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June 1, 2014

A Day @ Jazzfest New Orleans / Last Year – This Year…what a difference / The Best Photo of All – the Marcrescue Blog – Life in Maine with an 8 Year Old

by Marc Ratner

Greetings,

(If you don’t have time to read through the entire post….and who does? Jump ahead for the “Big Finish” – the best photo is there!)

Since my last posting – the snow is gone and the black flies have arrived in Maine.

Lucky us.

Camden harbor is looking pretty spiffy as it fills up with ships and sails:

Camden Harbor 1 Twitter size

Gives you that easy peaceful feeling:

Camden Harbor 2 Twitter size

Everyone has been busy.

Barnaby Bright is in the studio recording:

Barnaby Studio Twitter size

Here’s a song – “Just The Same” – that will be on the new album – recorded live at WNRN Charlottesville:

Chris Ross has been playing a lot of new songs in concert – preparing for his new album – recording to start momentarily:

Chris Ross Twitter size

Of course – all those new songs written by the 2014 New England Music Awards “Songwriter Of The Year”:

New England Music Awards Chris Ross Twitter Size

Here’s a new tune from Chris – “Burns” – that will be on his next album:

What the heck – here’s another new Chris tune “Drunk Women”:

I’ve been on the road for much of the past four weeks.

Saw Connor Garvey in concert in Portland:

Connor Garvey Concert Twitter size

Once again Connor has won another award – he’s been raking them at festivals all over the country and this past weekend he was a winner at the Kerrville Festival in Texas. How cool is this award? John McGue the music director at WNKU in Cincinnati clued me in when I told him about it by sending me the Wiki bit about the award – whoa – nice company Connor!

Connor Garvey Kerrville 2014 & Wiki

Connor’s live album “Before The Meteors” – recorded in Bozeman Montana – will be released on June 17th. It’s a companion album to his latest studio recording “Meteors And Beating Hearts”:

Connor Garvey Before & Meteors

“Before The Meteors” includes live versions of all the songs from the studio album – with different arrangements…..and has the wit and wisdom of Connor on stage….and also includes the only recording of his live masterpiece “Irish Song”…..which you can hear here:

It also has a wonderful live version of “Tattered Shirt” – one of the most popular songs on the studio album:

I traveled to NYC to see Ken Yates open for Barnaby Bright:

Ken Yates Twitter size

Ken’s in Nashville at the moment – recording some demos for his next album.

Here’s one of my favorite Ken tunes “The One That Got Away”…..which is available as a free download – details below:

And just about a month ago (with Kim and Ethan in tow) I was at my fav music work festival – Jazzfest in New Orleans….and what a difference a year makes.

Last year I hit the rainiest days the festival has ever had where they didn’t cancel the day’s festivities…..this year was exquisite.

With 12 different stages – there’s a whole lot of music going on all day long – including some mighty big players on different days on the two big stages at opposite ends of the festival (this year had Clapton and Springsteen among others on the big stages). We tend to avoid those crowds and enjoy some amazing music that may be out of the limelight but excels nonetheless.

Here’s how one day went.

For us – a family with serious food allergies – there’s no better place we’ve ever found for vegan & gluten free foods than “Meals From The Heart”. The best thing about it – even though you can get your order vegan & gluten free – you’d never know it. We’d eat here everyday even if we didn’t have any allergies. Roland is waving hi….the best counter guy you’ve ever met in your life:

Roland Meals From The HeartTwitter size

On to Jazzfest (yes the sign is correct – this was their 45th year!):

Jazzfest Twitter size

Right off the bat we hit the Peoples Health Economy Tent and saw the Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble:

Louisana Repertory Jazz Ensemble Twitter size

Now I find this interesting…..this is the only stage (out of twelve stages) where I spotted this sign posted. When you look at the acts playing this stage….and the people attending – note the guy with the sun umbrella dancin’ up a storm – it appears that the most unruliest crowd is the senior citizens…tsk tsk:

Moshing Twitter size

Our two favorite venues this year were side by side – the Jazz tent and the Blues tent.

Here’s Marlon Jordan in the Jazz tent:

Marlon Jordan Twitter size

Next up was my favorite act this year – Stanton Moore – his trio was very reminiscent of the Dave Brubeck Quartet minus the Paul Desmond saxMarN Stanton Moore Twitter size

Next door at the Blues tent Johnny Sansome was holding court:

Johnny Sansome Twitter size

Then we made our way across the fairgrounds to the “New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage” for Rosie Ledet & The Zydeco Playboys. What a difference a year can make – the same stage a year apart – sun vs rain:

Fais Do-Do Stage 2014 & 2013

Back to the Blues Tent for Luther Kent & Trickbag:

Luther Kent Twitter size

Then (after a quick listen to Marcia Ball who we’ve seen a number of times at the Fest) off in another direction to the Congo Square Stage for The Wailers (with one original member from the Bob Marley years still playin’ strong). Lots of dancin’ goin’ on:

The Wailers Twitter size

Ahhh…it’s food time!

One of the great traditions of Jazzfest is that – even though it’s held at the New Orleans Fairgrounds – there’s not a corndog, prontopup or tube of cotton candy anywhere around – the rules for the fest are that the food purveyors have to be local and serving traditional Louisiana fixin’s – check out those signs:

New Orleans Food

Two of my favorites – Crawfish Boil and Fried Green Tomatoes:

Crawfish Boil FGT's Twitter size

The food was just as good but the experience was a bit different last year:

New Orleans Food & Rain 2013 Twitter size

Then we’re right back to music…..and a rush of acts to see.

We stopped for a moment for Lyle Lovett – but we’ve seen him before:

Lyle Lovett Twitter size

So we were off for a quick stop to check out Banu Gibson with special guests The Pfister Sisters (maybe they were the act they the organizers were worried about the audience moshing for – ya think?):

Banu Gibson Twitter size

I loved the New Orleans Nightcrawlers on the Jazz & Heritage Stage – and what a difference the sun made this year as opposed to last in the rain:

Jazz & Heritage Stage 2014 & 2013

Our last two acts of the day were back at the tents – first the Blues Tent for the Bernard Allison Group – some great guitar playin’ here:

Bernard Allison Twitter size

Then next door to the Jazz Tent one more time for the Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio – there’s no one better on the Hammond B3:

Dr Lonnie Smith Twitter size

Ahhh now the walk out of the festival back to the various transportation sites…..(more on that in a minute).

This is what it looked like last year in the rain:

Walking Home Twitter size

Though the day’s events at the fest are over at 7pm – (so people have plenty of time to enjoy the New Orleans nightlife) – on the walk back to transport the party continues on – the people in the neighborhood set up street parties.

This group was as good as many of those inside the festival:

Party On The Street Twitter size

There are a number of ways to get back to the French Quarter area – where all the tourist hotels are.

There are pre-bought shuttle bus tickets – sorta pricy – and the line is somewhat long.

Or you can get into the line for taxi’s…..it’s hugely long – at peak times it can be a 45 minute wait….and it’s pricey and you don’t get your own cab….they pile in as many people as they can…..and everyone gets charged individually.

Or – as we discovered a few years ago – you can walk up and get right on a city bus that takes you right to your hotel….and costs $1.25 per person.

Took us a few years but we finally got smart:

Bus Twitter size

Time for some wanderin’ around the French Quarter

Jackson Square has great people watching:

Jackson Square People Watching Twitter size

After a number of years we’ve now discovered and revisit our favorite local food hangouts…. that aren’t quite as tourist oriented……our choice for oysters is Felix’s:

Felix's Twitter size

And of course – eventually everyone ends up sooner or later at Cafe Du Monde…..we prefer later…..something so special about late nights there:

Cafe Du Monde Twitter size

But too soon another great trip to Jazzfest and New Orleans ends – we say goodbye to a great sunset over Jackson Square and hope to be back next year:

Jackson Square Sunset Twitter size

But as we all stay busy living our lives – things happen, time does pass and things do change.

For instance.

Recently a horrifying event occurred that has happened so quietly that most people probably have missed it.

Not a horrifying news event in the traditional sense – we have way too many of those.

Which is why not a single tv newscast covered this disaster – but it’s happened nonetheless.

A quality of life issue.

Sometimes – even with the best intentions – we’re just too darn concerned about our health.

Ben and Jerry’s are so careful about their ingredients that they’ve decided to discontinue Vanilla and Coffee Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream.

They’ve replaced both flavors with their own “toffee” because they weren’t happy with some of the ingredients in Heath Bars…….and reports are not good.

It’s not the same…..not as good…..not even close.

Luckily a friend warned me……he’s a Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch fan and bought up all the remaining VHBC at the local grocery store……I made a mad dash…..and bought the last four remaining containers of CHBC in town.

Safely locked away in our freezer:

Coffee Heath Bar Crunch Twitter size

But what do I do now?

You have to understand….this is my ciggie……my whiskey……my heroin.

I don’t smoke.

I don’t drink alcohol.

I don’t do drugs.

I do Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.

Four pints.

That’s all there is.

That’s all there is…..sighhhhh.

I guess once it’s gone I’ll have to drown my sorrows with cafe au laits and beignets at Cafe Du Monde.

And once a year I do get to go to Philadelphia for WXPN’s Non-Comm Public Radio music meeting.

Another amazing benefit of being in the music business……a meeting of the minds of wonderful smart music fans from both the radio and record sides of the biz…..where I learn something important every time I go and have the chance to see a whole host of music acts close up performing for the attendees…..and no special treatment here…..almost all the showcases are open to the public as well.

A great time is guaranteed for all…..and I get to sneak out with a couple radio friends for our yearly treat from Jim’s Steaks.

Here it comes:

Here It Comes Twitter size

Our annual Philly cheesesteaks:

Cheesesteaks Twitter size

So I guess it could be worse.

And it has been.

Much worse.

Again just a year ago.

If you remember last year’s blog post – my wife’s cousin ran in her first Boston Marathon.

We were there to cheer her on and just after she passed the finish line my wife took this photo:

Marathon Twitter size

See the blue arrow?

That’s where the first bomb went off 60 seconds later.

We saw them both explode.

We weren’t hurt but a lot of people were and so was the county and the entire world….one more step into insanity.

We went back this year.

Many of us wearing our special caps:

Hat Twitter size

Everyone came back and brought their friends and family.

The spectators jumped from a half a million last year to a million this year – all to show support.

We were there to cheer the runners and each other.

Security was much tougher but everyone had a friendly smile and I didn’t observe a single incident of any kind – just a lot of supportive friendly people of all kinds:

Security Twitter size

Our cousin – from Ohio – made special notes for her run:

Boston Strong Twitter size

Her time was a bit off from last year……even though she was capable of a faster pace this year……because as she said “I kept slowing down to highfive all the kids along the race route”.

This was a joyful year:

Boston Joy Twitter size

When I said everyone came to celebrate – I mean everyone:

Bert Boston Twitter size

But joy is not just a year to year thing.

As much as this letter has been about “last year – this year”.

If you do it right – it’s ongoing.

I’ve posted lots and lots of photos over the years……but this one is the best.

I didn’t take it and neither did Kim.

How could we?

We were both in it.

Ten years ago last Friday.

You want my favorite photo?

You got it:

Wedding Twitter size

Doesn’t get better than the last ten years with my honey!

I wish you all the same joy in your lives.

Marc

PS Please share in our joy of music.

To help spread the joy we give lots of songs away.

Both on our free music page @ http://www.misharamusic.com/freesongs (Get the Ken Yates track from above free on this page).

And on our five (soon to be six) free song samplers at Amazon.com -.we have given away in the past couple of years – at last count – 1,029,484 free songs.

Over ONE MILLION free song downloads!

Songs by the above mentioned Connor Garvey, Chris Ross, Barnaby Bright, Ken Yates…..and from lots of other Mishara artists and friends of the label as well.

All free to enjoy and share.

Have fun:

http://tinyurl.com/AmazonFreeMisharaSamplers

5 Amazon Samplers

Marc Ratner
Mishara Music
E-mail: marcrescue@gmail.com
Website: http://www.misharamusic.com
Wordpress: http://www.marcrescue.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marc.ratner
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/marcrescue (The best way to keep up with these blog posts – join me on Twitter)
IM: marcrescue

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