Sister Rosetta…The Mother of Rock ‘n Roll

Every wonder where today’s rock and roll guitar licks originated. Well, there are those who say nobody contributed to the genre more than Sister Rosetta Tharpe. She came on the scene in the early 1940s and left her mark all over rock. Just pay attention to the licks she plays in this old Gospel song.

A Yellowstone Tale

My friend Justin Johnson and his faithful sidekick Nikki are currently touring Yellowstone National Park. Looking at some of their posted photos on Facebook brought back memories of the trip we took back in the early 1990s.

justin & nikki at falls
Justin & Nikki

Yellowstone being such a special place we decided to invest in a small video camera to record the experience. So, on the way we stopped at Circuit City in Cincinnati and spent close to $1000 on a camera and a couple of spare tapes. Our son sat in the back of our van and  learned the art of video photography as we plowed our way west.

Continue reading A Yellowstone Tale

The King of Few Notes – BB @ ACL 1983

bb king at ACLWhen blues fans gather and the chatter turns to BB King the one thing most share is the opinion that King’s 1964 album, Live at the Regal, was his best. I own the CD and I really can’t disagree, the man was at the top of his game that evening.

Today I watched a video of BB’s 1983 appearance on PBS’s Austin City Limits and came away convinced his game hadn’t lessened over the intervening twenty years.

Continue reading The King of Few Notes – BB @ ACL 1983

The Day They Brought Old Dixie Down

I had a cousin who was South Carolina bred and born and so hated the sight of the stars and bars flying over the capital building, and later on the capital grounds. Today is for her and the millions of others who believe that symbol of insurrection and racism belongs in a museum rather than publicly flaunting all the bad it represented. I just wished she had lived to see it.

A Story, or two, about Close Encounters

Justin Johnson at Devil's TowerThe film Close Encounters came out in 1977 but I’m not sure what year it appeared at Greenfield’s Ranch Drive In.

By the time it came to the Ranch I had already purchased the fantastic John Williams sound track and had played it many times on my 1975 VW Rabbit’s cassette player.

The evening the film opened in Greenfield we pilled the two young daughters into the back seat of the Rabbit and headed for the drive in.  The four of use were glued to the screen from beginning to end and gave little or no attention to the occasional B&O train that passed immediately behind the big screen during the show . It was wonderful and the images of an alien craft landing atop Wyoming’s Devil’s Tower, backed by that awesome music, would last a lifetime.

Several nights later we were coming home from a trip to Hillsboro in a lightning storm. It was one of those air to air storms with the sky firing up with bolts of white slowly soaring across the skies. By some inspiration I pulled on to a side road, parked the car, and fired up the Close Encounter tape with the volume knob at the full clockwise position. It was a truly marvelous experience and we all sensed at any second a space craft was going to ascend on to the nearby hay-field and some one-eyed dude named Scottie was going to beam us up to meet a three-eyed guy named Kirk.

In the early 1990s we took a road trip to Yellowstone and came to learn we’d be passing right by the entrance to Devil’s Tower. There wasn’t any way we were going to drive by without a closer encounter. I can’t recall all the emotions I felt looking up at that giant rock but I didn’t need a cassette to hear those melodic chimes in my head and see Richard Dreyfuss hiding behind a rock as the space ship came to land.

More recently my cigar box guitar hero, Justin Johnson, has been touring the Western states and spent several days in the Bad Lands of SD and at Devil’s Tower just across the WY border. He had never seen the film but at the KOA campground they were staying in the film is shown every evening for the enjoyment of the campers. After seeing the film Justin was impelled to dig out a favorite four-stringer and do his version of the Williams score. Here’s the video and sound track his sidekick Nikki produced.

Justin Devil's Tower link

The little town that could: Short rail line in Ohio shows the way

eda sign

Greenfield and its railway makes international news on Al Jazeera America. We’re the smallest community in America to own its own railroad.

Ohio city of Greenfield proves how owning less than 30 miles of train track can stave off economic catastrophe

Source: The little town that could: Short rail line in Ohio shows the way

Corvac Composites, LLC plans to open in Greenfield 

This is wonderful news for Greenfield and lays rest to a rumor that’s been floating around for some months now. The former R.R. Donnelly building has been purchased by Corvac Composites, a parts supplier to the automobile industry with plans to have a manufacturing facility in place by the end of the year. By 2016 Corvac hopes to provide two hundred new jobs to the community.

This story originated with the Highland County Press and may be read by clicking on the following link.

Source: Corvac Composites, LLC plans to open in Greenfield – The Highland County Press – Hillsboro, Ohio

Wages and Cost of Living for Highland County, OH

In reading an article about the positive affects of IKEA’s recent increase in minimum wages I came across a cost of living calculator from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I looked up Highland County, OH and here’s what resulted.  NOTE: You’ll need to click on each image to enlarge

Wage Requirements:

hico a


hico b


Expected Average Incomes:


hico c

Playing for Change – The Great Communicator

playing for change logoPlaying for Change just never disappoints. Recently I MC’d a music event and I spoke briefly about the ability of musicians to communicate. It’s oft said that music is the international language and to me P for C is the proof positive that such is true. Just consider all the people in the following video and where they are located in the world and the various languages and cultures they represent. Yet, here they are coming together to offer something we can all relate and react to. Bless you P for C for helping to unite we the people.

My Grandfather’s Seersucker Suit

searsucker suitMy wife and I were sitting on the sofa this evening and I took note of how her seersucker blouse and gray hair reminded me of my grandfather who often could be seen walking along the sidewalk in his seersucker suit, white shirt, bow tie, and straw Panama hat.

My father could be a very dapper dresser and it is no surprise he inherited this trait from his father. I never saw my dad wearing seersucker but he could walk the dog in the best that Hart Schaffner Mars and Oleg Cassini could muster up.

Janet and I got to discussing how formal things were during our childhoods and how distant the thought of enduring the heat and humidity of August wearing a suit in public is to us today.  Today’s typical American probably resist even putting on shorts in August.

Just Sayin’, Iced Coffee

I never been a big fan of iced coffee but that may be changing. For several weeks now I’ve been fixing my morning cup of Kuerig and cafe bustelo coffeeonly taking a few sips before getting involved in some necessary or unnecessary activity.

Later in the afternoon I rediscover my almost full mug of coffee and and instead of tossing it I’ve been throwing in a handful of ice and cooling down with it while I mess on the Internet. Today’s flavor is a strong Cuban espresso  made by Cafe Bustelo.  I like it, I like it a lot!

An entrepreneur who turned a town around – CBS News

Hero BikeA friend of Greenfield posted this link on Facebook and it is exactly one of the major things our community needs. Some person or group with the mentality to see what we have and turn it into jobs. Read this piece and consider the impact of just a few jobs had on Greensboro, AL.

A factory would be nice but it’s not the only path to jobs and economic betterment.

Pam Dorr made use of Greensboro, Alabama’s bamboo problem and turned it into a venture that has helped revive the town’s economy

Source: An entrepreneur who turned a town around – CBS News

Hobo 63 with Delbarjo

My French cigar box guitar friend, Ludovic Fonteraud (aka Delbarjo), recently received a great new three-string from another CBG friend in Finland who builds under the name, Hobo 63. Here’s a great demo Delbarjo posted on YouTube demoing his latest instrument. It is just so smooth!

Purveyor of Fact, Fiction, Opinion and Rumor. Not responsible for lost children, pets, or souls. Read at your own risk!

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