Of music and musings

By on Apr 6, 2017 in Blog |

Bear with me, please. It’s been a hellacious week. The hour calls for a mash up of thoughts, some musical, some not. Nothing solid, just a string of loose ends to untangle, a series of observations that should be recorded before they are forgotten. Or, in other words: I don’t really have a story this week. Just a gaggle of thoughts. Like I said, the last seven days were an utter train wreck. DRIPPING My bathroom tub faucet ran a leak. Small potatoes to some, a simple drip, maybe a washer or a fresh cartridge will make life bearable again. But no, not to someone like me, an anxious incompetent when it comes to tools or anything with a chain on it, my life was thrown a millions ways. I lost weight. My hair thinned. Three teeth fell out. I don’t think I listened to a Springsteen song for, like, six hours. After ripping a knuckle trying to work a nut loose under the...

Teaching on the music scene

By on Mar 23, 2017 in Blog | 2 comments

In one week, I’ll be doing something I never would have imagined I’d be doing, not in 100 years. And I’ve done some things — some good, some wicked, some better left forgotten. But teach a class? That was not on my “Do Before Dying” list. Visit Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colorado? Yes. Shave my head? One of these days. Interview Springsteen? God willing. But stand before a real class with real students, real people, people that have signed up for this class called “A Look Inside the NH Music Scene?” Well, that’s just weird. When Phyllis Benoit from Granite State College in Concord emailed me in the fall saying that she reads my weekly music column in the Concord Monitor but doesn’t know what I’m talking about half the time, all I could say was, “Neither do I.” Then Phyllis proposed that I teach a class at the...

Music Runs The Game

By on Feb 23, 2017 in Blog, Interviews |

Lee Viathan from Manchester loves music. Plays it, lives it, embodies it. One night or three in a row, Viathan, 36, can be seen either popping a brain vessel watching an Extreme Wresting match in Rhode Island or brushing is drums through a set of country/folk tunes at some club in southern New Hampshire. Viathan will admit that music shapes his days, creates an identity and drama in his life while forging friendships and tearing down social walls within this majestic space known as music. Why don’t we let Lee tell you all about it. 1. I see your work playlists on Facebook that you post, and the range of music is wild. You are all over the place. Can you go from a thrash metal song to folk on a dime? Explain how music dictates your dispositions. For the most part as it comes to what I’m going go listen to, my disposition more often than not dictates the music. Its starts...

Protest Against Action

By on Feb 1, 2017 in Blog | 3 comments

Forgive me, but writing this is like trying to remove a stripped screw from under a snowy porch in the freezing rain after midnight. Brutal. But that’s what four days in Key West will do to a man if the trip is done correctly, I suppose. Rendered brainless but still dreaming, the wrist keeps turning but the bit just won’t catch. That’s fine. I have the memories of last week still somewhat fresh in my foggy head. All I have to do to think back on the fiesta in the sun is reach under my sweatshirt and peel a line of dead skin from my shoulder blade. Living off island beer and Mahi tacos drenched in cabbage and jalapenos, I spent my time at the end of the scorched earth hiding from the world in the great wide open. While the masses gathered around the globe, pushing back on the new world order known as Trumpsville (formerly called Chumpsville) I decided to get off the...

“It’s Evolution, Baby!”

By on Jan 11, 2017 in Blog, Reviews |

Sounding like he’s singing from the backside of a hand-cranked phonograph, songwriter Walker Smith opens his new record “Great Divide” with a minute-and-half long intro that could easily take place in a dime store record booth somewhere out in the Great Plains. The subtle crooning of Smith rides shotgun to a beautiful ukulele as the singer paints a picture of what might happen if you “turn your back on the folks you know…the faces start to fade.” Basically, ending up alone, “carving out your memories in alabaster stone.” A strong image set by Smith, who, over the past five years has become a true standout in the NH music scene. His voice is butter, just about as smooth as it gets. He works his tail off to be heard. His lyrics, they’re big boy lyrics, fully realized, bursting with intelligence. To date, Smith, who lives in Concord,...

A Great Awakening

By on Jan 4, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Miketon and the Night Blinders aren’t wasting any time kicking in the doors on 2017. The Manchester-based “garbage grass” band has a new CD ready to launch on January 12th called “Building A Home.” And if you enjoy a rollicking country sound with fiddle, bass, brushes and banjo, then this CD is your first purchase of the New Year. Three seconds into the opener “Lucky Hearts” and I’m sold. Lead singer Miketon Graton strikes a quick chord, then sings hard for his love that sleeps at home, waiting to smell the stink of his beer-stained skin and feel the warmth of his allegiance to her. Cameron Rapoport enters in with a steely smooth fiddle solo and off we go. This is when we know the Night Blinders have identified themselves as a serious rock band, pledging that, “the love of ours will last if together we hold fast to hope that’s...