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...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Attack of the guitar gods
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Attack of the guitar gods

Ross Boissoneau - August 23rd, 2007
This year’s Guitar Masters Series at Interlochen includes axe-slingers that other guitarists stand in awe of, guitarists from the area who have made it big elsewhere, and at least one guitarist nearly everyone has heard, though they may not heard of him.
Got that? Well, that’s what you get when you include fingerstyle master Leo Kottke, and Traverse City’s own Jeff Bihlman from the Bihlman Brothers/Son Seals Band and Kenny Olson of The Flask. Then there’s Howard Alden, who’s played on albums by a who’s who of jazz musicians but is perhaps most notable for being the musician behind Sean Penn’s leading role in Woody Allen’s “Sweet and Lowdown.”
As was the case last year, the series is split into three nights, with days given over to classes for guitar students. The shows will be held each night at Corson Auditorium at 8 p.m.
The first night’s show on Thursday, Aug. 23, features Kottke, who has been enthralling audiences and dumfounding other guitarists since the late ‘60s. His breathtaking technique and unusual tunings on the guitar have earned him a cult following since his 1971 disc “6 and 12-String Guitar” on fellow guitarist John Fahey’s Tacoma label.
Kotke entered a folk phase shortly thereafter, even including vocals. After signing with the Private Music label, his work was labeled New Age, though mostly it was and continues to be Leo Kottke music.
Kottke’s rich imagination and fluid fingerstylings have enabled him to play with a host of other musicians, including his mentor John Fahey, Chet Atkins, Lyle Lovett and Rickie Lee Jones. He has recorded tunes by the likes of country legends Tom T. Hall and Johnny Cash, rockers Fleetwood Mac, The Byrds and Jefferson Airplane’s Jorma Kuakonen, and jazz band leader Carla Bley. He’s done two albums with Phish bassist Mike Gordon, and is a frequent guest on the radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion.”

ALL THAT JAZZ (& CLASSICAL)
The second night of the show on Friday, Aug. 24 emphasizes classical and jazz, and features classical guitarists Jason Vieaux and Martha Masters, followed by jazz masters Gene Bertoncini, Howard Alden and Lee Dyament with Emre Yilmaz.
Alden may well be the best of the lot, though the humble musician probably would never suggest that. But consider; he’s worked with Ruby Braff, Joe Williams, Woody Herman, and Dizzy Gillespie among many others. He’s made soundtracks, played in large bands, quartets, guitar trios and duos, and perhaps most demandingly, as a solo artist. Through it all his dazzling style remains understated and enjoyable.
Sometime too much so. While his music always sounds fully realized, his egoless solo style could be amped up considerably without losing its musicality, but Alden prefers to say things simply. His undeniable technique often translates better into live performance.
For Woody Allen’s “Sweet and Lowdown,” Alden even gave the notoriously prickly Sean Penn guitar lessons, spending six months working with him. Alden gave Penn, the student, high marks, but it was Alden’s playing on the soundtrack that received accolades.

ROCKIN’ OUT
Saturday, Aug. 25, the last night of the series, focuses on Hot Rock and Blues, with Kenny Olson, Jeff Bihlman, and John Defaria (guitarist for Gloria Estefan and Kenny Loggins) joining with rising stars Stoll Vaughan and Pablo Signori, as well as Interlochen’s own John Wunsch, who put the series together.
Wunsch noted that producing, coordinating and performing at the event is a challenge, but one that he finds very satisfying. “It’s exhausting, but it’s really great,” he said. “Jeff Bihlman, Kenny Olson and I have been rehearsing, and I think we’re going to have some pretty cool stuff.”

Much the same could be said for any of the nights. For ticket information, contact the Interlochen Box Office at 276-7800.

 
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