism, drenched in twisted lines of rude Telecaster.
One of the most enduring and beloved groups of the last thirty years, The Jayhawks first emerged from Minneapolis in the mid-1980’s, though their commercial and critical breakthrough didn’t arrive until the release of their 1992 masterpiece, Hollywood Town Hall. Over the ensuing decades, the band would go on to record a series of highly influential albums and tour the world countless times over, sharing stages with everyone from Bob Dylan and Tom Petty to Lucinda Williams and Wilco along the way. Following an extended hiatus in the mid-2000’s, Louris and his long-time bandmates—bassist Marc Perlman, drummer Tim O’Reagan, and keyboardist Karen Grotberg—returned to the studio, most recently releasing the acclaimed Paging Mr. Proust and Back Roads and Abandoned Motels in 2016 and 2018, respectively.
The 11th Jayhawks studio album XOXO was released on July 10, 2020 through Sham/Thirty Tigers. Recorded in late 2019 at Pachyderm and Flowers Studios in Minnesota, XOXO represents a bold step forward. For the first time, all four members contribute writing and lead vocal duties. XOXO is the most diverse and wide-ranging in the group’s storied history. Rather than marking a sonic departure, though, the collection signals a sharpening of focus for the band, an elevation in understanding of who they are and what they do best. In classic Jayhawks fashion, the songs here mix the influence of American roots music with British invasion and jangly power-pop, but there’s a newfound vitality at play, as well, an invigoration of confidence and energy that could only come with the injection of fresh blood. The result is an album that, much like the band’s lush harmonies, brings multiple distinctive voices together into a singular whole, a collection that, ironically enough, finds unity in individuality and identity in reinvention.
Author and Photographer
Michael Oberman’s photographs are on permanent display in U.S. National Parks including Steigerwald and Modoc and in museums including the Utah Museum of Natural History and the Ontario Science Centre (Toronto).
Six photos are on a five year tour of U.S. and Canadian museums in an exhibit called “Imaginate”…under the auspices of the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto (where the same six photos are on permanent display).
Before photography, he spent his life in the “music business.” Michael started as a music columnist for the Washington Star and a six year period interviewed more than 300 major recording artists…including David Bowie, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, James Brown…the list is too long for this page. He later worked for a record company and managed artists. Now he is back to his true love: Photography.
In 2019, Oberman was signed to a publishing contract for a book about his life in the music business. He spent eight months writing “Fast Forward, Play, and Rewind.” It will be out on October 15, 2020 in the U.S. and December 1 in Great Britain. (adapted from web site)
Latest Book – Last Girl Ghosted
In development at Netflix – Confessions on the 7:45
Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of seventeen novels, including THE STRANGER INSIDE. With millions of readers worldwide and books published in twenty-six languages, Lisa Unger is widely regarded as a master of suspense. In 2019, she received two Edgar Award nominations, an honor held by only a few writers including Ruth Rendell and Agatha Christie. The Edgar-nominated UNDER MY SKIN is also a finalist for the prestigious Hammett Prize, and the Macavity Award for Best Novel. And the original short story THE SLEEP TIGHT MOTEL is a #1 bestselling single.
Unger’s critically acclaimed books have been voted “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, IndieBound and many others. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Travel+Leisure. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family.
T.Coraghessan Boyle is the author of twenty-eight books of fiction, including, most recently, After the Plague (2001), Drop City (2003), The Inner Circle (2004), Tooth and Claw (2005), The Human Fly (2005), Talk Talk (2006), The Women (2009), Wild Child (2010), When the Killing’s Done (2011), San Miguel (2012), T.C. Boyle Stories II (2013), The Harder They Come (2015), The Terranauts (2016), The Relive Box (2017) and Outside Looking In (2019). He received a Ph.D. degree in Nineteenth Century British Literature from the University of Iowa in 1977, his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1974, and his B.A. in English and History from SUNY Potsdam in 1968. He has been a member of the English Department at the University of Southern California since 1978, where he is Distinguished Professor of English.
Danielle Girard is the author of Chasing Darkness, the Rookie Club series, and Exhume, Excise, Expose, and Expire featuring San Francisco medical examiner Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman. Girard’s books have won the Barry Award and the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, and two of her titles have been optioned for movies. A graduate of Cornell University, Girard received her MFA at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. She, her husband, and their two children split their time between San Francisco and the northern Rockies. White Out, book one of her new Badlands Thriller Series, is available now. Amazon
Lake Street Dive
Lake Street Dive is a multigenre band that was founded in 2004 in Boston, Massachusetts. The band’s original members are Rachael Price (lead vocals), Mike “McDuck” Olson (trumpet, guitar), Bridget Kearney (upright bass), and Mike Calabrese (drums). Akie Bermiss (keyboards) joined the band on tour in 2017 and is on their 2018 album. Lake Street Dive started at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. The band was named after a street with many dive bars in Olson’s hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The band tours in North America, Australia, and Europe from their base in Brooklyn.
The group was initially formed as a casual collaboration between Govrik, Gorman and other Nashville musicians. Trigger Hippy made its live debut on February 2, 2009, at the Cox Capitol Theatre in Macon, Georgia.
The band played shows in 2011 and 2012, with a rotating cast of band members. A consistent lineup featuring Govrik and Gorman along with Joan Osborne, Jackie Greene, and Tom Bukovac came together and announced plans to record an album in the fall of 2012.
Trigger Hippy released their first EP on Record Store Day’s Back to Black Friday on November 29, 2013.
Trigger Hippy released a full length album on September 30, 2014. In the summer of 2015, the band announced a lengthy break.
A new four piece lineup featuring Jurdi and Woodhouse was announced June 19, 2019.
also see Trigger Hippy
Joan Elizabeth Osborne is an American singer, songwriter, and interpreter of music, having recorded and performed in various popular American musical genres including pop, soul, R&B, blues, and country. She is best known for her recording of the Eric Bazilian song “One of Us”, from her debut album Relish. Wikipedia
Sample Track from new release Trouble and Strife
Book Club Reads – 20 for 20
Culled from the favorites of three east coast book clubs.
Please write with your book club favorites – email@example.com
It is time to compile a 2021 list. Tell us what you loved. #bookclub
|American Dirt- Jeannine Cummins|
|Ask Again, Yes –Mary Beth Keane|
|Behold The Dreamers –Imbolo Mbue|
|Bel Canto –Ann Patchett|
|Born A Crime- Trevor Noah|
|Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman|
|Fates and Furfies – Lauren Groff|
|In The Midst of Winter – Isabel Allende|
|Mrs. Hemingway – Naomi Wood|
|Pachinko –Min Jin Lee|
|Tattooist Artist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris|
|The Extraordinary life of Sam Hell- Robert Dugoni|
|The Great Alone – Kristin Hannah|
|The Great Believers –Rebecca Makkai|
|The Inn At Lake Devine –Elinor Lipman|
|The Man with a Load of Mischief –Martha Grimes|
|The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey|
|The Storyteller’s Secret – Sejal Badani|
|This Tender Land-William Kent Krueger|
BandHouse Gigs, founded in 2004 by local Bethesda, Maryland musicians Ronnie Newmyer and Chuck Sullivan, and later joined by David Sless, Greg Hardin, and Danny Schwartz, is the D.C. area’s premier producer of one-of-a-kind tribute concerts for iconic artists and influential musical movements. Over the past 13 years BandHouse has produced 25 sold out shows at The Warner Theater, The Music Center at Strathmore, The Fillmore Silver Spring, Wolf Trap, Rams Head On Stage, and The Hamilton Live.
They collaborate with professionals willing to donate their services, including writers, graphic artists, videographers, photographers, make-up artists, lighting designers, marketing professionals, and audio engineers. Together they are the BandHouse Team.
Dawes is an American folk rock band from Los Angeles, California, composed of brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith, along with Wylie Gelber and Lee Pardini. Wikipedia
A group of road warriors who’ve carved out their blend of amplified folk-rock, the music is nuanced and collaborative, with no single instrument dominating the track list.
Eric Brace (and Last Train Home)
Eric Brace runs Red Beet Records and makes music on his own, with Last Train Home and as a trio with Peter Cooper and Thomm Jutz. In 2003, he founded the label and he and his band, Last Train Home moved to East Nashville from the Washington DC area. Brace had been a journalist at the Washington Post and had run the Top Records label.
Eric returns to the DC area with some frequency, playing clubs where he built his loyal following and participating, as in the embedded video, in numerous BandhouseGigs productions, including the recent live stream “From BandHouse to Your House.”
Lisa Gardner, a #1 New York Times bestselling thriller novelist, began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has transformed her interest in police procedure and criminal minds into a streak of internationally acclaimed novels, published across 30 countries. She’s also had four books become TV movies (At the Midnight Hour; The Perfect Husband; The Survivors Club; Hide) and has made personal appearances on TruTV and CNN.
Lisa’s books have received awards from across the globe. Her novel, The Neighbor, won Best Hardcover Novel from the International Thriller Writers, while also receiving the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle in France. She was also recognized with the Daphne du Maurier Award in 2000 for The Other Daughter. Finally, Lisa received the Silver Bullet Award from the International Thriller Writers in 2017 for her work on behalf of at-risk children and the Humane Society.
For a bit of fun, Lisa invites her readers to enter the annual “Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy” Sweepstakes at LisaGardner.com. Every year, one Lucky Stiff is selected to meet a grand end in Lisa’s latest novel. Past winners have nominated spouses, best friends and even themselves.
Lisa lives in New Hampshire where she spends her time with an assortment of canine companions. When not writing, she loves to hike, garden, snowshoe and play cribbage. (LisaGardner.com)
Washington, D.C. soul/pop artist and bassist Eric Scott has enjoyed a varied and interesting musical journey. As an artist and sideman, he has toured internationally, sharing the stage with artists as diverse as Deanna Bogart, Aaron Neville, Mavis Staples, Ray Charles, Roger Waters, Tom Morello, Little Feat, and Billy Corgan, His original songs have appeared on ABC-TV, Showtime, Starz Network, Cinemax, the WB, as well as several major and indie motion pictures. He has also lent his singing voice to ad campaigns for HGTV, DC Lottery, and Nat Geo, Ford, Chevy, Jeep, Chrysler, and many more. He is a 15-time Wammie winner, as awarded by the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA).
The journey continues in 2019 with the release of the EP THE CHARM CITY SESSIONS and the full-length CD PEACE BOMB, both on his own Itzall Goode Music label. His ‘Modern Soul’ sound continues to evolve, yet remains funky, upbeat, socially aware, and ever soulful. Pop tunes and hooks meld seamlessly with groovy new school RnB, nasty funk, and the introspective lyrical approach of a singer/songwriter that examines relationships, the world we live in, and being true to one’s self. Scott’s gospel drenched voice always remains front and center. A passionate and energetic performer, his show is funky, thoughtful, and uplifting…and not to be missed!
Scott frequently participates in the musical collaborations of BandhouseGigs, including the recent live stream
“From BandHouse to Your House.”
is a man of many talents and accomplishments who is known to those who have heard of him, but haven’t heard him, as Bob Dylan’s son-in-law. He has been playing in and with bands since sixth grade in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park. (Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, Sen. Al Franken, and New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman are also SLP natives.) He has released a dozen rock albums since 1986�the first half dozen on major corporate record labels, others on smaller indies, others self-released�all of which have received love from critics and none of which have sold well. The only Billboard chart on which he has ever appeared is the Heatseekers chart, limited to artists who have never had an album in the top 200. But the quality of his work has never flagged, and lately he has released some of his finest work, including Imperfect World (2005) and The Mystery and the Hum (2010). There is also an intentional oddity called Flimsy (2011), a collection of spoken-word songs ranging from the absurd to the heartbreaking. His new album, The Boat That Carries Us, now available on his own Himmelsongs label, is about motion, or being in motion, by air (“33K Feet”), by car (“Green Mexican Dreams”), or in spirit (“Angels Die”). (Read more at peterhimmelman.com)
is the critically acclaimed author of The Alienist, The Angel of Darkness, The Lessons of Terror, Killing Time, The Devil Soldier, The Italian Secretary, The Legend of Broken, and Surrender, New York. He has taught military history at Bard College, and worked extensively in film, television, and the theater. His military and political writings have appeared in numerous magazines and periodicals, among them The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in upstate New York. (Penguin/Random House)
The Alienist – Season 2 now streaming
“Fifty years have passed in a flash,” says Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist, songwriter and vocalist Marcia Ball of her long and storied career. Ball, the 2018 Texas State Musician Of The Year, has won worldwide fame and countless fans for her ability to ignite a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she takes the stage. Her rollicking Texas boogies, swampy New Orleans ballads and groove-laden Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music lovers all over the world. With each new release, her reputation as a profoundly soulful singer, a boundlessly talented pianist and a courageous, inventive songwriter continues to grow. Her love of the road has led to years of soul-satisfying performances at festivals, concert halls and clubs.
The New York Times says, “Marcia Ball plays two-fisted New Orleans barrelhouse piano and sings in a husky, knowing voice about all the trouble men and women can get into on the way to a good time.”
The Houston Chronicle says simply, “She’s as perfect as an artist can be.”
Listed as one of the top 100 guitar players of the 20th century by Musician Magazine and with over 900 cuts internationally, Big Al’s music career was destined. Raised by his piano teacher mother and a radio that would get WWVA in Wheeling West Virginia late at night, he would devour all genres of music from Hank Williams, The Everly Brothers, The Ventures, Chet Atkins, Elvis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Motown and Stax paving the way for what would be a giant life in music.
His first band “The Sixpacks” became “The Wildweeds,” recording a regional hit “No Good To Cry” that went on to chart nationally. With a change in record labels (from Chess to Vanguard) and a change in musical direction, Al caught the attention of the members of NRBQ. In 1971, Al left Connecticut for New York’s to enroll at the “University of Q” — a 22 year planetary course in all things musical. Al’s exposure to a evener wider range of musical genres served him well in the “Q.” His mind and string-bending guitar playing coupled with his giant stage presence had become legendary, and in the course of recording over a dozen albums with them, he had written some of the band’s most memorable songs — ‘Ridin in My Car’, ‘Never Take The Place of You,’ It Was An Accident,’ ‘Comes to Me Naturally,’ ‘What a Nice Way to Go,’ ‘Feel You around Me,’ and many more.
After over two decades of hard touring, hard living and encyclopedic musical knowledge, Al was ready to change his already prodigious song writing talent into a full-time venture.
Two years before he left NRBQ, he wrote a song with Carlene Carter, “Every Little Thing” that she took to top 5 all over the world. That song, and meeting music publisher Pat Daniel McMurry (Escott), were the turning points in Al’s career and life. With the support, guidance and belief that Pat provided, Al became unstoppable. At the same time that Al signed with Pat, he decided to quit drinking and suddenly became one of the most prolific writers in Nashville. “I went from 3 songs a year to writing sometimes 3 a day”.
The parade of hits is long and include singles and cuts by Vince Gill, Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Jimmy Buffett, Martina McBride, Patty Loveless, George Jones, Sheryl Crow, Leann Rimes, Tim McGraw, George Strait, Rascall Flatts, Zac Brown, Anthony Hamilton, Harry Connick Jr and many others.
He latest love is Music City’s premier rock band “The World Famous Headliners” rounded out with top tier penmen/artists/musicians extraordinaire Pat McLaughlin, Shawn Camp, Michael Rhodes and Greg Morrow
Location – Wyoming
Craig Allen Johnson is an American author who writes mystery novels. He is best known for his Sheriff Walt Longmire novel series. The books are set in northern Wyoming, where Longmire is sheriff of the fictional county of Absaroka. Wikipedia
For fans of the Netflix series (Longmire,) if you have watched the six seasons, grab a book. Walt, Vicki, Ruby and the gang live on…
Location: Southern California/La Jolla/San Diego/Santa Barbara
is the author of the best-selling Rick Cahill crime novels. He knew he wanted to be a crime writer when he was fourteen and his father gave him the simple art of murder by Raymond Chandler. He graduated with a degree in English from University of California at Santa Barbara. His foray into crime fiction was delayed for thirty years as he spent time managing a restaurant, selling golf clubs for various golf companies, and in national sales for a sports licensing company.
“A rock band in a folk suit,” The Ballroom Thieves
Calin “Callie” Peters (vocals, cello, bass), Martin Earley (vocals, guitar), and Devin Mauch (vocals, percussion) – released their third album Unlovely on February 14, 2020. With subject matters ranging from female empowerment, to love in a committed relationship, to their fury about the current state of American leadership, this collection of tracks is the distillation of the band’s personal and political passions. Songs like “Vanity Trip” and title track “Unlovely” boil over with exasperation and disgust, in protest of today’s status quo. As the first album entirely co-written by Peters and Earley, Unlovely is also a tangible reflection of their evolution from band members to life partners, as heard in songs like “Love Is Easy.”
Incorporating musical styles that range from Motown to classic rock, Unlovely maintains the recognizable, nostalgia-tinged sound of The Ballroom Thieves’ previous outputs while pushing a heightened brashness. Since the release of their first EP and debut full-length, A Wolf in the Doorway, The Ballroom Thieves have consistently and skillfully crossed genres, joining artists like CAAMP, Langhorne Slim and Shakey Graves to bridge the gap between folk, rock, and soul. It’s their unique brand of powerful and harmonious music, while never shying away from topics and ideas they are passionate about, that has charmed fans around the country, while gaining a loyal live following and selling out shows. (Nettwerk Music Group)
is an American singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and touring folk musician from Reading, Massachusetts who earned a master’s degree in evolutionary biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst before pursuing a career in music. Wikipedia
Latest recording — Blindsided
“(Blindsided) soars on the wings of jangly guitars, heartfelt vocals and soulful harmony lines…Yep, that’s the sweet spot right there. And there’s enough of it to make this album matter.”
–The Associated Press
“Erelli is a throwback of sorts, a foursquare acoustic songwriter in an age of digital audio workstations. For ‘Blindsided’ he has amped up with a superb band…a rock ‘n’ soul set of songs with friction” –Boston Globe
Bradley Clayton Denton is an American science fiction author. He has also written other types of fiction, such as the black comedy of his novel Blackburn, about a sympathetic serial killer. He was born in Towanda, Kansas, and attended the University of Kansas at Lawrence and graduated with degrees in astronomy (B.A.) and English (M.A.).
An all time favorite of Roaming the Arts is Denton’s 1993 classic:
Read Kirkus Review of Blackburn
Link above is to Goodreads site while the BradleyDenton.net site is being reimagined.
is an American folk singer-songwriter based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since the early 1990s, he has developed a strong national following in the indie folk/rock scene through his relentless touring and critically acclaimed albums. Wikipedia
Peter is live streaming on a regular basis during the pandemic.
Click on his site below.
Creators and Hosts of The Redwing Festival
Simultaneously familiar and fresh, the Steel Wheels bring a singular energy to every note they play and sparkling craft to each song. This potent combination, paired with a robust tour calendar, have made the veteran band hands-down favorites of fans and peers alike. From their base in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, TSW have played the most prestigious festivals, listening rooms, and clubs in the world, cementing a reputation as one of the top independent bands on the scene today.
Check the website for one of the better responses to pandemic streaming solutions, Distance Together.
is an American singer, songwriter and pianist. She has won multiple awards and has sold more than 50 million records worldwide. Billboard named her the top jazz artist of the 2000s decade. She has won nine Grammy Awards and was ranked 60th on Billboard magazine’s artists of the 2000s decade chart. Wikipedia
William Landay’s latest novel is the New York Times bestseller Defending Jacob. His previous novels are Mission Flats, which won the Dagger Award as best debut crime novel of 2003, and The Strangler, which was an L.A. Times favorite crime novel and was nominated for the Strand Magazine Critics Award as best crime novel of 2007.
Defending Jacob now a film available on AppleTV.
is an American crime fiction author and magician. Swain has written at more than fifteen fiction and non-fiction books. Many have been translated into twelve languages. He has used two main characters in most of his crime related and mystery books. Wikipedia
Be sure to check out his Magic videos on his website.
For those who have followed McNally’s nearly twenty year career the thing that most sticks with the listener about her, is the timeless effortlessness that she brings to all she does. With a long catalog and longer list of peers with whom she has written, recorded and toured, McNally continues to turn out great music that defies blatant genre-fication.
At home across the American (Americana) music spectrum, the Grammy nominee who’s live music career began on the jam band circuit of the 1990’s with bands like Robert Randolph and Derek Trucks, writes as well as she interprets the songs of others, has a top tier musicality to her craft, a soul stirring voice that immediately grabs one by the heart strings and a troubadour’s wanderlust, not to mention as it turns out, she is also an excellent electric guitar player.
Note: Embedded video goes back a few years to Shannon’s Bobby Charles Tribute recording. With so much new McNally music since and readily available online we thought this video might be missed. Enjoy.
is the continuation of Kevin Russell’s musical journey that began in Beaumont, TX when, at 14, he found his father’s guitar under his bed, along with a sewing machine, a billy club and a box of comic books. Luckily he chose the guitar. A Shinyribs show is an exaltation of spirit. It’s a hip shaking, belly laughing, soul-singing, song-slinging, down-home house party. All styles of American music are likely to be touched on, squeezed on, kissed on by this world-class band featuring Winfield Cheek on Keyboards, Keith Langford on Drums, Jeff Brown on Bass, the Tijuana Trainwreck Horns, and The Shiny Soul Sisters – Kelley Mickwee & Alice Spencer. Whether on his 6 string Uke or his Electric guitar or singing a cappella, Russell will entertain you like no one else. The freedom with which he moves, coupled with his incredible voice is an experience in and of itself. His original songs laced with magical-realism along with novel interpretations of popular songs old and new (George Jones, TLC, Leadbelly, T-Pain) are the true art that runs throughout. He’s Burl Ives meets Al Green; Hank, Jr. meets Teddy Pendergrass. Wendell Berry meets Chuck Berry.
British Crime Drama
And we’re sure there are more…tell us your favorite — firstname.lastname@example.org
Buddy (& Julie) Miller
Steven Paul “Buddy” Miller is an American singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist and producer, currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. Miller is married to and has recorded with singer-songwriter Julie Miller. Wikipedia
Check out : The first new album from Buddy & Julie Miller in 10 years, Breakdown On 20th Avenue South
Growing up around the world, singer/songwriter Alice Merton was as influenced by other cultures as much as transience itself. Born in Germany and raised in Canada and England, Alice Merton’s absorption of different styles and sounds helped craft the worldly progressive pop leanings on her debut, which came out in 2016. As a child, she learned classical piano and singing while in Canada. When Merton was a teenager, her family moved to Germany, where she would pick up the guitar and write her first song. While in Germany, she also studied at the Mannheim conservatory of music. Later, the family would relocate again, this time to England. These frequent international shifts would play a key role in the songwriting process for her first output, 2016’s No Roots EP (Paper Plane Records International / Mom+Pop Music). The four-track effort included the groove-heavy title track and “Hit the Ground Running”. Merton won the EBBA award 2018. ~ Neil Z. Yeung, Rovi
The music industry and local musical artists have had to navigate their careers differently since the Covid-19 lockdown. It’s very important for us as consumers to continue to support our favorite music artists, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. People throughout the United States are struggling during this time. Millions of people are unemployed and are unable to return to work. Thousands of businesses have shut down and even music artists are having trouble making money during this time. Music artists are unable to make money while on a tour which is greatly affecting their ability to earn income. Many bands and hip-hop artists have pointed out in the past that the majority of the money they make is on tour. Even indie artists make a large portion of here money touring local areas to keep the band going. Consumers should try to support their favorite artists so they can stay intact. Artists are unable to have in-person events and signings which can be so exciting and beneficial to the artist. Spotify and streaming services do not pay artists large amounts of money. In 2020 physical albums are almost non-existent and most music is available for free. Roaming the Arts has an online community that supports musicians, artists, and writers. Now is the time for consumers to stand up and support artists during this difficult time!
Ways to Support Artists During Covid
- Branding and promotion can be so beneficial to musical artists. Spreading your favorite artist’s music on social media can be so helpful to them. Retweets and posts on Instagram can during this time will e greatly appreciated.
- You can share music and resources within your circle of friends
- Encourage your friends to support their favorite artists. Buy and stream most as often as you can.
- Tweet and reach out to your favorite artists and tell them how much you love and appreciate their music. Bands and rappers need to know their fans still want them to keep releasing must and that they will be first in line to buy their tickets once they can go on tour again. If you are employed or cannot work it’s fully understandable if you cannot financially support your favorite artists. The smallest things such as a tweet or direct message will always be appreciated. This can potentially help boost sales.
- Music streaming sites don’t pay large amounts of money but they still make up nearly 20% of an artist’s income. If you consumers can accumulate enough stream it definitely can be beneficial to an artist. Streaming sites are even introducing tipping options. If you would like to you can support artists by sending them money directly. Establishing more revenue flow can be so helpful to struggling indie artists.
- Many artists have YouTube channels and live streams where you can come support them I’ve seen many artists focus more on making content and releasing music on youtube to make a living.
Now that you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you may be asking yourself when it will be safe to attend a concert again? We here at Roaming The Arts would like to help you answer that question. More specifically, summer concerts are right around the corner, and we would like to give you the information you need to attend safely. Whether you will see a group of indie music artists or watch a solo performance, safety precautions should still be taken. Although the number of Americans in the US vaccinated against COVID-19 is increasing daily, the risk of contracting the virus is still high in large indoor gatherings and crowds. Here is what you need to know to attend safely.
How To Prepare For Summer Concerts
You should take a few steps before purchasing your tickets to ensure that the venue is following along with CDC guidelines for safe gatherings. Contact the venue via phone or online to check for the following things:
- Is the event located indoors or outdoors? (Indie music artists are known for large outdoor festivals)
- If the event is indoors, is their ventilation system up to code?
- Are they following social distancing guidelines?
- Are face masks required at all times?
- Is there access to sanitation stations and washing stations?
Getting answers to these questions will help ease your mind and ensure that the event is up to safety standards. If you have any issues getting straight answers from the venue, it may be safe to assume that the proper precautions have not been taken, and maybe you should skip that event.
Taking A Road Trip To That Concert?
If your concert plans include a road trip, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Although you have been vaccinated, you will inevitably be surrounded by many who are not, both on your way to the event and while at the event. A mask should be worn during any pit stops along the way, such as bathroom breaks, stopping for food, and fueling up. Also, remember to social distance by at least 6 feet and thoroughly wash your hands or sanitize them immediately after any stops.
What To Know When You Get There
Planning for your first concert outing since COVID-19 hit the US may seem daunting, but your hard work and preparation will pay off. Give yourself a little wiggle room regarding arrival time because the check-in process may require a temperature check upon entry. It is better to be at the front of a long line as opposed to the back of one! Also, make sure you have your face mask and a couple of extras just in case. Festivals featuring many indie music artists may look different this year, and you may need to plan to bring a supply of food and water for the event due to ongoing restrictions. Finally, do your best to maintain 6 feet of social distancing, although the CDC highly recommends 10 feet.
All of us here at Roaming The Arts dedicate ourselves to helping you stay connected and plan your next outing to summer concerts here in the US. Contact us today for more information.
A DOCUMENTARY FILM:
Feast Your Ears: The Story of WHFS 102.3
is a feature length documentary film that will take you on a trip back to the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s when “free form” progressive FM radio was in its heyday in America. Broadcasting from “high atop the Triangle Towers” near Washington, DC the legendary & beloved WHFS was more than just a local radio station – it was the voice of a generation. Hear from local, national and international musicians, the ‘HFS deejays, record label veterans, journalists, historians, fans and more as they reflect on a time when the music united a tribe who spoke out via the radio waves about war, equality and a time of great social, cultural and political upheaval.
Check out the Sway at Home music festivals on youtube and and on their web site.
Over the past few years, The Dustbowl Revival has been making a name for itself with a vibrant mix of vintage Americana sounds. Critics have proclaimed that this eclectic eight-piece “would have sounded utterly at home within the hallowed confines of Preservation Hall in New Orleans’ French Quarter” (Los Angeles Times) and their “upbeat, old-school, All-American sonic safaris exemplify everything shows should be: hot, spontaneous, engaging and, best of all, a pleasure to hear”
Max Allan Collins
is a New York Times bestselling author of original mysteries, a Shamus award winner and an experienced author of movie adaptions and tie-in novels. His graphic novel ROAD TO PERDITION was made into a major motion picture by Tom Hanks’s production company, Playtone.
Location – Northern Ontario
is a Canadian novelist, poet, and screenwriter. His first novel, Cold Eye, was a psychological thriller set in the New York art world, which was made into the French movie Les Couleurs du diable. He is also the author of the John Cardinal novels, set in the small town of Algonquin Bay, in Northern Ontario. Wikipedia
Watch the Cardinal television series on Hulu
WMOT, 89.5 FM & Streaming
MTSU’s flagship public radio station founded in 1969, is dedicated to an all Americana music format. WMOT Roots Radio, provides the Nashville region with a powerful radio station (100,000 watts) dedicated to the music most deeply connected to Music City’s legacy: classic country music, bluegrass, singer/songwriter, folk, soul, R&B and old-school rock and roll.
is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of many mystery and suspense novels. He has been called “one of the best thriller writers in the business” (Washington Post). His novels have been called “compulsively readable” (Chicago Sun Times), “outstanding. . .genuinely moving” and “fresh, original… intricately woven” (Publishers Weekly), “nail-bitingly suspenseful and totally original” (Irish Independent), and “extremely compelling” (Associated Press). He is published in many languages and has been a bestseller in the US, the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Australia, Portugal, and other countries.
Pete & Maura Kennedy
At well over a million miles of roadwork, including two stints as members of Nanci Griffith’s Blue Moon Orchestra, Pete and Maura Kennedy show no signs of slowing down either on tour or in the creative realm.
Originally based in Austin, Texas, they spent a few years in the Washington DC area before moving to the East Village in New York City, where they have been based for most of the last two decades. The Kennedys are known nationwide as the hosts of the late lamented Dharma Café program on Sirius Satellite Radio, and on Broadway, they are regular cast members of Theatre Within’s annual tribute to John Lennon — working in that capacity with Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper and a host of others.
and check out in books:
Tone, Twang & Taste: A Guitar Memoir, by Pete Kennedy
As Roaming the Arts followers may have already guessed, I support artists both known and overlooked. RTA especially supports artists seen or known from personal connections. Irwin Finger has delighted folk audiences for over fifty years. Most recently he has performed a “live song” every morning for all of us cranky shut-ins.
Along that line and the recent passing of John Prine check out his sweet rendition of “Hello in There.”
is the bestselling author of Hide Away, the first Rachel Marin novel, as well as five novels in his Henry Parker thriller series and the standalone novel The Castle, which have over one million copies in print worldwide and have been published in over a dozen countries, the Middle Grade adventure novel Zeke Bartholomew: SuperSpy, and the children’s picture book Miracle. He has been nominated for the Thriller Award, Strand Critics Award, Barry Award, RT Reviewers Choice Award, Shamus Award and CrimeSpree Award. Two of his books—The Fury and The Darkness—were chosen as Indie Next selections, and The Mark, The Stolen and The Fury, were named to The Strand’s Best Books of the Year list. The Mark and The Stolen both appeared on the ‘Heatseekers’ bestseller list in The Bookseller (UK). The Mark was optioned to be a feature film.
also widely known by the acronym PMJ, is a rotating musical collective founded by arranger and pianist Scott Bradlee in 2011. PMJ is known for reworking popular modern music into different vintage genres, especially early 20th century forms such as swing and jazz. Wikipedia
Breaking that down…PMJ takes songs you know, great singers and players, then performs them in an arrangement of an entirely different form than the original.
Check out the PMJ YouTube channel for a wide range of illustrations.
Loudon Snowden Wainwright III
is an American songwriter, folk singer, humorist, and actor. His natural delivery and wry humor speaks to the fact that there will always be a “Dead Skunk” in the middle of the road.
His sister is Sloan Wainwright.
He is the father of musicians, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, and Lucy Wainwright Roche.
Amy Rigby has made a life out of writing and singing about life. With bands Last Roundup and the Shams in eighties NYC East Village to her solo debut Diary Of A Mod Housewife out of nineties Williamsburg; through a songwriting career in 2000s Nashville and during the past decade with duo partner Wreckless Eric, she’s released records on visionary independent labels Rounder, Matador, Signature Sounds and reborn Stiff Records as well as her and Eric’s own Southern Domestic Recordings. The Old Guys, her first solo album in a dozen years, measures the weight of heroes, home; family, friends and time. Philip Roth and Bob Dylan, CD/cassette players, touring, the wisdom of age and Walter White, groupies, Robert Altman, egg creams and mentors are paid tribute. Twelve songs written by Amy and recorded by Wreckless Eric in upstate New York, The Old Guys is the sound of a good girl grown up, never giving up.
Now a memoir joins her music. Girl to City, out now.
Victoria has taken the artful sound of the ukulele into eclectic new directions. Her music ranges from upbeat and clever to honest and moving, while incorporating her signature “mouth trumpet” and occasionally singing in French. Her delightful songwriting uses a unique palette of sounds and beats that delight audiences of all ages.
For a taste of Victoria combining Mouth Trumpet and Ukulele check out this Video
Check out Jack & the Vox. Another dimension when Victoria and her husband hit the road.
2020 diversions – see facebook posts for over 100 mini-sets which have keep us company during the pandemic.
He may be one of the most lauded artists in the contemporary blues arena today, and rightfully so, but for Mike Zito, the thing that counts the most is maintaining his honesty, authenticity and integrity. Those are the qualities that have steered Zito’s career since the beginning and continue to define every effort he’s offered since.
“I have nothing to hide; it seems my honesty is what people relate to most,” he once told Vintage Guitar magazine. “Anders (Osborne) told me early on, ‘If you don’t believe what you’re singing, you’ll never be a good singer.’ I try not to write fluff; I try to make every word count.”
That point became convincingly clear with his last record 2018’s First Class Life, a collection of songs that detailed his journey from addiction to sobriety and the subsequent success he achieved through his award-winning body of work. A multiple award winner and nominee, Zito has built his career on an ability to tap into tradition while maintaining contemporary credence all at the same time.
Born in Toronto, Canada, KJ enjoyed a nomadic lifestyle during her early years, living in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Caribbean, which gave her an insider’s view into many different cultures. While abroad, she read every book she could find, which triggered in her a desire to create her own stories.
She attended Salzburg International Preparatory School, Neuchâtel Junior College, and Albert College before earning a Specialists Degree in Business from the University of Toronto. KJ found success in the corporate world, but her passion for travel, adventure, and stories drew her back to school where she earned a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She is a Thriller and Barry Award nominee, and she has won several writing awards, including three Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellent in Mystery and Suspense.
While honing her fiction skills, KJ worked as a medical, health, and fitness writer. She then became involved with the International Thriller Writers as the Executive Director of ThrillerFest, the organization’s annual conference held every July in New York City.
is an American funk rock band based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The group contains six members who are all natives of New Orleans. The band was founded in 2004, and was featured on Episode 11 of MTV’s The Real World: New Orleans, which aired September 8, 2010. Wikipedia
Ariella (and Nicolaas)
Infusing Funk, Jazz and Samba with Blues Soul and Tango, Award winning International Touring artists Ariella and Nicolaas (video) have created a memorable ear-catching sound. Formed in September of 2013 they quickly became one of the top acts in their native Tampa Bay music scene, as evidenced by their nomination for best local group in Tampa Bay and Ari for best Jazz vocalist.
Ari and the Alibi’s seems to be the full band alter ego.
After a decade of relentless touring and recording in all but complete obscurity, the Texas-bred/New York-based quasi-collective suddenly found itself held up by the press and public as one of the major figures in the jazz world. But as the category names for all three of the band’s Grammy® awards would indicate (Best R&B Performance in 2014, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2016 and 2017), Snarky Puppy isn’t exactly a jazz band. It’s not a fusion band, and it’s definitely not a jam band. It’s probably best to take Nate Chinen of the New York Times’ advice, as stated in an online discussion about the group, to “take them for what they are, rather than judge them for what they’re not.” (website)
Snarky Puppy joins another Roaming the Arts favorite Mingo Fishtrap as a band formed out of the wonderful music program at the University of North Texas.
is the president and CEO of MysteriousPress.com.
He is also the proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City and is regarded as the world’s foremost authority on crime, mystery and suspense fiction.
Penzler founded The Mysterious Press in 1975, which he later sold to Warner Books (1989). He reacquired the imprint in 2010 and it now publishes original books as an imprint at Grove/Atlantic, and both original works and classic crime fiction through MysteriousPress.com, in partnership with Open Road Integrated Media.
Penzler has won two Edgar Awards, for Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection in 1977 and The Lineup in 2010. The Mystery Writers of America awarded him the prestigious Ellery Queen Award in 1994 and the Raven–the group’s highest non-writing award–in 2003.
Ben Folds is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation.
He’s created an enormous body of genre-bending music that includes pop albums with Ben Folds Five, multiple solo albums, and numerous collaborative records. His last album was a blend of pop songs and his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra that soared to #1 on both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts.
For over a decade he’s performed with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras, and currently serves as the first ever Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.
In addition to solo rock and orchestral touring, Folds has recently written a critically-acclaimed memoir “A Dream About Lightning Bugs,” which debuted as a New York Times Best Seller, and is described as a collection of interrelated essays, anecdotes and lessons about art, life, and music.
See Ben perform at NPR Tiny Desk Concert
Ron McLarty – R.I.P.
Ronald William “Ron” McLarty is an American actor, playwright, narrator and novelist. He is regarded as one of the country’s leading audiobook narrators, having done over 100 titles and received many Audie Awards. McLarty has appeared in numerous television series, films and stage productions. Wikipedia
McLarty is quoted as calling himself “a writer who acted” rather than an actor who wrote. His recurring role as Sgt. Belson on Spenser for Hire made Ron very recognizable, but his novels were his passion.
Read— The Memory of Running, Art in America, Traveler and others.
Sadly, Ron passed away February 8, 2020.
is the author of 25 novels including the Jane Whitefield series (Vanishing Act, Dance for the Dead, Shadow Woman, The Face Changers, Blood Money, Runner, Poison Flower, and String of Beads), Death Benefits, and Pursuit, the first recipient of the Gumshoe Award for best novel.
He won the Edgar for The Butcher’s Boy, and Metzger’s Dog was a New York Times Notable Book. The Independent Mystery Booksellers’ Association included Vanishing Act in its “100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century,” and Nightlife was a New York Times bestseller.
Metzger’s Dog was voted one of NPR’s 100 Killer Thrillers–Best Thrillers Ever. Strip was chosen as a New York Times Notable Crime Book for 2010, and The Informant was a New York Times Notable Crime Book for 2011 and won the Barry Award for Best Thriller, 2011. Poison Flower was chosen among Booklist’s Best Crime Novels of 2013.
His recent books, The Burglar and The Small Town were first rate, and his latest release, Eddie’s Boy is out now.
Watch for “The Old Man” coming to FX as a series.
is an English singer-songwriter, who is best known as the lead singer of the British band Graham Parker & the Rumour. Wikipedia
His long career includes reforming the band and heading out on tour during the last several years. Check out his website for up to date information.
Charlie Faye & the Fayettes
“Musically, the group hearkens to Motown, Spector or the Brill Building: Charlie is emerging as a budding Carole King, and the songs are good enough to rate comparison to Goffin & King or Mann & Weil.” – Huffington Post
“In a world of new soul singers who actually get what they’re talking about, enter the name of Charlie Faye and her unbeatable Fayettes to that list. They could go all the way.” – Bill Bentley, The Morton Report
“The album stretches beyond the coy boundaries of ‘60s girl groups with the opener ‘Green Light,’ and though ‘Eastside’ could usher dancers down a Soul Train line, its Stax-styled groove and horn chart service a serious look at social gentrification.” – No Depression
“It’s impossible not to be enchanted by one of this year’s freshest, most delightful and all around grooviest releases.” – American Songwriter
Ann Patchett is an American author. She received the 2002 PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction in the same year, for her novel Bel Canto. Patchett’s other novels include The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician’s Assistant, Run, State of Wonder, Commonwealth, and The Dutch House. Wikipedia
Ms. Patchett is also co-owner of a renown Nashville Bookstore — Parnassus Books
When it comes to Deanna Bogart, everyone wants to claim her as their own — her hometown, her fans, her fellow musicians and even her instruments. She’s that good–and that good-natured.
Born in Detroit, Deanna spent her early years in Phoenix and New York City, climbing on any available piano bench to plunk and play with preternatural panache. Around the age of six, she was “gently removed” from the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music for playing piano by ear instead of learning to read music. While in middle school, Deanna yearned to play the saxophone. Typical of those times though, she was told, “Girls play the clarinet, not the sax.” Thankfully for us all, that tide has changed.
Today, Deanna Bogart is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist and multifaceted musician whose fans value the diversity of her genre-free zone. As a bandleader/singer/songwriter/producer/pianist/sax player, Deanna combines the best of boogie-woogie, contemporary blues, country and jazz into a splendid blend she calls “blusion.”
Deanna’s fusion of blusion — spontaneous, sophisticated, fearless and fun — has garnered her three consecutive Blues Music Awards’ Horn Instrumentalist of the Year for 2008, 2009 and 2010 and an endorsement contract with Rico Reeds. She has won, at last count, more than 20 Wammies, the music awards for the hotly contested Washington, D.C. region.
Recognized for her dazzling keyboards, soulful saxophone, smoky vocals and cut-above songwriting, Deanna easily wins the hearts of fans on land and at sea on chartered cruises. She is a featured player in the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Revue, jamming with Tommy Castro, Magic Dick (founding member of the J. Geils Band), as well as prominent guitar slingers. Deanna remembers well her early years as a budding musician and is an avid educator and mentor, sharing her insight and wisdom with students of all ages.
Jason Wilber is an American singer, guitar player, songwriter, and recording artist. In addition to his work as a solo recording artist, he is also known as the long time lead guitar player for singer-songwriter John Prine. Other artists Jason has accompanied live or in the studio include Iris Dement, Greg Brown, Tom Russell, Sheryl Crow, Mary Gauthier, Todd Snider, Simrit, Hal Ketchum, Tim Grimm, Krista Detor, Greg Trooper, Carrie Newcomer, Kim Fox, Bill Wilson, and Over the Rhine.
Jason Wilber’s solo albums include Lost In Your Hometown (1998), Behind the Midway (2000), King For A Day (2004), Lazy Afternoon (2006), Live and Otherwise Volume 1 (2006), Ghost of Summers Past (2009), Live and Otherwise Volume 2 (2009), Secret Window (2014), Echoes (2016) and Reaction Time (2017).
Jason Wilber’s work with John Prine includes the Grammy Award winning CD Fair & Square, and the Grammy nominated CDs Live On Tour and In Spite of Ourselves (which spent 32 weeks on the Billboard Country Charts). In addition to playing guitar on John Prine’s 2017 album For Better or Worse, Jason also served as a Co-Executive Producer. Jason has accompanied John Prine on duet recordings with Iris Dement, Allison Krauss, Susan Tedeschi, Emmylou Harris, Miranda Lambert, Kathy Mattea, Amanda Shires, Fiona Prine, Lucinda Williams, Josh Ritter, Patty Loveless, Lee Ann Womack, Connie Smith, Melba Montgomery, Morgane Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves, and Sara Watkins.
Jorma & Jack (aka Hot Tuna)
Hot Tuna is an American blues band formed in 1969 by former Jefferson Airplane members Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. Although it has always been a fluid aggregation, with musicians coming and going over the years, the band’s name has essentially become a metonym for Kaukonen and Casady’s ongoing collaboration. Wikipedia
Don’t miss Hesitation Blues -circa 1970
Tom Rush is a gifted musician and performer, whose shows offer a musical celebration…a journey into the tradition and spectrum of what music has been, can be, and will become. His distinctive guitar style, wry humour and warm, expressive voice have made him both a legend and a lure to audiences around the world. His shows are filled with the rib-aching laughter of terrific story-telling, the sweet melancholy of ballads and the passion of gritty blues. (website)
Interview – Over 55 years of recording and performing
Edgar-nominee, Ridley Pearson is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of (more than 50) award-winning suspense and young adult adventure novels. His novels have been published in two-dozen languages and have been adapted for network television and the Broadway stage. Ridley’s crime novels have earned a reputation for writing fiction that “grips the imagination.”
Ridley’s middle-grade-reader series include, The Kingdom Keepers, Steel Trapp and Lock & Key. The Peter and the Starcatchers series,co-written with Pulitzer Prize winner (and bandmate), Dave Barry, (adapted to the stage by Rick Elice) was awarded 5 Tony Awards.
Ridley’s research has spanned the globe and has included, a prison for the criminally insane in the U.K., exploring the engine room of a cruise liner, and multiple after-hour tours of Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Ridley plays bass guitar in an all-author rock band comprised of other bestselling writers (Dave Barry, Amy Tan, Mitch Album, Scott Turow, Greg Iles, and occasionally, Stephen King). The Rockbottom Remainders, has raised over 2.5 million dollars for various non-profits. He lives–and writes–in the Northern Rockies along with his wife, Marcelle.
Bela Fleck (& the Flecktones)
“Béla Fleck has taken banjo playing to some very unlikely places — not just bluegrass and country and “newgrass,” but also into classical concertos, jazz and a documentary about the banjo’s deep African roots, not to mention the time he toured with throat singers from Tuva. He’s also baffled the Grammy awards, winning for country and jazz in the same year and also winning in pop, world music, classical crossover and, yes, folk. That’s a lot of territory for five strings.”
— JON PARELES, THE NEW YORK TIMES
One of the most impressive guitarists to emerge from the rich Bayous of Southern Louisiana in recent years, Tab Benoit’s guitar tone can be recognized before his Otis-Redding-ish voice resonates from the speakers. He doesn’t rely on any effects and his set up is simple. It consists of a guitar, cord, and Category 5 Amplifier. The effects that you hear come from his fingers.
Location – Northern Michigan
Aaron Stander is an American novelist of mystery/thriller novels. He is the author of the Ray Elkins series. Before becoming a published author, Stander worked as an English teacher and training writing teachers in the Detroit area.
Rolling Stone calls him the “Godfather of Americana Music,” and rightfully so. Delbert’s musical style grew from his Texas roots. A little Tejano. A little Bob Wills. Throw in some Jimmy Reed harmonica. Add a splash of Big Joe Turner, and a big band horn section. He has also been nominated for Grammys in the Country category, and has been featured in media from the Los Angeles Times to the Washington Post. He has developed a sound that continues to serve him well, as evidenced by the three Grammy Awards for Contemporary Blues on his mantel.
Born in Lubbock, raised in Fort Worth, and now with homes in Austin, Nashville, and San Miguel de Allende, Delbert recognizes that he has been One Of The Fortunate Few. He grew up with a backstage pass to some of the most significant moments in American culture and music history.
From his early Fort Worth bands, the Straitjackets and the Rondels, to his current band, Self‑Made Men + Dana, he continues to play sold‑out concert halls and dance halls, historical theatres and music festivals across the nation. A major player in several waves of the national surge of Texas music popularity, Delbert has performed multiple times on Saturday Night Live, has been featured on Austin City Limits seven times, as one of the most celebrated guests on the popular series; and appeared on many other national television shows.
His career truly defines Americana music: Delbert’s unique story of American history – with big horns, a strong rhythm section and a hot harmonica lead. To borrow from one of the songs on Tall, Dark & Handsome, whether he’s doing a live show or a recording, you can be assured that Delbert McClinton “don’t leave no chicken on the bone.”
Mavis Staples is an American rhythm and blues and gospel singer, actress, and civil rights activist. She has recorded and performed with her family’s band The Staple Singers and also as a solo artist. Staples was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2017. Wikipedia
Location – Florida
C.I. (Casey) Dennis
C.I. Dennis lives in Vermont with his family and dogs. He is the author of five novels featuring Vince Tanzi, a 50-something private investigator with a knack for finding trouble, both personal and professional. Tanzi’s quips, fast-paced action, witty dialogue and vivid characters propel his adventures across Vince’s native state (Vermont) and his adopted one (Florida).
Lawrence Block is an American crime writer best known for two long-running New York–set series about the recovering alcoholic P.I. Matthew Scudder and the gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr. Block was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1994. Wikipedia
featuring Raul Malo
The Mavericks are an American country music band that combine Tex-Mex, neotraditional country music, Latin, and rockabilly influences. The Mavericks were founded in 1989 in Miami, Florida. Between 1991 and 2003, the band recorded six studio albums, in addition to charting 14 singles on the Billboard country charts. Wikipedia
Crack the Sky
Crack the Sky is an American progressive rock band formed in Weirton, West Virginia in the early 1970s. In 1975, Rolling Stone declared their first album “debut album of the year”, and in 1978, Rolling Stone Record Guide compared them to Steely Dan; their first three albums charted on the Billboard 200. Wikipedia
Read about Crack the Sky in Rolling Stone – August 2018
Location – Key West FL
Laurence Shames is the author of more than twenty books. Four of them have been New York Times bestsellers; seven have been optioned for feature film. His comic crime fiction has earned him Great Britain’s prestigious Last Laugh Dagger and has been called “as enjoyable as a day at the beach” by USA Today.
Shames was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1951, and graduated from NYU in 1972. Before turning to writing full-time in 1976, he briefly and unhappily held jobs as a taxi driver, lounge singer, furniture mover, lifeguard, dishwasher, gym teacher, and shoe salesman.
Alice Peacock is an American folk singer and has recorded five independent albums and an album released by Aware/Columbia Records. Wikipedia
Much has changed for singer-songwriter Alice Peacock since her last solo studio album, 2009’s Love Remains. She’s had three kids, moved to Cincinnati and…gotten 10 years older. “Feel the weight of the world on my shoulders / Am I wiser or am I just older?” she sings on “Dry Spell,” from her new collection, Minnesota. The record suggests that despite her “wondering what all is yet to be,” she has indeed attained a measure of wisdom.
I have embedded a classic video with a special guest backing her up.
Current videos available on her web site and You Tube.
Blackie and The Rodeo Kings
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings originally formed in 1996 when Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson came together to record what was suppose to be a one- off tribute album to the great Canadian songwriter Willie P. Bennett.
At the time, all three members were deeply committed to burgeoning solo careers that they had no intentions of putting on hold, and had no plans to turn Blackie into an ongoing concern.
Now twenty years later, 8 albums , one Juno award and several Juno nominations under their belts, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings have organically evolved into one of the finest roots-oriented bands in North America. Blackie and the Rodeo Kings remains one of Canada’s greatest musical treasures.
Extra Video for their classic song STONED (click here to view)
Andrew Gross is the author of the New York Times and international bestsellers Everything to Lose, No Way Back, 15 Seconds, Eyes Wide Open, Reckless, Don’t Look Back, The Dark Tide, and The Blue Zone. He is also coauthor of five number one bestsellers with James Patterson, including Judge & Jury and Lifeguard. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages. His latest novel, Button Man, is an historical thriller coming Sept 18, 2018 from Minotaur Books.
In the 1970’s, Danny O’Keefe put out a string of albums that cemented his reputation as being among the best songwriters of his generation. These days, casual fans know him best for his Top Ten hit “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues” or Jackson Browne’s version of “The Road” from the classic Running On Empty album. But the story didn’t end in the 70’s. He recorded “The Day To Day” in 1985 with the two Top Twenty Adult Contemporary songs “Along For The Ride” and “Someday”. Working with Bob Dylan’s company, Special Rider Music, he co-wrote “Well, Well, Well” with Bob and other songs successfully recorded by artists like Nickel Creek, Alison Krauss, and Alan Jackson.
At age 18, Jon Carroll was a founding member of Starland Vocal Band, recording the #1 Pop hit “AFTERNOON DELIGHT”. (click to watch video)
The group went on to be nominated for 5 Grammy Awards, winning 2: for Best New Artist & Best Arrangement for Voices (One of Jon’s roles in the group).
Since then, he’s has not slowed down as a performer, composer, arranger, producer, songwriter and musician. His works have appeared in films, commercials and episodic dramas and comedies, and he is highly sought after studio session performer appearing on many recordings.
His songs have been covered by artists such as Linda Ronstadt (Her 80’s hit “Want Love? Get Closer!), Tom Jones and Kenny Rogers, and he’s the long-time keyboardist/vocalist band member with Mary Chapin Carpenter, with touring stints for countless others including Rodney Crowell, Dixie Chicks, Peter Wolf and Eric Lindell.
“Jon Carroll is a one man band, a poet, a songwriter, a singer of every kind of song and above all, a musician’s musician…and I can also attest to his being a not-to-be-missed performer.”
~Mary Chapin Carpenter
Location – Thailand
John Burdett is a British crime novelist. He is the bestselling author of Bangkok 8 and its sequels, Bangkok Tattoo, Bangkok Haunts, The Godfather of Kathmandu, and Vulture Peak. His most recent novel in this series, The Bangkok Asset, was published on 4 August 2015. Wikipedia
Michael Jason Isbell is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist from Green Hill, Alabama, in Lauderdale County. He is known for his solo career, his work with the band The 400 Unit, and as a former member of Drive-By Truckers for six years, from 2001 to 2007. Isbell has won four Grammy Awards. Wikipedia
Jason Isbell is married to and often performs with Amanda Shires. (Click to visit her site)
Location – Miami FL (Dexter series)
Jeff Lindsay is the pen name of American playwright and crime novelist Jeffry P. Freundlich, best known for his novels about sociopathic vigilante Dexter Morgan. Many of his earlier published works include his wife Hilary Hemingway as a co-author. Wikipedia
Josh Ritter is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and author who performs and records with the Royal City Band. Ritter is known for his distinctive Americana style and narrative lyrics. In 2006 he was named one of the “100 Greatest Living Songwriters” by Paste magazine. Wikipedia
Josh Ritter is also an author. Check out his novel Bright’s Passage
Location – Key West FL
Florida author Tom Corcoran’s “Guava Moon Revenge” is the eighth and most recent novel in the Alex Rutledge Series. His books, which include “Octopus Alibi,” “Air Dance Iguana,” “Hawk Channel Chase,” and “The Quick Adios,” are set primarily in the Florida Keys. Tom also recently wrote a series spin-off mystery, “Crime Almost Pays,” which features the private eyes known as “The Bumsnoops.”
Location – Edinboro, Scotland
Kate Atkinson MBE is an English writer of novels, plays and short stories. She is known for creating the Jackson Brodie series of detective novels, which has been adapted into the BBC series Case Histories. Wikipedia
New Jackson Brodie “Big Sky” out now.
Brittany Howard/Alabama Shakes
Alabama Shakes is an American blues rock band formed in Athens, Alabama, in 2009. The band currently consists of lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard, guitarist Heath Fogg, bassist Zac Cockrell, and drummer Steve Johnson. Wikipedia
In 2019 Bruttany Howard released a solo album, Jaime, adding a second dimension to what Alabama Shakes had accomplished.
See both web sites for updates and video collections.
Brandi M. Carlile is an American singer-songwriter and producer whose music spans multiple genres. As of 2018, Carlile has released six studio albums and earned seven Grammy Award nominations, including one for The Firewatcher’s Daughter and six for By the Way, I Forgive You. Wikipedia
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band played their first gig in 1966 in Southern California as a jug band and by 1969 had become a cornerstone of the burgeoning country-rock community. Their career breakthrough came in 1970 with the release of the record Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy and the single “Mr. Bojangles,” a folksy Top 10 pop hit that remains a staple of their live show. During a tour stop in Nashville around that time, Earl Scruggs and his family came backstage to say hello. That introduction led to a friendship and some of the connections the band needed to record Will the Circle Be Unbroken. That three-disc album brought Nitty Gritty Dirt Band together with a number of country, folk, and bluegrass legends. Heroes like Roy Acuff, Mother Maybelle Carter, Jimmy Martin, Merle Travis, and Doc Watson joined the scruffy, young band to record country music standards such as “I Saw the Light” and “Keep on the Sunnyside.” The acclaimed project is considered a landmark recording in American music.
Following an extended 50th anniversary tour, the ensemble grew to a six-piece in 2018 for the first time since their early jug band days. The group now includes Jeff Hanna (acoustic guitar, electric guitar), Jimmie Fadden (drums, harmonica), Bob Carpenter (keyboards), Jim Photoglo (bass, acoustic guitar), Ross Holmes (fiddle, mandolin), and Jaime Hanna (electric and acoustic guitar). All six members also sing, and when their voices merge, the harmonies add a powerful new component for the legendary band. And with the father-son pairing of Jeff and Jaime Hanna, the band carries on a country music tradition of blood harmony.
LOCATION – LOS ANGELES
Michael Connelly is an American author of detective novels and other crime fiction, notably those featuring LAPD Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch and criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller. Connelly is the bestselling author of thirty-one novels and one work of non-fiction