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Posts tagged ‘Maine’

17
May

Maine Photos – Autumn, Winter, Spring & Music – the marcrescue blog

 

Greetings All,

 

I’ve been so neglectful about posting an updated blog that….

 

A: Most people have forgotten entirely about me

 

B: A few have actually reached out and asked about the blog

 

  1. Not because they miss me  – they miss the photos

 

Life is so chock full of busy that I didn’t even realize it’s been a touch over six months since I sent an update.

 

So here in a nutshell – or rather photos….is what’s been happening.

 

(With a music update at the end – so you don’t have to wade through that to get to the photos)

 

 

Last fall was – as always – a great time to hike. Here’s what our town looks like from the top of Mt Battie as the leaves are changing:

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Acadia National Park is not far away and hiking there is always good for the soul:

 

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The annual Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) is a huge event in town. It’s rated as one of the top 12 documentary film festivals in the world. Quite nice for a town this small and so far off the beaten path.

 

But for good reason – it’s exceptional:

CIFF 09-18-2015

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We had a great time at the anniversary showing of “Back To The Future” at a local theatre that showed it when it first came out (The Strand was built in 1926 – and is totally restored today).

 

BTTF pic four

Even better – a mysterious DeLorean showed up in front of the theatre for the film:

BTTF bw Delorean 10-21-2015

 

Can’t beat Halloween in a small town. The town closes down a number of blocks for a Halloween block party – and this year we had a flash mob show up to the tune of “Thriller”:

Halloween Flashmob 2015

 

These weirdo’s were out trick or treating::

Halloween Selfie 2015

 

One of our favorite challenges – Beth’s Farm Market’s Corn Maze.

Maddening:

Beth's Corn Maze 2015

 

For the second year in a row we split up – me against the family – and they won.

I kept finding this sign over and over again – arghhhh:

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Before you know it – it’s time for the annual Christmas parade….does yours feature a lobster…with Christmas lights on it?

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How about a Lobster Trap Christmas Tree!

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It was a year of weird weather patterns this winter.

But as always some interesting snowpeople appeared in the yard:

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Cap America Snowman 03-21-2016

 

One great thing about winter is that the snow covers all the brush in the woods and with snowshoes you can hike places you can’t get close to in summer…..for instance you can find a tree that’s been ravaged by woodpeckers – hard to believe they can do this – but they do:

Woodpecker Tree - Copy

 

The hardest part about winter for us….it’s not the snow….it’s not the cold….it’s when the annual box of See’s “Nuts & Chews” box that my Uncle and Aunt mail to us from the West Coast every holiday season – turns into a box of empty wrappers….sighhhh:

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Before you know it – Spring is here and it’s time for one of our favorite days in Maine – “Maine Maple Sunday”. The day when all the maple sugar houses open their doors for tours, free samples and the best maple syrup you can buy – straight from the tap.

We hit three houses every year. The first is Sparky’s (http://sparkyshoneyandmaple.com/) – close to us and besides great maple syrup – they also produce the best honey from their bees:

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Honey

 

We also head to Simmons & Daughters (http://www.simmonsanddaughterssugarhouse.com/) for fresh “maple” cotton candy. Once you’ve had maple cotton candy you’ll never go back to the weird colored stuff they sell at fairs and circuses:

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They really are two of the “daughters”:

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Then it’s over to see Mark at Bradstreet Maple Farm (http://www.getrealmaine.com/farms/Bradstreet-Maple-Farm). Always a party with great samples (Didn’t get a photo of the maple fudge – the line was too long)

Waffles, ice cream with fresh maple syrup:

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Great maple baked beans:

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Mark always has a crowd around him because he’s always teaching people about making great syrup:

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You cannot believe how wonderful the aroma is inside a maple sugaring house.

Can’t wait to walk in the door again next year:

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A weekend trip to Portland is always fun….and it’s a wonder to take in the “Lock Fence” in old town by the harbor. There’s a chain link fence where people are allowed to put locks on – most with written or engraved messages:

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I’ve already got a lock picked out for our family to attach next visit:

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But spring time in Maine means it’s time to leave.

Leave?

Well for a few days – our favorite family trip / vacation is to New Orleans for Jazzfest:

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The fest as always was terrific – even after some pretty heavy rains – and we forgot our rain boots this year – which is essential for muddy grounds….but a little washing and a hair dryer in the hotel rooms dries out even the wettest and muddiest sneakers:

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Everyone always asks who was our favorite act….and I always say – no matter who the headliners are…when we were there Paul Simon, Tedeschi-Trucks etc….

(Here’s the lineup for all 7 days – we were at the Fest 2 days:)

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…my favorite moments are hearing artists that I’ve never heard before and are amazing.

This year my wife and I agreed that our fav this year was the PresHall Brass – led by 82 year old saxophonist Daniel “Weenie” Farrow. They are the resident brass band at Preservation Hall….and soooo good:

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A great reminder – however – of how fortunate and lucky the musicians are that have had great successful full time music careers – are the bands that are playing outside the gates….in the street….for tips.

These two bands….of kids…..were amazing:

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In New Orleans it’s like that every year. In the streets around Jazzfest, in the French Quarter – the quality of the street musicians is just stunning.

Besides the Fest itself….and of course the food…..can you say “Oysters at Felix’s”?

Oysters at Felix's 2016

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There’s nothing better than wandering through the French Quarter admiring the architecture. Such a beautiful, historical place:

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A lot of the buildings have historical plaques that tell the story of the building:

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It’s now an art gallery.

But my favorite find was this one.

A red house with a nondescript store:

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Even the plaque was sorta dull…..until you got to the end…..you never know what you’re going to find in New Orleans:

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Whoa!

 

Speaking of streetcars…..we’ve discovered if we time it right.

We can spend the day at Jazzfest,

Hit the French Quarter for dinner afterwards.

Finish the night at perhaps the best place to end any night – no matter what time it is (they’re open 24 hours a day – every day of the year):

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And then catch the last streetcar of the evening on the line heading towards our hotel:

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A wonderful end to a wonderful trip.

 

A word about music.

Most everyone I work with at Mishara Music has spent the year touring, writing, exploring but not recording.

So we’ve been working under the radar – marketing and building the audience for our artists.

Streaming….although some might feel angst about it….frees us up to do some very dramatic promotions.

As streaming replaces downloads – we realized that we have even more freedom to give more music away.

So….our 7th Mishara Music free song sampler at Amazon.com…..which contains some of our biggest selling tracks:

MisharaSampler7

The free download is at:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01F541CVQ?ie=UTF8&keywords=mishara%20samplers&qid=1463442753&ref_=sr_1_1&s=dmusic&sr=1-1-mp3-albums-bar-strip-0

 

Listen on Spotify at:

https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify%3Auser%3Amisharamusic%3Aplaylist%3A3X8lXbbALNV9CsthDoqrEf

 

Listen on Soundcloud at:

https://soundcloud.com/misharamusic/sets/the-artist-sampler-mishara

 

Enjoy!

Marc

PS Talk about tough decisions – my wife took a photo of me making one of the most difficult of the year (and truth be told – she took a lot of the photos above as well – probably the ones you like the most)….what boxset to buy on Record Store Day….so many boxes….so few funds!

Box Sets Record Store Day 04-16-2016

 

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
Sep

Maine summer photos with music & stories – Life in Maine with family & songs – the Marcrescue Blog

Greetings all,

My blog / email writing about life in Maine with family while running an independent music company has become a quarterly event it seems.

Simply because I write about our life and we spend so much time living there’s not much time left for writing.

But hopefully this makes each edition of my tales that much more interesting.

Summer in Maine is a time for being outside.

So I switch from the torture machine at the Y:

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To the torture machine I use outside:

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The biggest problem with the switch is a simple matter of gravity.

I use clip-in bike shoes and when you stop riding on the bike at the Y….

You just stop. The bike is on a stand. No problem.

My first ride this summer outside – I forgot about gravity.

At the end of the first big hill on my route I stopped for a break and a quick drink.

Forgot to unclip my shoes because I hadn’t thought about that all winter.

For those of you old enough to remember “Laugh-In” I looked exactly like the guy on the tricycle – who stopped and fell right over.

It was a slow-motion kind of moment – where you think “Oh oh….”.

You realize you’re going to fall over….you can’t do anything about it….even as it seems to take forever.

Landed on a rather sizeable rock.

Ouch that hurt.

Think I might have even cracked a rib or two.

But it only hurt to cough….for about three weeks.

I’ve had a great summer of riding….hopefully we’ll have a nice autumn and I can keep it up.  Great changing leaves on my ride as fall comes.

I’ll take photos.

In the meantime – we made the most of our local lake swimming hole.

Usually a late afternoon stop:

Barrett's Cove 07-05-2015

Maine has unique events that we can’t seem to get enough of.

Different farms open up their premises for visits.

Our first visit this summer was to the Glendarragh Lavender Farm.

26 acres along the St. George River and it’s chock full of different varieties of lavender:

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I suspect it has the nicest aroma of any farm anywhere.

Our friends Lorrie and Patrick Costigan started growing lavender in 2007.  Their drying barn on the property dates back to 1790.

In 2009 – they made it easy for us to get all the different kind of lavender products we could want – they opened a lavender store on Main St. in Camden.

It’s so nice to have a unique shop in town that has no duplicate anywhere. The magic of a small town in Midcoast Maine is we’re too small for most retail chains so walking down main street is like taking a stroll in the 1950’s or 60’s. Independent, interesting stores.

Such a pleasure.

Check out Glendarragh at www.mainelavenderstore.com

Our next farm stop was for wild Maine blueberries.

Every year on Maine Farm Day we head to our favorite blueberry farm to pick some berries and buy some extras.

I never remember the name….but I always recognize the sign:

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We didn’t pick this year because it was raining….but they had been busy:

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This basket didn’t last long in our hands:

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Summer is also baseball time.

We’re big Portland Sea Dogs fans (Red Sox Double AA Team).

A great stadium with a “green monster” wall the exact size of the one at Fenway and a perfect place to spend a few incredibly inexpensive hours:

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This particularly night was one of their “fireworks” evenings and after a very tense, close game – alas they lost. Unfortunately the Sea Dogs after a great season last year are mirroring their big brother team in last place this season.

But a true baseball fan – especially the New England variety – isn’t so hooked on success – it’s the game we enjoy.

The Sea Dogs always do a great fireworks show:

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Mid-summer –  it’s time for the “Lobster Festival”!

Music, carnival rides, crafts and a kid who’s discovered the joys of the “bungee jump ride”.

This year he did a flip for the first time:

LF 2015 Bungie 2

Mom and dad prefer the Ferris wheel:

LF 2015 Ferris Wheel

Always love the view – take notice of the second big tent:

LF 2015 Sky View

The object of the “Lobster Fest” is of course Maine lobsters.

They serve a lot of them over the five days of the festival.

All in that big tent.

We visited on Sunday – the last day of the festival.

Here’s the count of lobsters served up to the point we were there and the latest batch coming out of the biggest lobster cooker anywhere:

LF 2015 1

LF 2015 2

It’s also been a wonderful year for music.

Remember the old commercial for that weird “hair” company?

Where the guy in the commercial says “I’m not only the CEO – I’m also a customer”

Well that pretty much describes me.

I run an independent music company.

Because I love music.

Especially singer-songwriters – that’s what our company is all about.

It all starts with the songs.

Ever had a difficult time buying presents for your significant other?

From my own experience – it’s tough.

There’s nothing like working extra hard to get something I think my wife will love….and then get the….”Oh that’s nice…..interesting…..what made you think of that?”

It never even gets out of the box, hangs around the living room for about six months and then straight into a closet or drawer – never to be seen again.

Arghhhhh.

I solved that problem

With tickets for her favorite artists in concert.

A triple win.

She loves the present and the artist – I love the artist – and get to go along to the show.

This summer she finally got the payoffs for her Valentine’s Day present and her birthday present.

Our 5th time seeing this guy together – nothing like a little “Steamroller Blues”:

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Is there a better song than this?

James Taylor - KJR Sweet Baby James - 07-07-2015

We decided that this tour with a number of new songs from his new album was even better than the last time he came through Portland – how can a couple of Red Sox fans not love “Angels Of Fenway”:

James Taylor - KJR Angels Of Fenway 07-07-2015

A couple weeks later – it was the second payoff.

This time we had to travel to Boston and use some public transportation – the Green Line to Fenway Park:

Good news – bad news.

The good news – it was hard to get tickets – but we got in – and we were delighted – even though we were basically in the last row:

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The bad news…..how is it that the largest guy in the stadium has the seat in front of me….and decides to stand up for the entire concert:

Billy Joel Giant 07-16-2015

But no matter – it was a great night.

Can’t beat those songs – we love the “Piano Man”:

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Speaking of songs.

That’s what Mishara Music specializes in.

I learned a long time ago that there are millions of great singers and musicians….but without great songs it’s basically a karaoke music world.

So we look for and sign great writers.

The challenge then for an indie music company – is how to connect the artists we have with the people that might love their music.

Love our radio play – but radio can’t play everything we have.

So we also love our steams on Spotify, Pandora etc and plays on Soundcloud.

But sometimes it’s best to go direct to our fans.

The best way to do that is give songs away – with no conditions.

Amazon has been a great partner in that.

In a number of different ways.

We’ve had six free song album samplers:

Amazon Six Samplers Spring 2015- Letter Size

We’ve just recently starting doing individual song “sixpacks”:

Amazon Singles Sixpack

Here’s our brand new “sixpack”:\

Amazon Singles Sixpack Two

How do they do?

Through Amazon – Mishara Music has given away somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,300,000 free songs.

Feedback has been wonderful from the people that have downloaded free songs.

Here’s a sampling of the response:

Barnaby Bright Just The Same

Cass Dillon Friends

Connor Garvey Old House

Dave Morrison Best Poem

Ken Yates The One That Got Away

Meggan Waltman Rain

Peter Bradley Adams Between Us

Barnaby Bright Gravity

Because of the response – more and more people keep downloading.

In the last week (Amazon changes the ranking hourly) I noticed at one point we had twelve positions on the Amazon Top 100 Free Album Chart:

12 Top 100 08-19-2015

And a few days later noticed that the songs from the latest “sixpack” were all inside the Top 30:

6 Top 30 08-23-2015

Curious?

Here’s some links.

This link takes you to the Mishara digital page on Amazon – there are over 70 free song downloads there:

http://tinyurl.com/MisharaMusic

Wanna hear the music first?

All of the albums have YouTube Listening links – you can listen all the way through – just search YouTube for the artist and album name.

For example – here’s the YouTube Listening Channel for our latest release by Cass Dillon “Oregon Road”

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9xqq6T1fTzCNrfwsv-36yA

Click on “Playlists” and you get a link that will play all the way through:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9xqq6T1fTzCNrfwsv-36yA/playlists

All our music is also on Soundcloud.

Here’s the two latest “sixpacks” as playlists on Soundcloud – just click on the link and start listening:

https://soundcloud.com/misharamusic/sets/mishara-music-free-song

https://soundcloud.com/misharamusic/sets/mishara-music-free-song-1

So it’s been a great music summer but today as I write this – is the first day of school here in Maine.

So we’ve been working hard to squeeze every last second of fun out of summer.

It was a very good weather summer here in Maine but it did rain from time to time.

A rainy day on a weekend?

A great day to head to the movies to see “Minions”

Of course – a new Minion was in order after the movie.

Had to be seat-belted in of course – Ethan is very insistent in that:

Bob Seatbelt

We had to have a “bring your Minion to work day”.

First he went to work with Kim at her office:

Bring Your Bob To Work Day - 07-21-2015

Then he took over my computer:

Bob at Marc work

But maybe best of all – don’t know how he hasn’t had one for his first 9 years….Ethan finally got his first Pez:

Minion Pez

The highlight of the summer is always the one week a year we get invited to join Kim’s Dad and Stepmother in the house they have for a week at Long Beach Island in New Jersey.

As soon as we arrive it’s off to the beach for Kim for her first beach walk:

LBI footprints 08-16-2015

I usually work during the mornings and head to join the family at the beach in the afternoon.

For me…

Beach and water? Check (I actually prefer swimming to hanging on the sand)

Umbrella? Check (I’m not a sun person)

Chair? Check

Towel? Check

Book? (The # 1 most important item for me on vacation) Check.

Ok, got everything I need:

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We actually get up early every year and head to the beach to try and catch some sunrise photos.

Wasn’t the only one up early this year:

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This past week was the Union County Fair.

I think we saw just about every parent we know with school age kids on the midway this year.

Ethan discovered the “YoYo” ride this year….over and over and over again:

Union Fair YoYo 08-27-2015

The highlight of the fair for me is my annual caramel apple:

Caramel Apple Union Fair 08-27-2015

Three last photos for this post.

Yesterday was one last early morning walk on a Maine beach for Kim before school starts and signifies the change of season – even though it’s still officially summer for a while longer and we’ve got some fun things planned.

Beach walks are essential for her well being, No surprise when she gets photos like this:

OOB early morning walk 08-30-2015

As the sun starts to travel southward in the sky and our days in Maine are rapidly getting shorter – it’s a good time to post the opposite photo from Long Beach Island….this time the sun setting over the mainland….we spotted the sunset coming fast and actually ran as fast as we could to catch the last rays:

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Isn’t that the way this summer has been?

It’s been the fastest summer I remember and it seems like we need to race to slow down…to appreciate what we have.

Especially when we look at the “real” world – it seems that the clowns have escaped from the Funhouse and we’re left watching them being covered 24 hours a day – day in day out.

Seems like this is where we need to build walls:

Union Fair 08-27-2015

Marc

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

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:

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Of course this is Maine.

A reminder of that:

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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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:

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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:

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And my favorite visual flower is the Iris:

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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:

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Or for two hours on the “Owl”:

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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):

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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:

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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:

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

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

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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:

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This past weekend was fun.

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

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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:

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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.

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I got a hat. A treasure:

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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

 

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
Dec

Winter arrived / Autumn was terrific / This is the anti-cyber buying post – everything is free / The marcrescue blog – life in Midcoast Maine with music, family & an eight year old

Greetings All,

(Note – this is the Marc Ratner / Mishara Music – occasional blog / email.  It shows up these days about every other month. Who has the time to write anything worthwhile more than that? That doesn’t mean that anything contained here is worthwhile….except of course the photos…I get lucky taking some and steal the really good ones from my wife…she’s the great family photographer.  If you’re receiving this via email and want off the list – just hit reply and ask off.  If you’re seeing this via the blog post on WordPress and would like to receive it via email.  Email marc@misharamusic.com and I’ll get you added to the list.).  Another great way to keep up to date on when I write is to follow me on FB at www.facebook.com/marc.ratner or Twitter at www.twitter.com/marcrescue
So it’s “Cyber Monday” as I write this.
Everything, everywhere is about – buy this – buy that.
So I’ve included a whole bunch of free song links in this letter – consider this the “Anti-Cyber-Buy” letter.
The letter is also all about our family adventures during this autumn season – mostly things we did for free.
Yes, for free.
It’s our way of getting away from the commercialization of everything.
Winter is definitely here – early and fierce – this is what we woke up to Thanksgiving morning:
Thanksgiving morning 2014 - 1 - Letter Size
Thanksgiving morning 2014 - 2 - Letter Size
How did we get here?
Last I checked – autumn was in full swing and we were making the most of it here in Midcoast Maine.
The wonderful thing about living in Maine is it’s easy and inexpensive to ditch the 21st century and remember that family adventures are the best way to spend time.
We attended the last fair of the year – the Common Ground Fair – put on by the Organic Farmers of Maine:
Common Ground - Letter Size
No fancy midway or rides here….and it might be the last refuge of people that started wearing overalls as hippies in the 60’s – but that’s a good thing.
A kid doesn’t need hi-tech rides – he can have just as much fun at the cardboard sliding hill:
Cardboard sled - Letter Size
Exploring the fair hiking trail:
Common Ground Woods - Letter Size
Making a homemade hat our of natural materials:
Homemade Hat - Letter Size
And there’s no more fun than the hay bale jump:;
Hay jump - Letter Size
It’s a refreshing day away from electronics, video games and cell phones (virtually no service at these fairgrounds – makes dad’s hand shake).
We also did our annual exploration of Beth’s Farm Market corn maze….another wonderful family adventure away from the lure of computer games.
This year they really upped their game.  They made it a contest.  You had to try and find all the secret locations.
It was torture:
Corn Maze - Letter Size
Corn Maze Signs - Letter Size
Dad thought: “Let’s make it a race!” So he competed by himself again Mom and the Kid.
An hour and 1/2 later I dragged myself out of the maze and we compared scorecards.
Notice the scorecard on the right with the two blue arrows pointing out two missing checkpoints?
That’s Dad’s scorecard.
Mom & Son skunked me.  They got all the checkpoints and had been waiting for me for 20 minutes when I finally admitted defeat and found my way out.
Checkpoints - Letter Size
Before we left Beth’s we did a little pumpkin shopping:
Pumpkin Search - Letter Size
One of the great town events every autumn is the Camden International Film Festival….which features documentaries and is now recognized as one of the top festivals for documentaries in the world.
Every year Kim works as a volunteer at the festival and it’s a highlight for her:
CIFF montage - Letter Size
CIFF poster - Letter Size
We attended two films this year – including a terrific documentary about James Brown – with the director in attendance to answer questions after the showing:
CIFF James Brown - Letter Size
And we always love the closing night festivities where they present the awards at the beautifully restored Camden Opera House – built in 1894:
CIFF closing night - Letter Size
As the festival closes – we notice that the town is getting ready for the changes in the weather.  It’s always interesting to watch the sailing schooners in Camden harbor put on their protective winter wrap:
Harbor Wrapping - Letter Size
The change in the weather also brings our autumn leaves season.
Time for some hikes….along Hosmer Pond:
Autumn Leaves Hike - Letter Size
Canoes - Letter Size
Then a family hike up Mt Megunticook.
Amazing views:
Camden from Megunticook - Letter Size
It’s rewarding getting to the top:
Mt Megunticook Summit - Letter Size
But also tiring…it’s a long hike:
Yawn - Letter Size
During all this – work continues.
Mishara Music didn’t release a lot of new recordings this year because of the curse of all music companies…..delays in recording.  Artists do their best work on their own timeline….which does and should have nothing whatsoever to do with business plans.
So not many releases in 2014 but that means we’re looking forward to a wonderful roster of releases in 2015.
But that doesn’t mean everyone wasn’t busy.
Lot’s of touring, recording and marketing.
A few weeks ago I checked a bunch of our artist’s social media sites at random – always fun.
Connor Garvey had an amazing summer festival season.
Awards all over the country:
Connor Garvey Summer Festivals 2014 Awards - 2 - Letter Size
Here’s a free song from Connor – my favorite song from his last studio album “Old House”:
Connor Garvey Free Song Old House - Letter Size
Barnaby Bright social media is always fun to read.  They have a great relationship with their fans.
Isn’t that the way it should be?
BB Starbucks - Letter Size
BB Fangirl Moment - Letter Size
BB - 4 Times In a Row - Letter Size
How about a free Barnaby Bright tune – “Made Up Of” – achingly beautiful:
BB Free Song Page - Made Up Of - Letter Size
The streaming world has been very good to Clarensau:
Clarensau - Social Media - Spotify - Letter Size
A favorite Clarensau song of mine is “Endless Melody”.
Here it is – endlessly free:
Clarensau Free Song Page - Endless Melody - Letter Size
Chris Ross has the best FB page ever.  His posts are 2nd to none.
He had some wonderful thoughts about election season:
Chris Ross Politics 2014 - Letter Size
Chris has also started recording at Hearstudios in Camden.
Here he is with studio owner / producer / engineer Jason Hearst during playback:
Chris Ross Hearstudios 1 - Letter Size
He started with some acoustic recording.
For his fans – while waiting for the new 2015 album – he recorded a new acoustic version of “Mostly Sober” and we’re giving it away.
No email or registration of any kind is required – just click on the link for the free download:
Chris Ross Free Mostly Sober - Letter Size
Chris will have two other acoustic tracks – (one classic and one brand new song) on the next Mishara Music Amazon Free Song Sampler – # 6 – which you’ll see released before Christmas:
Amazon Mishara Music Sampler 6 - Letter Size
Oh by the way – great news about Ken Yates…..he won a major songwriter award in his native Canada:
Ken Yates Ontario Award - Letter Size
Here’s the song that won Ken the award – as always with Mishara – no email or registration required to download it for free:
Ken Yates Free Song Page - The One That Got Away - Letter Size
Ken’s award got me to thinking…..we sure have a lot of award winning songwriters on Mishara Music:
Mishara Award Winners - Letter Size
It makes us feel good about what we do.
We’re a low key independent music mgmt & recording company and we do what we do for the love of music.
It all starts with songs for us.
Here’s one of our latest favorites – “Rain” by Meggan Waltman.
Another free download:
Meggan Waltman Rain
Of course the rainy season has pretty much passed us by here in Maine.
We figured that out pretty quickly after Halloween.
We had a terrific Halloween as always.
Did some pumpkin carving.
This year Ethan drew out a plan for the carving and I did my best to match:
Pumpkin Carving 2014 - Letter Size
The family selfie as we headed out for trick or treating….(Ethan was the only one that got treats though):
Halloween 2014 - Letter Size
We got home in time for our favorite Halloween TV show:
It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown - Letter Size
36 hours later the first Nor’easter snow storm hit.
We lost power for 26 hours and finally woke up to this sunrise looking at 16 inches of new snow through the Halloween decorations on the window:
Morning After Storm 2014 - Letter Size
We couldn’t get out the front door:
Can't Get Out The Front Door - Letter Size
If you were a tomato plant in a pot on the back deck – you probably weren’t happy:
Snow Deck 2014 - Letter Size
So starts my winter exercise program:
Man With Shovel 2014 - Letter Size
And Kim got to make the coolest snowman ever:
Halloween Snowman 2014 - Letter Size
Luckily we’re big fans of winter – we love sledding, snowshoeing and the change in seasons brings amazing visions….this from last winters ice storm:
Ice Storm 12-27-2013 - Letter Size
But sadly – there’s one thing that goes away until spring.
The local lobster roll shacks all close up for winter.
We hit our favorite – “Red’s” – on their last day of the season about 30 minutes before closing.
Breathtaking as always:
Red's Last Day of 2014 - Letter Size
Red's Last Day of 2014 Lobster Roll - Letter Size
It was a busy autumn.
We made the most out of it – but it was exhausting.
So much so that somedays you don’t even realize that you put on different shoes for work until 3pm in the afternoon:
Shoes - Letter Size
Luckily no one else noticed either.
Hope you had a great autumn – here’s to a wonderful winter for all!
Marc
PS In keeping with this letter’s anti – buying mania – there are tons more free songs from Chris Ross, Barnaby Bright, Clarensau, Connor Garvey, Ken Yates and many more artists on the first 5 Mishara Music Free Song Amazon samplers.  Way over a million free downloads have already been given away.
Enjoy our gift of music:
19
Sep

Finally, a photo wrap-up of summer in Maine 2014 / the Marcrescue blog “Life in Maine with an Eight Year Old & an Appreciation of Music”

Greetings All,

A few notes before the attack of Maine summer photos:

1. If you’d like to make sure you receive this blog all the time – either sign up on the right hand side or if you’d prefer to receive via email – email me at marcrescue@gmail.com
2. You’ll notice during my music notes that we’ve made it extremely easy to listen to the music via Soundcloud and Spotify – whichever you prefer. You’ll also notice no sales links. Yes sales are important and if someone wants to purchase any of our songs – they’re always available on iTunes & Amazon. The key to building our audience however is getting the music heard.  Music has to heard to be appreciated.

Summer happens.

In our family and in our community here in Maine everyone makes the most of it.

Not because the season is short and winter is just over the horizon…..we love winter as much as summer.

But because there’s a spirit here about living life and everyone we know has been out and about.

The last time I checked in with everyone – we had just passed this milestone:

Last Day Of 2nd Grade - Letter Size

Then summer took off like a rocket!

Are you ready……we’ve going to cover a lot of ground here and quickly.

It’s officially summer – how do we know? Because the people down the hill put out their annual summer sign…..which perhaps wasn’t written out exactly the way it was intended…..I sure don’t know any kids that play slowly…..but then again – it grabs your attention:

Children At Slow Play - Letter Size

Gotta check the local swimming hole after a rainstorm:

After The Storm - checking the water - Letter Size

Before you know it – “Coach Pitch” baseball is all over already and it’s time to get your end of season medal:

Coach Pitch 2014 - Letter Size

Harvest time for wild Maine blueberries – got to pick up our 10 pound box…..we freeze them and have all sorts of blueberry treats all winter:

Blueberries 2014 - Letter Size

Whew let’s take a breather & cool off – how about some Lemon Sorbet for Ethan and Coffee Heath Bar Crunch for dad on Father’s Day from Camden Cone:

Father's Day Lemon Sorbet Coffee Heath Bar Crunch 2014 - Letter Size

Can’t beat Maine for summer camping:

Camping Searsport Shores 2014 - Letter Size

Especially when you can take your morning camping coffee to the bench 20 yards away overlooking the ocean:

Camping Coffee July 2014 - Letter Size

We take our eating seriously when we camp.

Some leftover beef brisket from the nearby BBQ place from the night before makes some mighty fine beef brisket hash for morning breakfast at the campsite – and yes it was every bit as good as it looks – not everything in Maine has to have lobster in it to be great:

Beef Brisket Camping Hash July 2014 - Letter Size

But that said – Searsport Shores – our favorite ocean side campground takes eating seriously. Their Saturday night lobster bake makes it awfully tough to hike back to your campsite:

Camping Dinner 2014 - Letter Size

Fourth Of July…..bummer no fireworks…..rained out…..but how ’bout the nifty homemade popsicles that mom made:

Homemade popsicles 2014 - Letter Size

Now let me take a moment here to say….during all of this…..work never stopped.

It never stops.

And some swell stuff happened this summer.

Chris Ross has spent the summer writing songs for his new album which he’ll begin recording shortly. He makes acoustic YouTube videos of each song when he’s finished writing them.

Can’t wait for the full band studio versions of these.

“Blame”:

“Burns”:

“You Can Have Mine”:

“Drunk Women”:

You can hear “Halfway To Wonderland” – Chris’ last album here on Soundcloud:

Or on Spotify:

 

One alternative to writing the new album….is spending the summer playing the new album at festivals.

That’s what Connor Garvey did.

Seemed to be a good plan.

Here’s where a partial list of where he played this summer:

Connor Garvey Summer Festivals 2014 - Letter Size

Here’s how it went – one of those summers where you need to get an extra suitcase to take home the awards:

Connor Garvey Summer Festivals 2014 Awards - Letter Size

Wanna listen to both of Connor’s new albums…..easy to do…..just posted both new albums on Soundcloud & Spotify.

“Before The Meteors” – the live album that mirrors all the songs that are in the new studio album is here:

Also on Spotify:

The studio album “Meteors And Beating Hearts” is here on Soundcloud:

Spotify:

There’s another way to spend the summer – recording.

Both Ken Yates and Barnaby Bright have been spending time in the studio.

Ken has been recording some new songs and filmed one of the tracking sessions.

Here’s “Once More To The Lake”:

Here’s Ken’s last album “twenty-three” on Soundcloud:

And on Spotify:

Don’t have anything to share from the Barnaby Bright album recording sessions yet – but coming soon.

The whole Barnaby Bright fan universe is anxiously waiting to hear the studio versions of the songs they’ve been playing on tour breaks all summer.

Including this gem – “Just The Same” – recorded last year at WNRN in Charlottesville:

“The Longest Day” their last album can be heard in it’s entirety on Soundcloud:

& Spotify:

I’ve been very busy all summer preparing new releases for this fall. More about that in a moment.

I’ve always been a believer in contributing to society in one way or another. Many might remember that I volunteered on a mountain search and rescue team for over 20 years while living in California.

Now in Maine I’ve found a new way to help….using my knowledge and long association with the music industry….I’m involved with our beautiful local historical opera house.

Built in 1894 and totally restored in the 1990’s…..I find myself during the Camden Opera House’s 120th anniversary….on the town board of directors.

Something I can do to help…..but unfortunately…..even after years and years in the music business…..I still can’t figure out which photographer is taking the photo…..arghhhh:

COH News Summer 2014 - Letter Size

The Camden Opera House is such a great place for artists to perform…..lo and behold here’s Barnaby Bright playing there this summer:

Barnaby Bright Camden Opera House 08-09-2014 - Letter Size

As a special encore – Becky and Nathan stepped away from the mic’s – because the acoustics are so great….and sang at the front of the stage joined by special guest Liz Longley….what a great night:

Barnaby Bright Liz Longley Camden Opera House 08-09-2014 - Letter Size

This being Maine one can’t go too long without mentioning lobster again. As always we had a great time at our annual local “Lobster Fest”.

Here’s something you probably haven’t seen before unless you live in Maine.

The lobster trap race at the festival.

How many times can you make it back and forth across the harbor running on the lobster traps without falling in?

Lobster Trap Race 2014 - Letter Size

If you’re a kid most likely your favorite part of Lobster Fest is the bungee jump attraction…..where you get to dream of being some sort of superhero while you’re flying in the harness:

Lobster Bungee Jumping 2014 - Letter Size

We always end our day at the festival riding the ferris wheel:

Ferris Wheel Lobster Festival 2014 - Letter Size

You cannot believe how many lobsters they serve during the five days of the Lobster Festival….here’s the count near the end of the last day – that’a a lot of lobsters:

Lobster Festival Lobsters 2014 - Letter Size

It was also a great summer for gardens……here’s the first of many batches of cherry tomatoes:

First Tomatoes 2014 - Letter Size

At the end of the summer we get a carton of heirloom tomatoes from our favorite vendor at our local farmers market:

Heirloom Tomatoes 2014 - Letter Size

Lo and behold – they magically (with a lot of hard work by Kim) turn into the best sauce I’ve ever had in my life. It’s gonna be a wonderful winter:

Heirloom Sauce 2014 - Letter Size

But we’re not there yet.

First a little mini-golf…..and this time Mom got the hole-in-one:

Mom's Hole In One Summer 2014 - Letter Size

Next up a day trip to Portland to check out the Jason Spooner Band performing at the Old Port Festival (they were great as always – as is the new album “Chemical”).

Just across from the stage we found this fence along the harbor (there’s always a cool discovery every time we got to Portland) – next time we’re bringing a lock.

If you look closely every lock has a message written on it. And they’re locked there by the people that put them there. So there they stay. Totally cool. What a great idea:

Love Locks 1 - Letter Size

Love Locks 2 - Letter Size

On the way back from Portland we’re legally required to stop at LL Bean’s Flagship store.

It’s open 24 hours a day / 365 days a year.

You meet the nicest people there at 3am:

LL Bean Summer 2014 - Letter Size

Summer time for us is not just about eating…..although it might seem that way.

The town library sponsors summer movies in the amphitheater next to the library.

Bring a camp chair and a blanket:

Summer Movies 2014 - Letter Size

Our local Bay Chamber Orchestra takes over downtown for an afternoon and dispatches classical players to storefronts, street corners and shops to perform for us. I caught this great duo at Zoot Coffee:

Zoot Bay Chamber Summer 2014 - Letter Size

Of course there’s the beach.

A good place to catch up on Harry Potter:

Harry Potter LBI 2014 - Letter Size

And contemplate the beauty of nature (credit report here – many of the artistic photos in this post including this one were taken by my wife Kim. Every time I see one of her photos like this – the first words out of my mouth are “I’m stealing this one for the blog”):

Art in Nature LBI 2014 - Letter Size

Had to get in some hiking:

Summer Hiking 2014 - Letter Size

One of the sessions at summer day camp is theatre….there’s nothing like hearing your kid singing “Kids” from Bye Bye Birdie….”Kid’s? Whatsa matter with all these kids today?…..Why can’t they be like we were – perfect in every way….” (they even designed their own costumes):

Kids 2014 - Letter Size

Of course after a hard afternoon of summer theatre – it’s time to cool off with a Sno-Kone at River Ducks:

Sno-Kone 2014 - Letter Size

As we seem to be back at food again……how ’bout some fresh Maine raspberries….so sweet:

Raspberries 2014 - Letter Size

Another trip to Portland to see the Sea Dogs (Red Sox Double AA Farm Team) win in the bottom of the 10th:

Portland Sea Dogs 10th inning win 2014 - Letter Size

What a surprise on the way down to Portland…….an annual gathering of VW campers of all ages…..all stopped at a rest stop to say goodbye to each other until next year’s meeting.

I had one identical to the beige one just to the right of center (arrow pointing at it) back in the 1980’s.

VW Campers 2014 - Letter Size

I never should have sold it.

The group even has it’s own t-shirts:

25 Years of Camping 2014 - Letter Size

Kim’s told me getting another one is now on our bucket list.

That’s a good addition.

Better get crackin’ on some new music if I’m going to get Kim her camper.

I fell in love with a song called “Rain” a number of years ago by an artist named Meggan Waltman.

Almost had the opportunity to release it….but stuff happened and never did get it out.

So I just obsessed about the song for years.

After Mishara Music (www.misharamusic.com) was established as a label……I went looking for Meggan.

She’d vanished.

Phone disconnected, no Facebook, no Twitter, no search results.

Zip, nadda, nothin.

Bummed I was.

One day out of the blue……an email in my inbox.

“Hi Marc, It’s Meggan….I’m back doing music again”.

Oh Happy Day.

Turns out she’d moved to Japan for a number of years.

That’s why I couldn’t find her.

So – this time I didn’t hesitate.

Didn’t pass “Go”.

Didn’t collect “$200”.

Got a Meggan Waltman EP titled “Nomad” out in record time.

A digital release to start.

8 tracks from 3 different recording sessions over a period of years.

Meggan Waltman - Letter Size

“Rain” is the first track.

And I want everyone to hear it.

So it’s free download.

No email required, no registration required.

Nothing like that.

Just click, download and enjoy:

http://misharamusic.com/free/rain/

Meggan Waltman Rain

Wanna hear the entire EP?

Soundcloud:

Spotify:

“Rain” will also be included in the next Mishara Music Free Song Sampler on Amazon.

This will be edition # 6.

Amazon Mishara Music Sampler 6 - Letter Size

You can get all five of the previous samplers anytime on Amazon.

Over 50 totally free songs by Mishara artists and friends of the label.

http://tinyurl.com/AmazonFreeMisharaSamplers

Amazon Samplers - Letter Size

Here’s a number for you.

Amazon Free Downloads 09-15-2014 - Letter Size

That’s how many free songs have been downloaded off of the Mishara Free Song Samplers on Amazon.

I’m looking forward to 2 million.

The passion here is sharing great music.

Next up.

A gem.

A songwriter (with a degree in English no less)

With songs the likes of I’ve never heard before.:

Ashley1 - Letter Size

You’ll meet her in the next blog post.

In the meantime.

The sky is changing – the seasons are changing – it’s getting darker earlier:

Moon over House End of Summer 2014 - Letter Size

But the cycle of life is always a surprise.

What’s new becomes old….becomes new again.

Ethan found our old antique dial phone (from the 1930’s) and insisted we hook it up for him.

He makes all his calls on it.

(He only has 3 numbers he can call – his dad, his mom and his nana).

No smart phone this…but so totally cool:

New Phone 2014 - Letter Size

And of course we end where we started:

First Day of Third Grade - Letter Size

Best,

Marc

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

1
Jul

The Parent’s Lament – As Time Goes By / The Marcrescue blog – life in Maine with music & an eight year old

Greetings,

Are you a parent?

If not – let me explain a few things you probably don’t realize.

Before you have kids you might think you understand the concept and the reality.

I can only say this based on my experience…..maybe it is different for other people….

But….basically….before I had a kid….I didn’t have a clue what it was like being a parent….and I thought I did.

Even being a kid doesn’t give you perspective on being a parent.

Assuming you’re a fortunate parent and you have a good kid (/s) and life is basically good…..then you have….

….The Parent’s Lament.

Something I had no concept of.

Let’s start with – you get no sleep.

Less than you can imagine.

I remember my business partner in LA – Hugo – coming to the office looking a bit tired and he’d say….”Violet was up last night”.

She was two at the time.

What I didn’t realize.

He only mentioned it once in a while.

Basically kids are up every night.

Our son is eight.

All these years and he still wakes up at night.

Not as much as he used to – but enough to keep us from getting any sleep.

Not a week goes by when he still doesn’t wake up……because…….

……water, bathroom, nightmare, can’t sleep etc.

Even when he sleeps the night through – we’re not sure.

“Is that him? Is he awake? Did he just call us?”

“I’ll go check.”

So….no sleep for parents….ever.

I figure he’ll start sleeping through the night just about the time when we have to start worrying about where he is at night when he’s not in bed – not home yet.

Is that The Parent’s Lament?

Nah.

Losing sleep becomes no big deal pretty quickly.

You get used to it.

Of course I have an overwhelming urge to ask surgeons, airline pilots and anyone else with my life in their hands…..

“Do you have kids?”

“Is that a SpongeBob Square Pants button you have there?

If they answer in the affirmative – I know they haven’t slept and want to turn and run in the other direction.

But I know they’ve managed to deal with no sleep.

We’ll be okay.

What other problems are there?

Is this the right school?

Is this friend a bad influence?

Too much TV?

How do we get them away from video games?

Doesn’t any commercial food establishment have anything besides junkfood for kids anymore?

Ever look at a “Kid’s Menu”?

Even an elegant restaurant that serves local farm fresh organic grass fed wild caught food……has a kid’s menu that’s basically a hot dog, mac & cheese, french fries and sodas.

Arghhhhh!

(More about that in a minute).

Are any of those things The Parent’s Lament?

Nah.

They’ll survive all that.

So what’s The Parent’s Lament?

It’s simple.

Times goes by.

It kills you.

The babies are so wonderful.

Suddenly they’re in preschool.

Making friends.

You make great friends with the preschool teachers and all the sudden – it’s off to kindergarten.

Here he is waiting for the bus the first day of Kindergarten:

Letter size - first day of kindergarten

Not a moment has passed……we think…..and all the sudden it’s the last day of second grade:

Letter size - last day of 2nd grade

They have to grow up – but no one understands how hard it is on the parents…..it’s heaven and hell at the same time.

Everyday we want to freeze the moment.

Although the joy of watching them grow up & learn how to out negotiate their parents is stellar as well.

I haven’t won an argument in our household in years.

Ethan started out-smarting me at about 2 1/2….and of course I’m married…..we just celebrated out 10th anniversary…..so figure I haven’t won an argument for at least 12 or so years – except for about a year from when Ethan started talking to when he hit 2 1/2.

I don’t miss losing arguments.

I just marvel at how I’m outsmarted almost every day.

They say elephants have great memories.

They got nothin’ on kids.

They never forget anything you’ve ever said….AND….they have ears that hear as well as elephants ears are large.

Married with a kid.

I got no chance.

But I miss those days of innocence.

Eight going on sixteen – he’s already discussing his first car.

I’m scared – I’m very, very scared.

But daily life is all about the wonderful moments.

Can’t beat walking down the street after our 2nd grade graduation dinner – Ethan’s choice?

Sushi at Suzuki’s.

Sushi?

At 8 years old?

I wouldn’t even eat the fish sandwich at McDonald’s when I was 8 years old.

Another sign that times change.

Something that all those “elegant restaurants” should take note of…..kids don’t eat just hot dogs and fries anymore.

Thanks to my wife for capturing our walk after our sushi dinner in a beautiful photo:

Letter size - Graduation dinner 2014

Thankfully the photo gives me that moment in time.

My kid is growing up faster than I can imagine.

How do I entertain myself?

As I always have….with music.

Dad might work in the music business all day long.

But I’ve never lost the joy of music and love going to concerts that have nothing to do with my company.

We bought tickets to see Patty Griffin in Portland a couple weeks ago.

Then we realized it was Father’s Day?

What did we do?

Bought a third ticket for Ethan

He’s 8 years old – we end up buying him a lot of tickets.

We love to take him with us.

He just saw Patty Griffin.

Last summer he saw Paul McCartney.

He’s been to Jazzfest in New Orleans 5 times.

He’s been to the American Folk Festival in Bangor 5 times.

He saw the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary concert.

His favorite song of theirs is “I Get Around” – very appropriate – I took this shot during that song:

Letter size - Beach Boys 50th

Here’s a shot of Patty Griffin’s wonderful show…..I always love the solo songs:

Letter size - Patty Griffin Father's Day 2014

Of course he hears about music all day long in our household.

What’s happening at the moment?

Barnaby Bright have just finished the major tracking on their new album.

Don’t have anything to play from the new recordings yet – but both of these concert favorites will be on the new album:

“Just The Same” (just about my favorite “couples” love song ever) – here’s a live radio performance version:

“Sail” – here’s a live version from a concert in Portland, Oregon:

Becky and Nathan are pretty jazzed about the new album and also that their Pledge Music campaign has done so well…..still plenty of time to donate before the album release and it’s already past their goal:

Letter size - 108%

They’re not shy and not “precious” either – here’s the selfie photo they took in the car while on tour when they found out they passed their Pledge goal:

Letter size - BB  hit their goal

How can you not love people like this?

Here’s the link to their Pledge Music campaign. Remember it’s much like donating to a public radio station and the great thing is that you always get value returned. For $10 you get a digital copy of the album BEFORE release date…..(cheaper than iTunes)…..and for $25 you get the pre-release digital copy AND a signed cd sent to you when it’s released.

Such a deal.

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/barnabybright

This guy:

Letter size - Chris Ross

Chris Ross…..just started his new Pledge Music campaign.

I showed him the Barnaby Bright intro video and Chris said “I better up my game”.

He did.

Here’s his link – click on his intro video…..I guarantee you’ll be surprised and entertained.

Guaranteed!

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/chrisross

Here’s a couple tunes that’ll be on Chris’ next album:

“Easier Said Than Done”:

“Burns” (Chris seems to write about relationship troubles quite often….this song is the polar opposite of the Barnaby Bright tune “Just The Same” linked above. No matter if your relationship is workin’ or not – we’ve got you covered):

As I mentioned above – I love live music.

So how excited are we that Mishara Music just released our first live album?

Very.

Connor Garvey’s “Before The Meteors” which is a companion album to the studio recorded “Meteors And Beating Hearts”:

Letter size - Connor albums

Wanna hear something great?

Here’s “Irish Song” from the album….so much fun:

What’s better than an absolutely free song?

Not much.

Here’s the live version of “Tattered Shirt” from “Before The Meteors”- absolutely free and easy to download – no email or registration required – just click and save, enjoy and free feel to share with anyone you’d like:

http://misharamusic.com/free/tatteredshirts/

Aw shucks.

I feel like Monte Hall at the moment – (if you’re old enough to remember him that is – if you do – ask me about my Monte Hall story someday – it’s pretty weird) – so let me give away another free song.

Seems like a whole bunch of people have been getting married lately which reminded me that our trio Clarensau has a song titled “Dance With Me”.

It’s the perfect “first dance” song for a wedding – so here’s a Clarensau / Mishara Music wedding present – a free download of “Dance With Me”. Again – no email or registration required to download the song – just click and enjoy:

http://misharamusic.com/free/dancewithme/

Back to The Parent’s Lament for a moment.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our lives, the moment, this & that…..we truly have no perspective.

Until it comes sailing right into the harbor.

As two ships did into Camden Harbor this week.

We get all sorts – yachts, schooners, kayaks…..even a visit from a US Navy ship once a year.

But this was a first.

Replicas of two of Columbus’ ships.

Yup – THAT Columbus – the Christopher Columbus guy.

Some enterprising person had the wonderful idea to recreate the Nina and the Pinta (why not the Santa Maria? It never finished that famous first voyage).

The two ships now tour the world – stopping at harbors large and small all over the world.

A history lesson that comes to you and gives great perspective on life.

Here’s the Pinta (the black ship on the right):

Letter size - Pinta 06-30-2014

Doesn’t seem very big does it?

(This copy is actually 15 feet larger than the original).

Here’s the Nina (which was smaller than the Pinta):

Letter size - Nina 06-29-2014

Which is exact size.

Note the rowboat right next to it.

Here’s the roster of the crews that sailed on that first Columbus voyage:

Letter size - Columbus Crew

24 people sailed on the Nina – which was about the size of four or five rowboats.

I spent some quiet moments thinking about the lives those men lived.

I think I’ve got it tough?

Hah.

Geez – the water at our favorite lake beach nearby was a bit cold on the first day of summer:

Letter size - first day of summer

Yup – we’ve got it rough.

But – again perspective.

Lots of people complain that the music business isn’t what it used to be.

Can’t make as much money as we used to.

I never did it for the money.

It was always about the music.

My biggest joy for our business these days?

Getting the new monthly figures and seeing how many free songs we’ve given away on our Mishara Music Free Song Samplers on Amazon.com.

We’ve put out five and number six is coming soon.

What’s in a number:

Here’s one:

Letter size - Amazon downloads 06-30-2014

That’s how many songs we’ve given away.

Here’s a review I just read on Amazon – posted about sampler # 5 a couple days ago:

Letter size - Amazon 5 review 06-27-2014

 

I have no idea who that person is….but we’ve made their day….with music.

That makes my day.

Doesn’t get better than that.

Here’s the link for our Mishara Music Amazon Free Song Sampler # 5 that “Ozietwin” wrote the review about:

http://tinyurl.com/MisharaMusicAmazonSampler5

Letter size - Amazon Mishara Music Sampler 5

Try it.

Enjoy it.

Share it.

In the meantime…..as much as learning about the past helps teach us about ourselves and potentially about the future…..

It’s a new world out there…..the adventure may not be about sailing across an uncharted ocean…..someday hopefully it’ll be about sailing across an uncharted universe…..but in the meantime we’re just looking to the future and hoping to keep our perspective in focus a day a time:

Letter size - Ethan Mt Battie June 2014

Marc

PS Speaking of discovering new worlds. This letter started out years ago as a business letter to radio programmers. I still send it out as an email to programmers. But the perspective changed over the years. I became more interested in writing about life than business. There’s still business in the post – but it’s muted and it focuses on what I love – the music. A few years ago I decided that I’d post each letter on a wordpress blog site and let anyone, anywhere discover it and read it. Now the letters get read every day – all over the world – by people I don’t know, have never met and probably will never meet. Hopefully they’re finding some joy in the writing and especially the music – and if our free song stats tell us anything – they are.

Here’s the blog link:

http://www.marcrescue.wordpress.com

A week or so ago I checked to see where it’s been read in the past year. I don’t look very often and imagine my surprise when I saw the details.

I guess these letters could be my “Nina” – on a voyage of discovery.

Here’s the list of countries where the letters have been read in the past year:

Letter size Countries June 2014

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

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

20
Apr

A World Apart – literally / Maine Maple Syrup / The best music you haven’t heard & a set list to long for! The Marcrescue blog – life in Maine with an 8 year old

Greetings all,
Been about a month since I last blogged about this and that…..and it seems in that span of days lots has happened.
You may remember that not so long ago…..our world here in Maine was all about ice, snow and cold.
So much so that I now have “Popeye” like arms – more than any other time in my life – because it seemed that every 7 minutes I was hauling, moving, stacking  and then carrying wood upstairs to fuel up the woodstove and keep us warm in this much colder than normal winter.
Add in all that shoveling and I was tightening my belt one more notch.
Time to let it out again.
A few weeks ago I managed to stop to take a photo of the last ice fishing hut on the water near us:
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It’s open water now….hope they got it out in time.
And it means it’s Sunday breakfast time with fresh from the tap pure Maine maple syrup:
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That’s because we spend Maine Maple Day (it happens every March) touring our favorite maple sugar houses and stocking up on lots of syrup  (seriously – if we time it right we get it hot right out of the tap) and various other maple syrup treats.
Hard to believe that it all starts with old buckets on even older trees:
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It’s a party at all our favorite sugar houses and we see friends everywhere we stop.
First off we hit Sparky’s……as soon as you walk into the sugar house you get that unique aroma in the steam filled room from the boiling sap……perhaps my favorite scent of all time:
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Sparky’s also has the best honey around – we buy big jars of his pure raw honey – nothing like it.
Then it’s off to Bradstreet – the most picturesque sugar house you’ll ever see:
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Mark Bradstreet is the friendliest guy in the Maple business and when he’s not tending to the fire he’s smiling and showing off his fresh syrup:
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And then the next moment he’s teaching everyone about how it’s made and about the different types of syrup:
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They’re got live music in the corner:
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And samples of waffles with fresh syrup and the best maple walnut fudge you’ve ever had!
We pick up some “Extra Dark Amber” syrup and fudge at Bradstreet and then off to Simmons & Daughters for more treats:
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The Simmons eldest daughter was running the maple cotton candy machine and once you’ve gone maple cotton candy – you’ll never go back to cane:
Maple Cotton Candy
At Simmons we picked up a half gallon of “Dark Amber” in a mason jar – so hot out of the tap we had to let it cool a bit before we could pick it up……out on the deck back at home…….it looks like the liquid gold it is:
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Then it’s off to our last stop of the day – Kinney’s Sugarhouse….for some specialty maple items (maple cream among the items)…..and oooh the maple donut holes are to die for:
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More live music:
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And the final treat of the day – fresh maple walnut ice cream made with Kinney’s syrup by our friends the Chamberlains from Stone Fox Farm Creamery and served out of their “Mobile Cone”:
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If you’re an ice cream addict like I am……I’m sorry – even though Stone Fox Ice Cream distribution is growing rapidly – it’s still local…..you’ll have to come visit to get some…..and it’s sure worth it.
My favorite “Salted Caramel”
Salted Caramel
And if you come visit – we’ll start with a main course before dessert.
Whadda think?
Burger?
Nah
Mac & Cheese?
Nah
Baked Potato?
Nah
Oh I know…..how about a Lobster Roll?
IMG_1699
Sorry – couldn’t resist – it’s right before dinner time as I write this and I’m hungry……and the Mobile Cone will start hanging out at our local Farmer’s Markets which start shortly – at the same time all the local lobster shacks open for the summer.
Yum.
It’s been a long winter.
So while we’ve been wandering around Maine sampling maple products – two of my friends – who both have new albums out –  been wandering a bit farther afield.
Peter Bradley Adams – who’s latest album “The Mighty Storm” moved up to 81* on the FMQB Non-Comm (Public Music Radio) Album Chart has been touring in all places – Mainland China!
The poster is great – I have no idea what it says but it sure looks cool:
PBA China Tour
And Connor Garvey – who’s new album “Meteors And Beating Hearts” debuted on the same radio chart this week  (a great album and I love the artwork on the cover):
ConnorGarvey-MeteorsAndBeatingHearts1600x1600
Has been traveling almost exactly 1/2 way around the world from Peter.
Connor’s been skiing in the mountains in Alaska:
Connor Garvey Alaska April 2014 - 2
Connor Garvey Alaska April 2014 - 3
That’s hardcore.
Connor’s from Maine…..and I find it interesting that after one of the coldest and snowiest winters we’ve had in a long time – he went off to find MORE snow.
One of the songs on Connor’s new album is called “Old House” and it’s one of my two favorites on the album.
It’s the story of the house that Connor and his girlfriend bought this year and are in the process of restoring.
It’s a love song about the girl and the house (with a very tasty “Dire Straits” feel and guitar for about the last two minutes of the tune) – and the only photo I’ve seen of this house is this one……he did a FB post about the snow he had been shoveling this winter (as we all have):
Connor Driveway
The man loves his snow.
And I’m right there with him on that love of winter and snow.
Because of the severity of the winter this year – many of my friends in Los Angeles have been asking when we were moving back???
Not a chance.
Here’s my thoughts about cold vs hot.
It’s easier to get warm when you’re cold – than cold when you’re hot.
You can always layer on more clothes until you’re warm.
But you can only take so much off when you’re hot…..and the worst part about that…..it seems that too many people go beyond the limit of what they should take off – especially the older they get…..it’s scary sometimes.
By the way – my other favorite song on the Connor Garvey album…..is the last track on the album – a song named “Tattered Shirt”.
Lately I’ve noticed that “Tattered Shirt” and “Old House” have become the best researching tracks on the album and I love that – both creative and original songs.  “Tattered Shirt” is unique in that Connor wrote the song with a female character speaking….and yet sings it totally straight.  I suspect that twist in the lyrics really surprises people to start and captures them and then they find they love the lyrics, the story and the gorgeous melody.
Here’s a listening link on YouTube to “Tattered Shirt”:
And a listening link to “Old House”:
Let’s talk about concerts for a moment.
I’m headed to a Connor concert later this week – looking very forward to it – he’s great live
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…..as a reminder…..here’s his live version of “Irish” that I wrote about on St Patrick’s Day:
A live album “Before The Meteors” – with “Irish” on it – available now at his live shows – will be released shortly on iTunes and Amazon…it’s a companion piece to “Meteors And Beating Hearts”:
ConnorGarvey-BeforetheMeteors1600x1600
I just saw Chris Ross at the Camden Opera House:
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 …..the first time I’ve seen him play since he won this well deserved award:
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Here’s one of his new songs “Drunk Women”  – coming this summer on a new album:
Speaking of new albums and concerts – I get to see Barnaby Bright AND Ken Yates together in concert in NYC on May 8th at Rockwood……and BB are in the studio!!!!!!
Barnaby Studio
Can’t wait to hear the studio version of “Just The Same” – which is perhaps the best adult realistic love song I’ve ever heard.
Check it out on this amazing live 9am performance at WNRN radio in Charlottesville:
And did you ever hear the Ken Yates song off his recent album “twenty-three”…..
4PAN1T
…..that John Mayer blogged about after hearing Ken play it – it’s a masterpiece – “I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love”:
Can’t wait to see Barnaby and Ken together in concert next month.
I feel very fortunate to be able to work with such talented artists.
But music has always been a part of my life.
Have you ever been to www.setlist.fm ?
It’s a wonder – people have posted the setlists for way over a millions concerts from over 60,000 artists and it’s a great way to relive your favorite shows.
Lotta talk about Springsteen lately…..and I thought “Hey is that first show I saw of his up on the website?”
Here’s the story – about a year after I got to LA…..I was a newbie in the record biz and had no contacts to get tickets to special shows in LA….but…..luckily a friend of mine realized that the night after Springsteen was playing what turned out to be a bellweather show at the Roxy in LA…..he was playing in Santa Barbara at UCSB in the gym……and it was easy to get tickets.
So we drove up and saw one of the great shows of all time in my experience.
Now just looking at the setlist and reliving the show – I realized how amazing a concert it was – my memory of it is strong – very strong.
I sure do wish someone would invent a concert time machine so we could all go back and relive those magic moments – especially when the distance of time confirms how truly special those nights were:
This one was truly a night to remember:
Springsteen Setlist 1975
Check out Setlist.fm – it blows me away every time I think to look up a show.
I’ll post something else next time I write – already have something in mind.
One more note about winter.
Now that it’s over – and the snow has disappeared almost all over town…..(not everywhere yet)…..weird things have been spotted coming out of the ground……we’re trying to identify them……some people are convinced they’re alien pods……so if these blog posts suddenly stop coming…..or if they start taking a very different tone…..(for instance….short, timely and totally business like)…..run for your life:
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But then again……we might be safe after all – saved by Mother Nature……so much for Spring and probably Summer……I think we missed them.
Here’s what happened this week:
Snow 04-16-2014
Temperature 04-17-2014
No wonder – I’d packed the snow shovel off to the shed….foolish me.
Marc
PS I posted a lot of great songs up above……if you like what you heard – we give away songs by Peter, Chris, Barnaby and Ken and a bunch of other artists on our free song page at www.misharamusic.com/freesongs
PPS We also have over 50 free songs on our Amazon samplers – easy to download at:
5 Amazon Samplers
People seem to like them:
Amazon Samplers Reviews 03-31-2014
PPPS  Ever wonder how we find all those sugar houses in the back woods of Maine?
Don’t need no GPS…..we have great street signs:
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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

A Song for St Patrick’s Day / Snowman wars – Winter love in Maine / Life in Maine with an eight year old – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings All,
Welcome to the latest Marc Ratner blog post (this edition and previous letters posted at www.marcrescue.wordpress.com) that of course is supposed to be about the music and artists from Mishara Music (www.misharamusic.com) but always ends up being as much or more about family life in Maine with an 8 year old.
If I were to do chapters for this edition – I’d have to include:
St Patrick’s Day
YouTube Views
Justin Timberlake
Mountain Rescue Association
Winter Box Races
Monopoly
Awards
Snowman Fight
Odds and ends.
How in the world am I ever going to make sense of all that?
I won’t of course.
But it’ll all be here in some form or another.
Let’s start off with St. Patrick’s Day.
Imagine your name is Connor Garvey.
And you look like this – notice the color of his hair:
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Imagine you’re a singer – songwriter and because of your name you always get asked to play on March 17th – otherwise known as St. Patrick’s Day.
The only problem?
You don’t know a single “Irish” song.
Can make for a difficult evening.
So you write an “Irish Song” and record it at a live concert.
Something to be enjoyed – but especially on St Patrick’s Day (great for morning shows).
Here’s a YouTube link to hear the song:
“Irish Song” is on the live album “Before The Meteors” coming soon to Amazon and iTunes:
ConnorGarvey-BeforetheMeteors1600x1600
It’s a companion piece to Connor’s just released “Meteors And Beating Hearts”:
Connor Garvey Meteors And Beating Hearts Twitter size
Next on the list.
YouTube Views.
There are so many artists with new music these days – it’s almost impossible to figure out who’s making an impact.
And who has time?
Peter Bradley Adams has a new album just out called “The Mighty Storm”.
You might wonder -what kind of audience does Peter have these days – this being his 5th solo album after debuting with eastmountainsouth a decade ago.
The simple answer?
A big one.
A very big one.
Everyone says that more music is listened to on YouTube than anywhere else these days…..
……so what happens if you go to YouTube and type in Peter Bradley Adams?
Turns out people LOVE to make photo and lyric videos out of Peter’s songs – he has an emotional connection with the audience that is amazing.
So type in his name and this is what comes up to start:
PBA YouTube Views
 
The list just keeps going on and on.  Notice the lead track from his last album “Between Us” has OVER TWO MILLION VIEWS and they are hundreds of thousands of other views (including over 100,000 from a live performance at radio station WNRN in Charlottesville).
Not many artists have kind of connection with their audience.
Here’s the link to the “Between Us” video with over 2 million views:
 
What’s next on my chapter list?
Justin Timberlake?
An interesting story – half smart / half crazy.
I always love to surprise my wife with presents that she totally doesn’t expect.
Tickets to Justin Timberlake were one such present – she’s a big fan and I thought that he probably is very entertaining in concert and it’d be a fun thing to do.
I was right:
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We had a great night.
But this leads into the “crazy” part and the next chapter:
Mountain Rescue Association
For twenty plus years in California I was a member of a mountain search and rescue team.  On a pager 24 hours a day / 7 days a week / 365 days a year.
If the pager went off I was out the door.
Rescue work took lots of training……before joining the rescue team I did a lot of mountaineering and training with the Sierra Club and my rescue team was a part of the Mountain Rescue Association (www.mra.org).
Every year we attended a state wide training with all the other California MRA teams and had to certify in one of three disciplines that rotated every year – rock rescue, search and tracking or snow & ice rescue.
After all those years of training, rescue work and rescue management experience (I was Captain of the team for seven years and spent a term as the Vice – Chair of the Calif Region of the MRA) I now travel back to California to work as an examiner for the testing that’s held the first Saturday of March every year.
This year the Search and Tracking testing was held in Placer County California – (somewhere between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe).
Here’s the crazy part.
Usually I plan in advance – fly to Los Angeles a few days ahead of the test and have some music business meetings before I head to the testing site.
Was just about to click on the “Buy Ticket” button on my computer to get a really inexpensive ticket to fly to LA for my regular trip…..when I thought…..”Oh oh – when’s the Timberlake concert?”.
“Crap!”
Thursday night….in Boston.
The MRA test was Saturday morning in Placer County at 7am.
Think you’re tired?
Here’s what I had to do.
My wife and I drove 4 hours to Boston for the concert.
Had a great time.
Drove 4 hours back to Maine.
Got home at 3:30am
Got up at 6am – left the house at 7am to drive to Portland, ME to catch my first flight to Newark – where I connected to a flight to LA (had to fly in and out of LA)……we got to LA an hour late because of the strong winds from one of the big winter storms blowing across the country…..at 6pm (now 9pm my time in Maine).
Then I proceeded to enjoy that wonderful rush hour traffic on the 405 freeway (the busiest in the country) and finally got to pick up my search gear and leave for the training at 9pm (now midnight East Coast time).
Got the training site at 4:30am after the all night drive (caffeine is my very good friend).
Put the seat back in the car and napped for an hour and a half and then got ready for the testing.
(If you’re counting that’s about 4 hours of sleep in about 36 hours – not counting some dozing on the plane).
Had a great time working the test – I was one of the examiners for the Santa Barbara Search and Rescue Team and they aced the exam.
Here’s the 7am morning meeting for the briefing for the examiners:
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Here’s all the members of the MRA certified teams gathering for the annual photo – (that’s a lot of people that volunteer their time to rescue people in very dangerous situations):
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Here’s the Santa Barbara team command post – planning the search:
Santa Barbara Command Post 2
Another command post photo – notice the snappy vest I get to wear hanging over the chair – such a fashion guy I am:
Santa Barbara Command Post 1
After the testing was over – I headed out for a three hour drive to Carson City, NV to visit my Aunt and Uncle……and get some glorious sleep……ahhhhh.
Then back to LA for a day of meetings and then back to Maine.
Funny thing about being in LA after adjusting to a colder than usual winter in Maine.
As soon as the outside temperature on the rental car dashboard read 64 degrees – I turned the AC on – It was too warm for me!
After the normal 12 hour travel day – from Los Angeles back to Midcoast Maine – I arrived home at about 2am to a much more comfortable temperature – ahhhhh. (Although finding the battery in my car totally dead at midnight in the parking garage at the Portland airport because I left the dome light on was not the most pleasant of return surprises – Doh!):
Temp arriving home
Which leads me to the next chapter “Winter Box Races”.
If you read my last posting you would have seen all the photos (and video!) of our annual US National Toboggan Championships.
A great way for adults to act like kids and have fun.
The kids want their day as well – so last weekend was the 3rd Annual Winter Box Races.
Sort of like the Pinewood Derby other places do in the summer.
Uh uh.
No summer breezes and lazy days for us.
We do cardboard box races on the tubing hill:
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We even had a Jamaican Bobsled:
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Alas – history has a tendency to repeat itself – the Titantic hit the iceberg once again:
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But nonetheless – a great day was had by all!
Monopoly!
Ethan decided one evening a week or so ago that he was ready for the real thing – no more kiddie version of Monopoly – he wanted to play the adult version.
Sure enough – he picked it up quickly….it wasn’t long before he held that exclusive title to “Boardwalk”.
And wouldn’t ya know…….4 houses later…….dad landed where he shouldn’t have:
Monopoly Defeat 02-18-2014
Which I guess is a good thing…..because dad loves his music business company – and as wonderful as it is – it’ll be nice to have a real estate mogul in the family making those big bucks!
But it sure is satisfying when Mishara Music artists get Awards.
Connor Garvey (he of the “Irish Song” above) is currently touring supporting his new album “Meteors And Beating Hearts” and has been attending festivals and winning some nice trophies in the past couple of years.
He won the 2011 Maine Songwriters Association Grand Prize after being nominated against some other great songwriters:
Connor Garvey Maine Songwriters
He also won the songwriting prize at the 2012 Texas Wildflower Music festival:
Connor Garvey Wildflower Winner 2012
Connor was nominated for Male Performer Of The Year at the New England Music Awards a few weeks ago – didn’t win this time but it was a great category of performers:
 Connor Garvey New England Music Awards Nominee 2014 - 2
But then comes another winner – Connor just got voted by the fans as “Most Wanted” for the upcoming 2014 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival:
Connor Garvey Falcon Ridge Most Wanted 2014
Might be worth taking a listen to the above mentioned new album “Meteors And Beating Hearts”.
Here’s a recently posted YouTube Listening Channel where you can hear the entire album:
Tracks I love a lot include “Bright Morning”, “Old House” and “Spark”!
I’m curious to know what other Connor fans like???
Speaking of Awards and specifically those New England Music Awards from a couple weeks ago…..(.I do believe Connor got robbed in his category ask me why and I’ll tell you) but Mishara Music had a great night nonetheless.
Why?
None other than our Chris Ross won in his category:
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And those voters have no idea what’s coming – they haven’t heard the newest songs yet…..Chris just posted three acoustic versions of new songs on YouTube that will be on his next album – due this Spring / Summer and they’re great.
Want to sample them?
 “Burns”
“Easier Said Than Done”
“Drunk Women”
And while I’m talking about new songs – if you haven’t seen these two performances by Barnaby Bright of new tunes that will be on their next album – also due this summer – you ain’t seen / heard nuthin’.
There is no better realistic love song than “Just The Same” and this simple version recorded at 9am at a radio station visit is a perfect rendition.  I’ve heard people gasp out loud at some of the lyrics at shows:
Here’s another new one “Sail” – recorded live in Portland Oregon on tour opening when Barnaby Bright was on tour with Vienna Teng:
Snowman Fight
Every year my wife loves to get outside and make snowmen during those wonderful winter days when we have great snow and bright sun……every year she does something different.
Earlier this year she started winter with the annual traditional snowman:
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But you’d be surprised to know that snowmen are territorial.
If you build them too close together – they’ll start fighting.
How?
With snowballs of course:
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Snowman fight 3 02-21-2014
Snowman fight 02-21-2014
But alas….if you’re a snowman…..no matter who wins the fight….ol’ Sol is always the victor – a good lesson for all of us:
Snowmen Lose
Odds And Ends
So learning the lesson of the snowmen – we make the most of winter – it’s here, it’s cold, it’s fun.
Nothing like a family snowshoe hike:
Family Snowshoe KJR 03-09-2014
On a sunny day in winter:
 Winter Sun
But the snow will be gone soon – at the harbor you can feel the change in the air and that Spring is close by:
 
Spring Is In The Air KJR 03-06-2014
We’ve loved winter – I’ll keep you posted on our Spring adventures in Maine.
My only problem until then……with Spring in the air  it brings rapid changes in weather – warm / cold / warm / cold – we tend to get icy rain and then immediate freezing.
I’ve become an expert in shoveling and clearing snow…..just can’t quite figure out how to “shovel” ice:
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Marc
PS Snowmen and landscape photos by Kim Ratner!
PPS One more music mention – Ken Yates album “twenty-three” continues to garner great airplay all over the country and he continues touring to support the album.  Here’s the YouTube listening channel:
PPPS  Don’t forget – over 50 free songs available on our Mishara Music Amazon.com free song samplers:
5 Amazon Samplers
More free songs on our http://www.misharamusic/freesongs page – and we never require an email address or registration of any kind to download our free songs!
Enjoy and share.