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: The Bihlman Brothers, Barbara Faith Jordan, Ron Harrison

Kristi Kates - September 28th, 2009
4Play: The Bihlman Brothers, Barbara Faith Jordan, Ron Harrison
Kristi Kates 9/28/09

The Bihlman Bros. - What U Want
Scot “Little” Bihlman and Jeff “Jabo” Bihlman, along with Charlie “Cornbread” Short and Gary Worden, make up the Bihlman Bros., a grunge-country-rock quartet in the vein of a more rustic Stone Temple Pilots or a Pearl Jam light, although the echoes of many different bands can be heard within their range of songs. Opening with the aggressive “I Wanna Fly,” the album quickly takes a turn for the mellow by track three, “Jubilee,” a Southern-rock influenced number with well-arranged harmonies. “Angel’s Wings” is another slow tune, showcasing a slightly Hendrix feel, and is followed by “Needle and Thread,” which recollects the best of Hootie and the Blowfish. The brothers’ vocals do blend well together, especially on the aforementioned “Angel’s Wings” and later track “Better Place,” and the guitar work is adroit and well-mixed; the one real misstep on the set seems to be “Shotgun,” which is a little too gimmicky and unfinished sounding amidst the rest of the album’s polished production values.


Barbara Faith Jordan - Passages
With her clean vocal lines and self-assured acoustic guitar work, Barbara Faith Jordan’s set shows off her thoughtful songwriting and narrative sensitivity, especially on songs like “There’s a Friend,” and “See What You Made Me Do.” A few of the songs here are slightly darker in tone, which makes for a nice change - especially “Loose Ends,” which features detailed characters, some interesting minor chords, and a shift into falsetto towards the end of the song that’s reminiscent of Tori Amos. Speaking of Amos, the piano work of Dave Proulx on “I Remembered to Forget You” also falls into that similar sound, and the keyboard tones line up well with Jordan’s vocals - her voice almost seems to stand out better at times against the piano than the guitar. Elsewhere on the set, she channels the likes of a Mary Chapin Carpenter or a Shawn Colvin on “You’re Too Much,” and closes the collection fittingly with the thankful “Blessed By It All.”


Ron Harrison - River Rd.
Recorded and mixed in Copemish, Michigan, singer-guitarist Ron Harrison presents a half-dozen jazz-pop tracks on his new album, which opens appropriately with a drumroll. First track “Can’t Have It All” features syncopated rhythms and plucked guitar, setting the stage for track two’s continued guitar work and soulful organ. The title track, “River Road,” is nicely anchored by several stringed instruments and a traipsing rhythm that’s well-suited to the road-trek feeling of the song, while the loungey “When I Met You” adds in piano and woodwinds for some added variety and texture. Harrison could use a little more soul in his vocals, though - while his tone is lucid and on-pitch, it seems he needs to summon up a little more emotion than what’s displayed vocally here, as oftentimes he seems to be singing on top of the rest of the instruments, instead of interacting with them and with the song itself. But overall, these tracks are concisely written, and would be a perfect addition to any easy listening radio station’s playlist.

 
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