road

Mountain Heart's 'ROAD THAT NEVER ENDS' DROPS OCT 23

Josh Shilling- for the Grateful Web

Mountain Heart, one of the most talented, versatile and explosive sextets in the acoustic firmament, will offer a special treat to fans new and old this October 23rd with the release of Road That Never Ends (The Live Album) on Rural Rhythm Records.  Building on the group's already recognized strengths, Road That Never Ends ups the ante by bringing new elements of rock, blues and even jazz to its signature blend of bluegrass, gospel and jamgrass, underlining the sextet's unique role in the world of acoustic music.

Recorded on May 26th of this year in the intimacy of Ann Arbor, Michigan's 400-seat venue, The Ark, The Road... represents Mountain Heart's first live recording, and as their faithful listeners (from cozy clubs to such fabled festivals as Telluride, MerleFest and RockyGrass) well know, it is in front of a live audience that this award-winning combo is truly in its exuberant, celebratory element. Presenting nearly an hour's worth of tried-and-true fan favorites along with some choice new additions destined to lock-in even upon first hearing, the recording also showcases the band's newest addition, guitarist and primary lead singer Josh Shilling.

Just 23 years old but with a wealth of pan-genre experience (and already a gifted songwriter), Shilling's elastic, expressive tenor handles the traditional high lonesome sound with uncanny flair even as his way with ballads (as on his own seductive, heartbreaking "Who's the Fool Now?") and soulful, gut-bucket blues (the low-down original "It Works Both Ways" and a scintillating interpretation of the Allman Brothers' eternal "Whipping Post") further expand Mountain Heart's already-enviable stylistic range and command.

Of course, to hold his own in this vaunted company, he HAS to be good. Formed in 1998 with a core group of veterans from Alison Krauss's multi-platinum and highly-awarded, Union Station, and Doyle Lawson's hallowed Quicksilver juggernaut, Mountain Heart cadged its first annual International Bluegrass Music Association award ('Emerging Artist of the Year') in 1999, and they've been racking up group and individual awards and nominations ever since.

adamMandolinist Adam Steffy has garnered six consecutive IBMA nominations as best in his field (winning FIVE!), fiddler, founding member and Road... producer Jim Van Cleve earned a 2006 GRAMMY nomination for 'Best Country Instrumental' with his solo disc No Apologies, (on Rural Rhythm Records) and the rest of the gang (co-founder/banjo wizard Barry Abernathy, bassist Jason Moore and guitarist Clay Jones) routinely dazzle crowds with their individual prowess, intuitive, extra-sensory group interplay and - always - an uncommon knack for crowd-pleasing showmanship.

The disc features scintillating live versions of fan favorites such as Steve Gulley's "I'm Just Here to Ride the Train," a showboating workout on the beloved "Heart Like a Road Sign," Barry Abernathy's stellar reading of Pat McLaughlin's soaring "God and Everybody," and rollicking, kinetic instrumentals "Devil's Courthouse" (from Van Cleve's solo disc) and the lights-out closer "#6 Barn Dance" (which somehow falls just short of setting the Michigan woodlands ablaze).

An extra-special treat is the welcome return of "The Gospel Train." Mountain Heart's awe-inspiring rendition of the well-traveled traditional roof-raiser helped them earn an IBMA award for 'Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year' in 2002 with the album The Journey, but their then-label has since folded, leaving this inspirational evergreen out-of-print until now.

Change - as we all know - can be taxing, particularly when it involves the personnel of a much-loved touring band. But with Road That Never Ends, Mountain Heart memorably meets the challenge, keeping the home fires burning even as it strikes out for - and conquers - new musical territory.  Their hearts may lie in the mountains, but wherever the road that never ends takes them, these acoustic music masters will always make it feel like a natural home.

YARD DOGS ROAD SHOW ON TOUR IN AUGUST

- for the Grateful Web

The Yard Dogs Road Show is a hobo cabaret, a living patchwork of vaudeville and rock and roll. Last spring they sauntered through the Northwest with their Cabaret Blitz! Tour.  Most recently, the troupe left Oregon Country Fair audiences breathless. This month, the Yard Dogs will return to the Northwest at intimate venues in select cities, performing with Louisiana's restless musical storyteller Gill Landry at Seattle's Triple Door and Portland's Doug Fir Lounge (www.myspace.com/gilllandry). In addition, the Yard Dogs Road Show will share the stage once again with Portland's own Vagabond Opera, this time in Boise, for a late-night shebang with New Belgium Brewery's Tour De Fat (www.vagabondopera.com).

Yard Dogs Road Show are pure visual and sonic voodoo. It's a true story on stage: sword swallowers, dancing dolls, fire eaters and sunset hobo poetry - all animated by the live sounds of the Yard Dogs cartoon heavy band. Born from the saloon vaudeville that toured the Wild West in the late 1800's and slammed into the underworld of modern American road culture. The Yard Dogs create a timeless space for the union of ancient theatrical alchemy and modern pop culture.

Current west coast confirmed show details are as follows:

Sunday, August 12th and Monday, August 13th

Triple Door

w/ Gill Landry

216 Union Street, Seattle

Tickets $20.00 Advance, $22.00 DOS / All Ages Welcome

For more information please visit www.tripledoor.com

Saturday, August 18th and Sunday, August 19th

Doug Fir Lounge

w/ Gill Landry

830 East Burnside Street, Portland

Tickets $15.00 Advance, $17.00 DOS / Ages 21 + Welcome

For more information please visit www.dougfirlounge.com

Saturday, August 25th

The Bouquet

Co-headlining w/ Vagabond Opera

1010 West Main Street , Boise

Tickets $12.00 / All Ages Welcome

New Belgium Tour De Fat after-party

For more information please visit www.thebouquet.net

Look for Yard Dogs Road Show on the East Coast this fall.  Visit www.madisonhousepublicity.com

With the publication of his book, Hobo: A Young Man's Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America (Random House / 2003), straw boss and founding member Eddy Joe Cotton and the Yard Dogs Road Show surfaced into the mainstream media, including recent recognition in SPIN Magazine. As the San Francisco Weekly reviewed, "Many wandering youngsters identify with the label "tramp artist," but few have taken it to the top-hat perfection quite like Eddy Joe Cotton…[Eddy] and the Yard Dogs Road Show do their neo-vaudeville thing the only way it should be: with flash, panache and an underlying sense of menace."

Bringing rock & roll to theatre and theatre to rock & roll, Yard Dogs Road Show has collaborated with Teatro Zinzanni, Cirque Du Soleil, and Burning Man and have performed such renowned festivals as Bonnaroo, Vegoose, Oregon Country Fair and Wakarusa.

There is some speculation as to the origin of the Yard Dogs Road Show.  Not for the want of mystery but for the difficulty in translating an experience that was navigated by the overly-romantic and sleep deprived. Shows came and went leaving very little time to fully comprehend what was going on.  Some say the carnival-inspired performance art of the Yard Dogs Road Show began as a three piece jug band performing in road houses and dance halls and at informal gatherings, including Oregon's modern day acid tests with Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters. Some say they traveled in a 1967 Ford Galaxy 500 and the evolution of their show revealed itself in the flames of a campfire on Dog Creek Road: dancing dolls with feather fans, an hombre in silver sunglasses eating fire, a dreamy guitar boy with golden locks, a bearded swami capable of conjuring the supernatural. Others say this story is complete hogwash and it was actually the brainchild of a unemployed "cowboy" and his faithful muse – transient artists with an incredible talent for brainstorming impossible ideas while under the influence of poppy tea and wishful thinking.  By chance these conversations were overheard by an ambitious young poet who decided to actualize them for the sake of all impossible dreams everywhere.

Either way, that was seven years ago, and the unlikely troupe of gypsies has been performing on stages ever since.

YARD DOGS ROAD SHOW ON TOUR IN MAY: CABARET BLITZ!

- for the Grateful Web

Fresh from a wildly successful European debut, the West's sexiest, surliest performance troupe hits the road this may for their Cabaret Blitz! tour. Then, catch them in Manchester, Tennessee this June for their Bonnaroo debut

Consider Yard Dogs Road Show's "Cabaret Blitz!" a polite challenge to all that is prevailing in American culture.  There is poetry everywhere and it must be acknowledged!  Collaborating for these shows with regional and local artists, the groups billed along this very special run represent a menagerie of west coast cabaret and circus arts.  Many of them have never shared the same stage.  They come with open hearts to engage a decorated and poetic civilization.  Dress code: A formal rendition of your inner carnival - something stitched and stunning and nearly falling off.

Born from the saloon vaudeville that toured the Wild West in the late 1800's and slammed into the underworld of modern American road culture, Yard Dogs Road Show create a timeless and surreal union of ancient theatrical alchemy and modern pop culture. It's a true story on stage: sword swallowers, dancing dolls, fire eaters and hobo sunset poetry - all animated by the live sounds of the Yard Dogs cartoon band. Yard Dogs Road Show is pure visual and sonic voodoo. The times have demanded it and here it is: "The new emergence of road show nobility."

Cabaret Blitz! Show dates include:
Fri May 4     Showbox              Seattle, WA w/ Circus Contraption
Sat May 5     Nightlight           Bellingham, WA w/ Dream Science Circus
Sun May 6     The Commodore        Vancouver, BC
                                   w/ Tarran the Tailor and the Ancient Rugged Revival
Mon May 7     Capitol Theater      Olympia, WA w/ Femme De Fabrique
Tue May 8     Wonder Ballroom      Portland, OR w/ March Fourth Marching Band
Wed May 9     McDonald Theater     Eugene, OR w/ Vagabond Opera
Thu May 10    Ashland Armory       Ashland, OR w/ Vagabond Opera
Sat May 12    Fillmore Auditorium  San Francisco, CA w/ Rosin Coven and others TBA
June 14-17    Bonnaroo Festival    Manchester TN

There is some speculation as to the origin of the Yard Dogs Road Show.  Not for the want of mystery but for the difficulty in translating an experience that was navigated by the overly-romantic and sleep deprived. Shows came and went leaving very little time to fully comprehend what was going on.  Some say the carnival-inspired performance art of the Yard Dogs Road Show began as a three piece jug band performing in road houses and dance halls and at informal gatherings, including Oregon's modern day acid tests with Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters. Some say they traveled in a 1967 Ford Galaxy 500 and the evolution of their show revealed itself in the flames of a campfire on Dog Creek Road: dancing dolls with feather fans, an hombre in silver sunglasses eating fire, a dreamy guitar boy with golden locks, a bearded swami capable of conjuring the supernatural . Others say this story is complete hogwash and it was actually the brainchild of a unemployed "cowboy" and his faithful muse – transient artists with an incredible talent for brainstorming impossible ideas while under the influence of poppy tea and wishful thinking.  By chance these conversations were overheard by an ambitious young poet who decided to actualize them for the sake of all impossible dreams everywhere.

Either way, that was seven years ago, and the unlikely troupe of gypsies has been performing on stages ever since.

With the publication of his book, Hobo: A Young Man's Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America (Random House / 2003), straw boss and founding member Eddy Joe Cotton and the Yard Dogs Road Show surfaced into the mainstream media, including recent recognition in SPIN Magazine. Bringing rock & roll to theatre and theatre to rock & roll, they have collaborated with Teatro Zinzanni, Cirque Du Soleil, and Burning Man and have performed such renowned festivals as Vegoose, Oregon Country Fair and Wakarusa.

YARD DOGS ROAD SHOW PRESENTS: CABARET BLITZ!

Consider Yard Dogs Road Show's "Cabaret Blitz!" a polite challenge to all that is prevailing in American culture.  There is poetry everywhere and it must be acknowledged!  Collaborating for these shows with regional and local artists, the groups billed along this very special run represent a menagerie of west coast cabaret and circus arts.  Many of them have never shared the same stage.  They come with open hearts to engage a decorated and poetic civilization.  Dress code:  a formal outward expression of one's inner carnival.

Born from the saloon vaudeville that toured the Wild West in the late 1800's and slammed into the underworld of modern American road culture, Yard Dogs Road Show create a timeless and surreal union of ancient theatrical alchemy and modern pop culture. It's a true story on stage: sword swallowers, dancing dolls, fire eaters and hobo sunset poetry - all animated by the live sounds of the Yard Dogs cartoon band. Yard Dogs Road Show is pure visual and sonic voodoo. The times have demanded it and here it is: "The new emergence of road show nobility."

Cabaret Blitz! Show dates include:

Fri May 4     Showbox              Seattle, WA w/ Circus Contraption
Sat May 5     Nightlight           Bellingham, WA w/ Dream Science Circus
Sun May 6     The Commodore        Vancouver, BC w/ Tarran the Tailor & the Ancient Rugged Revival
Mon May 7     Capitol Theater      Olympia, WA w/ Femme De Fabrique
Tue May 8     Wonder Ballroom      Portland, OR March Fourth Marching Band
Wed May 9     McDonald Theater     Eugene, OR w/ Vagabond Opera
Thu May 10    Ashland Armory       Ashland, OR w/ Vagabond Opera
Sat May 12    Fillmore Auditorium  San Francisco, CA w/ Rosin Coven and others TBA

There is some speculation as to the origin of the Yard Dogs Road Show.  Not for the want of mystery but for the difficulty in translating an experience that was navigated by the overly-romantic and sleep deprived. Shows came and went leaving very little time to fully comprehend what was going on.  Some say the carnival-inspired performance art of the Yard Dogs Road Show began as a three piece jug band performing in road houses and dance halls and at informal gatherings, including Oregon's modern day acid tests with Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters. Some say they traveled in a 1967 Ford Galaxy 500 and the evolution of their show revealed itself in the flames of a campfire on Dog Creek Road: dancing dolls with feather fans, an hombre in silver sunglasses eating fire, a dreamy guitar boy with golden locks, a bearded swami capable of conjuring the supernatural . Others say this story is complete hogwash and it was actually the brainchild of a unemployed "cowboy" and his faithful muse – transient artists with an incredible talent for brainstorming impossible ideas while under the influence of poppy tea and wishful thinking.  By chance these conversations were overheard by an ambitious young poet who decided to actualize them for the sake of all impossible dreams everywhere. Either way, that was seven years ago, and the unlikely troupe of gypsies has been performing on stages ever since.

With the publication of his book, Hobo: A Young Man's Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America (Random House / 2003), ringleader and founding member Eddy Joe Cotton and the Yard Dogs Road Show surfaced into the mainstream media, including recent recognition in SPIN Magazine. Bringing rock & roll to theatre and theatre to rock & roll, they have collaborated with Teatro Zinzanni, Cirque Du Soleil, and Burning Man and have performed such renowned festivals as Vegoose, Oregon Country Fair and Wakarusa. Look for the troupe on tour this spring/summer, including a coveted Bonnaroo play.

The Road to Maho Bay

Maho Bay by John Souders- for the Grateful Web

The trip along North Shore Road from Cruz Bay on St. John to Maho Bay Camps passes some extraordinary scenery.  The scenery includes views of Cruz Bay and Pillsbury Sound from the top of the first hill, of off-shore cays in the Windward Passage, of Trunk Bay and Trunk Cay from the Trunk Bay overlook, the Danish ruins in the tropical forest by Cinnamon Bay, the views of Maho Bay and the campground on Maho Point from the overlook at America's Point.  You know you are almost there when you see the campground but you still need to go down the hill, go alongside big Maho Bay, back into the forest and up the bumpy road to the campground.
 
But the high point for many of us is when the road runs alongside big Maho Bay, just yards from the beautiful white sand beach. It is the bay and beach and scenery of dreams.  And this incredibly beautiful area alongside big Maho Bay is under threat and at risk.
 
It is a complicated situation with issues and ramifications.  All of us, and that includes Maho Bay Camps, Friends of the Virgin Islands National and the National Parks Conservation Association urge your involvement.  What follows is essentially a cry for help drafted by the Friends of the Virgin Island National Park:
 
"You may already be aware that (big) Maho Bay is being seriously threatened and requires the urgent attention of everyone who enjoys the easy access to the beautiful beach at Maho Bay and values the crystal-clear waters of that bay.   The property bordered by the road at Maho Beach and encompassing virtually the entire basin as one looks inland, right up to Centerline Road, Mamey Peak and Ajax Peak is a beautiful and pristine area, rich in botanical wonders and historic treasures, that appears to be parkland - but is not - and is now facing a significant threat. This land is owned in common by the NPS, Trust for Public Land and seven of the heirs of the original owner.
 
A private individual is now attempting to purchase the seven shares from the heirs to build an "institute", return a few acres to each of these heirs, develop a significant personal compound and possibly develop additional land for residential home sites.  He is insisting that the NPS and the Trust for Public Land (TPL) sell their four shares, as well as other contiguous properties, to him and agree to a number of other conditions.
 
The land transactions in question are between willing sellers and a willing buyer.  They are perfectly legal and, as distressing as the thought may be, they may well be the best current alternative to protecting at least part of Maho Bay and the surrounding lands from rampant development. However, the four conditions he is insisting upon,
 
-NPS and TPL to sell their four shares, as well as other contiguous properties, to him;
-Permission to reroute the road and thereby impede access to Maho beach;
-Permission to build a 120' x 60' dock in the bay; and,
-Permission to drain the wetlands and open a permanent channel to the bay,
 
are egregious and will cause significant environmental damage to the bay and wetlands, as well as hamper the free and easy access to Maho beach that we have always enjoyed.
 
To learn more about the threat to Maho Bay, please go to:http://www.friendsvinp.org/maho_action.htm
 
We encourage you to contact National Park Service Director Fran Mainella and express your concern about Maho Bay.  Specifically, We suggest that you ask her to:
-Protect the integrity of Virgin Islands National Park and the National Park Service by not entering into any agreement that sells NPS land or sells NPS shares in land held in common.
-Protect the fragile marine resources of Maho Bay by not allowing the construction of a dock in the bay or allowing the wetlands to be drained and a permanent channel to be opened into the bay.
-Protect the right of the residents of St. John and the millions of visitors to this island and VI National Park to enjoy, unimpaired, the spectacular natural beauty of, and easy access to, the beach at Maho Bay."
 
So please write to:
Fran Mainella, Director
National Parks Service
1849 C Street
Washington D.C. 20240
Ph: 202-208-6843
 
While you are certainly welcome to write your letter by copying the text provided above, you are encouraged to personalize and customize your letter to best reflect your personal views.  We strongly request a letter, as in this brave new world letters are worth a hundred emails.
 
All the best,
Stanley Selengut
 
Submitted by John Souders, Travel Editor
 
Read about John Souders's Maho Bay experience
 

John Prine Hits The Road

John Prine - Photo by: John Chiasson- for the Grateful Web

There are very few treasures that arrive with a battered acoustic guitar and open up the windows on basic lives with passion and grace. But when John Prine hits the road, the darkest corners and smallest joys get illuminated by the light of his gravelly, utterly American voice, his way with the plainest of language and the vintage Guild and Martin guitars he plays.

It's when you take these songs out and play them for people that you really get to know 'em," says the Chicago-born and -raised musician. "And it's funny. When we went in to make this record, some of the songs, because we'd been doing them live already, were just so comfortable to record. They were like old buddies almost. That's what I like about performing, beyond the actual performing.

And this year, the celebration of life's forgotten moments begins at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville, North Carolina on April 8. The tour - which is currently booked through May - will extend through the summer and take the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter to all the places people traditionally gather to hear his tales of distinctly common people and ruminations on the fragile, yet tender beauty of life, love and loneliness.

We're gonna have Keb Mo on some of the shows," says Prine of his musical companions. "And we're gonna bring Leon Redbone out for a bunch of the other shows. That's all part of what we're trying to figure out. It's just a matter of making the details work.

Prine will tour again this year with two pieces behind him - along with all the classic Prine favorites fans expect: "Sam Stone," "Hello In There," "Angel From Montgomery," "Paradise," "The Speed of the Sound of Loneliness" as well as songs from Prine's forthcoming Fair & Square, due in-stores on April 26. Certainly songs like "Some Humans Ain't Human," "Other Side of Town" and "My Darling Hometown" have been making friends everywhere they're played.

Fair & Square marks the first album of Prine original material - in addition to Blaze Foley's "Clay Pigeons" and A.P. Carter's "Bear Creek Blues" - in 9 years. With guest appearances by Mindy Smith and Allison Krauss, it's Prine's usual mix'n'match batch of vintage American styles - ranging from sultry shuffles to finger-picked narratives to molten jukebox weepers. "I don't know what exactly I've been doing all this time, though I have been out playing dates. There's something about the road - you start doing it, sometimes, and you forget about making records," confesses the wry songwriter. "This year, though, I'm gonna do both. I can't wait."