Archive for February, 2012

davy jones, 1945-2012

davy jones in 1967.

Ah, yes. I remember Davy Jones. Sure, he was as pre-fab as pop could be – a camera-ready pop idol manufactured for TV as well as the charts. But every week I tuned in – Monday night, 7:30, NBC- The Monkees. It was some of the best televised escapism an 8 year old could hope for that didn’t involve cartoons.

The Monkees came to be in an age when everything in the pop mainstream – and I mean everything – emulated The Beatles. Some today perceive Jones, Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith – as The Backstreet Boys of their era. Perhaps in terms of marketing intent, they were. But then, as the saying goes, was a simpler time. Dance moves didn’t matter, sex appeal was strictly G-rated and the reliance on music video was parlayed into their weekly TV series. The latter, of course, was all wide eyed innocence with Jones and crew living in the same groovy pad and living out the same pseudo-adventures that were modeled heavily after the The Beatles’ Help! film (with a dose of Get Smart thrown in).

And as cheesy as their music could get, The Monkees had a solid team of pop songsmiths (Boyce & Hart and a then-modestly known Neil Diamond) in their corner. Dolenz handled the bulk of the lead singing, with Jones usually relegated to playing tambourine and flashing the pearly whites for the gals. But he got his moment with Daydream Believer, arguably the 2nd best entry in the Monkees hit cavalcade behind the Dolenz-sung Last Train to Clarksville.

There were the reunion tours in later years – one of which visited Lexington at the then-named Applebees Park on its opening weekend in 2001. Sadly those were sober reminders of a pop era that had long since past. Poor Peter Tork. He looked like he was being subjected to a scientific experiment that night.

Best instead to remember Jones and the Monkees as a snapshot of the ‘60s that was broadcast into our homes every Monday evening. It was fluff. But it sure was fun.

stringdusting

the infamous stringdusters: andy falco, chris pandolfi, andy hall, jeremy garrett and travis book.

Most musicians of any genre will readily admit their real work doesn’t begin until their own artistic voice emerges. But the catch is that a good stretch of time spent learning their craft and woodshending their musical chops is usually required for such a voice to emerge.

Take the Charlottesville-by-way-of-Nashville band known as The Infamous Stringdusters. Its debut Fork in the Road album (released five years ago, almost to the week) reflected a strong sense of string band tradition both in its lively instrumental interplay and its rich blend of vocal harmonies. The International Bluegrass Music Association took notice at the time and awarded the Stringdusters with three major awards – for song, emerging artist and album of the year.

Curiously, the later honor was shared with a more proven bluegrass brigade, Kentucky’s own J.D. Crowe and the New South. While the Stringdusters may bear little in common with Crowe’s crew stylistically, there are definitely career threads that both share – specifically, the use of bluegrass tradition to launch head first into deeper more progressive waters.

Crowe’s music has gone full circle over the past decade back to more traditional turf. But on the Stringdusters’ upcoming fifth album, Silver Sky (due out March 13), the song structure steers far from what many might perceive as bluegrass. The harmonies take on an expansive, almost orchestral hue while the playing falls more into jam band land with a dash of vintage country thrown in. Imagine the post-Richie Furay albums of Poco laced with vintage Pure Prairie League and bolstered by the more streamlined music of Leftover Salmon and you at least have a departure point in viewing the music of the Stringdusters.

“In many ways, whatever changes you find in our music are simply a result of us discovering what we want to do as a band – you know, just finding out what we have the most fun doing,” said Stringdusters dobro player Andy Hall. “A lot of times, when you’re out on the road, figuring that out can be difficult. It can become more of a job than it should be, or what we would want it to be.

“We’re just trying to find a balance in music that is fun and creative and engaging. So it just took a little time for us to feel comfortable being who we really are.”

With the release of Fork in the Road and the self-titled 2008 follow-up album, the Stringdusters became pegged as bluegrass. When a Grammy nomination came the Stringdusters’ way last year in the best country instrumental category (for Magic #9), naturally there was chatter that the band may be shifting course for country waters.

But today’s Stringdusters replied but making some changes. First, mandolinist Jesse Cobb parted amicably with his mates, making him the second defector (guitarist/co-founder Chris Eldridge departed after Fork in the Road to join Chris Thile in the group that eventually became The Punch Brothers). Secondly, banjo Chris Pandolfi, guitarist Andy Falco and bassist Travis Book all relocated to Charlottesville (Hall and fiddler Jeremy Garrett remained in Nashville). But the biggest changes might have been in the company the band kept.

In November, the Stringdusters hit the road with the Yonder Mountain String Band, the wildly popular jam band that also relies strictly on bluegrass instrumentation (as opposed to inspiration) for its music. The like-minded ensembles hit it off so well that not only are they touring again this winter, but both, for a brief time, overlapped personnel.

At the onset of the fall/winter tour, Yonder Mountain bassist Ben Kaufmann had to bow out for several dates after becoming a father. Stepping in was Book, who took on bass duties in both bands.

“That was a lot of playing for Travis,” Hall said. “But the shows were great. We have just hit it off great with Yonder Mountain.

“We started off playing more in the traditional bluegrass realm as a band. But as musicians, we really didn’t come from that background. A band like Yonder Mountain really showed us that there is a whole world out there of different things you can do with a string band. We’ve learned a whole lot from those guys.”

Before the Stringdusters formed, though, Hall worked extensively with another string music maverick – Earl Scruggs. Known for essentially re-writing the book on bluegrass banjo via the staunchly traditional bluegrass he cut with Bill Monroe and longtime musical partner Lester Flatt, Scruggs also became something of a renegade during the ‘70s and ‘80s by touring with his sons in the very progressively minded Earl Scruggs Revue.

“Most people remember him from his Flatt & Scruggs days,” Hall said. “But he spent years and years with the Earl Scruggs Revue doing what was essentially jamgrass. He had drums, electric guitars, funk beats. I mean, that was Earl Scruggs, too. But the music he did earlier that really was traditional was also considered innovative.

“People like Earl I find to be very influential. And that’s what we want to be. We want to look for that inspirational spark from someone like Earl Scruggs and, if we can, kind of continue down that path.”

Yonder Mountain String Band and The Infamous Stringdusters perform at 8 tonight at Buster’s Billiards and Backroom, 899 Manchester St. Tickets are $20. Call (859) 368-8871.

critic's pick 217

The opening two minutes of Elastic Aspects, the typically engaging new album by the Matthew Shipp Trio, are something of a tease. Titled Alternative Aspects, the prelude hardly features Shipp at all. It instead favors the bowed bass work of Michael Bisio, which sounds like it could be emanating from a cave, along with subtle mallet percussion colors from longtime drummer Whit Dickey.

Then comes the payoff, Aspects (well, there is something to be said for continuity in the titles). At once, Shipp’s commanding piano tone is unleashed. It is bright but autumnal, precise but expansive and full of traditional spirits while following a muse that is very much his own.

In terms of sheer piano color, Shipp has been working steadily at this sound for years. It reached an initial pinnacle on the brilliant One album in 2008. There, you heard a playfulness and tough knuckled bounce that brought the great Thelonious Monk to mind. But on successive recordings, you discovered just how unique and expressive Shipp’s sound was. That pensive yet exact lyricism immediately enveloped you, making Shipp seem less like the avant garde warrior many have proclaimed him to be and more of an honest jazz journeymen seeking to perfect and build upon his sound.

That isn’t to say he doesn’t explore some torrential free-jazz downpours on Elastic Aspects. Flow Chart again opens with bowed bass, but its sound has grown vastly more unsettled than at the album’s onset. Again, Shipp sits the tune out, using it as a set-up for the impish, Monk-style mischief of Mute Voice. Here, piano dances about like a wandering feather for just over three minutes with very modest drum support from Dickey. It’s fanciful in the best sense, before bass and the deeper piano ramble of Explosive Aspects take hold. Once Dickey is added to the agitation, the tune truly lives up to its name.

Given such unrest, you might expect a tune like Raw Materials to bear an even greater primal force. Instead, it is a delicious piano reverie. There are hints of Bud Powell and even early Chick Corea in Shipp’s playing. But it’s the spacious design of the composition that makes it so distinctive. Shipp’s best works operate almost as ballets, mixing musicianship that runs to the overtly playful to the more deceptively fractured. Here, Shipp and Bisio team for a melody that is almost childlike before bending it ever so gently as the tune sails around some rough lyrical curves.

Everything merges on the album-closing Elastic Eye, which opens as a battle cry (complete with Dickey’s militaristic snare rolls) before the tune morphs into a brittle processional that marches with deep left hand piano rolls. From there, the music ebbs and flows like an ocean. Like most of Elastic Aspects, the tune is bright and adventurous one moment, but stormy and delightfully threatening the next.

Working children: heeding child labor laws is only the first step: employers can do much more to help teenagers juggle school and work. (restaurant industry; includes related articles)

Restaurants & Institutions June 27, 1990 | Sherer, Michael In changing its advertising slogan to “Sometimes you’ve gotta break the rules,” Burger King wasn’t suggesting that managers and franchisees literally break the law. But in March, the U.S. Department of Labor filed a lawsuit accusing the Miami-based company of violating federal child labor laws.

Burger King is only one of several thousand foodservice operators under attack in a nationwide push to force companies to abide by laws protecting minors from exploitation in the workplace. The DOL’s much-publicized Operation Child Watch last March uncovered 12,500 violations in all.

More importantly, the federal crackdown focused attention on the larger issue of how teenagers are treated in the workplace. Lawmakers, educators and parents accuse employers of giving scant attention to worker safety and contributing to high dropout rates and poor academic performance.

“Businesses have been more willing to treat education as a charity than admit and take responsibility for the problem of working kids,” says Terrence Falk, a high-school teacher who has been researching child labor law as part of graduate studies at the University of Marquette in Milwaukee.

Beyond highlighting what every operator should know about federal and state child labor laws, this article shows how some are making a positive difference in the lives and futures of their youthful employees.

BIG EMPLOYER, MANY VIOLATIONS “In the 20% of investigations I’ve seen so far, it appears that at least half the violations are in foodservice,” says Brad Mitchell, a spokesman for the DOL’s Chicago district office.

Falk found hundreds of violations where both business and employees were willing participants. In many cases, despite the law, kids closed foodservice operations at 11 p.m. and did not finish cleaning until 12:30 or 1 a.m. In other instances, managers would skirt the issue by making kids work “off the clock” after closing. The effect, he says, is that the more kids work, the less interest they take in school.

Foodservice is more at fault than other industries in part because it is one of the largest employers of youth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that almost 25% of working teens (16-to 19-year-olds)-nearly 1.5 million-are working in foodservice. Another 900,000-plus 14-and 15-year-olds are in the work force, and no one knows how many of those work in foodservice.

The sheer number of teen employees in foodservice, especially fast food, makes it a highly visible target. Revelations about work-related injuries and deaths of youth were perhaps the most shocking part of the DOL’s Operation Child Watch. Testimony before a congressional subcommittee on employment and housing last March revealed that thousands of teenagers are injured or killed in the workplace each year. One of the casualties was a 17-year-old driver for Domino’s Pizza; his story was told and retold in countless media accounts, and each time the industry’s reputation as an employer of youth dropped a notch.

LETTER OF THE LAW Operators say most violations are unintentional, caused by ignorance or confusion over the laws.

“We were cited for a few minor violations,” says Austaco’s Dirk Dozier, a Taco Bell franchisee in Austin, Texas. “It caught us by surprise. Normally, we don’t have any problems with working, but maybe we’ve been a little lazy in adhering to the law.” Under federal law, children at ages 14 and 15 cannot work more than three hours on school days, more than 18 hours a week in school weeks, or between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. They cannot work more than 8 hours on non-school days, or 40 hours a week during non-school weeks. From June 1 to Labor Day, however, they may work as late as 9 p.m.

There are no federal restrictions on hours for 16-and 17-year olds, but minors age 14 to 18 cannot operate certain types of equipment, including bakery machinery and power-driven meat and food slicers.

Younger workers ages 14 and 15 are not allowed to work in or around boiler rooms, do maintenance on equipment or machinery, work on ladders or scaffolding, cook (except at lunch counters, soda fountains or cafeteria serving counters), work in freezers or meat coolers, or load and unload trucks.

A majority of violations the DOL is uncovering in foodservice involve younger employees working later or more hours than the law allows. Most of the remaining citations involve workers under 18 using meat slicers or other hazardous equipment.

“The intent of the law is the safety and well-being of teens,” says Pat McKinney, vice president of operations at Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne, Ind. “If operators aren’t following the guidelines, for the most part it’s just an oversight. They’re not intentionally running a sweatshop.” Where some of the confusion lies, according to McKinney, is in the fact that all states have their own child labor regulations, many of them different from the federal laws.

State laws are often more stringent about the hours for older youth and in some cases, they’re less stringent about the hours for younger employees. What some operators might not realize is that the strictest regulations apply, whether state or federal.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that the laws are changing. As of this writing, federal legislation is being drafted for introduction to Congress this summer, and many states are reviewing their own child labor laws. site child labor laws

PROPOSED CHANGES IN LAW The proposed federal legislation calls for stiffer penalties for violators, expanded “hazardous occupation orders,” increased inter-agency cooperation, a more stringent work-permit system and more funding for DOL inspectors. The bill’s co-sponsors, Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Donald Pease (D-Ohio), are primarily concerned with eradicating sweatshop conditions and ensuring the safety of youth in the workplace.

At the state level, legislators are responding to pressures from various community members and groups; at issue is how long and how late teenage students should work.

Educators, in particular, accuse the business community of talking out of both sides of its collective mouth. On the one side, they say, business is pushing for education reform to ensure a literate, better educated, more productive work force. On the other, business contributes to the problem of kids not doing well in school.

“Employers have to be cognitive that the future of our society is dependent on education,” says Tim Dyer, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. “We believe that kids belong in school. Kids who work too many hours or too late at night fall asleep in class and have poor attendance records.” States are starting to agree. In Wisconsin, a task force of educators, parents, legislators and Wisconsin Restaurant Association members is examining the issue of working children. Wisconsin state law already requires that 16-and 17-year-old workers mist have eight hours off between a work shift and the start of’ school.

Indiana recently passed HB 1083, which allows 17-year-olds to work only until 11:30 p.m. on school nights, provided yhey have valid school work permits. Permits can be withdrawn if grades drop, though students have tile right of appeal.

The Indiana Restaurant Association successfully negotiated a compromise in the proposed legislation, which would have prevented 17-year-olds from working past 10 p.m. (now Indiana law for 16-year-olds).

Bills being proposed ill New York and North Carolina also would limit the number of hours students could work each week and impose a night-time curfew on working students.

Significantly, the plight of working children is no longer a hotly debated issue in California. Jo-Linda Thompson, director of government affairs and general counsel for the California Restaurant Association, explains why: The state already has stringent maximum hour and night-work restrictions, as well as a closely monitored system of school work permits.

SPIRIT OF THE LAW Educators in Missouri are taking a different tack, trying to convince employers to buy into the spirit of the law. “We’re not seeking legislation,” says Bob Howe, director of the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals. “We’re seeking to sensitize business and parents to the issue.” A year and a half ago, MASSP started contacting businesses that employ teens to see if they’d be interested in starting a dialogue among business, parents and teachers. One company that responded was McDonald’s Corp.

“We invited members of MASSP to meet with us in Oak Brook in january 1989,” says Barry Mehrman, national employment manager at McDonald’s. As a result of that initial meeting, McDonald’s started pilot programs in Missouri to bring licensees and schools together.

Programs started in various communities with rap sessions where students and educators could talk with licensees about the problems of juggling work and school.

The program works, according to Roger Berkbuegler, principal at Rolla High School, Rolla, Mo. “Dave Weinbaum, the owner of five McDonald’s in the area, meets with me fairly frequently. He’s committed to a policy not to let any high-school students close units on school nights.

“In addition, each McDonald’s gets a calendar of school events and copies of school newsletters to help plan what nights kids need off.” McDonald’s is using the pilot programs to help develop a national strategy for working teens, Mehrman says. The company has produced a 15-minute video, “Work and the American Student,” designed to show managers and licensees how to establish dialogue with schools on a local level.

To encourage licensees to adhere to the policy of not letting high-school students close their stores, McDonald’s has put emphasis on programs like Nighthawks, which offers special monetary and team incentives (Jackets, pins, watches) to attract older workers for late shifts.

TEAMING UP WITH SCHOOLS Notwithstanding the DOL charges it faces, Burger King, too, is trying to become part of the solution to the problem of working teens.

The company has for many years supported education in a variety of ways, including sponsorship of the “In Honor of Excellence” symposium, the “Distinguished Service to Education” award, educational assistance and scholarships, adopt-a-school” programs, and teacher and principal recognition programs.

Beyond merely treating education as a charity-as the high-school teacher suggested at the beginning of this article-Burger King recently stepped up its commitment to education by joining forces with the U.S. Department of justice and Cities in Schools Inc. to create Burger King Academy.

These alternative high schools are designed to give students who are at risk of dropping out a second chance at completing their education. Each “corporate academy” brings together public and private resources to offer its students a specialized academic curriculum, employment and job skills training, career placement, personal and family counseling, even health care. Local businesses, including Burger King units, offer students on-the-job training and internships. website child labor laws

The Greenery, a head-injury rehabilitation center in Boston, also makes education a priority for its student workers. The center has used a program called “Earn and Learn” to encourage teens to be successful at school and on the ob.

“We employ a lot of part-time kids in our foodservice operation,” says Terry Anderson, director of nutrition services. Many were referred by the Boston Private Industry Council, which screens kids to be sure they have work permits, good attendance records and adequate grades.

The “Earn and Learn” program gives student employees a paid hour before the start of each shift to do homework. Then the program rewards them with pay increases for improvements in grade point averages. They’re encouraged to plan ahead for tests and school events, and let the manager know about their scheduling needs; and they are allowed to swap shifts with another employee if a conflict develops.

“A certain number of weekly hours are devoted to foodservice training,” Anderson says. “We rotate kids through positions and they even spend time learning about management positions to see if they’re interested in foodservice careers.

“Often, this is their first job, and teaching them what’s important on the job is very rewarding. They form good work habits here that they’ll take with them wherever they go.” As a result of the close supervision and training, 1-he Greenery has been very successful in promoting kids. “Our weekend manager was a kid from the local PIC [private industry council] who is now in a college foodservice program,” Anderson says. “We also have a chef from the program who couldn’t speak English when he came to us.” SENDING EDUCATION FIRST” MESSAGE To help create more awareness among operators in Indiana, Pizza Hut’s McKinney initiated a program through the Indiana Restaurant Association called “Education First.” Elements of the program, which is still being developed, give operators the chance to let the community know they’re committed to the education of their student employees.

Education First” employers will have postcards they can send to schools to let teachers and principals know when they employ students, and placemats and window decals to let parents and the public know they subscribe to the program’s credo.

So far, more than 150 foodservice operators, including a number of chains, have signed up to be part of the program.

NEED FOR GREATER AWARENESS Perhaps the recent DOL crackdown has accomplished something positive by increasing awareness not only about child labor laws, but also about some of the problems working teens face. And greater awareness, not crackdowns, say operators, is what the industry needs to improve its image as an employer of youthful workers.

“Most operators are good people, and care about the people who work for them,” says McKinney. “But they often don’t know the full letter of the law.” Understanding the spirit of the law is just as important: Operators are starting to recognize the need to be more aware that their teenage employees are juggling school, work and social lives.

“We need to get more involved with how employees are doing academically,” says john Merritt, senior vice president of public affairs for Hardee’s. “The sole criteria for them coming to work for us shouldn’t be a warm body showing up at a certain hour. We should be more involved in their lives.” Toni Lydecker and Jeff Weinstein contributed to this article.

A FIVE-STEP PLAN Know the law. Copies of the federal child labor laws are available from your local DOL office or from the National Restaurant Association. State laws are available from state labor offices and restaurant associations.

* Educate your employees. Tell your student workers what they are and are not allowed to do. A well-meaning 15-year-old who uses the slicer to help out a co-worker is breaking the law. Put up crew posters to remind employees of the laws.

* Keep proper documentation. Be sure that you have 1-9 forms and school work permits on file for all teenage workers. Hourly time records must be kept for a minimum of three years.

* Become more involved in young workers’ lives. Get on the school mailing list for newsletters and special events calendars. Find out when student workers need more time off for studying or social events. Keep tabs on how well they are doing in school.

* Start a dialogue with the community. Invite parents, teachers, principals and students to periodic rap sessions to find out what you can do to improve both work and school experiences of young workers.

ISSUE SPARKS STRONG OPINIONS “If there is ignorance or disregard of the law, then perhaps the laws ought to be reviewed. It may be appropriate in today’s culture to extend the 18-hour and 7 p.m. rules, and to allow kids to operate meat slicers.” -Bill Fisher, executive director, NRA “I don’t think [the laws] are too strict. They are appropriate. We need to get more involved in how employees are doing academically.” john Merritt, senior vice president, public affairs, Hardee’s “If teachers are going to be judged on how well students do, then kids have to be in class and participate. We believe kids can work and go to school, but there needs to be a balance.” -Roger Berkbuegler, principal, Rolla H.S., Rolla, Mo.

“If restaurants were as creative in terms of personnel as they have been in food, we’d make real progress on the issue of working kids.” Joseph Kinney, Safe Workplace Institute, Chicago WHY CHILDREN WORK Working children are a distinctly American phenomenon, with deep cultural roots in the Protestant work ethic of early America. According to Temple University psychologist Laurence Steinberg in When Teenagers Work (by Ellen Greenberger and Laurence Steinberger, 1988, Basic, New York), nearly two-thirds of American 16-and 17-year-olds work when school is in session, while in Canada only 37% do, in Sweden only 20% and in Japan, less than 2%.

But arguments that teens have to work to help support their families, save for college or avoid getting involved in gangs don’t wash with many educators.

In a survey of teachers conducted by the Green Bay (Wis.) Education Association, 96% thought the main reason teens work is for spending money. Two-thirds of students themselves admitted that spending money was the main reason they worked, with another 27% saying saving for school was their primary motivation. Studies have shown-and most educators agree-that some work can be beneficial for teens. The point at which work begins to adversely affect performance in school is somewhere between 20 and 30 hours a week, according to experts.

FEDERAL CHILD LABOR LAWS HOURS 14-and 15-year-olds may not work.

* more than 3 hours on school days * more than 18 hours during school week * more than 8 hours on nonschool days * more than 40 hours during non-school weeks * before 7 am. or after 7 p.m. during the school year PRORIBITED WORK 14-and 15-year-olds may not-.

* perform maintenance or repair work on equipment * cook (except at soda fountains, lunch counters, snack bars or cafeteria serving counters) or bake * operate or maintain power-driven food slicers and grinders, food choppers and bakery-type mixers * work in freezers and meat coolers le load or unload trucks and rail cars 16. and 17-year olds may not:

* operate bakery machinery (certain equipment is exempt; contact your local DOL office for more information) * operate circular saws, band saws and guillotine shears (the DOL will soon issue a regulation to prohibit workers under 18 to use power-driven meat slicers) Sherer, Michael

in performance: miranda lambert/chris young/jerrod niemann

miranda lambert last night at rupp arena. photo by matt goins.

 Take your pick at to which of the following underscored the very electric theme of “girl power” that ran through Miranda Lambert’s wildfire sold-out performance last night at Rupp Arena.

+ A show-opening video montage of other, multi-genre women hitmakers that included country legends Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline, cross-generational soul-pop celebrities Tina Turner and Beyonce and rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson (the latter, by the way, just happened to be onstage with a show of her own down the street at Buster’s at that very moment).

+ The concert’s introductory one-two punch of Fastest Girl in Town and the breakout Lambert hit Kerosene, all full of anthemic power chords, that set the show in very forward motion.

+ A surprise, mid-show, four-song set by the Pistol Annies, that teamed Lambert with gal pals Ashley Monroe and Martin County native Angaleena Presley that led off with the red hot hit Hell on Heels (“I really wanted to Twitter about this earlier today,” Lambert admitted. “But …”)

+ Two cover tunes that had nothing at all to do with country but everything to do with the program’s emancipating feel – Lady Gaga’s You and I (done up with a curiously convincing neo-country grind) and Tom Petty’s Free Girl Now (which was all hot-wired arena rock fun with guitars fully blazing).

+ The career-defining Gunpowder and Lead, the fist-raising anthem offered late into the 90 minute performance that allowed Lambert to brag to the sell-out crowd of 10,000 about her prowess with a shotgun (“I’m pretty good with it, too”).

+ A sparse, piano-led encore cover of the Aretha Franklin classic Do Right Woman that came with another worthy boast (“Did I scare ‘ya with that one, boys”).

All of that was probably enough to make the performance a winning deal. There were other stray notables, both strong and perfunctory. The recent hit Baggage Claim kept the performance’s free spirit drive on full throttle while the ballads Dead Flowers and The House That Built Me were more standardized country fare full of languid melodies, over-abundant sentimentalism but still rich vocal turns from the star herself.

Show openers Chris Young and Jerrod Niemann (who joined Lambert for a concert finale cover of Billy Joe Shaver’s Honky Tonk Heroes) offered more expected profiles of mainstream country-pop, right down to their similar, ultra-casual appearances (“I couldn’t tell these guys apart if they were in a line-up,”offered a friend seated nearby).

The difference was that Young’s set was more exuberant and honestly country-savvy, from the roadhouse drive of the set-opening Save Water, Drink Beer to the power ballad The Man I Want to Be.

By contrast, Niemann’s introductory set was faceless rock dressed up in commercial country dressing. Neither his tunes (from the opening rock-a-rama Guessing Games to the mid-tempo sing-a-long of What Do You Want possessed much that was truly distinctive. Niewmann’s unremarkable vocal leads didn’t help. It was all as good-natured as could be, but compared the firepower that followed, Niemann’s set was largely left in the dust.

Research from University of Wisconsin provides new data on syringomyelia.

Biotech Week March 24, 2010 “Routine anatomic ultrasound performed in the second trimester has a detection rate of approximately 70-90% for fetal congenital abnormalities (Nyberg and Souter, J Ultrasound Med 2001;6:655-674). The central nervous system abnormalities are one of the most common ones detected,” investigators in the United States report (see also Syringomyelia). arnoldchiarimalformation.org arnold chiari malformation

“Chiari malformation is among the CNS abnormalities diagnosed in the fetal period (Bianchi et al., Fetology – diagnosis and management of the fetal patient, McGraw-Hill, 2000). The Arnold-Chiari malformation was first described in 1883 by Cleland (Romero et al., Prenatal diagnosis of congenital anomalies, Appleton and Lange, 1988). It is characterised by the prolapse of the hindbrain structures below the level of the foramen magnum. It can be associated with skeletal abnormalities and neurological dysfunction. In type I, a lip of cerebellum is downwardly displaced with the tonsils, but the fourth ventricle remains in the posterior fossa. This condition may coexist with syringomyelia, which is a cyst formation on the cervical portion of the spinal cord (Creasy et al., Maternal fetal medicine principles and practice, 2004). We present a case where Chiari type I and syringomyelia detected at 18 weeks of gestation. The reason for referral to our center was an abnormal inward posturing of both upper and lower extremities (minimal gross movement and almost inexistent range of motion on fetal joints). On further fetal evaluation, an abnormal brain ultrasound was identified,” wrote J.I. Iruretagoyena and colleagues, University of Wisconsin.

The researchers concluded: “Prenatal diagnosis of Chiari type I malformation and syringomyelia is almost nonexistent when reviewing the literature is the reason why this case is presented.” Iruretagoyena and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Maternal – Fetal & Neonatal Medicine (Prenatal diagnosis of Chiari malformation with syringomyelia in the second trimester. Journal of Maternal – Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, 2010;23(2):184-186). see here arnold chiari malformation

For additional information, contact J.I. Iruretagoyena, University of Wisconsin, Dept. of Obstet & Gynecol, Div Maternal Fetal Medical, Meriter Hosp, 202 S Pk St, Madison, WI 53715, USA.

The publisher of the Journal of Maternal – Fetal & Neonatal Medicine can be contacted at: Taylor & Francis Ltd., 4 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon OX14 4RN, Oxon, England.

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in performance: jazz at lincoln center orchestra with wynton marsalis

ali jackson and wynton marsalis.

It began and ended with rhythm. Not the kinds of rhythm one might normally associate with a world class jazz ensemble, although there was plenty of that, too, in the forms of expert swing and blues. No, last night’s performance by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at Richmond’s EKU Center for the Arts also operated at very different rhythmic level.

Opening with Chant to Call the Indians Out, from bandleader Wynton Marsalis’ 1997 Pulitzer Prize-winning oratorio Blood on the Fields, the performance embraced the brooding, organic pulse of handclaps, foot stomps, a vocal chant from trombonist Vincent Gardner, an extended solo from Marsalis that built from a slow bluesy refrain to a swing-savvy boil over beautiful ensemble punctuation from the orchestra’s four-man saxophone section.

The concert ended, fittingly, with The Caboose, the last tune from the orchestra’s 1999 album Big Train, a ballad-style offering performed almost like a hymn with an ensemble chant that slowly collapsed as the musical locomotive roared into the distance.

An ensemble powerfully versed with a deep jazz repertoire, the concert took a curious turn (at least when compared to other regional performances the orchestra has presented over the years) by sticking largely to Marsalis’s own works. A lean blues reading of Corrina, Corrina (performed at the beginning of the second set with the orchestra pared down to a septet) and a luxurious version of Horace Silver’s epic (and richly rhythmic) Senor Blues arranged by bassist Carlos Henriquez briefly opened the evening up to the outside jazz world. Otherwise, the repertoire presented Marsalis as a sort of a global tour guide.

Especially inviting was a trio of fine tunes from the orchestra’s 2010 Vitoria Suite (The Tree of Freedom, Basque Song and Menditzorrotza Swing) that worked off accents of Basque music and other Spanish inspirations to close the first set.

This is where the orchestra’s remarkable dynamics took flight. Dan Nimmer’s opening piano rumble on The Tree of Freedom led into a lustrous baritone sax solo by Joe Temperly that floated over a chorus of flutes. But Menditzorrotza Swing had it all – another sterling solo from Marsalis, an equally engaging tenor sax feature from Walter Blanding and a drum break from Ali Jackson played exclusively on the rims of the instrument to produce animated percussive chatter.

living large in the house of swing

wynton marsalis.

NEW YORK, NY – “Welcome to Frederick P. Rose Hall,” says a voice with no small degree of reverence as the lights fade at Jazz at Lincoln Center. “You are now in the House of Swing.”

That’s a name Wynton Marsalis was seemingly born to appropriate. In fact, in between tunes at a two-hour retrospective performance commemorating the centennial of big band legend Stan Kenton last weekend, Marsalis commented to the audience that one of the evening’s featured works, Gerry Mulligan’s Swing House, inspired the less formal name of the largest of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s three performance venues.

“This is what we are going to call our concert hall,” Marsalis recalled telling Mulligan when the great baritone saxophonist was still alive. “That’s what we’ll call it once we build it.”

Now in full operation at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s facilities at Columbus Circle, Rose Hall is swinging indeed. In essence a jazz arena with approximately 12,000 audience patrons seated in front, in back, around and, with twin balconies running the entire circumference of the room, practically on top of the band, Rose Hall seemed to ignite during Swing House. A fearsome exchange between an extended trombone section and alto saxophonist Sherman Irby ignited the music; an exuberant tenor sax blast from Victor Goines brought it home.

victor goines.

“I remember a conversation I had,” Goines said prior to a performance soundcheck the previous afternoon. “I was talking to my good friend Herlin Riley (who served with Goines in Marsalis’ famed ‘90s septet). He remembered when Wynton was first talking about Jazz at Lincoln Center. It didn’t have a name as such back then. But he told Herlin, ‘Man, I’ve got a vision for this program. We’re going to erect a building and build a concert hall just for jazz. We’re going to have programs for education. We’re going to have performances with our bands in the concert hall. We’re going to have other people come in with their bands. It’s going to be outstanding.’ And Herlin looked at him and said, ‘Man, what are you talking about? How in the world are we going to do that?’

“And, lo and behold,” Goines said, motioning in a small conference room adjacent to Rose Hall draped in the works of African-American artist Romare Bearden. “We now have Jazz at Lincoln Center. We call this the Center of the Jazz Universe.”

Despite its overall title (and perhaps Marsalis’s initial intentions for the House of Swing), Jazz at Lincoln Center doesn’t limit itself exclusively to jazz. The previous evening, as Marsalis and the orchestra opened the two-night Kenton tribute at Rose Hall, the smaller Allen Room, which seats between 200 and 500 patrons depending on the seating configuration, hosted a concert by blues veterans John Mayall and John Hammond that brought to life the songs of Blind Willie McTell, Sonny Boy Williamson and Otis Rush. A third venue, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, a more cabaret-oriented venue suitable for smaller-scale jazz ensembles, is in operation seven nights a week. These other rooms offer a bonus that Rose Theater does not: an eye-popping view of Columbus Circle and, in the distance, Central Park.

“And we have it here in Columbus Circle,” Goines added, “where it can not be missed.”

While Jazz at Lincoln Center offers numerous educational activities, outreach programs, and pre-concert lectures, its most visible offstage profile is maintained by the orchestra. A touring enterprise long before Jazz at Lincoln Center had a performance home, Marsalis and the orchestra possess a scholarly command of jazz tradition – from the essentials of Duke Ellington swing to the cool of Blue Note-era bop and beyond. Experiencing it in New York, one of the world’s true jazz epicenters, is grand enough. But the true spark of the band’s musical devotion shines when it travels to cities around the country and the world where jazz music is an event, not an expected plentiful, nightly occurrence, as it is in New York.

A case in point: a 2003 performance by the orchestra at Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts. Granted, the concert was being recorded for broadcast on BET. Still, the orchestra delivered three full sets that night that had its members performing the music of Jelly Roll Morton well past midnight.

“For a lot of people, we may be their only exposure to this music,” Goines said. “We get to see how all of these people in different parts of the country assemble. They come together on a given night of a concert, put together their hard earned money and try to remove themselves from the occurrences they have dealt with during the day – even if it’s just for a brief period of time. They come to take part in an offering.

“You know, quite often we talk about the differences in these audiences. But we really try to reach out to the similarities. People come out because they want to hear great music and have a good time.”

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis performs at 8 p.m. Feb. 25 at the EKU Center for the Arts, 521 Lancaster Ave. in Richmond. Tickets: $45-$65. Call (859) 622-7469.

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in performance: drake

drake performing last night at rupp arena. photo by matt goins.

Such was the greeting from the artist more formally known as Drake last night at Rupp Arena. Matching the drive of a 10,000-strong audience, the immensely popular Toronto rap-pop celebrity delivered a tireless 90 minute show fueled by pure physical drive and a curious hybrid of live and manufactured musicality. The end result was a performance that brought chart-topping rap back to Rupp for the first time in nearly a decade (specifically, since a 50 Cent show during the spring of 2003).

Onstage, Drake proved to be an impressive manipulator of musical genres. He reflected the atomic wordplay of versed rap stylists but also the suaveness and vocal control of a soul music traditionalist. Opening with a mash-up medley of Lord Knows and Under Ground Kings – songs that would have benefited more from being performed in their entirety – Drake quickly set into motion a rap-and-rhythm mix guided by the live drive of a six-member band and the ambient pulse of sampled beats and electronics.

At times, the band seemed almost superfluous. Aside from the occasional ear-grabbing percussion turn, the live music was subservient to the beats. And the beats did flow, from their place under Drake’s warp speed wordplay on She Will to his R&B-flavored crooning during Shot For Me.

The rhythmic drive reached its zenith during the title track to Drake’s recent Take Care album, a dizzying blend of sung and spoken verses colored by neo-samba percussion that evolved into something of a hip hop dervish. Drake moved and grooved briskly to the song’s furious pace, collapsing centerstage with modest theatrical flair at its finale.

Sometimes the music ran to more boisterous pop extremes (Make Me Proud). In others, the mechanics were emphasized, as in the discreetly dramatic electronica of Headlines that concluded the performance. But there were also instances where honest, organic audience rapport took over.

During a slow, ambient jam that served as a postscript to Miss Me, Drake addressed the crowd section by section, referring those close the stage specifically by their apparel and those in Rupp’s upper decks more generally by section numbers (“Hey 227, 225. You look so alive.”). He followed with shout-outs to a few celebrity pals, including famed Canadian hip-hop producer Noah “40” Shebib (who was supposedly in the audience) and John Calipari (who likely wasn’t, but will compensate with Rupp shows of his own in coming weeks).

The concert didn’t clear all of the hip hop hurdles, though. While the mix of live and sampled music was often intriguing, there were also instances where it dissolved into heaps of distortion and aural mud. And, still, the use of one particular expletive throughout the evening (which extended to comparatively faceless opening sets by Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar and Harlem hip-hopper A$AP Rocky) was so widespread as to be comical. Surely the music and its marketing has matured to a point where such dimestore profanity isn’t still needed to get a rise of a crowd. Then again, maybe it hasn’t.

But there was no denying the spirit that resulted last night when the audience met Drake’s generous energy head on. While you couldn’t always tell where the live grooves began and the mechanical ones took over, the combustion kicked up by Drake and his fans was honest, inviting and abundant.

(For Matt Goins gallery of photographs from last night’s show, click here.)

The New BlackBerry Torch 9800 Enters the Smartphone Market.

Computer Weekly News December 23, 2010 The BlackBerry Torch is the latest release from BlackBerry looking to penetrate the fiercely competitive touchscreen Smartphone market; a segment of the mobile phone market which has grown exponentially in the last twelve months, so much so that it is now recognised as a market of its own.

This is not the first time that BlackBerry have attempted to enter this market however, two previous models in the form of the Storm and Storm 2 looked to try and grab a piece of the market albeit quite unsuccessfully, largely due to their unique and quite unusual piezo ‘clickable’ touchscreens which received very mixed reviews.

The Torch on the other hand, really distances itself from the Storm; it is BlackBerry’s first slider incorporating both a touchscreen and a physical QWERTY keyboard, essentially ‘the best of both worlds’. It is a concept that puts the Torch in quite a large bit of ‘middle ground’ sitting between the iPhones/HTC Desire HDs of this world and BlackBerry’s own Curve/Bold series. It creates an interesting debate as to whether the need for such a device exists, but if early sales figures and reviews are any reflection on the future, then it certainly looks as though the Torch will be lighting the way. in our site blackberry torch review here blackberry torch review

The reason for the encouraging reviews is quite clear when you look in a bit more detail at the specifications of this device; a 3.2 inch capacitive touchscreen capable of displaying 16 million colours at a resolution of 360 x 480 pixels, a full BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard, 4GB of internal storage, microSD support, microUSB port, HSDPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 5 megapixel camera and of course, the latest iteration of BlackBerry software – OS 6.0 which has been heavily optimised for touchscreen use.

Aside from all of the features and specifications mentioned above, the Torch is quite possibly the best looking addition to the BlackBerry family with its compact looking design and sleek curves it really is a good looking phone from any angle and is a welcome break from the usual Smartphone form factor adopted by the likes of HTC, Apple, Samsung et al.

critic’s pick 216

What makes the collaborative summits The Chieftains have happily entangled themselves in over the years so appealing is a crafty game of give and take with the champion Irish band always maintaining the upper hand. Their recordings may resemble something of a cultural exchange on paper, with the traditional jigs, airs and reels chief Chieftain Paddy Moloney and crew have specialized in over the past half-century meshing with whatever folk, pop, country or Americana greats happen to be sitting in on a session. In the end, though, The Chieftains’ Irish sway has the last and most convincing say.

In other words, while the party is always great, The Chieftains want to make sure you head home with the hosts’ music taking the most dance turns in your head.

That occurs often on Voice of Ages, a fine new set of Chieftains collaborations with predominantly roots-driven, indie-style acts making up the guest list. Among the invited: Bon Iver, The Civil Wars, The Punch Brothers, The Low Anthem and more. Producing, with Moloney, is Americana entrepreneur T Bone Burnett.

The grand moment comes when The Decemberists let loose with a hale-and-hearty reading of Bob Dylan’s brilliant call-to-arms When the Ship Comes In. It begins, understandably, as stark American folk with a slight quiver in singer Colin Meloy’s voice setting the mood. The arrangement slowly mounts and the melodies turn more jubilant. In short order, The Chieftains’ potent chatter of whistles, fiddles and pipes toss the tune clear across the pond onto Irish shores. A brisk three minutes later, the tune concludes as a Celtic shuffle.

Almost as lively is the wintry sprint that string band upstarts The Punch Brothers conjure during a medley of The Lark in the Clear Air and Olam Punch. Moloney clearly sets the rules here, opening with a light, cinematic drone. That bleeds straight into a more open-ended romp with the merry slant of Chieftain Kevin Conneff’s vocals placed out front. The Punch Brothers later return for the more stoic The Frost is All Over with Chris Thile in the vocal lead.

Bon Iver’s ultra-wistful Down in the Willow Garden is a more modest but murderous treat, The Carolina Chocolate Drops hitch their back porch folk fun to Pretty Little Girl and Imelda May roughs up the Irish fancy with a lean roots-rock accent on Carolina Rua.

But the album’s heartiest guest voices belong to flutist Michael Tubridy and tin whistler Sean Potts – surviving members, along with Moloney, of the first Chieftains line-up from the early ‘60s. Hearing them join forces on the 11 minute medley The Chieftains Reunion reveals how Voice of Ages’ richest Irish fun is summoned after the rest of the guests have called it a night.

guitar grandeur

david russell.

 

Scotland and Spain sit as overseas lands with distinct cultures, histories and music.Yet both have served as home for David Russell.

A pronounced brogue surfaces as soon as the Grammy winning classical guitarist speaks. It is animated, specific, and informed, much like his playing. It also serves as a direct reference to his Glasgow birth. But Russell is phoning today from the Galician region of Spain, the country that has long served as home for all of his professional life. So what is the chosen repertoire for his newest album? Try Baroque music.

One of the most captivating aspects of Russell’s repertoire is that all of these territories have their say. He has recorded Baroque works numerous times before taking on the Bach, Handel, Couperin and Weiss compositions that make up his newest recording, The Grandeur of the Baroque. But the music of Spain has also heavily fortified Russell’s playing, from the 78 rpm records of the legendary Andre Segovia his father spun during his childhood to his own recordings, like 2004’s Aire Latino, which earned the guitarist a Grammy for Best Instrumental Soloist without Orchestra. Spin through Russell’s catalog further and you will discover Message of the Sea, which was devoted to arrangements of traditional Celtic compositions – a nod to his Scottish heritage.

Through Russell’s longstanding Spanish residency, one can pinpoint where he may sit geographically these days – at least during the three or four months out of the year when he is not touring. But where does he fall stylistically? As a classical music instrumentalist, definitely – one who has chosen Lexington as one of only six United States performance stops on a brief winter tour. That doesn’t mean, however, that Scotland and Spain won’t vie for equal time when Russell isn’t favoring Baroque.

“I still have my Scottish accent,” Russell said. “So everybody goes, ‘You’re Scottish, you’re Scottish.’ But I’ve lived so much of my life in Spain.

“When I was very young and my family was living in Scotland, I always saw that my father seemed to be happiest when he picked up the guitar. So he taught me play basically when I was a baby. But he was an artist and wanted live off of painting pictures. So we moved to Spain. But he always played guitar. He had lots of 78 records of Segovia, too. That was the music I was around all the time.

“So I grew up with that sense towards music as opposed to a sense of obligation or professionalism or anything like that. That came many years later when I went to London to study.”

But before those studies commenced at the Royal Academy with Jose Tomas, Russell had his first audience with the great Segovia himself.

“Segovia was incredibly generous and kind to young players,” Russell said. “When you are in your formative years, you’re never really sure where you stand, whether you will be any good or not. So to have somebody like Segovia give his time was really excellent. It certainly helped in my confidence.”

Still, even as studies in London were balanced with a home life in Spain, Russell’s Scottish roots remained strong. While Message of the Sea didn’t surface until 1997, the traditional repertoire it embraced took hold when the guitarist was in his teens.

“I started hanging out with the Scottish students,” he said. “One of the guys was a double bass player. We would play as a duo and in groups when I was 18 or 19. He really hooked me on Scottish traditional music and Irish music.”

Albums like The Grandeur of the Baroque, though, present Russell in perhaps his most definitive and challenging classical setting, as most compositions of the period were not written for solo instruments but for ensembles favoring harpsichord or violin. That meant transcribing the music for solo guitar.

“Transcriptions are only worth doing unless playing it on our instrument doesn’t hurt the piece. If it sounds better on the keyboard, then leave it on the keyboard. It’s not that it is ever going to sound better on guitar, but it’s going to give another view of the piece. It’s a challenge, but it’s also great fun.”

But just as home for Russell at the end of the touring road remains in Spain, so sits his music. Russell’s recordings are ripe with compositions by such famed Spanish composers as Isaac Albeniz, Enrique Granados and Manuel De Falla. Their works, in turn, reflect the folk music sung in everything from bars to concert halls.

“The source these composers heard was basically the folk music you heard in Spain,” Russell said. “Thankfully, folk music in Spain is still very alive. It’s typically what people sing in the streets. For instance, I know what Malaguena should sound like. I’ve heard the original many times. So when I’m playing a piece by Albeniz based on that song, you go to the same musical source. You can still hear it now in a bar in Seville.”

David Russell performs at 3 p.m February 19 at the University of Kentucky Medical  Center Pavilion A. Tickets are $10-$25. Call (859) 257-4929.
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calling home

darrell scott.

After spending a year-and-a-half on the road in someone else’s band, it should come as no surprise that Darrell Scott would release an album informed by the inspirations of home.

By that, we mean not only Scott’s literal home, even though his Nashville living room served as the makeshift recording studio for his new Long Ride Home album. The spirit goes deeper than that. The recording, Scott’s first album after a lengthy tour as a multi-instrumentalist in Robert Plant’s Band of Joy, also brings to mind an unshakeable Kentucky spirit.

He has lived in California, Illinois and Michigan, eventually garnering a reputation as one of Nashville’s most respected writers. Patti Loveless, Keb’ Mo’, Faith Hall, The Dixie Chicks and Brad Paisley (whose version of Scott’s You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive was used in the first two season finale episodes of the Kentucky-set Justified) are among the notables that have covered his songs. But the London-born Scott sees a Kentucky muse resonating generously throughout his new album – and in all of his music, for that matter.

“I hope it does,” Scott said by phone last week from Nashville. “I hope it always does. I guess it’s one of those things you become more aware of as you get older.

“Kentuckians are very proud, as you know. But sometimes in your life you can be outnumbered. You learn to be quiet about certain things that you think you’re supposed to be quiet about. For example, I remember distinctly being on a 5th grade playground in California and someone asking me, ‘What kind of music do you listen to?’ Well, guess what I didn’t say? I didn’t say country music. I said Three Dog Night or Chicago or Elton John or whatever.

“There is a point where you try to outrun your past sometimes. And then there comes a point where you turn back to it and become proud of your heritage, your culture, the foods you grew up on, the stories you were told, the people who told them, your church upbringing, your family and certainly your music. So I’ve had that thread in me.”

Perhaps the most obvious Kentucky presence on Long Ride Home comes during Hopkinsville, a slice of boot-scooting country fun with a serious narrative undertow. It tells of a Kentucky laborer who takes a bridge construction job in Nashville but continually dreams of home.

“We have this bridge here is Nashville called the Shelby Street Bridge. I’m not even sure when it was built. But I just started imagining some of the workers that welded that thing. I imagined a young guy from Hopkinsville working in Nashville on that bridge for however long but always longing for that one way seat to get back home. So the Kentucky thing is still working on me for sure.”

A mix of veteran Nashville studio aces (pianist Hargus “Pig” Robbins, pedal steel guitarist Lloyd Greene and drummer Kenny Malone) along with some all-star Americana contemporaries (Rodney Crowell, John Cowan, Tim O’Brien and Band of Joy mate Patty Griffin) helped flesh out Long Ride Home. The recording is a direct contrast to 2010’s  A Crooked Road, where Scott sang and played every song on his own.

Another guest on Long Ride Home was father Wayne Scott, the Eastern Kentucky native who moved the Scott family to Detroit, Chicago and eventually the West Coast in search of work. Though invested with a life-long love of country songs, he didn’t pursue music in any professional sense until his children were grown. Son Darrell produced his first and only album, This Weary Way, in 2005.

The elder Scott joined his son onstage for a sold out performance at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort last April. A few months later, after recording sessions wound down on Long Ride Home and post-production work was wrapping up, the younger Scott dedicated the recording to a less obvious, but equally powerful influence from home – his mother, Evelyn Jeree Gilbert, who died during the summer.

“My dad gets a lot of deserved credit for the musicality in my background. But my mom had great amounts of country music influence that my dad didn’t. My dad was all about Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Merle Haggard. Those were his heroes. My mom was more into Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette – a whole different thread of country music. Long Ride Home has as much or more of my mom’s classic country music taste in it as my dad’s.”

Scott knew his mother’s passing was at hand when work on Long Ride Home was finished. Not so with his father. In November, Wayne Scott died in an automobile crash in Corbin.

“Of course, I had no way of knowing that just a few months later my dad would also pass. There was no way to foresee that. I just left the album credits as they were.

“Like a lot of Kentuckians, my family moved to the factory working world of Chicago steel mills and Detroit car factories. But I’ll always have a proud place for Kentucky. I get it culturally and musically. You couldn’t help it when you grew up with my parents. You couldn’t be more Kentucky than my mom and dad.”

Darrell Scott and Chris Castle perform at 8 p.m. Feb. 18 at Natasha’s Bistro and Bar, 112 Esplanade. Tickets are $20 in advance, $24 day of show. Call (859) 259-2754.
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