Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


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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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