january 27, 2018

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“The time will never feel right. We will never feel ready and the conditions will never be perfect. Life is short. Take a chance. Even the smallest step in the direction of your dreams can help you come alive.” ~ TinyBuddha

 

tower

 

Garry Bibb was my sculpture instructor in college. He was known as a tough and gruff kind of guy. He was also a brilliant artist. I didn’t find him gruff at all. I found him really helpful. He didn’t ask anything of us that he didn’t ask of himself. He has a lot of work around Lexington, but one of my favorites currently stands outside the Fine Arts building. It’s called “WRFL Radio: Thunder of Universal Sound.” WRFL is UK’s student radio station. A group of determined students were deep in WRFL fundraising when I joined a band called Radio Cafe in the summer of 1985. (That band went on to become Stealin Horses). One of my first gigs with Radio Cafe was a fundraiser for WRFL on the lawn beside the student center. By 1988, the station had gotten its license and hit the airwaves. The band had gotten a deal with Arista and released our first album. That album and WRFL will celebrate their 30th anniversary this year. It feels like yesterday. It was a great time for music in Lexington. We were not the only band to land a major label deal, and WRFL wasn’t the only station supporting us all. Rock station WKQQ, itself a national heavy-hitter at the time, was on board, too. The whole Lexington music scene was stuffed with talent, enthusiasm, and support. I guess that’s why I’ve been a little perplexed at the lack of mention this period gets in books on Kentucky music and musicians. Maybe we were just too cool. It was punk and pop after all (mostly punk). Whatever the case, it was a great time to be in the music scene in Lexington and I’m grateful to have been part of it.

 

thunder

december 16, 2017

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“One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.” ~ Unknown

 

hostess

 

Today was Ruth’s annual Christmas soirée; tea a la Emily Post. Each year the cast changes slightly, including the pets, but the core library crowd is consistently present, and always the day ends with Christmas carols. I’m always pleased to be in their company. A good time was had by all.

 

fa ra ra ra ra

december 8, 2017

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“Never regret a day in your life. Good days give happiness, bad days give experience,
worst days give lessons, and best days give memories.” ~ Unknown

 

that’s why

 

I’ll just leave this here, while reminding the universe that I’m still the drummer (and would like to play much, much more). That’s why. Plus, Mike Moore, also a drummer, is awesome and has the best shirts ever.

december 6, 2017

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“We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past; and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible.” ~ George Santayana

 

maestro I

 

When Marlon Hurst isn’t playing trumpet with Four Leonards (and a fifth), he’s conducting the Kentucky Bach Choir. I had the chance to photograph them during last year’s Christmas outing, but I shot mostly from the balcony. This year, though, I was able to work a bit more up close. I was able to get a good look at Marlon whose back is to the audience for the entire concert. I loved it! I could tell he was having a really good time. There’s just not much better in life than people who love what they do. 

 

maestro II

december 5, 2017

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“I’ll tell you one thing for sure: once you get to the point where you’re actually doing things for truth’s sake, then nobody can ever touch you again because you’re harmonizing with a greater power.”
~ George Harrison

 

backstage

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about Ricky. He left this world yesterday afternoon. Many theater friends posted to his facebook page. Their most common thread was thanking him for giving them a chance to find their passion. Rick was a long-time theater director and actor. That was his passion. When we were kids we put on shows, made up commercials, and generally did lots of creative things. All of it was his idea as I recall. Seven years my senior, he never made me feel like I wasn’t old enough or cool enough to be part of whatever we were doing. When I read the gratitude pouring out for him, for treating those people the same way he treated me, without reservation, it warmed my heart beyond words. I was transported back to our silliest times. Like the time we made a commercial on an old cassette recorder about Ex-Lax, when we kept flushing the toilet over and over and over again until our mothers thought something bad had happened to one of us. Mom and I still laugh about that. No matter how much Ricky taught me about show business (theater was his thing, not mine, so in many ways I failed miserably), he taught me something much more important. He taught me how to laugh, and how to love people who don’t always fit in. These are but two gifts from him that I have carried every day. I have nothing but immeasurable gratitude. And who knows. Maybe one day I’ll take up theater.

november 12, 2017

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“Some people want material things. Me, I just want peace, happy times, and people who love me.”
~ Unknown

 

renaissance man

 

Marlon Hurst is one of the coolest people I know. You’ve met him before. He’s the music director at First Presbyterian in Lexington, and he spearheads the Music for Mission series that helps raise funds for various charitable organizations like Glean KY that benefited from last night’s Leonard Cohen tribute. Marlon is an exceptional musician, and last night I learned that he’s played trumpet since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. He did an awesome solo with his brother David and sister-in-law Melissa’s band. You see, Marlon isn’t alone in his musical capabilities. His brother David is an excellent bassist (with a seriously cool Rickenbacher bass), and Melissa taught herself to play drums especially for the Cohen gig, which was approximately two months ago. She’s my shero: fearless and cool. She did a great job, too. These Hurst boys and their wives and kids are just the sweetest people ever, and I’m so lucky to call them friends.

 

all in the family

november 11, 2017

posted in: music, photography | 1

“When in doubt, breathe out.” ~ Danny Penman

 

like riding a bike

 

Stacy took part in the exquisite Leonard Cohen Tribute this evening at Good Shepherd. She read lyrics to – oh gosh, I don’t remember now – but she read them as the musicians reassembled to sing what is unquestionably his most famous song Hallelujah. As expected, she was a pro. A total pro reading lyrics like the poetry they are. I’ve never seen anything more natural than Stacy in headphones behind a mic the way God intended. I’m so proud of her. What an excellent night of music.

 

once a pro, always a pro

november 4, 2017

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“The most crucial use of knowledge and education is to understand the importance of developing a good heart.” ~ Dalai Lama

 

hey, Spike, whadya like? (snapseed)

 

I’ve been pretty sick with a cold for the last three days. It’s been hard to keep my eyes open, so I’ve listened to a lot of TV. Today, however, I was finally able to watch something, so I chose the painfully long documentary on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Runnin’ Down A Dream. Long though it was – two minutes shy of four hours – it’s fantastic because Tom is (was) fantastic. The Heartbreakers is the kind of band I always wanted to be in. Rockin’, smooth, and totally tight as a family. Just last week I’d discovered I had a first pressing on vinyl of Southern Accents. It’s not my favorite Petty album though. That would be a toss up between the 1976 self-titled album with my all-time favorite Breakdown, and his third album Damn the Torpedoes. It doesn’t matter. Anything Tom Petty did was great, and I’m so very thankful he made the music he was meant to make. 

 

Southern Accent (snapseed)

october 13, 2017

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“You can have it all. Just not all at once.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

 

visitor

 

I had the great pleasure of meeting Catherine Brereton’s parents and youngest brother, Joe, tonight. They’re here from Britain for the Bluegrass experience. There was a large group assembled at Lynagh’s Irish Pub hoping a fiddle would appear so that Catherine’s mom, Fliss, could make her American debut with Liam’s Fancy. Alas, it was not meant to be, but that didn’t stop our intrepid visitor from joining the band. She was the life of the party, and just as kind as she could be (no surprise given how kind Catherine is). I hope this isn’t the only time I get to see them because I really enjoyed our all-too-brief visit. And you never know; maybe I’ll get to hear Fliss play a reel before she flies back across the pond. I’m holding out hope.

 

strike up the band

september 24, 2017

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“Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.” ~ Stephen Covey

 

reflections

 

Last week was insanely busy and I nearly missed seeing Kiya as a result. But Stacy and I managed to find fifteen minutes, give or take, to drop in on her and violinist Sarah Stollak at Common Grounds. I’m so glad I did. Sarah is a wonderful addition to the sound, and she’s hilarious: a personal favorite trait. It was my first time seeing Kiya in person with her new do, too. She continues to look much younger than she is, and I continue trying not to hate her for it (kidding, of course – I could never hate her). She played several new songs, and as usual, they are sublimely beautiful. It did my heart so good to spend a few minutes with her. I sure needed it. Hopefully, it did her some good, too. Better living through music.

 

all smiles
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