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: Willie Nelson, Richard Thompson, Dierks Bentley, KT Tunstall

Ross Boissoneau - December 20th, 2010
Willie Nelson - Country Music (Rounder Records)
When Willie Nelson was busted for pot, yet again last week, he said “I feel great! I feel six ounces lighter.” It is that kind of spirit that is featured on this recording. The Grammy-nominated “Country Music” has the relaxed feel of Willie getting together with his best buds and playing classic country tunes with mostly acoustic instruments. It has the sound of a group of pickers crowding around one mic and swapping solos on fiddles and mandolins. “Satisfied Mind,” “Pistol Packin’ Mama” and Hank Williams’ “House of Gold” are standouts, but the collection includes 15 tunes and they are all good and fun.



Richard Thompson - Dream Attic (Shout Factory)
It is not easy for the uninitiated to cozy up to Richard Thompson’s heavy English accented snarl, but his dazzling guitar playing makes it worth the effort. “Dream Attic” is a sparkling live recording of all-new material. It includes a wide variety of styles from Irish to rock-a-billy and has the flow, with peaks and valleys, that feel more like a concert than a bunch of songs. The best moments are still when Thompson lets loose on his Stratocaster. Forty years removed from his days with Fairport Convention, he sounds as good as ever.




Dierks Bentley - Up On the Ridge (Capitol Records)
It used to be when a country star would cross over he would go slick in an attempt to appeal to a pop music audience. Nowadays the thing to do is to go back to the roots and and make a bluegrass album. On “Up On the Ridge” Bentley recruits some of the best with the likes of Alison Krauss, Del McCoury and mandolinist extraordinaire Chris Thile and his band, the Punch Brothers. It is still something less than hardcore bluegrass. Bentley pushes it just far enough where it will still be played on modern country radio, but it is a fine album and has plenty of surprises including bluegrass versions of Bob Dylan’s “Senor (Tales of Yankee Power),” U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and “Bottle to the Bottom,” a duet with Kris Kristofferson.


KT Tunstall - Tiger Suit (Relentless)
Scottish singer/songwriter KT Tunstall is best known for her hits “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and “Suddenly I See,” a tune inspired by Patti Smith. Tunstall doesn’t quite have Smith’s intensity and sense of music as art (who does?), but on “Tiger Suit” Tunstall makes it clear she is a creative force to be reckoned with and is a lot more than a one or two hit wonder. Recorded in Germany at the same studio where U2’s Achtung Baby and David Bowie’s Heroes were recorded, Tunstall ventures into the world of electronica and dance rhythms without letting it all overwhelm her own distinctive energy and personality.
 
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