Weissberg’s death a reminder of the poet whose novel helped make banjo picking mainstream

Colleagues, journalists, former students and many others came together to celebrate poet and novelist James Dickey's 70th birthday in 1993. (Photo: Indie Art South)
Colleagues, journalists, former students and many others came together to celebrate poet and novelist James Dickey’s 70th birthday in 1993. (Photo: Indie Art South)

Eric Weissberg passed away on March 22, and his death is a reminder for me of the poet whose novel helped make banjo picking famous. Weissberg picked the banjo in that iconic scene in the 1972 film Deliverance based on the novel by poet and professor James Dickey. Dickey was the strongest influence on my early writing years and I maintained contact with my professor until shortly before his death. That writeup flooded my head and heart with memories.

Continue reading “Weissberg’s death a reminder of the poet whose novel helped make banjo picking mainstream”

Homebound with a 61-year-old Russian mystery linked to nine deaths near Dead Mountain

Searchers find the tent of the dead hikers at Dead Mountain
Searchers found the hikers’ collapsed tent near Dead Mountain. (Photo by Soviet authorities in 1959)

I learn so much in this world by accident—chance meetings with people, natural phenomena, and sometimes, media. Homebound to avoid the Coronavirus risk, I was cleaning our bedroom. My husband left the TV on, but I’d muted it. I caught a glimpse of old photos of young people, lots of snow, and something that looked like a Yeti or Sasquatch. Curious, I unmuted the TV. Continue reading “Homebound with a 61-year-old Russian mystery linked to nine deaths near Dead Mountain”

Porter Union set for new album with no “overproduced, cliche filled songs”

Album cover credit @porterunion
Album cover credit @porterunion on Facebook.

Country band Porter Union is set for their new album release, Loved and Lost, on March 6, 2020, and if that album takes a customary approach, you’ll find no “overproduced, cliché filled songs” in the liner notes. Based on their past music, the band led by husband and wife Cole Michael and Kendra Porter should deliver a great deal of listening pleasure to fans of authentic music so rare in a culture dominated by formula and pop-hybrids.

This is one busy group of musicians, and with good reason. Continue reading “Porter Union set for new album with no “overproduced, cliche filled songs””

Authenticity endures as Matchbox Twenty heads to Jacksonville

Matchbox Twenty official picture
Image from matchboxtwenty.com

By Jenn Day Thompson

Anyone who was around in the 1990s has likely heard of Rob Thomas and his band Matchbox Twenty. The group epitomized the pop rock sound and style of the decade. I became a fan the first time I heard their single “Push”. This was back when a music video could make or break a song. Continue reading “Authenticity endures as Matchbox Twenty heads to Jacksonville”

As Season 2 of ‘Blue Book’ nears, a look back at famous band named for UFOs

415 night fighter squadron Northrop P61 Black Widow used during World War II. (US Government image)
415 night fighter squadron Northrop P61 Black Widow used during World War II. (US Government image)

Season 2 of Project Blue Book will premiere on The History channel on January 21, and if it’s as entertaining as Season 1, fans will be pleased. The series is based on true events, but as I pointed out in an earlier article, there’s also lots of fiction interwoven because this is a series for entertainment. It’s not a documentary and doesn’t profess to be. There are some quirky notes within this series, many of them related to hard truth. One of those quirks relates to a famous band and how it got its name. Continue reading “As Season 2 of ‘Blue Book’ nears, a look back at famous band named for UFOs”