The Year Without a Summer

By on Sep 13, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You could ask me in a flyby conversation how many home runs former third baseman of the Boston Red Sox, Butch Hobson, hit in 1979 and I would tell you 28 jacks without blinking or googling it. Ask me the song list on Bob Dylan’s “Desire” record as I’m biting in a burrito, and I’ll rattle off “Hurricane” to “Sara” and sing you a line from “Oh Sister” before I swallow back a single black bean. But ask me anything outside sports and music, and I mean anything, like, history, and I am doomed, a stuttering mess of nothingness. That’s why when Ashland musician, Paul Hubert, was telling me in the WKXL studio recently about a new song he wrote and was about to perform with his friend, The Chicken Man, called “40 Bushels,” I was flabbergasted to hear the tale about the “Year Without a Summer” in...

Killin’ It with “Say Darling”

By on Aug 31, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

One must come out of the gate hot when presenting a body of work that you’ve been cursing, sweating and grinding over for months in a studio, living with the thing, breeding it till that thing becomes an opening riff that kills on impact.   Not “kill” as in kill, like dead kill.  More like:  Bam!  I just got slapped in the face with the sweetest of cold waters, all in the name of music. That kind of kill.    Song one, line one, joke one – they all need to land right with the audience at the git-go.  And that’s what “Say Darling” did on their new self titled EP. They crushed it, right from the git-go.     A fierce finger roll of the Hammond organ, then crashing drums bleeding into a blazing guitar riff born out of the stylings of Chris Hersch and that, my friends, is the way to open up a song.   And that’s just the first twenty seconds of...

She Is Free

By on Jul 24, 2017 in Reviews, Uncategorized |

The first few lines of Katie Dobbins new CD, “She is Free,” pretty much sums up the existence of many of us, where the expectations are high — professionally, personally or both — and it’s very easy to lose direction when you’re busy trying to make things look perfect. “Something To Be Found,” the first single, shines a light on a 25-year old woman with two degrees, a busy job, a loving family and the weight of the world on her shoulders. Something is missing, some crucial element of fulfillment has been neglected for much too long. Ah, the music. “She’s begging me to come back home.” Dobbins comes from the Lakes Region but lives and teaches in the Boston area. She writes about the little things, those rare “Post It Notes” left on the refrigerator in the early morning hours, that, until I heard heard her sing...

Buy the ticket, take the ride.

By on Jul 13, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized |

“Buy the ticket, take the ride.” So, we did. All the way to Woody Creek, Colorado on the weekend of Independence Day. Myself, my brother and a good friend flew to Denver, then drove three and a half hours through the Rockies, not in search of a parade, or a mountain, or even to witness a single firework flash through the star-studded skies. No, sir. Instead, we opted to stand in the kitchen of the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson’s home at “Owl Farm” and drink good whisky while listening to his wife, Anita, and longtime friend, former Pitkin County Sheriff, Bob Braudis, tell hilarious and frightening tales of the famous writer’s fondness for firearms, how he loved to see his own byline, his struggles with aging and his fierce devotion to his readers. All this as we wandered his home freely, bathing in the spirit of the Good Doctor. If you’ve...

By on Jun 28, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized |

This years Market Days Festival is going to roar. Likely the biggest and best yet, for many reasons. Driving down Main Street these days, with the project complete, wherever my head turns, I’m looking at something new — a curb, a bench, a strip of paint, patch of grass, a store, a gleaming awning. All the colors blending perfectly downtown, day or night, without any modern gawkiness or traditional New England doom and gloom. Dare I say it? Concord is sexy again, shining from all points. Speaking of sexy, today I get to spend the day with Dusty Gray, the country rocker turned radio talker. Dusty and his good buddy, Brian O’Reilly, started a weekly radio show on WKXL about a year ago and called it “Strictly Local.” It airs Thursday nights at 6 pm. It’s a great show and Dusty puts as much into preparing a good segment as he does turning one of his songs...

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...