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Letters 11-17-2014

by Dr. Buono in the November 10 Northern Express. While I applaud your enthusiasm embracing a market solution for global climate change and believe that this is a vital piece of the overall approach, it is almost laughable and at least naive to believe that your Representative Mr.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

4Play: Various Artists, Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriquez, Lang Lang, Gary Husband

Music Ross Boissoneau Various Artists – Soul Revival (Shout/NPR)
This compilation, put together by National Public Radio, starts off with a bang. “Do the 45” by Ryan Shaw harkens back to the heyday of soul shouters like Sam Cooke and Al Green. Eli “Paperboy” Reed keeps up the momentum with “Am I Wasting My Time?” complete with spine-tingling yelps. Both feature instrumental backing reminiscent of the best soul music of the ‘60s and ‘70s, with chittering rhythm guitars, organ, handclaps and horns. Raphael Saadiq’s “100 Yard Dash” is more sedate than the title might suggest, and Chaka Khan’s “Disrepectful” with Mary J. Blige is an unqualified treat. Imagine a whole CD like that. Now stop imagining and listen.
 
Monday, December 20, 2010

4Play: Willie Nelson, Richard Thompson, Dierks Bentley, KT Tunstall

Music Ross Boissoneau 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.

 
Monday, December 13, 2010

4Play: Duffy, Carole King & James Taylor, Trey Gunn, The Bombastic Meatballs featuring Chad Smith

Music Ross Boissoneau Duffy – Endlessly (Mercury)
The Welsh pop chanteuse has teamed up with producer/composer Albert Hammond for a set of songs that hit all the bases: there are string-laden, melancholy mood pieces (“Don’t Forsake Me”), electro-house beats (“Lovestruck”), pure pop for now people (“Girl”), jangly alternative acoustic rock (“Breath Away” and the title track). Throughout, Duffy’s little girl voice matches passion with compassion. Think Petula Clark meets Claire Grogan. Like those two singers, the voice can become too thin or simply wear on the listener after a while. But the songs stand up to repeated listens, the accompaniment is spot-on, and if the listener can get used to or even enjoy her little-girl voice, there’s much to be savored here.
 
Monday, December 6, 2010

4Play: Bruce Springsteen, YOSO, CTI Records, California Guitar Trio

Music Ross Boissoneau Bruce Springsteen – The Promise (Columbia)
This set of leftovers from the Darkness on the Edge of Town sessions proves two things: Springsteen made the correct selections for that album, and there’s no reason this should have been kept in the vaults this long. Darkness was tough and hard-rocking, while these two CDs (three plus DVDs in the deluxe set) offer a slightly more encompassing view of the Bruce of 30 years ago. It’s interesting to hear different versions of “Candy’s Room” and “Racing in the Street.” Other highlights abound, from the bouncy “Ain’t Good Enough For You” to studio versions of live favorites “Fire” and “Because the Night.”
 
Monday, December 6, 2010

NMC Jazz

Music Ross Boissoneau Go, Daddy, Go: NMC Jazz Ensembles swing for the holidays
By Ross Boissoneau
Big band swing? Check. Vocal stylings? Check. Special guest artists? Check.
Holiday tunes? Mmm, check. But as the title suggests, “A Little Christmas, A Lot of Jazz” will focus more on the likes of Basie and Ellington than on Santa and Rudolph.
The Northwestern Michigan College Jazz Ensembles concert Dec. 10 at Milliken Auditorium will include the Jazz Lab Band, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and NMC Big Band. The concert will also feature the Blue Lake Faculty Jazz 6tet, comprised of performers from across the Midwest who teach at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp during the summer.
 
Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter Theatre

Features Ross Boissoneau Your Tickets to Winter Theatre: What’s on stage ’round the region
By Ross Boissoneau
If all the world’s a stage, then theatre enthusiasts across the region
will have ample opportunities to travel the globe over the next few
months.
 
Monday, November 22, 2010

4Play: Bryan Ferry, Fourplay, Nu Shooz Orchestra, Dwight Twilley

Music Ross Boissoneau Bryan Ferry – Olympia - Astralwerks
The bad news is this was originally going to be the first new Roxy Music album since 1982’s Avalon. The good news is that despite the fact it isn’t, it’s Ferry’s best in a while. And it still has contributions from original Roxy members Andy Mackay, Phil Manzanera, and Brian Eno, as well as latter-day Roxy contributors Neil Hubbard and Andy Newmark, as well as Marcus Miller, Flea, Nile Rogers and many others. The music is a bit more strident than Roxy’s swan song, but Ferry is still as suave as ever.


 
Monday, July 6, 2009

The King is dead... get used to it

Other Opinions Ross Boissoneau The King is Dead...
... get used to it
By Ross Boissoneau 7/6/09

And in a news flash, Michael Jackson is still dead. So is Anna Nicole Smith.
Yes, it is news that Jackson died so suddenly and mysteriously. But the complete meltdown of the tabloid press – and the not-tabloid press – is so over-the-top as to be ridiculous.
 
Monday, March 2, 2009

David Clayton Thomas

Music Ross Boissoneau Sizzling horns, rock rhythms, and in front of it all, a dynamic singer and powerful presence that took his cues equally from r&b, rock and jazz.
That was the recipe for success for Blood, Sweat & Tears. Now, 40 years later, David Clayton-Thomas is still delivering the goods.
The singer from the band that invented jazz-rock is still singing up a storm, this time fronting his own
 
Monday, January 19, 2009

Tiempo Libre

Music Ross Boissoneau People think there are certain things that just don’t go together. Plaids and stripes, for instance. Or maybe chocolate and lemonade. How about Latin music and orchestral music?
Two out of three maybe. Tiempo Libre intends to prove to the audience at Corson Auditorium on Saturday, Jan. 24 that the group’s fiery Latin music can indeed coexist with symphonic stylings. One of the hottest Latin groups today, Tiempo Libre will be teaming up with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra to perform Venezuelan composer Ricardo Lorenz’s “Rumba Sinfnica.” And if that’s not enough, the Grammy-nominated group will also play a set of their signature brand of salsa known as timba.
“We were classical music students, but it’s different playing timba than classical,” said Jorge Gomez, the group’s pianist, just before Tiempo Libre began its tour.
But whatever the form, Gomez says the crowd at Interlochen had better be ready for a good time. “I’m looking forward to seeing the crowd dancing,” he said. “They’re going to sing with us and dance with us. It’s like a Cuban party.
“They’d better be prepared.”
 
Monday, December 15, 2008

Fresh Snow: The latest in Christmas Music

Music Ross Boissoneau As always, there’s a surfeit of seasonal releases this year. Some deservedly become hits, some don’t. Some are by big names, some aren’t. And sometimes the best ones come out of left field, while the biggest names fail to ignite.
Among the releases this year: with just a couple exceptions, country star Faith Hill’s Joy to the World (Warner Bros. Records) is surprisingly untwangy, with big band accompaniment. Jazz icon Bob James enlists the aid of his daughter Hilary and her husband, Kevin DiSimone, for Christmas Eyes (Koch Records), putting a contemporary jazz spin (naturally) on a handful of Christmas classics and originals. Tween-pop group pureNRG have been the darlings of contemporary Christian music, but the Hannah Montana/High School Musical wannabes’ A pureNRG Christmas (Fervent Records) is simply annoying. Who wants to hear faux-electropunk versions of “The 12 Days of Christmas” and “Away in a Manger”?
 
Monday, November 10, 2008

Let your spirits fly

Art Ross Boissoneau It was Walt Disney who brought the concept of the circle of life to worldwide audiences with the hit animated movie “The Lion King,” and Elton John who wrote and performed the hit song.
But the movie, the Broadway musical based on it and their accompanying soundtracks were hardly the first to showcase the concept of the unending circle of life. Native Americans have long used the hoop dance as an illustration of the same concept. And Traverse City will have the opportunity to see a live illustration of it when Brian Hammill and his group, the Native Spirit Dancers, perform at Dennos Museum’s Milliken Auditorium on Monday, Nov. 17.
The hoops symbolize a sacred part of the Native American life, representing the circle of life with no beginning and no end.. The dancer begins with one hoop and keeps adding and weaving the hoops into formations that represent the journey through life, each additional hoop exemplifying another thread in the web of life.
 
Monday, August 18, 2008

Hangin‘ with The Horndogs

Music Ross Boissoneau “Hey, I know. Let’s get a band together next week for a party, and then in a few years make a CD.”
Well, that’s not exactly the way the Fabulous Horndogs story goes, but it’s close. In mid-December 13 years ago, a friend of saxophonist Newt Cole told Cole he’d booked him for a New Year’s Eve party. Only problem was, Newt had no band.
A few phone calls later, and Newt had gathered a bunch of musician friends at his house. They worked up some tunes, and next thing you know, there were the Fabulous Horndogs.
 
Monday, August 18, 2008

Interlochen Guitar Festival

Music Ross Boissoneau Expect the unexpected at this year’s three-day Guitar Festival at Interlochen Center for the
Arts. Artists as varied as Lionel Loueke from Benin in Africa, Pierre Bensusan from France, and Daryl Stuermer of the U.S. will be sharing the bill with regional and local favorites like Jabo Bihlman, Dan Kelchak, and festival organizer John Wunsch.
 
Monday, June 16, 2008

Chamber Music North

Music Ross Boissoneau What do you do when you retire? Maybe relax, kick back in the hammock, play a round or two of golf.
Or, if you’re classically trained cellist Debra Fayroian of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, move to the Grand Traverse area and start a new music series.
“The goal’s simple,” said Fayroian. “Great chamber music in the Grand Traverse area. I want to enhance what is already here.”
In her mind, “what is already here” includes an appreciative audience ready for great music and venues perfect for chamber music. Those venues include concert halls, churches, and other community buildings in towns across the region.
 
 
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