It's that time of year--time for another series of bluegrass concerts at the Ryman.
Now, I have to admit that I wasn't really all that thrilled about last night's opening act of Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper. I heard them a few weeks ago when they opened for Cherryholmes at Cumberland Caverns. And while they were good, they weren't one of my favorites.
I have to admit I was kind of wrong about them. Or maybe it was the setting was more conducive at the Ryman. I'm not sure, but I ended up liking them a lot more last night as the opening act. The group had a high energy, especially the mandolin player. The highlight of the set was Cleveland and the mandolin player jamming together for a long, incredibly great song. I wish I could recall what it was called because it's one I'd love to have on CD, though I am not sure it would really capture the energy of seeing these two play off each other on stage.
I did notice that Cleveland, as the fiddle player, was really working his bow hard. Threads kept coming loose and I joked that that was how he'd know the set was over--once he wears out all the bow threads, the set is done.
But that was just the opening act. The real treat was yet to come, one of my favorites--Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. Now, I will admit that I was also aprehensive about hearing Doyle again. I've seen him twice and loved the set both times. But part of that is the band that Doyle surrounds himself with--which included Jamie Daley who has gone on to headline his own duo, Daley and Vincent. I wondered how much of the fun of Lawson might be lost with Dailey gone.
It took about one song to get used to the new members of the group and then I was swept up for an hour and a half of bluegrass and gospel music. As I've said before, what I love about bluegrass is that while you have some big names, it takes a whole group to make it all come together. And while Doyle is a master mandolin player, I think his bigger gift is his eye for talent and grooming them. He's got several members of the current Quicksilver group that I could see having a great career on their own in a couple of years.
The highlight of the show was Doyle and the group singing acapella gospel songs. Who says you need instruments...
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/26/2009 04:01:00 PM
It's that time of year when the pool is packed with people, all of them enjoying a refreshing dip in the water to combat the heat of another hot Tennessee summer.
As a person who swims laps on a regular basis, some of the excitement of being at the pool has been negated by the fact that I'm in the water, swimming laps a lot.
One way you can tell it's summer is a lot of the stuff that starts floating around--band-aids, long hair follicles, etc.
But what really makes me go "Ewwwwwwwwwwww!" is this article about people who let loose in the pool instead of getting out to use the restroom and those who don't rinse off before getting in (something I have been guilty of, but am trying to be better about after reading this article....).
After reading that article, it does explain why the chemical levels are so high in pools this time of year....
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/24/2009 02:00:00 PM |
Saw this t-shirt over at Jinx. Pure genius! It really says all it, summing up exactly why "Buffy" is awesome and "Twilight" stinks....
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/23/2009 05:30:00 PM |
I'd love to know the logic on how CSS picks games to repeat in the summer.
I say this because they've got their Tennessee showcase and tuning in today, it was the UT vs Florida game from 2006, which is great for about three-quarters and ends with the Vols losing to the Gators by the count of 21-20. I think classic depends on whether or not your team wins and I'd honestly rather not go through all of the highs and lows of that game again. (Once was enough...I still shake my head and mutter about it under my breath.)
I'm pretty sure I complained about this choice of a classic game last summer, which shows you that I've got way too much free times on my hands. Of course, the other part of that equation is there weren't a lot of really great moments from last season to show us in repeat mode. The less I have to recall what happened last fall, the better. Unless we want to see the Vandy and the Kentucky games played on an endless repeat loop...that might be OK.
Speaking of that, I heard Phil Fulmer interviewed on the radio the other day and was reminded again of how much the program has lost. I'm not talking about the x's and o's and winning percentages. I'm talking about a guy who loved Tennessee football and was an all-around classy guy. Hearing him talk about his work with the Jason Foundation and say he might take a job as a studio analyst this fall was great to hear. But what was even better was Phil resisting the bait to take swipes or make some bone-head comment that would haunt him later.
I think the current coaching staff might need some lessons from Fulmer.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/17/2009 08:06:00 PM |
So, Vince Young sat down for an interview with ESPN, talking about all the stuff that's happened since he came to the Titans and the booing incident last season. (I was at the game and can tell you my boo came from frustration with him for not executing on the field, not because I don't like the guy). Of course, this being ESPN, we've been given a little snippet of the interview to all tear apart on blogs and sports-talk radio for the next few weeks until the full interview airs sometime in July.
I'd be willing to tear it all apart, but I really want to hear the entire interview and get the entire context of the conversation before I rush to judgment on this.
I realize a lot of what ESPN is doing is building hype and interest for the interview--and trying to provide some conversation fodder for us as we head into the less than active time of the year with only baseball going on (and soccer, but who really cares about soccer?).
Part of me isn't sure which I'm going to get sick of hearing about first--the Vince Young interview or the annual Brett Favre watch.
Right now, I'm going to say Favre. But that could change in the coming weeks...
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/15/2009 07:48:00 PM |
Genius...pure and total genius.
How "30 Rock" is a Rip-off of "The Muppet Show."
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/09/2009 01:22:00 PM |
While the economy has curtailed a full-scaled book tour for the self-proclaimed two sexiest fat men alive, that doesn't mean Nashville is losing out on our yearly visit by radio show hosts Rick and Bubba. Thanks to the good folks at WLAC stepping up and sponsoring a visit, Rick and Bubba will be in town this evening, signing copies of their latest book. The event kicks off this evening at 6 p.m. at the Davis Kidd Booksellers at the Mall at GreenHills.
I've been to each of the book signings the past two years and I'll be headed up to GreenHills this evening.
It's hard to believe we're entering our third year with Rick and Bubba back on in the Nashville area. It seems like just yesterday they got back and I'm glad to see WLAC is behind them. Hopefully this means we'll get to keep hearing the show in our area for many years to come. Now, if they could just run the whole show instead of cutting an hour a day.....
Labels: rick and bubba
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/09/2009 07:03:00 AM |
One of my favorite bands (bluegrass or otherwise), Cherryholmes, gave a concert yesterday at Cumberland Caverns.
So, what's the big deal, you ask. Well, this concert was performed in an underground cave.
And it was, as usual with Cherryholmes, fantastic. This is the third time I've seen the group perform in concert and they keep getting better each time. Their set was a substantial one, running over ninety minutes and full of energy, as usual. They did a lot of songs off their new CD and some old favorites. I've said it before and I'll say it again--if you've not heard them in concert and they come anywhere within your zip code, you need to go. Or if you're attending Bonaroo next weekend, you can catch them there. And they'll be around the CMA Fest this week, if you're headed to that.
If you're a country fan, you may have heard their song, "This is My Son." While this is a great song and it always gives me goosebumps to hear it in person, I recommend picking up all three of their CDs so you can see that this song is just one aspect of how incredibly talented this family is.
The concert in the cave was a unique experience. It was made even more unique by the fact that I hiked into the cave and out wearing a walking cast. Maybe not the brightest decision in th world, but I did have a cain too. I'd purchased my ticket before I put on the walking cast and, as I said before, Cherryholmes is one of my favorites. So, it was probably going to take a lot more than a walking cast and a hike to keep me from hearing them. (Alas, they aren't part of the Bluegrass Nights series this year, probably my only disappointment with the list of artists this year).
So, I'm left with a bit of a sore foot but some good memories. The concert in the cave was fantastic and, once I'm out of the boot, I might try it again for another group in the future.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/07/2009 06:53:00 AM |
The Associated Press has a report that Tennessee has the highest rate of depression in the nation.
Not surprising really with the Vols going 6-7 in football, the UT men and women bowing out in the first round of the NCAA tourney and the Titans fumbling away their chances to advance at a Super Bowl Run in their opening round playoff game to the hated Ravens.
To add insult to injury, Vandy went to a bowl game...and won.
It's enough to make you want to do a Charlie Brown like sigh. Just typing all of that out, I feel a little out of sorts myself...
The good news is that we're heading into a new season, where hopefully things will rebound. The Vols and Titans need to do better this year--our state's mental health needs it!
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/04/2009 08:44:00 PM |
One of the local radio stations has a weekly segment called "Put a Sock In It," devoted to telling sports-figures and fans when it's time to "sit down and be quiet." I've never called into the segment, but this week I'm tempted to do so for a couple of reasons.
- First up, I wish ESPN would be a sock in it about the NBA Finals. I'm sick to death of hearing about them for the first 15 minutes of every SportsCenter. I'm glad they're tipping off tonight just so we can get some actual game highlights instead of the latest report on the kids who dry the courts with a towel for the Lakers. It'd be one thing if there weren't any other sports going on right now. But there are and I'd much rather see the highlights of the NCAA underwater basket weaving championships than hear one more word about the Lakers and the Magic.
- Second of all, I think someone needs to muzzle Vince Young. A few weeks ago, he was saying the right things and acting like a team player, one who wanted to win his job back and maybe live up to those huge expectations we all had when we drafted him. Then, the last few weeks, we've just watched him implode, culminated by his latest remarks that he wants to either play or be traded. Well, Vince, I hate to tell you this, but the last time you played any significant game, you got shaken by the boos at LP Field and didn't want to go back into the game. You lost the confidence of your coach, your team and the fans. So, until you show me something where it appears you've grown up a bit, you need to keep your mouth shut and hope you can make the back-up role as quarterback on this year's team.
- I realize that SportsCenter has moved to Los Angeles and I couldn't care less--except they keep reminding us of it every 20 seconds. "Did you know we're in L.A.?" That and the constant Manny Ramirez updates are enough to make me wonder if we don't need someone to come in and be for ESPN what FoxNews is to CNN--a little healty competiton.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/04/2009 01:15:00 PM |
God bless you, Steven Moffatt!
The incoming producer is taking "Doctor Who" old school next year with the return of the current Doctor's face to the opening credits.
If there was one thing that disappointed me about the revived "Doctor Who" it was the lack of the Doctor in the opening credits. I could see not doing it for just one season for Christopher Eccelston, but why they didn't do it for David Tennant's era is beyond me.
The Doctor's visage in the credits was part of the show from 1966 to 1989. And to hear it's coming back it exciting...plus it means we'll get a new title credits sequence in the Moffatt era.
Every single bit of news I hear about the Moffatt era gets me more and more excited about finally putting the Russell T. Davies produced era in the rear-view mirror. I am glad Davies brought the show back and has made it such a phenomenon. But I'm really ready for a season finale that lives up to expectations and scripts that don't feel like first-drafts.....
Labels: Doctor who
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/03/2009 04:30:00 PM |
I was flipping stations last night when I stumbled across the start of "Ghostbusters" on AMC.
And not just a showing of the film, but a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the movie.
The thing is, I clearly recall going to see "Ghostbusters" in the theater. I made my dad take me to a showing at the base theater and I recall that I loved it. At the time, my 11-year-old-self had barely heard of Bill Murray and Dan Ackroyd, but after seeing the film, I was convinced they were comic geniuses. (I'm still convinced one of them is a comic genius...) And I wanted to see every movie they were in from that point forward--something that hit a snag when Ackroyd did "The Couch Trip," which had an R-rating and was, therefore, off limits to me until I was older. (But man, the previews looked funny...)
It's interesting to watch "Ghostbusters" again today and be impressed by the same things that I enjoyed at the age of 11 and to find new things that appeal to my more adult sensibilities. Looking back, I don't think Bill Murray was ever better on-screen with the exception of "Groundhog Day" than he was here. And the movie just works well on every level that I still enjoy it to this day. It was one of the first DVDs I bought back when I upgraded to the format.
I will admit I've only seen "GhostBusters 2" once at that was when the sequel came out years ago. I'm tempted to DVR it off AMC and see if it again. I don't recall much about it except it just wasn't anywhere near as funny as the first one....
posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/03/2009 02:30:00 PM |