Saturday, July 27, 2013

Great Blog

A former Watsekan's blog (great entry yesterday about the Watseka Theatre):

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Leroy Troy and the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, Watseka August 3, 2013

There are still tickets available to see the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band ("TMJB") in Watseka on August 3, 2013. My friend Bill Melton and I are opening. Bill and I will receive no financial gain from it (but you might want to buy some of Bill’s CDs). I just really hope to see old friends. 

I do, however, want to tell you about the main act. I wholeheartedly encourage you to attend. The TMJB's members are a “living history lesson” and – they are nice people. They could skip Watseka on their tour but they are not – and they are bringing something special to town.

I know many of you listen to country music. Even if you don’t, I’ll bet you’ve tapped your feet to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s songs or hummed along with the Allman Brothers’ “Ramblin’ Man.” I’d be surprised if you’ve never sung along in your car to an Eagles' song (I hope I’ve just put “Take It Easy” into your head). That music (country, southern rock, and country rock (heck, all rock)) can trace its roots to the old-time music that echoed through the hills of Tennessee.  

The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band plays old-time Tennessee music as it was originally played. The guys do it in a family-friendly way that combines Vaudevillian showmanship with musical virtuosity.  Their show is affordable and they are nice guys.  If music moves you, skipping the TMJB is like ignoring the Mona Lisa and praising Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can.

But Tom (you ask): “How do you know the TMJB has nice guys?”  Well, my friends (fellow acoustic musicians Bob and Lori) told me so. Bob’s and Lori’s son, Connor, is autistic. Connor loves the Marty Stuart show and he adores Leroy Troy. Connor went with his folks to see Leroy Troy and the TMJB (of which Leroy is a member) in Silver Dollar City last year. Here’s what Bob told me about it:

“Connor wanted to see Leroy Troy and the TMJB so much that we attended both shows that day. After the show Leroy and the band all lined up to sell merchandise, sign autographs, and just talk to folks and take pictures. Connor was way too shy to approach them, but when we told them they were his favorite, Leroy signed a CD 'to Connor, from your friend Leroy Troy' and brought it out around the table. Leroy asked Connor if he had Leroy's new CD. Connor said 'no,' and Leroy said ‘you do now.’ They all said goodbye to Connor, and were friendly and pleasant to everyone. Great bunch of guys! All of them talked to Connor and were extremely nice, a class act. If you get a chance, thank them again for us and tell them Connor says ‘hi.’ Besides that, they are excellent musicians and play ‘real’ music.” 

How can you not want to support, see, hear, and meet people like that? Come to the show - bring your significant other, your friends, your children, your families . . . .

Here's more about the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band:

Thanks and I’ll see you at the Watseka Theatre.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Gettysburg is relevant to today's politics . . .

On the eve of Independence Day, the bloviators (left and right) of talk radio and television punditry are still getting rich spewing hate and distorting information. Their lemmings take to the internet in droves to perpetuate the silliness.

The eve of this Independence Day marks a significant anniversary: The Battle of Gettysburg ended 150 years ago today.

At the end of the battle approximately 8,000 Americans lay dead. More than 40,000 more were wounded, missing or captured.

I choose to honor this event by asking you to challenge those who attack their fellow Americans’ intellect, devotion, and (worse) patriotism. We don’t all have to agree. We don’t all have to be of the same political orientation.

It was the terrible toll at Gettysburg that prompted President Lincoln, on November 19, 1863, to challenge us to honor the dead by ensuring “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

It would do us all well to remember Mr. Lincoln’s challenge was issued BECAUSE of hostility between Americans – not to encourage more hostility.