Tuesday, October 25, 2016


My father died about 20 years ago.  He's buried in a small cemetery in Leesburg, Virginia.  His grave is in the cemetery's older section, surrounded my a mixture of older and newer graves.  Overlooking this section of the graveyard is a majestic, old Maple tree.

Anyhow, I had a physical this morning and after getting through it unscathed, I decided to take the day off.  After doing a couple of other chores I suddenly decided to drive out to Leesburg to say hello and make sure his plot was clean.  

It was one of those wonderful Fall  days.  Bright blue skies; warm sunshine; green, green grass, and that Maple tree just beginning to change colors.  Anyhow, as I was standing there trimming the grass around the grave James Taylor's 'September Grass' climbed into my head.  It was the perfect soundtrack for the afternoon.  Simply one of my favorite Taylor tunes:


Saturday, October 1, 2016


I writing this knowing full well I have no musical talents.  After all, how many folks do you know who have been kicked out of seventh grade recorder band? 

Against that backdrop I have zero credentials for criticizing other folks.  'Course that's not going to stop me from putting this list on the web.

# 10 - Tony Bird

Bird's a white African born in Malawi, living in New York.  He's recorded sporadically since the mid-'70s with a couple of obscure albums seeing an American release (1976's "Tony Bird", 1978's "Tony Bird of Paradise", and 1990's "Sorry Africa").   Imagine a mash-up of old Bob Dylan and "Graceland" era Paul Simon and you'll have a rough idea of what Bird sounds like.  His voice is something else.  Thin, dry, and nasally, he sings as if infected with a nasty lisp.  His accent (apparently a mix of English and Afrikaans) makes it even harder to figure out what he's singing about (though the themes are often activist in nature related to his home country).  

Admittedly the sound quality isn't particularly good and this is a live performance, but this clip from a 1983 performance at the Winnipeg Folk Festival will give you a taste of Mr. Bird:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyJRQ2JWkEg