Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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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