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Posts tagged ‘“The One That Got Away”’

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

24
Mar

Greetings all,

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

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

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

Tsk, tsk.

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

So they played up winter a bit.

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

It did work a bit better than usual this year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First thing – gotta charge my iPod.

Very important:

Snowblower, snowshovel and - 2015 - Letter Size

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

21 Inch Snow Storm - Letter Size

Then it’s time to work.

I mix it up.

Snowblowing:

Dad Fun 2015 - Letter Size

Shoveling:

Shovel The Deck 2015 - Letter Size

Sometimes it’s a bit chilly.

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

Valentine's Day 2015 - Letter Size

But we have fun as well.

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

Snowcave 2015 - Letter Size

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

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

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

Camden Snow Bowl - older photo - Letter Size

This year it warmed up for the festivities:

Toboggan Weather 2015 - Letter Size

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

No Exposed Skin 2015 - Letter Size

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

It’s not long but it’s fast:

Toboggans 2015 - Letter Size

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

Timing Shed 2015 - Letter Size

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

Whoa 2015 - Letter Size

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

Whadda do if you’re not racing?

Eat of course.

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

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

Food 2015 - Letter Size

I made a major discovery this year.

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

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

Deb's Diner 2015 - Letter Size

OHMIGOSH it was good:

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

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

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

You’ve been warned.

Back to the races.

The racers take them very seriously…..

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

Delaware 2015 - Letter Size

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

Trophy 2015 - Letter Size

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

Checking The Score 2015 - Letter Size

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

Friends 2015 - Letter Size

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

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

50 Shades of Sleigh - Letter Size

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

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

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

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

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

Toy for  Big Boys 2015 - Letter Size

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s the Amazon download link:

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

Some notes about the songs.

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

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

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

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

Then out of the blue she calls.

Turns out she went to Japan for a few years.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prepare to be astonished.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’re giving them away.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hmmm, what didn’t I mention.

Two more artists.

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

Lastly I come to Dave Morrison.

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

Why is it called “Poetry Rocks”?

Because Dave is a poet.

Let me back up a bit.

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

I didn’t know he was a poet.

That’s good.

I hate poetry.

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

Poetry just didn’t work for me.

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

So I’m stuck.

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

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

Did I mention I hate poetry?

I was the last one to leave.

Like nothing I’d ever heard before.

Dave knows how people feel about poetry.

That high school kind of poetry.

That’s not Dave.

Turns out he’s released 10 poetry books.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s the kind of guy he is.

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

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

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

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

The other new artist I mentioned was Cass Dillon.

His EP is “Oregon Road”:

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

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

He sent me the music.

I made a cd and put it in my car.

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

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

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

My job of course – so she takes my car.

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

Didn’t kiss me on the cheek.

Didn’t pass “Go” and collect $200.

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

Now you know the secret.

Our test marketing – even when it’s unintentional.

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

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

25 Things about Cass Dillon - Letter Size

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

Here ya go:

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

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

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

The harbor is always a sight – winter or summer:

Beautiful but cold 2015 - Letter Size

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

Sunrise Instead Of Snowstorm 2015 - Letter Size

Winter Beauty 2 2015 - Letter Size

Winter Beauty 2015 - Letter Size

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

Best Transportation 2015 - Letter Size

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t forget to shake my hand.

Why?

Ahhh, time for a history lesson.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Earlier this year we went to visit my Uncle Gene.

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

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

The stories – you can’t imagine.

He’s 91.

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

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

Technology - Lincoln - Mr Carpenter 2015 - Letter Size

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s put this in perspective.

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

That puts us 3 handshakes away from Abraham Lincoln.

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

I find that astonishing.

But even more so.

Ethan will be 59 years old in 2065.

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

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

A fifth of a century later.

I love history.

Welcome to Spring.

Marc

PS Wishful thinking:

Wishful Thinking 2015 - Letter Size

Marc Ratner

Mishara Music

E-mail: marcrescue@gmail.com

Website: http://www.misharamusic.com

WordPress: http://www.marcrescue.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marc.ratner

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/marcrescue

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:
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

19
Jan

Maine winter snow & ice photos / life musings and a farm report you must read! Life In Maine With An Eight Year Old – The Marcrescue blog

Greetings,
Welcome to the New Year.
(Special note….I discovered the 100% best guaranteed holiday weight loss plan this season and will be sharing it at the end of the email……guaranteed……absolutely fool proof……you can bet on it!)
A lot of snow & ice has come (and some gone) since I last wrote.
Sure there’s music in my life but there’s so much more.
Let’s discuss the “so much more” for a bit.
Let’s start with a farm.
Not my farm.
Terra Optima Farm
It’s somewhere in Maine…..somewhere near us.
A woman named Cheryl runs this farm and a local farm store.
I’ve never met her…..don’t know exactly where the farm is and have never visited the store (although a visit there is on my “gotta do soon” list).
But I feel like I know Cheryl.
Because I wake up with her every morning.
Cheryl does a “Farm Report” on Facebook every morning – usually around 4:30am.
She’s working earlier than morning dj’s and I would think a lot harder as well.
A lot of people dislike Facebook for being a wasteland of useless information but I have to be thankful in this one instance because it’s a forum for some of the best writing I’ve seen in a long time.
Here’s Cheryl’s post about her Grandfather:
Terra Optima Farm 2
 If you only click on one link in this post then click on this one:
Terra Optima Farm 1
Starting your morning reading Cheryl’s Farm Report will make your day.
And the next time we chat we can discuss Lancelot the rooster who’s in love with Charlotte the pig….and all the other scandals in animal land.
A reality show I finally can be truly interested in.
In other news – you might have heard that we had some cold weather recently.
If I remember correctly – there were days and days when it never got much above zero:
weather
I think it went like this – snowstorm, snowstorm, ice storm, snowstorm, snowstorm.
And the weather never pays attention to your schedule.
We went to NYC for a couple of days – our annual holiday trip.
When we got back – I had to find my car – I think this was it:
IMG_2454
But it was worth losing my car for a while to spend a couple holiday days in NYC.
We covered the top holiday spots this year!
Did you know they have real USPS “Spongebob” mailboxes in the big apple?  Quite cool if you’re 7 years old:
IMG_2225
You can’t beat a before opening hours tour of FAO Schwartz – the world’s coolest toy store (thanks Joanna, Roy, Steve and Anthony for our tour):
FAO NYC 2013
Can’t beat Macy’s windows at Christmastime:
IMG_2270
Inside Macy’s – in the line to see Santa – they have special “Miracle on 34th Street” windows – one of my favorite things from the entire trip:
Macy's 34th windows 2013
And how can you not see the Holiday show at Radio City Music Hall:
Radio City Music Hall 2013
And of course “the tree”:
IMG_2429
Before we knew it we were back on Amtrak leaving the city on our way back to Maine:
IMG_2448
Back in Maine we celebrate the holidays in a more downhome style.
We have a holiday parade – not quite Rosebowl type floats – but big fun and very creative:
Christmas Parade 2013
When the parade is over – virtually the whole town walks up to the library hill:
IMG_2114
We all go there for the town tree lighting!
Lighting The Tree 2013
A great time is had by all.
But even with all the celebration winter can be pretty rough in Maine.
During the cold snap we had – Cheryl was posting on her Farm Report about how tough it was on the farm animals.
I never thought about it – barns aren’t heated.
It was interesting reading.
And the tough times were brought even closer to home to us when a friend called and asked if we’d be able to fill in a for driver for the local “Meals On Wheels” program.
Kim and I immediately said yes – and we both took a day off to deliver 19 meals – during a snow storm on one of the coldest days of the year.
Because of the storm – Ethan’s school was closed – so he came with us and helped us deliver the meals – an important thing to do and a great life lesson for a 7 year old.
Here’s the temp outside as we started our deliveries:
IMG_2591
The way the program works – the recipients receive one hot meal each day Monday through Friday.

No deliveries on the weekends.

The people we delivered to were all elderly – mostly alone, a few couples.
The last delivery we made was to a nice woman who lived in a very tiny house at the end of a long driveway.
She had a bit of trouble walking so Kim asked her if she could help her put the little mini carton of milk in the refrigerator…..and she said……”No, that’s okay…..I think I’ll eat it now thank you”.
A small meal, a tiny milk carton like you used to get in grade school, a small container of chocolate pudding, a roll and some sort of hot meal in a container.
I thought about that on the drive home…..a number of people we delivered to were surprised that we were out in the below zero temperatures in a snow storm – they hadn’t expected to get a delivery that day.  We were told by the program people that if we hadn’t been able to help – the recipients would have been called and told to eat the “emergency” meal in their freezer.
That last nice lady was apparently eating her last hot meal until the following Monday delivery…..on Friday at about 2pm.
In a snowstorm, in minus 5 degree weather in an area that very easily could lose power for many, many hours.
It’s not just the animals that have it tough.
Later that night I watched a movie that brings me to tears every year…..and thought how wonderful it is that we live in a town where people help and look out for each other…..just like Bedford Falls:
It's A Wonderful Life
And I thought about how lucky I am.
Don’t make anywhere near the money I used to make as a VP in the big time record biz in Los Angeles.
But I have a great family, great friends and at a moment’s notice we can say…..”Yeah…we’ll take the day off to delivery some meals on wheels”.
And I’m happy I’ve made the choice to work with music and artists that I love.
Don’t need much else.
Speaking of music.
Loving our two newest albums.
Ken Yates “twenty-three”
4PAN1T
So much I can say about the album but it’s best to just hear the music.
Here’s a YouTube Listening Channel for the entire album – an easy way to listen:
Our newest release is Connor Garvey’s “Meteors And Beating Hearts”
Connor Garvey Meteors And Beating Hearts Twitter size
Here’s the YouTube Listening Channel:
Even better than having this music in our company is having the freedom as an independent music company to give a bunch of it away.  And on our free song pages there’s no nonsense about having to give up an email or register in any way.  Just click, download and enjoy….and share it with anyone you’d like.
Want a free track from Ken Yates? 
One of my favorite tracks on the album is “The One That Got Away”
Want a free track from Connor Garvey?
“Old House” has me mesmerized – I listen to it over and over again!
In fact – want a link to over 50 free tracks from Mishara Music (and some great company friends)?
Head on over to Amazon.com to our five Mishara Music Free Amazon Samplers:
5 Amazon Samplers
Here’s the link:
And let me share two videos that are hints of what’s to come this year.
Chris Ross is writing for his new album and just posted a new live acoustic song on his YouTube Channel (which has over 300,000 views now)….it’s a song called “Burns” and a couple signs of how people are liking it – it almost immediately had over 2000 views and someone has already covered the song and posted their own YouTube video of it……but let’s watch Chris’ version……Taylor Swift has nothing on Chris – he writes way better break up songs:
 youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMJPij5MpqE
And Barnaby Bright has been on tour all fall and winter and have been playing some new tunes that will be on the new album……here’s a live version of “Sail”:
2014 is going to be a fun year.
Even as dangerous as the extremely cold weather, snow and ice can be it also can be very beautiful.
This year with the peculiar way the snow and ice storms happened we had some especially wonderful winter views:
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But don’t take winter for granted.
For instance – when you’re running out of wood for the woodstove:
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And you realize that you never got all the wood stacked this year because of the snowstorms while you were out of town and it’s time to deal with the……frozen solid wood cave:
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That’s a wood cave made out of snow….more snow….then ice….then two more snow storms….and then some melting and freezing.
Aughhhhhhhhh.
But finally you’re back inside….warming up….and reminded of the wonderful Amtrak trip to NYC:
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And also reminded of the wonderful music you get to work with all year long:
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And of course you’ve got the great birthday card you received from Ethan in early December to remind you that you don’t have to be on top of everything:
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Because you’re not in charge!
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Best of all – no matter how much eggnog you had – how many holiday cookies you ate and how much you have indulged yourself since Thanksgiving……you know you didn’t gain any weight at all…..matter of fact…..you lost quite a few pounds.
You feel really good about it.
As long as…………
You never weigh yourself…………
Except……….
………..On the scale they have at the Natural History Museum in New York City.
The one that gives your weight as if you were standing on the moon:
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29 pounds?
Think I’ll have another cookie.
As Cheryl at Terra Optima Farms says:
“Just Be Happy”.
Marc