Monthly Archives: February 2009

Righteous Richard’s Revolutionary Rant

Righteous Richard

Righteous Richard

I heart Rick Santelli. For years, Mr. D and I have shared coffee, the newspaper and CNBC Squawk Box, each weekday morning.  I, in particular, LERVE the Chicago Exchange guru, Rick Santelli and his faithful sidekick, The Wolfman.  Santelli is of the Larry Kudlow vein and an unapologetic capitalist.  He’s also had enough.  Reminiscient of my recent “Mad as Hell”  and “Tax Man Cometh” posts, Santelli’s impromptu rant a week or so ago was like a shot heard around the world.  The Interwebs, and eventually the regular media, was abuzz with Santelli’s comments and how they seemed to encapsulate what ALOT of people, including me, feel.  In case you missed it…  I totally agree 100% with Rick Santelli.  And furthermore, I am greatly offended by Mr. Obama’s criticism that “our day of reckoning has arrived”.  Is it just me or is he paraphrasing that our “chickens have come home to roost”?  Let me be clear…most everyone I know has lived within their means and saved for the future.  They didn’t go out and buy a home they KNEW they could not afford or cars they could not make the payments on or buy the latest gadget by “charging it”.  But now, that diligence is being repaid by asking us to pay for the people who lived beyond their means.  How is that fair? Evidently, Mr. Santelli’s rant struck a nerve with the “Administration” (and, I use the term loosely)…as Obama’s Press minon, Robert Gibbs dismissed the concern and anger that represents many of the feelings of REGULAR people out here in the real world.  Does he just NOT get it?   Gibbs’ idiocy Then, as if on cue, left-wing pundit, Chris Matthews invites Santelli on his “show” and promptly minimizes Santelli’s concerns by asking him who he voted for?  What does that matter?  What a shill.   Santelli’s response Is this kind of crap not transparent to people?  Do people really believe guys like Chris Matthews?  Can’t “the media” be the least bit objective?  Jeez, makes my blood boil. Mr. Santelli is a trader and market expert that has been in the business of analyzing markets for 30 years, but it was his sincere, impromptu outrage that gave him instant credibility.  He tapped into exactly what ALOT of people out here are feeling, as was evidenced by the floor traders’ cheers.  As for the mortgage “crisis” and for those who bought more than they could afford…NOTHING is going to help them.  No matter how you re-structure their debt, they WILL NOT be able to afford the homes they are in.  You can blame the Mortgage industry, but if you do, blame Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and then follow that little trail to two Senior Congressmen….Barney Frank and Chris Dodd — two “architects” of the new, wonderful legislative initiatives we will all be victims of. America has survived and thrived via free markets.  All of the proposed “intervention” throws a cog in the wheel and can actually make the problems worse.  As Mr. Santelli says, “let the markets correct themselves”.  There will be winners and there will be losers, but our economic recovery will be substantially prolonged if the free markets are manipulated by governmental policy.  The best solution is for our President to support the stock market to rescue our savings.  Stop the class warfare and realize that a good Wall Street is a GREAT Main Street. The majority of workers today are involved in some kind of Wall Street investment.  Most people have lost half of their life savings or more.  Until you fix the markets, you will not fix consumer confidence and until you fix consumer confidence, everyone suffers.  Mr. Obama has evidently declared war on the likes of Rick Santelli and others on “The Street”.  Even everyman, Jim Cramer, is now coming out with “Obama-proof” stock picks. Problem is, we have met the enemy and he is us.  America needs a surging stock market to restore the savings of the majority of hard-working Americans who “pay the freight”.  In his rant, Santelli suggested a Chicago Tea Party.  As a symbol.  Not so much to protest taxes, but to stand up and let those in charge know that we are here, we are watching and we want it fixed. That WE ARE NOT HAPPY and that we are going to get up and stand up to protect what we’ve worked our whole lives for.  Notice that you are not hearing anything about the protest Tea Parties even though there are many planned.  Just why is that? I invite you to “get up, stand up” and fight for your right.  Let your voice be heard…   Get Up, Stand Up, Bob Marley & The Wailers


  NOTE:  If you are interested in participating in the Tea Parties across the country, visit this blog for how you can Get Up, Stand Up.  <—-click here.



Posted by on February 27, 2009 in Calling Bullsh*t, Obama, rant, the economy


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Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, Van?


Van the Man.

It’s been a while.  Have you missed me?  Are you cross with me?  I never meant to neglect you.  After all, you are so very important to my musical life.  I know I talked about  Into the Mystic and The Movie Hits months and months ago, but I haven’t told you lately that I love you.  Well, I do.

Tonight, in Madison Square Garden, a Music Maven proxy will be front and center to hear you deliver the sweet nectar of Astral Weeks.  While I will be thousands of miles away watching soccer on the Internet, please know that I will be there in spirit.  And, I promise to give you more of the attention you deserve.

Your Sweet Thing,


  Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?


Posted by on February 27, 2009 in Concerts, Uncategorized, van morrison


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Gives You Hell…

From the Mini DD Playlist comes the All American Rejects…

  Gives You Hell

The boy has acclimated quite well….



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Posted by on February 24, 2009 in Music Today, Travels


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The Story

Of course, there’s always a story.  But here is my beginning, middle and end, in reverse.


…is reminiscient of one of my favorite songs….

  The Story, Brandi Carlile

3.5 inches of snow expected tonight….


Posted by on February 22, 2009 in brandi carlile, family, Travels


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It’s Carnival Time….

   Carnival Time, Al Johnson

Four days of excess.  Drunkedness.  Debauchery.

It’s that time of year again. 

Mardi Gras.

As I mentioned in past Mardi Gras posts, I’ve experienced various Mardi Gras celebrations from Lafayette to Mobile and points in between.  There’s really nothing like it.

But, this Mardi Gras will be spent in a much different “state”.

  Rocky Mountain High, John Denver

That’s right.  We’re taking the show on the road.  Have beads, will travel.

I hope to provide first hand reports of the Rocky Mountain Mardi Gras over the next few days. 

Until then, party on.

  Mardi Gras Mambo, The Meters

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Posted by on February 21, 2009 in holidays, that's life, Travels


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Clapping As Hard As I Can…


Today, the inaugural Taylor Hicks music video premieres. 

Click the picture to view.


The link takes you to Jake Davis’ blog.  Davis is the director of the video and I must say that I like his style.  He’s managed to capture alot of what I think Taylor Hicks wants to portray.  He creates that “alone” James Dean feel, complete with the overcoat walk in the snow on deserted streets…even the diner scene. 

Photos by Dennis Stock

Photos by Dennis Stock

The video is good.  It’s just the right amount of highlighting the artist, storytelling and showcasing the song.  Well done, Mr. Davis.

I have to say that Taylor has never looked better.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, his new What’s Right Is Right is a pleasant-enough song that seems to be catching on a little with a #25 position on Billboard’s Hot Contemporary Chart.  It also looks like he’s embracing his inner Idol with last weekend’s appearance with the other six idols to christen Disney’s “American Idol Experience”.


Taylor’s CD, The Distance, drops March 10th and again, I think we’ll see an Idol appearance around that time.  Could it be that Idol #5 will finally start to gain traction?

Yahoo Premiere of What’s Right Is Right


Posted by on February 17, 2009 in american idol, new releases, taylor hicks, Videos


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You ARE the Best Thing….Part Deux


While it’s difficult to touch the greatness that is Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ray LaMontagne recently got pretty close with a song that’s very reminiscient of it’s namesake title.  Ray blends a little soul, solid R&B beats, and some pretty awesome horns that rival the original soul staple.

  You Are The Best Thing, Ray LaMontagne

Ray’s song is a bit more joyous, while Gladys’ is more melancholy and desperate.   Both still fit the bill.

It’s been a long day, baby.
Things ain’t going my way
you know I need you here
here by my side
all of the time

And Baby, the way you move me its crazy.
it’s like, you see right through me, you make it easier,
You please me and you don’t even have to try.

oh because,
you are the best thing
you are the best thing
you are the best thing
ever happened to me

We’ve come a long way, baby.
you know, I hope and I pray that you believe me
When I say this love will never fade away

oh because
you are the best thing
you are the best thing
you are the best thing
ever happened to me

Now both of us have known love before,
To come on up promising, like the spring, just walk on out the door.
Our hearts are kind and are hearts are strong.
well, let me tell you what exactly is on my mind.

you are the best thing
you are the best thing
you are the best thing
ever happened to me

you are the best thing
you are the best thing
you are the best thing
ever happened to me

yeah, yeah
yeah, yeah, yeah,
now, now, now, now



Posted by on February 16, 2009 in ray lamontagne


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You ARE the Best Thing….


Mr. D watching his grandson be baptized


I was in the grocery store the other day, running around like a chicken and trying to gather up all we needed for the week.  Don’ t you just hate when you remember that you need garlic and you’re already over in the dairy section.  I’m constantly criss-crossing the store, it seems.

It’s usually during these mundane tasks that some totally inspiring music jumps in and stops me in my tracks.  So was the case this day, while I’m doing the Winn Dixie shuffle.  Strains of Gladys Knight’s iconic hit You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me comes on over the supermarket speakers.  As I listen and sing along (yeah, I do that alot), I start to apply the song to my own life — where it just so happens to be particularly relevant.

You see, I’m one of the lucky ones.  Fortunate, privaledged, serendipitous….whatever you use to categorize blessed. 

Many, many Valentines Days ago, my sweet Mr. D professed his undying love.  Why?  I have no earthly idea, but I’m eternally grateful that he did — and that he chose me.     We are partners, friends, lovers and contemporaries.  I thoroughly enjoy my life with this odd human being.

From his professional ironing skillz to the love of musicals to the deep love he shows his sons…I still remain in awe of this wonderful, loving man who just happens to love me.

So, when I heard Gladys’ You’re the Best Thing (That Ever Happened to Me) in that mundane grocery store moment, I realized just how perfectly that song captures exactly how I feel about my wonderful man. 

I’ve had my share of life’s ups and downs
But fate’s been kind, the downs have been few
I guess you could say that I’ve been lucky
Well, I guess you could say that it’s all because of you

If anyone should ever write my life story
For whatever reason there might be
Ooh, you’ll be there between each line of pain and glory
‘Cause you’re the best thing that ever happened to me
Ah, you’re the best thing that ever happened to me

Oh, there have been times when times were hard
But always somehow I made it, I made it through
‘Cause for every moment that I’ve spent hurting
There was a moment that I spent, ah, just loving you

If anyone should ever write my life story
For whatever reason there might be
Oh, you’ll be there between each line of pain and glory
‘Cause you’re the best thing that ever happened to me
Oh, you’re the best thing that ever happened to me
I know, you’re the best thing, oh, that ever happened to me

  You’re the Best Thing (That Ever Happened to Me), Gladys Knight & The Pips


Posted by on February 15, 2009 in family, holidays


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Colette’s Corner: Odetta


Odetta & Company:  Big Voices, Big Souls


One of America’s greatest folk-blues “roots” singers died in December.  That was Odetta Holmes, known to the world simply as “Odetta.”


Odetta was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1930, and blessed with one of the most distinctive voices on record — deep, robust and rich with feeling.  Rather than go in a pop direction, as most of her equally blessed contemporaries did, Odetta  studied opera.  When she realized “no one would hire a black girl to sing at the Metropolitan Opera,”  she delved into  indigenous American music and became a leading figure in the coffee house/folk music movement that sprang up in the early 1960s.  (Her full NY Times bio .)


While many white artists were also dipping into the traditional American bag, Odetta sang African American folk songs  and blues with tremendous authority, grace and power, and a regal bearing.   She was one of the first black stars to sport an Afro hairdo in the 1960s, championing a natural look that gained popularity later.   And she was very committed to and active in the civil rights movement — marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and performing a concert at the White House for President John F. Kennedy.


Though Odetta’s star dimmed a bit as the folk boom ended, she had already gained a big following through folk clubs, hit records and a musical bonding with Harry Belafonte, who toured with her and called Odetta  a “chief influence on my career.”   Other famous singers also named her as a major inspiration — including  Joan Baez (to whom she was “a goddess”),  Janis Joplin (who first got excited about the blues, as a teenager, by  listening to Odetta ) and Bob Dylan, who wrote of her:


” The first thing that turned me on to folk singing was Odetta. I heard a record of hers   (“Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues”) in a record store, back when you could listen to records right there in the store. Right then and there, I went out and traded my electric guitar and amplifier for an acoustical guitar…”


This first clip is how I best remember Odetta.  She’s performing on a 2006 public TV show here, in which  she sang songs I enjoyed live during her concert tour the same year and which she recorded on a disc (“Blues Everywhere I Go”) which I highly recommend to fellow blues babes: 


  — “You Don’t Know My Mind”


Here she is on an  early record,  doing a short rendition of the slave work song, “Water Boy,” in her most dramatic  and stirring fashion:



In her own quiet, dignified manner, Odetta broke a lot of racial barriers.   Here she is on TV’s mainstream variety hour,  “The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show,” singing a great Woody Guthrie tune:


 — Woody’s ” Pastures of Plenty”  (and “Nine Pound Hammer”) with Tennessee Ernie Ford


She also popularized a lot of songs by the incomparable Leadbelly.  Here’s her wonderful take on “The Midnight Special,” in that  2006 TV concert:



Odetta’s passing got me to thinking about other female blues-folk singers  with that river-deep voice and soulfulness, who were probably influenced (consciously or unconsciously) by her.


Here are a few:         


 — Joan Armatrading “Down to Zero”


   — Ruthie Foster — “Woke Up This Mornin'”  — which she dedicates to Odetta


 — Tracy Chapman — “Across the Lines”


And last but not least, someone I plan to do an entire set on soon, the great Mavis Staples, who was actually more like Odetta’s contemporary (about a decade younger).  This song seems apropos — Odetta has “come home”:


 — “Waiting for My Child to Come Home,”  Mavis Staples


I’ll finish with this very short clip of Odetta from the Newport Folk Festival — a wonderful uptempo tune that features her excellent guitar work, and great 1960s vibe.   Rest in peace, dear lady:


 — Odetta at Newport 





Bigger Winner of the Night

The Grammys took a baby step to redemption in recognizing Robert Plant & Alison Krauss’s awesome CD, Raising Sand, as Album of the Year, and Please Read the Letter as Record of the Year.  But perhaps my favorite on the CD is a cover of the Everly Brothers’ Gone, Gone, Gone

Contrast and compare.


  Gone, Gone, Gone — The Everly Brothers


  Gone, Gone, Gone  — Alison Krauss & Robert Plant


Posted by on February 8, 2009 in grammys, Music History, music legends, oldies


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