Archive for July, 2009

grove is the groove and the groove is good

saxophonist euge groove performs saturday at equus run vineyards.

saxophonist euge groove performs saturday at equus run vineyards.

By categorization, his blend of pop, jazz and r&b is smooth. But when Steven Eugene Grove picks up a saxophone, the groove is huge – or, as he calls it, Euge.

That’s because for the past decade, Grove has recorded, toured and established smooth jazz under the professional name Euge Groove. From the time singles like Vinyl and Sneak a Peak established his sound and fanbase in 2000 to the tunes from his 2007 album Born2Groove that continued to chart through the first of this year, Grove has become one of the most visible saxophonists in instrumental pop music.

In short, Grove is Groove – and groove is good.

“I don’t think fans so much make the labels for the music I play as critics do,” Grove said last week from Los Angeles prior to a recording session for his next album. “Fans just like music. There are always going to be 10% that are really into it enough to follow all the labels. But most fans, especially for what I do… they just want to have a good time. They don’t want to over analyze things.

“Now, the flip side of that are the live shows. To be able to turn that music into a more engaging performance is really great, to get to where the show really interacts with the audience and makes them a part of the music.”

Grove performs Saturday at Equus Run Vineyards as part of the African American Forum’s annual series of smooth jazz concerts. This is will the first time he will bring the Euge Groove sound to life in Central Kentucky. Such a headlining debut is especially overdue considering his wife Susan is a Georgetown native and that his in-laws reside in Lexington. But this won’t be Grove’s first time onstage here. Not by a long, long shot.

In November 2000, with his debut album a mere six months old, Grove performed at Rupp Arena behind Tina Turner during the singer’s extensive farewell tour. Opening the show that night was pop, blues and rock veteran Joe Cocker. Grove has played with him, too.

Among the others acts Grove has toured with internationally are Tower of Power and Richard Marx. The list of celebrities has recorded with includes Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Heart, Paula Abdul, Aaron Neville and a few dozen others.

Almost without exception, though, these collaborations pre-date the beginning of Grove’s solo performance career as Euge Groove.

“I’ve learned something from every one of those artists,” Grove said.

Perhaps one of the most mutually beneficial of these alliances was Grove’s four year stay with the brassy Bay Area funk troupe Tower of Power. During Grove’s tenure, from 1988 to 1992, TOP went from a band struggling to maintain its commercial profile to part of worldwide tours and recordings supporting the then-unstoppable Huey Lewis and the News. But for Grove, TOP was the band that brought the saxophonist from Miami, where he studied and began his career as a recording session artist, to the West Coast.

“That whole experience was just so incredible for me,” Grove said. “I had just moved to California. I went to school in Miami and was still hanging out there, playing some pretty good gigs. But the music scenes in Miami and Los Angeles were night and day.

“To this day, I tell people I got my degree at the University of Miami, but I got my education in the University of Tower of Power.”

And then came Tina, the uncontested matriarch of pop, soul and funk (well, maybe excepting Aretha Franklin). When Turner announced she was retiring from performance life after her 2000 tour, Grove figured his days of backing up other artists, grand as they were, had concluded. But when Turner couldn’t help hitting the road again in 2008, Grove was called back into action.

“When I got the call from Tina’s manager, I almost thought it was a joke,” Grove said. “I really thought she was done with touring. But it was a great experience being able work with her one last time.”

Grove was committed to the Turner tour through May of this year. Then he packed his bags yet again for an outing called the Guitars and Saxes Tour with fellow smooth jazz artists Jeff Golub, Jeff Lorber and Jessy J. That tour, plus the few dates Grove is playing on his own this summer, is being balanced with recording sessions for the new album the saxophonist hopes to release as early as October.

“Knock on wood, things are at an amazing place for me right now,” Grove said. “The tour is a blast and the record almost seems to be putting itself together. I think this last year has probably been the happiest time of my career.”

Euge Groove performs at 4 p.m. Saturday. 1 at Equus Run Vineyards, 1280 Moores Mill Road in Midway. Tickets: $50 general admission, $600 for reserved tables for 10. Call (859) 255-2653.

US Patent Issued to Sandisk IL on Nov. 29 for “Method, System and Computer-Readable Code to Test Flash Memory” (Israeli Inventors) go to web site test flash player

US Fed News Service, Including US State News December 8, 2011 ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 8 — United States Patent no. 8,069,380, issued on Nov. 29, was assigned to Sandisk IL Ltd. (Kfar Saba, Israel).

“Method, System and Computer-Readable Code to Test Flash Memory” was invented by Mark Murin (Kfar Saba, Israel), Menahem Lasser (Kohav-Yair, Israel) and Avraham Meir (Rishon Lezion, Israel).

According to the abstract released by the U.

S. Patent & Trademark Office: “A flash memory device includes a flash memory residing on at least one flash memory die. The flash memory device also includes a flash controller residing on a flash controller die that is separate from the at least one flash memory die. The flash memory and the flash controller reside within, reside on, or are attached to a common housing. The flash controller is configured to execute at least one test program to test at least one flash memory die.” The patent was filed on April 7, 2010, under Application No. 12/755,519. test flash player

Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=8069380&OS=8069380&RS=8069380 For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at

CSN at 40

celebrating two anniversaries: david crosby, stephen stills and graham nash. photo by elde stewart.

celebrating two anniversaries: david crosby, stephen stills, graham nash. photo by elde stewart.

It’s one of those fabled remarks, seemingly intended as an aside at the time it was made, that later became an artistic moment of record.

It arrived in the midst of Crosby, Stills and Nash’s post-midnight set at Woodstock. That’s when Stephen Stills remarked exactly how scared the trio was when faced with a crowd that had swelled to 500,000.

We would love to quote Stills’ words directly for you here. But it wasn’t exactly a G-rated comment. Considering, as well, that Woodstock was only CSN’s second public performance as a group, you can imagine the sense of stage fright.

That the trio performs in Cincinnati tonight just two weeks ahead of Woodstock’s 40th anniversary is somewhat serendipitous timing. But another anniversary eclipses even that of the mighty festival this summer – that of CSN itself.

Born from the splinters and, in some cases, wreckage of three landmark ‘60s bands, David Crosby (from The Byrds), Stills (from the self-destructed Buffalo Springfield) and Graham Nash (from The Hollies), CSN released its debut album, titled simply Crosby, Stills and Nash, in May 1969. It became an instant hit with sterling hippie harmonies and equal measures of activism, pop romanticism and psychedelia.

The popularity of CSN would ebb and flow throughout the ‘70s with almost as much frequency as the trio’s various breakups and reformations. Sometimes Neil Young, Stills’ former bandmate in Buffalo Springfield, would join in. He played with CSN for roughly half of its Woodstock set and a subsequent tour before helping cut the debut CSNY album, 1970’s Déjà Vu. The recording yielded a hit electric reworking of Joni Mitchell’s account of the previous summer’s gathering, the aptly titled Woodstock.

Though CSNY remained popular enough during a high profile 1974 tour to play stadiums, its artistic fortunes dwindled as the ‘80s and ‘90s set in.

The quartet reunited in 2006 to play primarily new music from Young’s heavily political Living with War album (the tour was chronicled on the documentary film CSNY/Déjà Vu). But this summer belongs to Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Though tonight’s Cincinnati performance will undoubtedly go heavy on CSN staples that were new when they were played in the pre-dawn hours of Monday morning at Woodstock (Suite: Judy Blues Eyes, Guinnevere, Wooden Ships and more), the trio is also devoting time to tunes (The Grateful Dead’s Uncle John’s Band, The Rolling Stones’ Ruby Tuesday) from an all-covers album currently being recorded with all-star producer/pop career resuscitator Rick Rubin.

Those fascinated by the CSN/Woodstock connection should also note that Wooden Ships, originally from the Crosby, Stills & Nash album, is featured on the soundtrack to the new comedy film Taking Woodstock by Oscar winner Ang Lee. Plus, on Aug. 18, Rhino Records, which has already issued excellent box set collections highlighting the careers of Crosby (Voyage)and Nash (Reflections), will release Woodstock: 40 Years On, a 6-CD set of performances from the festival, including a half-dozen songs by CSN. And maybe Y.

Crosby, Stills and Nash performs at 8 p.m. Friday at PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati. Tickets are $39, $56, $76. Call (800) 745-3000.

critic’s pick 82

Though labeled as a jazz artist – largely for convenience sake, one assumes – the music of guitarist Bill Frisell is often cinematically stylistic. Borrowing liberally from antique country and folk as well as jazz, Frisell regularly fashions sounds that balance Americana with ambience. His spacious playing also matches the wiry, emotive and, at times, very animated tone of compositions (and well chosen covers) that employ backdrops of steel guitar, fiddle and acoustic bass. The effect is like sifting through old photographs with black and white imagery of ages past that convey all manner of figurative color upon each viewing.

bill frisell: disfarmer

bill frisell: disfarmer

Two new Frisell albums do exactly that all over again. One, the newly issued Disfarmer, makes literal use of such photographic association. The music employs one of the most iconoclastic artists of the post war era, Mike Disfarmer, as its key inspiration. Disfarmer was a photographer who shot mostly family and individual portraits of working class inhabitants in a small Arkansas town during the late ‘40s and ’50s. Largely unknown outside of a rural homeland during his life – and given Disfarmer’s less than neighborly disposition, he wasn’t exactly a town ambassador even then – the unadorned human detail of his work has been viewed as “outsider art” in recent years.

When Frisell debuted his Disfarmer Project performance piece in Columbus two years ago, his trio (which included steel guitarist Greg Leisz and violinist Jenny Scheinman) played the music that winds up on this extraordinary new recording against projections of Disfarmer’s portraits. With the rotating images acting almost as ghosts, the performance seemed less a concert and more like a séance.

Disfarmer’s photographs are displayed with the album art. But Frisell’s wondrous music, augmented for the recording by bassist Viktor Krauss, more than stands on its own. It weaves its way from the warmth and familiarity of Hank Williams’ I Can’t Help It (if I’m Still in Love with You) to the feedback and music box chatter on the group composed Shutter Dream to the collapsed Ozark-inspired fiddle wheeze of Exposed (Disfarmer, incidentally, was also a fiddler).

There is also a fascinating, three-part reinvention of Arkansas Traveler (titled simply Arkansas) that, in typical Frisell fashion, begins with the melody in fragments. The beauty comes in hearing them circulate, gather and disperse again like a pile of leaves during a late summer gust. Like all of Disfarmer, it’s an absolutely beguiling listen.

bill frisell: all hat (soundtrack)

bill frisell: all hat (soundtrack)

The second album, released in May, is a soundtrack to Canadian filmmaker Leonard Farlinger’s All Hat. As with Disfarmer, Frisell utilizes the same instrumental lineup (but with percussion and harmonica added in), the same producer (Lee Townsend) and the same practice of telling musical stories in short vignette form (Disfarmer sports 26 brief compositions; All Hat offers 31).

Oddly enough, All Hat is something of a rocking affair at times, as when the ensemble rises to meet the merry grooves set in motion by drummer Scott Amendola during Sting. Then we have instances where Frisell layers on guitar with stormy density, as on the jagged Interlude 2. But mostly, All Hat has its head in the open, inviting but mysterious American landscapes that make Frisell the most startling and original Americana-inclined guitarist since Ry Cooder.

in performance: cyril neville/rob ickes

Now this was what you call a Monday night lineup – an elder expatriate of New Orleans funk and soul and a Nashville dobro great on a jazzman’s holiday.

cyril neville.

cyril neville.

First up at last night’s immensely enjoyable taping of the WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour at the Kentucky theatre was Cyril Neville, once the most socially and politically verbose of the Neville Brothers and, to this day, a true performance warhorse. Neville has settled, as have his siblings, over the years. And while the five songs he delivered last night fell far from the volcanic fire of the Nevilles in their prime, they summoned an earthy, blues heavy spirit that was still merrily drenched in Crescent City soul.

Of the four tunes performed off of Neville’s Brand New Blues album, Cheatin’ and Lyin’ best reflected the uprising attitude that has been dormant within the Nevilles’ music of late. I Found Joy maintained that drive, but turned the party lights on with a taste of carnival fun, as did the merry encore of Indians Got the Fire (from 2007’s The Healing Dance).

Though soft-spoken between songs, Neville painted no rosy pictures of post-Katrina life in New Orleans for the WoodSongs crowd. Having relocated to “physically live” in Austin, Tx. in the hurricane’s wake, Neville admitted that he was still “spiritually living in New Orleans.”

A trimmed touring lineup of his Tribe 13 band (with son Omari Neville on congas) reflected that sentiment. It dressed the music with light layers of percussive fire, piano and guitar but, curiously, no bass. The space that left in the music, though, simply added to the tunes’ atmospheric yet earnestly rhythmic charm.

rob ickes

rob ickes

Dobro ace Rob Ickes, a wildly versed bluegrass and country instrumentalist with a welcome thirst for exploring stylistic turf that falls far outside of the Nashville norm, teamed with pianist Michael Alvey to open his WoodSongs set will a real delight, the 1964 Horace Silver jazz classic Song for My Father.

Later excursions into Duke Ellington territory – a modest country swing taming of Take the “A” Train and an Eastern flavored Caravan where the dobro, at times, seemed to mimic a sitar – were also great fun. But Song for My Father was a knockout with the dobro’s inherent warmth and the tune’s infectious piano sway creating a fascinating and fluid musical dialogue.

Knoxville singer Robinella joined Ickes and Alvey for two tunes – a reading of Hank Williams’ You Win Again that downplayed country affection for pure, aching blues and the standard If I Had You. Striking a nice balance between country and jazz etiquette, Robinella’s phrasing again brought the great Billie Holiday to mind. But her tone was never imitative. She simply found her own spot within Ickes’ wonderfully inventive and respectful new string music and had a ball.

Shopping guide.(reader’s resource)

Country Living February 1, 2006 Use this handy reference for all of your buying needs. The Shopping Guide provides additional details and an index of manufacturers, antiques dealers, and stores where merchandise featured in Country Living can be obtained. Unless privately owned, most of the merchandise featured is available at larger stores throughout the country.

country classics PAGE 20: Shark Cordless Hand Vac is available at

PAGE 22: Glidden paint colors (left to right): Crimson Red, Cherry Red, Coral Bells, Intense Pink, Tickled Pink, Pink Stork.

PAGE 24: Curtains: Jane Churchill Country Rose Sprig Voile in Pink/Green.

idea notebook PAGE 31: Seaside Seagrass rug (8′ X 10’6″): Home Decorators. “Wells” armchair in Linen-Beige: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Megan side chair with Flax linen slipcover: Pottery Barn.

PAGES 32-33: Left: Silk chandelier shade in taupe: Target. Paint in Cape Hatteras Sand: Benjamin Moore. Self-hem Solgull Linen curtain: Ikea. Bottom right: Corner cabinet # WC 2A1104 (72″H, 22″D from corner), unfinished: Woodcraft Industries. “Louis” patterned wallpaper (used as runners) in Cream (#686971) from the En Vogue Collection: Gramercy. this web site home decorators coupon

PAGE 34: Stiles Brothers’ corner cabinet BP940 (29″ sides, 19″D shelves): Bauer International. Ethan Allen’s New Country corner china cabinet 336438 has adjustable shelves and is available in five finishes (toast, barn red, charcoal, seafoam, and cotton). Saint Remy corner cabinet 601-70: French Heritage. Broyhill’s Attic Heirlooms corner cabinet 3397-27 has three adjustable glass shelves with plate grooves and requires 29 1/8″ of wall space. Ikea’s Leksvik in Antique stain has lockable doors and a removable lower shelf.

antiques PAGE 39: Hooked Rug: Woodard & Greenstein American Antiques.

PAGE 40: Top left: Laura Fisher Antique Quilts and Americana, Bottom right: Woodard & Greenstein American Antiques.

PAGE 42: Top right: Judith and James Milne Antiques; (details from left to right) Judith and James Milne (2), Laura Fisher Antique Quilts and Americana, Woodard & Greenstein.

house of the year PAGES 82-83: Construction of the Genesis “Ariana” house: Off-site built at Genesis Homes of Florida in Lake City, Fla., a division of Homes of Merit, Inc., part of Champion Homes. On-site builder: Larry Kelner. Concept drawings: Vincent Falini III, A.I.B.D. Project manager: Ellen Frankel. Hardie Plank Select Cedarmill siding: James Hardie. Trim paint in Super White: Benjamin Moore. Windows: Integrity from Marvin. Stonefield Faux Louver shutters in white: Atlantic Premium Shutter Co. Floorizon tongue-and-groove porch flooring planks in Cedar with White-sand Ornamental railing and square balusters: Timber Tech. Double-rim planters: Global Pottery. Classic Adirondack chairs: L.L. Bean.

PAGES 84-85: Left: Designer Series two-sided see-through 36″ vent-free fireplace: Vermont Castings/CFM Specialty Home Products. 42″ Plasma TV RU-42PZ90/H: LG Electronics. Alex II sectional sofa (consisting of left-arm loveseat #726-056-L-M, right-arm loveseat #726-056-R-M, and corner #726-059-M-C) in Erin fabric in Chalky Blue color #100724, Simone chairs with soft suede fabric in Chalky Blue #100797 and contrast seat in Juicy Berry Bowl #101087, Henry VI etagere #10027-ETA-65, Belladonna table #10064-CTB: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Textured bulb vase (on etagere): West Elm. Pillows on chairs: emelies. Lucid nesting table #105-0354 (sold in set of two): Chiasso. Button bowl in Cream Multi (on nesting table): Garnet Hill. Square well bucket and glass fishing floats: Great Stuff by Paul. Athena bust: Oly. Right: Modern wall paneling in Maple: New England Classic. Lamp table #5702-16 and bunching table #5700-13: Celerie Kemble for Laneventure. Seascape rug 9′ X 12′ in Natural: Home Decorators Collection. Hampton vase: Areo Inc. Hemp grain-sack bolster pillows: Susan Oostdyk. Wood tray: Big Daddy’s Antiques. Throw: T. Lockman. MILA stripe Birgit curtain in Bluebell: The Silk Trading Co. Fluted wood curtain rod with William brackets and Niles finials from the Somerset Collection: Paris Texas Hardware.

PAGES 86-87: Left: WoodHaven 1140 Classic White ceiling planks: Armstrong. Designer Series two-sided see-through 36″ vent-free fireplace: Vermont Castings/CFM Specialty Home Products. Natural Earth Clay wall treatment in Snow Canyon with a meld of Nantucket Sand: American Clay. Local American Clay application: Arte Bello Inc. Hand-sculpted, 5″-plank engineered hardwood flooring in Coffee Bean: Robbins from Armstrong. Provenance woven wood shades in Shoji fabric in Rice Paper: Hunter Douglas. Outdoor Original ceiling fan (on porch) in white with stainless hardware: Hunter Fan Co. 54″-diameter column-base dining table with galvanized-tin top #CB54: Archatrive. Slipcovered dining chairs #111-41 (with throws): Lee Industries. Spa weave fabric in Shell #32001/0000 (on dining chairs and banquette cushion), Trax fabric in Ocean #40046/0010 (welt on dining chairs): Sunbrella. Throws: T. Lockman. Wood tray: Great Stuff by Paul, Candles: Illuminations. 9′ X 12′ Nimes Ticking rug: Dash & Albert Rug Co. Workroom for banquette cushions, shades on breezeway: Blackburn’s Interiors Inc. Top right: Camille settee #MC0200 and Camille chairs #MC0210: Maine Cottage Furniture. Mason fabric in Capri #56010/0000 on cushions and shades: Sunbrella. Oriental Floral mat in Eggplant: Mariachi Imports. Indigo Resist Euro pillow: Pine Cone Hill. Throw: T. Lockman. Olive jar with two handles: Fortunata Inc. Candles: Illuminations. Bottom right: Halifax hand-sculpted hardwood flooring in Coffee Bean: Robbins from Armstrong. Trax fabric in Ocean #40046/0010 (on stools): Sunbrella. Handmade round dinner plates in Aqua: Alex Marshall Studios.

PAGES 88-89: Left: Lightbulbs in recessed lights and pendants: GE. Cabinets in Liberty and Montgomery door styles in White, factory-painted finish: Diamond Cabinets. Kitchen cabinet layout: Leah Kress for Diamond Cabinets. Provenance woven wood shades in Shoji fabric in Rice Paper: Hunter Douglas. Culinaire self-rimming dual-level sink 7504.103 with small steel dish rack and Culinaire pull-down faucet 4147.300 in polished chrome: American Standard. 30″ CleanDesign Convection Slide-In range in stainless steel, 30″ Designer hood, and fully-integrated dishwasher: GE Profile. Man-made cement-composite countertop in Light Gray: Fire-slate. Tessera glass tile in White #101, non-iridescent: Oceanside Glasstile. Timeless pendants in Pewter: Shades of Light. Mossby shelves with Bjarnum connection fittings: Ikea. Nimes Ticking 4′ by 6′ rug: Dash & Albert Rug Co. On countertops: Antique large glass apothecary jar with white lid: Big Daddy’s Antiques. Still-life oil paintings and ceramic soap dish: PMA Design. Handmade rectangular platter and 14″ round serving bowl in Gloss White: Alex Marshall Studios. Coffeemaker and 2-slice toaster in white and steel: Krups, available at Williams-Sonoma. Premium Pump espresso machine: Krups. Melior 5.7-qt. pan with lid: Bodum. Square glass canisters: Libbey. On Ikea shelves: Glass and porcelain mortars and pestles and mixing bowls in pale blue: Typhoon. White mixing bowls and glass cookie jars (with pasta): Pier 1 Imports. French presses and salt and pepper mills: Bodum. Right: Advantium wall oven/microwave in stainless steel and Arctica CustomStyle 22.6 cu.ft. refrigerator: GE Profile. Natural quartz countertop with Microban in Blanco Maple with Leather finish: Silestone. Handmade rectangular platters, round dinner plates in Aqua and in Gloss White: Alex Marshall Studios. Glasses: Vagabond Vintage. Scale: Typhoon. White dinner plates: Pier 1 Imports.

PAGES 90-91: Left: Top left: Heritance hardwood shutters in Bright White finish with 3 1/2″ louvers: Hunter Douglas. Candle: Tocca. “Hampton” table lamp: Cindy Ciskowski. Top right: Suspension dining table base in Wenge finish with glass top: Directions Inc. Wood tray: Williams-Sonoma Home. Plate stand: Nanny’s Attic. Wave music system: Bose. Bottom: Circle chair #7611-23 with Chocolate finish, upholstered in fabric #2409; Hollywood chairs #7623-22 with Antique finish, upholstered in fabric #2409; Crystal table #7788-10; and Calla bed #7660-10 with Chocolate finish, upholstered in fabric #2409: Mariette Himes Gomez for Hickory Chair. Faux bois table lamp (on glass-top table), Tahiti framed shell collection: Oly. Basket (under table): Great Stuff by Paul. Belladonna mirror #10062-MIR: Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Pink/brown ticking pillows (on Hollywood chairs): Susan Oostdyk. MILA taffeta curtains in Toffee: The Silk Trading Co. Fluted wood curtain rod with William brackets and Adelaide finials from the Somerset Collection: Paris Texas Hardware. “Keep on the Sunnyside” quilt in chocolate/cerise: Denyse Schmidt Designs for Sarita Handa. Winthrop hotel sheets in Chocolate and Carlisle quilt in Chocolate: Pine Cone Hill. Le Jardin chocolate/fuchsia pillow: Ankasa Home Couture. Burlap bed pillow: emelies. Beautyrest Exceptionale Haverille Plush mattress and box spring: Simmons Bedding Co. 9′ X 12′ Chocolate ticking rug: Dash & Albert Rug Co. Right: Top: Bathroom: WoodHaven 1148 Painted White wall planks: Armstrong. Provenance woven wood shades in Shoji fabric in Rice Paper: Hunter Douglas. Heritage 5′ whirlpool tub in White and Town Square deck-mount tub filler in Polished Chrome: American Standard. Sonterra mosaic glass tile in Acapulco Blue and Landscape porcelain floor tile in Paros: Daltile. Seashell prints in Tarnished Nickel wood frames: J. Pocker & Son. Rug: Habidecor. Towels: Abyss European Towels. Antique large glass apothecary jar: Big Daddy’s Antiques. Round wooden stool: Go Home, Ltd. Glass canisters with stainless lids: Libbey. Blue Aromatherapy bath fizzies and Ylang Ylang bath salts: von Natur. Sensory Fusion Honey Papaya bath milk: Aromafloria. Bottom left: Heritage pedestal sinks in White and Town Square wide-spread faucets in Polished Chrome: American Standard. Quattro bath accessories and lighting in Polished Chrome: Motiv Legitimate Design by Ginger. C Series medicine cabinets MFC 2028: Robern. Bottom right: Town Square showerhead and controls in Polished Chrome and Heritage two-piece toilet in White: American Standard. Towels: Abyss European Towels. here home decorators coupon

PAGES 92-93: Left to right: Bulls Eye Laser level and Digital tape measure: Black & Decker. Table decoration with shells: Darleen Duggan of Nanny’s Attic. Large apothecary jar: Big Daddy’s Antiques. Ylang Ylang bath salts: von Natur. Canister with stainless top: Libbey. Interior/exterior paint in Leather Brown: Krylon. American Accents paint in Canyon Black: Rust-Oleum. White soup bowls: Pier 1 Imports. Soda glasses, Gibraltar goblets, Tulip sundae glasses, and Acapulco clear glass pitchers: Libbey. Ribbed glass canisters: Comptoir de Famille.

the budget makeover PAGES 102-103: Left, clockwise from top left: Framed 1872 vintage reproduction map: Maps of the Past. Black Collectors’ frames: Exposures. Southern Tip YR 27/404 orange wall paint: Glidden. Patchwork ottoman: Paula Rubenstein Ltd. Shaker-style peg rack in custom lengths: Best of New England. Alumina 30GG 44/013 gray wall paint, and White on White trim and ceiling paint throughout: Glidden. Bronze exterior light fixture #HD295-329: The Home Depot. Exterior door paint Copper Coin 70YR 19/432: Glidden. Right: Ektorp white slipcovered sleeper sofa and chair, Bromma storage footstool in white slipcover, Alve bureau in gray, Samtid floor lamps, and assorted baskets: Ikea. White insulated Essex Roman shades: Country Curtains. Antique quilt (on sofa), orange checked blanket, gray wool throw, ticking pillows and oil painting (in bureau): Paula Rubenstein Ltd. Orange wool patchwork rug: The Rug Co. Black shutter hinges: Shuttercraft, Inc.

PAGE 104: White vintage bistro table, wire basket, and Black Dragon pot: Great Stuff by Paul. Old cast-iron Acorn lamp with Chocolate silk shade, wire urn and solid wood finial: Aidan Gray Home, Inc. Orange wool throw: Pendleton. Leksvik bookcases in gray, Alvine Ruta black-and-white blankets, clip-on lights, and White Kassett storage boxes: Ikea.

PAGE 106: Urban View charcoal rectangular table with leaves, and charcoal bookcase deck and base unit with buttercream beadboard interior: Broyhill. Agen wicker chairs and pads, and large glass vase: Ikea. Bryant small chandelier in antique nickel with white paper shades: Circa Lighting. Old weathered column in black-and-white: Aidan Gray Home.

PAGES 108-109: Left: Wallpaper: Waverly. Limed Oak with Authentic Finish #UF 1896 Perspective laminate floor: Quick Step. Basalt Slate Honed-finish countertop: Formica. Formica Installation by Sanett Corporation. Battleship Gray cabinet paint: Majic Diamond Hard. Chrome Vintage French Country faucet: Price Pfister. Black Avalon base island with dropleaf maple top: Michael Scott. Melanie swivel counter stools in brushed aluminum: Home Decorators Collection. Reproduction polished-nickel bin pulls #R-08BM-1312X, and large porcelain knobs #R-08BM-5675: House of Antique Hardware. Staffordshire blue-and-white striped runner: Dash & Albert Rug Co. Blue-and-white striped pitchers, canisters, and bowls: Ronnie’s Ceramic Co., Inc. Retro round orange wall clock: Infinity Instruments. Calico blue-and-white and pale blue Felicity collections of plates, pitchers, cups and saucers, and soap dish: Home-Co. Right: Bottom left: Ready-made faux wood blinds in White: JCPenney. Orange colander and garbage can: Hold Everything. Bottom, right: White Kenmore 30″ electric range with Radiant Elements, White Kenmore Microhood Combination over-the-range microwave oven, White Kenmore 24″ Built-In UltraWash dishwasher with SmartWash Technology, and White Kenmore Side-by-Side refrigerator (not seen): Sears.

cook * book PAGES 117-124: The Rocks Estate is owned by The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Garnet Hill clothing: On children: Luca: vest #00110; pants #399; tee #289; mittens #8202; hat #8199. On Maja: vest #00110; pants #01475; boots #10975. On Ginn: vest #10897; jacket #10878; boots #10975. On Mom: vest #10941. On Dad: scarf #6970.

PAGE 119: “Mini Cocotte” enamel castiron pot in Eggplant: Staub,

PAGE 130: “Coeur Framboise” by Belgian chocolatier Pierre Marcolini, 30-piece box of hearts, $80; marco “Love Notes” by B.T. McElrath are handcrafted in Minnesota and available in milk and dark chocolate ganache, truffle sleeve of 5 is $9.99; and at select gourmet food retailers.

country classics PAGE 19: Chair (25″W X 36″H X 32″D; $975) and side table (13″W X 26″H X 13″D; $600): White on White, (212) 288-0909, Waverly wallpapers: Forever Yours Companion from the Remember When Collection, Heirloom Poppies from the Heirloom III Collection, and Langston Stripe and Norfolk Rose from the Lifestyle Collection ($29.99/roll): (800) 423-5881; Paulette Rollo Pink reversible-stripe throw (75″L X 55″W; $260): (207) 563-5310; Elizabeth Eakins Alma Stripe red rug ($22/sq. ft. plus finishing charges): Sidney K Home Kerrington pillow (16″L X 12″W; $68): (805) 482-2006. Brooks Brothers Pinstripe in Pink wallpaper (background) from Gramercy ($34.99/roll): (800) 332-3384;


dobro jazz

pianist michael alvey, dobroist rob ickes and singer robinella perform tonight at the woodsongs old-time radio hour. photo by adam frehm.

pianist michael alvey, dobroist rob ickes and singer robinella perform tonight at the woodsongs old-time radio hour. photo by adam frehm.

When Ron Ickes takes to the dobro, one can’t help but hear the sounds of traditional and contemporary bluegrass converging.

His is an open sound. It’s emotive yet full of striking technical fire. And whether his playing is on display with Blue Highway, the award winning bluegrass band he has been an integral member of for the last decade and a half, or the multitudes of country and progressive bluegrass celebs he has collaborated with (Merle Haggard, Earl Scruggs, Alison Krauss, Tony Rice, David Grisman, Willie Nelson and Kentucky’s Patty Loveless top the not-so-short list), a string sound warm and restless emerges.

But there is more than a bit of the jazzman in Ickes, too. Between 1997 and 2004, he issued four solo albums that displayed varying jazz-like temperaments. While he would occasionally tackle the music of masters like Charlie Parker and Herbie Hancock on those records, Ickes was looking for the right setting and players to help him delve into the deeper end of a jazz repertoire.

“I’ve done things that were like a jazz band with a dobro in it,” said Ickes, who performs Monday at the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour (Cyril Neville of the Neville Brothers will be the program’s other guest). “And I loved the way those projects worked out. But I felt I still hadn’t really delved into the jazz repertoire. I hadn’t really sat down and learned some of those great melodies.”

The link to that repertoire, as well a collaborator versed enough in its music to unlock the performance possibilities, came from, to put it lightly, an unlikely source. The jazz co-hort Ickes had been looking for turned out not to be an instrumental all-star, but his daughter’s elementary school music teacher.

“A year or two ago, my daughter Janelle said, ‘Mr. Alvey wants to know if you will come and play for our class sometime.’ So I went down to her school and her teacher is sitting there at a piano. We started playing and the guy just blows me away. Something, musically, just clicked.”

“Mr. Alvey” is Michael Alvey, a pianist known to the Nashville studio musicians community with credits that include leading bands at Opryland. But as the majority of his career has favored teaching over high profile performing, he is little known in the worlds of bluegrass and jazz.

From there, Ickes designed his fifth and newest solo album, Road Song, as a series of duets for dobro and piano. Regardless of its jazz inclinations, such a pairing of acoustic instruments is novel in the extreme.

“The sustain of the dobro really melts over those piano chords,” Ickes said. “If I tried to play those melodies note for note with a guitar or mandolin, they wouldn’t sound right. There is just something about those sustained chords that a piano player uses. It’s like I have more notes to choose from, more colors to play with.”

As for the mission of pursuing a jazz repertoire, Road Song states its case in its title tune – one of two compositions on the record by the landmark guitarist Wes Montgomery. There are also a pair of Duke Ellington staples (Take the “A” Train and Caravan) that became challenges because Ickes was intent on learning and playing the tunes in the keys they were written in – something many broader interpreters of Ellington’s music are either unwilling or unable to do. Then there are the two diamonds that open and close the album – Horace Silver’s classic Song for My Father, with it sweet, rolling piano sway, and the great Oscar Peterson spiritual Hymn to Freedom. The latter was inspired in part by the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and was performed by a pair of San Francisco choirs at President Obama’s inauguration in January.

“There are so many times on this record where Michael and I are just listening to each other and responding. This is the kind of musician I like to work with – someone who listens enough to where a kind of correspondence takes place. I really like that kind of interaction.”

Though Road Song is built around dobro/piano duets, a guest voice sits in on three songs. It belongs to East Tennessee native Robinella Bailey, who has performed her mix of string, swing, blues and jazz music professionally as simply Robinella for over a decade. On Road Song, she applies equal measures of torchy intimacy and jazzy soul to Hank Williams’ You Win Again, Hoagy Carmichael’s The Nearness of You and the 1928 standard If I Had You, which has been recorded by, among many others, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughan.

Robinella, as well as Alvey, will perform with Ickes at WoodSongs.

“Robinella does things that just kill me,” Ickes said. “Just on You Win Again, I hear Mahalia Jackson. I hear Dolly Parton, Aretha Franklin and Billie Holiday. I hear all kinds of influences that she can pull out at any moment.

“When you play the dobro, you really like to work with singers who have great pitch. When a singer is right on the money, you don’t have to worry about anything. Robinella hit like me that right off the bat. With her, the music just happens.”

Rob Ickes with Michael Alvey and Robinella perform at 7 tonight at the Kentucky Theatre, 214 E. Main, for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. Cyril Neville will be the program’s other featured guest. Tickets are $10. Call (859) 252-8888.

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in performance: jason isbell and the 400 unit

jason isbell. photo by allison v. smith.

jason isbell. photo by allison v. smith.

What you noticed once Jason Isbell cranked into Down in the Hole early into his two-hour set last night at The Dame was how alert everything sounded.

First came the clarity.  It began in the narrative nature of his songs, like the portrait of deep loss that surrounded Chicago Promenade, and extended to a refreshingly crisp sound mix where keyboards and vocals – typically, the first victims of muddy sound – were as vivid as the songs themselves.

Then there was the functionally of the guitar sound. Isbell hails from the Muscle Shoals region of Alabama. As such, the soul and vintage rock inspirations of the area played more into his music than tired Southern rock stereotypes. Seven Mile Island, for instance, meshed slide guitar with a fat, joyous Bo Diddley beat while the gradual, anthemic build of The Last Song I Will Write late into the program was a reward for audience and artist alike after an hour’s worth of efficient, emotive rockers like Soldiers Get Strange and Streetlights that stated their case cleanly and moved on in under five minutes.

What was especially curious, though, was the close allegiance Isbell still holds to the Drive-By Truckers, the far harder Southern ensemble the guitarist and singer bolted from two years ago. Isbell raided the Truckers pantry several times last night for more severe guitar rockers like Outfit and Never Gonna Change.

But perhaps the biggest surprise was the inclusion of The Assassin, a literally murderous song from Trucker Patterson Hood’s 2005 solo album Killers and Stars. Sure, Isbell came off as way too good natured a performer last night to bring all of the tune’s venom to the surface. But then again, it followed a cover of Talking Heads’ Psycho Killer with 400 Unit guitarist Browan Lollar handling the vocal lead. Simultaneously creepy and playful, the tunes were right at home along the light and dark streets of the luminous South that Isbell so exactly brought to life.

john “marmaduke” dawson, 1945-2009

john dawson, circa 1970. photo by robert altman.

john "marmaduke" dawson, circa 1970. photo by robert altman.

The death last Tuesday of John “Marmaduke” Dawson closes another chapter from the golden age of psychedelia.

Dawson was the chieftain of the New Riders of the Purple Sage, a rock-minded outfit seriously devoted to progressive and traditional country influences – especially those that made up the Buck Owens/Bakersfield music that resided on the West Coast.

That Dawson was a Detroit native from a well-to-do New York family may have made his position in a ‘60s psychedelic scene centered in San Francisco a curious one. But when the New Riders formed, all kinds of prevalent rock-oriented bands – The Byrds, The Band and The Flying Burrito Brothers, among them – were refashioning roots and country inspirations into sounds of their own.

Granted, it helped that the Grateful Dead figured prominently in the New Riders’ formation. Jerry Garcia was a co-founder in a workingman’s holiday lineup that had him playing pedal steel guitar, a position nicely absorbed by Buddy Cage after Garcia bowed out in 1971.

For many, the package tours the Dead and the New Riders undertook in 1970, around the time the latter’s self-titled debut album was being recorded, represented Dawson’s best work. A recent listen to a bootleg recording of a sterling 1969 New Riders concert made with Dawson, Garcia, co-founding guitarist David Nelson and the Dead’s rhythm section of Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart, revealed an upspoiled looseness that began to drift away as the Dead members left and the band’s reliance on more drug-oriented novelty songs began to steal focus in the eyes and ears of fans.

Dawson only played in Lexington once that I know of, when the New Riders performed at the Kentucky Theatre in the spring of 1979, not long after the departure of drummer Spencer Dryden. Dawson retired from a life in music in 1997 and moved to Mexico. He died there last week from stomach cancer at the age of 64. Nelson and Cage have fronted a new New Riders lineup since 2005.

Recommended NRPS listening: 1971’s New Riders of the Purple Sage for its rootsy psychedelic charm; 1972’s Powerglide for its often overlooked instrumental command; and 1973’s The Adventures of Panama Red for its often confident but shameless renegade spirit.

summer album of the week 07/25/09

fairport convention: unhalfbricking (released july 1969)

fairport convention: unhalfbricking (released july 1969)

For its third album, Fairport offered not only a band defining album, but a genre-defining one by turning British folk-rock into a Top 20 hit. A young Richard Thompson offered the Dickensian Genesis Hall, an already elegant Sandy Denny (whose parents grace the album cover) served the agelessly poetic Who Knows Where the Time Goes? and the full band turned the folk relic A Sailor’s Life into a neo-psychedelic meditation. And then there was Dylan. How curious that this most overt of British folk ventures would sport three Bob Dylan works, including an epic, Oliver Twist-tinted Percy’s Song. Unhalfbricking was bittersweet, though. A van crash killed drummer Martin Lamble two months before the album’s release. Quite unexpectedly the folky spiritualism with given some very earthly grounding.

Jaguar Gets Low Crash Test Score

The Washington Post October 4, 2004 | Dee-Ann Durbin The 2004 Jaguar X-Type got the worst rating of any midsize sedan in side-impact crash tests conducted by the insurance industry.

The X-Type, which starts at $31,000, fared worse than some less expensive cars, according to test results released yesterday by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The institute’s test measures the impact on dummies in the front and back seats of a sedan that is struck in the side by a sport utility vehicle traveling 31 mph. The government’s test mimics a side- impact crash involving two cars.

Adrian Lund, the institute’s chief operating officer, said the Jaguar’s side air bags protected the dummies’ heads, but the side of the vehicle was crushed and could have caused severe injuries to the driver’s torso. website 2004 acura tl

Both the 2005 Mitsubishi Galant and the 2004 Saab 9-3 earned the institute’s highest rating, along with the 2004 Lexus ES 330 and the 2004 Acura TL.

The 2004 Saab 9-5, 2005 Mercedes C class and 2005 Volvo S40 earned the institute’s second-highest rating, “acceptable.” The Saab 9-3 and the Toyota RAV4, a small sport utility vehicle, are the only vehicles to earn the institute’s best pick designation on both side-impact and front-crash tests, Lund said.

The Mitsubishi Galant’s top rating was a significant improvement from 2004, when it was tested without side air bags and got the institute’s lowest rating. In 2004, the vehicle had optional side air bags. this web site 2004 acura tl

The institute does not test vehicles with air bags unless the safety devices are standard. The 2005 Galant has standard air bags that protect the chest and head. Lund said the difference was dramatic.

“Mitsubishi should be commended for making side air bags with head protection standard in this relatively inexpensive car,” Lund said. The starting price for the 2004 Galant was about $18,500.

The institute said all of the cars had head-protecting side air bags, which have been shown to reduce deaths by about 45 percent among drivers who are struck in the driver’s side.

Dee-Ann Durbin

chasin’ jason

jason isbell and the 400 unit

jason isbell and the 400 unit: jimbo hart, derry deborja, jason isbell and browan lollar. photo by allison v. smith.

He is, in every sense of the shopworn rock ‘n’ roll term, a road warrior.

For example, last Saturday evening Alabama rocker Jason Isbell was playing a gig “on top of a mountain in Utah.” This weekend, Isbell and his tour-tested, meat-and-potatoes band The 400 Unit, will be back in Lexington for their first performance at the relocated Dame.

“Isn’t that crazy?” muses Isbell by phone, having spent the afternoon driving through Wyoming.

Well, yes and no. A journey from Wyoming and Utah to Lexington certainly constitutes a frightening amount of road time. But then criss-crossing the country for Isbell is nothing new. He did it for years as a member of the equally tour savvy Drive-By Truckers. Then he got tired of working within a musical democracy and started giving his own name and his own music top priority.

“You get more used to touring like this,” Isbell said. “Maybe not completely. I don’t necessarily think touring like this is natural. But I don’t know if getting used to it makes it any easier or harder. In some ways, when you’re not used to it, it’s a little more fun. I actually like the traveling. It can be taxing. But it can be a lot easier than having a real job.”

Much like his 2007 debut album Sirens of the Ditch, Isbell’s self-titled sophomore album is a joyride through the new musical South. Of course in Isbell’s hands, such sounds better resemble Southern music from the ‘60s than the later boogie-blues amalgamation known as Southern rock.

Seven Mile Island, the lead off tune to Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, in fact, winds multiple threads of dobro and steel guitar around a chant-style percussive groove. Later, Cigarettes and Wine simmers the mood with a barroom meditation better suited to vintage R&B with its colors of Rhodes-style electric piano than to a more obvious country music canvas.

Such a scenario would seemingly be a natural fit. Isbell grew up – and still lives – not far from one of the great ‘60s meccas of Southern soul music, Muscle Shoals. Isbell even recorded his new album at Fame Studios, the same Alabama facility where Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Duane Allman, King Curtis, Betty LaVette and others have cut astounding soul music over the decades.

But Isbell said Muscle Shoals remains more of a community inspiration than a specific musical influence when it comes to the records he makes with the 400 Unit.

“It’s more the community than the products of that community,” Isbell said. “It’s more about the people who made the music than the music itself.

“Even though I’m a huge fan of what people would call soul music and a lot of the rock ‘n’ roll that came out of there, I probably got more from just getting to know the people that actually worked on those records. I still see those people a lot and they definitely still motivate me to keep my standards high.”   

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with The Deep Vibration perform at 8 p.m. July 25 at The Dame, 367 E. Main. Tickets are $10. (859) 231-7263.

97s in 09

the old 97s

the old 97s: bassist murry hammond, singer/guitarist rhett miller, drummer philip peeples, guitarist ken bethea. photo by lisa johnson.

Americana faves The Old 97s are back in the region this weekend. But unlike a decade ago when the quartet played Lynagh’s Music Club on a regular basis, you will have to take a road trip up to Louisville in order to catch neo-cowpunk classics like Time Bomb and The Other Shoe.

The Old 97s are still touring behind last year’s Blame It On Gravity album. But two members, singer Rhett Miller and bassist Murry Hammond, have since released new solo recordings and will open tonight’s concert with brief sets of their own.

Miller will serve up heady pop fare from his self-titled third album while Hammond will showcase folk/spiritual tunes off of his recent I Don’t Know Where I’m Going But I’m On My Way.  Miller’s record follows the course of his two previous solo albums for Elektra and Verve, although Rhett Miller nicely turns up the anxiety level a bit. The Hammond album is a serious treat – a rustic, rootsy outing with a sparse, almost antique flavor.

The Old 97s, with opening sets by Rhett Miller and Murry Hammond, perform 9 p.m. Friday at Headlners Music Hall, 1386 Lexington Rd. in Louisville. Tickets are $15. Call (859) 502-584-8088 or visit

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