Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Camden Harbor’

23
Jun

Spring in Maine / Snow’s finally gone / Photos & Music / The best Presidential story gets better! – Life in Maine with family & music – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings All,

It’s been a very busy few months since I last wrote an update about life in Maine and the workings of a very independent music company.

If you read my last update – there was a story about how my family has a handshake connection with Abraham Lincoln.

At the end of this letter – I’ll reprint a reply to that story from a friend of mine that has a similar story about another great American president. Side by side – the two stories are astounding and remind us that our history is not as distant as we might imagine.

When I last wrote – Maine was covered in snow.

Which impacted our annual spring Maine Maple Sunday visits to our favorite maple sugar / syrup producers. They open their doors up one day a year for everyone to visit and celebrate the process.

We hit our three favorites again this year – first off stopping at Sparky’s – where they were busy loading wood onto the fire that boils down the syrup in a contraption that resembles nothing else.

The first thing you notice is that unlike most years there was still snow on the ground – a lot of it:

IMG_8164
Of course this is Maine.

A reminder of that:

IMG_8165
It takes a lot of wood to make maple syrup. On average it takes boiling down about 40 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of maple syrup:

IMG_8166

IMG_8168
We also love stopping at Simmons & Daughters Sugar House (always a party goin’ on) for MAPLE cotton candy – nothing like it:

IMG_8206

IMG_8213

IMG_8217
And there’s no one more helpful and friendly than Mark at Bradstreet Maple Farm – he spends the entire day educating everyone about the process:

IMG_8183

 

This year was going to be a complete mystery on how much syrup he was going to be able to produce.

Every season he has a chart of the previous year’s production and holds a guessing contest on what this year will produce.

Winner gets free syrup:

IMG_8203
This year will be off – because putting in the taps on the trees was a bit more difficult. As Mark demonstrates – this was how deep the snow was – that he had to work through to place the taps:

IMG_8198
You might think real maple syrup is expensive – but when you figure it out – I’m betting the producers don’t even come close to making minimum wage.

They don’t do it for the money – they do it because they love it.

This year we hit a another maple celebration in Vermont when we went to visit family.

Another state that takes it seriously:

IMG_8280
They had lots of different maple products for sale at the festival but nothing came close to how wonderful these were – homemade donuts with fresh maple cream.

Forget about Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme etc.

They got nuthin’ compared to these:

IMG_8295
And ya can’t beat the entertainment – free for kids:

IMG_8306
Speaking of delicious.

Spent a few days in Philadelphia at the annual Non-Comm Music gathering – where public radio stations and music folks get together for meetings and amazing musical performances.

I was so busy running from one great performance to another I didn’t have a moment to stop to take any photos this year.

Except for the one time I slowed down for the yearly trip to Jim’s Steaks:

IMG_8343

IMG_8348
Thank goodness I don’t live near Jim’s or Nellie’s Donuts.

How do people resist the temptation?

I have no idea.

Of course the food in Maine isn’t too shabby either.

Backing up a bit to the end of winter – a snowstorm on Valentine’s Day is no surprise – but that didn’t stop us – a great night out at the Fog Bar in Rockland. Movie’s projected on the wall, a great new duck and sweet potato Shepherd’s Pie and fresh oysters!

Valentine's Night - Fog Bar - 02-14-2015
But that winter of snow & cold seems long ago now.

Our indie music company Mishara Music released some very cool albums this Spring.

First a new EP by Cass Dillon – an amazing songwriter and performer. Second – an album unlike any other – poetry, storytelling and some great guitar licks by Dave Morrison and then – containing a track from both – our 6th free song sampler on Amazon.com:

Mishara Spring 2015 release
Listen to Cass at our YouTube listening channel for his EP “Oregon Road”. Amazing melodies:

Listen to Dave on Soundcloud – storytelling like you’ve ever heard before:

We’ve found that encouraging people to sample free songs from the company builds our audience exponentially.

Here’s a sampling of some reviews on Amazon from our samplers – you’ll understand why we do this – we’ve been building a brand:

Amazon Reviews June 2015
For our latest offering on Amazon this spring – we put together a sixpack of free songs:

Amazon Singles Sixpack
Brand new this week on YouTube / Spotify / Soundcloud – is a 10 tune playlist of some of our favorite songs – with the kicker that they’re all available as free downloads on those Amazon samplers.

Here are the listening links.

YouTube link:

Spotify:

Soundcloud link:

So now here’s the link to Mishara Music on Amazon – where you’ll find those ten free songs and another 60+ additional free downloads:

http://tinyurl.com/MisharaMusic

How do all those free tracks do?

Charts on Amazon (and iTunes) change hourly – but checking randomly right now as I type this – here’s what Mishara Music has on the Top 100 Free All Format Chart on Amazon at this moment.

10 of the top 100:

Amazon 10 Top 100 06-22-2015
As I tell our artists and anyone else that will listen to me.

Build your audience – build your brand.

More new music, artists and always additional free songs are coming this summer.

In the meantime – maybe we can sneak out a bit and enjoy this wonderful change in the weather.

The blooms on the apple trees this year were the most bountiful in years:

IMG_8368
I have two favorite types of flowers and both are almost wild in Maine – they’re all over the place.

My favorite aroma flower is the lilac:

IMG_8377
And my favorite visual flower is the Iris:

IMG_8433
We also have that wonderful giant bowl of water called the Atlantic Ocean nearby.

The sailing schooners in Camden harbor have been prepping for a busy summer season.

You can sail on the biggest of schooners for a week:

IMG_8449
Or for two hours on the “Owl”:

IMG_8456
My wife lives for being outdoors in the summer.

We try to make the most of it.

A road trip ends up with a great view of the sunset over a small beach:

Chairs 2 at Sunset
Our favorite used bookstore is only open on weekends in the summer in a small shack on an ocean cove tucked away on a side road in the middle of nowhere.

You’d be amazed at how many people find their way there.

(Of course – you need a lot of reading material around here startin’ about November for about five months or so):

IMG_8410
Do people visit lighthouses because of the lighthouses?

Or because they just happen to be built in the most scenic spots?

I suppose we could do a survey – but once you’re there – who cares:

IMG_8413
Got our first camping trip in.

For us camping is not so much about going to a different place physically – it’s more about the psychological change.

So we went all of about five miles down the road to Camden Hills State Park:

IMG_8427
We can walk the path along the ocean and glimpse a view of a schooner sailing by and of Islesboro Island out beyond:

IMG_8426
Our favorite campsite is in a wonderful stand of beautiful trees:

IMG_8422
And if there’s one thing most important at the end of a great day of hiking and camping – it’s roasting marshmallows over the campfire:

IMG_8428
This past weekend was fun.

Saturday was the annual Summer Solstice street celebration in our neighboring town Rockland:

IMG_8464
Big fun – restaurants giving out free samplers of their dishes, games for kids, demonstrations, booths and on every side street they had music playing – acoustic musicians on one corner, a dj on the next, then a rock band – here’s a local jazz orchestra:

IMG_8458
But my favorite this year was the Juke Rockets Blues Band.

What’s the old saying? “Youth is wasted on the young”

As you get older you learn to never underestimate anyone.

My suggestion – don’t ever walk up to the guy with the big white beard and say “Hey, you wanna have a blues guitar showdown?”

You’d lose.

Come to think of it – if ZZ Top is ever looking for an additional guitar player – I got the guy:

IMG_8463
Sunday was Father’s Day.

I ran into a T-Rex at a showing of Jurassic World:

Jurassic World Father's Day 06-21-2015
Remember when I talked about a couple of my favorite foods up above in the letter?

I gotta say – there’s nothing better than home cooking.

I got treated like royalty on Father’s Day.

First off Kim made a bbq hash for brunch – with smoked turkey from our favorite bbq joint – “4 Points BBQ” in Winterport, Maine. Smoked turkey, onions, garlic, peppers, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, some secret seasoning etc.

Alas no photo – but – here’s a photo of a similar hash from a camping trip last summer – that used some “4 Points” beef brisket instead of the smoked turkey – you’ll get the idea:

Beef Brisket, Sweet Potato, Potato, Onion Hash cooking Searsport Shores 07-27-2014
I thought that was my treat for the day – boy was I wrong.

Dinner at Kim’s mom was a total surprise – homemade strawberry shortcake for dessert – using corn bread instead of a hard biscuit – so much better – but the big treat was my favorite dish of all time – Crayfish Etouffee – made by Kim’s mom – who learned to make it when they lived in Lafayette, Louisiana years ago – with fresh flown in Louisiana crawfish.

I ate more food in one day than I usually eat in a month.

Nothing like Father’s Day with the family:

Father's Day Crawfish Etouffee Strawberry Shortcake 06-21-2015
Which reminds me – let’s revisit that Lincoln story.

In the last post I wrote – I described the story of my father and uncle meeting an army veteran that my grandfather brought home from the “Old Soldiers Home” for dinner in the 1930’s when they were young kids.

Mr Carpenter shook their hands saying “Shake the hand that shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln”.

Turns out President Lincoln came to meet with his generals in 1862 and Mr. Carpenter was a young soldier at the meeting location and was part of the line that Mr. Lincoln walked down – shaking each soldier’s hand.

Which means that my father and uncle were two handshakes away from Lincoln.

Which means that I and my son (who’s 9 and has shaken the hand of my now 91 year old uncle – (who’s got his own great stories – read about him in the last post) are only 3 handshakes away.

150 years after the end of the civil war.

Pretty amazing.

But with this letter from my friend John Baker – who’s hand both my son and I have shaken – it gets better.

Here’s John’s story:

At my prep school in Groton, Mass, was a retired teacher, Mr. Richards, who had taught both my father and grandfather (class of 1909). Mr. Richards was revered. He died before I actually went to the school, but not before my older brother did.

On a “Parents’ Weekend” as it was called, in 1959 my father called on Mr. Richards (now THERE’s an old phrase) with me, my brother and my mother.

My father, after tea, became solemn, and asked Mr;. Richards to “tell my sons about the very elderly man you met and spoke of to my class back in 1934, my senior year, which was your annual story for the senior class.”

Mr. Richards nodded slowly, looked at us, and said “I haven’t told this story since I retired on 1951, but your father has asked.”

In 1888 when I was a student at this school, and home for Easter, my father introduced me to an aging member of our church in Boston. The man, it turned out, was over 100 years old. My father, who had seen and spoken to this gentleman many times, asked me to remember and revere that handshake, because, he said, “You have just shaken the hand of a man who, as a young boy, shook the hand of George Washington.”

Father then said that we two boys were to remember that we had just shaken the hand of a man who had shaken the hand of a man who had shaken the hand of the “Father of our country.”

Mr. Richards died a year later at the age of 90, and I must think that we may have been the last of his “boys” to hear that story.

John

So let’s recap.

History seems so long ago.

But in these instances – it’s close up and personal.

If we happen to run into each other and we shake hands….that means that you will be four handshakes away from Abraham Lincoln (I’m three) and five handshakes away from George Washington (I’m four).

Even better.

My son is nine.

In 2076 – the 300th birthday of the United States he’ll be 70.

And astonishingly – only three handshakes away from Abraham Lincoln and four away from George Washington.

I love history.

But history doesn’t need to be about events hundreds of years ago.

I was lucky enough to celebrate history earlier this year.

For my son’s birthday in January we did a 3 day road trip to NYC.

We ride the rails:

On the road again - 01-04-2015
My wife and I were lucky enough to have signed up for a pair of tickets to a show last October that came through in December when we’d almost given up hope.

I’ve been in the entertainment business for over 40 years and actually had been to the show before – escorting one of the guests appearing that night – lady named Cher. Now that was an experience.

But tickets to this show – for the audience – were never given out to anyone except regular people that wrote in for tickets.

They never cared about catering to any VIP’s or the record companies.

You want tickets – you write in like everyone else.

They even warned you – if you’re chosen to receive tickets – you have to answer a random trivia question about the show.

I knew the answer to the question when they called.

They only wanted real fans in the audience.

My wife and I were real genuine fans.

Watched every night.

And miss him so much.

But we got to spend one great afternoon in the theatre for a taping.

IMG_8039
I got a hat. A treasure:

IMG_8357
I was there for a part of history.

Marc

PS We’re all busy these days.

Everyone I know is busier than they’ve ever been.

But I guess there are still people out there that find the time to do the unexpected.

Have a bit of fun.

Something I have to do more of.

Don’t know who and don’t know why – but I sure did appreciate it:

Stop
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

 

24
Mar

Greetings all,

(Look at the pictures, read what you want, download what interests you – but whatever you do….make sure you read the Presidential story at the end of the post. It’s mindblowing).

Now that it’s Spring officially I’m writing a blog about winter.

If you don’t live in New England you might have heard in a news report somewhere that we’ve had a bit of snow and some colder than usual temperatures.

Tsk, tsk.

As we all know the news media is always looking for something to fill their 24 hours news feed.

So they played up winter a bit.

As far as I’m concerned it’s simply my annual “Winter Conditioning Program”.

It did work a bit better than usual this year.

These past few months I’ve been able to utilize my conditioning program almost every other day.

Here’s what the weekly forecast looked like most every week – a day and a half without snow:

Forecast winter 2015 - Letter Size
Here’s a description of how my snow days would go.

We have a double front driveway, a long back driveway and a deck that runs the length of the house that all need to be cleared of snow – plus some assorted sidewalks.

The back deck tends to build up in storms because of drifting and everything up there has to be lifted over the railing.

Can’t get a snow blower up there so it’s all by hand.

After I clear around us – I help four of our neighbors in the cul-du-sac for various reasons – out of town, young children, elderly etc – and then over to my mother-in-law’s house.

First thing – gotta charge my iPod.

Very important:

Snowblower, snowshovel and - 2015 - Letter Size

Second – always fun to see how much new snow we got:

21 Inch Snow Storm - Letter Size

Then it’s time to work.

I mix it up.

Snowblowing:

Dad Fun 2015 - Letter Size

Shoveling:

Shovel The Deck 2015 - Letter Size

Sometimes it’s a bit chilly.

Luckily Valentine’s Day is a heartwarming kind of day….because this is what we woke up to that morning:

Valentine's Day 2015 - Letter Size

But we have fun as well.

This year we built Ethan a snow cave / tunnel. (With a mini snowman on a beam to watch over it):

Snowcave 2015 - Letter Size

And it’s not just us – lots of people come out for fun in winter in Maine.

Our favorite winter event is the National Toboggan Championships held every year in Camden.

(Note I took this photo of the sign two years ago….this year they didn’t put up the Toboggan banner on the sign….they couldn’t get to it because of the snow:

Camden Snow Bowl - older photo - Letter Size

This year it warmed up for the festivities:

Toboggan Weather 2015 - Letter Size

Here are the rules – I love the part by the blue arrow: “No exposed skin except face. Face-masks and properly fitted ski helmets are recommended”. I wonder who they were thinking needed the reminder – this is Maine afterall?

No Exposed Skin 2015 - Letter Size

The track is an old – fashioned wooden chute that’s ice coated.

It’s not long but it’s fast:

Toboggans 2015 - Letter Size

This was not a great run time – gotta get into the 8 second range to get into the finals:

Timing Shed 2015 - Letter Size

Gettin’ four people on a flimsy wooden toboggan that travels 30+ mph is a challenge. The person at the back has no clue what’s going on – they’re just hangin’ on off the edge for dear life:

Whoa 2015 - Letter Size

My team didn’t get registered in time this year so I sat this one out.

Whadda do if you’re not racing?

Eat of course.

Lots of nice folks haul out tents / shacks / trailers and hang out all day in really cold weather serving up some really good food.

Of course anything hot tastes great when it’s 5 degrees outside:

Food 2015 - Letter Size

I made a major discovery this year.

I’m always on the hunt for the holy grail of fish chowder (way better than clam chowder) and this year I found it.

The trailer doesn’t look like much (and they got a lot of ribbing about the “Ice Cold Drinks” sign) but this innocent location had the best fish chowder I’ve ever had!!!!!

Deb's Diner 2015 - Letter Size

OHMIGOSH it was good:

Haddock Chowder 2015 - Letter Size
Turns out Deb from Deb’s Diner in Waldoboro Maine was responsible.

Check out their FB page at https://www.facebook.com/debsdiner

But be forewarned – if you look at the page – it’s all about the things she’s making in the kitchen in the diner and it might make you jump in the car / board a train / hop on a jet to come visit – even in the middle of winter.

You’ve been warned.

Back to the races.

The racers take them very seriously…..

…..they come from all over with very fancy toboggans…..

Delaware 2015 - Letter Size

…..maybe because they’re the coolest trophies ever…..

Trophy 2015 - Letter Size

…..but as a racer checks the scoreboard…..you notice that many of the the team uniforms are unique…..

Checking The Score 2015 - Letter Size

…..and some of the people cheering them on are strangely dressed…..

Friends 2015 - Letter Size

…..we do have fun in Maine in winter..

It’s also a great way to celebrate a notable birthday – with a sense of humor and a sweatshirt (that’s Deb on the right) that about 20 different people were wearing:

50 Shades of Sleigh - Letter Size

The toboggan races are also a great place to show off some toys.

I’ve heard it said that boys especially never really grow up – it’s just that the size of their toys get bigger.

Pretty hard to dispute that when it’s captured in photos.

I think I probably had a toy like this when I was a kid:

Toy for Little Boy 2015 - Letter Size
I sure did look longingly at this one….but can’t figure out how to justify it to my wife….but if we keep having more winters like this then maybe I’ve got a chance::

Toy for  Big Boys 2015 - Letter Size

Meanwhile in the midst of all this fun there’s actually been some beehive type activity at Mishara Music and all the sudden there’s a bunch of new Spring releases coming.

Three to start – Cass Dillon, Dave Morrison and a new Amazon sampler:

Mishara Spring 2015 releases - Letter Size
First off – Tuesday March 24th is the release date for the new Mishara Music Amazon Free Song Sampler – our sixth:

Amazon Six Cover - Letter Size
I think it’s our best – certainly our biggest – 17 songs.

(The previous five have had over 1,800,000 free song downloads)

Here’s the Amazon download link:

http://tinyurl.com/MisharaMusicAmazonSampler6
Here’s a list of artists (in order on the sampler): Barnaby Bright, Cass Dillon, Meggan Waltman, Chris Ross, Ken Yates, Connor Garvey, Dave Morrison, Peter Bradley Adams, Clarensau, Gabriel Mann, Merlowe & The Dry Tear.

Some notes about the songs.

“Just The Same” by Barnaby Bright starts off the sampler – a track from their upcoming new album (first in two years) and to my ears it’s simply the best adult love song I’ve ever heard. If that wasn’t enough from them we’ve included a live version of “Made Up Of” from the last album which includes a cellist in the performance. You cannot tell it’s a live performance until the applause at the end.

New Mishara Music artist Cass Dillon debuts with a song titled “Friends”. The title says it all – friends are everything in life. The melody will stay in your head for days at a time….luckily you’ll be happy about that. More about Cass to follow.

“Rain” by Meggan Waltman is a song that’s haunted me for years. Meggan recorded and played me the song a number of years ago….and then completely disappeared.

I couldn’t find her anywhere. Phone disconnected, no longer at that address and not a hint of her on social media.

Then out of the blue she calls.

Turns out she went to Japan for a few years.

That’s one way to disappear – travel to the other side of the world.

We quietly released her EP “Nomad” in 2014 and now with this track on the sampler a lot more people will discover her.

The song is the essence of a dark rainy day – I may hate days like that but I love the song.

(And a side note here – the female singers on Mishara Music – Meggan, Kat Maslich, Sally Caggiano from Clarensau and Becky Bliss from Barnaby Bright are among the best & purest singers / voices I’ve ever heard. One of these days I’d like nothing better than to have a concert featuring just them. Even though I could get in for free – I’d pay to see it.)

Speaking of Clarensau – “Dance With Me” – the lead track from their 2nd Mishara album “This One’s For You” is as great a modern “first dance” wedding song as you’re ever gonna hear. Need one? Or know someone that does? This song is special.

Besides the three new albums coming right away….and the new Barnaby Bright coming right afterwards….there’s a new Chris Ross album – 3 years in the making.

Chris – with a great new band – is finishing the album – which will be titled “Young Once” in the studio as I type.

Prepare to be astonished.

In the meantime – before the band hit the studio – Chris recorded an acoustic teaser track “Drunk Women” for the new sampler.

As you might expect from Chris – the story is much deeper than that title suggests.

How do you handle a call from the “ex” who needs a ride at 2am?

You’ll also find a new acoustic version of his lyrical masterpiece from the last album “Your America” on the sampler.

Ken Yates also has a couple tunes on the sampler – from his “twenty-three” album – including the song “The One That Got Away” that won him the 2014 Ontario Arts Council Songwriting Award in his native Canada.

As we just passed St. Patrick’s Day how could we not include Connor Garvey’s classic “Irish Song” from his live “Before The Meteors” album. It answers the question of how a seemingly Irish lad through and through (his hair is THAT red) does not know a single Irish song to play on St. Patrick’s Day.

To match the playful Connor we’ve also included the stunning “Tattered Shirt” from the studio companion album to the live release “Meteors And Beating Hearts”.

What you may notice at this point…..these are some of our all time favorite songs from the label.

We’re giving them away.

The more we get people to hear our music the better off we’ll be.

It’s not so important to sell a track here or a tune there….it is important to build the audience for the music we love.

If do that – it will enable all of us to keep on making music.

Ever watch tv? Are you a fan of “Modern Family”?

Turns out the music composer for the show and a whole bunch of others is a gentleman named Gabriel Mann.

Two of his singer-songwriter albums are on Mishara. Check out “This Feeling”. You’ll understand why he’s in such demand.

The last track in order on the sampler is from a friend of the label – Danny Owen – who’s band Merlowe & The Dry Tear offers up “Table For One” – with a sound not quite like anything else.

Hmmm, what didn’t I mention.

Two more artists.

Peter Bradley Adams – the artist that helped start Mishara Music gives us a very popular track from his Mishara album “Between Us” – “I May Not Let Go” and from his new album “The Mighty Storm” – that he independently released – a song titled “Hey Believers”. There’s no one like Peter.

Lastly I come to Dave Morrison.

Two tracks on the sampler from his new album “Poetry Rocks”.

Why is it called “Poetry Rocks”?

Because Dave is a poet.

Let me back up a bit.

I met Dave here in Maine a number of years ago and we became friends.

I didn’t know he was a poet.

That’s good.

I hate poetry.

Anyday back in my old school days that we had to study poetry was a hard day for me.

Poetry just didn’t work for me.

So one day Dave mentions “Hey, I’ve got a new book coming out and I’m doing a poetry reading can you drop by?”

So I’m stuck.

He’s my friend and of course I say yes.

With every intention of dropping in….making sure he sees me and then sneaking out as fast as possible.

Did I mention I hate poetry?

I was the last one to leave.

Like nothing I’d ever heard before.

Dave knows how people feel about poetry.

That high school kind of poetry.

That’s not Dave.

Turns out he’s released 10 poetry books.

He’s been featured a number of times on “The Writers’s Almanac” – the Garrison Keillor daily feature on NPR.

But Dave was also a guitar player in a band for years and years.

He was toying around with the idea of combining his two skills.

I encouraged him and the album “Poetry Rocks” (release date is April 14th) is unlike anything else:

Dave Morrison Poetry Rocks - Letter Size
His first track on this sampler is “Being A Poet”. It basically addresses the scary subject that all writers face….”Hey I’ve got an idea for you to write about….”

On a more serious side is “Patricia Alone After 14 Years”

Mis-titled on the sampler – I left out the word “alone” – Dave said “Don’t worry about it”.

That’s the kind of guy he is.

Curious to know more? Read on. (But if I’d known his take on # 13 I would have re-evaluated this deal – they’re absolutely not!):

25 Things About Dave Morrison - Letter Size
Wanna hear the track “Being A Poet” by Dave Morrison without waiting a moment more?

Here’s a link to a free download – no email or registration required (ever from Mishara Music):

http://misharamusic.com/free/beingapoet/

The other new artist I mentioned was Cass Dillon.

His EP is “Oregon Road”:

Cass Dillon Oregon Road - Letter Size
Here’s the story of how he came to Mishara Music.

The friend I’ve known longer than any other in the music business – Marc Nathan – called me up and said something like “I’ve been looking for the perfect artist for Mishara Music for years and finally found him. His name is Cass Dillon and you’re perfect for each other”.

He sent me the music.

I made a cd and put it in my car.

Cars are the best place for listening. Most cars have great sound and it’s about the only place these days you get alone time to listen.

But I didn’t have any driving plans for a bit – so it didn’t get heard right away.

Until my wife’s car had to go into the shop for a checkup.

My job of course – so she takes my car.

As she came in the door that night she didn’t say “Hi Honey”.

Didn’t kiss me on the cheek.

Didn’t pass “Go” and collect $200.

She said “WHAT IS THE CD IN YOUR CAR? It’s GREAT!”

Now you know the secret.

Our test marketing – even when it’s unintentional.

“Oregon Road” releases on Mishara Music April 7th.

Thinkin’ you’d like to know more about Cass?

25 Things about Cass Dillon - Letter Size

You can hear “Friends” by Cass Dillon right this very second – and download it as well.

Here ya go:

http://misharamusic.com/free/friends/

Some odds and ends about winter that I didn’t cover above.

In spite of the cold and snow it can be incredibly beautiful.

The harbor is always a sight – winter or summer:

Beautiful but cold 2015 - Letter Size

The sky against the whiteness of the snow just shines in color (thanks to my wife for these photos).

Sunrise Instead Of Snowstorm 2015 - Letter Size

Winter Beauty 2 2015 - Letter Size

Winter Beauty 2015 - Letter Size

Winter Sunset 2015 - Letter Size
Our favorite family mode of transportation – winter or summer:

Best Transportation 2015 - Letter Size

Snowshoes 2015 - Letter Size
Christmas lights look mysterious with a bit of snow covering them (before they were totally obliterated by the snowfalls to follow):

Lights 2015 - Letter Size
A good lesson to learn….don’t forget to change out the screen door for the storm window before the snow comes – oops:

Don't Forget to Replace The Screen 2015 - Letter Size
My wife does have a great recovery plan for coming in from the cold and snow when you’ve finally had enough:

Kim's Cure 2015 - Letter Size
I discovered binge watching on “Netflix”.

West Wing 2015 - Letter Size
Which brings me to the promised “Presidential” story.

Lots of people I’ve met over the years have met various US President’s and there are some wonderful stories that’ll I’ll share the next time we meet up in person.

Though if we do meet up in person – this is the story to remember.

Don’t forget to shake my hand.

Why?

Ahhh, time for a history lesson.

Abraham Lincoln used to visit his generals and the troops during the Civil War.

Here’s a very famous photo of him visiting Gen George McClellan and his generals in October 1862 after the battle of Antietam (the Union name / the Confederacy called it Sharpsburg):

Lincoln October 2nd, 2015 - Letter Size
It wasn’t the first time he visited McClellan. Here’s a description of his travels for a few days earlier that year in July:

July 7, 1862 — President Lincoln and military party leave Washington on the Ariel to visit General McClellan and the Army of the Potomac at Harrison’s Landing at Berkeley Plantation.

July 8, 1862 — Lincoln arrives at Harrison’s Landing at 6:00p.m. He then reviews McClellans’ Army by corps and divisions until 9:00p.m.

July 9, 1862 — Lincoln talks with officers of the Army about military problems and records the results in a memorandum. He then leaves on the Ariel for the return trip to Washington.

Now here’s a note from the records of the Minnesota National Guard:

July 9, 1862- President Abraham Lincoln visits the 1st Minnesota, camped at Harrison’s Landing
This is important because?

Earlier this year we went to visit my Uncle Gene.

One of the few remaining veterans from the World War II battles of the Pacific.

He was a Marine and is one of those brave individuals who stormed the beaches of Saipan, Tarawa etc.

The stories – you can’t imagine.

He’s 91.

My son Ethan is 9 and they hadn’t seen each other for a few years and it was a great reunion.

Here’s Ethan showing Uncle Gene how he uses his Kindle:

Technology - Lincoln - Mr Carpenter 2015 - Letter Size

My favorite Uncle Gene story is not about WWII – it’s about the Civil War.

My grandfather (a WWI vet) back in the 1930’s when Gene was Ethan’s age used to visit the old solder’s home in Minneapolis and bring some of the vets home for dinner.

One day he brought the oldest vet in the home – Mr. Carpenter – to dinner as Uncle Gene tells the story.

When he walked in the door Mr. Carpenter walked up to Gene and my father Dave (who was a year older than Gene) and said:

“Shake the hand that shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln”.

He told the story of hanging out one day with the troops….no fighting at the moment although the lines weren’t that far apart….and they saw a “tall drink of water” walking down the road with a tall hat on.

They yelled at him “Hey buddy get your head down before the rebs shoot it off”.

As the “tall drink of water” got closer they realized it was Abraham Lincoln.

Mr. Carpenter says they lined up all the troops and President Lincoln walked down the line shaking hands.

Let’s put this in perspective.

Ethan and I obviously have shaken my Uncle’s hand many, many times.

That puts us 3 handshakes away from Abraham Lincoln.

If you shake my hand the next time we see each other – that makes you – in 2015 – 150 years after Lincoln’s death – 4 handshakes away from him.

I find that astonishing.

But even more so.

Ethan will be 59 years old in 2065.

200 hundred years after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and he’ll be only 3 handshakes away from him.

Anyone shaking his hand will still only be 4 handshakes away.

A fifth of a century later.

I love history.

Welcome to Spring.

Marc

PS Wishful thinking:

Wishful Thinking 2015 - Letter Size

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

6
Jan

Life in Maine w/ family & music – Photos of the year 2014 – the Marcrescue blog (Life in Maine with a nine year old)

Greetings all,

 

(Note – If you’d like to be notified when these about monthly posts come out – you can sign up on WordPress on the right or sign up for my FB or Twitter feeds below.  If you’d prefer to be left alone (I live in Maine where we all mostly prefer to be left alone – think it’s a New England thing) I understand.

 

As we all make “arghhh” type comments as we mistakenly write 2014 once more (and I will continue to do so until sometime mid April) here’s a collection of some of my favorite photos of the year.

 

Posted either because of the photo itself (most likely the artistic beautiful ones were taken by my wife Kim) or because of the memory of the moment.

 

I’ve also updated the latest events of the holiday season.

 

In no particular order.

 

Actually from the end of 2013 – we woke up to the aftermath of a rare ice storm on December 27th – where the particular mix of temperature and precipitation coated everything with ice.

Beautiful but dangerous:

Ice Storm 12-27-2013 - Letter Size

Camden Harbor is always amazing.

 

Winter:

Camden Harbor Winter 2014 - Letter Size

 

Or summer:

Camden Harbor Summer 2014 - Letter Size

 

Speaking of summer – I think my favorite photo of the year (taken by Kim of course) is Ethan in a swimming pool.

Ethan pool 2014 - Letter Size

 

Swimming is a big part of summer in Maine.

 

Here he is checking one of the local swimming holes after a storm:

After The Storm 2014 - Letter Size

 

Now that we’re solidly into winter 2015 – it won’t be long until we see the ice fishing huts out on the same pond:

Ice House 2014 - Letter Size

 

Once Spring arrives one of our favorite family days is Maine Maple Day – where all the sugar houses open their doors and you get to see the sugaring process which involves lots of evaporating and distilling of the maple sap.  Each producer’s set up is different – some are using the same evaporators they’ve used for years and years and others are newer models of gorgeous stainless steel piping.  The freshly made warm maple syrup is delicious no matter which way it’s produced.  We always buy some from 3 or 4 different producers that day and it lasts us all year.  (And it’s much less expensive than what you pay in stores).

 

The aroma in the shed is wonderful:

Making maple syrup 2014 - Letter Size

 

Spring also brings the annual iris blooming in our yard.  My favorite flower – planted by someone long before we moved to Maine:

Iris 2014 - Letter Size

 

We try to do as many things as a family as we can and the opportunities in Maine are endless.

 

Summer camping by the ocean is a treat.

 

We go back to the same site at the Searsport Shores Campground every summer.

 

Kim loves to enjoy her morning camping coffee on the bench overlooking the ocean 20 yards from our campsite:

Camping coffee 2014 - Letter Size

 

I look forward to the special breakfasts she makes.

 

Nothing like a beef brisket / sweet & white potato / onion hash made over the 1970’s era Coleman camping stove:

Camping hash 2014 - Letter Size

 

Is there anything more simple yet artistic than a shell on a beach – timeless (and taken by Kim of course):

Art in Nature 2014 - Letter Size

 

Summer brings baseball and this year I managed to get one of the limited edition hats that the Red Sox official hat maker made after the 2013 marathon bombing.

 

It’s now my favorite hat and a reminder of how important and yet fragile life is and how important it is that we celebrate what we have every single day.  If you’re a longtime reader of this blog you might remember that we were right across from the marathon finish line that day having just watched Kim’s cousin finish her first Boston Marathon and we saw both bombs go off.  A day and tragic event we’ll never forget:

Boston Hat 2014 - Letter Size

 

As most people are doing these days we are taking lots of selfies….as a family.

 

I had two favorites this year….this is the summer beach selfie:

Summer family selfie 2014 - Letter Size

 

Another favorite thing of mine this year was the Valentine’s Day card that Ethan made for me.

 

Better than anything for sale in a store:

Dad's Valentine's card from Ethan 2014 - Letter Size

 

After dinner nothing like a father son talk while walking in nearby downtown Rockland:

Dad & Son - downtown Rockland 2014 - Letter Size

 

Ethan played his first game of adult Monopoly this year and it went perfectly as far as he was concerned….when dad went bust by landing on Ethan owned Boardwalk with four houses on it:

Monopoly first time 2014 - Letter Size

 

The other big game event that’s recorded in photo was our electronic candle lit game of Sorry – played during our 26 hour blackout that happened during the big snowstorm we had right after Halloween.

 

Dad got his revenge and won this time:

Power Failure Sorry 2014 - Letter Size

 

Thinking about old -fashioned things like board games takes me to Ethan’s new phone in his playroom.

 

During the blackout I took out an antique 1930’s era dial phone to see if the phone lines were working (all the new fangled electronic phones were useless of course) and Ethan loved it and insisted I hook it up in his playroom.

 

This is Ethan’s first phone – no mobile for him yet:

New Phone 2014 - Letter Size

 

Summer in small town Maine brings out the community.

 

The library sponsors movie night in the amphitheater across from the harbor.

 

We all bring camp chairs and watch family films on an inflatable screen (don’t forget the bug spray):

Movie in the Amphitheater - 2014 - Letter Size

 

Another summer vision – watching the ice spray waiting for your Sno-Kone:

Sno-Kone 2014 - Letter Size

 

Before you know it – it’s fall…..time for a cardboard sled on a grassy hill:

Cardboard sled - Letter Size

 

The end of summer also brings tomatoes from the garden in multi-colors:

First tomatoes 2014 - Letter Size

 

Time to find a pumpkin:

Pumpkin Search - Letter Size

 

Ethan planned the face for the carving this year and dad did a pretty good job of matching his design – Ethan was happy about that:

Pumpkin Carving 2014 - Letter Size

 

Every year the library has people bring their carved pumpkins to the town ampitheater for a get together – it’s always fun to see what everyone can do with their pumpkins:

Library Pumpkins 2014 - Letter Size

 

My other favorite family selfie of the year – the “Halloween” edition:

Halloween 2014 - Letter Size

 

As I mentioned – two days after Halloween we had a huge early snowstorm.

 

This is what we woke up to looking through the Halloween decorations on the windows.

 

I imagine that the tomato plants on the deck were not thrilled:

Morning After Storm 2014 - Letter Size

 

We all got to have fun outside.

 

Dad with a shovel:

Dad having fun 2014 - Letter Size

 

 

Being so early in the year – Kim got to make the coolest snowman ever:

Halloween Snowman adjusted 2014 - Letter Size

 

Ethan tested to see if the snow was any good for making snowballs to throw at dad:

Powder Snow 2014 - Letter Size

 

My second favorite photo of the year – Kim’s “Moonrise”:

Moonrise 2014 - Letter Size

 

Time for holiday preparations.

 

In Maine – we head to the woods to find and cut our Christmas tree.  Hard work when it’s 20 degrees but very rewarding:

Christmas Tree search 2014 - Letter Size

 

Every year one of the simple pleasures Kim and I enjoy is finding a few new ornaments for the tree.  This was this year’s haul – we loved the felt mistletoe, the Red Sox ornament was a birthday present from Kim to me and the star at the right was a school project that Ethan made:

New Ornaments 2014 - Letter Size

 

We love the holiday parade in downtown Camden….we get creative with our floats…..where else do you see floats with a giant duck, a giant dog from the animal adoption center, a firetruck with a Christmas tree, the Rockport harbormaster’s boat, a giant lobster and of course our mainstay – a snowplow!

Camden Parade 2014 - Letter Size

 

Afterwards we take to the streets and someone was out checking to see if the kids have been naughty or nice:

Santa on the street 2014 - Letter Size

 

A few days later it’s time to head over to Rockport for their Christmas tree lighting and fireworks over the harbor.

 

Love the real lobster fishing buoys as decorations on the tree:

Lobster buoy tree Rockport 2014 - Letter Size

 

The wonderful thing about fireworks over the harbor is that you get to see the reflections in the ocean:

Holiday Fireworks Rockport 2014 - Letter Size

 

It’s very important every holiday season to make sure we’re thinking of other people – just not ourselves.

 

Ethan made donations to “Coats For Kids” and “Toys For Tots”:

Coats For Kids - Toys For Tots 2014 - Letter Size

 

With that done it’s time to make sure everything is set for Santa:

All set for Santa 2014 - Letter Size

 

Ethan wanted to make it easier for Santa this year so he also prepared a checklist with an extra plate of cookies:

All set for Santa checklist 2014 - Letter Size

 

All the sudden it’s New Year’s Eve Day and time for us to set up the train set and get in some serious engineering:

Serious Engineer 2014 - Letter Size

 

Nothing like a another year in Maine.

 

A great place for a family.

 

It’s not a rich state – not a lot of money around – but we make up for it in creativity.

 

This gets my award for best Christmas decoration of the year.

 

I have no idea how it was done.

 

As far as I can tell it’s a real car.

 

It must be Santa’s for sure…..because based on the size of the trees and the rigging I can see…..there’s no way a regular person could set this up…..but then again it’s Maine…..and we make do with what we have:

Santa Car 2014 - Letter Size

 

Welcome to 2015 – my wish for everyone reading this and for all the people in the world is to have all the joy they hope for and to live in peace.

 

Marc

 

PS Mishara Music didn’t release many new albums in 2015 because all the recordings we were planning on – moved to 2015 – you can’t ask artists to write songs on a schedule.  As we side more on the artistic side than the business side – that’s ok – we don’t force the issue at all….so we spent most of 2014 introducing our existing albums and artists to new fans.

 

But that means some wonderful new releases are coming – so while we prepare to delight and amaze in 2015 let me remind that we love to give away some of our favorite songs….because we can.  We’re a small independent music company with no rules so if we want to gift great songs we just do it.

 

In no particular order here are 7 of our favorite free song pages – free downloads with no email or registration of any kind required – just click and enjoy.

 

From Ken Yates – “The One That Got Away”

 

The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/kenyates/

 

Takes you to this page:

Free Song The One That Got Away Ken Yates - Letter Size

 

From Barnaby Bright – “Made Up Of”

 

The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/barnabybright2/

 

Takes you to this page:

Free Song Made Up Of Barnaby Bright - Letter Size

 

From Chris Ross – “Jack and Jill (Bottom Of My Grave)” – the hardest rocking song on the label

 

The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/chrisross/

 

Takes you to this page:

Free Song Jack and Jill Chris Ross - Letter Size

 

From Connor Garvey – “Old House”

 

The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/oldhouse/index.html

 

Takes you to this page:

Free Song Old House Connor Garvey - Letter Size (2)

 

From Clarensau – “Dance With Me”

 

The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/dancewithme/

 

Takes you to this page:

Free Song Dance With Me Clarensau - Letter Size

 

From Meggan Waltman – “Rain”

 

The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/rain/

 

Takes you to this page:

Free Song Rain Meggan Waltman - Letter Size (2)

 

And one more song from Chris Ross – a new live studio recording of “Mostly Sober”

 

The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/chrisrossmostlysober/

 

Takes you to this page:

Free Song Mostly Sober Chris Ross - Letter Size

 

And there’s more where these came from.

 

The link – http://misharamusic.com/site/?page_id=18

 

Takes you to the Mishara Music website Free Song page:

FreeMisharaSongs - Letter Size

 

Enjoy!

 

Happy 2015

 

Marc Ratner

Mishara Music

E-mail: marcrescue@gmail.com

Website: www.misharamusic.com

WordPress: www.marcrescue.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/marc.ratner

Twitter: www.twitter.com/marcrescue

1
Jun

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

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

23
Jun

Broken! Lawn 2 – Marc 0 / Unconventional music biz / Summer life in Maine with a 7 year old – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings All,
Summer is official.
Last Friday was the longest day of the year.
A great day to sit a bench by the harbor and enjoy the day:
Harbor Bench June 2013

 

Speaking of the longest day of the year….did you ever wonder how Becky and Nathan Bliss – the husband & wife duo also know as “Barnaby Bright” got that name?
It’s from an old English / Scottish proverb:
Barnaby Bright, Barnaby Bright, The Longest Day, The Shortest Night”
Here’s my FB post about it last week:
BB FB BB the longest day, the shortest night
And as I mention above – that’s why the latest album is called “The Longest Day”:
The Longest Day Cover jpg 09-14-2012
Here’s the link to the live version of “Castle Rock” that I posted on Facebook.  It was performed live at 9am during an interview with Anne Williams at WNRN in Charlottesville.
9am!
I can hardly talk at 9am….and this was done after starting a tour halfway across the country and working their way to Charlottesville late the night before.
Here’s a taste of what’s coming on the next album…..any bets on it being called “The Shortest Night”?
A song titled “Just The Same” – brand new and I can’t get enough of it.
It’s a love song for couples…one of the best ever.
I did a Facebook post about it a couple days ago and here’s the way a friend shared it:
BB FB share
They haven’t recorded it in the studio yet and the best version to listen to is also from the WNRN live performance.
Here are the lyrics:
Barnaby Bright Just The Same - no photo
The best song you will hear today – a great way to celebrate – literally and figuratively “Barnaby Bright”

 

Speaking of sitting on a bench by the harbor….the last time I wrote….I was stumbling around on a badly sprained ankle.
Which I got while mowing the grass.
Doesn’t make for a great story.
My long time friends know that I have done many adventurous things in my life.
I’ve hiked around Mt Blanc in Europe.
I’ve done 2 week river rafting and kayak trips in Alaska.
I’ve done serious mountaineering peak climbs (14,000 ft+) in the High Sierra’s in California.
I spent 20 years rescuing people as a part of a professional mountain search and rescue team.
(Want to know more about how many people donate their time doing that?  Check out www.mra.org – the website for the Mountain Rescue Association).
And now the hardest of all – I’m the father of a 7 year son!
But the lawn got me!
I slipped mowing a hillside.
Oh did it get me.
After limping around for a week on the bad ankle which wasn’t getting better as my doc and I thought it would…..he sent me for an xray.  (He didn’t previously because there were no signs that it was broken).
Oops.
Now we know why I wasn’t getting better.
It wasn’t a sprain.
Break # 1
Xray 1
Break # 2:
Xray 2
Can’t wait to travel again…..gonna have fun with the TSA.
After surgery Monday I now have what looks to me like at one big plate and 13 pins and screws in my ankle:
Xray 3
Now I’m wondering if you had a very strong magnet…..and put it by the floor and pulled it hard….
….would you knock me off my feet?
So much to have fun and explore with.
These are my three best friends right now…..(the first 48 hours after the surgery I had to spend in bed with my foot propped up).
My pal Advil:
IMG_2068
Books, books, books…..read these four the first two days – bless our local library:
IMG_0720
And of course my buddies that I wouldn’t go anywhere without…..well can’t actually…..for most of the summer:
IMG_0721
But that hasn’t slowed the family down at all.
We were supposed to have a Father’s Day camping trip – had the campsite reserved and all the gear ready…..but it turned into a picnic instead.
But what a great picnic.
Kim made the food at home and we spent the afternoon at the campsite.
Yum…..Arctic Char – my favorite fish (a milder version of salmon), asparagus and watermelon:
IMG_0703
A great afternoon:
Father's Day picnic 06-16-2013
School ended a week ago.
The parents got to see a great concert- nothing like the last song – for the last day of school – “Hit The Road Jack”:
IMG_0584
And boys will be boys on the last afternoon on the playground:
IMG_0635
Summer day camp is on now.
This week was “Beach Week”.
Every day the camp their campers and hits a different beach….some fresh water….some ocean.
Does this kid look happy to be at camp or what?
Summer Camp 2nd day 06-18-2013
After the fourth day of camp – when Kim went to pick him up……Ethan turned his cap around backwards and said to her – “I’m more of a dude than a kid”:
I'm more of a dude than a kid
He’s seven.
I’m definitely going to need the guidance of friends when we hit those teen years.
Help!

 

So I mentioned “Unconventional Music Biz” in the headline.
Developing artists in the 21st Century is really about taking every avenue – every fork in the road and not leaving a single path unturned.
Here’s a bunch of what we do to develop artists at Mishara Music.
Our goal – simply stated – is to “Build The Audience”.
Here’s a number of ways that we do it.

 

Chris Ross is doing a “Stageit” concert on Sunday June 30th.
“Stageit”?
It’s an online concert “venue”….much like a “Kickstarter” concert.
People donate “tips”.
I’ve seen some real successes with it and with Chris building such a big following with his album at radio these past few months – especially with the song “Mostly Sober”…..(again – another radio station comment this week on FB – this time mentioning WMVY) there’s a very large audience that would love to see him live that he can’t possibly get to in any immediate terms – but he can with Stageit.
Here’s the WMVY mention:
Chris Ross FB WMVY 15000
Here’s the “Mostly Sober” video link he mentions:
Here are the lyrics to “Mostly Sober” – a song that seems to strike a chord with so many people:
Mostly Sober lyrics
And here’s the Chris Ross Stageit show mention on his Facebook page:
Chris Ross FB Stageit
Here’s the actual Stageit link to the show – please share. The show is Sunday June 30th at 9pm Eastern.

 

Clarensau continues to get great response on Noisetrade another artist development website.  This one gives away free songs / albums for tips and email addresses:
Clarensau Noisetrade
Here’s the link:
It works – I keep seeing their Twitter feed grow:
Clarensau Twitter 06-18-2013

 

Our newest artist Caitlin Canty has her new album releasing on Mishara Music next Tuesday June 25th. (It’s shipping a bit late to radio….it’s an ankle thing):
lizard lounge_1024
Caitlin Canty Golden Hour
It’s called “Golden Hour” and we’ve posted a YouTube listening channel for the album:
We’ve started right off giving a song away!
Let’s build the audience.
“Everyday” is about heartbreak.
Lyrics:
Caitlin Canty Every Day - no photo
Here’s where you can go to get it for free – no email or registration of any kind required to download:
Caitlin Free Song page

 

And of course there’s nothing like our Amazon.com free song samplers – we’re closing in on a million free song downloads – they do wonders to “Build The Audience”:
4 Amazon Samplers
But that doesn’t mean that the old ways don’t work.
Remember – do everything – old and new.
Sometimes the stars all line up for a great Mishara Music hometown concert.  But even then we do it a bit differently – after the concert a free ice cream tasting by a local Maine creamery that makes the best ice cream I’ve ever had:
Twitter size concert
There’s nothing like a live performance.
Except perhaps a live performance on radio.
“Build The Audience”.
Here’s the third song that Barnaby Bright did at WNRN a few weeks ago – “Highway 9”:

 

In the meantime while I spend lots of time with my foot up – doctors orders….my wife is taking very good care of me.
She drove us to a new lobster shack in an off the wall fishing harbor last Saturday – which was actually National Lobster Day (and note – all of these cool photo collages – are hers!)
Lobster Day 06-15-2013
She made me some great homemade Maple ice cream on Father’s Day:
Maple Ice Cream - Father's Day 06-16-2013
But of course with all the great things she does……
She just couldn’t resist taking a couple photos of the patient:
Patient 06-17-2013
She especially loved the little blue hat that I had to wear in surgery!
And she just had to post the photos on Facebook!
And you know all the wives stick together on these things:
Hospital pic FB reply
The moral of this story?
You take the good with the bad.
So what if you break your ankle in two places…..
…..when you live in Maine you get to drown your sorrows in lobster rolls!
IMG_2857
Have a great week.
Marc
25
May

Gluten Free New Orleans / More Jazzfest / A Lego Mother’s Day / Life in Maine with a 7 Year Old – the Marcrescue Blog

Greetings All,
Last I wrote we had just come back from a couple of the rainiest days that Jazzfest in New Orleans had ever had – with the schedule still going on and the days not being canceled.
As wet as it was it was a wonderful trip to one of our favorite cities and besides our fun days at Jazzfest we had some great adventures in the city.
Because we have some severe food allergies in the family (gluten, dairy & eggs) Kim does some amazing research when we travel to find great places to eat…..and breakfast is particularly difficult.
She found a gem this trip in the French Market (just past Cafe Du Monde).
Ohmygoodness!!!  If you need gluten free, vegan, whatever – not only can they make it – it tastes great – and anyone with food allergies knows – just because someone says their food is gluten free – doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste like sawdust.
The best restaurant for those kinds of dietary needs we’ve ever come across.
In the course of our trip we had blueberry pancakes, crab cakes, gumbo, power shakes and much more that covered all of our allergies.
Roland works the counter (his sister is the chef and inventor of the amazing recipes):
IMG_0012
We loved the food so much we went every day we were there – a perfect start to every morning.
The only problem…..Roland and Ethan bonded and this is the best smile Ethan has ever done for a photo…..we can’t ever get him to smile like that at any other time posing for photos.  Drives his mom crazy.   So I guess we’re going to have to ask Roland to travel with us on vacation from now on so we can get great Ethan photos all the time:
nola_ethan+roland
Our first day in the city we wandered through the French Quarter – always a joy and a place of discovery…for instance this mysterious reveler:
IMG_0022
Great dancing breaks out on a moment’s notice wherever music is played on the street:
IMG_0024
Our favorite sweet treat for the last few trips to New Orleans in the French Quarter is Meltdown – a frozen treat shop that makes treats that also fit our diet restrictions.  You can get all kinds of frozen bars including dairy free & vegan that just rock:
IMG_0013
My favorite is the Salted Caramel – Kim’s the Lavender Coconut:
Meltdown
Ethan’s is Watermelon:
IMG_0167
The main shop was just preparing to move when we were there (evil landlord upped the rent) so the best way to keep track of their new location (and even better news – they may very soon have rolling carts in the French Quarter serving their bars!) is on their website: http://www.meltdownpops.com/ and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Meltdown/192498824095400?fref=ts
Which reminds me that one of the great reasons to visit New Orleans……which hasn’t escaped the city promoters…..is the food – all the marvelous, wonderful, unique food.  They know it and promote it.  This was in the magazine in our hotel room and to my mind is a most perfect descriptive phrase:
3 Times A Day
The other major stop we made in New Orleans was to their aquarium (last trip we hit the zoo) and it was a great afternoon:
IMG_0088
The “coral reef” exhibit was wonderful:
IMG_0029
Nothing like a sleeping white alligator to make your day:
IMG_0051
“Parakeet Point” was a bit too much like Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”:
IMG_0082
IMG_0083
Before we knew it we were back home for the beginning of T-Ball season:
T-Ball 2013
And of course back to work.
Barnaby Bright is back from Europe and on tour again.
Even if I didn’t have their schedule I’d know where they are.
All I have to do is check Twitter.
Every show every day shows up.
The tweets just keep getting better and better:
BB Twitter Atlanta Nashville Just The Same
The “Love Song” one fan asked about is “Just The Same”
As I mentioned in my last letter – it hasn’t been recorded yet…..which is driving fans crazy at the merch table when they ask about it – because they can’t buy it.
But they did do it on television in Kansas City a few weeks ago – here’s that version (keep reading on for another astonishing live recording of the song):
Barnaby Bright also got a thank you email the other day.
One of the most heartfelt I’ve ever read.
The big surprise was who it was from.
The marketing director at WNKU in Cincinnati.
Radio folks have artists visiting all the time.
In the station / on the air / and at station events.
It’s not a big deal – it’s fun, it’s music but it’s work.
At Mishara Music we love partnering with music radio because when it works there’s nothing better.
Last week WNKU tried something different that they’d never done before.
They held a fundraising event at a local restaurant with an artist performing for the first time.
Lots of set up / lots of questions – how to do this, do that…
I’m always nervous about artist events.
Especially when I can’t be there….believe me I’ve had some disasters happen.
Late that night after the event I got this email from Becky from Barnaby Bright:
BB - WNKU BB thank you
Thank goodness.
Then the next day – I was cc’d on this thank you to Barnaby Bright:
BB - WNKU thank you 2
I can count on the “thumb” of one hand – how many thank you letters like that I’ve seen from someone in Aaron’s position.
So I guess I’m putting across two messages here.
1.  They’re not many stations – not many Marketing Directors like WNKU and Aaron Sharpe.
2.  When you read the above twitter comments / the thank you letter from Aaron and then watch the video for “Just The Same” by Barnaby Bright – you may start to understand how special Becky and Nathan are.
But there’s more radio stories about Barnaby Bright – that wasn’t the only radio stop on this leg of the tour.
After the Cincinnati show they drove halfway across the country to Charlottesville Virginia and got up early to do an interview with Anne Williams at WNRN – the non-commercial music station that covers a wide swath of the area.
How do you sound at 9am in the morning?
Artists hate morning interviews.
Radio stations love them because morning shows are often their most listened to shows of the day.
Anne Williams has a great morning show and has interviewed hundreds of artists.  She always asks a few important questions but lets the artists shine in performance.
I’ve heard lots of radio interviews over the years and I was blown away listening to this one.
Barnaby Bright played three songs at 9am in the morning….”Highway 9″ & “Castle Rock” from “The Longest Day” album and the above mentioned new song – “Just The Same”.
It’s simply the best live recording I’ve ever heard done at a radio station……anytime of the day.
But at 9am in the morning?
C’mon….who are these people that can sing and play like this at that time of the day?
When you listen – keep in mind – there’s only two of them – playing and singing live – no tapes or extra musicians.  “Highway 9” is great and then they just hit it so perfectly on “Castle Rock” and “Just The Same” that I’m amazed….again….at 9am in the morning….how well do you sing in the morning….(outside of the shower that is)?
Here’s the podcast link……video coming soon.
BB visit WNRN
(You can hear all of Barnaby Bright’s “The Longest Day” album on our YouTube Listening Channel @ http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLongestDayBB)
The Longest Day Cover jpg 09-14-2012
Have you ever noticed that I don’t ever put sales links in these blog posts?
Instead there are lots of links that give away a whole bunch of our songs.
You can get quite a selection of free songs by Barnaby Bright (along with songs by Peter Bradley Adams, Glen Phillips, Chris Ross, Clarensau and a number of other artists) on our 4 Amazon Mishara Music Free Song Samplers @

4 Amazon Samplers
All for free.
As are the free songs on the Mishara Music website @
The best part about our website free songs – you can download anywhere in the world and there’s no email or registration of any kind required……ever.
Speaking of Chris Ross
Still the best Facebook posts of anyone:
Chris Ross FB Best Day
Chris Ross FB Drive In
Chris Ross FB Misspellings
Chris Ross FB Christmas Future
But he’s also a singer songwriter of exceptional ability.
And a most gracious person – who when I remember to make him aware of radio airplay – is always thankful – here’s two recent examples:
Chris Ross FB MPBN
Chris Ross FB WJCU
Chris does something unique among the artists I know.  Within days of writing a “keeper” song he records an acoustic version and posts it on YouTube.
Here’s one of my all time favorites – “Your America” – a lyrical masterpiece:
If you watch and listen you’ll understand why the first comment underneath the video reads this way:

“Mighty fine music, Chris. Mighty fine. I’m off to iTunes, brother”
(You can hear all of Chris’ album “Halfway To Wonderland” on our YouTube Listening Channel @ http://www.youtube.com/user/HalfwayToWonderland)
Chris Ross Halfway To Wonderland
Don’t forget there are free songs by Chris on our free music links as well.
Then there’s Clarensau.
Tyler from the band is in agreement with me about how best to promote themselves and their music (as we do with all our artists on Mishara):
Give the music away!
Now we’ve taken what we call “The Commitment Songs” from the two Clarensau albums “Until Our Lungs Give” and “This One’s For You”:
Clarensau double album photo
And put a free download album up on Noisetrade:
CommitmentSongs2
Clarensau Noisetrade
Clarensau Twitter Noisetrade
The reason we chose these songs is because the band gets so much response and so many thank you’s from people that appreciate their lyrics and the back and forth vocals from Tyler and Sally.
They write Clarensau about how the songs have meaning in their own lives.
Isn’t that what music is all about?
Please share the link – it’s all for free @ http://www.noisetrade.com/clarensau
(Hear both Clarensau albums on their YouTube Listening Channels @ http://www.youtube.com/user/UntilOurLungsGive & http://www.youtube.com/user/ClarensauThisOnesFor)
You can also hear our next release on Mishara Music – “Golden Hour” by Caitlin Canty (free songs coming soon on our Amazon Free song sampler # 5) @
Caitlin Canty Golden Hour
You might think it’s strange that as a company we believe in giving away so many songs.
Our philosophy is rather unique.
“Build The Audience”.
We never look short term at cd sales, song downloads or ticket sales.
We’re passionate about our music and want to share it.
If we build the audience – our finances will work themselves out…..hopefully.
I suspect you’ll never see Mishara Music on Wall St….as our motivation is music instead of money.
Crazy huh?!
So if you hear some music you like from one of our artists…..click on the free song links and download away.
Share the songs and our passion for the music and the artists.
The last time I’d checked our Amazon free song samplers had produced over 800,000 free song downloads.
Can’t wait to get to a million.
Here are our free song links again:
So after New Orleans we hit Mother’s Day the following weekend.
And as we all know – being a mother is all about family and for this Mother’s Day we had a big surprise for Ethan…..but I told him we were taking his mom to a special convention in a hotel in Manchester New Hampshire – a 3 hour drive – that was all about Mother’s Day.
That it was a surprise for her.
He was totally into it.
Excited about surprising his mom for Mother’s Day.
The whole trip Kim kept asking “Where are we going, what’s the surprise?”
Ethan and I kept telling her – “Can’t tell you – have to wait and see”.
Ahhhhh but it wasn’t a surprise for Kim…..it was a surprise for Ethan.
Once we hit the hotel convention center – we said – “Oh Ethan, look….it’s not a surprise for mom….it’s a surprise for you!”
“Brickfair” – a convention of dealers and exhibitors for LEGOS – who knew they had such a thing?
But they sure did:
IMG_0398
If you’re 7 years old…..life is all about Legos.
This was the best surprise I’ve ever been a part of.
Ethan raced from table to table looking at characters, displays and the play Lego tables:
IMG_0336
IMG_0338
IMG_0340
IMG_0393
IMG_0348
IMG_0364
IMG_0385
Lego Racing
In the end Ethan ended up with three Star Wars characters he’s wanted for quite a while – including his very favorite – Yoda:
IMG_0351
IMG_0409
Couldn’t ask for a more fun Mother’s Day:
IMG_0404
I was going to write about my trip to Philadelphia to the Non-Commercial music radio meeting in this letter…..so much great stuff happened there…..but it’ll have to wait until the next post as this post is already about the length of “War And Peace”…..but I’ll leave you with two teasers about it.
1.  An interview that includes a story told by someone who ended up sitting between Keith Richards and Mick Jagger and was asked by Keith “Do you really want to be a part of this meat sandwich?”
2.  Speaking of meat sandwiches…..because of our family food allergies I rarely eat an item like this but once a year when I hit this annual convention in Philly – I have what I consider to be my favorite sandwich ever (disclaimer – my favorite sandwich that doesn’t contain lobster that is).  A classic Philly cheesesteak – and as everyone does – I have my special place that I consider to be the best:
IMG_0434
More about the Philly trip next time.
In the meantime the schooners in Camden Harbor are getting ready for a busy summer season:
IMG_0299
IMG_0498
It’s a time of discovery by the pond near the house – sometimes you even get to sneak out of the house in your pj’s if it’s a lovely lazy weekend day:
Exploring
We also can’t help but relive our trip to New Orleans.
They definitely do things a bit differently there:
IMG_0008
The late night hotel treats are wonderful:
Strawberry Ice
Sadly as Ethan gets older this was probably the last trip where we could pick him up and carry him when he was tired and the crowd was overwhelming:
nola_ethan+daddy1
The iron work everywhere in the French Quarter is so beautiful:
nola_iron_fence_jacksonsq.jpg
As is the city itself – and note here – this photo and most of the great artistic one’s were / are taken by my wonderful wife Kim who graciously allows me to use them without me ever giving her as much credit as she’s due:
nola_jacksonsquare2_wide.jpg
But she didn’t take this one……which was taken nine years ago this week…..on the occasion of our marriage…..imagine putting up with someone like me who does all the stuff described in these letters for nine years – she loves her son and loves her husband and we wholeheartedly love her back:
kim&marc001
We’re already wondering if we should / could find a way to head back to Jazzfest next year.
Maybe you can join us for a wonderful meal of fresh boiled seafood – crabs, shrimp and my favorite crawfish:
IMG_0089
See you then?
Jazzfest 2014
Marc
PS  I’m always amazed by what they build with Legos…..and this Memorial Day weekend….this construction can help us spend a moment thinking about how many brave people’s lives were changed by just this one event – not to mention all the times in human history where unselfish and honorable men and women sacrificed themselves for the betterment of all humankind:
IMG_0395
PPS Lastly…..another Lego surprise…..sooner or later it appears everyone will be “Legoized”.
These Lego figures were a present for Ethan from our family friends Anne (private message to Anne – “You’re It”) and Mel.
I immediately kidnapped them and they’re on a special place on my desk…..I was already passionate about music before they changed my life – but without them – I might never have taken the path in life I did – which brought me to Jazzfest, Mishara Music, our family life in Maine and most of all Ethan and Kim.  Thanks guys:
IMG_4794

Marc Ratner

Mishara Music

E-mail: marcrescue@gmail.com

Website: www.misharamusic.com

WordPress: www.marcrescue.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/marc.ratner

Twitter: www.twitter.com/marcrescue

 

17
Mar

Change – Winter wraps up / Busking in Maine / Song Stories – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings All,
Change is in the air.
I’m back from my 11 day road trip on the West Coast.
That involves a 3 hour time change.
When I scheduled the trip I didn’t realize that it returned me to Maine right as Daylight Saving Time arrived.
Which means I was adjusting to a 4 hour change.
My apologies to anyone I spoke to at the beginning of the week that wondered why I was less articulate and coherent than usual.
Which in no way infers that I’m ever articulate and coherent so don’t have any expectations that any conversations we have in the future will be any different.
But other changes are happening as well.
Our neighbor has maple sap collection buckets hanging on his trees:
IMG_5694
Which means in Maine in two weeks we celebrate Maple Sunday – all the maple sugar houses in the state open their doors for visitors and you can taste and buy maple syrup warm right out of the tap – here’s our visit in 2012:
Maple Sunday 2012
While I was gone Ethan and Kim built what will most likely be the last snowman of the year – but with a design looking ahead to Spring:
Snowman 2013
As soon as I got home we got out on our favorite method of winter transportation – snowshoes – for also perhaps the last time this winter:
March Snowshoe 2013
But some things don’t change.
Mishara Music is a music company that is all about songs and singer – songwriters.
I might surprise you with some thoughts about why we’re that kind of a company – because we don’t do publicity – we’re always “under the radar” and our team markets constantly direct to the fans – but our belief in songs is a wonderful thing.  More in a moment about that.
In the meantime.
Chris Ross still has the best posts on Facebook:
Chris Ross FB Mid-Life Crisis
Chris Ross FB Trees
Chris Ross FB Cassettes
He has the perfect solution to not having any green clothing on St. Patrick’s Day:
Chris Ross FB Green
Chris – like Mishara – is all about songs:
Chris Ross FB Pick Up Trucks
He’s right.
Songs are weird.
Songs are also the key.
Songs are everything.
No matter how well you sing, how well you play guitar – without a great song it’s all for naught.
Which is why – even though his album “Halfway To Wonderland”…..
Chris Ross Halfway To Wonderland
…..has been out at radio since November – radio stations keep adding Chris Ross.
The song they’re adding is “Mostly Sober”.
Why?
Because listeners are responding.
Every time a new market adds “Mostly Sober” Chris starts getting posts on his Facebook page and his YouTube pages that mention hearing it on the stations.
This is extraordinary response and it’s all because of the song:
CR emails thru March 2013
Chris just posted a new house concert version of “Mostly Sober”:
I’ve also always believed that music attracts people but the key to great songs is great lyrics:
Chris Ross Mostly Sober lyrics
Barnaby Bright is getting the same kind of response from their new album “The Longest Day”
The Longest Day Cover jpg 09-14-2012
They were on air at WNKU Cincinnati the other morning.
Artists hate getting up to do radio early in the morning but at Mishara Music but live radio is a great way to reach people. Here’s how Barnaby Bright posted about the visit on Instragram – with a bonus pillow shot of Nathan:
BB Twitter Cincy Instragram
WNKU loves Barnaby Bright:
BB Twitter Cincy 5
WNKU fans agree:
BB Twitter Cincy 4
More radio love from WUMB Boston:
BB WUMB Sold Out
 BB WUMB sold out 2
And what about the songs?
The first two songs that people are responding to from  “The Longest Day” are “Highway 9” and “Castle Rock”.
Here’s live video of both – watch these and you’re understand why their concerts are selling out and their live visits to radio are so compelling.
“Highway 9”:
“Castle Rock”:
More radio love – from TJ – music director at KYSL:
TJ KYSL BB
One more music mention.
Clarensau’s “This One’s For You” is out now:
Clarensau-ThisOnesForYou-SquareCover
My favorite songs are “Dance With Me”, “I Need Changing”, “Hollywood” and “All Over Again”
Here goes the twitter world about it:
Clarensau Twitter album sale 2
Clarensau Twitter album sale 1
All this activity is because of songs.
Here’s a YouTube listening channel for the new Clarensau album:
Here’s a question to think about.
Do you think it makes a difference that Chris Ross’ song “Mostly Sober” was released to radio last November and radio stations are adding it in March months later?
Doesn’t make a difference to me.
The great thing about the digital music world (call me a veteran music biz person who’s absolutely cup half full about digital music) is now the world of music is endlessly available and people can discover songs that they love no matter when they were released – even if they’re years old.
The first time someone hears a great song it’s just as special no matter if the song is a day old or a decade old.
Here are some examples.
Our first Mishara Music release was by Kat Maslich (formerly of eastmountainsouth).  November 2010 or thereabouts.  One of the great songs on the “The Road Of 6” EP was “Sky Falls”
Here’s a listening channel video of the song:
And here’s a comment on the YouTube page from just one week ago:
YouTube Kat Maslich Sky Falls comment
Connor Garvey released “Where Ocean Meets Land” at the end of 2011 and my favorite song was “Western Wind”.
Here’s the YouTube listening channel link:
Someone just discovered the song – and here’s the YouTube comment from just a month ago – even though the song has been out for over a year – he’s excited about discovering it!
YouTube Connor Garvey Western Wind comment
“This One’s For You” is Clarensau’s 2nd album for Mishara.  The first was “Until Our Lungs Give” from over a year ago.
The song “I Would Trade” is a song that Tyler wrote while sitting in a hospital waiting room.
Here’s a YouTube listening channel version of the song:
Here’s a comment from the YouTube page that blew me away – this says it all about the power of songs:
YouTube Clarensau I Would Trade comment
“I Would Trade” is one of our Top 5 selling digital tracks every week – week in and week out – because of the powerful message of the song.
The interesting thing to watch  – is how these songs and albums gain in sales over time. This truly is the age of music discovery more than ever before.
A great example is Peter Bradley Adams.
Most remember Peter from the band “eastmountainsouth” (his duo with Kat Maslich).
Peter’s had 4 solo albums since then and his latest “Between Us” was released on Mishara Music in the middle of 2011.
We started outside the box internet marketing for Peter years ago – his audience has continued to grow….and grow….and grow….and grow.
“Between Us” the title track from Peter’s album was never a focus track at radio.  I don’t remember it ever getting a single spin on the air.
But it’s the viral track on the album.
WAYYYYYYY VIRAL.
Every day we see tweets like these:
PBA Twitter BU 3
So much so that Peter’s verified on Twitter now:
PBA Verified Twitter
But what’s really amazing is “Between Us” on YouTube.
We have listening channel videos and there are many, many fan videos using the song….but one takes the cake.
Here’s one of those tweets from above with the video they’re mentioning expanded into view:
PBA Twitter BU 2
Here’s another tweet just sent with the video expanded:
PBA Twitter BU 1
The video they’re tweeting out is a fan video just posting a photograph to play the song.
Here’s an expanded view:
YouTube PBA over a million Between Us
Did you notice the views?
Over a MILLION?
Since I did the screen shot a few days ago it’s gone up over another 16,000 views:
PBA YouTube BU latest #'s
This from just a fan of the song who’s uploaded 5 videos on their channel.
It’s not magic or marketing….it’s simply the song!
Here’s the link to the video to listen:
Here’s another big number:
749,352
One of the wonderful ways to build our audience is to invite people to download selections of our songs for free.
We build our audience by giving away songs so people will discover the company and the artists and then word of mouth takes over.
Our 4 free song samplers on Amazon.com have had over 749,000 free song downloads:
4 Amazon Samplers
 
Does it work building our audience?
It does for Chris Ross:
Chris Ross YT Amazon sampler
Here’s the link to the Mishara Amazon samplers (my apologies to our many international fans – they’re USA only – I have to discuss how to make them work internationally with Amazon):
So what does all this mean?
Mishara Music is a modern music company that is all about old fashioned artist development instead of short term “throw it against the wall” tactics.
As some things change other things stay the same.
You’re more likely to hear about our music and artists than you ever will about the company.
Most likely from your friends.
We like it that way.
As in music there is endless change in the world and thankfully some things that never change as.
Sometimes the change is a small thing but very important…..and very expensive…..do you have any idea of how much the Tooth Fairy is handing out these days…..big $$$$$:
Tooth 03-04-20`3
Other changes?
In California one you can predict – gas prices continue to rise way above the rest of the country – and if you’re out on 395 way in the middle of nowhere – I hope you brought your Fort Knox credit card:
IMG_5672
Thankfully some things are no different than they ever were – and you’ll get this only if you’re in Los Angeles – but it’s a personal favorite of mine – as the world changes – one place never does – my favorite burger place of all time:
IMG_5616
IMG_5617
Hasn’t changed one bit since the 1940’s when it opened  – except for the prices but that’s okay.  The sign says quality forever and they deliver what they promise.
Much like Mishara Music – A Home for Singer – Songrwriters.
Lastly with winter on it’s way out…..it’s time for the harbor to come to life.
Soon the wraps will come off the schooners and sailing ships from all over the world will be tying up at the docks.
This year it begins with music.
Our first busker of the year.
We do it differently in Maine than they do in NYC and other big cities.
They’ve got singers…..and keyboard players…..and violin players…..and horn players…..and guitar players busking in the subways and on the streets.
I’ve seen some really talented people in those places over the years….and often have given up one of the last dollars in my pocket for the treat provided…..one of my favorites was this sax player in a doorway in the French Quarter in New Orleans during Jazzfest a couple years ago….he did a stellar impromptu version of “Elmo’s Theme” for Ethan:
IMG_0487
But if you want to hear a great busking bagpipe player…..
…..you gotta come to Camden Harbor:
IMG_5691
Let’s all spring ahead!
Marc
12
Oct

Autumn photos, Chris Ross is a funny guy & a Modern Family visit – the Marcrescue blog

TomGreetings,
Autumn is here……and it’s fleeting……in many ways it’s almost gone.
The schooners in the harbor are done sailing for the season and putting on their winter skins…..they build up “ribs” to cover the decks:
And then they somehow put a kind of plastic wrap on – sort of like a white Saran Wrap.  Seems to be all one piece and I can’t figure out how they get it done.  It’s weird…..one day they’ve got the “ribs” up and the next day the wrap is there – yet I’ve never seen it being applied.  It’s almost like the “wrap fairy” comes overnight:
Downtown the prettiest tree on the common is showing off it’s “reds”:
The tomato plants in the garden are pushing out the last of their fruits for the year – Jack Frost is coming soon.  But it’s been a bountiful harvest – here’s the latest haul:
Over the Columbus Day weekend we had family visiting.
We did a day trip to Boothbay Harbor and the sun was shining over the harbor and the changing leaves:
Stopping over in Wiscasset we made a startling discovery.
My father-in-law spotted it first.
A phone booth.
Still.
In 2012.
With a phone in it.
But hope you’re sitting down.
Check this out:
IT HAD A PHONE BOOK!
That’s Maine for you – in many ways it’s still 1962.
In Mishara Music news we celebrated 10/11/12 on October 11th, 2012 by announcing our 10th, 11th and 12th releases.
Amazing how that works out.
But it’s true.
Chris Ross “Halfway To Wonderland” is our 10th release and it hit the stores on this past Tuesday:
The best way for me to describe Chris is to have him do it himself.  I think he’s a modern poet with an edge to his music – much like his posts on his Facebook page. (Programming note – the record is totally clean for all ages – but perhaps the Facebook  posts aren’t):
I couldn’t make these up:
 
And lastly he said nice things about we Mishara folk:
He’s right about that free download – available on the Mishara FreeSongs page with no email or any kind of registration required – please feel free to share with anyone and everyone that might enjoy.
Our 11th release will come at the end of the month and that’s “The Longest Day” by Barnaby Bright:
We’re already started a pre-promotion campaign for the album with the release of the video of “Old Coats”:
In less than a week we’ve had over 10,000 views!
One of those viewers was Adam Harris the Executive Producer of NPR’s Mountain Stage and lo and behold here’s a great Tweet:
And it doesn’t stop there.
Check out the story at DirectCurrentMusic – the amazing music site by Dave Curtis:
The 12th Mishara Music release will come mid-November from Clarensau:
Wait until you hear them sing “Dance With Me”.
Be still my heart.
Good things happening here!
Back to the family visit.
We are definitely a modern family.
No question about it.
In the old days it seemed like everyone eventually ended up sitting around the dining table.
It was the communal space.
A place to chat, drink coffee, catch up.
We still do that.
Just in a bit more of a modern way:
That’s a real photo.
I noticed what we were doing, got up, took a picture and sat back down to my laptop.
Have a modern week!
Marc