A World Apart – literally / Maine Maple Syrup / The best music you haven’t heard & a set list to long for! The Marcrescue blog – life in Maine with an 8 year old
Been about a month since I last blogged about this and that…..and it seems in that span of days lots has happened.
You may remember that not so long ago…..our world here in Maine was all about ice, snow and cold.
So much so that I now have “Popeye” like arms – more than any other time in my life – because it seemed that every 7 minutes I was hauling, moving, stacking and then carrying wood upstairs to fuel up the woodstove and keep us warm in this much colder than normal winter.
Add in all that shoveling and I was tightening my belt one more notch.
Time to let it out again.
A few weeks ago I managed to stop to take a photo of the last ice fishing hut on the water near us:
It’s open water now….hope they got it out in time.
And it means it’s Sunday breakfast time with fresh from the tap pure Maine maple syrup:
That’s because we spend Maine Maple Day (it happens every March) touring our favorite maple sugar houses and stocking up on lots of syrup (seriously – if we time it right we get it hot right out of the tap) and various other maple syrup treats.
Hard to believe that it all starts with old buckets on even older trees:
It’s a party at all our favorite sugar houses and we see friends everywhere we stop.
First off we hit Sparky’s……as soon as you walk into the sugar house you get that unique aroma in the steam filled room from the boiling sap……perhaps my favorite scent of all time:
Sparky’s also has the best honey around – we buy big jars of his pure raw honey – nothing like it.
Then it’s off to Bradstreet – the most picturesque sugar house you’ll ever see:
Mark Bradstreet is the friendliest guy in the Maple business and when he’s not tending to the fire he’s smiling and showing off his fresh syrup:
And then the next moment he’s teaching everyone about how it’s made and about the different types of syrup:
They’re got live music in the corner:
And samples of waffles with fresh syrup and the best maple walnut fudge you’ve ever had!
We pick up some “Extra Dark Amber” syrup and fudge at Bradstreet and then off to Simmons & Daughters for more treats:
The Simmons eldest daughter was running the maple cotton candy machine and once you’ve gone maple cotton candy – you’ll never go back to cane:
At Simmons we picked up a half gallon of “Dark Amber” in a mason jar – so hot out of the tap we had to let it cool a bit before we could pick it up……out on the deck back at home…….it looks like the liquid gold it is:
Then it’s off to our last stop of the day – Kinney’s Sugarhouse….for some specialty maple items (maple cream among the items)…..and oooh the maple donut holes are to die for:
More live music:
And the final treat of the day – fresh maple walnut ice cream made with Kinney’s syrup by our friends the Chamberlains from Stone Fox Farm Creamery and served out of their “Mobile Cone”:
If you’re an ice cream addict like I am……I’m sorry – even though Stone Fox Ice Cream distribution is growing rapidly – it’s still local…..you’ll have to come visit to get some…..and it’s sure worth it.
My favorite “Salted Caramel”
And if you come visit – we’ll start with a main course before dessert.
Mac & Cheese?
Oh I know…..how about a Lobster Roll?
Sorry – couldn’t resist – it’s right before dinner time as I write this and I’m hungry……and the Mobile Cone will start hanging out at our local Farmer’s Markets which start shortly – at the same time all the local lobster shacks open for the summer.
It’s been a long winter.
So while we’ve been wandering around Maine sampling maple products – two of my friends – who both have new albums out – been wandering a bit farther afield.
Peter Bradley Adams – who’s latest album “The Mighty Storm” moved up to 81* on the FMQB Non-Comm (Public Music Radio) Album Chart has been touring in all places – Mainland China!
The poster is great – I have no idea what it says but it sure looks cool:
And Connor Garvey – who’s new album “Meteors And Beating Hearts” debuted on the same radio chart this week (a great album and I love the artwork on the cover):
Has been traveling almost exactly 1/2 way around the world from Peter.
Connor’s been skiing in the mountains in Alaska:
Connor’s from Maine…..and I find it interesting that after one of the coldest and snowiest winters we’ve had in a long time – he went off to find MORE snow.
One of the songs on Connor’s new album is called “Old House” and it’s one of my two favorites on the album.
It’s the story of the house that Connor and his girlfriend bought this year and are in the process of restoring.
It’s a love song about the girl and the house (with a very tasty “Dire Straits” feel and guitar for about the last two minutes of the tune) – and the only photo I’ve seen of this house is this one……he did a FB post about the snow he had been shoveling this winter (as we all have):
The man loves his snow.
And I’m right there with him on that love of winter and snow.
Because of the severity of the winter this year – many of my friends in Los Angeles have been asking when we were moving back???
Not a chance.
Here’s my thoughts about cold vs hot.
It’s easier to get warm when you’re cold – than cold when you’re hot.
You can always layer on more clothes until you’re warm.
But you can only take so much off when you’re hot…..and the worst part about that…..it seems that too many people go beyond the limit of what they should take off – especially the older they get…..it’s scary sometimes.
By the way – my other favorite song on the Connor Garvey album…..is the last track on the album – a song named “Tattered Shirt”.
Lately I’ve noticed that “Tattered Shirt” and “Old House” have become the best researching tracks on the album and I love that – both creative and original songs. “Tattered Shirt” is unique in that Connor wrote the song with a female character speaking….and yet sings it totally straight. I suspect that twist in the lyrics really surprises people to start and captures them and then they find they love the lyrics, the story and the gorgeous melody.
Here’s a listening link on YouTube to “Tattered Shirt”:
And a listening link to “Old House”:
Let’s talk about concerts for a moment.
I’m headed to a Connor concert later this week – looking very forward to it – he’s great live
…..as a reminder…..here’s his live version of “Irish” that I wrote about on St Patrick’s Day:
A live album “Before The Meteors” – with “Irish” on it – available now at his live shows – will be released shortly on iTunes and Amazon…it’s a companion piece to “Meteors And Beating Hearts”:
I just saw Chris Ross at the Camden Opera House:
…..the first time I’ve seen him play since he won this well deserved award:
Here’s one of his new songs “Drunk Women” – coming this summer on a new album:
Speaking of new albums and concerts – I get to see Barnaby Bright AND Ken Yates together in concert in NYC on May 8th at Rockwood……and BB are in the studio!!!!!!
Can’t wait to hear the studio version of “Just The Same” – which is perhaps the best adult realistic love song I’ve ever heard.
Check it out on this amazing live 9am performance at WNRN radio in Charlottesville:
And did you ever hear the Ken Yates song off his recent album “twenty-three”…..
…..that John Mayer blogged about after hearing Ken play it – it’s a masterpiece – “I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love”:
Can’t wait to see Barnaby and Ken together in concert next month.
I feel very fortunate to be able to work with such talented artists.
But music has always been a part of my life.
Have you ever been to www.setlist.fm ?
It’s a wonder – people have posted the setlists for way over a millions concerts from over 60,000 artists and it’s a great way to relive your favorite shows.
Lotta talk about Springsteen lately…..and I thought “Hey is that first show I saw of his up on the website?”
Here’s the story – about a year after I got to LA…..I was a newbie in the record biz and had no contacts to get tickets to special shows in LA….but…..luckily a friend of mine realized that the night after Springsteen was playing what turned out to be a bellweather show at the Roxy in LA…..he was playing in Santa Barbara at UCSB in the gym……and it was easy to get tickets.
So we drove up and saw one of the great shows of all time in my experience.
Now just looking at the setlist and reliving the show – I realized how amazing a concert it was – my memory of it is strong – very strong.
I sure do wish someone would invent a concert time machine so we could all go back and relive those magic moments – especially when the distance of time confirms how truly special those nights were:
This one was truly a night to remember:
Check out Setlist.fm – it blows me away every time I think to look up a show.
I’ll post something else next time I write – already have something in mind.
One more note about winter.
Now that it’s over – and the snow has disappeared almost all over town…..(not everywhere yet)…..weird things have been spotted coming out of the ground……we’re trying to identify them……some people are convinced they’re alien pods……so if these blog posts suddenly stop coming…..or if they start taking a very different tone…..(for instance….short, timely and totally business like)…..run for your life:
But then again……we might be safe after all – saved by Mother Nature……so much for Spring and probably Summer……I think we missed them.
Here’s what happened this week:
No wonder – I’d packed the snow shovel off to the shed….foolish me.
PS I posted a lot of great songs up above……if you like what you heard – we give away songs by Peter, Chris, Barnaby and Ken and a bunch of other artists on our free song page at www.misharamusic.com/freesongs
PPS We also have over 50 free songs on our Amazon samplers – easy to download at:
People seem to like them:
PPPS Ever wonder how we find all those sugar houses in the back woods of Maine?
Don’t need no GPS…..we have great street signs: