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Archive for July, 2014

Just Another Country Road Home

July 8th, 2014 11 comments

So today, Myron Hart and I drove up to Canton to Tuscarawas Street to Pat ‘Manny’ Cahill’s amp shop and the Doctor was in. My early 50’s Ampeg B-15 needed some TLC as did my 1963 Ampeg Reverborocket. Also in the lineup for treatment were my 1962 Fender Super (2×10, brown Tolex) and the Premier Amp that David Bromberg gave me on our last trip to Wilmington.

We blasted back down I-77, Myron picked up his Jeep at the Fur Peace Ranch and headed into town to meet the girls for dinner. After dinner, driving home looked like this:

Country roads indeed...

Country roads indeed...

A fitting end to a fine day…

My pot of gold is just up ahead!

My pot of gold is just up ahead!

I’m always looking for the end of the rainbow. Could this be the day?

Well… there’s always tomorrow!

Categories: Diary, Friends, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

BlaZStock On A Saturday Afternoon!

July 7th, 2014 12 comments
Patty Mitchell's presence noticed at BlaZStock

Patty MItchell's presence noticed at BlaZStock

So on Saturday the 5th of July, Vanessa and I were invited by our friends Al and Adrone to join their friends and family for a wonderful festival at their farm in the hills of Athens County here in Southeast Ohio. If this were in town, I guess it would be a block party… here it was a Hills & Hollers Fest. There were food carts… balloons by Patty… music… and friends galore.

When we pulled up, our friend Vic Lora was playing a solo set of Jorma & Hot Tuna originals and doing a beautiful job. He was playing songs I couldn’t have remembered offhand if my life depended on it. I would have had to go back to the records and learn them like a kid. Thanks Vic for doing me the honor of keeping my music alive. You sounded great!

Purification

Purification

The next band that came on was Shouts + Whispers.

S & W sets up their stage

S & W sets up their stage

Shouts & Whispers played a fabulous set and had everyone on the scenes rockin’ and rollin,’ stompin’ and strollin!’

Al Thunderbear

Al Thunderbear

This included our gracious host, Al B. himself.

Shouts And Whispers were joined on stage by Emily Singer and Stacia Carr. If the crowd weren’t already on its feet, these ladies would certainly have brought them to their feet. Great set guys and gals!

Tough act to follow… but somebody’s got to do it, and that somebody was me. I figured this wasn’t a moment for a journey into the canyons of my mind so I hit the folks with my rendition of the great Blind Arthur Blake song, That’ll Never Happen No More. Ian Buchanan taught me that song in Yellow Springs, Ohio over half a century ago and changed my life forever. Thanks for that one brother… may you rest in peace!

The John Hurlbut hit the stage and I joined him for Kansas City Southern and a rousing singalong of the great Woody Guthrie tune, This Land Is Your Land.

The boys from the Fur Peace Ranch

The boys from the Fur Peace Ranch

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Then John’s buds The Spins, from Dayton, Ohio (The Gem City) took the stage with him and I joined them for a rendition of All Along The Watchtower.

The Watchower always rocks

The Watchower always rocks

(BTW… I bought my old (well, it wasn’t old then) Gibson J-50 in Dayton at Pops Music store. I paid a hundred bucks for it and worth every penny. Now it lives in our Psylodelic Museum at the Fur Peace Ranch.)

Letting my freak flag fly... what there is of it...

Letting my freak flag fly... what there is of it...

I played my new Gibson Peace Les Paul through my 1967 Deluxe… which is not vintage. It’s just old. I bought it new. I also used (in the spirit of Jimi) my Analog Man Sunface stomper. (geeky gear comment)

After Watchtower, we had to get beck to my sis-in-laws place to pick up our daughter and grab some smors.

Anyhoo… what a day! What an evening! Thanks to Al an Adrone and everyone else who was there! Good times!

Categories: Set Lists Tags:

A Family 4th, 2014

July 5th, 2014 9 comments
Freedom ride...

Freedom ride...

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

The Fourth started with Israel Love and myself climbing on the old Harley and heading out for a morning Freedom Ride. Now going for a motorcycle ride on a beautiful summer morning may not seem like a big deal in the global scheme of things… but there are many places in this world today where a little journey like this might end with us never coming home. Here we suited up, put on our helmets and rode for a couple of hours before coming home for a snack and a dog walk. Very simple… but very profound. I take this for granted most of the time, but as we Americans celebrate our Independence Day… I give thanks for this simple pleasure… and more!

My Mother flew Old Glory every day at her house in North Shore Tahoe. When she moved down to Mill Valley in the late 80’s, the flag frequently flew at the house she shared with my Dad in Scott’s Valley. After my parents passed in ’97 and ’98, many of their possessions came to live in boxes in the shop behind our house here at Hillside Farm. While doing some cleaning a couple of weeks ago, I found the old flag neatly folded, resting a box with ancient family photographs. Yesterday we brought her out and, unprepared, couldn’t find a pole so we reverently hung her from one of the cross beams of our pergola.

Mom's Flag greets the dawn!

Mom's Flag greets the dawn!

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

We swam in the pool… had a delicious cook out and went to Middleport down on the Ohio River for the fireworks. There we were, family, in-laws, out-laws, nieces, nephews, wives and daughters… and a pickup truck. An all American evening… sitting by the river in a pharmacy parking lot high on a hill with the other local denizens.

The rocket's red glare...

The rocket's red glare...

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

This picture says it all for me… but one last thing.

The other day, I was driving Izze and her pal Lucy down to Hillside Farm from Athens and the girls were sitting together in the spacious back seat of my truck. These young ladies were gifts to us from women in China we shall never know… and now these young Americans began to sing together. They started with some show tunes from Annie, but then, all of a sudden they sang The Star Spangled Banner… perfectly… and followed it up with America The Beautiful… perfectly! Two daughters of the Middle Kingdom, more American than apple pie and mom celebrating the Fourth with a message from the heart!

It brought tears of pride to my eyes!

Happy Fourth Of July to my fellow Americans out there… we are blessed indeed… and if I had my way, no one in the world would go hungry tonight!

Two American Girls

Two American Girls

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Categories: Diary, Friends, Thoughts Tags: