Photo of scam letter

New twist on an old scam; don’t fall for any of them

If you’re in the public eye as many artists and performers are, chances are you’ve been targeted by a scammer. Recently I received an unusual targeted scam that wasn’t your run of the mill pickup line like, “Your computer has been corrupted.” 

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(L to R) Gerry and the Schaks: Kim Balaschak on keyboard, Gerry Sewell doing vocals, and Jim Balaschak on guitar.

Meet Gerry and the Schaks: American classics, skilled musicians, an unforgettable voice

I encountered the band Gerry and the Schaks quite by accident. I’d read a fascinating novel, The Ruby Tear Catcher, by Nahid Sewell, and after I’d written about the novelist for a national magazine, I remained connected with Nahid via Facebook. One day I was scrolling down notifications, and saw a post she’d made about her husband’s music. I clicked on it. I loved what I found. 

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Sunset over Kings Bay Naval Base; Georgia

Despite a hurricane and heat, Naval Base at Kings Bay celebrates birthday

Did you know that October 13 is the 243rd birthday of the US Navy? I didn’t. I learned about it after Rebecca agreed to perform music for one night of the celebrations at the Naval Submarine Base in Kings Bay, Georgia. As the October 11 date approached, south Georgia dealt with Hurricane Michael and for this time of year, intense heat. Despite those obstacles and others commonly associated with big events at a military facility, the Navy’s birthday kicked off smoothly. 

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Via Twitter, a brutally honest and laugh-worthy bipartisan political ad

Twitter is a cesspool as I’ve often said, but there are nuggets mixed in with the slime. One such nugget surfaced today via James Woods’ account. Woods got it from a funny political site where dogs are the top stars. That site appears to have gotten it from YouTube. If this sounds entertaining, it is. All manner of celebs Tweet, and there’s plenty for politics groupies to enjoy regardless of your preferences.

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National Hurricane Center graphic on Hurricane Michael; 10 a.m. October 10, 2018; Advisory 16.

Hurricane on the brain as Michael comes ashore, but storms date to antiquity

Sometimes when you’re listening to coverage about extreme weather events, you just have to laugh. Last night, I was watching the 11 o’clock news. The coverage opened with content about Hurricane Michael and its impact on Florida. The reporter breathlessly noted breaking news in an area the storm would likely target. What was the breaking news? 

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Grassroots Music Festival poster 2018

‘Ragtag roots artist insurgency’ set for Grass Roots Festival in Grass Valley

California will welcome indie musicians to Grass Valley October 19-21 for the Grass Roots Festival. At a time when packaged music dominates airwaves and streams, the organizers of this festival view it as a “ragtag roots artist insurgency.” What, exactly, does that mean? 

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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)

National Poetry Day launches in UK, but Americans get in on the fun

At first I thought it was a mistake because I’ve covered National Poetry Month stories for a long time. In the US, April is the month we celebrate poetry. As I read through posts on the Twitter cesspool, I realized the Brits celebrate the genre differently. Turns out today, October 4, is National Poetry Day in the United Kingdom. It also turns out I found some nice poems nestled in a lot of lame verses. 

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medicine bottles

The show must go on—unless you’re too sick

Every performer deals with it at some point. Things are bopping right along, going great, and then it hits. Someone gifts you with something you definitely don’t want—a virus. But you keep going because you have to. You may think to yourself it’s just a bug, and after a few days you’ll toss it off because you’re young and healthy. Then comes the point when you realize, yes, the show must go on, but sometimes, you just can’t. 

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Photo of Charles Aznavour by Hugo van Gelderen / Anefo

French ‘Sinatra’ Charles Aznavour, who called attention to Armenian genocide, has died

If you’ve never listened to Charles Aznavour’s voice, you’re missing something lovely. Aznavour, widely described by media as the “French Frank Sinatra” died in southeastern France on October 1. Aznavour, whose given name was Shahnour Varinag Aznavourian, was 94 years old. The performer was wildly popular for his love songs, but he also penned the song “Ils Sont Tombes”, anglicized as “They Fell”, about the Armenian genocide. 

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Gordon Lightfoot 2009 Arnielee

Most requested songs at gigs are often from the past

It doesn’t matter if you’re a performer or a music enthusiast, if you’ve taken in live music performances, you will always witness special requests. While it’s true most of my experience is in Americana or country venues, the requests cover all genres. “Time after Time” is a perfect example. 

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