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Posts tagged ‘Gabriel Mann’


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:

Of course this is Maine.

A reminder of that:

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:


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



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:



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:

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:

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:

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:

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

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:


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

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:


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:

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:

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:

And my favorite visual flower is the Iris:

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:

Or for two hours on the “Owl”:

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):

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:

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:

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

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

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:

This past weekend was fun.

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

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:

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:

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.


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.

I got a hat. A treasure:

I was there for a part of history.


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:

Marc Ratner

Mishara Music









Lighten Up this time…Ok / Kid smarter than parents / Odds & Ends – “Life in Maine with a 7 Yr Old – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings All,

After a few posts about tough times I think it’s time to concentrate on some things wonderful.
That would be the inventiveness of a 7 year old.
And I’m going to throw in some odds and ends – I always seem to have some items that haven’t fit in with whatever I’m writing so this is the letter they’re going into.
Some strange items I promise.
In the midst of our lives young Ethan continues to surprise and delight in all the ways a kid can.
Let me catch you up a bit.
He’s got that inventiveness thing pretty well down.
I hope the world (and his parents) don’t squeeze it out of him.
Last year (when he was six) he decided to design a car for a spy.
Wrote out the plans:
With a bit of help from his mom – he built it and tried it out – works pretty well:
Off to daddy’s office to do some spying work:
But that was kid stuff.
He’s seven now and into making money.
Big bucks.
So he opened a massage business in his playroom.
With prices posted:
If you picked the right day you got a discount:
Lots of business:
Payment in quarters on the desk please:
While his business was going strong – so is Mishara Music.
By the way – we just totally redid our website – take a tour:
Chris Ross continues to post on Facebook.
Like his songs – it’s always about real life.
Sometimes it’s funny – in an ohmygosh – I hate it when that happens – kind of way:
Chris Ross FB Coffee Filters
Sometimes it’s heartwarming:
Chris Ross FB 10 Years
Chris brings that poignant touch to his songs – perhaps the best lyric writer I’ve heard in years.
Wanna listen?
Here’s a YouTube Listening Channel for the “Halfway To Wonderland” album….YouTube makes it so easy to listen to an album:
Here’s a great new house concert version of “Mostly Sober”:
Barnaby Bright as I write this – is on their way back from their latest European tour and excited about their upcoming fall tour with Vienna Teng:
BB - Vienna Teng
Their album “The Longest Day” continues to perform at radio – this week 31* on the FMQB Non-Com Radio album chart.
You can tell when an artist gets viral.
Twitter is full of people writing about them:
BB Twitter 04-2413
Sometimes the fans really do a number:
BB FB Dorm
Here’s the Barnaby Bright YouTube Listening Channel for “The Longest Day”:
Which leads off with live versions of two of the songs getting the most radio airplay.
“Highway 9”:
“Castle Rock”:
The same Twitter viral thingie is happening with Clarensau:
Clarensau Twitter 04-24-2013
The YouTube Listening Channel for Clarensau’s new album “This One’s For You” is here:
The lead track on the album is “Dance With Me” (nicely added by KCLC St Louis this week – the same station that ignited “Mostly Sober” by Chris Ross):
So that’s the story on the music side…..although you might want to keep an eye open for this woman – coming soon to Mishara Music:
Press Photo for Listening Channel
Odds and Ends.
Every once in a while I come across an interesting tidbit.
Like “The Dolson Principle“.
I was researching the “Peter Principle” for a friend who was having a difficult time with their boss and discovered the “Dolson Principle”.
These days it seems like almost everyone I know works for someone that fits the description – what’s this world coming to?
 Dolson Principle
Speaking of “what’s this world coming to”?
This is a real job posting that I came across a while back.
Posted by a big radio company.
Don’t “part – time” jobs usually pay close to minimum wage?
So I’m reading this ad and thinking – someone looking for a part time job paying close to minimum wage is looking over their choices and is thinking……burger joint or this:
I can just imagine the “Dolson Principle” boss – dictating that to someone else making close to minimum wage!
I wonder how many applications they got – sadly there are plenty of talented people that have been decimated by the corporate layoffs in the past few years that could qualify…..but in order to take the job – they’d probably have to take the “burger” job as well to almost make ends meet.
What’s the world coming to?
A sad fact of “what’s the world coming to” of course was my description in the last blog post of our family’s experience as witnesses at the Boston Marathon.
We had to warn Ethan’s 1st grade teacher about his experience at the Marathon and of course it came up when the class discussed their spring vacations.
This is what she wrote us about his comments:
Yes, we went around the circle to share about our vacation, and he said “I’ll tell you about the most exciting and sort of scariest part of my vacation.” He said that it felt like an underground earthquake and he saw a lot of smoke. A lot of the kids already were aware of what had happened, and so we talked about how the guys who did it were caught.
He seemed like he was in ‘good’ place with it. I haven’t seen a change in his demeanor, or attitude, which is good.
We’ve also found that he’s dealt with what happened in a very positive way.
A great relief to us.
But of course – we’re back at home in Maine….
…..and protected by super heroes:

The world needs more super heroes – that’s for sure.

Be a hero for someone!
PS  I started the subject line of this email with the words “Lighten Up”.
I hope I pulled it off.
It made me think of a song…for no other reason then it’s titled “Lighted Up”.
Not the same of course.
But I’ll bet it’s one of the greatest songs you’ve never heard.
It’s by an artist named Gabriel Mann.
He writes songs and music for tv shows.
He’s the music composer for “Modern Family” and “Arrested Development” among others.
He writes great songs.
He’s a great singer, keyboard player and performer.
Listen to “Lighted Up”:
Then download our 4th Mishara Music free song sampler and get “Lighted Up” and Chris Ross’ “Mostly Sober” and more great songs totally free.

MisharaMusicSampler4 - final
(Note Amazon samplers only work in the USA – but both songs are free on the Mishara Music website free song page @
That should “Lighten” you up!
PPS  I get mail.
Last week after writing about being a witness to the bombings at the Boston Marathon – I got more mail and comments than ever before.
All about the Marathon and our experience.
Except for one letter.
Which perfectly put in perspective where our heads were at after coming home from such a tragic event.
My friend Jimmy wondered if “Bluebirds” flew upside down in Maine?
Because I didn’t realize – Kim and Ethan didn’t realize – when we hung the birdhouse…..
…..and not a single person other than Jimmy noticed and wrote to tell me that I put the birdhouse up – upside down.
Fixed – thanks Jimmy!
Bluebird House











I hope to make you laugh / A bit jealous of Maine Maple Sunday / But will definitely make you cry – “Life in Maine with Music & a 7 year old

Greetings All,
As regular readers of this blog post know – I write about real life.
What happens is what you get.
In this edition you’ll get a lot….the ups and downs.
I do talk about the music I love – the artists at our indie singer – songwriter music company – because that’s a passion and a big part of my life.
But over time this email has become more than a promotional letter – it’s about “Life In Maine – With music & a 7 Year Old”…..all about our lives…..the summers and winters…..the lobster rolls and the black flies…..the summer carnivals and the winter snowmen…..and of course the snowstorms.
Ahhh the snowstorms.
You may remember the last letter where I wrote about the “last” snowshoe hike of the year….the “last” snowman of the year….because we’d had the “last” snowstorm of the year.
If you’re old enough you might recall the old tv commercial with the tag line:
“It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!”.
Last week I was all set to hop on down to Boston for the sold out WUMB radio fundraiser with Barnaby Bright:
 BB WUMB sold out 2
I barely made it to Boston through the storm but wonder of wonders the audience packed the place – no storm was going to keep them away and it was a great night for all:
BB WUMB thanks
Ever wonder what artists do on the road between shows?  Especially when they’re on the road almost half the year:
BB FB 20 Questions
Being on the road can be trying for sure – but fans can make the difference:
BB FB Best Fans
Becky & Nathan (Barnaby Bright) got back to NYC after the WUMB show – for a day off before they headed to Philadelphia the next night – but I never did make it home that evening as I’d planned – the second wave of the storm hit after the show.
I finally got home the next afternoon and had to spend two hours shoveling myself back into my driveway and then shoveling my wife’s car out.
Luckily she hadn’t needed to go anywhere while I was gone…..a good thing…..if she has to start shoveling her own car out…..that means there’s one less thing she needs me for…..not a good thing:
Kim Car 1st day of spring
But the storm allowed Kim to get another snowman made – this one a protector of our home:
We did do another snowshoe walk – but more about that in a bit…..
… was not an ordinary hike through the woods – this one was special.
In spite of the snow the Mishara Music artists continue to build audience.
Chris Ross has gathered so many new radio plays recently – programmers have gone deeper into his wonderful album Halfway To Wonderland – exploring new cuts like “I Lied” and “Your America” besides the amazingly reactive “Mostly Sober” – that the album has headed back up the FMQB Non-Comm Top 200 Album Chart.
Chris Ross Halfway To Wonderland
While you’re checking Chris out – notice that Barnaby Bright’s The Longest Day in a month’s time is now # 62 on that same Top 200 album chart:
BB & CR FMQB 03-19-2013 Top 200 Noncomm album chart
The key radio tracks for Barnaby Bright are “Highway 9” and “Castle Rock” and here are live videos of both tracks – you’ll understand why people in Boston braved snow and cold to come out to see them!
“Highway 9”:
“Castle Rock”:
Chris Ross’ new House Concert video version of “Mostly Sober” is another great performance by him:
Chris continues to have the best Facebook posts anywhere:
CR FB trio of posts
Our latest Mishara Music release – This One’s For You by Clarensau is getting viral on Twitter – lots of chatter about the group and the songs:
Clarenasu Twitter March Posts
Here’s a brand new YouTube listening channel for the entire Clarensau This One’s For You album:
A great way to hear the entire album.
So with music building well….
…..and no snow in the forecast….
…..We had a “Family Day” on Sunday – we celebrated along with the rest of the state’s population: “Maine Maple Sunday”!
“Family Day” is something we like to do every Sunday – we always try to do something together as a family – it’s important and easy to let get away…..and it shouldn’t.
Maine Maple Sunday is one of our favorite ways to celebrate.
Every year – the 3rd Sunday in March – all the Maple Syrup producing sugar houses in Maine open their doors for tours, free samples and the best syrup at the lowest prices you’ll ever see.
We have three favorite sugar houses.
We start at “Sparky’s Maple and Honey” ( where as soon as you walk up you’re invited to taste their fresh from the tap syrup on heart shaped waffles:
As soon as you walk in the door you get that wonderful aroma of boiling maple sap from the evaporator:
Not only do we get some syrup hot right out of the tap:
We stock up on the best honey you’ve ever had – fresh from the hive:
Where you always find Mark in the thick of the steam:
It’s always packed at Bradstreet:
Great tasting treats – ice cream & waffle with fresh maple syrup:
Mark’s always explaining the different grades of maple syrup:
The evaporator takes a constant load of wood:
When the syrup is ready…..ahhhhhh:
One of the special treats we always head to Bradstreet for is their homemade maple fudge!
Alas, there’s no photo…..SOLD OUT!
Such a bummer…..but we weren’t done yet.
And don’t worry we have great street signs in the middle of the woods in Maine – no chance of getting lost (as long as you bring your GPS):
Off to Kinney’s ( sugar house next.
They turn Maine Maple Sunday into a party.
They have a band.
They have burgers and dogs.
But they outdo themselves with one of the most special things anywhere!
Maple Cotton Candy
I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful a treat this is.
You’ll just have to come to visit – the 3rd Sunday in March.
Kinney’s also invites other friend vendors to share the day with them.
It allows me to finish off a day of treats with a real jewel.
Kathy and Bruce Chamberlain’s “Stone Fox Creamery” ( ice cream to be precise.
Remember my obsession with B&J’s “Coffee Health Bar Crunch”?
Still my favorite big corporation flavor.
But in the battle with Stone Fox’s “Salted Caramel” it’s no contest!
Kathy and Bruce were at Kinney’s with their travel ice cream wagon the “mobilecone” (@mobilecone on Twitter):
That’s my cup of “Salted Caramel” on the counter!  There is no better ice cream anywhere – the creamiest, most delicious I’ve ever had!
We needed a day like that.
A family day.
Because life isn’t fair.
In these days of more work, more stress, more complications – we should never forget about family.
We should never ever skip even one Sunday family day.
Because in the middle of all the work that we do.
Whether it concern songs, artists, tours, rotations, spins, promotions etc.
You get an email from a great friend of 20 years…..
….and nothing seems so important anymore:
R06 Email
A very few hours later you get word about the services – the celebration of her life.
But it’s a 10am the next morning in California and we’re in Maine.
So at 1pm Eastern time (10am in California) Kim and I did a snowshoe walk for Deena:
Off we went:
The fresh snow meant we had an unbroken trail to follow:
We took turns cutting trail:
After about an hour we were headed back the way we came:
A last look at the trail behind us:
On the spur of the moment Kim said “Let’s take a picture of ourselves and it’s already become one of our favorites ever:
Kim & Marc 03-22-2013
I emailed our “photo walk” to our friends and included a song – after all the real power of music is all about the ability to articulate an emotional connection.
“Made Up Of” by Barnaby Bright is the first song I heard from the new album and it’s still my personal favorite.
The Longest Day Cover jpg 09-14-2012
It’s based on a true story – a friend of their’s lost her husband at an early age and Becky wrote this song based on their conversations.
Made Up Of lyrics with photo
We give it away for free – no download, no email, no registration is required.
Some songs you just have to share.
You can hear it and download it here:
While we were celebrating Deena’s life in Maine – so were all our friends in California:
R06 Thank You
Dave and Deena – an amazing couple.
Amazing parents.
Their daughter Serena just turned 16.
Their son Skyler is 7.
The same age as Ethan.
Skyler drew photos for his mom on the way to the services…’s how his dad described them:
Skyler photos
Skyler 3 photos
So family day for us yesterday had special meaning.
Remembering this photo of Deena and Skyler:
Skyler & Deena
At the first sugar house we visited I asked the first person I saw to take a family photo of us:
Family days are treasures.
Maple syrup is a treasure.
Collect the sap in buckets:
Collect a lot:
One Tree
Maple syrup is hard work.
Music companies are hard work.
Families are hard work.
Don’t give up.
My friend Dave isn’t:
R06 Don't give up
If you’re interested here’s the link:
Take a moment today.
Hug your family.
Take a photo together.
Have a family day together.
Nothing else really matters – does it?!!!
PS We share a lot of free songs at Mishara Music…besides “Made Up Of” by Barnaby Bright there are more than 40 free songs available from Mishara Music artists and friends – including Peter Bradley Adams, Glen Phillips, more from Barnaby Bright, Clarensau, Chris Ross, Kat Maslich, Gabriel Mann, Connor Garvey – and more.
At the Mishara Music website (the free downloads work worldwide):
And our four free song samplers at (unfortunately only work in North America at this time):

Photos of the Hurricane, Halloween, Music, Wood & a great Find – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings All,
I just got an email from my wife’s stepmom – which among other things said this about her dad’s house on Long Beach Island in New Jersey:
starting today, they are allowing people who are not in North Beach, which
is closer to the lighthouse,  and Holgate back on…. sooo, we are in a
waiting game to see when they will allow us on for sure, but are hoping by
Friday……….. water on the first floor, so the longer we have to wait, well, it isn’t good..
and of course now with the nor’easter about to hit…….. return to a normal
routine….whatever that is these days!
I had sent her the CDC’s guidelines to dealing with mold issues in flooded homes.
There is no “normal” anymore.
Even though there is much about the aftermath of the storm still on the news there will never be enough coverage to detail how devastating this will be for so many families for years to come.
I have another friend who has lived full time on Long Beach Island for many years.  He’s already learned that it may be more than half a year before he and his family can return to their house to live there again.
My friend’s neighbor is a first responder and was able to take some photos during the storm as he stayed on the island.
This an important photo because it’s illustrates how difficult it is for first responders to provide services.  We take them for granted and depend on those services to be there when we need them – but in certain circumstances immediate help is impossible when mother nature is involved:
I know this from first hand experience.  For 21 years I responded to emergencies on a 24 / 7 / 365 basis as a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. Malibu Search and Rescue team.  We were specifically trained as a mountaineering rescue technical team but also provided wide reaching rescue support for virtually any kind of rescue situation.  Usually of course these situations were limited to a specific situation that our team members could manage……and a note about this……we were all volunteers.
But then there are those situations where mother nature is totally uncontrolled.  Our team’s most intense situations involved fire.  Here’s one of our rescue trucks responding to one of the big Malibu fires:
The photos can never truly articulate how intense the work is when you’re in the midst of a huge overwhelming fire in the middle of the night when it seems like you’re surrounded on all sides by raging flames – I’ve been there.
The photos also can’t show how widespread and devastating the floods can be.
So it becomes personal.
This photo is important to me – because it’s personal.  I was in this bakery this summer….and would then go to the local coffee shop right around the corner – where I had friendly discussions with the local owner. He wasn’t a franchise – not a big corporation – just a small independent coffee shop and owner – who was almost always there no matter what time of day you walked in:
So please take a moment to think about how you can help – to think about those people that are not on the nightly news anymore that are still upside down in their lives and will be for years.
But life goes on for all of us.
I’m still part of a small independent music company that loves singer – songwriters and in the midst of bigger things in the world we do our best to share wonderful songs and singers with people that would enjoy them.  Not that much different from that coffee shop owner.
Chris Ross continues to garner some strong support at AAA radio.  As perhaps the edgiest and most “indie” sounding of the artists on Mishara Music he’s got some great chart action happening at trade magazine FMQB’s Non-Com album chart – “Halfway To Wonderland” moved 74 points on the chart this week – from # 184 to # 110:
One of the reasons is the track “Jack and Jill (Bottom of My Grave)” which has a gritty tale to tell with an immediately compelling guitar line that runs throughout the song.
Wanna hear it right now with no hassle?
It’s the first playing track on our website
It’ll start as soon as you open the page.
A great way to audition the song.
Check it out.
And have no fear – Chris was ready for the storm – he posted his preparations on his Facebook page:
Speaking of helping friends.
Thankfully not a rescue situation this time – Rebecca Loebe certainly doesn’t need rescuing.  She’s managed by my friend Ralph Jaccodine (who also manages Ellis Paul).  Ralph and I always help each other with our artists and Rebecca’s new album “Circus Heart” is off to a great start.  Great numbers on the “Roots” and “Americana” charts and now gaining ground at AAA (# 181 on the FMQB Non – Com album chart in it’s 2nd week there).
Check out this great video of Rebecca and New York’s famous PS-22 elementary school chorus.  A couple weeks ago she went to the school to perform for them and they learned two of her songs to sing with her.
Here’s “Swallowed By The Sea”:
She’s featured on their blog:
Mishara Music also has great friend’s in the music department at and they help us promote our free song samplers.
Our 4th sampler was released last week and a few days after release we were totally excited to see how well it was received – # 2 on the Top 100 Best Seller Free album chart:
And when you dial down to their Folk / Singer – Songwriter standings – our Mishara brand is getting very well established:
A lot of great artists are represented on this 4th sampler including our friend Glen Phillips – the lead tune from his new album, Gabriel Mann, Peter Bradley Adams, Colin Devlin, Connor Garvey, Chris Ross, Clarensau (from their upcoming new album “This One’s For You”) and the first track “Old Coats” by Barnaby Bright from their new album “The Longest Day” and the song featured on their haunting new video:
Easy to get the sampler and easy to share – click on the link.  There are 39 free songs on the 4 Mishara Music Amazon samplers and we’ve shared over 600,000 downloads with singer – songwriter fans all over the country.  They must love what they’re hearing:
If you have a website – please post the link.  You’ll make some new friends and help this one.
Oh by the way – Barnaby Bright taped a performance for NPR’s Mountain Stage on Sunday October 28th.  They performed and then managed to get out of town right ahead of the storm.
How’d they do?
Here’s what Adam Harris Executive Producer of the show wrote about it – I’d heard they had a standing ovation – the only one of the evening:
Their episode of Mtn Stage will be broadcast in early December – I’ll keep you posted about it.
So Halloween was this past week.
If you’re six years old – it was the night of ninja’s:
Ready to go:
Beware – Ninja’s at the door:

Quite a haul:

And you might ask – what does Dad do on Halloween night?
Well, once a year – out comes his standard costume – that he wears to accompany the Ninja – the hat that lights up, the jumpsuit and the big shoes:
A great time was had by all – and this year a personalized pumpkin was awaiting us at our door when returning from the nightly rounds:
And best of all we made it home just in time for the annual broadcast of “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (does anyone know why it’s more fun to watch the tv network broadcast with all the commercials even when you have the show on DVD?):
But it wasn’t just the pumpkin and show that was waiting for us at home.
My annual 3 cords of wood was delivered a week or so ago and we’ve been so busy that I haven’t hardly had a chance to start stacking yet.
Oh my aching back:
But that wood means warmth for us this winter if we lose power during big storms.
And make no mistake – winter is coming – tonight is our first night with a projected temperature of under 30 degrees.
Most of the autumn leaves are gone:
The harbor is empty without the summer tourist traffic:
But in the midst of all that’s been happening – every once in a while you get lucky.
And realize that in the midst of all that happens to us in our lives over the years it truly is very often the small things that count the most.
Life is a series of moments and being able to appreciate the small moments while everything else is falling down around you can sometimes make all the difference in a positive outlook on life.
For instance.
How can you not have a wonderful life moment when you find stashed away in the back of the freezer something you’d forgotten all about?
Is there anything better than discovering a full, unopened box of Thin Mints?
Not much I think!
Enjoy life’s small moments and make a lifetime out of them!


A story of moving to Maine from California in winter (even though it’s almost summer) & great new free songs – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings All,
So here we are a week or so before the official beginning of summer.
And in the few hours in-between all the rain we’re having this month – when the sun shines it’s absolutely beautiful.
The Kindergarten class that our son goes to went on a field trip to the Merryspring Nature Park and the flowers were blooming all over:
The harbor in Camden is beginning to show signs of life that will bloom hugely in July and August as the big schooners get ready to start their summer long adventures with big boatloads of tourists aboard for week long trips in Penobscot Bay:
And as the big ships get ready so do the smallest craft:
And the pond down the hill from us is alive with tadpoles and tiny fish:
A great place to eat an apple:
But with all this wonderful almost summer stuff that’s going on – it’s not what I’m really writing about today……a friend sent me an email last week that he recently rediscovered and it reminded me of when we moved to Maine from California.
It’s about moving from the land of sun to the land of snow and ice.
Here’s the email he sent – sadly I don’t know the author and cannot credit him / her – but I’ll comment afterwards about how accurate a story it is:
“Diary of a California couple who move to the east coast to

escape the earthquakes.”

Jan. 24 – It’s starting to snow. The first snow we’ve seen in
years. The wife and I took our hot buttered rums and sat by the
window watching the snow flakes drift down, clinging to the
trees and covering the ground, it was beautiful.

Jan 25 – We awoke to a lovely blanket of crystal white snow
covering the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Every tree and
shrub was covered with a beautiful white mantle. I shoveled snow
for the first time in years and loved it. I did both the
driveway and our sidewalk. Later, the city snowplow came along
and accidentally covered up our driveway and compacted the snow
from the street, but the driver smiled and waved, and I waved
back and shoveled it again.

Jan. 26 – It snowed an additional 5 inches last night and the
temperature dropped to around 11 degrees.But we love it here.
Several limbs on the trees and shrubs snapped due to the weight
of the snow. I shoveled our driveway again. Shortly afterwards,
the city snowplow came by and did his trick again. Much of the
snow is now brownish gray.

Jan. 27 – Warmed up enough during the day to create some slush,
which soon became ice when the temperature dropped again. Bought
snow tires for both cars. Fell on my a*s in the driveway,
$145.00 for the physical therapist, but nothing broken. More
snow and ice expected.

Jan. 28 – Still cold. Sold the wife’s car and bought 4×4 in
order to get her to work. Slid into a guardrail and did
considerable amount of damage to the right rear quarter panel.
Had another 8 inches of white sh*t last night. Both cars covered
with salt and crud. More shoveling in store for me today. That
da*n snowplow came by twice today.

Jan. 29 – Eight degrees outside. More f*cking snow. Not a tree
or shrub on our property that has not been damaged. Power was
off most of the night. Tried to keep from freezing to death with
candles and a kerosene heater, which tipped over and nearly
burned the house down. I managed to put out the flames, but
suffered second degree burns on my hands and lost all my
eyebrows and eyelashes. Car slid on ice on the way to the
emergency room and was totaled.

Jan. 30 – Mother f*cking sh*t keeps coming down! Have to put on
all the clothes we have just to get to the f*cking mailbox. If I
ever catch the son-of-a-bitch that drives that f*cking snowplow,
I’ll chew his chest and rip out his heart. I think he hides
around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling, then
comes down the street about 100 mph and buries our driveway
again! Power still off. Toilet froze and part of the roof has
started to cave in.

Jan. 31 – Six more f*cking inches of f*cking snow and f*cking
ice and god knows what other kind of white sh*t fell last night.
I wounded the f*cking snowplow as*hole with an snow shovel, but
he got away. The wife left me for the 4×4 salesman, the car
won’t start and I think I’m going snow-blind. I can’t move my
toes, haven’t seen the sun in 6 f*cking weeks, and there’s more
snow predicted.

Wind chill: 22 f*cking degrees below zero. I’m moving back to

I’d seen the story before but laughed all over again…..
Although intended as a joke – it’s incredibly accurate.
Here’s my version:
The snowplow always comes by after you do the driveway
The branches always break the wires giving us blackouts sometimes as long as 24 hours.
But I didn’t think the blackouts were a problem – we installed an updated, very efficient wood stove when we moved in and I get 3 cords of wood every fall to heat the house with.
Works like a charm….although stacking 3 cords of wood is not so much fun.
I also found that after 21 years of being a Mountain Search & Rescue Team member I seem to have about 34 sets of rescue gear lying around the house which include some 67 flashlights and 103 headlamps.
I figured with the wood stove and all the emergency lighting I have that we’d have no problem with power failures in the winter – we’d be warm and have plenty of light.
How wrong I was.
After spending my entire life on municipal water systems I completely forgot what happens to the water supply when you have your own well……and it’s powered by an electric pump.
No water.
Well how much of a problem can that be?  We’ve got bottled water stored in the basement – and a water filter pitcher that we keep full.  How tough can not having water be for a short blackout?
A very BIG OOPS!
My Wife and 2 year (now 6) old son didn’t quite agree with my assessment.
Seems that I forgot that when I’m out of town, in February, it’s 7 degrees and my wife is already loading logs into the wood stove every hour.
That they also have NO TOILETS.
Friend says – “When a storm is predicted – put the stopper in the tub and fill it with water – no problem”.
First time I tried that……the stopper leaked.
No water.
No toilets.
Many $ later we now have a propane generator with a 75 gallon tank (we already had propane for our stove so once the generator and electric work was done we just had to exchange the tank for a bigger one).
Problem solved.
Generator kicks in after 60 seconds of no power and can run at least a week on our tank.  So far we’ve never had longer than a 24 hour power failure.
But we’ve had a bunch of those.
And after 2 years of just shoveling – which I do enjoy – I bought a snowblower like the one we had at the cabin (more about the cabin and snow coming up) in California.
The snowplow can’t touch me now.
And the neighbors now accept us.
Although it was a different story when we first settled in and it was snowing two days before Thanksgiving as our furniture was moved into our new home
That December was the snowiest December in 14 years in Maine.
The berm from the snowplow was sometimes over my head.
I get really warm when I shovel so very often I’m out there in just a t-shirt and maybe a sleeveless vest while shoveling.
(Which by the way I still love doing even after four winters here – I’ll often shovel instead of going through the hassle of gassing up and starting the snowblower).
Those first shoveling days were the first times our neighbors saw me while driving by and it was their first chance to stop to say hello.
The conversation went like this (and it did so with a number of different neighbors – always with the same tone and conversation):
“Hi, we’re Jan and Peter from up the hill – welcome”.
“Hi, I’m Marc and just moved in with my wife Kim and son Ethan”.
Now I’ve heard already through the grapevine that the people in the neighborhood know only that some guy who worked in the music business in Hollywood has moved to Maine with his family.
So they’re looking at me with a snow berm over my head standing there with a snow shovel in a t-shirt in the middle of winter and I know they’re thinking “Gone by March – he has no clue”.
But with a smile on their face they ask “Are you going to be a summer resident (plenty of those here in this beautiful coastal town in Maine – including the previous residents of our house) or live here full time?”
I say “Full time and happy about it”
And they’re still thinking “Gone by March” and then ask “So whadda think about all this snow?” with a gleam in their eyes.
I reply “Well there’s a bit more than I expected” – knowing already that it’s a much bigger snow fall year than normal – “But it doesn’t bother me at all”.
And they smile at each other – now thinking “We’ve heard that before….betcha they’re gone by February”.
And then I start to play them back.
“Of course we had a cabin in California in the mountains where we used to get snow so I’m used to it”
And they think “Un huh – snow in California” – and they give me the benefit of the doubt – we’re now back to “Gone by March”.
What I don’t mention is that our cabin was at 7000 feet in the High Sierra’s and we had as much as ten feet of fallen snow on the ground at one time in some years……more than they’ve ever seen around our little town here in Maine.
And then I say “And I spent 21 years doing Mountain Search and Rescue with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and I’m snow and ice rescue qualified and have spent lots of time working in the mountains in the winter actually building and staying in snow caves”.
And they start to wonder…..”Hey, this is a different twist to the normal conversation with the usual Hollywood types???”
And then my big finish.
“And I’m originally from Minnesota”.
And everything changes.
Immediately they’re thinking “Thank goodness he’s not really from California!  Minnesota?  That’s as good as Maine!  They just talk a little funny there”
And they say (now evaluating my smile and my casual t-shirt in the middle of winter) “Well no wonder this doesn’t bother you – this is nothing for you!”
And I say – “No, not at all – I love snow – we’re delighted to be here”.
And we’ve been a warmly excepted part of the neighborhood ever since.
But the snowplow does always refill your driveway after you’ve shoveled.
It’s a battle… wait as long as you can to shovel – just until you have to leave….hoping against hope that they’ll plow first so you just have to shovel once.
But nope.
Never works out.
They always get ya.
And I did slide on the ice 2 winters ago and total the new (used) car that we just bought for my wife…..
……worst of all……
…..I was actually on the way to the DMV to register it at the time!
It was less than a week old.
So if you love snow, ice and cold and want to discover what living in the country is like…..
…..move to Maine.
And I might stop by with a gleam in my eye and ask you if you’re just a summer resident!
As a bonus you’ll get to see some nice flowers and some great schooners in the harbor……
… long as you don’t blink!
Musically…….support continues to build for Clarensau and their “Until Our Lungs Give” album:
I would be remiss if I didn’t especially bring the song “I Would Trade” to your attention.
Tyler wrote it when his Grandfather was in the hospital and so many people are responding to the lyric and sentiment that it’s become very viral.
Here’s a Twitter search I just did – look how many mentions the song gets in just the last day:
Here is an amazingly poignant review – from a YouTube video of the song – along with the lyrics:
Clarensau may be tough to categorize for radio broadcasters, they get so caught up in formats, ratings & research that they often forget about the music – but normal music fans – unlike the music and broadcasting businesses only have two categories – “I like it” or “Push the button”.
Not much button pushing here.
Other Mishara Music news…….we’re re-releasing two solo albums by Gabriel Mann who also is a member of The Rescues.
The two albums are “Gabriel Mann”:
Which released this week on Mishara Music
And “Tall Buildings”:
Which releases on Mishara Music on Tuesday June 26th, 2012.
We’re giving away a free song from both albums in the “Free Songs” section of the Mishara Music website:
From “Gabriel Mann” we’re giving way a song that I consider to be one of the lost gems of all time – “Lighted Up”.  If you wish Billy Joel or someone just as good would release a song today that matches the quality of Billy’s best work – look no further – “Lighted Up” is that song:
And from “Tall Buildings” we’re giving away the title track “Shadows Of Tall Buildings” – oh sooo good:
Both songs are totally free – please post them, pass them around, give ’em out to anyone.
They’ll like you for it.  (We may not make much money giving away so many free songs but we got into this business because we love music and love sharing it!)
Next up at Mishara Music – a new artist that though still an acoustic singer-songwriter has a much more pronounced indie rocker flair than some of our other artists:
Chris Ross.
The album is “Halfway To Wonderland” which is coming soon:
Hope you all have a great week.
And while we’re in those few weeks in-between snow storms it’s a great time to come and visit us in Maine.
Here’s the view out into Rockland harbor last week:
PS But here’s how I celebrated my first birthday in Maine: