Sunday, December 28, 2014

Geography Div (Where's the Bear subsection)

Somehow this goy posted earlier (?)
Anyhow, My Lady Love and I are somewhere in this picture

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

An interesting take, eh ? Hope your upcoming celebration is safe.
Rob McLaren as the One Man Bluegrass Band.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Boxing Day Div

A perennial favorite for this St Stephens Day.
Hope one and all had a nice Christmas.

MERRY CHRISTMAS Div ( what it's really about subsection)

I first heard this while waiting for passengers at the Baltimore (BWI) airport five years ago.
There are so many writings and polemics on what "Christmas" really means, or is about; but this narrative is so uniquely American and moving, that it deserves a listen.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS (from the Saturday Nite Bluegrass Division)

Old St Nick does a pretty good job (with a little help), eh ??
Hope he leaves something nice under your tree tomorrow morning (assuming you've been nice - or nicely naughty).

Dan Mazer, a.k.a. "BanjerDan" ...... 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (more from the Happy Holidays subsection)

Ah, the kids from New Jersey.
I'm so much older, why can't I play banjo like that ??

Sleepy Man Banjo Boys: Jonny Mizzone - Banjo, Tommy Mizzone - Guitar and Robbie
Mizzone - Fiddle.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

This time will be different Div (Banking/Bribery subsection)

On Monday, we looked at the biggest bank in each state.
This week, our illustrious President signed the bill to keep the government operating - and it was pretty much packed with other shit written by the banks and passed by their lackeys in that esteemed corpulent body we call a Congress.. Seems these folks (and their bought and paid for servants) want to do away with the laws that were passed as a result of their irresponsible behavior back in the days leading up to the 2008 financial collapse. Does the phrase "this time it will be different" ring any bells?

Now the Federal Reserve has given them another "gift."

A couple of years ago, Barry Ridholtz wrote an excellent article in the Washington Post proposing an excellent solution to letting these "financial wizards" use our money to line their pockets and stick us with the consequences of their failure. He imagines a directive from the Chairman of the FDIC terminating the access to FDIC coverage for any bank participating in speculative behavior.
The closing paragraph of the article pretty much sums it up:

As a bonus, without the intervention of government guarantees, those of you who continue to have depositors will finally be able to compete in a free and open market. Without FDIC insurance, your depositors will be making their decisions based on your reputation and their assessment of the safety and security of your operations — and not Uncle Sam’s willingness to continually bail you out.

Imagine that ....... they lose the privilege of using their depositor's money to line their pockets without any risk !
At least Willie Sutton was honest about his profession.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Happy Holidays subsection)

Well, 'tis the season, eh ?

The Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys: Steve Lewis - Guitar, Scott Freeman - Mandolin, Josh
Scott - Bass and David Johnson - Fiddle.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div ( More Coal - Flashback subsection)

It appears that the entry for 8 November was a deleted YouTube account ....... (the offending mini-bear has been disciplined).
In deference to John Prine and letting everyone enjoy the song, let's try this.

The Hamilton County Bluegrass Band - from New Zealand, "go figure"
Colleen Trenwith (fiddle, vocal)
Paul Trenwith (banjo, nashville guitar, tailpiece)
Alan Rhodes (guitar, frailing banjo, nashville guitar, autoharp, vocals)
Miles Reay (bass, vocals)
Graham Lovejoy (manodlin, vocals)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME Div (Banjo subsection)

Well heck, entering my 70th year, I owe it to myself, eh ?
Will even try to get in some practice time myself today.
...... and this blog has managed to garner 25,000 hits since it's inception. Go Figure

Justin Rothberg - Banjo

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Geography Div (Stereotypes Subsection)

However, I'll bet everyone can come up with a map of their own (maybe even down to the county/city level), eh ?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (one last coal song subsection)

Seems that this month has been owned by coal songs, so might as well finish the month with
on, eh ?
Here's Josh Stone and Coal Town doing (what else?) Coal Town.

Josh Stone - Lead Vocal and Guitar,  Billy Berger - Mandolin, Ollie Risner - Banjo, and Gary Wiley - Bass. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass (Yet More Coal subsection)

Continuing right along with the coal theme; The Johnson Mountain Boys doing folksinger Jean Ritchie's Blue Diamond Mines.

The Johnson Mountain Boys - Dudley Connell - Guitar and lead vocal, Tom Adams - Banjo, Eddie Stubbs - Fiddle, Dave McLaughlin - Mandolin and Marshall Wilborn - Bass.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Geography Div (Road Trip subsection)

In the midst of another roadtrip. First saw one of these in Georgia and found it interesting.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass (More Coal Subsection)

Eastbound Freight Bluegrass doing Billy Ed Wheeler's Coal Tattoo.

Eastbound Freight Bluegrass:  John Brisotti  - lead vocal and mandolin, Bill Ayasse -  fiddle, Bill DeTurk -  banjo, Dave Thompson - guitar, Bruce Barry - bass. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Geography Div (Healthcare is where you find it subsection)

Lots of talk (much of it hysterical) about that Ebola thing that's been going around. Just in case you
were wondering why doctors are volunteering  to go to Africa .............

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

a Last week was Harlan, this week, more coal.
A group out of Massachusetts, The Blackstone Valley Bluegrass Band performing John Prine's  Paradise.

The performers: Bob Dick -  Dobro, Dave Dick - Banjo, Ken Taylor - Bass and Dan Nowlan - Guitar (me thinks).

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Geography Div (helplessly hoping subsection)

Tomorrow is Election Day (too bad they don't make it a National Holiday). We can all celebrate the absence of those annoying ads on the tee-vee.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bleugrass Div (Roots subsection)

So much Bluegrass music comes from and is influenced by the "black gold" dug out of the mountains of Kentucky and West Virginia.
Darrell Scott performing his song You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive, accompanied by Jerry Douglas' TransAtlantic musicians.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Della Mae doing the old Bill Monroe standard The Road to Columbus. Sure wish they'd enlist a banjo player, but it's hard to argue with success, eh ? Just sayin'.

Celia Woodsmith - vocals, guitar; Kimber Ludiker - fiddle, vocals; Jenni Lyn Gardner - mandolin, vocals; Courtney Hartman, guitar, and Amanda Kowalski - bass

Monday, October 20, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Okay .. back to the regular stuff. But I will repeat Chris Thile. Appearing here with Michael Daves doing two fiddle tunes; Salt Creek and Wheel Hoss

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Geography Div (Breakup subsection)

Given all the tumult and hoo-haw in the former Soviet Union or Russia or Vladamiristan or whatever you want to call it, here's what a Russian professor predicts what will happen when the Republicans, the Tea Party, Wall Street and the Koch Brothers are done looting this place:

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Classical a bit off topic Genius subsection)

I've featured Chris Thile here a couple of times with the Punch Brothers, but he's truly a multi-dimensional musician. As a MacArthur "Genius" Grant winner in 2012, he embarked on the project to render the Bach Sonatas on the mandolin. It's long, but the music and its performance is worth the watch.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Geography Div (Internet access subsection)

If you're reading this, the map doesn't apply to you, eh ? One would think in the country that always applauds itself as #1 it would be better ……. ah well, there's always the healthcare industry.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

The Bankesters,  a mostly family group from Carbondale, IL doing Cups (When I'm Gone).

Alysha Bankester - Mandolin, Emily Bankester - Lead Vocal, Melissa Triplett - Bass,
Kyle Triplett - Banjo, Dorene Bankester - Guitar and Phil Bankester - Guitar

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Geography Div (Public Transport Subsection)

A while back, I treated the US Interstate highway system as if it was the London Underground (and it keeps getting numerous hits - and I can't figure out why).
What if we took a map of the world and  ............

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Computer Frustration subsection)

A fun song on a contemporary subject by Tim O'Brien.
From the album Cornbread Nation: Running Out of Memory for You.
Sorry, no info on the various accompanying artists.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fear Div

"Be afwaid, be vewey afwaid." e. fudd

Everywhere I drive lately, I'm subjected to the "voice of doom" heralding the latest in "the WAR with ISIS"
So much is being made of the "we got to stop them over there so we don't have to stop them here"meme that I'm wondering why it is that I'm not scared to death and afraid to leave the house.
I think agree with Bill Maher's assessment of the situation.
Most people in this country have no idea of what real terrorism is like.

In 1982, I passed the bandstand in Regent's Park  in London five minutes before the bomb planted by the IRA exploded killing seven members of the band of the Royal Greenjackets. Believe me, for the remainder of my nearly six years in England, my head was on a swivel and things that seemed out of place readily drew my attention.

In 2002, the area surrounding the Great White Theme Park was paralyzed by two men with a rifle for three weeks. People were literally afraid to get gasoline or go outside. To put it bluntly, they were terrorized.


 noun \ˈter-ər, ˈte-rər\
: a very strong feeling of fear
: something that causes very strong feelings of fear : something that is terrifying
: violence that is committed by a person, group, or government in order to frighten people and achieve a political goal

As one can see, terror is both a tactic and a thing - often simultaneous.
Now the Muslim crazies in the Middle East are calling for Muslims everywhere to rise up and kill non-Muslims. C'mon folks...... just how far do you think this would go ? The first time it happens, every mosque within a 50 mile radius of the event will be destroyed and there will be a bloodbath that probably won't work out too well for those followers of Islam .......  and anyone else who happens to look just a little bit different (Sikhs, Hindus, Hari Krishnas and the guy mowing your lawn). Oh well, at least our police are well equipped.

Now, we're being sucked back into the same sandbox where we spent so much blood and treasure introducing the Iraqis to democracy and training them to take care of and defend their own sovereignty. Our training (as military training everywhere does) probably consisted of a good deal of running - which seems to be the only thing the Iraqi troops and their officers seem to have absorbed. I guess maybe throwing (as in "away") probably was learned  also. The people we are so intent on training and helping can't even to stay put HERE.

I have yet to hear any member of any political party mention just how we're going to pay for any of this. I remember LBJ's surtax to help pay for Vietnam, and the Saudis and Kuwaitis kicking a few bucks for Bush the First's New World Order campaign, but so far .....  zilch, nada, bupkis.
I'm sure that somehow President Obama is going to be blamed for whatever happens (win, lose or draw) and the Tea Party will scream about the deficit. There appears to be a lot of political advantage to be garnered.

I'm just sick of hearing the phrases "boots on the ground" and "the Homeland."

Every time I hear some safe, political suit or Flag Officer say "homeland," the only pictures I can conjure up are of the Nuremberg rallies or the May Day parades.

What have we become ?
We have plenty to fear, but these ISIS jamokes are so far down the list that they are barely visible.

Just Sayin'

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Geography Div (measurement subsection)

Last week's entry featured the Metric System ....... unfamiliar ?? Wonder why ??

 Hint: the ones coloured red, don't use it.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

A group that's no longer around - The Johnson Mountain Boys - organized here in the vicinity of the GWTP. Some have moved on some have retired, but the music is still around -thankfully. Here's a fun one - Duncan and Brady.

The Johnson Mountain Boys - Dudley Connell - Guitar and lead vocal, Tom Adams - Banjo, Eddie Stubbs - Fiddle, Dave McLaughlin - Mandolin and Marshall Wilborn - Bass.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Geography Div (In case you ever wondered subsection)

In the interest of equal time ..................  last week was the ladies, this week the other sex.
Don't get excited guys, the numbers are metric.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Little Sadurday Nite Bluegrass Div (LOVE Div Special)

A year ago today,  I began the last dance with my lovely Diana. I held her hand for over twelve hours until her spirit finally took flight and left me forever.

In the past year, I've experienced the depths of despair and overwhelming emptiness.
Craig Johnson, in one of the Longmire novels, once had characters describe losing a wife as losing part of yourself; and what's more, "when they're gone, you are left with the person who was with them when they were here ….. and sometimes, you don't recognize that person."

Recently, I was so very lucky to, totally unexpectedly, reunite and fall in love all over again with a wonderful woman I knew in the days before Diana's entry to my life. She has given my life a complete new beginning and meaning. I doubt very few men are so fortunate to experience the incredible opportunity of having two fulfilling lives and being able to share those lives with two wonderful women.

This lovely song by Martha Trachtenberg and performed by Nothin' Fancy very well  explains where I am in my life …. tho' I don't live for the past, In my dreams I still dance, and remember ……..

Nothin' Fancy: Mike Andes - Mandolin, Mitchell Davis - Banjo, Chris Sexton - Fiddle, Tony
Shorter - Bass and Jessee Smathers - Guitar.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Nostalgia Subsection)

Here's Gold Rush Performed by Byron Berline's group California - along with some guests including, well heck, you knew this, eh? Bill Monroe. Note the great little move he makes with the mandolin.

The players: Byron Berline and Mark O'Connor - fiddles, Bill Monroe - Mandolin,
 John Hickman - Banjo, Dan Crary - Guitar and Jerry Douglas (a very young one - Dobro.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Political Corruption Div

Well, the grifting has finally caught up with one of 'em, not to mention his wife (who he threw under the bus - or was it the Ferrrari ). Bobby Mc D (r- corruption) and his wife Maureen found guilty.
Sentencing  will be 6 January - Happy New Year.
Wonder if the Feds will be able to arrange conjugal visits (or maybe they share a cell ). Considering the wonderful things they've said about each other over the past year, perhaps that would be the best punishment.
Wonder who'll get the watch ??

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Working for a Livin' Div (and dyin' for it subsection)

There's a constant hew and cry in our beloved country about working harder. Trust me folks, if hard work made you rich, there'd be one hell of a lot more "rich" people in this country.

Something is direly wrong when this has to happen.
'Nuf said ..........

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Political Systems Div (Tea Party subsection)

I constantly get advice and instruction from "right-leaning" friends on the difference between liberals and conservatives. 
Here's how the tea-party (and many Republicans) feel ..........

h/t - WuMo ... Washington Post, 2 September 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

One of my favorites Cherokee Shuffle Here done by Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass.

The Southern Grass: Danny Paisley - Guitar, Ryan Paisley - Mandolin, Mark Delaney - Banjo,
Doug Meek - Fiddle and Eric Troutman - Bass.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

It's quite unusual to hear a female "guitar flat-picker."
Heard this on Sirius XM "Bluegrass Country" while in Montana on the road trip and was intrigued since it started with the guitar break.
I would love to see someone do an instrumental compilation (like Jerry Douglas did with Dobros) featuring all female musicians……… think of the possibilities.
Here's Rebecca Frazier and Hit & Run Bluegrass doing her composition of 40 Blues. 

Hit & Run Bluegrass:
Rebecca Frazier - Guitar, John Frazier - Mandolin, Kyle Tuttle - Banjo, Roy Masat - Bass and Christian Ward - Fiddle.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

CELEBRATION DIV !! (Really Good News subsection)

Today, my Radiation Oncologist released me from further visits. In February, my Medical Oncologist said he didn't want to see me any longer (in a nice way; "If I see you at the mall or a restaurant, that's ok, just don't come back here.").

I've posted this guy before, but I really feel like after over seven years, a great weight has been lifted.

                      WOO HOO !!!!


Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Flamenco sorta subsection)

The Tuttles (and  A.J. Lee) doing the spicy El Cumbanchero  (which really is what it means)

Molly Tuttle - Banjo, A.J. Lee - Mandolin, Sullivan Tuttle - Guitar, Michael - Mandolin and
Jack Tuttle - Bass

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Geography Div (Capital Punishment subsection)

Lots of talk about this in the press lately given our seeming inability to be able to do it "humanely" (now there's an oxymoron, eh ?? "Humane Execution").
The graphic is a bit dated, but ……. well, you get the point.
Hopefully, as I complete the latest road trip, I (or Schwartz) won't do anything untoward and end up a statistic in 20 years or so.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Last week I mentioned Herb Pederson, the banjo player with the Roland White Band. This is my favorite of his compositions Old Train Here done by the Seldom Scene ….. though it doesn't sound as sweet as the older version featuring John Duffy and Mike Auldridge -just sayin'.

Ben Eldridge - Banjo, Dudley Connell - Guitar, Ronnie Simpkins - Bass, Fred Travers - Dobro
and Lou Reid - Mandolin

Monday, August 4, 2014

Geography Div (what shall we google subsection)

It kinda speaks for itself …….. buy nowadays, "If ye seek, so shall you find"

(h/t - - JS … aspiring mini-bear)


Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

The Roland White Band doing Sled Ride from 2013. Roland is the brother of the late Clarence White and both were original members of the west coast band from the 1960s, The Kentucky Colonels. Another notable member is Herb Pederson.

Roland White - Mandolin, Herb Pederson - Banjo, Blaine Sprouse - Fiddle, Diane Bouska - Guitar and Bill Bryson - Bass

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

A young Tony Rice soloing on Norman Blake's Church Street Blues. His wonderful voice and magic hands have been troubled with medical problems of late.
The guitar is the late Clarence White's 1935 Martin D-28 - it couldn't have found a better caretaker.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Geography Div (the Google subsection)

I'm sure each and every out there has their own experience based idea, eh ?
"Poor" and "Expensive" seem to be the winners.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

The late John Hartford doing the introspective Tear Stained Monologue. Hartford always said that Gentle on my Mind set him free to do whatever he wanted.
He's then joined by Johnny Cash, Vassar Clements (fiddle), Norman Blake (mandolin) and Bob Moore (Bass) -  Sorry, don't recognize the guitar player - for a bluegrass medley -- Muleskinner Blues, Columbus Stockade Blues, Blue Moon of Kentucky and Uncle Pen.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tourism Div (Road trip subsection)

Well, nearly a month on the road and 4300 miles on the trip-clock.
Have driven some routes I've always wanted to travel and haven't been disappointed.
Headed west after my reunion, and from Ranchester, WY to Cody (via Greybull Canyon), to Great Falls (on the Chief Joseph Hwy and Yellowstone NP), then on to Seeley Lake, MT and then south to Arizona via US 93. Nearly 2000 miles of mostly "two-lane blacktop." On one 80-mile stretch in Nevada, only 47 vehicles passed going the opposite direction.
Schwartz has been navigating pretty well and commenting on the difference in scenery from what he's used to (he's never seen mountains with snow on them in the summer).

Time to start heading towards the GWTP while stopping along the way to to take in a few more of the sights and visit old friends.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Little Saturdy Nite Bluegrass Div

Well I'm out here in the wild West, so thought this would be appropriate.
The Bluegrass Album Band doing the old Bill Monroe/Kenny Baker classic Cheyenne. 

Bobby Hicks - Fiddle, Tony Rice - Guitar, Doyle Lawson - Mandolin, Jerry Douglas - Dobro,
J.D. Crowe - Banjo and Mark Shatz - Bass
Tony Rice, J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson, Jerry Douglas, Bobby Hicks, & Mark Shatz play the bluegrass instrumental "Cheyenne."

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Well, it is July, eh? Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen doing the late John Stewart's July You're a Woman. Here I am on the road and I'm not going to pull over for Schwartz.

Frank Solivan - Mandolin, Mike Munford - Banjo, Danny Booth - Bass and Chris Luquette - Guitar

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Two girl fiddlers doing Gray Owl and Red, White, Blue and Gold 

Brittany Haas (she also plays the banjo) and Lauren Rioux

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tourism Div (Famous Places subsection)

I'm currently in South Dakota attending a reunion of some of the folks I flew with. Tonite, we're going to the lighting ceremony at Mt. Rushmore (I think I've seen it more times than many folks have had hot dinners). This though is probably it's most interesting aspect.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Geography Div (It's how far ? subsection)

There are signs all over the world telling you just how far away the free ice water is.
I shudder to think how many times I've visited here …… and Wednesday will add another notch.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Muppet Subsection)

Left Ohio this morning  - -  and despite Schwartz's requests, didn't try to get to this place (even by train!).
Have always enjoyed this playful song.
The Muppet Bluegrass Trio doing To Morrow written by Bob Gibson, et al.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Tourism Div (Road Trip Subsection)

Well, the old Bear has departed his den near the GWTP and the Bearwagon is headed west across fly-over America to a reunion with some of the folks he flew with in his younger days. Then, on even further west to see old friends and then south to check up on Mama Bear in Arizona. After that, who knows ??

I am ably assisted by my trusty traveling companion and navigator, Schwartz (first name Fao). He doesn't say much, but then again he doesn't offer unwanted, snarky comments. His presence in the right seat is comforting though. He's 20 years old (haven't the faintest what that is in bear years) and this will be his third road trip. He's looking forward to passing through states he hasn't yet visited and seeing things new to him. (He was quite excited on the last trip with crossing the Continental Divide - both of them, seeing a train and visiting  his first National Park).  He's hoping to see an actual bear and tall mountains this time.
He felt the addition of an old AP-26 dead reckoning computer and a hat that says "NAVIGATOR" lends credibility to his presence and position.

Bluegrass is ready for Saturday Nites and there are (and will be) maps and other interesting stuff as the road dictates.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Geography Div (Perception subsection)

New Yorkers do seem to have an unusual perspective on the relative geography of the US, eh ?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

So many Bluegrass songs are about trains …….. Here's a good one Kentucky Borderline by Rhonda Vincent and the Rage.

Hunter Berry - Fiddle, Kenny Ingram - Banjo, Mickey Harris - Bass, Ben Helson - Guitar
and Rhonda - Mandolin

Note: Per Gordon at Alternate Brain -------  Live streaming of the Father's day Bluegrass Festival from Grass Valley, CA through tomorrow..

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Geography Div (Let's move everyone subsection)

This would give a whole new meaning to the idea of "press 2 for …," eh ?
… and I'm certain many "traditional" wardrobes would need some modification.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div.

Right down to the basics with Gold Rush.  Adam Steffy on Mandolin and Clay Hess on Guitar.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Perseverance Div (remembrance subsection)

The mini-Bears of the Geography Division are taking a week off - they work hard and deserve a break.


I first posted this song two years ago on this, the anniversary of the composer's (Stan Rogers) death. Little did I know that these words would mean so much to me now. The words mean more and more to me every day.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Hunter Berry doing Wow! Baby!  (along with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage)

Hunter Berry - Fiddle, Kenny Ingram - Banjo, Mickey Harris - Bass, Ben Helson - Guitar
and Rhonda - Mandolin

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Memorial Day Div

My post from 2012 still applies  - - though they've now closed Walter Reeed and I'm no longer Driving4$$ (since they don't want to pay what they owe me, why work, eh ??).

Jim Wright has an excellent essay over at Stonekettle Station on the current VA mess. Jim is a veteran also and though sometimes he's a bit verbose, he's good. ..... and yes, Eric Shinseki deserves better treatment.

Last night, I listened to a reading of one of Walt Whitman's poems from 1865,  .... may our honored brothers in arms rest peacefully.
Pensive on Her Dead Gazing

Pensive on her dead gazing I heard the Mother of All,
Desperate on the torn bodies, on the forms covering the battlefields
(As the last gun ceased, but the scent of the powder-smoke linger'd,)
As she call'd to her earth with mournful voice while she stalk'd,
Absorb them well O my earth, she cried, I charge you lose not my
sons, lose not an atom,
And you streams absorb them well, taking their dear blood,
And you local spots, and you airs that swim above lightly impalpable,
And all you essences of soil and growth, and you my rivers' depths,
And you mountain sides, and the woods where my dear children's
blood trickling redden'd,
And you trees down in your roots to bequeath to all future trees,
My dead absorb or South or North--my young men's bodies absorb,
and their precious precious blood,
Which holding in trust for me faithfully back again give me many a
year hence,
In unseen essence and odor of surface and grass, centuries hence,
In blowing airs from the fields back again give me my darlings, give
my immortal heroes,
Exhale me them centuries hence, breathe me their breath, let not an
atom be lost,
O years and graves! O air and soil! O my dead, an aroma sweet!
Exhale them perennial sweet death, years, centuries hence.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

One of my favorites, Norman Blake's Green Light on the Southern here performed by the Punch Brothers from early 2008 at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Geography Div (remember when …. subsection)

A couple of weeks ago, we looked at 24 hours worth of air traffic in the US. On September 11, 2001 all that stopped. I remember sitting on my deck that evening (right under the FAF for Runway 10 at BWI) and being amazed at how quiet it had become.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div ( John Denver subsection)

The Special Consensus doing John Denver's Wild Montana Skies (from their new tribute album)

The Special Consensus :
Greg Cahill - Banjo, Dustin Benson - Guitar, Dan Eubanks - Bass, Rick Faris - Mandolin.
Special Guests Claire Lynch - vocal and Rob Ickes - Dobro.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Geography Div (Civil War subsection)

On May 12-13, the Battle of Palmito Ranch took place in Texas. This was considered the last major confrontation of the Civil War (though Lee had surrendered on April 9th).
It's kind of amazing that one hundred and fifty-one years later, some folks want to do this all over again.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Today is National Train Day !!!

The Sam Bush Band with a jazzy rendition of Bringin' in the Georgia Mail.

The Band: Sam Bush - Mandolin, Stephen Mougin - Guitar, Scott Vestal - Banjo, Todd Parks - Bass and Chris Brown - Drums.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Geography Div (Getting from here to there subsection)

A couple of weeks ago, we looked at air traffic across the world in 24 hours. Here's what it looks like here in the US ( and when the weather gets bad ………..

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Thought of this song on the recent road trip as I crossed from West Virginia to Kentucky. The old Bill Monroe standard Big Sandy River.

Noam Pikelny - Banjo, Stuart Duncan - Fiddle, Ronnie McCoury - Mandolin, Bryan Sutton - Guitar, and Mike Bub - Bass.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Geography Div (WW II subsection)

Here's what WW II in Europe looked like day-by-day. With all the going ons lately, do we really want to do something like this again ??
Put it on full screen and spend seven minutes remembering (or learning anew as the case might be ).

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

A 2013 performance of Steve Goodman's City of New Orleans by the Seldom Scene.
It's still hard to picture this group without John Duffy on the mandolin and Mike Aldridge on Dobro.

Dudley Connell - Guitar, Ben Eldridge - Banjo, Lou Reid - Mandolin, Ronnie Simpkins - Bass and Fred Travers - Dobro.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Geography Div (Global Warming subsectiion)

A while back we looked at some of the effects of this old world gettin' hotter and hotter.
Here's one of the coldest places on earth ….. after.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Iron Horse Bluegrass doing their compilation Crazy Train.

Tony Robertson - Mandolin, Vance Henry - Guitar, Andy Richardson - Banjo and
Ricky Rogers - Bass.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

The Tony Rice Unit doing Tony's original composition, Tipper, named for his dog.

Tony and Wyatt Rice - Guitars (but you knew that); Jimmy Gaudreau - Mandolin; Ricky Simpkins - Fiddle and  Ronnie Simpkins - Bass. …… and the introduction by the late John Hartford.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

An All-Star performance of Sawin' on the Strings: 

Just in case no one recognized the performers: Alison Krauss - fiddle and lead vocal, Ron Block - Banjo, Jerry Douglas - Dobro, Sam Bush & Dan Tyminski  - Mandolin and harmony vocals, Stuart Duncan - Fiddle, Barry Bales - Bass …… and last, but certainly not least, Tony Rice on guitar

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

The Punch Brothers doing New Chance Blues

Chris Thile - Mandolin, Chris Eldridge - Guitar, Noam Pikelny - Banjo, Craig Johnson - Bass
and Gabe Witcher - Fiddle

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Road Trip subsection)

Tonite finds me halfway between Ok City and Barstow …… Somewhere buried below most of Interstate 40 is that highway made legendary by Bobby Troup. Traveled it so many times as a kid and think I've read every Burma Shave sign that there ever was.
This appears to be a European Group performing at a Bluegrass festival in 2009 at La Rouche Sur Foron  - - which could be French for something …….
No info on the artists, sorry.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

An old Earl Scruggs tune, Shuckin' the Corn done by the Lost and Found Bluegrass Band.

Lost and Found: Alan Mills - Bass, Ronald Smith - Banjo, Scott Naipier - Mandolin
and Dan Wells - Guitar

Monday, March 10, 2014

Geography Div (Eminent Domain subsection)

1804 - The formal ceremonies transferring the Louisiana Purchase from France to the U.S. took place in St. Louis. 
Still not "sea to shining sea," but we're getting there, eh ?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Wolf Creek Pass By Chris Young and the Nightdrivers.  Last time I was over it, it was snowing and my snow tires were hanging on the wall of my garage in Omaha (and natch, the "chain law" was in effect). Luckily, made it ok.

Chris Jones - Guitar, Nat Luberecki - Banjo, Jon Weisberger - Bass and Mark Stoffel - Mandolin.

Both Chris and Ned host shows on Sirius/XM's Bluegrass Country.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Geography Div (my, my how time flies subsection)

……. and with King Vladimir at it, heaven knows this ain't how it will look in hundred years, eh ? (or maybe next year).

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

Pig in a Pen - Sammy Adkins and the Sandy Hook Mountain Boys

Sammy Adkins - Lead vocals/rhythm guitar
Jim Click- Tenor singer/ mandolin
James Stiltner- Lead guitar
Jarrod Church- Banjo
James Lowe- Bass

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dead People Div (dangerous vehicle subsection)

When Driving 4$$ (or any time - especially in the vicinity of the GWTP) ,  I've always maintained that Dump Trucks, School Busses and any thing with Diplomatic plates is to be given great clearance and watched carefully.
Watching tonite's news on the teevee emphasisises the point:



Since the company appesrs to be going broke, I haven't been driving lately -- why work if you don't get paid, eh ? Love my 'lil job, but .........

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Geography Div (Global Warming subsection)

Last week, the ice went away; and beachfront property appeared in places you never imagined - get your real estate agent on the line and someday your grand-children's grand-children will be rolling in dough.
Seems that many nations are staking claims to areas that will one day be ice-free. We certainly keep thinking up things to fight over, eh ??
Possibly, the State Department (ours) is thinking of creating an ambassadorial position - go figure.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div (Youth subsection)

The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys  (From New Jersey) with three instrumentals …. Sorry, my aged Bear brain can't name the first, followed by Time Lapse and then Flint Hill Special.

The Mizzone Brothers  - - Jonny - Banjo, Robbie - Fiddle and Tommy - Guitar.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Geography Div (Global Warming subsection)

There wasn't any map last week .. did anyone notice.
Well, the mini-bears have returned from their frolic in the sun. They're tanned, rested and ready (didn't someone once say that about Richard Nixon ?).
Anyhow the week before we featured the Ice Age.
Now what about the case where all that ice just goes away ??
It's been grand sitting here in the vicinity of the GWTP and hearing so many of the "deniers" say that it ain't a gonna happen ……

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Little Saturday Nite Bluegrass Div

The Incredible String Dusters doing Wichita Stomp.

Andy Hall (Dobro), Andy Falco (guitar), Chris Pandolfi (banjo), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), 
 Jesse Cobb (mandolin), and Travis Book (upright bass). 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

LOVE Div (Happy Birthday subsection) ***

Today is the date of my late wife Diana's birth.

We celebrate our birthdays as the completion of another year (as in Español: Cumpleaños ).  Of course famous historical figures get national holidays declared for them (which mostly seem to be a celebration of retail, long after their accomplishments or contributions are forgotten). If that's the case, they certainly should declare one for my lovely Diana  - - Chico's Day maybe ??
I'm somewhat conflicted on just how to consider today. It's obviously a remembrance, but certainly not (at least for me) an occasion for celebration any longer. 

I'm sure that the blonde bombshell of cosmic energy that is now pin-balling about the universe as Diana, has a thought or two on the subject, but I won't be privy to what they are. Perhaps she's contemplating all the other things that have happened on this date in the past. Perhaps she's wondering what sort of card I found myself looking at several times over the past few weeks. Perhaps she's just walking Darcy and Alexis (the wonder Corgis). 

Diana always missed going out for dinner on her birthday. It so closely coincided with Valentine's Day that it was almost impossible to get a reservation and the crowds made a nice celebration, reasonable menus and unhurried service nearly impossible. We would normally wait until two or three weeks afterwards and then get together with friends for a relaxed evening out. For the actual day, I would usually go out and get a large lobster steamed and bring it home for her. Being a New England girl, it was her favorite (and she could usually have the whole thing shelled within five minutes or less).

 ………..And so my dear, departed, darling; Happy Chico's Day - and  here's a memory - -  Enjoy!

Love …………… Always,

*** Apologies to the mini-bears that manage the Geography Division  - - no map this week. (Hell, I'm the owner, I get to decide  - -  besides, they went somewhere warm to "chill out").