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 - 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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