Sunday, June 30, 2013

The CATF returns to Shepherdstown

The Contemporary American Theater Festival returns to Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia for their 23rd season starting July 5th and running through July 28th. This season the festival features five plays and three of them are World Premieres.

The first play is A Discourse on The Wonders of the Invisible World is a World Premiere by Liz Duffy Adams. Set in New England in 1702, this play features the Puritans and an appearance by the Devil himself. Kent Nicholson directs the play that features Broadway actors Cassie Beck, Rod Brogan, and Joey Collins. The cast is rounded out by Becky Byers, Susannah Hoffman and Gerardo Rodriguez.

Here is an invite to the 2010 CATF by the founder Ed Herendeen, the promo still fits for 2013...

Ed directs John Kern's  Modern Terrorism, Or They Who Want to Kill Us and 
How We Learn to Love Them. Below is a sneak peak from an earlier production...

Jane Martin's H2O is another World Premiere, this one is directed by Jon Jory. The play takes place in a brand new 90-seat intimate setting theatre at Shepherd University and stars Dianne Mair and  Alex Podulke.

Ed Herendeen also directs noted playwright Sam Shepard's latest play Heartless. Cassie Beck and Susannah Hoffman are in this cast. They will be joined by Broadway actor Michael Cullen, Kathleen Butler 
and film, television, stage star Robyn Cohen.

Here is a promo for an other production of Heartless

Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah is another World Premiere and this one will be truely special as it is directed by the playwright Mark St. Germain. The play features a Broadway cast of Rod Brogan, Joey Collins, and Angela Pierce. It sounds like a play that a theatre lover would hate to miss!

Here is my review of last year's festival.

Tickets, showtimes and more information can be found at the Festival's website. Take the short drive from Baltimore and Washington to West Virginia's Oldest Town beautifully located on the Potomac River.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Janis Joplin Headed to Broadway

No not the real Janis Joplin who died in 1970. However, her music and spirit has beeen revived in a musical I reviewed last year called One Night With Janis Joplin. The show is set to open this fall at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre you can read more details here.

The real Janis Joplin...

You can read my review from last year here. I really enjoyed the show and gaveit five stars. It returned for another run this summer and here is what Max Johnson thought of the show. Here is a preview for the shows return to Arena Stage...

Here is a little taste...

My editor Joel Markowitz interviewed the star, Mary Bridget Davis  and you can read it here. Well I hope you enjoy and I will be back soon with a new post!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Country Living

Okay as some of my readers know I live on the far edge of suburbia in a rural area. Well, I had my car repaired at a local shop maybe 10 miles away or so. It was a major repair and I wasn't carrying around that kind of cash and I didn't bring a check since using one is such a rarity these days. Any way I drove out to the shop in a rental and the guy asked me if I was going to pay by credit card. The answer was yes, I was going to use my check card.

Well I was told the phone lines were down apparently some animal had gotten into the lines and the phones in the area were out. The phones being out meant he couldn't run my card! He also stated a bear had stopped by the shop a couple of hours ago! Well I made arrangements to try again tomorrow to pay for it and pick up the car. I just hope the bear didn't do the repair job!

I just thought I would share a story about country living!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Warren Haynes and the NSO Tribute to Jerry Garcia at Wolf Trap

You can read my review of the show here. However a truer testimony might have been my six year old daughters reaction to the show as my guest. Her favorite musical artists are Katy Perry, Justin Beiber, Miley Cyrus, and Taylor Swift. She volunteered to go with me and even dressed the part..

Any way we took our seats and as we were waiting for the show to start she started getting crabby. The typical humid summer evening weather wasn't helping. She was suddenly thirsty and hungry. Oh, no the complaining had begun Then something magical happened the band came out and together with the National Symphony Orchestra they started to play music. The smile came to her face and she was happy again. When the grown ups started to dance so did my daughter. When they started playing with balloons she wanted one. Some how the balloons avoided us and my daughter didn't take away the grown ups play toys.By intermission her I wants went from food and water to souvenirs. By the end of the show she wanted to meet  Warren Haynes and get his autograph. I was honest and told her I would like to do that too!

Here is a taste of the wonderful concert...

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Review of Bill Payne's show

Bill Payne's Tracing Footsteps Tour is an experience, an intimate look into an artist's world. You can read my review here. Besides being one of the founders and piano/keyboard player for Little Feat, he is a reknowned session player as well. I didn't even know he played on this songm till he played the riff and told the story..

I'm not a fan of giving stars. After interviewing him, seeing his show, and meeting him I would give him 5-stars as a person. Laid back, friendly, talented and he gave a thrree hour show! But I was honest, it was good, a better experience than a concert. I liked the second set a lot more than the dirst set. I also thought some casual fans might not like his song selection for Little Feat tunes. Though it appeared the audience was long time, familiar fans.

Here is a bit from the current tour at a different stop...

Another cool thing was the special guest. It was a local guitarist Billy Thompson who I have seen play a few times. He is local in that he lives fiarly close to me and plays in my neck of the woods often. He didn't always live close to me and he has played some big time festivals and with some big names. However, it is a cool experience to see someone you know playing with a legend at a legendary venue. Yes, he played great and held his own on stage with Gabe Ford and Bill Payne. I chatted with Bill Payne after the show and he gave Billy a lot of praise.

Here is Billy Thompson performing...

There are more clips on my review of both artists. Anyway, I shared my thought process on this review and gave some more insight. Hope you enjoyed and I will be back with another post soon! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Great 80's show: The Psychedelic Furs and The GO--GO's

Earlier this month I reviewed the Go-Go's show at Wolf Trap with The Psychedelic Furs. You can read my review here.Two very influential bands. The Go-Go's were an all girl band, who played all their instruments rocked with pop sensibilities. I could hear the influences of The Psychedelic Furs on other bands and the bands hat influenced them. Bands slightly older than me but bands who hit their stride in my youthful days.

Like always I try to give a little more on the show or artist that I review.

Here The Psychedelic Furs perform "Heaven" from that show...

Below The Go-Go's perform their hit "We Got the Beat" with a cover of "Rock and Roll All Night" from the same show..

My review had The Go-Go's performing "My Lips are Sealed" from a show in Central Park and The Psychedelic Furs performing "Love My Way" from Belgium. Hope you enjoyed the clips from the show and my review. I will be back soon with another post..

Monday, June 24, 2013

Congrats to the Chicago Blackhawks

Breaking it up a bit with a sports blog. The Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup by besting the Boston Bruins four games to two. The Blackhawks won the deciding game in Boston 3-2.

Highlights from game one...

Game 2.. game winner..

Game three..

Game four...

Finally with baseball season closing in on the half way point the NHL Hockey season comes to an end. Boston stay strong! Chicago enjoy your cup!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

R.I.P Bobby "Blue" Bland

The blues lost a great today when Bobby "Blue" Bland past away at the age of 83. I had the pleasure of seeing him open up for B.B. King several years ago. He was inducted into The Blues Hall of Fame and into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone Magazine called him one of the top 50 singers of all time. He recorded such classics as "Further On Up The Road," "Turn on Your Love Light," "Ain't No Love  in the Heart of the City,"  and "Ain't Nothing You Can Do." You can recognize who he influenced from the song titles alone, Eric Clapton, The Grateful Dead, and even Jay-Z.  The best way to pay tribute to Bobby BLand is by his music...

Here he is singing "Turn on Your Love Light"

Here he performs with B.B. King on Soul Train...

Here he sings "If You're Gonna Walk on My Love"

He will be missed...I'll be back with a new post soon

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tommy Emmanuel

Okay I knew Tommy Emmanuel was a great guitarist. It is the reason i signed up to review his show. I knew the venue, The Birchmere was a super place to see and hear musicians play. The show exceded my expectations. One the opening act was Anthony Snape, who I wasn't familier with before the show. He turned out to be a talented songwriter, a solid guitarist, and a gifted singer. He was aslso very energized and excited to be opening the show. I met him after the show and he appeared to be very humble as well.

Here is Anthony Snape in action...

Okay he looks a lot different now than in that video.Here is one a bit more recent...

Then there was Tommy Emmanuel who lived up to his hype and then some. He was a great showman. His show was part clinic, part awe inspiring, and 100% entertaining. You can read my review here. If you have never seen him in concert put it on your bucket list.

Here he is in action at the same club but a year or o before the show I covered..

More Tommy...he played this one and I thought it was really neat!

I'll be back with a new post soon! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Interview with Little Feat's Bill Payne

The plus side to my writing adventures is the fact from time to time I get to talk to some pretty cool people. In the past I have interviewed guitar master Yngwie Malmsteen, The Queen of Bluegrass Rhonda Vincent, and some other cool folks. I was able to add another one on my list when I interviewed one of the founders of Little Feat, their keyboard/piano player Bill Payne.

The interview was great. Obviously we talked about his upcoming tour and show. However, we also touched on his art, music, and some rock and roll history. You can read my interview here.

Here is a promo from the current tour...

Here he perfroms "Rooster Rag" at another famous club...

and a classic from the band that made him famous..

Hope you enjoy and I will be back soon with anbother post! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

R.I.P James Gandolfini

Most of us knew James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano from the HBO hit The Sopranos. It is where he carved a place in my memory banks. When I had cable TV i watched his show, when I didn't I would catch the seasons on DVD. The DVDs worked better as I hafd children in my life and I could pause or stop the show as needed.

Here is clip from the hit show...

Here is a trailer for one of his recent movies, as he did more than The Sopranos..

Here is a news clip about his death..

Scary he was less than 10 years older than me. I guess it hits a lot closer when they are around your age.
Below he is winning a Golden Globe in 1999...

A talented actor who will be missed.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Paul McCartney!

Paul McCartney  of the Beatles turns 71 today. Amazingly I heard a great guitarist perform a medley of Beatles' tunes last night. Paul has had an incredible career with The Beatles, with Wings, and as a solo artist. In reason years he has even tried to stay current with modern music.

Here Sir Paul performs with Nirvana...

It isn't the first time here Mr. McCartney performs with Michael Jackson...

and who can forget this duet with Stevie Wonder..

Here he is with The Bloody Beetroots...

I'm leaving out friends he has performed with to do covers of old songs. Just for his birthday celebrating Paul McCartney and friends...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

I'm lucky! I was able to spend Father's Day with my daughter. My life is like many other folks with a lot of bumps in the road. That being said I make an effort to be the best Dad that I can be. There are many people who are not able o spend Father's Day wih their kids.

There are Dad's in the military who are stationed across the countery, overseas, and in war zones who are not able to be with their kids. Many of them try to be ther best dad they can be while serving their country.

There are seperated Dad's who are still greaat Dads. Who might not be aable to see their kids on Father's Day. There are Dad's who are on travel for work.

Well you get my point. Not every Dad is able to be with their kids on Father's Day. I am one of the lucky ones who got to spend the day with mine. I'm lucky and it is a blessing! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dexter The Book

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay.

Okay, I became a fan of the show Dexter. Some dear friends knew about my TV handicapped and when I visited them they insisted I watch the first season and I was hooked. I heard the show was based on a book that was supposed to be really good.

Here is a trailer for the first season:

The book won the 2005 Dilys Award and the 2007 Book to TV Award. The book is very similar to the first season of the show. However, the show deviated from the book in some important ways. The biggest difference is at the climatic conclusion of the book. Jeff has turned the book into a series of books now and since I enjoyed this one it looks like I have six more books to read.

I'll be back soon with another post...

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Walk in the Nation's Capital: What's Wrong in America

A small walk in the Nation's Capital reveals a lot about what is wrong with America. A human being shouldn't be laying on a busy sidewalk like a chalk outline. All the people who bustle around, someone should have checked on them. I am guilty as well as the hundreds, the thousands of others who passed by him. Homeless is a problem that needs to be eliminated as well as poverty.

Further down the road I was approached by a Vietnam Veteran begging for money on the same street. A generation (or more) ago our government sent people to fight half way across the world. We've repeated it since then a few times. People who risk their lives for our country shouldn't be reduced to begging in it! Gulf war veterans, Iraqi veterans, Afghanistan veterans is this what your future looks like? I hope not.

I was also approached by an ex-convict who said he was trying to raise funds for a program to rebuild his life. Gee, it looks like prison had  worked for this person. Perhaps he was ready to turn his life around, move away from crime but then he is roadblocked by lack of funds. I told him I couldn't help him due to my circumstances. He shook my hand and told me "Respect." Over  the years I have given to panhandlers. Very few have given me a  warm thank you. Here I turned the guy down but he understood why and respected that. The respect is mutual. If a program is so great it needs to be accessible. This man should be in the program, not begging.

What is even worse than these three stories? The fact the street was full of more of them. Maybe politicians should get a way from the secret service, the office, the cubicles, and take a walk down a street. Open their eyes and ears. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Happy Birthday Prince!

It is hard for me to believe Prince is 55. When I was in 8th grade his album "Purple Rain" was everywhere. Prince in my opinion is an underrated guitar talent.He is without a doubt a very creative artist and musician.
What better way to celebrate his birthday than by sharing his music!

One of my all time favorite songs by him "Purple Rain"

Sometimes you combine favorites. Here Prince perforoms "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin

Here Preince perfroms with Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne..his solo is very rememberable

Here he performs at the 2013 Billboard Awards,,,

Happy Birthday Prince! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

R.I.P. Joey Covington

Drummer Joey Covington died on June 4th due at an automobile accident. Covington garnered a bit of fame for playing in Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship and Hot Tuna in the late 60s and early 70s. He didn't play with those bands for a super long time. In the 80s and 90s played in some Bay Area All-Star groups. He apparently loved to play the drums. He will be missed by his fans and family.

Covington co-wrote this song for Jefferson Airplane..

He wrote this song for Jefferson Starship..

Here he is in one of the All-Star jams...

Joey Covington we will miss your beat and music. Your family and fans will miss you may you R.I.P

Be back soon with a new post...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

College Baseball

The college baseball playofs are in full swing. This week I have written two articles on them so I am going to share them and hopefully add some highlights.The articles I wrote concentrated on the Florida Gators and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, the same schools I covered for football and basketball.

First up the Florida Gators did not fare well in the Bloomington (Indiana) Regional. You can read my article here. Yes they played a strong schedule but in the regionsal they showed they did not belong. The next article was Georgia Tech winning three must  -win games in a row before falling to Vanderbilt. You can read that one here.

No Gators highlghts sorry. However, here are some Georgia Tech ones...

Here is the press conference after their opening loss..

Here are some highlights from the Illinois game...

Here is the press conference after their win over Vandy...

Well I will be back soon with a new post..

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

R.I.P. Deacon Jones

Deacon Jones was considered one of the best defensive players to ever play in the NFL. It goes without saying he was considered one of the best defensive ends to ever play the game. Not bad for a guy who was a 14th round draft pick from a lesser known school. He was eight time pro bowler and named All-Pro six times during his Hall of Fame career. He was an all-time great, a legend, still respected by many players who play today. Players who never had the chance to see him play, hold him in high regard to the legacy he left on the field.

Here is ESPN and Herm Edwards on Deacon Jones' death...

Here is a bit about him playing...

Another clip on him....

R.I.P. Deacon Jones

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Blog, Looking Back, Looking Forword

March and April were record setting months for views on my blog. There was a drop off in May, but still the third highrest month in this blog's history. May was special by the amount of comments posted on the blog. It was very neat to read all of them, and only one spam one. I read them all, answered a few, and enjoyed the experience. That's what this blog is about, I think, is sharing. I share thoughts that come across my mind, I share about my writing, and I share other experiences. So, it was really nice to read what my audience had to share with me.

This month I have had a post about a musician, an actress, and the blog so far counting this post. I am planning to have a sports related post. There will be plenty of music. I am covering several concerts and I have a big name interview coming up so I will certainly share about that. There will be the random posts and maybe I will crash a blogfest or two. There will probably be some theatre posts as well. Lot's of surprises. It is Mike's Ramblings, tramblings aren't planned out it just happens.

Thanks for visiting, enjoy and come back soon!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

R.I.P. Jean Stapleton

Jean Stapleton passed away at the age of 90. Most of us remember her as Edith Bunker on "All In The Family." Here is a clip from that show...

Here the two reunite on a talk show, this is believed to be the last time...(Carroll O'Conner, Jean Stapleton)

The show won her three Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. Her career included much more than "All In The Family." She perfromed in many shows on Broadway, other TV shows and movies. Here is a commercial she did in the 50s...

Here she is on Broadway in 1986. She was performing in the revival of  Arsenic & Old Lace...

Here is a news clip (CBS New York) of her death...

Jean Stapleton will be missed, her legacy to the perfroming arts will live on in classic reruns.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Ronnie Wood!

Today is Ronnie Wood's 66th birthday!  A musival career including work in the Jeff Beck Group, The Faces, and The Rolling Stones. Some how he managed to have a solo career and work as an artist. Cheers Ronnie and keep on rocking!

Here he is with The Jeff Beck Group...

Here he is with The Faces performing Paul McCartney's Maybe I'M Amazed...

Here is a solo track from his last solo album...

Here he talks about his art...

With The Stones...

And Katy Perry. Happy Birthday~