Showdown In Exeter

By on Jun 13, 2017 in Interviews, Uncategorized |

I do love me a good fight. And there is one brewing out in Exeter between the artists and the old guard. Progress vs. Standard. You know the deal. It’s an old tale, one retold more times than Othello. I’ve read an article on seacoastonline.com about the conflict. The Exeter Arts Committee decided to not reappoint Scott Ruffner, who was the director of TEAM, a group of volunteers that love the arts (visual, music, theater) and want to share more of it with the community. My guess is Mr. Ruffner, who served the post for three years, is new blood in town, someone that represents change, a different outlook on the direction the arts community in Exeter should be going. Ruffer and his crew have likely presented some ideas to the committee that makes them terribly nervous, makes them feel like their maybe losing a grip on something they’ve always possessed: power of...

MAG-A-PALOOZA 2017

By on Jun 1, 2017 in Blog |

Sunday at Veterans Park in Manchester, Mag-a-Palooza 2017 kicks off at 11 a.m. Like the past three years, the day long festival is filled with music, some tasty beer, wish lists and puppies. Now, seriously? Who could ask for more? Okay, we would, of course! So, this year, beyond the crazy – and I mean crazy! — fantastic Boston-based “Pat and The Hats” who are true rock and roll titans eager for take off, you have “Gretchen and the Pickpockets,” and they go toe-for-toe with the Hats. These two blazing bands of sunshine will be topped off with the jazzy, soulful winds of “Kali and Ancestors in Training.” That’s a real good thing right there. Again, who could ask for more? Heathens like us would beg for more! So, when “Granite State of Mind” was approached to showcase some of its favorites artists that have performed on the...

Comedian Breaks Down Depression

By on May 31, 2017 in Interviews |

“I’m sick of it.” Lou Reed might sing. “I’m sick of you.” That’s the way I feel about depression and suicide. I’m sick of you, sick of it. Flat out disgusted by the lives it ruins, the will it crushes in man. This disease, this curator of zombies, is an elusive coward that can’t just be cut out of your belly or lungs. Instead, we must wine it, dine it, spoil it with pills and pray that it will be numbed into submission before some level of peace is gifted. When Chris Cornell of the band Soundgarden took his life last week in a hotel bathroom in Detroit, I felt sick. The image of the famed singer lying dead on a bathroom floor isn’t what turns my guts. Thinking about the days and years and hours that led up to his decision to let go for good, well, that’s what sickened me. No person should suffer such anguish. So, I...

Chasing the Dream with “Black Eyed Susan”

By on May 16, 2017 in Interviews, Uncategorized |

A few years back, I came across a video by a group billed as “The Suspects and Guests” — I think an all Irish crew — that covered Bruce Springsteen’s “The River” with his blessing to raise funds for a tragedy that took place in Ireland. I do love me a solid cover, so I dug in and was getting deeper into their rendition, when out of nowhere, somewhere around the 1:12 mark, this monster of a voice rang out, “Then I got Mary pregnant, and man that was all she wrote…” The voice was sandpaper perfect, smoked out, hypnotic, downright gorgeous with echos of the throatiest female rock stars in history bleeding through it. This well structured instrument is owned by a young woman of 26 years from Dublin, Ireland named Susan O Neill. And although O Neill, who grew up in Ennis, lives way, way outside the Granite State, I mention her name...

Showdown At The Brew

By on May 4, 2017 in Interviews |

This Sunday at the Strange Brew in Manchester, there will be a battle royal of sorts taking place, a straight up grudge match verses some of the best blues musicians from the region. The annual Granite State Blues Society Blues Challenge is always a good take with an easy Sunday vibe and solos, duos, youth and full bands playing all forms of the blues — Delta, Memphis, R&B, boogie — each hoping to hitch a ride on the “Road to Memphis” for the International Blues Challenge in January. And this year, like last, I was asked to be a judge. Thankful for the opportunity, I still find myself worrying about my capacity to judge a blues competition. For one, I am not a musician. Not even close. I listen to music, lots of it. I run my chops about music, not so much about how it’s made, but how it feels in my bones spilling out the speakers. See, the blues comes...