Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Weekend Shows

This past weekend we were fortunate to finally get out and watch some live music. We started the weekend Thursday night at Ri Ra Arlington to see the Oneside dance party. Actually it wasn't marketed as a "dance" party - but by the end of the night 3/4 of the bar was standing and dancing to the band's originals and covers of Johnny Cash, The Band, Paul Simon, and the Rolling Stones. After seeing the band a half dozen times now, this was by far the most rockin' show. It also helps to have a young energetic crowd attending as well as members of Scythian, who just finished a mini tour with the band. We will see Oneside New Years Eve at the Ri Ra Irish Pub in Bethesda.

One Friday night we headed to Annapolis to see Loudon Wainwright III play a set at the Rams Head Tavern. Wainwright had a brief period of celebrity in the early 1970's but since he has silently built a loyal following of fans as well as film and T.V. credits in M*A*S*H, Undeclared, 28 Days, Big Fish, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and most recently Knocked Up. In fact, Knocked Up has given Wainwright a new, younger audience for his songs and allowed him to release Strange Weirdos: Music from and Inspired by the Film Knocked Up. This new generation have discovered Wainwright's completely honest and open songwriting. Basically these are songs with meaning. Some songs show that - to steal a phrase - Wainwright is the adult Raffi: The Sh*T Song, Doin' the Math, I'm Alright, The Drinking Song, and his seasonal songs - Thanksgiving and Suddenly It's Christmas. Other songs bring tears such as The Picture, White Winos, and A Father and a Son. This evening he played them all, including Daughter - from the Knocked Up soundtrack - and a song dedicated to the baggage handler for destroying his prized guitar, perhaps the most popular songs of the evening. Some of the songs he played came from his latest release, Recovery, consisting of songs he wrote and recorded in the early 1970's. A better representation of what we heard is Career Moves or our favorite So Damn Happy. In any case, Loudon Wainwright III has a heavy tour schedule this winter - both on the left and right coasts. You'll be glad you saw him.

When leaving the Rams Head, we saw Virgil Caine in the window of Stan and Joe's, playing multiple instruments in front of a crowded bar. We stepped in for a final beer and watched Caine energize the crowd with the guitar, fiddle, and keyboards. This is one talented individual. And there's usually never a cover at his acts. He's also traveling quite extensively along the east coast, particularly around the Finger Lakes in New York.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lets Join Together To Support A Man Of Faith: Benefit for Chris Kent

We recently received word that fellow musicians have scheduled a benefit concert on December 5th for Chris Kent at the 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill, in Nashville Tennessee. Cash donations of at least $10 will be accepted at the door.

"Chris Kent is a local bass guitar ace, currently touring with Lorrie Morgan, but his accolades run deep and cover all genres of music. Chris is battling Myeloma, cancer of the plasma cells, and he needs a little help from his friends and community. On Friday December 5th starting at 7pm, we will have a star-studded cast of Music City’s finest joining and jamming together to celebrate and raise a little holiday support for Chris and his family. Country star Lorrie Morgan, jazz greats Denny Jiosa and Larry Carlton, drumming icons Chester Thompson and Derico Watson, and Country rebel Hal Ketchum are just a few that will join us that evening. "

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Miranda Lambert and LouViney Winery

A year or so after country singer Miranda Lambert launched her music career with her debut album, Kerosene, the Lambert family started exploring creating a private wine label on her behalf. They eventually selected LouViney Winery, a small family owned winery in Winnsboro Texas to produce the wines. According to Susann Briggs, the Lambert's visited their winery, enjoyed the taste of the wines, and was impressed with the "family oriented values upon which we built our winery". The next step required formulated the wine styles that the Lamberts were seeking. Fortunately LouViney could use existing blends to satisfy their requests, all except for one. It appears Miranda enjoys a crisp Pinot Grigio styled wine and LouViney had to create a new wine to match this style. The result was "Kerosene" - sound familiar - and is made from the Blanc Du Bois grape. Never heard of this hybrid; see the WineCompass Wine 101 section for a summary. The wine labels and tasting notes are listed below. Anyone interested in purchasing these wines can do so through the Miranda Lambert store or take a trip to Winnsboro and buy directly from LouViney Winery.

Miranda Lambert Belle
In naming our wines, we wanted to select those that would reflect the spirit of the wine as well as the attributes of Miranda. Southern Belle came to mind. In defining the word Belle we found it to be the perfect fit for this sweet wine as well as for Miranda. Simply put, it means the most beautiful. With her true southern spirit, she epitomizes southern hospitality and beauty while being a just a little bit flirty. As you might sense in looking at the beautiful label, in like manner, this light-bodied sweet, red wine is a mouthful of ripe cherry and raspberry flavors that tingle the palate. The finish is silky smooth and leaves you wanting more. It pairs well with chicken, red meats, mildly seasoned pastas and Miranda’s favorite - wild game dishes. Serve chilled.

Miranda Lambert County Road 233
Our most robust spirit is full of fruity flavor and powerful color, yet is smooth in texture and delivery. With its ripe berry essence, the aroma lingers as long as its explosive finish. This dry velvety Merlot is endowed with just the right balance of power and finesse that make it an excellent companion to steak and pastas with full-bodied red sauce or, for special treat, try it with dark chocolate. Simply decadent!

Miranda Lambert Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
An alluring radiant wine bears overtones of ripe pears, honey, and golden raisins. Lusciously aromatic it is perfect for those who prefer the sweeter things in life. It is so deliciously perfumed, it has been teased as dessert in a bottle! Just like a Crazy-Ex, you’ll be seduced over and over by this charmer. So mild it can be served with fruit, light cheeses, sorbets and other light desserts, it is also delightful with Sunday brunch on the patio, fruit-glazed chicken dishes and spicy Asian cuisines.

Miranda Lambert Electric Pink
A semi-sweet wine similar to White Zinfandel, this brilliant pink light-bodied wine has a delicious berry taste and aroma. And just like Miranda’s famous electric pink guitar, it often produces a sudden sense of thrilling excitement! Our blush is a vivid, sweet, great choice for sipping on the front porch on warm summer days. It goes well with spicy foods such as Thai, as well as cheese and other light appetizers. Serve chilled.

Miranda Lambert Kerosene
This dry, straw-colored wine is light, yet pleasingly tart with softening hints of pear and ripe apple. It is similar to Pinot Grigio. The finish is clean and crisp. It marries well with pastas in cream sauce, fish, grilled chicken, garlic-based dishes and spicy foods. It is also a good wine to compliment light appetizers or a first course. Actually this versatile white delight can pair with most any dish or be enjoyed by itself in the shade of your favorite tree. Serve chilled.

Miranda Lambert Red 55
Wineries have found Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends are star performers, and perhaps that’s why our friends and family selected this wine as the front-runner in our inaugural tasting. Named after Miranda’s prized first pickup, a candy apple red 1955 Chevy step-side, this beautiful cherry-colored wine is smooth and medium bodied with a mellow berry aroma. This slightly juicy blend dodges over-oaking. Just like Miranda’s vintage ‘55, our Red 55 is sure to be a classic. Pair this best-all-around wine with almost any kind of food, from fancy fare dinners to picnics and BBQs.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sirius XM Radio Channel Merger

Subscribers to XM Radio should have noticed several programming changes this week as XM and Sirius Satellite Radio merged channels. We primarily listened to three stations Bluegrass Junction (14), Bluesville (76) and X Country (12). Fortunately there has been no change to the first two and we can still here Bill Wax, Kyle Cantrell, and Marty Fitzpatrick play their favorites. However, we are sad to report that X Country has been replaced by Sirius' Alt-Country channel Outlaw Country. The new channel includes shows hosted by several well known artists: Elizabeth Cook's Apron Strings; The Loon In The Afternoon - Mojo Nixon; Marty Stuart's American Odyssey; and Steve Earle: Hardcore Troubadour Radio. We listened to Ms. Cook's broadcast this week and liked what we heard. But we will miss the X Country personalities, particularly Jessie Scott, Robert Earl Keen, Jack Ingram, Texas Fred, and Dave Alvin.

On other channels, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan's shows are still available and we got our first listen to Jimmy Buffett's Radio Margaritaville. Besides Buffett, we heard John Prine and John Hiatt this morning. We are also looking forward to hearing the Elvis Channel - all Elvis all the time - and Bruce Springsteen's show. So everything is not all bad.

For more information visit Orbit Cast and give us your thoughts of the lineup changes.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Actors on Tour

While scanning events at MyJoog.com we noticed that several actors are flaunting their musical abilities and touring across the United States. Perhaps the most known as a musical performer is Kevin Bacon, who with brother Michael, record as The Bacon Brothers. Michael Bacon began his musical career when Kevin was still a teen and is an acclaimed composer of musical scores and musician. Over the years, the two collaborated together and eventually the duo performed onstage together in 1994. Soon after their debut CD, Forosoco, was released, followed by several recordings: Getting There, Can't Complain, and White Knuckles. Their current Tour is in support of New Years Day, available at any moment. We really like the reggae infused Bunch of Words available from their myspace page.

We had heard rumors that Kevin Costner dabbled in music and it was confirmed with the release of Untold Truths. Kevin Costner & Modern West is supporting this CD by taking their Americana sound through Nashville, the Baltimore\Washington D.C. area, and New York City. Samples of the CD are available on their myspace page. Let us know what you think. Modern West includes several accomplished musicians John Coinman, Blair Forward, Teddy Morgan, Larry Cobb, Park Chisholm, and Bobby Yang.

The biggest surprise was seeing Bryan Greenberg on tour. We had no idea, that the star of
October Road was a musician, but he released his debut album, Waiting For Now, last year. He's spending the remainder of 2008 playing shows with Graham Colton, Michael Tolcher, and Tim Brantley. We've listened to Colton and Tolcher before and they can carry their weight. It will be nice to see if Greenberg can perform at that level. See you at Jammin' Java.

Monday, November 3, 2008

MyJoog Venue: Dogfish Head Alehouse

One of our favorite breweries is Delaware's Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Sam Calagione and brewmaster Andy Tveekrem craft truly historic beers - that is - along with their standard line of excellent I.P.A., Pale Ales, and Pilsners the winery produces several beers replicated from ancient recipes. This past Saturday, at the Falls Church, Virginia Dogfish Head Alehouse, we listened to rockin' blues from Bad Influence Band and sipped several sifters of their Midas Touch Golden Elixir. The "actual oldest-known fermented beverage in the world!" In the 1957 an archaeological expedition uncovered the possible burial chamber of King Midus in central Turkey. Inside the chamber were over 150 drinking vessels that contained chemical residues of barley, grapes, honey and saffron. Using these ingredients as a base, Dogfish Head re-created the ancient recipe blending one of the oldest grape varieties, Muscat, with barley, honey and saffron. The "Phrygian cocktail" is awesome and powerful (9.0% abv), which explains the sifter. It tastes more like a brandy - with the floral aroma and flavors of the Muscat up front.

At the same time that "Phrygian cocktail" was being fermented in the Middle East 9,000 years ago, the early Chinese were fermenting a concoction of rice, honey and fruit. Molecular Archeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania, who analyzed the King Midus drinking vessels, found similar residue in the preserved Chinese pottery jars. He passed this information along to Dogfish Head, resulting in Chateau Jiahu. In trying to remain historically accurate the brewery uses pre-gelatinized rice flakes, Wildflower honey, Muscat grapes, barley malt, hawthorn fruit, and Chrysanthemum flowers. The rice and barley malt are fermented together with the remaining ingredients added to the wort. The result is a refreshing beer - or at least that's what we remember from the Washington D.C. Wine Festival.

Another historic brew is their Theobroma ("Food of the Dods"), based upon residue from pottery fragments found in Honduras. The chemical analysis discovered an alcoholic chocolate drink used over three thousand years ago - probably in special ceremonies. Dogfish Head version contains Aztec cocoa powder and cocoa nibs, honey, chilies, and annatto - a fragrant tree seed.

Finally we have to note some of our other favorite beers from Dogfish Head - particularly their Raison D'Etre, Palo Santo Marron, and Olde School Barleywine. The Raison D'Etre is brewed with beet sugar, green raisins, and Belgian-style yeast - producing a great slightly sweet malty ale. The Palo Santo Marron is an unfiltered brown ale aged in handmade wooden tanks. The Paraguayan Palo Santo wood add caramel and vanilla flavors to the beer. The Olde School Barleywine is malty and hoppy with an interesting flavor due to fermenting with dates and figs. Another sifter for this beer.

The best place to enjoy these beers are at the brewery itself, either the Rehoboth Beach Brewpub or the Alehouses in Falls Church, Virginia and Gaithersburg, Maryland. Each venue hosts free Saturday night music, with the Rehoboth Beach location landing some national\regional acts and the Alehouses providing a setting for local artists. In November the Rehoboth lineup consists of Nothin But Trouble, Dexter Romweber Duo, Brian McGee and the Hollow Speed,Leaving Texas, Whiskey Rebellion, and Nate Myers & The Aces. At the Alehouses look for Marshall Artz, Evan Bliss & the Welchers, Cletus Kennelly, and One Eyed Pug.