Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


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4Play

Ross Boissoneau - March 2nd, 2006
Livingston Taylor – There You Are Again – Whistling Dog

James’s little brother has never been as prolific or as acclaimed as JT. That’s too bad, and those who haven’t been paying attention have missed some fine work, which continues on “There You Are Again.” The poignant “Best of Friends” kicks off the disc, a duet with his former sister-in-law, Carly Simon. The family connections continue with “There I’ll Be” with James and James’s (and Carly’s) daughter Kate, and throughout the album it sounds as if Livingston has invited over a bunch of friends to play. The music and mood are thoroughly relaxed, easily crafted, but that belies the quality of the songs. The same criticism of James has also been applied to Livingston, only more so: that the music is so relaxed and well-crafted that it is all just too casual. That’s just plain wrong. The arrangements here are enchanting, and the performances are as well. Find this disc and put it in your favorites pile.


Jesse Harris – Mineral – Secret Sun

Norah Jones’s guitarist and songwriter, Jesse Harris first came to public notice with “Come Away With Me,” Jones’s Grammy-winning debut. He has also worked with The Ferdinados, and his own solo albums are minimalist, folky and gently alluring. His voice has almost the same kind of relaxed breathiness as that of Jones, but he sings in tune more. And while this music can’t be categorized as jazz, really, is that of Jones? Chances are, those who have made Jones a superstar will be nearly as enthralled with Harris’s own music. There are a couple missteps on “Mineral,” such as “Corrina Corrina,” and the following “The Speed of Sound,” both of which are just a little too precious, though the latter’s vibes and kalimba by jazz keyboard great Larry Goldings are fine fun.


Michael Bublé – With Love – Hallmark

It’s all about the love on singer Michael Bublé’s new album, available exclusively at Hallmark stores through the end of February. With only two new songs, it’s hardly a new album, and its thematic unity gives it a sameness that doesn’t serve it well. That said, each cut individually is engaging and romantic, with Bublé singing with his heart on his sleeve. Every song is heartfelt and receives the full Bublé treatment. Here that means he uses his stunning voice on tracks that are so well-worn as to be mundane, and all but “Can’t Help Falling In Love” make the grade. The best cuts are probably “My Funny Valentine” and “These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You).” Bublé  is finally getting the press he deserves, and “With Love,” with its focus on the Valentine’s season and the unique distribution deal with Hallmark may help to expand his audience.


Tempest – The Double Cross – Magna Carta

Multi-national folk/prog outfit Tempest blends music from across the world. Norwegian leader Lief Sorbye on mandolins, guitars, and lead vocals works with an American violinist, a Cuban drummer, an Irish guitarist, and Austrian female bassist. The music is musically rich, with nods to sea chanteys, ripping prog/new age instrumentals, even a backhanded swipe at Led Zepellin, with the cut “Hangman” resembling Zep’s “Gallows Pole” both lyrically and musically. Sorbye is a bit of an acquired taste as a vocalist, resembling Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson at times. The band can also sound a bit Tullish, or maybe British folk contemporaries Steeleye Span (as on “Whoever You Are”). Ultimately the band sounds like no one so much as itself, the mandolins and fiddles churning against the solid rhythms and guest/producer Robert Berry’s keyboards.  
  

 
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