Wed04232014

     Subscribe  |  Contact  |  Advertise  |  RSS Feed Other Publications

Wednesday, 03 October 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

Written by 

Raising Sand

Duet albums are about as original as cheeseburgers, but this one has stayed in my car’s disc player for days now. A co-worker left Raising Sand on my desk Friday, and I’ve been listening to the collaboration between contemporary bluegrass diva Alison Krauss and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant all weekend. I’m a huge fan of both, but could not have imagined them together.

The songs and their production have an elemental quality, and are neither country or hard rock but many places in between. The songs chosen for the CD are from equally well-known writers — Tom Waits, Gene Clark, Sam Phillips, Townes Van Zandt, The Everly Brothers and Mel Tillis. What this CD lacks in raw energy it makes up for in uncomplicated, catchy music whose chorus lines stay with you. Especially good are “Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)” and “Please Read the Letter.”

 

Alison Brown Quartet

Speaking of music, the concert a few weeks ago sponsored by the Haywood County Arts Council was magnificent. Unfortunately, attendance was abysmal, so only a couple of hundred lucky concert-goers got to see Brown, her band and Joe Craven. Brown plays a banjo but her music leans more toward jazz than any other well-defined genre, and Craven is simply an amazing and fun multi-instrumentalist. Too many great concerts at venues west of Asheville just aren’t well-attended, and this one was a prime example. Here’s hoping support for live music ramps up so we’ll continue to get quality performers out this way.

 

Tony Horwitz

Same co-worker who suggested the Raising Sand CD plopped three Tony Horwitz books on my desk a month or so ago and told me to read. I have, and it’s been fun. Horwitz took off to the Middle East in the 1990s with his wife, who had a job for a large newspaper. He was free-lancing, and his travels throughout the region trying track down stories are edifying, hilarious, and right-on insightful. The book about the Middle East is Baghdad Without a Map. Another, Confederates in the Attic, is about a tour through the South to Civil War sites and his discussions with the war’s many aficionados. I’ve just started, and I’ve already learned about the re-enactors who won’t eat so they can assume the emaciated look of real Civil War soldiers. Horwitz is that rare journalist that combines the eye for detail with a novelist’s sense of storytelling. Check him out.

 

Water

I’m taking a scuba refresher course as my middle daughter gets certified. Spent about 10 hours in the pool last weekend, will do close to the same again this weekend. The instructor reminded us that 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean, or is under water, so it’s a wonder more people don’t scuba dive. Made me think of all the water facts from grade school: 98 percent of water is in the oceans, 2 percent of all water on earth is fresh, and only .035 percent of the planet’s total is in lakes and rivers. Just in case you needed to know. Immerse yourself.

— By Scott McLeod

blog comments powered by Disqus
Read 701 times

Media

blog comments powered by Disqus

This Must Be the Place

  • This must be the place

    art theplaceMary Harper was quite possibly the first real friend I made when I moved to Western North Carolina.

    With my apartment a few blocks away from the Water’n Hole Bar & Grill in Waynesville, I ventured down there at night trying to see what was up in this town, trying to make some friends, and trying not to feel alone and isolated in a new place where I was unknown to all who surrounded me. Harper, with her million-dollar smile and swagger, immediately made me feel at home. 

    Written on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 00:00 Read more...