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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
A Song for St Patrick’s Day / Snowman wars – Winter love in Maine / Life in Maine with an eight year old – the Marcrescue blog
Toboggan Terror (my own w / video) / books / Valentines / Creative 50 – the Marcrescue Blog – Life in Maine with an Eight Year Old
The “Day After Thankgiving” what I’m thankful for post. Now that the meal is over – Life in Maine – the Marcrescue blog
Life in Maine with a 7 year old – don’t need much, a little music & a lot of imagination & family – the Marcrescue blog