Archive for August, 2009

june july in august

billy mason and heather parrish of june july.

billy mason and heather parrish of june july.

Were you lucky enough to land a ticket for Studio Players’ recent production of Always… Patsy Cline? If so, you wound up on a wonderful summertime rocket ride back to the days when country music possessed an unshakeable, soul-stirring charm altogether different from today’s Nashville pop confections.

The actress and singer that so vividly portrayed Cline, along with much of the band that ignited her finest songs, will be showcasing what they do on an entirely different stage tonight at Natasha’s Bistro.

The band is June July with vocalist Heather Parrish (Miss Patsy herself) and guitarist Billy Mason at the helm.

Learning Cline’s repertoire for an extended run of the production last month, of course, encompassed far more than mimicking the singer’s unending appeal. It meant mastering songs by Hank Cochran, Hank Williams, Cole Porter and, of course, Willie Nelson (composer of the landmark Cline hit Crazy) and Bill Monroe (whose Blue Moon of Kentucky was one of the show’s many highlights). Their material kept Cline’s career, more or less, on a roll.

But expect June July to supplement such vintage country charm with material of its own. The band has posted a few songs on its myspace page that shift from the near bossa nova flair of I’ll Meet You in Your Dreams to the torchier twang of Sweeter Dreams.

Put all of that onstage for an evening and it’s a good bet June July will be lighting up August just fine.

On another Natasha’s note: Cincinnati’s ever-popular folk-pop fave Over the Rhine, which usually packs the Kentucky Theatre every year or so, performs at the bistro on Sunday. Needless to say, that performance is sold out.

June July perform at 9 p.m. Friday at Natasha’s Bistro, 112 Esplanade. Cover charge is $6. Call (859) 259-2754.

talkin' 'bout my generation

The Kentucky State Fair prides itself in tradition, right down to the music it presents.

At first glance, the 14 concerts slated for the fair’s 11 day run in Louisville seem no different. The roster is heavy with popular country acts, classic rock staples and a lineup of free performances showcasing guitar rock, contemporary Christian music, ‘60s pop and, yes, still more country.

But something unusual – and, perhaps, unintentionally planned – will highlight the fair’s opening on Thursday. Simultaneously, two pop stars from different generations who obtained chart-topping popularity in very contrasting ways, will play that night on stages separated only by a few thousand feet and stalls filled with prize mules and bovine.

peter frampton

peter frampton

Outside at Cardinal Stadium, the site of the fair’s free concerts, ‘70s pop-rock poster boy Peter Frampton performs. Across the grounds in the indoor Freedom Hall, the very first American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, will hold court.

If nothing else, the single-night billing enforces how differently pop “idols” have ascended to stardom over the decades.

Frampton’s reign at the top of the pops was brief but substantial. His 1976 concert album Frampton Comes Alive! was released at a time when live records were essential to a major label rock act’s commercial life span. It hit No. 1, sold six million copies and scored three Top 20 singles.

But by the time the 1977 studio follow-up I’m in You emerged, the writing for Frampton’s time in the limelight was on the wall. By the end of the decade, he was a spent commercial force despite strong early ‘80s albums like Breaking All the Rules.

kelly clarkson

kelly clarkson

Upon winning the inaugural American Idol competition in 2002, Clarkson hit the pop charts with a No. 1 hit called A Moment Like This. She would score another eight Top 20 singles by early 2007 and amass worldwide record sales in excess of 20 million.

While there have been misfires in recent years (openly aired managerial shakeups and a substantial slip in record sales until the not-so-demurely titled My Life Would Suck Without You took her back to No. 1 this year), Clarkson remains one of only two Amercian Idol winners (Carrie Underwood being the other) to sustain a career with any kind of lasting commercial stamina.

But a look at the bigger picture evens the score a little. Clarkson entered her 20s when her career took off. When Frampton was 20, he was wrapping up a three year stint with the British post-psychedelic pop and boogie band Humble Pie to embark on a solo career and the recording of the landmark All Things Must Pass with George Harrison. Frampton Comes Alive!, with material pulled from four early ‘70s solo albums, was still six years away.

In short, one attained stardom after years of incessant recording and touring only to lose it in a critical – and, eventually, commercial – backlash. The other was the nearly instant creation of a wildly popular television program with no prior professional performance exposure at all.

Today, Frampton lives just to our north in Cincinnati with his third wife and maintains a still active touring career. The surprise, though, came in 2006 when his often overlooked skills as a guitarist were spotlighted on an instrumental album called Fingerprints. Amazingly, the record won Frampton his first and only Grammy. Perhaps, then, a better name for his next album might be Frampton Stays Alive

Clarkson won a pair of Grammys in 2005 for her single Since U Been Gone and its corresponding album Breakaway. But it’s hard to imagine a late career renaissance for Clarkson 30 years from now that would compare to Frampton’s recent success with Fingerprints. Despite the initial popularity of My Life Would Suck Without You, Clarkson’s current single, I Do Not Hook Up, sits at No 70 this week on the Billboard Hot 100 (it peaked at 20). And while it hit No. l, All I Ever Wanted remains the weakest seller of Clarkson’s four albums.

Suggesting possibly that Clarkson’s strength as a concert act might be suffering as a result is the fact the fair offered half-price tickets last week for two days to her Thursday concert.

It’s a fickle existence this pop star business. Whether you come to life on a TV screen or celebrate the commercial afterlife with a record where you keep your mouth shut, it remains a field where performers are embraced and disposed of as readily as chewing gum.

But on Thursday, the fair will show us which surface two pop giants of the present and past are still sticking to.  

The Kentucky State Fair runs from Aug. 20 through 30 at the Kentucky Exposition Center, 937 Phillips Lane in Louisville. Daily admission is $8 for adults and $4 children and seniors. Call: (502) 367-5001, (502) 367-5002 or visit

Here is the full State Fair concert lineup. All free performances will require admission to the fair itself. Plan also on a $6-per-vehicle parking fee. Tickets for the Clarkson, Journey and Urban concerts are available through TicketMaster at (800) 745-3000.

Aug. 20: Kelly Clarkson/Gavin DeGraw. Freedom Hall.. (8 p.m., $47, $52).

Aug. 20: Peter Frampton/The Afters. Cardinal Stadium. (8 p.m., free).

Aug. 21: Journey/Heart. Freedom Hall. (8 p.m., $50, $55).

Aug. 21: The Commodores. Cardinal Stadium. (8 p.m., free).

Aug. 22: Keith Urban/Pat Green. Freedom Hall. (8 p.m., $52, $67).

Aug. 22: Shinedown/Rev Theory. Cardinal Stadium. (8 p.m., free).

Aug. 23: The Oak Ridge Boys. Cardinal Stadium. (8 p.m., free).

Aug. 24: Jeremy Camp/Southeast Worship Band. Cardinal Stadium. (8 p.m., free).

Aug. 25: Gary Allan/Candy Coburn. Cardinal Stadium. (8 p.m., free).

Aug. 26: Bobby Vee/Fabian/Shirley Alston Reeves/Johnny Tillotson. Cardinal Stadium, (8 p.m., free).

Aug. 27: Pam Tillis/Mel Tillis. Cardinal Stadium, Louisville. (8 p.m, free).

Aug. 28: The Wallflowers. Cardinal Stadium, Louisville. (8 p.m., free).

Aug. 29: Billy Currington/Heidi Newfield. Cardinal Stadium. (8 p.m., free).

Aug. 30: Taylor Swift/Kellie Pickler/Gloriana. Freedom Hall, Louisville. (7 p.m., sold out).

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critic's picks 85

Are Christian McBride and John Patitucci today’s defining pioneers of bass in jazz music? Well, consider their widely versed command of the instrument’s acoustic and electric personas, their knack for composing and bandleading and, finally, the many major jazz elders both have clocked stage time with. Two sharper bass contemporaries would be tough indeed to track down.

christian mcbride: kind of brown

christian mcbride: kind of brown

McBride’s dossier is, as the hipsters might say, sick. He just wrapped up a high profile tour with Chick Corea and John McLaughlin, toured as part of a remarkable Pat Metheny trio prior to that and gigged alongside Sonny Rollins at Carnegie Hall in 2007.

All of that raises expectations for Kind of Brown, the debut recording of McBride’s new “straight ahead” jazz ensemble Inside Straight. But the bassist delivers on all counts here with compositions, playing and production reflecting an immensely natural sense of cool.

Credit much of that to his players – specifically one time Wynton Marsalis protégé Eric Reed, whose muscular, modal piano playing on the swinging Rainbow Wheel recalls a young McCoy Tyner. Hearing McBride working off of Reed’s beefy playing with a spicy, economical solo is an equal delight.

The keeper of Kind of Brown‘s near constant cool, though, is vibraphonist Steve Wilson. The lyrical bounce behind Uncle James may be set in motion by McBride and Reed, but Wilson establishes the sleek atmosphere. Later, the boppish groove of Stick & Move works off of saxophone and a choice McBride solo. But it all begins with an animated scramble that places Wilson as the chief mood, melody and mischief maker.

McBride may keep Kind of Brown‘s loveliest solo moment, an exquisite bowed bass feature on the album-ending Where Are You?, for himself. But the record is fueled by a solid ensemble spirit. That the primary groove is simmered in expert cool is a big plus.

john patitucci: remembrance

john patitucci: remembrance

Patitucci came to prominence playing fusion music alongside Corea in the late 80s but has since moved on to all kinds of hard bop platoons, the most visible being the Wayne Shorter Quartet. Unlike McBride’s new album, however, Patitucci’s Remembrance explores electric as well as acoustic bass directions.

The differences don’t end there. Remembrance is a primarily a trio record that matches Patitucci with two giants – drummer Brian Blade (a mate from the Shorter group) and the great New York saxophonist Joe Lovano. The resulting music also strays structurally from McBride’s regal cool. It’s understandably leaner, too, as shown by the free passages at the heart of Monk/Trane and Safari. The former tune establishes Patitucci as the player in charge with a lengthy acoustic solo that sets up the kinds of whispery, conversational dialogues that Lovano has long been a master of.

Remembrance travels considerably from there. Messaien’s Gumbo strolls down south for a slight yet spry electric bass groove and a playful tenor sax topping while Mali stays electric but deepens the percussive outline. The bassist’s wife, Sachi Patitucci, joins Scenes from an Opera on cello but doesn’t puncture Remembrance‘s trio spaciousness.

Finally, there is the album-closing title tune, a multi-tracked requiem for sax great Michael Brecker played on a pair of 6-string electric basses. It works, too, mostly because the piece is as light and soulfully clear as the rest of the luminous Remembrance.

GROUPON PARTNERS WITH FOURSQUARE. this web site groupon las vegas

States News Service August 2, 2011 ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The following information was released by the National Association of Convenience Stores:

Groupon has joined with Foursquare to offer the latter’s U.S. and Canadian users Groupon’s daily deals starting August 5, Mashable reports. Groupon becomes Foursquare’s sixth partner to offer daily deals, joining ATandT Interactive, BuyWithMe, Gilt City, LivingSocial and Zozi.

Groupon promotes daily deals and real-time, location-based Groupon Now deals. Groupon and Foursquare will share revenue from the deal sharing. Mashable lists several benefits for the companies on this partnership: Foursquare will get more deals to offer users and Groupon will receive access to additional members.

“Foursquare’s goal is to help people connect in the real world, discover new places, and save money through Specials and Deals. We’re excited that Groupon’s daily deals and real-time deals will now be included in our Deals platform,” said a Foursquare company spokesperson. here groupon las vegas

Check out “Group + Coupon = Groupon” from NACS Magazine for ways Groupon can help your business grow.

in performance: mic harrison & the high score

Veteran Knoxville rocker and V Roy alumnus Harrison possessed enough honky tonk swagger during his hour long opening set last night at Lynagh’s for Nashville’s Wess Floyd and the Daisycutters to make him a credible fixture in most any country joint.

But the backyard (or backwoods, maybe) imagery and modest rural inflection of his tunes, from the show-opening Mighty Good Wine to the immensely electric Satan Lives in Arkansas were performed with the clarity – both vocally and instrumentally – of a well-oiled Americana roadhouse outfit.

Not surprisingly, the band that so often came to mind as Harrison and the High Score weaved their way through their wily country fare was the renegade Missouri rock troupe The Bottle Rockets. Even the clipped, exact and often urgent cut of Harrison’s vocals recalled Bottle Rockets frontman Brian Henneman.

When High Score guitar Robbie Trosper was given the microphoine for a pair of tunes (Let the Stupidness Begin and the Twin Peaks-inspired Leo Johnson), the program took a more punkish pop turn. Similarly, when Harrison resurrected a V Roys nugget like Sooner or Later, his broader pop preferences took over.

But from the boozy barroom waltz tempo of Wiser the Whiskey to the stormy power chords injected into a cover of the 1971 Charley Pride country hit Kiss an Angel Good Morning, Harrison offered a romp through honky tonk waters that was familiar but never obvious.

summer album of the week 08/15/09

the jimi hendrix experience: are you experienced? (released august 1967)

jimi hendrix experience: are you experienced? (released august 1967)

Even though the United States didn’t issue Are You Experienced? until three months after it had conquered England, Jimi Hendrix’s debut album was a gold mine (or maybe land mine) filled with pop accessibility, lyrical psychedelia, sly but soulful singing and a guitar voice like no other. Though different from the British version issued in May, America’s edition of Are You Experienced? emphasized pop efficiency and a scholarly blues sensibility. Today’s CD editions merge the two cross-continental versions to make Are You Experienced? something of a greatest hits album. Purple Haze, Manic Depression, The Wind Cries Mary, Third Stone from the Sun, Foxy Lady, Red House, Stone Free, Hey Joe and the mind blowing title tune? All on a debut album? That still seems insane.

New Tax Brackets

Jerusalem Post February 16, 1995 | Jose Rosenfeld Jose Rosenfeld Jerusalem Post 02-16-1995 As a result of the semi-annual cost of living wage adjustment of 2.6% that will be reflected in the February paychecks, the Treasury has updated tax brackets and tax credit points by 0.8% as follows. The adjustment will result in a net monthly salary increase of between NIS 62 and NIS 99. in our site 2012 tax brackets go to site 2012 tax brackets

(Table)<<>> Tax rate January ’95 Bracket February ’95 Bracket 15% up to 2,800 up to 2,830 30% 2,801 – 6,020 2,831 – 6,080 45% 6,021 – 11,800 6,081 – 11,920 50% 11,801 and above 11,921 and above Tax credit point 121 122 Tax thresholds Single 1,815 1,830 Married with wife not working 2,622 2,643 Married with child 3,114 3,143 Married with 2 children 3,518 3,550 Working woman with 3 children 3,114 3,143 <<>>

Working couple’s threshold is equivalent to two single people combined, and each odd-numbered child raises the threshold by a tax credit point.

Jose Rosenfeld

rashied ali, 1935-2009

radied ali.

rashied ali.

An extraordinary improvisatory voice on percussion and a free-jazz journeyman for nearly 50 years, Rashied Ali died on Wednesday at the age of 76.

Perhaps not an immediately recognizable name to some, Ali collaborated with such masterful and diverse jazz innovators as Lee Morgan, Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, James Blood Ulmer, Jackie McLean, Gary Bartz and dozens of others. He also operated a New York club from 1973 to 1979 called Ali’s Alley that catered to the avant garde. But like Ali himself, the venue operated without blinders on and kept an open ear out for a variety of adventurous jazz styles.

Topping Ali’s underappreciated legacy, however, will always be his mid ‘60s work with John Coltrane. Like Sanders, he was a key band key band member as Coltrane’s more spiritually inclined music plunged deep into the avant garde. Though limited to roughly three years, the alliance produced a flood of music that included three rugged, exploratory classics: 1965’s Meditations (which featured Ali playing alongside Elvin Johns, the workhorse drummer from Coltrane’s previous quartet), 1966’s Live at the Village Vanguard Again! (which is split between breathtaking versions of Naima and My Favorite Things) and one of the great avant garde excursions of all time, the improvisational drum sax/drum recording  Interstellar Space. The latter was cut five months before Coltrane’s death in 1967.

Ali performed in Lexington in April 1998 as part of a tribute to ‘60s jazz spearheaded at the Kentucky Theatre by the acclaimed bassist and educator Richard Davis. Though full of engaging music, especially a mantra-like vamp on Coltrane’s immortal A Love Supreme, the evening turned ugly with Davis and an audience member exchanging verbal barbs in the midst of the concert. Many patrons walked out. Still, exchanges between Ali and pianist Stanley Cowell possessed an arresting, conversational flow.

Recommended Ali listening: a wonderful 1991 Coltrane tribute with saxophonist Charles Gayle and the extraordinary bassist William Parker titled Touchin’ on Trane, the two Judgment Day recordings from 2006 that Ali cut with his quintet and, for those hungry for the heavy stuff, Interstellar Space.

the dame’s last dance

The feeling this time is a little less maddening. But the finality of it is still sad.

Yesterday, word was confirmed The Dame will close for good on Aug. 23.

The downtown music club had re-opened last October in the old A1A location on East Main. Its former digs down the street on West Main were demolished the previous June to make way for the now-stalled CentrePointe project.

There was, justifiably, much outcry over the initial closing as the demolition also took out Mia’s (which has since successfully relocated to Short and North Limestone) and Buster’s (which will re-open in a larger, reinvented form on Manchester St. in September), thus effectively muting what had been one of downtown’s most active areas of nightlife.

In its new location, The Dame was a loner saddled with a stigma that many of its former patrons couldn’t shake. To some, the ghost of A1A’s frat rock/dance club days was a serious deterrent. Isolated as it was on a block of East Main that generally went to sleep after dark but housed in a complex with other bars with vastly more mainstream appeal, there was still an attractive comfort and spaciousness to the relocated Dame. But maybe one of the reasons it seemed so spacious was because it was so often empty.

The reasons for The Dame’s final closing are likely myriad. Luckily, the big picture isn’t at all as bleak as it when the West Main location shut down in 2008. Since then, older, smaller music venues – specifically Al’s Bar and The Green Lantern – catering more modestly to local music and smaller touring indie acts have emerged. Additionally, newer spots like Lower 48 in Victorian Square are now celebrating one year anniversaries.

There is also the upcoming rebirth of Buster’s. Its new Manchester St. location isn’t even open yet. But the venue already has five substantial shows slated for the fall that are/were right up The Dame’s alley: Young Dubliners on Sept. 16 (a rare regional outing by the Irish-American Celtic rock brigade); Blues Traveler on Sept. 25 (the veteran jam band’s first local club show); Silversun Pickups on Sept. 28 (with Manchester Orchestra and Cage the Elephant); Shooter Jennings and JJ Grey & Mofro on Oct. 1 (two acts that have packed The Dame in the past); and The Black Angels on Oct. 10 (part of WRFL’s Boomslang festival).

While it feels like we all passed out enough goodbyes in 2008 to The Dame to last several lifetimes, we will miss its final passing nonetheless. It was a flagship venue when live music in Lexington was at a premium. But there are no tears this time. Lexington has already moved on.

40 years after 3 days of peace and music

In his 2005 memoir Searching for the Sound, Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead outlined his observations on the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair not as one of its participants, but as an outsider.

“As I watched TV the next night, the main thrust of the reporting focused on the impact of the festival on the local area: a tremendous influx of people, clogged roads – and garbage,” Lesh wrote. “I’ve rarely seen Walter Cronkite so indignant as when he described the ‘tons and tons’ left behind, while the screen showed the trash filled mud slopes of the main amphitheatre.

“Crosby, Stills and Nash, on the other hand, were ecstatic, celebrating the festival as the most loving, peaceful and significant gathering of a new generation.”

Late last month, just before David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash began a concert at Cincinnati’s PNC Pavilion with one its Woodstock folk anthems Helplessly Hoping, the generational shift was considerable. In a sea of grey hairs, no hairs and the occasional well worn tie-dyed shirt, a pair of 20-somethings took their seats beside me. Both introduced themselves as students of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and admitted being taken with the group harmonies they heard on their parents’ CSN albums.

After a patron behind us jokingly asked the students if they had to be carded upon entry to the venue, I asked my neighbors if they had ever heard of Woodstock.

“You mean the movie with all the hippies?” one replied.

Yeah. That one.

roger daltrey of the who at woodstock.

roger daltrey of the who at woodstock.

Ask anyone – an elder, a contemporary, a curious youth, even – and it’s very likely they have at least heard of Woodstock. The passions rise a bit with the age brackets, though.

To some, it was indeed a generational summit, a mammoth chapter in pop and social history during the final months of the ‘60s. To others, maybe the late Walter Cronkite and most certainly my poor father who viewed such massively attended rock ‘n’ roll as a sure sign of the apocalypse, Woodstock was very much a garbage dump.

But with the arrival this weekend of Woodstock’s 40th anniversary, there is no question that the three-and-a-half day festival, documented as it has been on recordings and films, remains one of the most compelling and complete time capsules of late ‘60s pop culture, the music that gave it life, the drugs that helped bring about its inevitable demise and the social backdrops of war and generational unrest.

“Three days of peace and music.” Being 10 at the time, I wasn’t there. But that advertised billing for the festival certainly seems a simplification in retrospect. This was an age where sound systems were almost prehistoric, where there were no such things as video screens to shoot a least a glimpse of stage activity to those sitting in the furthest recesses of Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, New York. And when it rained, which it did in torrents, attendees had no choice but to become creatures of the mud. The vibe, though, seemed to prevail.

Pop festivals were commonplace in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. But the Woodstock crowd level – widely thought to be somewhere near 500,000 – was a staggering generational statement unto itself.

“I’ve just got to say that you people have got to be the strongest bunch of people I ever saw,” said Stephen Stills during CSN’s Woodstock set, which was only the group’s second public performance. “Three days, man. Three days.”

jimi hendrix during woodstock's closing set.

jimi hendrix during woodstock's final set

From the acoustic percussive urgency of Richie Havens, who kicked off Woodstock around 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 15 to the final electric strains of Jimi Hendrix just before noon on Monday, Aug. 18, Woodstock made national headlines for the music, the garbage and the staggering numbers that turned out to witness it all.

From the Woodstock film, which became an Oscar winning documentary in 1970, all kinds of highlights remain arresting 40 years on. Among them:

* The split screen images of The Who’s Pete Townshend in mid air pounding out the Tommy finale of We’re Not Gonna Take It.

* Havens making up a chant style variation on Motherless Child called Freedom on the spot.

a young carlos santana with jose chepito areas at woodstock.

a young carlos santana with jose chepito areas at woodstock.

* A young Santana band introducing itself to the world with the Latin rock manifesto Soul Sacrifice.

* Stage announcements warning that “the brown acid is not specifically too good.”

* Sly and the Family Stone turning the festival into a psychedelic funk party with Dance to the Music.

* Hendrix retooling The Star Spangled Banner into elegant guitar noise for a new generation. Oh, did my dad ever despise that one.

Now with anniversary CDs and DVDs out this summer that dig further into the 120 hours of Woodstock performances, there are new delights to behold by Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Incredible String Band and, for the first time, the Grateful Dead.

For some, though, the lasting importance of Woodstock clearly went beyond what transpired onstage.

“I sat there onstage and thought, ‘You know what? This is the freedom my generation has been dreaming about since the ‘50s,'” said Havens while in Lexington last year for a performance on the WoodSongs Old -Time Radio Hour.

“All along we were trying to get a voice. And as I started singing during that long intro, that word came out – ‘freedom.’ So I just kept singing it. And all of a sudden that song came out. I just went, ‘Wow.'”

les paul, 1915-2009

les paul at the iridium.

les paul at the iridium.

During a series of New York trips taken during the winter months over the past seven years or so, I made the Broadway jazz club Iridium a regular destination. My excursions were invariably on weekends. But the Iridium beckoned all patrons to stay over until Monday. That night, week after week, belonged to the vanguard guitarist Les Paul. My travel plans never allowed for that. But many times I wondered what the mood was like on Monday nights, with Broadway theatres traditionally dark and the great Les lighting up the Iridium.

Paul died today at the age 94. A landmark innovator as an instrumentalist, recording artist and vocalist, Paul’s legacy will always be his pioneering use of electric guitar. The solid body electric model guitar that Paul eventually gave his name to – the Gibson Les Paul – was a sleek, powerful and efficient instrument adaptable to playing jazz, rock and pop. Paul himself used variations of it for hits that date back to the ‘50s. But as his own career began to wind down in the ‘60s, an entire rock ‘n’ roll generation embraced Paul’s creation. Among the artists to crack thunder with the Gibson Les Paul as their signature guitar were Pete Townshend and Jimmy Page.

Paul’s recordings, from the ‘50s on, generally took a back seat to his guitar innovations. But a prime recommendation for curious listeners is 1975’s Chester and Lester, a warm, unimposing collaboration with another guitar giant, Chet Atkins.

Or if you feel like waking up the neighbors, slip on the remarkable 2008 DVD release The Who Live at Kilburn 1977 and watch Townshend turn an arsenal of Gibson Les Pauls into dangerous weapons indeed.

critic's pick 84

woodstock - 40 years on: back to yasgur's farm

woodstock - 40 years on: back to yasgur

Sometimes even the most famous and devout “peace and music” gathering calls for a bit of slapping around.

Among the tid bits resurrected on the mammoth new 6-CD boxed set Woodstock – 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur’s Farm is the famed meeting of The Who’s Pete Townshend and activist Abbie Hoffman. While The Who was tuning between songs from its just released Tommy album, Hoffman grabbed the microphone to utter a quick protest rant regarding the jailing of militant activist John Sinclair on a drug charge. Townshend let Hoffman shoot off his mouth for 20 seconds before physically shoving him offstage. The guitarist returned to the mic, politely said to the crowd “I can dig it” and ripped back into one of festival’s most galvanizing performances.

Such a moment affirms that the times weren’t a-changin’ with quite the level of unity everyone had envisioned. But in the end, with the idealism of the ‘60s drawing to a close, Woodstock was about music. And if some drug addled hippie was going to invade Townshend’s performance space (Hoffman later admitted he was on LSD during The Who’s set), then there was going to be a reckoning. Or, at least, a shove and a slap.

What 40 Years On seems designed to convey isn’t so much an enforcement of social or activist standings of the era, but a more complete sampling of the music that brought nearly 500,000 people together at Max Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York. Sure the social tension is underscored time and again within the music. But  those moments – The Jefferson Airplane’s Volunteers, Country Joe McDonald’s I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s Wooden Ships – have been repeatedly documented in past Woodstock collections that date back to the early ‘70s.

The joy of 40 Years On comes from hearing how the times were integrated more fully into the music, be it through the white hot two minute blast of merry apocalyptic fire within Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising, the fanciful nine minutes of acoustic British folk making up the Incredible String Band’s When You Find Out Who You Are, the 19 minutes the Grateful Dead takes to explore the more leisurely psychedelic Dark Star or the full, unedited 28 minute Woodstock Boogie marathon by Canned Heat. 40 Years On marks the first official release for all of these performances.

The boxed set also seeks to implement a little corrective history. The most noticeable switch is changing out the version of Arlo Guthrie’s drug smuggling anthem Coming into Los Angeles from the original 1970 Woodstock album and film (which wasn’t actually from the concert) for a more ragged but honest take (which was). On the other hand, Neil Young’s Sea of Madness, included on the initial Woodstock album but long rumored to not have been actually played at the festival (the recorded performance, some say, came from a tour several months later) is still here. That mystery goes unaddressed.

Glaring omissions, of course, are British prog blues rockers Ten Years After (prominently featured in the film and initial album) and The Band (which appeared on a boxed set that marked Woodstock’s 25th anniversary in 1994).

It seems, then, that even with six discs, Woodstock still can’t be contained. But 40 Years On expands considerably the recorded snapshot of a mid August weekend when a half-million youths thrilled to the music of a very fleeting moment.

From lab tech to hospital group CEO

The Boston Globe (Boston, MA) August 7, 2007 | Jeffrey Krasner Before she met with the five members of the Massachusetts Hospital Association’s CEO Search Committee a few weeks ago, Lynn B. Nicholas did her homework.

“I Googled them all, and I searched for photos of them online,” said Nicholas, who will start as chief executive of the hospital association Aug. 20. “I read about their institutions, their towns, and I spoke to people who knew them. It’s called preparation. I like to be prepared. I’m known for that.” The preparation paid off. In a conference room in the Hilton Boston Logan Airport Hotel, Nicholas was able to greet each committee member by name. They were impressed.

“She came across as a very confident person, and it showed she really wanted the job,” said Daniel Moen, chief executive of Heywood Hospital in Gardner and chairman of the search committee.

It was classic Nicholas, say those who have worked for her.

“She really walks the walk,” said Barbara E. Corkey, director of obesity research and vice chairwoman for research at the Boston University Department of Medicine. Corkey is a director of the American Diabetes Association, the patient advocacy and research funding organization where Nicholas was chief executive for 2 1/2 years until December.

At diabetes association board meetings, Corkey recalled, Nicholas insisted on serving food consistent with diets for diabetes patients.

“Whatever she’s asking others to do, she’s done herself,” said Corkey.

Nicholas, 53, was selected for her new post during a tumultuous period for the Massachusetts Hospital Association. In January, its board summarily fired longtime president Ronald M. Hollander. Board members said that under Hollander, the organization hadn’t adequately promoted its agenda on Beacon Hill. For instance, the association was not a major player in crafting the state’s healthcare overhaul law, which is intended to provide health insurance for all residents. here boston logan airport

In late June, after the meeting with the search committee, Nicholas was one of three candidates invited back for a second interview.

But the process was almost upended a few weeks ago when staffers persuaded Robert E. Gibbons, the hospital association lobbyist who was interim chief since January, to formally apply for the job. But when the board voted for a chief executive July 19, Nicholas was the only candidate considered and was selected unanimously.

While Gibbons’s fate hasn’t been decided, Nicholas said she wants to keep him at the association. “My goal is to get him to stay.” When asked about her qualifications, Nicholas recalled her start as a laboratory technician at Morristown Memorial Hospital in New Jersey in 1976.

“I know what it’s like on the inside,” she said.

Nicholas did not stay in the lab long. She rose through the ranks to become laboratory manager, head of lab services, and ultimately senior vice president for clinical and ambulatory services. From there she was recruited to the New Jersey Hospital Association in 1995, as chief operating officer. She became head of the Louisiana Hospital Association in 2000.

As leader of the Louisiana group, she is remembered as a skilled consensus builder who was able to get members to support unpopular causes that Nicholas believed were in their best interest. Her successor, John Matessino, said she raised association dues for the first time in years, and then used the money to build a professional lobbying staff.

“She brought LHA out of the dark ages into the modern world,” Matessino said.

W.F. “Bud” Barrow chief executive of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette, La., said that given her skills, he thought it was inevitable that Nicholas would move to a larger organization.

“I never thought we’d keep her past the five years we had her,” Barrow said.

In 2004, she was recruited to the diabetes association. But Barrow, who has kept in touch with Nicholas, said the job “was not a match made in heaven.” He does not think she was cut out for a patient advocacy group.

“My guess is organizations like the heart association or the diabetes association are about working with volunteers and raising funds,” said Barrow. “Lynn Nicholas is about advancing public health policy.” Nicholas agreed the diabetes association job wasn’t ideal, and admitted the group was disappointed by her fund-raising. Direct public support for the group was $151.7 million in 2004, and rose 3 percent to $156.2 million in 2005, the latest year available. website boston logan airport

“The job was less about policy and more about fund-raising,” said Nicholas. “There had been periods of time when the association had double-digit growth in fund-raising, and there were some expectations that a new chief executive could just make that happen.” Nicholas said she was released at the end of 2006 from a three- year contract.

As she prepared for her job with the hospital association, Nicholas declined to speak in detail about Massachusetts’ healthcare reform experiment, or how the state’s hospitals want to influence its implementation. But she was eager to make note of her first action as incoming head of the group: Removing a “staff only” sign from the executive suite at its Burlington offices.

“This association belongs to the members,” she said.


Lynn B. Nicholas Incoming chief executive of the Massachusetts Hospital Association Age 53 Birthplace Knoxville, Tenn.

Professional experience 2004-2006 Chief executive, American Diabetes Association 2000-2004 Chief executive, Louisiana Hospital Association 1995-2000 Chief operating officer, New Jersey Hospital Assocation 1976-1994 Morristown Memorial Hospital, Morristown, N.J. Worked her way up from medical technician to senior vice president of clinical and ambulatory services Education Central Michigan University Master’s in healthcare administration Tennessee Wesleyan College Bachelor’s in medical technology Jeffrey Krasner can be reached at

Jeffrey Krasner

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