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Spring in Maine / Snow’s finally gone / Photos & Music / The best Presidential story gets better! – Life in Maine with family & music – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings All,

It’s been a very busy few months since I last wrote an update about life in Maine and the workings of a very independent music company.

If you read my last update – there was a story about how my family has a handshake connection with Abraham Lincoln.

At the end of this letter – I’ll reprint a reply to that story from a friend of mine that has a similar story about another great American president. Side by side – the two stories are astounding and remind us that our history is not as distant as we might imagine.

When I last wrote – Maine was covered in snow.

Which impacted our annual spring Maine Maple Sunday visits to our favorite maple sugar / syrup producers. They open their doors up one day a year for everyone to visit and celebrate the process.

We hit our three favorites again this year – first off stopping at Sparky’s – where they were busy loading wood onto the fire that boils down the syrup in a contraption that resembles nothing else.

The first thing you notice is that unlike most years there was still snow on the ground – a lot of it:

Of course this is Maine.

A reminder of that:

It takes a lot of wood to make maple syrup. On average it takes boiling down about 40 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of maple syrup:


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



And there’s no one more helpful and friendly than Mark at Bradstreet Maple Farm – he spends the entire day educating everyone about the process:



This year was going to be a complete mystery on how much syrup he was going to be able to produce.

Every season he has a chart of the previous year’s production and holds a guessing contest on what this year will produce.

Winner gets free syrup:

This year will be off – because putting in the taps on the trees was a bit more difficult. As Mark demonstrates – this was how deep the snow was – that he had to work through to place the taps:

You might think real maple syrup is expensive – but when you figure it out – I’m betting the producers don’t even come close to making minimum wage.

They don’t do it for the money – they do it because they love it.

This year we hit a another maple celebration in Vermont when we went to visit family.

Another state that takes it seriously:

They had lots of different maple products for sale at the festival but nothing came close to how wonderful these were – homemade donuts with fresh maple cream.

Forget about Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme etc.

They got nuthin’ compared to these:

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

Speaking of delicious.

Spent a few days in Philadelphia at the annual Non-Comm Music gathering – where public radio stations and music folks get together for meetings and amazing musical performances.

I was so busy running from one great performance to another I didn’t have a moment to stop to take any photos this year.

Except for the one time I slowed down for the yearly trip to Jim’s Steaks:


Thank goodness I don’t live near Jim’s or Nellie’s Donuts.

How do people resist the temptation?

I have no idea.

Of course the food in Maine isn’t too shabby either.

Backing up a bit to the end of winter – a snowstorm on Valentine’s Day is no surprise – but that didn’t stop us – a great night out at the Fog Bar in Rockland. Movie’s projected on the wall, a great new duck and sweet potato Shepherd’s Pie and fresh oysters!

Valentine's Night - Fog Bar - 02-14-2015
But that winter of snow & cold seems long ago now.

Our indie music company Mishara Music released some very cool albums this Spring.

First a new EP by Cass Dillon – an amazing songwriter and performer. Second – an album unlike any other – poetry, storytelling and some great guitar licks by Dave Morrison and then – containing a track from both – our 6th free song sampler on

Mishara Spring 2015 release
Listen to Cass at our YouTube listening channel for his EP “Oregon Road”. Amazing melodies:

Listen to Dave on Soundcloud – storytelling like you’ve ever heard before:

We’ve found that encouraging people to sample free songs from the company builds our audience exponentially.

Here’s a sampling of some reviews on Amazon from our samplers – you’ll understand why we do this – we’ve been building a brand:

Amazon Reviews June 2015
For our latest offering on Amazon this spring – we put together a sixpack of free songs:

Amazon Singles Sixpack
Brand new this week on YouTube / Spotify / Soundcloud – is a 10 tune playlist of some of our favorite songs – with the kicker that they’re all available as free downloads on those Amazon samplers.

Here are the listening links.

YouTube link:


Soundcloud link:

So now here’s the link to Mishara Music on Amazon – where you’ll find those ten free songs and another 60+ additional free downloads:

How do all those free tracks do?

Charts on Amazon (and iTunes) change hourly – but checking randomly right now as I type this – here’s what Mishara Music has on the Top 100 Free All Format Chart on Amazon at this moment.

10 of the top 100:

Amazon 10 Top 100 06-22-2015
As I tell our artists and anyone else that will listen to me.

Build your audience – build your brand.

More new music, artists and always additional free songs are coming this summer.

In the meantime – maybe we can sneak out a bit and enjoy this wonderful change in the weather.

The blooms on the apple trees this year were the most bountiful in years:

I have two favorite types of flowers and both are almost wild in Maine – they’re all over the place.

My favorite aroma flower is the lilac:

And my favorite visual flower is the Iris:

We also have that wonderful giant bowl of water called the Atlantic Ocean nearby.

The sailing schooners in Camden harbor have been prepping for a busy summer season.

You can sail on the biggest of schooners for a week:

Or for two hours on the “Owl”:

My wife lives for being outdoors in the summer.

We try to make the most of it.

A road trip ends up with a great view of the sunset over a small beach:

Chairs 2 at Sunset
Our favorite used bookstore is only open on weekends in the summer in a small shack on an ocean cove tucked away on a side road in the middle of nowhere.

You’d be amazed at how many people find their way there.

(Of course – you need a lot of reading material around here startin’ about November for about five months or so):

Do people visit lighthouses because of the lighthouses?

Or because they just happen to be built in the most scenic spots?

I suppose we could do a survey – but once you’re there – who cares:

Got our first camping trip in.

For us camping is not so much about going to a different place physically – it’s more about the psychological change.

So we went all of about five miles down the road to Camden Hills State Park:

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

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

And if there’s one thing most important at the end of a great day of hiking and camping – it’s roasting marshmallows over the campfire:

This past weekend was fun.

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

Big fun – restaurants giving out free samplers of their dishes, games for kids, demonstrations, booths and on every side street they had music playing – acoustic musicians on one corner, a dj on the next, then a rock band – here’s a local jazz orchestra:

But my favorite this year was the Juke Rockets Blues Band.

What’s the old saying? “Youth is wasted on the young”

As you get older you learn to never underestimate anyone.

My suggestion – don’t ever walk up to the guy with the big white beard and say “Hey, you wanna have a blues guitar showdown?”

You’d lose.

Come to think of it – if ZZ Top is ever looking for an additional guitar player – I got the guy:

Sunday was Father’s Day.

I ran into a T-Rex at a showing of Jurassic World:

Jurassic World Father's Day 06-21-2015
Remember when I talked about a couple of my favorite foods up above in the letter?

I gotta say – there’s nothing better than home cooking.

I got treated like royalty on Father’s Day.

First off Kim made a bbq hash for brunch – with smoked turkey from our favorite bbq joint – “4 Points BBQ” in Winterport, Maine. Smoked turkey, onions, garlic, peppers, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, some secret seasoning etc.

Alas no photo – but – here’s a photo of a similar hash from a camping trip last summer – that used some “4 Points” beef brisket instead of the smoked turkey – you’ll get the idea:

Beef Brisket, Sweet Potato, Potato, Onion Hash cooking Searsport Shores 07-27-2014
I thought that was my treat for the day – boy was I wrong.

Dinner at Kim’s mom was a total surprise – homemade strawberry shortcake for dessert – using corn bread instead of a hard biscuit – so much better – but the big treat was my favorite dish of all time – Crayfish Etouffee – made by Kim’s mom – who learned to make it when they lived in Lafayette, Louisiana years ago – with fresh flown in Louisiana crawfish.

I ate more food in one day than I usually eat in a month.

Nothing like Father’s Day with the family:

Father's Day Crawfish Etouffee Strawberry Shortcake 06-21-2015
Which reminds me – let’s revisit that Lincoln story.

In the last post I wrote – I described the story of my father and uncle meeting an army veteran that my grandfather brought home from the “Old Soldiers Home” for dinner in the 1930’s when they were young kids.

Mr Carpenter shook their hands saying “Shake the hand that shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln”.

Turns out President Lincoln came to meet with his generals in 1862 and Mr. Carpenter was a young soldier at the meeting location and was part of the line that Mr. Lincoln walked down – shaking each soldier’s hand.

Which means that my father and uncle were two handshakes away from Lincoln.

Which means that I and my son (who’s 9 and has shaken the hand of my now 91 year old uncle – (who’s got his own great stories – read about him in the last post) are only 3 handshakes away.

150 years after the end of the civil war.

Pretty amazing.

But with this letter from my friend John Baker – who’s hand both my son and I have shaken – it gets better.

Here’s John’s story:

At my prep school in Groton, Mass, was a retired teacher, Mr. Richards, who had taught both my father and grandfather (class of 1909). Mr. Richards was revered. He died before I actually went to the school, but not before my older brother did.

On a “Parents’ Weekend” as it was called, in 1959 my father called on Mr. Richards (now THERE’s an old phrase) with me, my brother and my mother.

My father, after tea, became solemn, and asked Mr;. Richards to “tell my sons about the very elderly man you met and spoke of to my class back in 1934, my senior year, which was your annual story for the senior class.”

Mr. Richards nodded slowly, looked at us, and said “I haven’t told this story since I retired on 1951, but your father has asked.”

In 1888 when I was a student at this school, and home for Easter, my father introduced me to an aging member of our church in Boston. The man, it turned out, was over 100 years old. My father, who had seen and spoken to this gentleman many times, asked me to remember and revere that handshake, because, he said, “You have just shaken the hand of a man who, as a young boy, shook the hand of George Washington.”

Father then said that we two boys were to remember that we had just shaken the hand of a man who had shaken the hand of a man who had shaken the hand of the “Father of our country.”

Mr. Richards died a year later at the age of 90, and I must think that we may have been the last of his “boys” to hear that story.


So let’s recap.

History seems so long ago.

But in these instances – it’s close up and personal.

If we happen to run into each other and we shake hands….that means that you will be four handshakes away from Abraham Lincoln (I’m three) and five handshakes away from George Washington (I’m four).

Even better.

My son is nine.

In 2076 – the 300th birthday of the United States he’ll be 70.

And astonishingly – only three handshakes away from Abraham Lincoln and four away from George Washington.

I love history.

But history doesn’t need to be about events hundreds of years ago.

I was lucky enough to celebrate history earlier this year.

For my son’s birthday in January we did a 3 day road trip to NYC.

We ride the rails:

On the road again - 01-04-2015
My wife and I were lucky enough to have signed up for a pair of tickets to a show last October that came through in December when we’d almost given up hope.

I’ve been in the entertainment business for over 40 years and actually had been to the show before – escorting one of the guests appearing that night – lady named Cher. Now that was an experience.

But tickets to this show – for the audience – were never given out to anyone except regular people that wrote in for tickets.

They never cared about catering to any VIP’s or the record companies.

You want tickets – you write in like everyone else.

They even warned you – if you’re chosen to receive tickets – you have to answer a random trivia question about the show.

I knew the answer to the question when they called.

They only wanted real fans in the audience.

My wife and I were real genuine fans.

Watched every night.

And miss him so much.

But we got to spend one great afternoon in the theatre for a taping.

I got a hat. A treasure:

I was there for a part of history.


PS We’re all busy these days.

Everyone I know is busier than they’ve ever been.

But I guess there are still people out there that find the time to do the unexpected.

Have a bit of fun.

Something I have to do more of.

Don’t know who and don’t know why – but I sure did appreciate it:

Marc Ratner

Mishara Music









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

Greetings all,
Been about a month since I last blogged about this and that…..and it seems in that span of days lots has happened.
You may remember that not so long ago…..our world here in Maine was all about ice, snow and cold.
So much so that I now have “Popeye” like arms – more than any other time in my life – because it seemed that every 7 minutes I was hauling, moving, stacking  and then carrying wood upstairs to fuel up the woodstove and keep us warm in this much colder than normal winter.
Add in all that shoveling and I was tightening my belt one more notch.
Time to let it out again.
A few weeks ago I managed to stop to take a photo of the last ice fishing hut on the water near us:
It’s open water now….hope they got it out in time.
And it means it’s Sunday breakfast time with fresh from the tap pure Maine maple syrup:
That’s because we spend Maine Maple Day (it happens every March) touring our favorite maple sugar houses and stocking up on lots of syrup  (seriously – if we time it right we get it hot right out of the tap) and various other maple syrup treats.
Hard to believe that it all starts with old buckets on even older trees:
It’s a party at all our favorite sugar houses and we see friends everywhere we stop.
First off we hit Sparky’s……as soon as you walk into the sugar house you get that unique aroma in the steam filled room from the boiling sap……perhaps my favorite scent of all time:
Sparky’s also has the best honey around – we buy big jars of his pure raw honey – nothing like it.
Then it’s off to Bradstreet – the most picturesque sugar house you’ll ever see:
Mark Bradstreet is the friendliest guy in the Maple business and when he’s not tending to the fire he’s smiling and showing off his fresh syrup:
And then the next moment he’s teaching everyone about how it’s made and about the different types of syrup:
033 (2)
They’re got live music in the corner:
And samples of waffles with fresh syrup and the best maple walnut fudge you’ve ever had!
We pick up some “Extra Dark Amber” syrup and fudge at Bradstreet and then off to Simmons & Daughters for more treats:
The Simmons eldest daughter was running the maple cotton candy machine and once you’ve gone maple cotton candy – you’ll never go back to cane:
Maple Cotton Candy
At Simmons we picked up a half gallon of “Dark Amber” in a mason jar – so hot out of the tap we had to let it cool a bit before we could pick it up……out on the deck back at home…….it looks like the liquid gold it is:
Then it’s off to our last stop of the day – Kinney’s Sugarhouse….for some specialty maple items (maple cream among the items)…..and oooh the maple donut holes are to die for:
052 (2)
More live music:
And the final treat of the day – fresh maple walnut ice cream made with Kinney’s syrup by our friends the Chamberlains from Stone Fox Farm Creamery and served out of their “Mobile Cone”:
If you’re an ice cream addict like I am……I’m sorry – even though Stone Fox Ice Cream distribution is growing rapidly – it’s still local…’ll have to come visit to get some…..and it’s sure worth it.
My favorite “Salted Caramel”
Salted Caramel
And if you come visit – we’ll start with a main course before dessert.
Whadda think?
Mac & Cheese?
Baked Potato?
Oh I know… about a Lobster Roll?
Sorry – couldn’t resist – it’s right before dinner time as I write this and I’m hungry……and the Mobile Cone will start hanging out at our local Farmer’s Markets which start shortly – at the same time all the local lobster shacks open for the summer.
It’s been a long winter.
So while we’ve been wandering around Maine sampling maple products – two of my friends – who both have new albums out –  been wandering a bit farther afield.
Peter Bradley Adams – who’s latest album “The Mighty Storm” moved up to 81* on the FMQB Non-Comm (Public Music Radio) Album Chart has been touring in all places – Mainland China!
The poster is great – I have no idea what it says but it sure looks cool:
PBA China Tour
And Connor Garvey – who’s new album “Meteors And Beating Hearts” debuted on the same radio chart this week  (a great album and I love the artwork on the cover):
Has been traveling almost exactly 1/2 way around the world from Peter.
Connor’s been skiing in the mountains in Alaska:
Connor Garvey Alaska April 2014 - 2
Connor Garvey Alaska April 2014 - 3
That’s hardcore.
Connor’s from Maine…..and I find it interesting that after one of the coldest and snowiest winters we’ve had in a long time – he went off to find MORE snow.
One of the songs on Connor’s new album is called “Old House” and it’s one of my two favorites on the album.
It’s the story of the house that Connor and his girlfriend bought this year and are in the process of restoring.
It’s a love song about the girl and the house (with a very tasty “Dire Straits” feel and guitar for about the last two minutes of the tune) – and the only photo I’ve seen of this house is this one……he did a FB post about the snow he had been shoveling this winter (as we all have):
Connor Driveway
The man loves his snow.
And I’m right there with him on that love of winter and snow.
Because of the severity of the winter this year – many of my friends in Los Angeles have been asking when we were moving back???
Not a chance.
Here’s my thoughts about cold vs hot.
It’s easier to get warm when you’re cold – than cold when you’re hot.
You can always layer on more clothes until you’re warm.
But you can only take so much off when you’re hot…..and the worst part about that… seems that too many people go beyond the limit of what they should take off – especially the older they get…’s scary sometimes.
By the way – my other favorite song on the Connor Garvey album… the last track on the album – a song named “Tattered Shirt”.
Lately I’ve noticed that “Tattered Shirt” and “Old House” have become the best researching tracks on the album and I love that – both creative and original songs.  “Tattered Shirt” is unique in that Connor wrote the song with a female character speaking….and yet sings it totally straight.  I suspect that twist in the lyrics really surprises people to start and captures them and then they find they love the lyrics, the story and the gorgeous melody.
Here’s a listening link on YouTube to “Tattered Shirt”:
And a listening link to “Old House”:
Let’s talk about concerts for a moment.
I’m headed to a Connor concert later this week – looking very forward to it – he’s great live
… a reminder…’s his live version of “Irish” that I wrote about on St Patrick’s Day:
A live album “Before The Meteors” – with “Irish” on it – available now at his live shows – will be released shortly on iTunes and Amazon…it’s a companion piece to “Meteors And Beating Hearts”:
I just saw Chris Ross at the Camden Opera House:
 …..the first time I’ve seen him play since he won this well deserved award:
Here’s one of his new songs “Drunk Women”  – coming this summer on a new album:
Speaking of new albums and concerts – I get to see Barnaby Bright AND Ken Yates together in concert in NYC on May 8th at Rockwood……and BB are in the studio!!!!!!
Barnaby Studio
Can’t wait to hear the studio version of “Just The Same” – which is perhaps the best adult realistic love song I’ve ever heard.
Check it out on this amazing live 9am performance at WNRN radio in Charlottesville:
And did you ever hear the Ken Yates song off his recent album “twenty-three”…..
…..that John Mayer blogged about after hearing Ken play it – it’s a masterpiece – “I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love”:
Can’t wait to see Barnaby and Ken together in concert next month.
I feel very fortunate to be able to work with such talented artists.
But music has always been a part of my life.
Have you ever been to ?
It’s a wonder – people have posted the setlists for way over a millions concerts from over 60,000 artists and it’s a great way to relive your favorite shows.
Lotta talk about Springsteen lately…..and I thought “Hey is that first show I saw of his up on the website?”
Here’s the story – about a year after I got to LA…..I was a newbie in the record biz and had no contacts to get tickets to special shows in LA….but…..luckily a friend of mine realized that the night after Springsteen was playing what turned out to be a bellweather show at the Roxy in LA…..he was playing in Santa Barbara at UCSB in the gym……and it was easy to get tickets.
So we drove up and saw one of the great shows of all time in my experience.
Now just looking at the setlist and reliving the show – I realized how amazing a concert it was – my memory of it is strong – very strong.
I sure do wish someone would invent a concert time machine so we could all go back and relive those magic moments – especially when the distance of time confirms how truly special those nights were:
This one was truly a night to remember:
Springsteen Setlist 1975
Check out – it blows me away every time I think to look up a show.
I’ll post something else next time I write – already have something in mind.
One more note about winter.
Now that it’s over – and the snow has disappeared almost all over town…..(not everywhere yet)…..weird things have been spotted coming out of the ground……we’re trying to identify them……some people are convinced they’re alien pods……so if these blog posts suddenly stop coming…..or if they start taking a very different tone…..(for instance….short, timely and totally business like)… for your life:
But then again……we might be safe after all – saved by Mother Nature……so much for Spring and probably Summer……I think we missed them.
Here’s what happened this week:
Snow 04-16-2014
Temperature 04-17-2014
No wonder – I’d packed the snow shovel off to the shed….foolish me.
PS I posted a lot of great songs up above……if you like what you heard – we give away songs by Peter, Chris, Barnaby and Ken and a bunch of other artists on our free song page at
PPS We also have over 50 free songs on our Amazon samplers – easy to download at:
5 Amazon Samplers
People seem to like them:
Amazon Samplers Reviews 03-31-2014
PPPS  Ever wonder how we find all those sugar houses in the back woods of Maine?
Don’t need no GPS…..we have great street signs:
017 (2)

Marc Ratner

Mishara Music








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

Greetings All,
Welcome to the latest Marc Ratner blog post (this edition and previous letters posted at that of course is supposed to be about the music and artists from Mishara Music ( but always ends up being as much or more about family life in Maine with an 8 year old.
If I were to do chapters for this edition – I’d have to include:
St Patrick’s Day
YouTube Views
Justin Timberlake
Mountain Rescue Association
Winter Box Races
Snowman Fight
Odds and ends.
How in the world am I ever going to make sense of all that?
I won’t of course.
But it’ll all be here in some form or another.
Let’s start off with St. Patrick’s Day.
Imagine your name is Connor Garvey.
And you look like this – notice the color of his hair:
Imagine you’re a singer – songwriter and because of your name you always get asked to play on March 17th – otherwise known as St. Patrick’s Day.
The only problem?
You don’t know a single “Irish” song.
Can make for a difficult evening.
So you write an “Irish Song” and record it at a live concert.
Something to be enjoyed – but especially on St Patrick’s Day (great for morning shows).
Here’s a YouTube link to hear the song:
“Irish Song” is on the live album “Before The Meteors” coming soon to Amazon and iTunes:
It’s a companion piece to Connor’s just released “Meteors And Beating Hearts”:
Connor Garvey Meteors And Beating Hearts Twitter size
Next on the list.
YouTube Views.
There are so many artists with new music these days – it’s almost impossible to figure out who’s making an impact.
And who has time?
Peter Bradley Adams has a new album just out called “The Mighty Storm”.
You might wonder -what kind of audience does Peter have these days – this being his 5th solo album after debuting with eastmountainsouth a decade ago.
The simple answer?
A big one.
A very big one.
Everyone says that more music is listened to on YouTube than anywhere else these days…..
……so what happens if you go to YouTube and type in Peter Bradley Adams?
Turns out people LOVE to make photo and lyric videos out of Peter’s songs – he has an emotional connection with the audience that is amazing.
So type in his name and this is what comes up to start:
PBA YouTube Views
The list just keeps going on and on.  Notice the lead track from his last album “Between Us” has OVER TWO MILLION VIEWS and they are hundreds of thousands of other views (including over 100,000 from a live performance at radio station WNRN in Charlottesville).
Not many artists have kind of connection with their audience.
Here’s the link to the “Between Us” video with over 2 million views:
What’s next on my chapter list?
Justin Timberlake?
An interesting story – half smart / half crazy.
I always love to surprise my wife with presents that she totally doesn’t expect.
Tickets to Justin Timberlake were one such present – she’s a big fan and I thought that he probably is very entertaining in concert and it’d be a fun thing to do.
I was right:
We had a great night.
But this leads into the “crazy” part and the next chapter:
Mountain Rescue Association
For twenty plus years in California I was a member of a mountain search and rescue team.  On a pager 24 hours a day / 7 days a week / 365 days a year.
If the pager went off I was out the door.
Rescue work took lots of training……before joining the rescue team I did a lot of mountaineering and training with the Sierra Club and my rescue team was a part of the Mountain Rescue Association (
Every year we attended a state wide training with all the other California MRA teams and had to certify in one of three disciplines that rotated every year – rock rescue, search and tracking or snow & ice rescue.
After all those years of training, rescue work and rescue management experience (I was Captain of the team for seven years and spent a term as the Vice – Chair of the Calif Region of the MRA) I now travel back to California to work as an examiner for the testing that’s held the first Saturday of March every year.
This year the Search and Tracking testing was held in Placer County California – (somewhere between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe).
Here’s the crazy part.
Usually I plan in advance – fly to Los Angeles a few days ahead of the test and have some music business meetings before I head to the testing site.
Was just about to click on the “Buy Ticket” button on my computer to get a really inexpensive ticket to fly to LA for my regular trip…..when I thought…..”Oh oh – when’s the Timberlake concert?”.
Thursday night….in Boston.
The MRA test was Saturday morning in Placer County at 7am.
Think you’re tired?
Here’s what I had to do.
My wife and I drove 4 hours to Boston for the concert.
Had a great time.
Drove 4 hours back to Maine.
Got home at 3:30am
Got up at 6am – left the house at 7am to drive to Portland, ME to catch my first flight to Newark – where I connected to a flight to LA (had to fly in and out of LA)……we got to LA an hour late because of the strong winds from one of the big winter storms blowing across the country… 6pm (now 9pm my time in Maine).
Then I proceeded to enjoy that wonderful rush hour traffic on the 405 freeway (the busiest in the country) and finally got to pick up my search gear and leave for the training at 9pm (now midnight East Coast time).
Got the training site at 4:30am after the all night drive (caffeine is my very good friend).
Put the seat back in the car and napped for an hour and a half and then got ready for the testing.
(If you’re counting that’s about 4 hours of sleep in about 36 hours – not counting some dozing on the plane).
Had a great time working the test – I was one of the examiners for the Santa Barbara Search and Rescue Team and they aced the exam.
Here’s the 7am morning meeting for the briefing for the examiners:
Here’s all the members of the MRA certified teams gathering for the annual photo – (that’s a lot of people that volunteer their time to rescue people in very dangerous situations):
Here’s the Santa Barbara team command post – planning the search:
Santa Barbara Command Post 2
Another command post photo – notice the snappy vest I get to wear hanging over the chair – such a fashion guy I am:
Santa Barbara Command Post 1
After the testing was over – I headed out for a three hour drive to Carson City, NV to visit my Aunt and Uncle……and get some glorious sleep……ahhhhh.
Then back to LA for a day of meetings and then back to Maine.
Funny thing about being in LA after adjusting to a colder than usual winter in Maine.
As soon as the outside temperature on the rental car dashboard read 64 degrees – I turned the AC on – It was too warm for me!
After the normal 12 hour travel day – from Los Angeles back to Midcoast Maine – I arrived home at about 2am to a much more comfortable temperature – ahhhhh. (Although finding the battery in my car totally dead at midnight in the parking garage at the Portland airport because I left the dome light on was not the most pleasant of return surprises – Doh!):
Temp arriving home
Which leads me to the next chapter “Winter Box Races”.
If you read my last posting you would have seen all the photos (and video!) of our annual US National Toboggan Championships.
A great way for adults to act like kids and have fun.
The kids want their day as well – so last weekend was the 3rd Annual Winter Box Races.
Sort of like the Pinewood Derby other places do in the summer.
Uh uh.
No summer breezes and lazy days for us.
We do cardboard box races on the tubing hill:
011 (2)
 009 (2)
 001 (3)
002 (2)
We even had a Jamaican Bobsled:
Alas – history has a tendency to repeat itself – the Titantic hit the iceberg once again:
003 (2)
But nonetheless – a great day was had by all!
Ethan decided one evening a week or so ago that he was ready for the real thing – no more kiddie version of Monopoly – he wanted to play the adult version.
Sure enough – he picked it up quickly….it wasn’t long before he held that exclusive title to “Boardwalk”.
And wouldn’t ya know…….4 houses later…….dad landed where he shouldn’t have:
Monopoly Defeat 02-18-2014
Which I guess is a good thing…..because dad loves his music business company – and as wonderful as it is – it’ll be nice to have a real estate mogul in the family making those big bucks!
But it sure is satisfying when Mishara Music artists get Awards.
Connor Garvey (he of the “Irish Song” above) is currently touring supporting his new album “Meteors And Beating Hearts” and has been attending festivals and winning some nice trophies in the past couple of years.
He won the 2011 Maine Songwriters Association Grand Prize after being nominated against some other great songwriters:
Connor Garvey Maine Songwriters
He also won the songwriting prize at the 2012 Texas Wildflower Music festival:
Connor Garvey Wildflower Winner 2012
Connor was nominated for Male Performer Of The Year at the New England Music Awards a few weeks ago – didn’t win this time but it was a great category of performers:
 Connor Garvey New England Music Awards Nominee 2014 - 2
But then comes another winner – Connor just got voted by the fans as “Most Wanted” for the upcoming 2014 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival:
Connor Garvey Falcon Ridge Most Wanted 2014
Might be worth taking a listen to the above mentioned new album “Meteors And Beating Hearts”.
Here’s a recently posted YouTube Listening Channel where you can hear the entire album:
Tracks I love a lot include “Bright Morning”, “Old House” and “Spark”!
I’m curious to know what other Connor fans like???
Speaking of Awards and specifically those New England Music Awards from a couple weeks ago…..(.I do believe Connor got robbed in his category ask me why and I’ll tell you) but Mishara Music had a great night nonetheless.
None other than our Chris Ross won in his category:
And those voters have no idea what’s coming – they haven’t heard the newest songs yet…..Chris just posted three acoustic versions of new songs on YouTube that will be on his next album – due this Spring / Summer and they’re great.
Want to sample them?
“Easier Said Than Done”
“Drunk Women”
And while I’m talking about new songs – if you haven’t seen these two performances by Barnaby Bright of new tunes that will be on their next album – also due this summer – you ain’t seen / heard nuthin’.
There is no better realistic love song than “Just The Same” and this simple version recorded at 9am at a radio station visit is a perfect rendition.  I’ve heard people gasp out loud at some of the lyrics at shows:
Here’s another new one “Sail” – recorded live in Portland Oregon on tour opening when Barnaby Bright was on tour with Vienna Teng:
Snowman Fight
Every year my wife loves to get outside and make snowmen during those wonderful winter days when we have great snow and bright sun……every year she does something different.
Earlier this year she started winter with the annual traditional snowman:
But you’d be surprised to know that snowmen are territorial.
If you build them too close together – they’ll start fighting.
With snowballs of course:
Snowman fight 3 02-21-2014
Snowman fight 02-21-2014
But alas….if you’re a snowman… matter who wins the fight….ol’ Sol is always the victor – a good lesson for all of us:
Snowmen Lose
Odds And Ends
So learning the lesson of the snowmen – we make the most of winter – it’s here, it’s cold, it’s fun.
Nothing like a family snowshoe hike:
Family Snowshoe KJR 03-09-2014
On a sunny day in winter:
 Winter Sun
But the snow will be gone soon – at the harbor you can feel the change in the air and that Spring is close by:
Spring Is In The Air KJR 03-06-2014
We’ve loved winter – I’ll keep you posted on our Spring adventures in Maine.
My only problem until then……with Spring in the air  it brings rapid changes in weather – warm / cold / warm / cold – we tend to get icy rain and then immediate freezing.
I’ve become an expert in shoveling and clearing snow…..just can’t quite figure out how to “shovel” ice:
001 (2)
PS Snowmen and landscape photos by Kim Ratner!
PPS One more music mention – Ken Yates album “twenty-three” continues to garner great airplay all over the country and he continues touring to support the album.  Here’s the YouTube listening channel:
PPPS  Don’t forget – over 50 free songs available on our Mishara Music free song samplers:
5 Amazon Samplers
More free songs on our http://www.misharamusic/freesongs page – and we never require an email address or registration of any kind to download our free songs!
Enjoy and share.

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

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:
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:
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:
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:
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”:
Before we knew it we were back on Amtrak leaving the city on our way back to Maine:
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:
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:
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”
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 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:
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:

But don’t take winter for granted.
For instance – when you’re running out of wood for the woodstove:
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:
That’s a wood cave made out of snow….more snow….then ice….then two more snow storms….and then some melting and freezing.
But finally you’re back inside….warming up….and reminded of the wonderful Amtrak trip to NYC:
And also reminded of the wonderful music you get to work with all year long:
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:
Because you’re not in charge!
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… lost quite a few pounds.
You feel really good about it.
As long as…………
You never weigh yourself…………
………..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:
29 pounds?
Think I’ll have another cookie.
As Cheryl at Terra Optima Farms says:
“Just Be Happy”.

Life in Maine with a 7 year old – don’t need much, a little music & a lot of imagination & family – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings all,
Back at the computer writing again.
With lots of photos of all our latest adventures and some new music.
(And note…..many, many of these photos – particularly the artistic ones were taken by my wife Kim.  She’s such a great photographer that I would be crazy not to up the visuals in this blog by not using her photos….but if I continue to do it without giving her credit….I’m in big trouble…..almost as much as I’ll be when she see’s the photos of her coming down the hay bales down the post a bit).
It’s a pretty simple life here in Maine but don’t ever confuse “simple” with “slow”.
Especially when you run an independent music company while your seven year attempts to monopolize all your time and money.
For him life much of the time is all about Legos.
The financial world of a seven year old is simple.
Money exists to buy Legos.
You think Legos are cheap plastic toys?
Only if you don’t have young kids.
I’m sitting here thinking about all that goes into building a house and how expensive it is – but if they were made out of Legos – houses would be way more expensive.
Probably 1000 times more based on how much those little suckers cost.
Of course when you’re a kid – you don’t have house payments, car payments and food comes out of the refrigerator or the pantry so your allowance can all go towards Legos:
Allowance 08-25-2013
But we’re very glad we live in Maine and can try as often as possible to take advantage of our surroundings and get away from the ever commercialization of childhood.
There’s definitely snow in our future…’s not here yet but you can see and feel the change in the air…..the leaves are gone. Even without snow it looks like winter now:
Leaves are gone winter is coming 11-08-2013
But before they left we had some wonderful colored leaves in the trees. (Note – it’s hard to capture the scope of the fall leaves in a photograph – so some of these photos use a special filter to bring out the color).
Out the back window, (with some visitors in the lower left of the yard going after the fallen apples from the apple trees):
On our way back from upstate New York visiting family we took this photo of leaves past their peak in Vermont but wonderful nonetheless:
Looking out over Hosmer Pond:
Autumn 09-08-2013
One of the advantages of living in New England is being able to visit multiple apple orchards and pick your apples directly from the tree:
Another great use of the outdoors……and usually a free occupation (outside of the small fee at the local state or federal parks) is hiking which we love to do.
We hiked a great park in upstate NY while visiting family – absolutely visually stunning:
There’s a great trail no more than 1/2 mile from our house which takes us up “Bald Mountain”:
One of our other autumn adventures is the corn maze at Beth’s Farm Market.
You really can get lost:
Who needs expensive amusement parks when a few hay bales will do just fine:
Haybales Beth's Farm Market October 2013
For that matter – you don’t even need the hay bales…..a back yard with some leaves is even better:
Ethan leaves 10-11-2013
One of the great ways of reducing the commercialization of music……is to give it away.
At Mishara Music we do that quite often.
Both on our website and at
At Amazon we just released out 5th free music sampler:
I think this one is the best ever.
And it’s doing quite well:
Amazon Mishara Music 5 - 1st Day 4
It’s a combination of Mishara Music artists and friends of the label – some newer unsigned artists and some experienced – Rebecca Loebe – a “Voice” Adam Levine team member a year ago – and very established – our pal Grant-Lee Phillips.
15 tracks by 12 artists:
Amazon Mishara Music 5 Song List
Here’s the link to the sampler on Amazon:
It’s been a while since I worked in radio (my first industry job) but to my ears it’s a pretty great hour of music.
It includes some very new music – specifically I’ll mention the new albums by Ken Yates which just arrived at radio stations around the USA this week and a new album coming from Connor Garvey.
Ken’s free track on the Amazon sampler is “The One That Got Away” which is soooo good and from his album “twenty-three”:
Of course Ken’s had a wonderful friend already turn a lot of music fans onto his music via the second track on his album “I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love”.
Two years ago when Ken was attending Berklee School Of Music in Boston the guest speaker at one of his classes was none other than John Mayer.
At the end of the class John asked the students to play him songs and flipped over Ken’s tune.
So much so he blogged about it…..on his personal blog and it was then picked up and reblogged by all the John Mayer fan sites.
Ken put up a rough mix of the tune on iTunes and ended up selling thousands of downloads which has given him a great fan base for touring even before this album was released.
Here’s the post that John Mayer wrote about Ken and “I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love”:
Ken Yates - John Mayer 05-05-2013
The album is every bit as good as that first tune that John wrote about and if I mention one track – I’ll have to mention quite a few……hard to choose.
The first track “In The Middle Of Heaven And Here” ends with the most amazing harmonies I’ve heard on record in a long time.  “23” the title track is all about the unknown future. Perhaps the track that might get played the most on radio is “The One That Got Away” – as I mentioned it’s the free track on our Amazon sampler above.  But I also love “New York Rain” and “Get Me Out Of Hollywood”…..a track I take to heart after leaving Los Angeles myself after living there for 35 years and moving about as far away as you can possibly go in the continental US – to the coast of Maine.  Can’t go wrong with this album.
Wanna hear the entire album?  Check out the YouTube listening channel where you can hear every song all the way through:
Connor Garvey’s new album is “Meteors And Beating Hearts” and will be available at iTunes and Amazon on Tuesday November 26th as a “Thanksgiving” present to the world:
12 new songs that show why Connor keeps winning the grand prizes at song festivals (2012 Winner Wildflower Festival Performing Songwriter Competition, 2011 Winner Maine Songwriters Association Annual Songwriting Competition). 
There’s no better start than to listen to “Old House” which is the 3rd track on the Amazon sampler and is a stunning love song about a relationship & an old house and ends with an extended guitar piece that will take you right back to Mark Knopfler’s guitar playing with Dire Straits.
Here’s a direct link to the free track on Amazon:
Other Mishara Music artist news includes the fun of reading the tweets about Barnaby Bright as they tour the country with Vienna Teng… get a sense of “see them once – and you’re hooked”:
Barnaby Bright Twitter 11-11-2013
I still can’t get enough of this new song “Just The Same” that will be on the new album after the first of the year…..if it’s this good in a radio interview at WNRN in Charlottesville at 9am in the morning…..I can just imagine what the finished recording will sound like:

Also from Twitter I keep seeing amazing tweets about Clarensau – and the song that’s starting to show up more and more is “Dance With Me” in connection with weddings:
Clarensau tweets 11-11-2013
If you’re a wedding dj (or if you’re not – it makes no difference) and are always looking for that special song to play at a wedding – check out “Dance With Me”:

Lastly in the music world….I’ve been on the road a bit lately with Chris Ross and the reaction to him live is just amazing.
“Mostly Sober” continues to generate response for Chris that I find to be way beyond what you would expect and shows around Veterans’ Day saw “Your America” bring tears to the eyes of people that have lived that difficult but essential life.
Here’s live house concert versions of both songs.
“Mostly Sober”:
“Your America”:
And of course Chris is better than anyone at documenting his life on Facebook….here are some of my recent favorite posts – you never know what’s going to come next (and it gives you an idea of why his songs are poetic masterpieces):
 Chris Ross FB Yo-Yo's
Chris Ross FB Raccoon
Chris Ross FB Salsa
And lastly about Chris…..on one of our recent trips I happened to glance at floor of his car by the right back seat and it says everything about being a traveling musician on the road……such a romantic life…..this is just how I found it:
It really sparks your imagination.
Which I think is important for adults these days and if you’re seven years old and your parents can keep you from being glued to tv or video games or the computer….there’s no telling what you might come up with.
Like a birthday party for a stuffed animal with cards (mom and dad also had to make a card):
Presents for Fireball – made out of dad’s empty cd boxes:
And of course all of Fireball’s friends got together for the party:
The guest of honor:
And what family doesn’t need their own newspaper….or “nespaper” – he’s not shy about raising money for those Legos:
Nespapers For Sale 09-15-2013
Family days are the best in Maine.
Whether it’s time to get our pumpkins for carving for Halloween:
 Pumpkins 10-06-2013
Which we bring to the town library for “Pumpkin Night” on the library steps:
And after a hard day’s apple picking you get to have a candy apple:
And the whole town turns out for a special showing of a classic film at our old time movie theatre that was built in 1923 (and totally restored now) and showed the film when it was new:
Wizard Of Oz line 10-20-2013
Wizard Of Oz 10-20-2013
You can’t beat Halloween though……when you get to be an X-Wing fighter pilot:
X-Wing fighter pilot 10-31-2013
Which is made even better because Mom has a friend who can knit the coolest hats:
Halloween selfie 2013
Speaking of caps……I had a great time recently pulling out my four favorite baseball caps… for each series win:
It’s been a classic fall for sure.
We don’t need much in Maine… long as we have each other.
Surprise someone – hug them – they’ll love it.

Life & Summer in Maine in photos, Caitlin Canty – a great way to listen, Don’t Go In The Basement & Music Conventions – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings All,
It’s been weeks since I’ve written..
We’ve been trying to make the most of summer and we’re horrified that it’s almost over.
We had so many plans, hopes and dreams for the endless stretch of summer days when school got out last June…..and now Ethan goes back to 2nd grade in about a week.
So… summer cleaning of the basement and garage…..they’re still scary places full of things we don’t need but don’t have time to get rid of.
How does that happen?
What were we thinking when we thought we had to have all that stuff…..when will we ever learn?
The good news… there’s a local Facebook “Garage Sale” sale page started by a friend of ours.
You can post things you want to get rid of…..and if the price is right almost everything sells.
A great way to clean out and de-stuff.
Except of course – you sell your junk…and end up buying someone else’s…and it ends up in the basement.
It’s just constant movement from one person’s house to another.
I’m sure beyond a doubt that one of these days we’ll buy something on the garage page….get it home and realize that it used to be ours in the first place.
But we’ll get a deal on it!
Be safe though….don’t go down in our basement!
So let’s wrap up the summer.
First new music and then summer in photos….and just the last part of summer…who can even remember back to the beginning.
Mishara Music by next week will have released three new albums this summer.
Early summer was Caitlin Canty’s “Golden Hour”
Acoustic, etherial and haunting.
Once you dig into the lyrics you’ll find an intensity that you didn’t expect.
I’ve always known that music attracts but lyrics are the emotional bond that really connects us to the artist.
Here’s our YouTube Listening Channel for the album – an easy way to listen to the entire album:
Caitlin Canty Golden Hour Cover 1000x1000
Mid-summer Sam Brenner released an acoustic guitar, vocal EP “Here At Home”.  There’s nothing better than hearing an artist with just guitar, vocals and songs.
It’s pure, enchanting and hard to do.
It’s tougher than you think to make a “simple” acoustic album – check out “Here At Home” on it’s YouTube Listening Channel and see how he did (while he’s working on his full album with all kinds of cool instrumentation):
Our last Mishara Music album of summer is from Canadian native and Berklee School of Music grad Ken Yates and his album “twenty-three”
It’s our end of summer album and highlights Ken’s songwriting which was written about in a blog post by none other than John Mayer.
John spoke to Ken’s class at Berklee in Boston and after hearing Ken’s song “I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love” he wrote about it on his blog and among other kind words said this:
“Want to hear a great song? (I mean a REALLY great song?)” – John Mayer, one forty plus
Wanna hear it?  Check out twenty-three’s YouTube Listening Channel here:
Mishara has YouTube Listening Channels for almost all of our albums….I’ll post a bunch of them at the end of this letter.
On to summer in Maine with a 7 year old.
With my broken ankle (detailed in an earlier version of this blog – read them all at it seems I’ve taken fewer photos than normal.
Hard to do with both hands on crutches (thankfully I think I’m finally off of them).
But my wife Kim has taken more than usual and any photo that you think is particularly cool, interesting and artistic… can probably bet she took it…..and I haven’t given her proper credit.
Nana’s apt has a pool:
Backfloat July 17th, 2013
We’ve been sneaking out at the end of the day lately to our favorite lake swimming hole at Barrett’s Cove:
Barrett's Cove 07-31-2013
In the seven years since Ethan was born I think Kim and I have seen only two movies that weren’t animated and oriented for kids.
Thankfully kids movies are a big business these days and pretty great.
We loved Despicable Me 2:
Despicable Me 2 Movies 07-14-2013
The flyer for the movie had cutouts for kids…..and no self respecting seven year old wouldn’t try them out:
Despicable Me 2
Wild Maine Blueberries.
Every year local farms open up on a certain day for self picking and we always go:
Later as all the blueberries ripen we always buy 20 pounds of blueberries and freeze them for smoothies all winter:
They harvest a lot of blueberries:
Our 20 pounds:
Blueberries 20 lbs 08-04-2013
Every summer we buy tickets for 4 Portland Sea Dogs (the Double A Boston Red Sox farm team).
This year we hit both fireworks night:
And “kids run the bases” after the game day.  Didn’t get a good photo of Ethan running the bases but we got to take pictures standing in left field by the “Green Monster” wall at Portland’s Hadlock Field – which is an exact replica of the “Green Monster” at Fenway Park:
Nothing like singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”….”And it’s One, Two, Three Strikes you’re out”:

During the summer there are two radio / record business conventions that I attend every year

The great advantage of going to music business conventions is that the music companies bring artists in to play for the radio programmers and it’s a great opportunity to see wonderfully talented people up close in a setting that we’d never get to have any other way.
One of my favorite stories of how the professional and personal worlds can intersect happened a few years ago at the Boulder AAA radio / record gathering.
We had lunchtime and late afternoon mini concerts in a big tent set up in the back yard of the hotel.  This particular hotel was situated right by a river and running path used by the public.
There were no security fences or anything of that sort.
At this particular lunch meeting we were delighted to have a private concert by Patty Griffin.  A personal favorite artist of my wife and I.
I was standing by the back of the tent…..and watched out of the corner of my eye as a woman running on the jogging path…..stopped as she heard the music….and walked up the tent and peeked in and stood there in shock.  She told a couple of us standing around after the performance ended that her favorite artist of all time was Patty Griffin and that she was running along and heard music from the tent and thought – “Wow, whoever that is they sound so good….and they’re doing a great version of one of my favorite Patty Griffin songs”.
She of course thought it was some local singer doing a Patty Griffin imitation…..and then looked in the tent and was dumbfounded…..there was her favorite artist performing in a tent at lunchtime in downtown Boulder.
We explained the circumstances….she said thanks and continued on her run – still in a bit of shock but with a big smile on her face.
It was so much fun to see how music can make such a difference in someone’s life.
It’s why I do what I do.
This year in that same tent you would have heard and seen “The Courtyard Hounds” – who if you don’t know are sisters Emily and Martie – two thirds of the Dixie Chicks – who have been performing as the hounds with two albums released since the Dixie Chicks went on hiatus in 2007.
The other convention I hit every summer is The Conclave in Minneapolis.
It’s more of a business meeting than musical and unlike so many meetings at conventions The Conclave specializes in having speakers that you can actually learn from.
This year was no exception.
I had three favorite moments this year in Mpls.
First the longtime director of The Conclave was retiring and as he was giving his farewell speech after having been given an award for his long service to the industry…..he noticed that his wife in the audience wasn’t paying attention and was doing something on her smartphone.  He stopped the speech and asking her what she was doing…..she was texting a friend.
That got the best laugh of the meeting.
For those of us guys who think we’re so darned important……our wives can put us in our place in a fraction of a second.
Lesson learned….which I’m sure I’ll forget again….and again….and again.
BMI – which is a performing rights organization for songwriters sponsored a session with Randy Bachman who was both a founding member of The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive.
He told some great songwriting stories and demonstrated on acoustic guitar.  Randy talked about finishing the song “Takin’ Care Of Business” actually on stage during a performance when he substituted the line “Takin’ Care Of Business” into the chorus instead of what he’d previously written after hearing a local dj use the line to start his radio show that afternoon.
You never know where inspiration comes from.
The best talk of all was given by the former COO of American Express John Baker.  His discussion about his book “The Asking Formula – Ask What You Want and Get It” was one of the best presentations I’ve seen at any convention ever.
The Asking Formula
But my favorite photo from either convention was from Colorado on a quick trip away from the meetings for breakfast with a friend in the mountains.
On the way back we noticed this sign – on the road next to a rushing river right along side us:
Easy for the sign people to post….not so good for people still on crutches (as I was at the time).
I’ve never tried rock climbing on crutches….but I guess there’s always a first time for everything.
Thankfully the weather was dry.
As I mentioned on the last blog post – we took Ethan to see Paul McCartney at Fenway Park…..and 47 years ago my mother took my sister and I to see Paul and his first band in the Boston area as well.
Photos, stories and set lists from both concerts on the last blog post which you can read at:
The one thing I forgot to mention on that last post was what Paul said after he finished playing “I’ve Just Seen A Face”.
He said that at every concert people hold up signs and he has to keep reminding himself as he’s trying to remember chords and lyrics….”Don’t read the signs, don’t read the signs”…..and of course he can’t resist and reads the signs and then has to try and remember where he is in the middle of the song.
They turned the cameras on a number of the signs in the audience so we could see them and the two I remember reading were:
“I’m a Maccaholic and there is no cure” (For those that don’t know “Macca” is a long time Paul nickname).
“The guy behind me can’t see”.
I googled that one and it turns out that’s been an annoying sign at concerts of all sorts for quite a while.
What some people will do to get attention.
It’s a wonder that Paul got through the song with all he had to read in front of him.
A fun story and an excuse to post another photo from the concert……so much fun:
We all hear the rumors every time he tours that this is the “last” tour….and at 71 how many more can there be?
One of my favorite moments of the show was when he walked to the front of the stage and stood there for a moment not saying anything just watching the crowd cheer….and he finally said….”I just wanted to take a moment to take this all in”.
An interesting comment.
At 71 Paul knows that this won’t go on forever as well.
I feel lucky to have witnessed these moments.  Paul and his Liverpool mates are such a big reason I ended up in music as a career.
Although to be fair to myself – before the Beatles came to America I was already involved in music – at that point having studied both classical violin (I played in the Mpls Youth Symphony Orchestra) and classical guitar.
In a completely different setting a few weeks ago Kim and I drove to Portland to see our new artist Ken Yates perform – opening for one of our favorites – Liz Longley.
Ken was terrific live…..both as a singer-songwriter:
And a storyteller:
Ken story teller
I know both sides of Ken’s performance worked very well…..because after the show it took me a while to say hello…..he made a lot of fans that night:
Liz Longley was great as always and my wife and I had a great rare date night out.
One of the very few times we didn’t take Ethan with us.
Fenway Park or One Longfellow Square in Portland – live music is always a joy.
Every July is the annual Lobster Festival in Rockland Maine – next door to us.
Nothing like fresh lobster:
A sidenote here…..I know I never had my own lobster until I was long into adulthood…..growing up in Maine as a kid sure has it’s advantages:
More live music – this time The Nutopians:
Nothing beats the bungee jumping:
We’re always among the last to leave – we love our family adventures:
It’s been a summer of adventure for sure……witness our mini superhero telling us on a camping trip this past weekend:
“I’m pointing to adventure!”
Super Ethan Pointing To Adventure 08-17-2013
I hope you all had the adventure of summer in your lives as well!
One final note – if you like what you read here – you can sign up on the right hand side to get a notification email when I publish a new posting….or just sign up for my Twitter account – that’s where I notify people of new posts, free songs and post more photos.
Here are a few more Mishara Music Listening Channels:
Barnaby Bright “The Longest Day”
4 Panel Digipak Tube Pocket D1003 [Converted]
Chris Ross “Halfway To Wonderland”
Clarensau “This One’s For You”
Connor Garvey “Where Ocean Meets Land” (New album coming this fall):
Kat Maslich “The Road Of 6”:
RoadOf6-5x5 - Digital Cover - 04-15-10
Peter Bradley Adams “Between Us”:
Between Us - Square
Enjoy…..and remember – free songs from all of these albums are available on the Mishara Music website at www.misharamusic/freesongs and we never ask for an email address or any kind of registration;
Mishara Music Free Song Page August 2013
More free songs are available on our free song samplers at

Then & Now pics – Summer / McCartney shows 47 years apart – Life in Maine with a 7 Year old – The Marcrescue blog

Greetings All,
How is it that these last few weeks have been the busiest I’ve had in a long time…..and also the slowest…..
…..because of course I’m doing it all on crutches with my broken ankle:
Ever tried crutches in deep sand?
Not fun…..until you get to where you’re going:
My wife’s dad and stepmom get a house on Long Beach Island in New Jersey every summer for a week and invite us down to join them.
A 13 hour drive for us but well worth it.
Of course like everyone else we wondered what the island would be like this summer after the devastation of Sandy.
The house we stay at every year was lucky enough to be on a slightly higher part of the island and has a small raised foundation so there was some minor damage to pipes underneath the house but otherwise it fared well.
But we understood what it could have been like… father-in-law broke through the flooring on the storage shed when he took a step in it.  That floor needs to be totally replaced.
That unfortunately is what needed to be done with so many houses on other parts of the island.

But I’m happy to report that overall the island looks great.  There’s obviously been tremendous work done…and a lot of rebuilding to new standards – to protect houses from the same kind of damage if and when a storm comes again.  Many, many houses are / have been raised on new foundations.  Good to see.

I’m thrilled to report though that the businesses most important to me have survived and are doing well.
That would be of course…..the coffee place:


The bakery:


The Fudge place:


And most importantly…..thin crust NY / NJ style pizza:


Here’s what the main street in that area of town looks like now – note the same bakery awning at the left of the photo and note the B&B store – now also with blue awnings across the street on the right:


All’s good now…..but here’s what that same section of town looked like during Sandy….and this wasn’t even the highest part of the flood – that happened after dark:


The resilience of the human spirit is heartwarming.
Life goes on.
Which is why we drive 13 hours every summer to meet up with Kim’s dad.
There’s nothing more important than a young boy and his grandfather flying a kite together:
 Kite LBI 07-02-2013


And finding out how cold the water is:
Testing The Water LBI 07-02-2013


We had a great fireworks show on the island to celebrate July 4th as well.


A perfect summer evening:


Here we go:


“The rocket’s red glare” – again, the human spirit at work:


Which in turn brings me back to our summer Mishara Music concert here in Maine a few weeks ago:
Twitter size concert
A great night was had by all:

COH 06-29-2013

The thing I love most about singer-songwriters is they write about the human spirit.
I’ve known for a long time that music attracts people but lyrics sell.
People buy music for the emotional connection that it brings them.
That’s why singer – songwriters – the good one’s – have long careers.
They may not get big headlines from the lowest common denominator press these days and make more money then they know what to do with.
But their fans are loyal and in it for the long run….and that’s me.
Mishara Music is an indie singer-songwriter company because that’s what we love.
Our mission statement is “Music we love – People we like”.
It couldn’t be simpler.


For example.
Emotional Connections – Five artists – Five songs.

1.  Barnaby Bright “Just The Same”
I’ve heard gasps in the audience when these two lines are sung by Becky:

“I’ve got a way of winning every time we fight

I can’t admit it but you’re almost always right”

It’s a love song for couples.


Here’s Barnaby Bright performing it live at 9am at WNRN during an Anne Williams interview:



2.  Chris Ross “Your America”

Chris just recorded a new live b&w Stageit concert version of this song and uploaded it to YouTube and Facebook on July 4th.


Here are two of the first comments:


CR FB Veterans



Here’s why they’re commenting about it:


“So you run off to the desert so sure of black and white

And you find out real fast it ain’t all stars and stripes

And the man that’s in the mirror, he’s braver than most

But he still gets scared of the holy ghost

So you see a few things you’ll never get rid of

You leave a few friends in the sand

And everyday there’s more taking than giving

And it just don’t feel

Like your America, man”

Here’s the video link:


3.  Clarensau “I Would Trade”

Real life this!

“Another night in the waiting room
You’re 50 feet from me, but I still miss you
Your body sleeps in that scary room
Unaware of the doctor’s that are trying to save you

I would trade all of my days
to take the pain away”

Real response:
YouTube Clarensau I Would Trade comment


Here’s a listening link:



4.  Peter Bradley Adams “Between Us”

“there’s comfort, comfort in things we believe

but i live in danger, wanting the the things i can’t see

wherever you live now, wherever you walk

this distance between us,  i’m willing to cross”


Emotional connection?


Some woman in Norway of all places made a YouTube video of “Between Us” – using just a photograph and the song…..she’s only posted 4 other videos…..and this clip of the song has over One Million Six Hundred Thousand views:




5.  Caitlin Canty “Every Day”

“every day I wake up and the sun fades your face from my eyes
/ I try to keep them shut but you still go no matter how tight I keep them closed
/ you still go”


Caitlin’s “Golden Hour” album is the latest release on Mishara Music:
Caitlin Canty Golden Hour


You can hear the entire album on the “Caitlin Golden Hour” YouTube listening channel:


You can download “Every Day” for free (no email or registration of any kind required) at:
Caitlin Free Song page
Free feel to share the free download link with anyone and everyone that may enjoy the song!


If you’ve spent any time in Boston and have an affinity for the city – then you probably have an emotional connection with the “Citgo” sign that sits atop of a building in Kenmore Square.
I was in Boston last week and the sign was shining as always:
Citgo 07-09-2013
I wondered….how long has it been there?
Turns out it was first put up in the 1940’s as the “Cities Service” sign when the building it’s on was that company’s headquarters.
In 1965 that gasoline company modernized it’s name to “Citgo” and the sign was changed.
Which means I probably saw it in 1966 when I went to my first concert.


I went to my latest concert last week in Boston at Fenway Park right next to Kenmore Square where the Citgo sign is. Took the family – while the Red Sox were out of town – they had a guy singing songs in the old baseball park.
He looked familiar – as did that funny shaped bass guitar.


He started out with a song named “Eight Days A Week”:


I caught Ethan singing along to “All My Loving”…..but to be fair he first heard it on one of his “Alvin and The Chipmunks” albums:


The guy on stage told some great stories.
He mentioned that his old band put out an album titled “Sgt Pepper’s” and two days later he went to a concert in London and this guy named Jimi Hendrix started his show with the title song from the album.
H said that guitars in those days had “whammy bars” that when played as hard as Jimi did – often put the guitar out of tune.  After that 1st song Jimi asked from the stage….”Eric…..Eric…..are you out there?  My guitar’s out of tune…..want to help me tune it?”  The guy Eric was in the audience but was too shy to be acknowledged like that so he just ducked his head. Some guy named Clapton.  Must be a guitar tech.
The reason the guy at Fenway brought all this up is because he’d just strapped on an old guitar with a “whammy bar” on it and he mentioned that this was the actual guitar that he recorded the guitar line that started out the next song….and proceeded to play a song called “Paperback Writer” with a killer intro guitar line:


Later on he mentioned a song that he wrote about racism in America back in the 60’s – sadly a very appropriate song to play again these days:
After it was over he asked the audience if anyone had ever tried to learn “Blackbird” on guitar?
We all laughed and cheered…..if you’re a guitar player you’ll know why…..every person in the audience that ever played guitar had..


He played a couple different pianos – this colorful one for songs named “Maybe I’m Amazed” and “Lady Madonna”:


We saw some cool fireworks that had something to do with James Bond:


Don’t quite know how he did it but he again got all those people to be quiet (well – quite a few sang along) for a song he sang on an acoustic guitar.  You woulda thought that just playing an acoustic guitar and singing by yourself in a baseball park – it would be sort of tough to be heard….but he pulled it off.  Some song called “Yesterday”….amazing that so many people knew the words…..I guess they’d heard it before:


Then came some “Helter Skelter”:


And then it was “The End”:


Turns out he played 38 songs:
Set List 07-09-2013


But I kept thinking I’d seen him somewhere before.
Sure enough seeing the Citgo sign after the show brought it all back – I realized that I’d seen him 47 years before in the Boston area back when the Citgo sign had just changed names.
That time he only played with three other guys instead of four.


It was just as crowded:
Suffolk Downs 1


But I remember the audience wasn’t as quiet as they were at Fenway….something was upsetting the girls:
Suffolk Downs 2


But there he was – the guy on the left with the funny shaped bass guitar:
Beatles August 18th, 1966


He didn’t play as many songs that night – but he did play three of the same ones:
Set List 08-18-1966
Wonder what he’s been doing for the last 47 years?


PS  If you want more free easily downloadable songs – we’ve got two places to go:
The Mishara Music free song page:


And our free song samplers – four samplers – # 5 coming soon – with a total of 39 free songs:
4 Amazon Samplers
Enjoy and share!
PPS Who was that guy?
And the other band he played with?
Beatles Poster August 18th, 1966Marc Ratner

Broken! Lawn 2 – Marc 0 / Unconventional music biz / Summer life in Maine with a 7 year old – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings All,
Summer is official.
Last Friday was the longest day of the year.
A great day to sit a bench by the harbor and enjoy the day:
Harbor Bench June 2013


Speaking of the longest day of the year….did you ever wonder how Becky and Nathan Bliss – the husband & wife duo also know as “Barnaby Bright” got that name?
It’s from an old English / Scottish proverb:
Barnaby Bright, Barnaby Bright, The Longest Day, The Shortest Night”
Here’s my FB post about it last week:
BB FB BB the longest day, the shortest night
And as I mention above – that’s why the latest album is called “The Longest Day”:
The Longest Day Cover jpg 09-14-2012
Here’s the link to the live version of “Castle Rock” that I posted on Facebook.  It was performed live at 9am during an interview with Anne Williams at WNRN in Charlottesville.
I can hardly talk at 9am….and this was done after starting a tour halfway across the country and working their way to Charlottesville late the night before.
Here’s a taste of what’s coming on the next album…..any bets on it being called “The Shortest Night”?
A song titled “Just The Same” – brand new and I can’t get enough of it.
It’s a love song for couples…one of the best ever.
I did a Facebook post about it a couple days ago and here’s the way a friend shared it:
BB FB share
They haven’t recorded it in the studio yet and the best version to listen to is also from the WNRN live performance.
Here are the lyrics:
Barnaby Bright Just The Same - no photo
The best song you will hear today – a great way to celebrate – literally and figuratively “Barnaby Bright”


Speaking of sitting on a bench by the harbor….the last time I wrote….I was stumbling around on a badly sprained ankle.
Which I got while mowing the grass.
Doesn’t make for a great story.
My long time friends know that I have done many adventurous things in my life.
I’ve hiked around Mt Blanc in Europe.
I’ve done 2 week river rafting and kayak trips in Alaska.
I’ve done serious mountaineering peak climbs (14,000 ft+) in the High Sierra’s in California.
I spent 20 years rescuing people as a part of a professional mountain search and rescue team.
(Want to know more about how many people donate their time doing that?  Check out – the website for the Mountain Rescue Association).
And now the hardest of all – I’m the father of a 7 year son!
But the lawn got me!
I slipped mowing a hillside.
Oh did it get me.
After limping around for a week on the bad ankle which wasn’t getting better as my doc and I thought it would…..he sent me for an xray.  (He didn’t previously because there were no signs that it was broken).
Now we know why I wasn’t getting better.
It wasn’t a sprain.
Break # 1
Xray 1
Break # 2:
Xray 2
Can’t wait to travel again…..gonna have fun with the TSA.
After surgery Monday I now have what looks to me like at one big plate and 13 pins and screws in my ankle:
Xray 3
Now I’m wondering if you had a very strong magnet…..and put it by the floor and pulled it hard….
….would you knock me off my feet?
So much to have fun and explore with.
These are my three best friends right now…..(the first 48 hours after the surgery I had to spend in bed with my foot propped up).
My pal Advil:
Books, books, books… these four the first two days – bless our local library:
And of course my buddies that I wouldn’t go anywhere without…..well can’t actually…..for most of the summer:
But that hasn’t slowed the family down at all.
We were supposed to have a Father’s Day camping trip – had the campsite reserved and all the gear ready…..but it turned into a picnic instead.
But what a great picnic.
Kim made the food at home and we spent the afternoon at the campsite.
Yum…..Arctic Char – my favorite fish (a milder version of salmon), asparagus and watermelon:
A great afternoon:
Father's Day picnic 06-16-2013
School ended a week ago.
The parents got to see a great concert- nothing like the last song – for the last day of school – “Hit The Road Jack”:
And boys will be boys on the last afternoon on the playground:
Summer day camp is on now.
This week was “Beach Week”.
Every day the camp their campers and hits a different beach….some fresh water….some ocean.
Does this kid look happy to be at camp or what?
Summer Camp 2nd day 06-18-2013
After the fourth day of camp – when Kim went to pick him up……Ethan turned his cap around backwards and said to her – “I’m more of a dude than a kid”:
I'm more of a dude than a kid
He’s seven.
I’m definitely going to need the guidance of friends when we hit those teen years.


So I mentioned “Unconventional Music Biz” in the headline.
Developing artists in the 21st Century is really about taking every avenue – every fork in the road and not leaving a single path unturned.
Here’s a bunch of what we do to develop artists at Mishara Music.
Our goal – simply stated – is to “Build The Audience”.
Here’s a number of ways that we do it.


Chris Ross is doing a “Stageit” concert on Sunday June 30th.
It’s an online concert “venue”….much like a “Kickstarter” concert.
People donate “tips”.
I’ve seen some real successes with it and with Chris building such a big following with his album at radio these past few months – especially with the song “Mostly Sober”…..(again – another radio station comment this week on FB – this time mentioning WMVY) there’s a very large audience that would love to see him live that he can’t possibly get to in any immediate terms – but he can with Stageit.
Here’s the WMVY mention:
Chris Ross FB WMVY 15000
Here’s the “Mostly Sober” video link he mentions:
Here are the lyrics to “Mostly Sober” – a song that seems to strike a chord with so many people:
Mostly Sober lyrics
And here’s the Chris Ross Stageit show mention on his Facebook page:
Chris Ross FB Stageit
Here’s the actual Stageit link to the show – please share. The show is Sunday June 30th at 9pm Eastern.


Clarensau continues to get great response on Noisetrade another artist development website.  This one gives away free songs / albums for tips and email addresses:
Clarensau Noisetrade
Here’s the link:
It works – I keep seeing their Twitter feed grow:
Clarensau Twitter 06-18-2013


Our newest artist Caitlin Canty has her new album releasing on Mishara Music next Tuesday June 25th. (It’s shipping a bit late to radio….it’s an ankle thing):
lizard lounge_1024
Caitlin Canty Golden Hour
It’s called “Golden Hour” and we’ve posted a YouTube listening channel for the album:
We’ve started right off giving a song away!
Let’s build the audience.
“Everyday” is about heartbreak.
Caitlin Canty Every Day - no photo
Here’s where you can go to get it for free – no email or registration of any kind required to download:
Caitlin Free Song page


And of course there’s nothing like our free song samplers – we’re closing in on a million free song downloads – they do wonders to “Build The Audience”:
4 Amazon Samplers
But that doesn’t mean that the old ways don’t work.
Remember – do everything – old and new.
Sometimes the stars all line up for a great Mishara Music hometown concert.  But even then we do it a bit differently – after the concert a free ice cream tasting by a local Maine creamery that makes the best ice cream I’ve ever had:
Twitter size concert
There’s nothing like a live performance.
Except perhaps a live performance on radio.
“Build The Audience”.
Here’s the third song that Barnaby Bright did at WNRN a few weeks ago – “Highway 9”:


In the meantime while I spend lots of time with my foot up – doctors orders….my wife is taking very good care of me.
She drove us to a new lobster shack in an off the wall fishing harbor last Saturday – which was actually National Lobster Day (and note – all of these cool photo collages – are hers!)
Lobster Day 06-15-2013
She made me some great homemade Maple ice cream on Father’s Day:
Maple Ice Cream - Father's Day 06-16-2013
But of course with all the great things she does……
She just couldn’t resist taking a couple photos of the patient:
Patient 06-17-2013
She especially loved the little blue hat that I had to wear in surgery!
And she just had to post the photos on Facebook!
And you know all the wives stick together on these things:
Hospital pic FB reply
The moral of this story?
You take the good with the bad.
So what if you break your ankle in two places…..
…..when you live in Maine you get to drown your sorrows in lobster rolls!
Have a great week.

Ouch / Classic Rock and Roll Stories / Free Songs are the best / Summer in Maine with a 7 year old – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings All,
You’re wondering I bet.
Well, let me clarify that.
Of all the various people that get this post as an email or a facebook,  twitter or wordpress notification  – disclaimer in a moment – the 7 people that read it regularly have probably been wondering why they haven’t received a post in a while.
Disclaimer – this is the Marc Ratner “Life in Maine with a 7 year old with some Mishara Music artist & music news thrown in for good measure” email / blog post that comes out every couple of weeks or so.  It used to be oriented privately towards AAA format radio programmers who mostly ignored it so now I send it out to anyone that hasn’t progressed enough in their email communications to have a spam filter.  If you’re on and want off the email address list – just hit reply and I’ll take you off my list but consider this.  Prism would consider this email so ridiculous that the NSA would totally ignore anyone that consents to receive it….thereby protecting the rest of your communication.  Consider this then very advanced spy communication protection.
If you read this by finding it via Twitter, Facebook, randomly on the internet or because you’re being punished by someone and you’d like to receive it as an email – just let me know at and I’ll add you to the list.
Signing up at my Twitter account at the bottom is the other best way to get notified of when I post something new.
Don’t worry about not reading it.
I send it to my wife and she doesn’t read it either.
So now that I’ve cleared that up.
Why is this post so late in coming.
Because I can’t cut the grass.
Ahhh…let me back up a moment.
For 20+ years in Los Angeles I volunteered as a mountain search and rescue team member.
We even got transported in helicopters from time to time and wouldn’t you know I managed to do this many times with nary a scratch:
But now living in Maine…..I’ve found I can’t even cut the grass without doing damage:
Gotta use the push mower on some rather steep hillsides where the big mower just can’t go and…..whoops…..slipped…..
…..You don’t want to know how bad it was at the moment…..just know that this photo was taken 48 hours later…..when the ankle / foot sprain was looking much better:
So what did I do…..when I got back from the doc?
Immediately got on the riding mower and did that part of the lawn that can be done with the sit mower (my wife took the photo to post on Facebook to show all her friends how silly her husband is):
Mowing with ankle 06-02-3013
A friend of the family had to come over to finish the hand mower part – (thanks Shawn!)
I haven’t moved much since.
So let’s catch up a bit.
A number of weeks ago I was at the Non-Commercial Radio / Record meeting in Philadelphia.
Lots of great artists – lots of great meetings….and as always when I go to Philly – one amazing moment of food.
Because of my schedule I didn’t get to see all the artists but loved many of the ones I did see.
It was a hoot to see Tom Jones (yes that Tom Jones) perform:
Great band – great classic songs from his new album and a terrific story.  Tom told the story about how a songwriter from the old days in the 60’s offered him a song that he’d written for Tom to record.  Tom said thank you he’d love to do it – but then the record company released a single and had to get the album out right away – so he never had a chance to record the song.
Recently he ran into that songwriter again and asked him if he’d write him a song for his new album.  The songwriter replied – “I wrote you a song before and you never recorded it”  Tom laughed and admitted it.
The great part of the story of course – is who the songwriter was….and what was the song he offered Tom…..before the songwriter’s own band recorded?
The songwriter?
Wait for it…..
Who you thinking?
Would you have passed on recording the song?
If…..Paul McCartney…..
Offered you…..
Wait for it…..
“The Long And Winding Road”
The other great classic rock and roll story of the meeting was offered up by musician / producer (Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones etc) Don Was during his interview with convention host Dan Reed.  It was about the time he met with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to discuss whether or not he might be a good choice as an outside producer for the Stones next album – they hadn’t used an outside producer in quite a while – and Mick was tentatively for it while Keith was against it.  So they sat down on a couch in the studio with Don in the middle and Keith and Mick on either side of him….and he described how Keith and Mick – both starting talking about it – Mick for / Keith against – at the same time.  Neither would give in to the other to let him talk by himself.  This went on for a while with them both talking constantly. Don trying desperately to pay attention to both – until finally there was a lull in the conversation and Keith said:
“Are you sure you want to be the meat in this sandwich?”
He did – at last count he’s worked on 5 or 6 Stones albums:
My personal favorite act that I saw at the meetings was Josh Ritter – no surprise there – because of my love for singer-songwriters…..just a great performance and his guitar interplay with his guitarist was just fantastic:
Which of course leads me to – what is happening with a few of the Mishara Music singer -songwriters?
This wonderful artist:
lizard lounge_1024
Is Caitlin Canty.  Her new album “Golden Hour” will release on Mishara Music on June 25th and will ship to radio about the same time.
Watch for it:
Caitlin Canty Golden Hour
If you’d like a preview – head over to:
Where we’ve set up a YouTube Listening Channel for the entire album
It’s a gem.
And shhhhhhh……if you’d like a free track from the album…..a gorgeous heartbreaking song titled “Every Day”… might click on this link:
(You don’t even have to give an email or register for anything to get the song and you can pass it along to anyone you want….as many times as you want.)
Barnaby Bright is on a mini tour break and I’m still dumbfounded by their live performance on the air at WNRN in Charlottesville with Anne Williams a few weeks ago.
Remember this was at 9am in the morning.
I can’t even talk at that time of the morning……sing?
But then again Becky Bliss has one of the finest voices I’ve ever heard at any time of the day or night.
It runs in the family – her brother – a professional opera singer – was just hired by the New York Metropolitan Opera….it doesn’t get any better than that!
Here are the three songs recorded at 9am in the morning – kudos to Anne Williams and WNRN for the stunning recording quality:
First up is a new song “Just The Same” – that’s a great honest couple’s love song….and people at shows are going nuts at the merch table because they can’t buy it yet – this is the only recording:
Here are the two songs that have been getting all the AAA radio play from “The Longest Day” album.
The Longest Day Cover jpg 09-14-2012
“Castle Rock”:
“Highway 9”
Clarensau continues to get great tweets on Twitter – and lately a bunch have been about the free sampler we’ve released on Noisetrade:
Songs from the latest two albums:
Clarensau double album photo
Clarensau Twitter 06-11-2013
Here’s the review that was being tweeted about:
Clarensau Noisetrade review
Here’s the Noisetrade link – 7 free songs – go for it:
Got a great event coming at the end of the month with Chris Ross – details next post.
But in the meantime – no one is better at posting on Facebook than Chris.
You never know what he’s going to post about….and his take on it.
Chris Ross FB Meditating
The heat:
Chris Ross FB Hot
Previous employment:
Chris Ross FB Snakes
But as good as he is at writing on Facebook – there’s no one better at lyrics.
He’s a poet with a guitar and a great voice.
You want a gritty story song – nothing beats “Jack and Jill” – here’s a free song link:
…..and still to this day Chris keeps getting posts to his YouTube and Facebook accounts from fans who heard his classic “Mostly Sober” on a radio station somewhere across the country…’s the two latest fan emails he just got this week:
Chris Ross Radio mentions June 2013
“Mostly Sober” is on the “Halfway To Wonderland” album:
 Chris Ross Halfway To Wonderland
Here’s a YouTube Listening Channel link where you can hear the entire album:
As I sit here – leg up – iced with my personal best friend at the moment always nearby:
I marvel at the change in seasons.
Spring is basically done.
Summer is here.
T-Ball is already over with all the kids getting their medals and ice cream on the last evening:
They’re having special events these last few weeks of 1st grade – Ethan’s team won the last event at Field Day – I have no idea what you call it – it just involved a lot of running and picking up items and filling up the bucket with them:
Field Day
They’re also having special dress up days at school – this was favorite team day – that’s my guy:
Favorite Team Day 06-06-2013
The schooners in Camden Harbor are on the move:
Flowers are blooming:
Iris 06-06-2013
And the Camden Farmer’s Market is now open on Saturday mornings….yum:
Speaking of “yum” I did mention a “food” item in Philadelphia up near the beginning of this missive.
No matter where you go – no matter what state you happen to visit……some restaurant somewhere will have a “cheesesteak” on the menu.
If I’m hungry and there’s nothing else appealing (or healthy) on the menu….I’ll go for it.
It’s always a disappointment.
But once a year at the Non-Comm meetings in Philadelphia I find a moment to sneak away…..with a buddy….usually Chris Wienk the PD at WEXT (and maybe with another special friend as well) and we head to Jim’s Steaks:
Decisions, decisions:
Here it comes:
It’s so very rare that anything that you have anticipated and waited a year for – will meet expectations….in this case – it was worth waiting for:
I’m so hungry right now as I type this…..I’m almost willing to walk from Maine to Philadelphia on my sprained foot to get another Jim’s cheesesteak.
They’re that good.
But save yourself some trouble.
Hire someone to cut the grass!
PS  Notice how many free songs we offered above?
Here’s a whole lot more….on our Mishara Music Amazon Free song samplers…..4 released to date….# 5 coming soon.
Easy to download at – just click on the link for a whole bunch of free songs from Peter Bradley Adams, Glen Phillips, Barnaby Bright, Chris Ross, Clarensau, Connor Garvey etc.
4 Amazon Samplers
Why so many free songs?
It’s simple……give someone a free song they love and they’ll talk about it.
It’s not a secret formula.
It’s not a difficult concept.
It’s simply that “word of mouth” is the most powerful music tool there is.
If you love one of our songs – tell someone and feel free to share the song with them.

Gluten Free New Orleans / More Jazzfest / A Lego Mother’s Day / Life in Maine with a 7 Year Old – the Marcrescue Blog

Greetings All,
Last I wrote we had just come back from a couple of the rainiest days that Jazzfest in New Orleans had ever had – with the schedule still going on and the days not being canceled.
As wet as it was it was a wonderful trip to one of our favorite cities and besides our fun days at Jazzfest we had some great adventures in the city.
Because we have some severe food allergies in the family (gluten, dairy & eggs) Kim does some amazing research when we travel to find great places to eat…..and breakfast is particularly difficult.
She found a gem this trip in the French Market (just past Cafe Du Monde).
Ohmygoodness!!!  If you need gluten free, vegan, whatever – not only can they make it – it tastes great – and anyone with food allergies knows – just because someone says their food is gluten free – doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste like sawdust.
The best restaurant for those kinds of dietary needs we’ve ever come across.
In the course of our trip we had blueberry pancakes, crab cakes, gumbo, power shakes and much more that covered all of our allergies.
Roland works the counter (his sister is the chef and inventor of the amazing recipes):
We loved the food so much we went every day we were there – a perfect start to every morning.
The only problem…..Roland and Ethan bonded and this is the best smile Ethan has ever done for a photo…..we can’t ever get him to smile like that at any other time posing for photos.  Drives his mom crazy.   So I guess we’re going to have to ask Roland to travel with us on vacation from now on so we can get great Ethan photos all the time:
Our first day in the city we wandered through the French Quarter – always a joy and a place of discovery…for instance this mysterious reveler:
Great dancing breaks out on a moment’s notice wherever music is played on the street:
Our favorite sweet treat for the last few trips to New Orleans in the French Quarter is Meltdown – a frozen treat shop that makes treats that also fit our diet restrictions.  You can get all kinds of frozen bars including dairy free & vegan that just rock:
My favorite is the Salted Caramel – Kim’s the Lavender Coconut:
Ethan’s is Watermelon:
The main shop was just preparing to move when we were there (evil landlord upped the rent) so the best way to keep track of their new location (and even better news – they may very soon have rolling carts in the French Quarter serving their bars!) is on their website: and on Facebook:
Which reminds me that one of the great reasons to visit New Orleans……which hasn’t escaped the city promoters… the food – all the marvelous, wonderful, unique food.  They know it and promote it.  This was in the magazine in our hotel room and to my mind is a most perfect descriptive phrase:
3 Times A Day
The other major stop we made in New Orleans was to their aquarium (last trip we hit the zoo) and it was a great afternoon:
The “coral reef” exhibit was wonderful:
Nothing like a sleeping white alligator to make your day:
“Parakeet Point” was a bit too much like Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”:
Before we knew it we were back home for the beginning of T-Ball season:
T-Ball 2013
And of course back to work.
Barnaby Bright is back from Europe and on tour again.
Even if I didn’t have their schedule I’d know where they are.
All I have to do is check Twitter.
Every show every day shows up.
The tweets just keep getting better and better:
BB Twitter Atlanta Nashville Just The Same
The “Love Song” one fan asked about is “Just The Same”
As I mentioned in my last letter – it hasn’t been recorded yet…..which is driving fans crazy at the merch table when they ask about it – because they can’t buy it.
But they did do it on television in Kansas City a few weeks ago – here’s that version (keep reading on for another astonishing live recording of the song):
Barnaby Bright also got a thank you email the other day.
One of the most heartfelt I’ve ever read.
The big surprise was who it was from.
The marketing director at WNKU in Cincinnati.
Radio folks have artists visiting all the time.
In the station / on the air / and at station events.
It’s not a big deal – it’s fun, it’s music but it’s work.
At Mishara Music we love partnering with music radio because when it works there’s nothing better.
Last week WNKU tried something different that they’d never done before.
They held a fundraising event at a local restaurant with an artist performing for the first time.
Lots of set up / lots of questions – how to do this, do that…
I’m always nervous about artist events.
Especially when I can’t be there….believe me I’ve had some disasters happen.
Late that night after the event I got this email from Becky from Barnaby Bright:
BB - WNKU BB thank you
Thank goodness.
Then the next day – I was cc’d on this thank you to Barnaby Bright:
BB - WNKU thank you 2
I can count on the “thumb” of one hand – how many thank you letters like that I’ve seen from someone in Aaron’s position.
So I guess I’m putting across two messages here.
1.  They’re not many stations – not many Marketing Directors like WNKU and Aaron Sharpe.
2.  When you read the above twitter comments / the thank you letter from Aaron and then watch the video for “Just The Same” by Barnaby Bright – you may start to understand how special Becky and Nathan are.
But there’s more radio stories about Barnaby Bright – that wasn’t the only radio stop on this leg of the tour.
After the Cincinnati show they drove halfway across the country to Charlottesville Virginia and got up early to do an interview with Anne Williams at WNRN – the non-commercial music station that covers a wide swath of the area.
How do you sound at 9am in the morning?
Artists hate morning interviews.
Radio stations love them because morning shows are often their most listened to shows of the day.
Anne Williams has a great morning show and has interviewed hundreds of artists.  She always asks a few important questions but lets the artists shine in performance.
I’ve heard lots of radio interviews over the years and I was blown away listening to this one.
Barnaby Bright played three songs at 9am in the morning….”Highway 9″ & “Castle Rock” from “The Longest Day” album and the above mentioned new song – “Just The Same”.
It’s simply the best live recording I’ve ever heard done at a radio station……anytime of the day.
But at 9am in the morning?
C’mon….who are these people that can sing and play like this at that time of the day?
When you listen – keep in mind – there’s only two of them – playing and singing live – no tapes or extra musicians.  “Highway 9” is great and then they just hit it so perfectly on “Castle Rock” and “Just The Same” that I’m amazed….again….at 9am in the morning….how well do you sing in the morning….(outside of the shower that is)?
Here’s the podcast link……video coming soon.
BB visit WNRN
(You can hear all of Barnaby Bright’s “The Longest Day” album on our YouTube Listening Channel @
The Longest Day Cover jpg 09-14-2012
Have you ever noticed that I don’t ever put sales links in these blog posts?
Instead there are lots of links that give away a whole bunch of our songs.
You can get quite a selection of free songs by Barnaby Bright (along with songs by Peter Bradley Adams, Glen Phillips, Chris Ross, Clarensau and a number of other artists) on our 4 Amazon Mishara Music Free Song Samplers @

4 Amazon Samplers
All for free.
As are the free songs on the Mishara Music website @
The best part about our website free songs – you can download anywhere in the world and there’s no email or registration of any kind required……ever.
Speaking of Chris Ross
Still the best Facebook posts of anyone:
Chris Ross FB Best Day
Chris Ross FB Drive In
Chris Ross FB Misspellings
Chris Ross FB Christmas Future
But he’s also a singer songwriter of exceptional ability.
And a most gracious person – who when I remember to make him aware of radio airplay – is always thankful – here’s two recent examples:
Chris Ross FB MPBN
Chris Ross FB WJCU
Chris does something unique among the artists I know.  Within days of writing a “keeper” song he records an acoustic version and posts it on YouTube.
Here’s one of my all time favorites – “Your America” – a lyrical masterpiece:
If you watch and listen you’ll understand why the first comment underneath the video reads this way:

“Mighty fine music, Chris. Mighty fine. I’m off to iTunes, brother”
(You can hear all of Chris’ album “Halfway To Wonderland” on our YouTube Listening Channel @
Chris Ross Halfway To Wonderland
Don’t forget there are free songs by Chris on our free music links as well.
Then there’s Clarensau.
Tyler from the band is in agreement with me about how best to promote themselves and their music (as we do with all our artists on Mishara):
Give the music away!
Now we’ve taken what we call “The Commitment Songs” from the two Clarensau albums “Until Our Lungs Give” and “This One’s For You”:
Clarensau double album photo
And put a free download album up on Noisetrade:
Clarensau Noisetrade
Clarensau Twitter Noisetrade
The reason we chose these songs is because the band gets so much response and so many thank you’s from people that appreciate their lyrics and the back and forth vocals from Tyler and Sally.
They write Clarensau about how the songs have meaning in their own lives.
Isn’t that what music is all about?
Please share the link – it’s all for free @
(Hear both Clarensau albums on their YouTube Listening Channels @ &
You can also hear our next release on Mishara Music – “Golden Hour” by Caitlin Canty (free songs coming soon on our Amazon Free song sampler # 5) @
Caitlin Canty Golden Hour
You might think it’s strange that as a company we believe in giving away so many songs.
Our philosophy is rather unique.
“Build The Audience”.
We never look short term at cd sales, song downloads or ticket sales.
We’re passionate about our music and want to share it.
If we build the audience – our finances will work themselves out…..hopefully.
I suspect you’ll never see Mishara Music on Wall St….as our motivation is music instead of money.
Crazy huh?!
So if you hear some music you like from one of our artists… on the free song links and download away.
Share the songs and our passion for the music and the artists.
The last time I’d checked our Amazon free song samplers had produced over 800,000 free song downloads.
Can’t wait to get to a million.
Here are our free song links again:
So after New Orleans we hit Mother’s Day the following weekend.
And as we all know – being a mother is all about family and for this Mother’s Day we had a big surprise for Ethan…..but I told him we were taking his mom to a special convention in a hotel in Manchester New Hampshire – a 3 hour drive – that was all about Mother’s Day.
That it was a surprise for her.
He was totally into it.
Excited about surprising his mom for Mother’s Day.
The whole trip Kim kept asking “Where are we going, what’s the surprise?”
Ethan and I kept telling her – “Can’t tell you – have to wait and see”.
Ahhhhh but it wasn’t a surprise for Kim… was a surprise for Ethan.
Once we hit the hotel convention center – we said – “Oh Ethan, look….it’s not a surprise for mom….it’s a surprise for you!”
“Brickfair” – a convention of dealers and exhibitors for LEGOS – who knew they had such a thing?
But they sure did:
If you’re 7 years old… is all about Legos.
This was the best surprise I’ve ever been a part of.
Ethan raced from table to table looking at characters, displays and the play Lego tables:
Lego Racing
In the end Ethan ended up with three Star Wars characters he’s wanted for quite a while – including his very favorite – Yoda:
Couldn’t ask for a more fun Mother’s Day:
I was going to write about my trip to Philadelphia to the Non-Commercial music radio meeting in this letter… much great stuff happened there…..but it’ll have to wait until the next post as this post is already about the length of “War And Peace”…..but I’ll leave you with two teasers about it.
1.  An interview that includes a story told by someone who ended up sitting between Keith Richards and Mick Jagger and was asked by Keith “Do you really want to be a part of this meat sandwich?”
2.  Speaking of meat sandwiches…..because of our family food allergies I rarely eat an item like this but once a year when I hit this annual convention in Philly – I have what I consider to be my favorite sandwich ever (disclaimer – my favorite sandwich that doesn’t contain lobster that is).  A classic Philly cheesesteak – and as everyone does – I have my special place that I consider to be the best:
More about the Philly trip next time.
In the meantime the schooners in Camden Harbor are getting ready for a busy summer season:
It’s a time of discovery by the pond near the house – sometimes you even get to sneak out of the house in your pj’s if it’s a lovely lazy weekend day:
We also can’t help but relive our trip to New Orleans.
They definitely do things a bit differently there:
The late night hotel treats are wonderful:
Strawberry Ice
Sadly as Ethan gets older this was probably the last trip where we could pick him up and carry him when he was tired and the crowd was overwhelming:
The iron work everywhere in the French Quarter is so beautiful:
As is the city itself – and note here – this photo and most of the great artistic one’s were / are taken by my wonderful wife Kim who graciously allows me to use them without me ever giving her as much credit as she’s due:
But she didn’t take this one……which was taken nine years ago this week…..on the occasion of our marriage…..imagine putting up with someone like me who does all the stuff described in these letters for nine years – she loves her son and loves her husband and we wholeheartedly love her back:
We’re already wondering if we should / could find a way to head back to Jazzfest next year.
Maybe you can join us for a wonderful meal of fresh boiled seafood – crabs, shrimp and my favorite crawfish:
See you then?
Jazzfest 2014
PS  I’m always amazed by what they build with Legos…..and this Memorial Day weekend….this construction can help us spend a moment thinking about how many brave people’s lives were changed by just this one event – not to mention all the times in human history where unselfish and honorable men and women sacrificed themselves for the betterment of all humankind:
PPS Lastly…..another Lego surprise…..sooner or later it appears everyone will be “Legoized”.
These Lego figures were a present for Ethan from our family friends Anne (private message to Anne – “You’re It”) and Mel.
I immediately kidnapped them and they’re on a special place on my desk…..I was already passionate about music before they changed my life – but without them – I might never have taken the path in life I did – which brought me to Jazzfest, Mishara Music, our family life in Maine and most of all Ethan and Kim.  Thanks guys:

Marc Ratner

Mishara Music