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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Watson Twins

The other day, I turned on the TV and happened to catch a little extract of this song (above) on PBS. Almost instantly, I liked the sound of the band, the vocals, the lyrics. 5 minutes later, I was up from the couch and looking online for more info and to see if I could download the song on iTunes (my iPod is forever hungry for new music!). I was pleased to see that this band has recorded several albums already.

A little research informed me that Sun Studio (featured above) is the very same location where artists like young Elvis, Johnny Lee and many others recorded their songs in the 50's.

Perhaps you'll like the sound of the Watsons Twins as much as I did, so I thought I'd mention it.

Hope everything is going relatively well for all of you.

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Additional Resources:

Sun Studio's blog

Sun Studio on Wikipedia

The Watson's Twins'website here (click on the butterflies to access the information)

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fall is here!

Nothing unusual about that, but in San Francisco, when it rains ...

... the Wind is never too far behind!

In fact, according to the Chronicle, we even set a record today.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Blue Angels in San Francisco

Every year, around mid-October, the Blue Angels return to San Francisco to put on a couple of air shows for Fleetweek.

And like every year, as soon as people hear the planes, the huge, endless debate about whether or not the planes should be invited back resumes.

One the one hand, you have those who argue that they're loud, expensive, dangerous, and nothing more than a blatant military display.

On the other hand you have those who argue that the deafening sound the planes make is the sound of Freedom and if you don't like it, you're free to leave the country.

And then you have people like me, who choose to completely ignore the military propaganda that goes along with the show, simply because they enjoy watching the aerobatics way too much, and sometimes, you just have to focus on the positive, because if you don't, what is the point of getting up in the morning?

They seem to always come from the West (Sutro Tower on the left). As soon as I hear the planes, I run to the window with my camera. I was so excited that I completely forgot to set my camera to high resolution, so the pics aren't very good, but you get the idea :)

Some lucky people are already out on their balconies overseeing the entire Bay. Others quickly try to access the roof of the buildings they work at or live in, in hope of seeing this ...

or that

.. and off they go!

These photographs were taken during practice, on Thursday and Friday. They day after, the fog rolled in and they had to cancel the show. At the time of this posting, I don't know if the air show went forward today. Oh, well, hopefully there is always next year!

Click here to see better photographs of the Blue Angels in SF, and here is a little video

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

"For the past nine years, Warren Hellman [local investment banker] has been giving the Bay Area a wonderful present: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

With fantastic musicians like Emmy Lou Harris, Gillian Welch, Steve Earle, Hazel Dickens, and countless more, Warren has put on concerts enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people. And since he pays for the event out of his own pocket, there are no corporate logos plastered on the stages or high priced tickets to contend with.

The result is an amazing three days where, I swear, everyone is smiling and happy."
Frances Dinkelspiel, San Francisco Chronicle Complete article here

Yes, indeed.

A lot of people gathered up in the Golden Gate Park, in San Francisco, to attend Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, the free annual music festival featuring mostly - but not strictly - Bluegrass and Folk musicians.

Musicians such as Ricky Scazz and the Kentucky Thunders, Lyle Lovett, Emmilou Harris, and many, many others, showed up.

David Holt (left) and Doc Watson (right) (photo above), HSB 2009
Doc Watson (left) and his grandson (right) (photo above), HSB 2009
Doc Watson, (photo above) HSB 2009

And I showed up to listen to living legend Doc Watson, who has been flatpicking guitar since long before I was born. I discovered Doc Watson when I was growing up in France, and instantly fell in love with the guitar style, the voice, and the songs.

What can I say, it was a PRIVILEGE to see him in person after all these years (I can't believe he's still playing that way at age 86!) and a wonderful way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Here is a little video sample of last year's performance. And here is a little documentary (3.41) including Doc's interpretation of Walk On Boy

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Additional links and resources:

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Official Website, with artists line-up and FAQ here

More photos here

(Thank you for all your comments on my previous post. I will respond in the near future)

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