Saturday, April 24, 2010

"And She Shines Light All Around..."

I finally invested in a photo scanner, so I can proceed from posting "old vacation pictures" to "really-really old vacation pictures" when I lack inspiration. Actually, this one was a labor of love.. My baby, and one of my favorite songs: "Northern Muse(Solid Ground)" by Van Morrison on his "Beautiful Vision" Album.
video

Monday, April 19, 2010

Scott Boyer and the Decoys with Donnie Fritts- Garage Cafe, Birmingham 4/18/2010

Scott Boyer
David Hood
Kelvin Holly
Donnie Fritts and NC Thurman

David Hood, Scott Boyer, N.C Thurman, Mike Dillon and Kelvin Holly are The Decoys.

The Decoys are a five-man powerhouse rock n' roll band, featuring five of the most seasoned musicians anywhere.

David Hood, bass guitarist, was a member of the world famous Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, better known as "The Swampers", made famous in the song "Sweet Home Alabama". David has played on a list of albums that reads like a who's who of the music industry, such as Aretha Franklin, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, The Staple Singers, Paul Simon, Traffic, and many more. David was recently inducted, along with the rest of "the swampers", into the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville,Tn. Congrats, and well deserved.

Guitarist and vocalist, Scott Boyer, is renowned for his work with the band "Cowboy", who was on Capricorn Records out of Macon, Ga. That band, along with others, became the Capricorn Rhythm Section that played on a host of records that came out of Macon at that time. Scott also wrote the song "Please Be With Me", that was featured on Eric Clapton's 461 Ocean Boulevard album.

Kelvin Holly has long been recognized as one of the South's premier guitarists. A long time member of Little Richard's touring band, and Grammy Award winning band "The Amazing Rhythm Aces", Kelvin has also appeared on numerous recordings and soundtracks with artists like, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Gregg Allman, Jimmy Hall, Little Richard, and many more.

N.C Thurman plays keyboards, harmonica, guitar, and vocals. He has recorded or played with artists such as Percy Sledge, Gregg Allman, Hank Williams Jr., Little Richard, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, and is currently touring with country music newcomer Gary Nichols.

Mike Dillon completes the band with timing and showmanship on the drums. Mike was a member of "The Dickey Betts Band" for two years. and was also a member of the Country Pop group "The Shooters" that was featured on CBS records from 87 to 91.

The Decoys was formed almost twenty years ago by veteran record producer, Johnny Sandlin (The Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic, Delbert McClinton). The band has grown to gain wide respect and recognition. "They're kinda like Muscle Shoals own house band, backing up anyone who comes thru town", to quote one record industry vip. The band recently recorded their debut CD, entitled "Shot From The Saddle", at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals and is avaliable at the given website. You can also hear The Decoys on the bonus disc of the DVD,"Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid", on a song penned by Donnie Fritts and Tony Joe White, entitled "One Foot In The Groove".





Wayne is NOT Canadian
How to properly eat a cupcake

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Brush With Greatness: David Hood (Redux)

I saw the Scott Boyer and The Decoys today at Birmingham's coolest annual event, the Garage Cafe's anniversary party. This time I had the opportunity to get my photograph taken with the man who is arguably the most influential Bassist in R&B and Rock History. He was part of some really memorable tracks, with his most famous lick probably on The Staple's "I'll Take You There" (find and click the link below to hear it)

(this was my earlier post about him)
David Hood is a bassist from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. I met him backstage at the Scott Boyer Benefit in Birmingham, and have had the rare joy of seeing him play Bass with the Decoys a couple of times at the annual Garage Cafe anniversary party.

Click Here to get an idea why David Hood is a legend among Bass Players. Stay for the solo!!!

The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, also known as The Swampers, are a group of American soul, R&B, and country studio musicians based in the Alabama town of Muscle Shoals.

These musicians, one of the best-known groups of session musicians, crafted the "Muscle Shoals Sound."

Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records brought artists like Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin to record with the all Caucasian group of Southern musicians after their success with Arthur Alexander and most notably on Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman". They originally worked at Rick Hall's FAME Studios in Florence, AL. In 1969, Beckett, Hawkins, Hood, and Johnson left Fame and started the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.

In the 1970s, the Memphis, TN based Stax Records also began bringing artists down to Alabama. Johnnie Taylor had a long run of R&B hits with the group, and The Staple Singers had their greatest crossover successes with songs like "I'll Take You There" and "Respect Yourself". Later, they were the sound behind Bob Seger hits such as Old Time Rock and Roll. Other artists who recorded with the Swampers include Rod Stewart, Elkie Brooks, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joe Cocker, Glenn Frey, Jim Capaldi, Julian Lennon, Delbert McClinton, J.J. Cale, John Prine, Alice in Chains, Joe Tex, Bobby Blue Bland, Eddie Floyd, Clarence Carter, Little Milton, Sawyer Brown, Tony Joe White, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Staple Singers, and many more.

David's son, Patterson Hood is the frontman and one of three songwriters for Drive-By Truckers. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


As a session bassist and a member of the famous Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (with Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins, and Jimmy Johnson), David Hood is widely admired for his craftsmanship and versatility working with an astounding range of musicians in his 40-year career. Born on September 21, 1943, in Sheffield, AL, Hood played trombone in high school, becoming proficient on bass and guitar as well.

In 1969 the Fame house band began freelancing with producer Jerry Wexler at Atlantic's New York studio, cutting sides with Aretha Franklin, King Curtis, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, and James Carr. With that promising track record the rhythm section left Fame that same year opening Muscle Shoals Sound in Sheffield as co-owners. Their move formally began the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section era. Dubbed "the Swampers" by Shelter Records' producer Denny Cordell and given public recognition as such in Lynyrd Skynrd's "Sweet Home Alabama," the MSRS was soon backing up a diverse range of artists at the new studio, including Cher, Laura Nyro, Linda Rondstadt, Lulu, Boz Scaggs, and Sam & Dave, and even working in some jazz time with Herbie Mann and future Bee Gees producer Arif Mardin on his Atlantic Records set Glass Onion (1970). Through the mid-'70s the rhythm section worked constantly, backing Rod Stewart, J.J. Cale, Bonnie Bramlett, Jimmy Cliff, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell and Wendy Waldman. Hood also played bass on dozens of Stax recordings between 1970 and 1977, like the Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There". The rhythm section joined Steve Winwood's re-formed Traffic in 1973, appearing on Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory and the live set On the Road. Paul Simon recorded There Goes Rhymin' Simon with the MSRS, and their collaboration on Still Crazy After All These Years earned Simon two Grammy Awards in 1975.

Muscle Shoals Sound was relocated to a larger facility in 1978, where during the 1980s Hood anchored tracks by James Brown, Glenn Frey, Levon Helm, Dr. Hook, Joan Baez, Jerry Jeff Walker, Carlos Santana, Lou Ann Barton, and Julian Lennon. In the late 1970s, Hood played on several Bob Seger albums, including Stranger in Town and Against the Wind. Delbert McClinton and the MSRS recorded his classic LP The Jealous Kind at MSS.

Hood has kept busy as a session bassist, working with Dan Penn, Gregg Allman, Jimmy Buffett, and many others through the 1990s. He joined The Decoys (fronted by Scott Boyer) in 1996, appearing on Shot From the Saddle; concurrently, Hood worked with Russell Smith (Amazing Rhythm Aces) on The End is Not In Sight. In 2005 he collaborated with Memphis producer Jim Dickinson at Sun Studios recording John Hiatt's album Master of Disaster. ~ Peter B. Olson & Steve Leggett, All Music Guide

Friday, April 16, 2010

Icelandic Airlines

There is a major volcanic eruption in Iceland sending a huge plume of ash into the upper atmosphere and disrupting TransAtlantic air travel.
This reminds me of some memories of my childhood, where we often got to see active volcanic lava flows on the coast of Iceland from the windows of an airplane.
In many ways, my childhood was a great adventure. My family moved from Alabama to West Germany for most or the 1960's. My 1st organized school experience was as one of the only foreigners (along with my brother) in a German kindergarten. It sucked, and only got worse when he moved on to 1st grade where he attended a school with American children of US Soldiers. After he left, my lifelong pattern of truancy officially began.
We traveled first via Ocean Liner, "The Hanseatic", a German Vessel, and returned on The Queen Mary. Unfortunately, I remember almost nothing about these harrowing voyages, but my Mom remembers them all too well. I'll try to relate that adventure another time.
Throughout the '50s and 60's International air travel was tightly regulated and prohibitively expensive. Icelandic Airlines exploited a loophole by offering flights to Reykjavik with continuing service to Luxembourg -or Idlewild Airport in New York (now JFK).

We made this trip several times, as we would travel to my grandparents home in Falkville, Alabama to spend our summers while my Dad remained in Germany to work.

Icelandic operated prop planes (like the old DC-54A shown above) well into the Jet Age, when TWA and PanAm were flying big Boeing and Lockheed jets.

These trips seemed to last forever, often stopping for fuel in Shannon Ireland, and always a stop in Reykjavik for fuel and a visit to a bleak little gift shop.
My mother says my little sister took her first steps in Ireland during a fuel stop. Very appropriate.


Loftleiðir, or Icelandic Airlines Loftleiðir, was founded on March 10, 1944, by three young Icelandic pilots after returning from training in Canada. During the first years of operation, they only operated on domestic routes from Reykjavík Airport.

On June 17, 1947, (Iceland's Independence Day), Loftleiðir inaugurated the first international service, linking Reykjavík and Copenhagen with a Douglas DC-4/C-54 Skymaster. This was the first aircraft fitted for international operations. In 1948 Loftleiðir was granted permission to operate in the USA, and in August 1948, a Loftleiðir Skymaster landed at Idlewild Airport (now JFK) with 46 passengers. In 1952 Loftleiðir opened regular services between New York and Europe via Iceland.

During the 1950s, restrictions on international air traffic were more rigid than today. The freedoms of the air restricted airliners to carry passenger and cargo to and from the country of the aircraft's registration only. Loftleiðir benefited from this by selling air-tickets from USA to European cities by breaking the ticket into two, one to Iceland and one from Iceland. It was not necessary to break the journey, only issue the passengers with two tickets.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Loftleiðir introduced low-cost fares on the North Atlantic starting from Luxembourg via the Nordic Countries and Iceland. The low-cost tickets became very popular and attracted many passengers. WIKI

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Taxes?

(click to enlarge image)

This is STILL not a political blog, but I thought this was pretty funny.

Here is a link to the site I snatched this from, it looks like a good place to see the best political cartoons from around the country. (I'm not sure if it leans left or right)
politicalcartoons

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Washington, DC








Moonlight Beach, Encinitas, CA July 2000

We took Vacations to Encinitas on three seperate occasions in the late '90s early 2000s as my brother-in-law and his(then)wife lived there.

We really like the place, it's an old surfer town in North San Diego County.

on our last visit we rented a house a few blocks from the beach.

Here's a link. "Hemingway's Hideaway" it was a really cool cottage. I hope it's still a rental, as I'd love to return.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Joe Dirt"



I'm posting this photo as a placeholder. I don't have anything interesting to say about this film except that I often enjoy dimwit comedy and lowbrow humor.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Make a Statement..

I may have to investigate this, as the designer may have used my likeness without express written consent.

Footwear is important.

"Glitter And Doom" in Birmingham- July 3, 2009

Here are a few random images I captured around the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham when Tom Waits brought his "Glitter And Doom" show to town.

It was an interesting show. I guess it could be described as "Musical Performance Art", in which Tom Waits assumes a persona and rarely breaks character. He's assumed a number of personas, or maybe just evolved a single one, it's hard to tell.

While visually interesting, he's at his best when he breaks character, banters with the audience and breaks out a couple of his older lovely ballads.

Since he closely guards his privacy, it's not easy to figure him out. His fans take this as an opportunity to assign him many great human qualities which he may or may not possess.

I'm certainly not trying to, but I wonder if this will stir them up?

Wave it wide and high...

Here I am on the front porch with my "Leesville Wampus Cats" flag flying deep in the heart of "Hoover Bucs" country.

I find that when I'm here and folks ask me where I'm from; I say Leesville-when there,(or anyplace else) I say Birmingham.



The neighbors think I'm a little odd...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

How did this happen?


Sometime today or tomorrow, this site will reach 20,000 hits. This is based on the "hit counter" just to the right.

Of course the little "Feedjit" widget shows an average of @ 5-10 a day, which would allow us to reach 20,000 in about February, 2046. These visitors seem to stay between 6 and 19 seconds.

Whatever. I guess if you post wildly random stuff, you'll come up on a lot of searches.

Anyway, thanks to all of you who made this milestone possible.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Breaking Bad"

It's back for Season Three.

It's darker and less comic these days. The plotline with the younger character; "Jesse" is really captivating right now. A brilliant story, heartbreakingly well-acted by Aaron Paul.


From an interview with Bryan Cranston:
The term "breaking bad" is a southern colloquialism and it means when someone who has taken a turn off the path of the straight and narrow, when they've gone wrong. And that could be for that day or for a lifetime. And Walt is that kind of guy. He's never even gotten a parking ticket, he's always done things the right way. It's not until these dire circumstances are presented that a decision needs to be made. He has the weight of regret on his shoulders and it's suffocating him. But the last thing he wants to do is put his family through this hardship of taking care of a dying man, he still dies anyways and he leaves them penniless. That's the personal legacy he leaves for them and he couldn't allow that to happen. And it's from that point that he makes this decision and goes on that journey. It's an impulsive decision. It's an emotional one. He's backed into a corner. It's not a pragmatic or practical decision. He is putting the blinders on, and knowing that if he really thought about it he could talk himself out of it, and justifiably so. He decides to make this bold, desperate move out of the set of circumstances he's given. The way I look at it, that's the only way he could make that decision.

Monday, April 5, 2010

At home in the world..




My younger son...


It's a long story.