Archive for June, 2008

current listening 06/18

Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet: Tabligh – A co-founding member over 40 years ago of the AACM, the famed Chicago improvisational music collective, Smith shifts modes to a more atmospheric and discreetly groove-driven sound on the new Tabligh. The music recalls In a Silent Way-era Miles Davis. Gorgeously emotive, edgy and spacious jazz with a high melodic risk factor.

Sam Phillips: Don’t Do Anything – The amazing Ms. Phillips borrows a few lessons in how to warp elemental rock and folk melodies from ex-husband T Bone Burnett, adds a dash of Tom Waits surrealism, layers her tales of unrequited love in thick, humid guitar melancholy (the album’s title tune) and jangly unease (My Career in Chemistry) and tops it all with the voice of a squeamish chanteuse. Smashing stuff.

The Byrds: Live at the Royal Albert Hall 1971 – A newly unearthed concert document featuring the neglected ‘70s quartet version of The Byrds. The guitar sparring between Roger McGuinn and Clarence White propels this ragged but wildly compelling performance through forgotten Byrds gems (Lover of the Bayou), bluegrassy acoustics (Black Mountain Rag) and the hits (a truly psyche-ed out Eight Miles High).

The Strawbs – Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios – A largely acoustic, largely live 1970 record that sounds like a cross between The Moody Blues and Fairport Convention. Dave Cousins dressed later Strawbs albums with more glammed up psychedelia. But with help from a 21 year old Rick Wakeman, Antiques and Curios is half-hippie haze and half- Old England. A gloriously dated but wonderfully organic sounding prog-rock blueprint.

Return to Forever: Romantic Warrior – A cornerstone fusion album that allowed RTF to exist as a thrillseeking quartet instead of an electric vehicle for keyboardist Chick Corea. A case in point: Sorceress, a tune boasting one of Corea’s most dramatically paced piano solos. Yet the song was penned by drummer Lenny White. RTF is touring this summer for the first time in over 30 years. May its travels one day extend back to Lexington.

S&Ls in Texas, Missouri cancel merger. (Farm and Home Savings Association, Guaranty Federal Savings and Loan Association)

American Banker February 18, 1986 ST. LOUIS — An interstate savings and loan merger that many observers thought would have difficulty winning approval has been called off. go to website farm and home

The Farm & Home Savings Association of Nevada, Mo., announced on Wednesday that its agreement to be acquired by Pacific Realty Corp. of Dallas had been called off by mutual consent.

A Pacific Realty subsidiary, the Guaranty Federal Savings and Loan Association of Dallas, had planned to buy Farm & Home for $214.3 million, or $31 a share.

David A. Todd 2d, executive vice president of Farm & Home, said that changing business conditions made it impossible to complete the deal. “Both parties determined the terms of the deal could not be met under current business conditions. The climate for raising money was not quite the same,” he said.

Mr. Todd refused to elaborate on what changes had occurred. He added, “Farm & Home is advising stockholders that it is continuing to encourage bona fide offers, but, otherwise, Farm & Home will be continuing its business in the ordinary course.” A spokesman for Pacific Realty declined to comment on Farm & Home’s announcement. Pacific is a privately owned real estate developer that owns Guaranty Federal, a savings and loan with $1.2 billion in assets.

Farm & Home’s 77 offices are spread throughout Missouri and Texas, but Guaranty Federal operates only in Texas. The Federal Home Loan Bank Board generally permits interstate deals only if the acquiring institution agrees to take over a failing thrift. Guaranty Federal has not agreed to acquire any problem institution in Missouri.

Two weeks ago, however, Farm & Home began running the insolvent Bohemian Savings and Loan Association in St. Louis under the bank board’s management consignment program. farmandhomenow.com farm and home

Although the deal was worth $31 a share, Farm & Home stock has traded well below that level for several weeks. It closed on Wednesday at $19.50, down $1.

Farm & Home, which has $2.8 billion in assets, went public in November 1983 at $12.50 a share.

The Missouri thrift first announced last April that talks were in progress with Pacific Realty about a takeover. The two firms announced a preliminary agreement in September and a definitive agreement in October.

critic's pick 24

When a scan of the credits to Emmylou Harris’ typically gorgeous All I Intended to Be reveals the return of veteran producer (and one time husband) Brian Ahern, one might be braced for a second coming of cosmic country music. After all, Harris and Ahern began a string of 11 progressively minded country albums for Warner Brothers with a pair of 1975 triumphs, Pieces of the Sky and Elite Hotel.

Harris’ music was initially seeded with the inspiration of her early ‘70s mentor, Gram Parsons. No wonder much of it sounded like a cross between Buck Owens and Chuck Berry. By the late ‘70s, near the end of the collaborative streak with Ahern, Harris’ Americana scope widened. 1979’s extraordinary roots music exploration, Roses in the Snow, typlified the grassy growth.

There are echoes of that music on All I Intended to Be. But at age 61, Harris is hardly looking back. The electric ambience that began to pervade her music on 1995’s Daniel Lanois-produced Wrecking Ball, subsequent touring with guitarist and fellow song scribe Buddy Miller and an appreciation for a new generation of artists (Patty Griffin being a notable member) have made her music more stylistically expansive than ever.

That brings us to the cross-generational crossroads of All I Intended to Be. By the time the album winds its way to Sailing Round the Room, there is a suggestion of the delicacy and clarity of Harris’ country past. But listen as her voice rises against a chorus of echoing guitar (from Ahern) and plaintive harmonies (from longtime pals Kate and Anna McGarrigle, who wrote the tune with Harris) as steel guitar and accordion color the corners. There is a hint of country classicism here. But the matriarchal grace that comes with just about any piece of music Harris comes in contact with these days wins out. Couple that with the song’s immovable faith (“I won’t leave the world behind me; look around and you will find me”) and you have a cumulative sound for the singer. It collects country accents of the past, adds a touch of ambient mystery and moves on.

Operating from a seemingly different plateau is Kern River, possibly the most emotively potent and painfully neglected song ever penned by Merle Haggard. A song of loss, death, regret and more maladjusted faith, Harris brings Kern River to life with help from guitarist/vocalist John Starling and dobroist/vocalist Mike Auldridge (both alumni of The Seldom Scene). The tune is delivered almost as a hymn with lovely acoustic expression that rises above a powerfully dark narrative flow.

Oh, and there so many more delights. Starling serves as a duet partner for the warhorse Billy Joe Shaver gem Old Five and Dimers Like Me (which most effectively recalls the early Harris/Ahern albums) while Tracy Chapman’s All That You Have is Your Soul embraces the earthy soul and worldly knowing (“hunger only for a taste of justice, hunger only for a world of truth”) that only sound fully credible when a voice as understated and learned as Harris’ is at the helm.

Bridging multiple corners of a vast and diverse career, All I Intended to Be sings with a cohesive, adult and richly emotive musical identity that is Emmylou through and through.

SUMMER SERIES TO FEATURE STORYTELLING COUPLE

US Fed News Service, Including US State News July 26, 2007 Clark County issued the following press release:

The Young People’s Summer Concert Series continues with the dynamic storytelling of Eric and Kristy Price, also known as From Hand to Mouth, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Winchester Cultural Center Theater, 3130 S. McLeod Drive. Tickets are $3. site college of southern nevada

The couple will perform “Family Yarns” using a fast-paced delivery, wacky antics and percussion to make the audience a part of the story. All the side-splitting tales are appropriate and entertaining for all ages.

Eric Price has been a musician for more than 25 years and is an adjunct faculty member at the College of Southern Nevada. Eric’s interests reach far and wide and include science, business management, gospel principles and foreign cultures. go to site college of southern nevada

Kristy Price combines her bachelor’s degree in English along with more than 20 years of experience in theater and arts facilitation to make all of From Hand to Mouth’s performances creative and exciting for the audiences. She earned her master’s degree in organizational management and has worked both for the Las Vegas Clark County Library District and with the Henderson District Public Library for a number of years. She also is a teacher at the College of Southern Nevada.

The series wraps up Aug. 23 with the World Famous Popovich Comedy Pet Theater showcasing rescued dogs and cats in amazing and hilarious routines. The human star of the show, Gregory Popovich, is a former performer with the Moscow Circus who brought his love of animals to the U.S. to put together this unique and engaging production.

Those interested in From Hand to Mouth, or the Young People’s Summer Concert Series, can contact Winchester Cultural Center at 455-7340.Contact: Irma Wynants, 702/455-7340, iiw@co.clark.nv.us.

Irma Wynants, 702/455-7340, iiw@co.clark.nv.us.

in performance: dry branch fire squad

“Hey, I love the lighting,” remarked Dry Branch Fire Squad chief Ron Thomason, during a spirited Sunday morning gospel set that closed out the 35th Festival of the Bluegrass at the Kentucky Horse Park. Chances are the crowd did, too – especially since that the glow that greeted the festival’s Friday night performances came shooting out the sky with barrels of thunder and buckets of rain

But on Sunday morning, with much of the festival site already in various states of dismantlement, Thomason and crew played not on the mainstage area where it performed on Saturday, but in a small adjacent tent. The lighting, powered as it was on Friday by ol’ Mother Nature herself, proved far more complimentary to the Dry Branch’s highly unspoiled music.

Rooted heavily in pre-bluegrass country and mountain gospel, Thomason presided over string music that reflected a light, antique feel that never seemed austere. When the full quartet engaged in the a capella Over in the Gloryland – intended more as an impromptu soundcheck than a performance – the harmonies were relaxed, homey and thoroughly unforced. Ditto for Thomason’s mandolin runs during Poor Orphan Child, where the string navigation was speedy enough to satisfy Bill Monroe-bred fans without being unduly showy.

There were all kinds of other unvarnished, old world touches to the set, as well. Thomason’s clawhammer banjo stabs blended neatly with Tom Boyd’s wiry dobro colors on the heaven-bound 50 Miles of Elbow Room. There was also a hearty but understated nod to Thomason’s Virginia heritage and the a capella inspiration of the Chestnut Grove Quartet in the patiently paced group harmonies of Church by the Road.

Of course, Thomason, a master storyteller on any occasion, used the setting for a little worldly sermonizing. He regaled in a tale of redneck culture in Sausalito, California (where cars on blocks in front yards are Ferraris) but gently denounced televangelists that preach hate. Thomason even took himself to task for hating those that hate. “I don’t know if I could whip Robert Tilton,” he said. “But I’d sure like to punch him.”

The set, and the festival, ended with the gospel staple Green Pastures and an unsentimental but honestly moving Thomason story about a show horse he cared for after its retirement and how the extent of the song’s spiritual depth wasn’t revealed until after the animal’s death.

“To this day, I’ve never met an Equine-American I didn’t like.” Amen to that.

(above, Dry Branch Fire Squad: guitarist Brian Aldridge, bassist Dan Russell, banjoist/dobroist Tom Boyd, mandolinist/guitarist/banjoist/vocalist Ron Thomason)

the 35th festival

A very cordial letter arrived a few weeks ago from Jean Cornett. Along with husband Bob Cornett, she has been the guiding force of Festival of the Bluegrass throughout its 35 year history.

It offered a reflection that sometimes gets lost in the event’s annual parade of world class string music, its blooming bluegrass music camp and even the numerous accolades the festival continues to collect – the most recent being Event of the Year honors at last fall’s International Bluegrass Music Association awards.

Jean’s remarks dealt with family – not just the extended clan that stages the festival every year, but the families of fans that have essentially grown up with the anticipation and, over time, expectation that acts like The Seldom Scene, IIIrd Tyme Out, Lonesome River Band (and, if you want to go back a few years, Bill Monroe, Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, Jim & Jessie, John Hartford, Jerry Douglas and scores more) will again strike up the strings in the early days of summer.

“The Festival is a great source of pleasure for us,” she wrote. “Every year – many times every year – we have old friends come over and introduce a new member of their family. And that new member often is a grandchild that is beginning to learn bluegrass much as the grandparent learned bluegrass at the Festival thirty-odd years ago. This makes us proud.”

As well it should. This year, the festival’s sense of family and tradition continues with a lineup of familiar acts and new faces. A few of the regulars are missing, most notably Doyle Lawson and Blue Highway. But in their place are comparatively younger packs like The Grascals, currently the IBMA’s Entertainer of the Year, that are firmly establishing a new generational voice for bluegrass.

Here’s the rundown of the Festival’s most prominent acts:

+ Seldom Scene: Want to get an idea of just how beloved Seldom Scene has been to Lexington audiences over the years? Then make a count of how many voices call out for Wait a Minute, a bit of high lonesome heartbreak recorded by the band around the time the first Festival of the Bluegrass commenced. Fans will need to be patient this weekend, though. Seldom Scene will be making room for material from SCENEchronized, its first album of new music in seven years. It boasts songs by John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard and Steve Earle along with a new version of Don’t Bother With White Satin, a tune by founding Scene member John Duffey. The latter was initially cut by the band in 1973. Pictured above, the current Seldom Scene lineup is (from left): Dudley Connell, Ben Eldridge, Ronnie Simpkins, Fred Travers and Lou Reid.

+ J.D. Crowe and the New South: Admittedly, filling local fans in on the music of Grammy winning Lexington/Nicholasville banjo ace J.D. Crowe is like discussing University of Kentucky basketball with sports enthusiasts and expecting it to seem like news. Both are traditions that are, within their respective circles, very closely followed. But there really is news within the Crowe camp this year. It began in January with two new New South members: bassist/vocalist John Bowman (formerly of Alison Krauss and Union Station) and fiddler Steve Thomas (who has worked with The Osborne Brothers).

+ Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out: Among all others at the Festival of the Bluegrass, this is the band boasting the biggest change. At last year’s festival, IIIrd Tyme Out was still welcoming back mandolinist Wayne Benson, a longtime member who rejoined after a three year stay with The John Cowan Band. But the bomb dropped at the end of 2007 when bassist, vocalist and co-founder Ray Benson left to tour full time with bluegrass gospel vocalist/fiancé Anita Fisher (the two were scheduled to perform at the Festival last night). That now puts guitarist/vocalist Russell Moore, who performed with Benson at the Festival in Doyle Lawson’s Quicksilver band long before IIIrd Tyme Out was even formed, at the helm.

+ Dry Branch Fire Squad: Year after year, this is the band to beat. Sparked by the wily but very worldly humor of singer/mandolinist Ron Thomason, Dry Branch is also among the Festival’s most versed traditional acts. The band’s instrumental firepower is unpretentious but seriously imposing, its harmonies are soulfully rustic and at the end of the day you’ll be laughing yourself silly over the most scholarly redneck humor imaginable. But here’s the big tip: leave time for Dry Branch’s Sunday morning gospel set, which the band played last year on one of the Festival’s smaller side stages. It was the most intimate and engaging performance that weekend.

The 35th Festival of the Bluegrass continues through Sunday morning at the Kentucky Horse Park. Tickets are $10 (Sunday only) and $35 (each day, today and Saturday). Call (859) 846-4995. For a complete schedule, go to www.festivalofthebluegrass.com.

in performance: dirty dozen brass band

There just seems to be something about New Orleans music that makes the dreariest of occasions seem like a carnival. True to its hometown form, the Crescent City’s famed Dirty Dozen Brass Band returned to The Dame last night packing abundant summertime cheer. And with a mere 11 days to go before the club, at least in its current Main St. location, shuts down, such a sunny, earthy sound was especially welcome.

The scene was something of a repeat from the late spring of 2002. That’s when Lynagh’s Music Club, then Lexington’s foremost club venue, closed. The Dirty Dozen played there in those final weeks, as well. But last night’s program made for a more stylistically broad minded party.

Sure, all the instrumental elements were in abundance. A front line of saxophone, trumpet and trombone carried, mutated and ripped open melodies while bass was played not by fingers on strings but by human breath blown into that mightiest of brass beasts, the sousaphone.

But the performance’s musical reference points embraced early ‘70s soul and funk as much as they did New Orleans tradition.

A tasty, percussive Fiyo on the Bayou, for example, set the stage for some Norman Whitfield-era Temptations inspiration. After bleeding again into Unclean Waters, the Dirty Dozen turned to a summery splash of 1973-era Sly and the Family Stone before the lengthy, exhaustive jam settled down.

Similarly soulful was What’s Going On, which deviated from both Marvin Gaye’s spiritually driven original and the topically inclined remake the Dirty Dozen cut in 2006 with Public Enemy’s Chuck D. This workout was fueled by wah-wah guitar turbulence and giddy exchanges between baritone saxophonist Roger Lewis, tenor sax man Kevin Harris and Efrem Towns, who played trumpet and flugelhorn (sometimes simultaneously). A later exploration of Steve Wonder’s Superstition offered less invention but sounded equally festive.

No, none it made you forget The Dame was well into its final chorus as a downtown music venue. But with the Dirty Dozen onstage, that dire tune managed, for a few hours, to sound a lot sweeter.

wednesday rocks

Who knew Wednesday would turn out to be most rocking night of the week? Just look at the five shows in four cities vying for your attention tonight:

+ Here at home, the countdown to the downtown closing of The Dame, 156 W. Main, continues with a final visit by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the venerable New Orleans street ensemble turned progressive funk and jam-savvy brigade led by baritone sax man Roger Lewis (8 p.m.; $12). Call (859) 226-9005.

+ Headliner’s Music Hall, 1386 Lexington Road in Louisville, hosts a hearty Texas double bill featuring Alejandro Escovedo (left) and James McMurtry. Yesterday, Escovedo unveiled Real Animal, a record he cut over the winter in Versailles with veteran producer Tony Visconti while McMurtry has already issued one of the year’s strongest Americana albums, Just Us Kids (7:30 p.m., $15). Call (502) 584-8088.

+ The pop, blues, folk and funk mix of The Wood Brothers – that’s guitarist/vocalist Oliver Wood and bassist Chris Wood (the latter third of jam band fave Medeski Martin & Wood) – heads to the 20th Century Theater, 3021 Madison Rd. in Cincinnati (8 p.m., $15). Call TicketMaster at (859) 281-6644. The Woods also play the ultra-intimate 930 Arts Center, 930 Mary St. in Louisville on Thursday (8 p.m.; $10 in advance, $12 day of show). Call (502) 635-2554.

+ Back in the area for the first time in ages is the Hawaiian/Texan-bred pop of Chicago’s Poi Dog Pondering. Singer Frank Orrall and crew will show off sunny melodies and earthy grooves from their new 7 album at the Southgate House, 24 East Third St. in Newport (7:30 p.m.; $18 in advance, $22 at the door). Call (859) 431-2201.

+ Finally, for those in need of a trip to the big house, there is the regional return of the ageless James Taylor to Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati. A folk/pop celebrity for nearly four decades, Taylor is full of surprises this summer. Recent shows have been balancing his hits with covers of tunes popularized by The Temptations, The Dixie Chicks, George Jones and more. Taylor also performed the national anthem last week before the first game of the NBA finals in his hometown of Boston. (8 p.m.; $24, $54, $74). Call TicketMaster at (859) 281-6644.

Muscular Dystrophy Association Reports on National Bowling Event. musculardystrophyassociationnow.com muscular dystrophy association

Travel & Leisure Close-Up November 3, 2011 Members of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), an organization affiliated with the AFL-CIO, will head for scores of local bowling centers across the nation on Sunday, Nov. 6, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) announced.

MDA reported that the goal for the one-day national bowling event is to raise more than $500,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

As part of the union’s third national “Deliver the Cure” bowl-a-thon, letter carriers participating raise money to help MDA advance worldwide research seeking treatments and cures for progressive muscle diseases by seeking donations from friends and acquaintances. Local merchants in many markets are helping, too, by sponsoring individual lanes of play.

“Letter carriers are amazing,” MDA President & CEO Gerald C. Weinberg said. “In addition to successfully delivering trillions of pieces of mail during the past 59 years, NALC members have devoted substantial personal time to raising millions of dollars for lifesaving MDA research and health care services programs.” “Our members are tireless champions for MDA,” explained NALC President Fred Rolando. “We just completed a national ‘Satchel’ drive for MDA, and we’ll soon be having fun bowling strikes and spares to raise even more funds for vital MDA-sponsored research, outstanding MDA clinics, support groups and summer camps for children living with progressive muscle diseases.” NALC became MDA’s first national sponsor in 1952, added Rolando, and “our nearly 300,000 members remain committed to helping MDA stamp out muscular dystrophy, ALS and other neuromuscular diseases.” NALC represents city delivery letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service. site muscular dystrophy association

MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research.

((Comments on this story may be sent to newsdesk@closeupmedia.com))

critic's pick 23

We saw it coming with Z, the 2005 album that dragged Louisville’s My Morning Jacket out of the psychedelic reverb cellar that had become a lasting comfort zone. Instead of the hazy, Southern brewed psychedelia that Jim James and company had designed to ward off specific categorization, Z rose to the surface. The melodies were more inviting and the vocals were light years cleaner. Yet the band’s sense of rock ‘n’ roll mystery was left intact.

As it turns out, Z was a mere warm up for the mammoth stylistic shift that tears through Evil Urges. For those enamored of Z‘s steady move toward daylight, brace yourself. Summer pours into this album in the forms of ambient electronica, Prince-ly funk, and even a few acoustic pop reveries. But if you’re among the legions that still think Louisville’s top rock ‘n’ roll export is best appreciated under veils of reverb and hippie insulation, take notice. That ship has sailed. Evil Urges finds My Morning Jacket on an entirely different continent.

The title song, which opens the album, eases the transition somewhat. It’s slow-brewing, almost menacing meditation that James sings in a ghostly falsetto. Ever since hearing the band perform it on Saturday Night Live over a month ago, its melody has been bouncing around in the ol’ brainbox. It’s that infectious.

The changes rush in like low tide on Touch Me I’m Going to Scream, Pt. 1. One has never been prompted to label My Morning Jacket’s music as “summery.” But that’s the feel here with James’ vocals sandwiched between layers of chilled synthesizers that both propel and cushion the song’s inviting groove. Pool music from Jim James – who knew?

From there, Evil Urges rocks all over the place. Aluminum Park shuts down the electronics for a backyard guitar breakdown that recalls – at least, initially – the newer records of The Old 97s while I’m Amazed gives a bit of spit and polish to the band’s Southern arena rock leanings, even though the harmonies take a curiously prog-rock turn. It’s kind of like hearing early Lynyrd Skynyrd crossed with the Alan Parsons Project.

Speaking of Parsons, the eight minute Touch Me I’m Going to Scream, Pt. 2 seems to suggest Pink Floyd at its lush core. But the pop accessibility that sweeps through all of Evil Urges, makes Parsons a better reference point. This is probably as close to the early My Morning Jacket as James is likely to get. But you have to get past the initial disco-fueled verses, the guitar colors of country want and, of course, James’ dog torture falsetto to arrive at even the most remote hints of where the band has traveled from.

The one tune here that is a little tough to accept is Highly Suspicious, a blast of ‘80s-style funk with a falsetto shimmy by James that seriously desires to channel Prince. But aside from cartoonish backing vocals that sound like they were trucked in from another state and nonsense lyrics, the tune’s melody is static when compared to the album’s broader stylistic sweeps.

But that’s merely a speed bump on My Morning Jacket’s rocketship ride to a more expansive pop universe. “It’s a big, big world,” James sings by way of affirmation in Aluminum Park. “You gotta like what you see. And I do.”

It will take some open ears and, very likely, a few extra spins of the disc to arrive that world. But chances are you’re going to like it, too.

NTSB IDENTIFIES FATIGUED TRUCK DRIVER IN FATAL MULTIVEHICLE COLLISION; DATA RECORDERS, TECHNOLOGY IMPROVEMENTS PROPOSED.

States News Service September 28, 2010 WASHINGTON — The following information was released by the National Transportation Safety Board:

The National Transportation Safety Board today determined that the June 2009 fatal multivehicle collision involving a 2008 Volvo truck-tractor semitrailer and a traffic queue near Miami, Oklahoma, was caused by the truck driver’s fatigue stemming from his acute sleep loss, circadian disruption associated with his shift work schedule, and mild sleep apnea. The 76-year-old driver failed to react to slowing and stopped traffic ahead by applying brakes or performing any evasive maneuvers to avoid colliding with the traffic queue.

In its investigation, the NTSB found that contributing to the severity of the accident were the Volvo truck-tractor combination unit’s high impact speed and its structural incompatibility with passenger vehicles.

Ten passenger vehicle occupants died, 5 received minor-to- serious injuries, and the driver of the truck combination unit was seriously injured.

On the afternoon of June 26, 2009, a multivehicle accident occurred on Interstate 44 near Miami, Oklahoma, shortly after a minor accident in the same vicinity occurred. The minor incident took place about 1:13 p.m., when a 2001 Ford Focus traveling eastbound drifted out of its lane and sideswiped a truck-tractor semitrailer parked on the right shoulder, crossed over the roadway, struck the center median barrier, and came to rest in the roadway, blocking the left eastbound lane. This crash caused a blockage in the left eastbound lane and created a traffic queue that extended back from the initial accident site approximately 1,500 feet. At approximately 1:19 p.m. the Volvo truck driver was traveling in the right lane at about 69 mph (the posted limit was 75 mph). The driver did not react to the traffic queue and collided with the rear of a sport utility vehicle (SUV). The Volvo truck continued forward and struck and overrode three additional vehicles and pushed the third vehicle into the rear of a livestock trailer being towed by the fourth vehicle, a pickup truck, which was pushed forward and struck a fifth vehicle. The Volvo truck came to rest approximately 270 feet past the point where it struck the initial SUV. go to web site 2001 ford focus

Major safety issues identified by this accident investigation focused on driver fatigue; need for updated and comprehensive fatigue education materials and fatigue management programs; significance of heavy vehicle collision forces in crashes with smaller vehicles; lack of federal requirements for data and vehicle event recorders on commercial vehicles; and lack of federal requirements for forward collision warning systems. see here 2001 ford focus

“This crash points out the need for three important actions by federal regulators that would go a long way to reducing this type of accident on our roadways: a fatigue management system would have helped the driver get the rest he needed to perform well behind the wheel, event recorders would have provided our investigators with the details about the crash once it occurred, and a collision warning system would have significantly reduced the likelihood that this accident could have ever happened,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “The time to act on all three of these safety fundamentals is now so that this kind of horrific tragedy will not occur again.” Among the recommendations from this accident investigation, the NTSB called upon the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to require all heavy commercial vehicles to be equipped with video event recorders, improve its fatigue educational materials and to require all motor carriers to adopt a fatigue management program based on the North American Fatigue Management Program. In addition, the NTSB urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to set performance standards for event data recorders and, after doing so, require that all trucks over 10,000 GVWR be equipped with event data recorders. The NTSB reiterated previous recommendations to develop standards and require deployment of collision warning systems on new commercial vehicles, to require energy-absorbing under-ride protection for trucks, and to develop technologies to reduce fatigue- related accidents. In total, the NTSB issued 9 new and 6 reiterated safety recommendations with this report.

montgomery gentry: back when i knew it all

There were signs on their 2006 album Some People Change that hometown country heroes Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry might be settling down. A little. Not so on Back When I Knew It All. While the very Byrds-like title tune hints at life that outlasted a youth run on “beer and gasoline half a lap ahead of the law,” much of the album is fueled by higher octane stuff that is vastly less apologetic. The party starts not in a roadhouse, but in a foot stomping mountainside church service with a taste for snake handling and a preacher on the verge of spontaneous combustion. “He ain’t sure and we ain’t sure exactly what he said,” sings Gentry over screams of slide guitar on The Revival. “So praise the lord and pass me a copperhead.” Can’t wait to see the video for that one. Similarly raucous but vastly less frightful is I Pick My Parties, a middle age manual for mid-week revelry sung with Toby Keith (who Montgomery Gentry will tour extensively with this summer), and One in Every Crowd, which neatly countrifies a David Bowie/Alice Cooper guitar riff as it honors the sort of one-man audience annoyance most folks would opt to clobber if given license. In short, Back When I Knew It All is electric business as usual for our Kentucky pals as it returns to a rowdier framework while keeping a wary eye on the age factor.

current listening 06/07

Al Green: Lay It Down – Following a pair of albums that reunited the Rev. Al with producer Willie Mitchell, Lay It Down has Green sharing production duties with Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson of The Roots on sessions that neatly employ the new generation brass of The Dap Kings. The result is an even finer approximation of Green’s early ‘70s soul sound than what surfaced on the recent Mitchell albums.

Matthew Shipp: Un Piano – A strong, but tough-to-find new solo piano recording that patiently wades through Shipp’s sometimes pensive, often ruminative and always compelling improvisational vocabulary. Un Piano seems lunconcerned with the avant garde tag has long pidgeonholed Shipp’s music. Instead, his intimate playing shifts from busted-up bop to passages of dark, sparse beauty to, yes, an abstract escapade or two.

Jakob Dylan: Seeing Things – The latest pop vet to opt for a Rick Rubin makeover, Dylan gives The Wallflowers the year off and delivers a mostly unaccompanied acoustic record. But don’t think Dylan has gone the folkie route of his famous father. Seeing Things still retains a pop sensibility within the stark musical settings Rubin creates. More in line with the early records of Richard Thompson and David Crosby than those of the elder Dylan.

The Ozark Mountain Daredevils: The Ozark Mountain Daredevils – Cross the country hippie stride of Goose Greek Symphony with the neo-psychedelia of the latter day Byrds and you get the earthy glow of the Ozarks. If You Wanna Get to Heaven became a hit when this fine debut was released in late 1973. But the entire album is a delight, from the gospel fervor of Standing on the Rock to the luxuriously wistful Colorado Song.

Andy Summers and Victor Biglione: Spendid Brazil – Covering last year’s Police concert at Churchill Downs triggered a renewed personal interest in guitarist Andy Summers’ solo catalogue, nearly all of which consists of instrumental jazz and Brazilian inclined music. This overlooked 2005 collaboration with Argentine born/Brazilian raised Victor Biglione is a light but substantially melodic set of duets that makes for ideal summer listening.

 

night on clack mountain

It used to be called Bluegrass ‘n More, an annual nod by Morehead to the region’s string music tradition and plentiful arts and heritage inspirations. Now the event takes its name from one of Rowan County’s most majestic summits. Hence a redubbed event that gives new meaning to the term “mountain music” this weekend: the Clack Mountain Festival.  

While Kentucky Sunrise helps kicks off the music tonight at 7:30, the bulk of the festival takes place on Saturday. Arts and crafts exhibits along First St. highlight the morning and afternoon activities. But come evening, the strings start swinging.

The finale, which begins at approximately 5:25 p.m., includes the “Rowan County Rhythm” of the Clack Mountain String Band, the refreshingly unrefined blues-driven bluegrass of Nashville’s Steeldrivers and the extraordinary Piedmont-area African-American string sounds of The Carolina Chocolate Drops (above).

Wrapping up the event will be a 9 p.m. set by bluegrass patriarch Ralph Stanley, who a year ago wooed an entirely different generation of string music enthusiasts with a performance at the Bonnaroo Festival.

The truly ridiculous aspect of all this fun is the ticket price. A mere $5 covers everything at the Clack Mountain Festival. Children 12 and under will be admitted free. You won’t find a better bargain in or out of bluegrass circles all summer long.

Clack Mountain Festival will be held tonight and Saturday on the Moonlight Stage and along First Street in Morehead. Admission is $5. Call (800) 654-1944.

Is Groupon righting its ship?(DIRECT REPORT: THE LOWDOWN)

DM News December 1, 2011 Groupon’s initial public offering (IPO) last month raised $700 million, the largest IPO by an Internet company since Google’s in 2004 generated $1.7 billion. Groupon’s IPO took more than five months to complete, due to accounting metric discrepancies. Many are now questioning, in spite of the IPO’s success, whether the daily deals site will continue its upward trajectory or if this is simply a honeymoon period before reality sets in. It also may be a cautionary tale for other brands planning IPOs.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING Kendrick Nguyen, The Huffington Post Going public is a dream for most startups and their loyal employees and investors. But getting there can be a nightmare … Groupon’s legal problems are no secret. Until [the IPO] the company’s most high-profile legal issues related to the scrutiny of its accounting metrics by the [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission] and the press. Among other legal problems are pending lawsuits alleging infringement of intellectual property rights and violation of laws governing the use of gift cards. Compliance with privacy law raises another concern. The regulatory regime governing the way online companies handle private information constantly evolves, and methods used by companies to monitor online users are coming under increased scrutiny … Taken together, these legal threats could significantly erode Groupon’s profits over time. website groupon houston

Kevin Kelleher, Reuters On its face, the IPO is just about a company raising money, but it’s also so much more. It’s a spectacle–a dramatic tale of the fastest growing company in history brushing off a $6 billion bid by Google to go public and quickly become worth three times as much. It’s a scrappy outsider vindicating critics who attacked it mercilessly during an enforced quiet period. It’s a gaudy billboard luring other tech startups to come into the public markets. What the Groupon story is missing, though, is all those dreary details. For all the metric-filled spreadsheets and PDF files of analysis, Wall Street is still a place driven by emotion. And the debate over Groupon is really about the difference between the emotional appeal of Groupon’s IPO and the less appealing story that lies in the minutiae … To keep growing, Groupon needs to draw more money from its merchants.

David Zielenziger, International Business Times Now that Groupon has finally gone public, raising $700 million through its Nov. 4 IPO, how about some others in the pipeline as well as the king of them all, Facebook? Groupon, the Chicago-based deals site that uses technology to distribute coupons, waited more than a quarter before its IPO, co-managed by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, took off … The underwriters gambled that the market would favor the issue after a couple of weeks of higher-than-expected earnings reports and apparent agreement in Europe over the financial crisis. But market volatility continues. And what about deals for lesser-known companies? go to website groupon houston

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Alexandra Petri, The Washington Post OUR VIEW:

Groupon’s long-awaited IPO may have been profitable for both the company and Wall Street investors, but the daily deals site is not nearly out of the woods yet. The company decided against a $6 billion offer from Google–and its IPO made it worth about thrice that figure–but Groupon faces more in terms of challenges than its embattled history of consecutive losing quarters, SEC challenges and executive departures. Its biggest hurdle now is the swath of new competitors on the scene, including, most recently, Google Offers. In order to continue its upswing, Groupon needs to invest some of that IPO cashflow into innovation.

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