The Country Blues – Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley

The Country Blues – Rob Ickes and Trey  Hensley does not make me Blue!!

Rob Ickes and Trey HensleyOver the past week The Country Blues the latest release from Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley has been in my music rotation. To say I am a happy camper is putting in mildly! For me possibly the most important part of a musical recording is just that “the music”! Years ago when I started to listen to folk and folk rock albums. I would constantly check out who was playing on the album. Way back then, if I saw  Kenny Buttrey was playing drums. Vasser Clement fiddle or Buddy Emmons  pedal steel on an album. I knew I was in for a good musical experience! Through the years, the dobro has become one of my favorite instruments and Rob Ickes one of my favorite musicians. Man that guy can flat-out pick!

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First Run in a Long Time!

Soundtrack – The Infamous Stringdusters – Ladies & Gentlemen
The Background

So I haven’t written anything about health and fitness and “turning back my biologic clock” for a long time. The simple reason is that I haven’t done much to help turn back that clock lately. I have not been eating particularly well and although I have still been doing yoga in the mornings, the rest day I ran was way back on the 4th of April!!

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Twang Tuesday: Hitting the Road with Hot Day at the Zoo

Hitting the Road - Hot Day at the Zoo

Hot Day at the Zoo – Hitting the Road   ****

The other day as I was searching for the latest release from Larry Keel, I saw a band with an interesting named in the list of Related Artists on the Larry Keel overview page. The name of the band was Hot Day at the Zoo. A band with a name like that deserves to be checked out!! When I arrived at the band’s page I saw that their latest album Hitting the Road was released in 2015 and their 2010 release was titled  Zoograss (seems like another plus to me!). In addition two bands whose music I really like Cornmeal and Hot Buttered Rum are listed as Related Artists!! Yeah I think I’m going to like these guys!!

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Amanda Cook & Ragged Union Pick and Sing, Ed Runs!

The Run: November 8, 2015 – 4.25 miles

So the end of last week was busy. My wife and I babysat our grandson Oliver on Friday and then I had work at Target from 6 am to 1:30 pm on Saturday. After work my wife, daughter Elizabeth and  I took Oliver to PAWS Farm and Nature Center in Mt Laurel. The center has a variety of small animals including, goats, sheep, bunnies and chickens! Oliver had a ball, particularly with the sliding boards.

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Volume Five Powers Granddad’s Run!


Volume Five Provides a Great Soundtrack for Granddad’s First Run in March

Sleping OliverSo I thought I’d post a rare picture of the sleeping Oliver, to prove that he is not always a wild child! I will write more about my day with Oliver later but or now let’s move on to yesterday’s run, well maybe not run, but it was a start! According to the training plan, yesterday was to be a 25 minute run, with a five-minute warm up walk. Now, I would probably have done the walk but I was running late because we were babysitting Zoe yesterday and I was up against impending darkness. So rather than waste time walking I just plunged right into the run. The thing is,if I was running fast, I would say maybe I needed to warm up,first with the walk, but I am going so slow that the run is actually the warm up!  I ran a course that is a modification of a course that’s I created as a 5K course, on a run back in February I covered the 2.56 mile course in 29:31, yesterday when I got back to my house I was at around the same time I didn’t feel that bad so I kept going for a tad more and ended the rum at 30 minutes covering 2.61 miles! Okay, so I ran for longer than I was supposed to and I didn’t do the 5 minute warm up walk, but today I feel pretty good and I think that if things go well I can either run again tomorrow or Thursday!

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A Banjo Playlist on Earl Scrugg’s Birthday!

Banjo Icon Earl ScruggsSo on this date, January 6th in 1924 possibly the best banjo payer ever, Earl Scruggs was born! You can read my birthday post to Earl here. When I came home from Target this afternoon and saw that It was Earl’s birthday, I did a search of all-time great banjo pickers and sure enough as I assumed there was Earl Scruggs at the top of the list. As I looked  down a couple of the lists,  I thought it would be interesting to make a short playlists using music from some of the best contemporary banjo players. The final playlist contains music from six contemporary banjo pickers, two legends, and Earl Scruggs. The two legends are Pete Seeger and Ralph Stanley! Here are the contemporary banjo pickers…… Bela Flecka and Abigail WashburnBela Fleck and Abigail Washburn –  Bela Fleck is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s most innovative and technically proficient banjo players, he is best known for his work with the bands New Grass Revival and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. While I have music from the later in my library I am most familiar with Fleck as a member of New Grass Revival.  Read More Abigail Washburn is a clawhammer banjo player and singer. She performs and records as a soloist, as well as with the old-time bands Uncle Earl and Sparrow Quartet.She is married to Bela Fleck. Abigail and Bela recently released the first album they have recorded together! Read More Noam PikelnyNoam Pikelny is a Grammy-nominated banjo player. He is a member of the group Punch Brothers and was previously in Leftover Salmon as well as the John Cowan Band. Noam was voted the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Banjo Player of the Year in 2014! Read More Tony TrischkaTony Trischka is considered to be the consummate banjo artist and perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world. For more than 45 years, his stylings have inspired a whole generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians with the many voices he has brought to the instrument . Read More Alison BrownAlison Brown is known for a soft nylon-string banjo sound. She has won and has been nominated on several Grammy awards and is often compared to another banjo prodigy, Béla Fleck, for her unique style of playing. In her music, she blends jazz, bluegrass, rock, blues as well as other styles of music Read More Terry BaucomTerry Baucom has been a force in bluegrass since the 1970s. He has played banjo with the likes of the original Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Boone Creek, and IIIrd Tyme Out. Baucom won the “Instrumental Recording of the Year” at the 2001 IBMA awards show. From AllMusic

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Hot Rize – When I’m Free

When I'm Free - Hot Rize a CD from Tunes

Note to Hot Rize: 24 yrs between albums is too long!!

When I started to listen to a lot of music and collecting CDs, thanks to the used CD bins at Tunes in Marlton, in the early 2000s,  I found the music of Tim O’Brien, an amazing multi-instrumentalist and singer.  I also discovered the music of guitarist Charles Sawtelle. It took a while before I stumbled upon a great bluegrass album So Long a Journey (2002)  from the band Hot Rize. I discovered that both O’Brien and Sawtelle were members of the band, along with  Pete Wernick, and Nick Forster. Subsequently, I discovered that the album was a live album that had been recorded in 1996 and was a reunion album of  the band, that had retired in 1990. In 1990, the members had parted ways and went on to have distinguished solo careers. From their biography at the band’s website.

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“Into the Morning” with Two Bluegrass Masters – Jim Hurst and Rob Ickes – “Going Down that Road Feeling Bad”


This afternoon I was listening to the latest release from Breaking Grass Just as Strong, after listening for a while, I went and found a video of the band seems that the band has everything I like fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and bass, wait! There’s no dobro! But I listened anyway and they are a damn fine band without the dobro and I will listen to Just as Strong a few more times before I write about it…. but thinking about the dobro got me thinking about Rob Ickes, and then I came across this post and thought I’d post it again!!!

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“Into the Morning” with the progressive bluegrass of Greensky Bluegrass – “Demons”

If Sorrow Swims

One of the albums that has been in my rotation since it’s release last week, is If Sorrow Swims from Greensky Bluegrass. GreenskyIf Sorrow Swims Bluegrass is one of my favorite progressive bluegrass bands. I discovered their music a few years back and loved the album Live at Bells,  on that album the band really displays their musicianship. I liked their last album Handguns, but not as much as the earlier albums. If Sorrow Swims reminds me more of their earlier albums. Here’s a statement from the band’s website about the band…

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High Marks for The High 48s’ Great Northern Railroad – Check them out!!

Great norhern Railroad 2

Yesterday, I was reviewing the Roots Music Bluegrass Chart and way down near the bottom, I came across a band whose

Great norhern Railroad 2name  was unfamiliar with, The High 48s. Their latest release Great Northern Railroad was fittingly #48 on the chart. Since the album obviously had a train song on it, I thought it would be a good album to check out!! So I headed over to Spotify, found the album, listened to a few of the songs, and since my foot hadn’t stopped tapping since the album began, I knew this one was a winner!!

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