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
- 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:
Acadia National Park is not far away and hiking there is always good for the soul:
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:
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).
Even better – a mysterious DeLorean showed up in front of the theatre for the film:
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”:
These weirdo’s were out trick or treating::
One of our favorite challenges – Beth’s Farm Market’s Corn Maze.
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:
Before you know it – it’s time for the annual Christmas parade….does yours feature a lobster…with Christmas lights on it?
How about a Lobster Trap Christmas Tree!
It was a year of weird weather patterns this winter.
But as always some interesting snowpeople appeared in the yard:
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:
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:
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:
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:
They really are two of the “daughters”:
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:
Great maple baked beans:
Mark always has a crowd around him because he’s always teaching people about making great syrup:
You cannot believe how wonderful the aroma is inside a maple sugaring house.
Can’t wait to walk in the door again next year:
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:
I’ve already got a lock picked out for our family to attach next visit:
But spring time in Maine means it’s time to leave.
Well for a few days – our favorite family trip / vacation is to New Orleans for Jazzfest:
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:
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:)
…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:
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:
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”?
There’s nothing better than wandering through the French Quarter admiring the architecture. Such a beautiful, historical place:
A lot of the buildings have historical plaques that tell the story of the building:
It’s now an art gallery.
But my favorite find was this one.
A red house with a nondescript store:
Even the plaque was sorta dull…..until you got to the end…..you never know what you’re going to find in New Orleans:
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):
And then catch the last streetcar of the evening on the line heading towards our hotel:
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:
The free download is at:
Listen on Spotify at:
Listen on Soundcloud at:
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!
Spring in Maine / Snow’s finally gone / Photos & Music / The best Presidential story gets better! – Life in Maine with family & music – the Marcrescue blog
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:
A reminder of that:
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:
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:
Forget about Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme etc.
They got nuthin’ compared to these:
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:
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!
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:
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:
Here are the listening links.
So now here’s the link to Mishara Music on Amazon – where you’ll find those ten free songs and another 60+ additional free downloads:
How do all those free tracks do?
Charts on Amazon (and iTunes) change hourly – but checking randomly right now as I type this – here’s what Mishara Music has on the Top 100 Free All Format Chart on Amazon at this moment.
10 of the top 100:
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:
My favorite aroma flower is the lilac:
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:
We try to make the most of it.
A road trip ends up with a great view of the sunset over a small beach:
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):
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:
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:
Saturday was the annual Summer Solstice street celebration in our neighboring town Rockland:
Big fun – restaurants giving out free samplers of their dishes, games for kids, demonstrations, booths and on every side street they had music playing – acoustic musicians on one corner, a dj on the next, then a rock band – here’s a local jazz orchestra:
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?”
Come to think of it – if ZZ Top is ever looking for an additional guitar player – I got the guy:
I ran into a T-Rex at a showing of Jurassic World:
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:
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:
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.
But with this letter from my friend John Baker – who’s hand both my son and I have shaken – it gets better.
Here’s John’s story:
At my prep school in Groton, Mass, was a retired teacher, Mr. Richards, who had taught both my father and grandfather (class of 1909). Mr. Richards was revered. He died before I actually went to the school, but not before my older brother did.
On a “Parents’ Weekend” as it was called, in 1959 my father called on Mr. Richards (now THERE’s an old phrase) with me, my brother and my mother.
My father, after tea, became solemn, and asked Mr;. Richards to “tell my sons about the very elderly man you met and spoke of to my class back in 1934, my senior year, which was your annual story for the senior class.”
Mr. Richards nodded slowly, looked at us, and said “I haven’t told this story since I retired on 1951, but your father has asked.”
In 1888 when I was a student at this school, and home for Easter, my father introduced me to an aging member of our church in Boston. The man, it turned out, was over 100 years old. My father, who had seen and spoken to this gentleman many times, asked me to remember and revere that handshake, because, he said, “You have just shaken the hand of a man who, as a young boy, shook the hand of George Washington.”
Father then said that we two boys were to remember that we had just shaken the hand of a man who had shaken the hand of a man who had shaken the hand of the “Father of our country.”
Mr. Richards died a year later at the age of 90, and I must think that we may have been the last of his “boys” to hear that story.
So let’s recap.
History seems so long ago.
But in these instances – it’s close up and personal.
If we happen to run into each other and we shake hands….that means that you will be four handshakes away from Abraham Lincoln (I’m three) and five handshakes away from George Washington (I’m four).
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:
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.
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:
Life in Maine w/ family & music – Photos of the year 2014 – the Marcrescue blog (Life in Maine with a nine year old)
(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:
Camden Harbor is always amazing.
Speaking of summer – I think my favorite photo of the year (taken by Kim of course) is Ethan in a swimming pool.
Swimming is a big part of summer in Maine.
Here he is checking one of the local swimming holes after a storm:
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:
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:
Spring also brings the annual iris blooming in our yard. My favorite flower – planted by someone long before we moved to Maine:
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:
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:
Is there anything more simple yet artistic than a shell on a beach – timeless (and taken by Kim of course):
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:
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:
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:
After dinner nothing like a father son talk while walking in nearby downtown Rockland:
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:
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:
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:
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):
Another summer vision – watching the ice spray waiting for your Sno-Kone:
Before you know it – it’s fall…..time for a cardboard sled on a grassy hill:
The end of summer also brings tomatoes from the garden in multi-colors:
Time to find a pumpkin:
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:
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:
My other favorite family selfie of the year – the “Halloween” edition:
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:
We all got to have fun outside.
Dad with a shovel:
Being so early in the year – Kim got to make the coolest snowman ever:
Ethan tested to see if the snow was any good for making snowballs to throw at dad:
My second favorite photo of the year – Kim’s “Moonrise”:
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:
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:
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!
Afterwards we take to the streets and someone was out checking to see if the kids have been naughty or nice:
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:
The wonderful thing about fireworks over the harbor is that you get to see the reflections in the ocean:
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”:
With that done it’s time to make sure everything is set for Santa:
Ethan wanted to make it easier for Santa this year so he also prepared a checklist with an extra plate of cookies:
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:
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:
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.
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:
From Barnaby Bright – “Made Up Of”
The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/barnabybright2/
Takes you to this page:
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:
From Connor Garvey – “Old House”
Takes you to this page:
From Clarensau – “Dance With Me”
The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/dancewithme/
Takes you to this page:
From Meggan Waltman – “Rain”
The link – http://misharamusic.com/free/rain/
Takes you to this page:
And one more song from Chris Ross – a new live studio recording of “Mostly Sober”
Takes you to this page:
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:
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
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”
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 email@example.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.
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:
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:
Gotta check the local swimming hole after a rainstorm:
Before you know it – “Coach Pitch” baseball is all over already and it’s time to get your end of season medal:
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:
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:
Can’t beat Maine for summer camping:
Especially when you can take your morning camping coffee to the bench 20 yards away overlooking the ocean:
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:
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:
Fourth Of July…..bummer no fireworks…..rained out…..but how ’bout the nifty homemade popsicles that mom made:
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.
“You Can Have Mine”:
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:
Here’s how it went – one of those summers where you need to get an extra suitcase to take home the awards:
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:
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:
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:
The Camden Opera House is such a great place for artists to perform…..lo and behold here’s Barnaby Bright playing there this summer:
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:
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?
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:
We always end our day at the festival riding the ferris wheel:
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:
It was also a great summer for gardens……here’s the first of many batches of cherry tomatoes:
At the end of the summer we get a carton of heirloom tomatoes from our favorite vendor at our local farmers market:
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:
But we’re not there yet.
First a little mini-golf…..and this time Mom got the hole-in-one:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Of course there’s the beach.
A good place to catch up on Harry Potter:
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”):
Had to get in some hiking:
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):
Of course after a hard afternoon of summer theatre – it’s time to cool off with a Sno-Kone at River Ducks:
As we seem to be back at food again……how ’bout some fresh Maine raspberries….so sweet:
Another trip to Portland to see the Sea Dogs (Red Sox Double AA Farm Team) win in the bottom of the 10th:
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.
I never should have sold it.
The group even has it’s own t-shirts:
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.
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.
“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:
Wanna hear the entire EP?
“Rain” will also be included in the next Mishara Music Free Song Sampler on Amazon.
This will be edition # 6.
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.
Here’s a number for you.
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.
A songwriter (with a degree in English no less)
With songs the likes of I’ve never heard before.:
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:
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:
And of course we end where we started:
This is what you might call an in-between post.
I’ve got a lot to write about – and that will come next week – but in the meantime – officially – we just passed a major threshold and I thought it might be worth mentioning.
I’m the managing partner of a small independent music management and record label company called Mishara Music.
We call it – “A Home For Singer-Songwriters”.
Because it’s what we love.
It’s all starts with a song.
No song……it doesn’t matter how great a musician or singer you are.
These days the commercial music world is all about manufacturing commercial music that SELLS.
Very often it’s the extreme outrageous marketing and the reality “karoke” tv shows that expose the music.
So…..if we don’t want to be outrageous……and we’re not interested in having our artists on reality tv.
How do we introduce our artists to the people that still yearn for great songs and performances.
We give it away.
On our latest accounting – our five Amazon dot com Mishara Music Free Song Samplers have been responsible for……ready for this?
1,029,484 individual song downloads……every single one of them totally free.
It seems so simple to us.
If you give someone a song to introduce them to an artist they may not know about – or one that they’re interested in….but they don’t know how much….they’ll have a chance to find out if they care.
If they don’t – no loss – they wouldn’t have purchased anything from the artist anyway.
If they love what they hear…..they may buy some other songs…..they may tell their friends about the song and artist…..they may buy tickets to a show to see the artist live.
All good things.
So we started doing these free song samplers on Amazon.
Here’s what the five albums look like – we’re very proud to have unique artwork as well:
There are over 50 songs total on the five albums.
Many of the artists are Mishara Music artists.
But some are just friends – we like them and their songs – so we help them get exposure.
Let me make this clear…..we do that for free as well.
You can’t pay to be on our samplers.
You can’t buy your way on.
Our thought process is very simple.
Music we love – people we like.
Here’s a representative review on Amazon from each of the samplers:
Here’s the link to the samplers on Amazon:
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