Letters

Letters 12-29-2014

A Community Thanks In this day and time when just about everyone seems to think about just looking out for themselves, I wanted write a sincere testimonial to three businesses here in Traverse City.

Addiction Hard to Escape Regarding your Dann’s House story (12/15/14), thank you! Who amongst us does not know someone, or have a close friend or relative, with an addiction problem that spills onto those around, including the wider community? How many of us could be on the edge?

Democracy to the Highest Bidder Welcome to the new reality…democracy is now available to the highest bidder. Maybe someone could explain the difference between our Washington politicians and the mafia.

Praise for Stephen Tuttle To date, I have only communicated once concerning a Stephen Tuttle column, and that was to convey my strong disagreement with his position about the then-new Michigan right to work law.

Kudos to Wet House Good article on the ‘Wet House’ and recognition to Traverse City Police Captain Jeff O’Brien. It is encouraging to hear of the police being helpers rather than bullies.

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4Play

Ross Boissoneau - September 29th, 2005
Soulive – Break Out - Concord

Missing that spicy soul music? Into the jam band scene? Like your licks hot and heavy one minute, sweet and sassy the next? Soulive is your answer. One minute the band is channeling Sly Stone, the next Jimi Hendrix, then modern flamenco, and with contributions from Ivan Neville and Chaka Khan among others, there’s some superlative singing as well. But that’s just icing on the cake that is Soulive, a guitar/organ/drums trio that draws its inspiration almost equally from the rock, soul, jam, and jazz camps. They don’t just lock into a groove, they grab it and don’t let go, no matter how ferociously they rock around it. But Soulive offers precision as well, as on the title track, where the two-man horn section complements Eric Krasno’s guitars.

Richard Thompson – Front Parlour Ballads - Cooking Vinyl

Richard Thompson has been hailed as a guitar hero, the voice of folk, and a songwriter extraordinaire. He is, of course, all three. The opening “Let It Blow” is one of those instant singalongs, its lyrics witty and wry. The poignant “For Whose Sake” follows, and the rollicking “Miss Patsy” could come from Planxty or any of the Irish folk-rock groups. But coming as it does from Thompson, you should expect the unexpected, as when he sings, “So I got me a nose job, a shave and a haircut, to drive all them ladies berserk.” All the while he’s finger-picking a beautiful and decidedly difficult guitar line. This collection recorded mostly by himself in his home studio stands comfortably alongside the more than 30 albums he’s crafted with Fairport Convention, with his ex-wife Linda and a host of other collaborators.

Maria Muldaur – Sweet Lovin’ Ol’ Soul - Stony Plain

Midnight at the Oasis? More like quarter to three in some juke joint on the highway, where the line between hillbilly music and the blues is blurred to the point of being ignored. The onetime pop siren has been performing roots music the last several years, trading her vibrato-laden, high-pitched sound for one lower and more, well, lowdown. The honky-tonk piano, fiddle, mandolin, and banjo – and jug! – actually take Muldaur back to her musical roots when she performed with the Even Dozen Jug Band and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. Traditional bluesman Taj Mahal guests, and the two seem perfectly at home with each other and the material, much of it by Memphis Minnie. Still, it’s an acquired taste at best.


Praful – Pyramid In Your Backyard - Rendezvous/Therapy/N-Coded

In the ‘60s Praful’s music would have been labeled psychedelic. In the ‘70s it would have been somewhere in the progressive camp alongside the likes of Henry Cow or the Art Bears. Today it gets play on the smooth jazz stations. Go figure. But this heady concoction of sampled beats, washes of electronic sound, Praful’s snaking saxophone and occasional vocalizing can be mesmerizing one minute, and get you on the dance floor the next. Sometimes the lines coalesce into a regular beat, as on the almost bossa nova-ish “Acredite.” No matter that it’s not sung in English. “Eternity” and “Naked” both are in English, and the former is particularly engaging, the light feathery-soft voice of Sudha floating atop a bed of synthesizers and percussion.

 
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