There Are Heroes In Sports...

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Friday, February 20, 2009 20 Of Your Sparks

OK, so the MRI showed two bulging disks, L-4 and L-5, with a slight tear in the L-5. The Chiropractor explained that is what caused me to end up on the floor for those hours, since the tear allowed the fluid inside the disk to ooze out and the muscles around it screamed "DUDE, you ain't moving!"

I am now on the MRX Machine which is basically a table that they strap you into around your waist and there is a cord that extends down and the machine pulls you in a series of increasing pressure over a half hour.

That and the manipulation the doctor does and the therapeutic massages should get me back to normal (NO CRACKS YOU BUNCH OF WISEA**ES!) soon...

Spring Training has begun...Have any interest in playing in a Fantasy Baseball League? We have one started on The Victorious Secret League...No cost...just some fun and a ton of ribbing between team owners.

If you are interested, send me at email at and I will make sure you are sent an invitation from the league commissioner MRS. BRAD TURNBABY of "Pointless Drivel" infamy.

Just can draft all the steroid-heads and then cut them from your roster and feel the satisfaction of putting them onto the trash heap. We really want to get 12 players who we know into the league or we will be forced to accept unknown aliens who might kick our a** players with no skill are really wanted!


Speaking of sports...we always feel great when we can pass along stories like this just goes to prove that unlike coaches who push their team to decimate the opponents, there are coaches who teach their teams the word sportsmanship...

If you tend to tear up at heartwarming stories...grab some tissues now...This is from the Associated Press:

It didn't matter that his DeKalb, Ill., High School basketball team had ridden a bus two and a half hours to get to Milwaukee, then waited another hour past game time to play. Didn't matter that the game was close, or that this was a chance to beat a big city team.

Johntel Franklin scored 10 points in the game following the loss of his mother.
Something else was on Dave Rohlman's mind when he asked for a volunteer to shoot two free throws awarded his team on a technical foul in the second quarter. His senior captain raised his hand, ready to go to the line as he had many times before.

Only this time it was different.

"You realize you're going to miss them, don't you?" Coach Dave Rohlman of DeKalb HS said.

Darius McNeal nodded his head. He understood what had to be done.

Darius McNeal, left, missed two free throws on purpose to support grieving opponent,
Johntell Franklin, right, who lost his mom to cancer

It was a Saturday night in February, and the Barbs were playing a non-conference game on the road against Milwaukee Madison. It was the third meeting between the two schools, who were developing a friendly rivalry that spanned two states.

The teams planned to get together after the game and share some pizzas and soda. But the game itself almost never took place.

Hours earlier, the mother of Milwaukee Madison senior captain Johntel Franklin died at a local hospital. Carlitha Franklin had been in remission after a five-year fight with cervical cancer, but she began to hemorrhage that morning while Johntel was taking his college ACT exam.

Her son and several of his teammates were at the hospital late that afternoon when the decision was made to turn off the life-support system. Carlitha Franklin was just 39.

"She was young and they were real close," said Milwaukee coach Aaron Womack Jr., who was at the hospital. "He was very distraught and it happened so suddenly he didn't have time to grieve."

Womack was going to cancel the game, but Franklin told him he wanted the team to play. And play they did, even though the game started late and Milwaukee Madison dressed only eight players.

Early in the second quarter, Womack saw someone out of the corner of his eye. It was Franklin, who came there directly from the hospital to root his teammates on.

The Knights had possession, so Womack called a time out. His players went over and hugged their grieving teammate. Fans came out of the stands to do the same.

"We got back to playing the game and I asked if he wanted to come and sit on the bench," Womack said during a telephone interview.

"No," Franklin replied. "I want to play."

There was just one problem. Since Franklin wasn't on the pre-game roster, putting him in meant drawing a technical foul that would give DeKalb two free throws.

Though it was a tight game, Womack was willing to give up the two points. It was more important to help his senior guard and co-captain deal with his grief by playing.

Over on the other bench, though, Rohlman wasn't so willing to take them. He told the referees to forget the technical and just let Franklin play.

"I could hear them arguing for five to seven minutes, saying, `We're not taking it, we're not taking it," Womack said. "The refs told them, no, that's the rule. You have to take them."

That's when Rohlman asked for volunteers, and McNeal's hand went up.

He went alone to the free throw line, dribbled the ball a couple of times, and looked at the rim.

His first attempt went about two feet, bouncing a couple of times as it rolled toward the end line. The second barely left his hand.

It didn't take long for the Milwaukee players to figure out what was going on.

They stood and turned toward the DeKalb bench and started applauding the gesture of sportsmanship. Soon, so did everybody in the stands.

"I did it for the guy who lost his mom," McNeal told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "It was the right thing to do."

"They may not remember our record 20 years from now, but they'll remember what happened in that gym that night", said Dave Rohlman, head coach of the opposing DeKalb team on what his players will take away from this experience.

Franklin would go on to score 10 points, and Milwaukee Madison broke open the game in the second half to win 62-47. Afterward, the teams went out for pizza, two players from each team sharing each pie.

Franklin stopped by briefly, thankful that his team was there for him.

"I got kind of emotional but it helped a lot just to play," he said. "I felt like I had a lot of support out there."
A Hero In Sports - Coach Dave Rohlman

Folks...this is what sports are all about and I stand and applaud Coach Rohlman. Some people believe that individuals in sports should not be considered worthy of hero-worship...coaches such as this ARE heroes in my mind.

And I can't stop there...this story was written by Jason Smith in the Memphis Commercial Appeal last week and it provided a glimpse into another coach who is in it for the right reasons...

The Christmas card didn't come with an explanation, but judging from the holiday portrait, Mike Ray's family had obviously grown.

Standing to the right of Ray's wife, Billie, and behind their two children, Cullen and Conrad, was a 6-foot-3, 315-pound African-American teenager named O.C. Brown.
Manassas standout O.C. Brown bonds with the extended family he stays with weekdays, the Rays (left).
With them is Manassas coach Bill Courtney and his family.

Nikki Boertman/The Commercial Appeal

Brown spends weekends with his sister and grandmother, Rachel Hayes, 27,
and Ethel Hayes, 67, in their North Memphis home.

Mike Maple/The Commercial Appeal

"It started out with the goal of getting the grades up. That was the main goal," said Ray, a volunteer assistant football coach at Manassas High. "But when someone lives with you, they become part of the family. That's just the way it works."

Brown, a junior offensive tackle and one of Shelby Metro's top college prospects in the class of 2010, has lived on weekdays with the Rays in their 7,000-square-foot Germantown home since October, when Ray and his friend, sixth-year Manassas offensive coordinator Bill Courtney, realized Brown's poor grades were jeopardizing his chances of going to college.

His football potential was unquestionable. At more than 300 pounds, Brown could get down the field like a running back, and college programs were starting to take notice.

"Mike got his transcripts and said, 'You know, Bill, he's not failing anything, but he's got to do better,'" said Courtney, who last spring convinced Ray, a neighbor and former lineman at Arkansas State, to help out as a volunteer coach for Manassas.

Brown's grandmother, Ethel Hayes, his legal guardian, was already threatening to take Brown off the team if his grades didn't improve. So Courtney and Ray, while driving to McKenzie, Tenn., to scout the Tigers' first-round playoff opponent, came up with a plan.

"I went to (Hayes) and said, 'You've trusted me this far with him. You've got to trust me on this,'" said Courtney, who had coached Brown since his freshman season. "'Instead of taking football from him, let's work out a plan to get him where he needs to be.'

"Mike said, 'How are we going to do that?' And I said, 'We've got to tutor him at night.' But the problem was there weren't any tutors that we could get that were going to go to New Chicago at 8:30 on a Tuesday night to tutor him."

Ray, a full-time salesman for FedEx Custom Critical, had gotten to know Brown well in his first season as the Tigers' line coach. He had taken Brown and a few of his teammates on an unofficial recruiting visit to Arkansas State.

Ray had an extra room at home, but he would have to get it by his wife, Billie, if Brown, whom she had also gotten to know fairly well through her husband, was going to live with the Rays on a daily basis.

"I said, 'What would you think about doing this?' And she's like, 'Well, I don't know,'" Ray said.

"Then we started talking about it and she said, 'Who is it?' and I said, 'O.C.,' and she goes, 'Oh. I don't care. That's fine,' because she already knew him."

And O.C.'s grandmother? Would she go along with the plan as well, allowing Brown, whom she had raised along with four other of his siblings since he was 2, to live with a well-off white family she barely knew?

"They always have had an interest in O.C., and they have kind of put their arms around him," Hayes said. "I knew they were going to take good care of him."

As big and strong as he is, Brown's voice is soft. His quiet, church-boy demeanor off the field hardly seems to match his imposing size as a 16-year-old.

"He's kind of like a Clark Kent," Manassas head football coach Tommy Warren said. "He's mild-mannered, like a gentle giant, without the pads on. But once he puts those pads on, it's a different story. I'm serious."

While at Humes Middle School, Brown was pushed ahead a grade from the sixth to the eighth, "because he was so big," Courtney said. It explains why Brown is a year younger than most of his junior peers and had struggled to keep up at Manassas in subjects like math and history.

"O.C. doesn't have a mental deficiency," Courtney said. "What he had was a lack of emphasis on his grades."

"He was doing what it takes just to get by," said Brown's older sister, Rachel Hayes, 27, a teacher at Havenview Middle School who helped raise Brown.

As part of the plan to get Brown's grades up, Courtney, whose children attend St. George's Independent School, hired St. George's senior and National Merit Semifinalist Adeline Brown to tutor him three hours a week at Ray's home.

"He came down the stairs and I was like, 'Oh, my God!' because he's so big," she said. "He's a very quiet guy, but he's the nicest guy ever.

"The whole time, I could tell he was smart. As soon as I'd explain something, he'd catch right on. I mean, we've had to cover a lot and we're still working on it, but he's definitely picking up stuff really fast and he's working hard at it."

Courtney, owner of Classic American Hardwoods in the Manassas neighborhood, drives Brown to school each morning on weekdays, then back to the Rays' home after school. Brown spends weekends with his grandmother and other siblings at Hayes' modest home in New Chicago, the poverty-stricken North Memphis neighborhood surrounding Manassas.

"I feel like a king," Brown said. "I liked it from the start, because I knew they were trying to help me.

"It's fun. First, I've got to do my work and stuff, and then I have the rest of the day to play and work out and stuff like that."

The arrangement, so far, has worked, though Brown admits he sometimes worries his teammates might become jealous of the extra attention he's received from Courtney and Ray. One of Brown's teammates, Manassas junior center Julius Martin, has slept over on occasion with Brown at the Rays' home, but not regularly.

Ray said he feels guilty he can't offer the same opportunity to more of Manassas' players.

"He made a 3.0 (grade-point average), and we've only had him half the semester. But there's a lot of kids out there that could do just as good as O.C. if they were given the same opportunity, and they're not. And there's no way we can save them all," Ray said.

"It just so happened there were three or four things, where he was a nice kid and we knew he was a talent going to waste if something didn't happen. I don't want to say we chose him. We kind of chose each other. But I feel bad personally that people like Julius could do the same thing."

Courtney said some of his friends and colleagues have expressed amazement at the coaches' willingness to open their homes to Brown. Courtney said he doesn't see it that way.

"Nobody wants to understand the real story is, 'How about him?'" Courtney said. "Why don't you be a 16-year-old black kid whose total exposure to the world stopped at the New Chicago boundary line, and all of a sudden, you're going to turn your world upside down and go live with a bunch of white folks in Germantown, with their rules and with the way they do things -- all so that you can get your grades better and get in school.

"The real story is not the commitment and the sacrifice we've made. He's the one living away from his family. He's the one that's had to adapt."

Brown sees it more as an opportunity, and one he's not willing to waste.

"I think they're doing it to try and help me because they know I can make it somewhere," Brown said.

Brown lost his mother, Shelia, to a brain aneurysm in 1999. "High blood pressure and not taking her medication," said Shelia's mother, Ethel Hayes.

Brown's uncle, Tony Hayes, a former Memphis police officer, was shot and killed in 2006 by his girlfriend, a former deputy jailer who stuffed Tony's body in the trunk of his Lexus.

Brown missed practice to help look for his uncle when he was missing. "He was upset about that one," Ethel said. "He was upset."

Brown's father, O.C. Wier, lives in Whitehaven. "I see him," Brown said.

Yet it's Ethel who has raised Brown since he was a toddler, having taken custody of him and his four siblings.

"The mom wasn't doing what she was supposed to do," Ethel said. "I said, 'Well, it's gotta end somewhere.' So I went down to court and explained to them what was going on because I had to get custody of them because she's not taking care of them."

The tragedy in Brown's life, and Courtney and Ray's plan to take Brown in on a weekly basis, has led some of their friends to compare their story to that of Ole Miss senior offensive tackle Michael Oher, the former Briarcrest Christian standout.

Oher's abandonment as a child by his birth mother and eventual adoption by Memphis Grizzlies radio analyst Sean Tuohy and his wife, Leigh Anne, was detailed in the best-selling book, "The Blind Side," by Michael Lewis.

"I've heard this name 50 times since people kind of found out about O.C. They're like, 'Oh. Michael Oher,'" Ray said.

"I read the book about a month after he lived here, and there's some similarities, but it's not the same. I mean, Michael Oher was virtually homeless."

Brown, too, has heard of Oher, but said their situations are different.

"I knew there was a book," he said. "I think the book said his family and stuff didn't love him. I got a family, though."

According to Courtney and Ray's families, he has three.

"I think the best thing about O.C. is he's fun. Real fun. He's always playing with us," said Courtney's son, Will, 11, one of four Courtney children who, like Ray's kids, Cullen and Conrad, have grown very fond of Brown.

"He does belly-flops and it makes the whole floor shake!" Will's brother, Max, 10, said.

Courtney's wife, Lisa, said she values the interaction between her children and Brown, whom they likely would never have come to know had Courtney not volunteered at Manassas some six years ago.

"I look at my kids, and they're given every opportunity. They have all they need. But a lot of these children don't, and I am willing to give up the time that (Courtney) spends with them," Lisa said.

"I love that my children are exposed to different cultures, because I teach my kids to see through the heart. Don't look at color; look at what's in their heart."

For Christmas, Hayes sent Ray's wife, Billie, a miniature waterfall. It was important to her that Billie received a Christmas present from Brown.

"It means a lot to me for them to think that much of us, and especially of O.C., and want the best for him. I don't even know how to explain it," Hayes said.

"I just want him to be able to go to school and get his grades like they need to be, and make a decent life for himself. He doesn't have to be an NFL football player. Whatever he wants in life, that's what I want him to have.

"And this is something he wanted to do."

One horrible thing about this story is that this young man was forced to skip the seventh grade 'because he was too big'...the school system was WRONG for doing that.

What is good but not emphasized in this story, which I learned while researching, is that neither of these coaches gets paid for their coaching this team. They travel to a very under-privileged part of the city, where many would not even drive through at 80mph.

They have also told O.C. they want nothing back from him except one thing...if he goes on to play in college and possibly into the NFL, or if he graduates college and takes an office job, they told him they want him to come back to his old neighborhood and help another deserving student - to give someone else the opportunities afforded him.

O.C....good luck to you, I am hopeful you take this great opportunity and make the most out of it.

Again, I stand and applaud Coaches Mike Ray and Bill Courtney.
Gentleman, you are heroes.

So many cheering the Patsy selection yesterday, we have decided to give you another from this incredible talent...ENJOY...

It was a....

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Thursday, February 19, 2009 18 Of Your Sparks

CRAZY DAY... absolutely nuts...

but it ended up being a wonderful evening...

I am sending CDs out today to 8 of you....

keep an eye out...

Wednesday Musical Meme

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Wednesday, February 18, 2009 15 Of Your Sparks

I think I did this awhile ago, but STARRLIGHT from "Here Comes The Storm...In A Form Of A Girl" challenged me to do it, so with all the new music on my iTunes, I figured...what the heck-a-doodle!

I am actually doing this on Monday evening as I have an MRI for my back on Tuesday evening and then have the Radio happy

1. Put Your iTunes, Windows Media Player, MP3 Player, or whatever on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
4. Tag at least 10 friends (including the person who sent this to you)

If someone says, ‘Are you okay?’ You say:
"The Wasp (Texas Radio & The Big Beat)" - The Doors....hummmmmm well I do want to get back into radio

How would you describe yourself?
"Tin Man" - America...OH I know THIS will elicit some comments!

What do you like in a guy/girl?
"Blue Sky" - The Allman Brothers...well it was written by Dickie for his

How do you feel today?
"Murder In The City" - Avett Brothers...LOL...after the phone call I had a little while ago, this fits..right baby?

What is your life’s purpose?
"Black Magic Woman" -, I want to do VooDoo???

What is your motto?
"Where Did You Sleep Last Night" - Leadbelly...ummm maybe in the past, but no more...

What do your friends think of you?
"Shout" - Donna Lewis...Not the Sam & Dave song...but some think I can be LOUD!

What do you think of your parents?
"Crazy" - Patsy really Mom Joan and Dad Vince...I don't ....really...well maybe when I was a teen, but not now!

What do you think about very often?
"You Can't Hurry Love" - Supremes...again, this is more about my past than my present...

What do you think of your best friend?
"Good Eye" - Bruce Springsteen...well they must have one since they like me! LOL

What do you think of the person you like?
"Whiskey Blues" - B.B. King....this one makes NO sense...

What is your life story?
"Ants Marching" - Dave Matthews Band...well....I do sometimes feel like I have been marching to a point in time...and like to think the march is over.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
"Taking It To The Streets" - Taylor Hicks...huh?

What do you think of when you see the person you like?
"Try A Little Tenderness" - Taylor THAT makes sense...

What will you dance to at your wedding?
"Ready For Love" - The Rascals...OK, we are on a roll now...

What will they play at your funeral?
"Hoochie Coochie Man" - Muddy Waters...see now this is actually on the CD I have that is to be played at my funeral!

What is your hobby/interest?
"Ball & Chain" - Janis...ummm LOL again the past raises it's ugly head!

What is your biggest fear?
"Good Morning Little School Girl" - Derek Trucks no no no...not into that ... no no no

What is your biggest secret?
"Doing The Unstuck" - The Cure...I have no fear of that...

What do you think of your friends?
"Spoonful" - Howlin' Wolf...OK, this just did not work for me...

But, go on...give it a try yourself....

How about the Funeral song...Have not heard some Muddy in a while...

Nothing Says Love On Valentine's Day Like...

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Tuesday, February 17, 2009 16 Of Your Sparks

...the gift of a Serial Killer!

That is correct...the woman who loves me, also knows me very well.

For Valentine's Day, Nancy gave me the Season One AND Season Two DVD collections of Dexter, starring Michael C. Hall, the Showtime series about a serial killer whose victims are serial killers. You might also remember Mr. Hall from the HBO series Six Feet Under.

The first season of the show was based upon the novel by Jeff Lindsay entitled "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" (2004) Mr. Lindsay has added three more novels to the series; "Dearly Devoted Dexter"(2005), "Dexter in the Dark"(2007) and "Dexter By Design" (2009). I have not read the novels, but our friend STARRLIGHT from "Here Comes A Storm...In the Form Of A Girl" tells me that this is one of those rare cases where the TV show/movie is actually as good as the novel.

I do not have Showtime, so I was only able to watch the edited version of the show CBS ran last summer. Those episodes were so choppy with the edits of language and graphic violence, that at times, it was almost impossible to follow why certain things happened.

Now, I own the 8 DVDs that make up the first two seasons of the show. Friday evening Nancy and I sat and watched the first episode and she has immediately been drawn into the story, wanting to know more and more about how Dexter became Dexter.

On her card she wrote that this gift would give us hours of enjoyment on our next "Weekend To Nowhere".

"Weekend To Nowhere" is a concept I have done before and introduced Nancy to a few months ago. Basically, you make sure you have all the food and beverages you need for a weekend, you shut the door and the world out and you spend Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday alone together enjoying videos and music and other things not to be mentioned here - hehehehe....

They work great in the winter or when you have a miserable weather weekend...but they can be done at any time.

It is a bit more difficult planning them around the weekends Nancy's sons are with their dad...and we have had some 'real-life' interruptions due to the boys needing their mom even on those weekends (don't ask!)...but we are planning one in the next few weeks and Dexter will certainly be the center of our viewable 'enjoyment' time.

Yesterday, we featured Chris Huff and the comments were luke-warm. Later in the day, Chris left the following comment:

Eeek! Scary. This album was recorded 10 years ago, so please keep that in mind. Maybe you folks would like my newer stuff better - all available to listen to for free at ReverbNation - thanks to Bond for the post! Much appreciated :-) Thanks - Chris

Well, when I request the CDs, sometimes they come from the PR firm and sometimes from the artist themselves. This time it did come from Chris.

I did write him back letting him know that is why I posted songs from that CD (I figure when an artist sends a CD, even if it is older, it is the music they want reviewed/promoted). We had a few back and forth emails and Chris even left an additional comment which said:
You are very welcome! Again, thanks to Bond so much for posting these tracks -
I stand by both tunes but think maybe some context helps...

"Short-Term Memory Blues" was NEVER meant to be Robert Johnson or even Delbert is more like a Blind Willie McTell goofy song...but I would never put it in the category of "real" blues though it originates from a deep love of is included on the CD b/c it was a live staple from 95-98 when I was shuffling around a lot of laughs...comic song not serious blues...

"Spider and the Fly" is a VERY atypical song for me even from the NCW album (maybe 1 other song on there like that) - my attempt at Nick Drake-dom long before the VW commercial - my wife's favorite song on the CD lol - the most folk I have ever gone really...

:-) you all seem like well educated, honest, sensible peeps. Tomorrow you will see what I am doing now which is not at all a folkie coffeehouse thing. Appreciate the chance to show my other side! Rock on.

As a couple of you noted, it is very cool when the artist cares enough to come over and discuss their music and let us know their feelings...Thanks to you Chris...

So, in the interest of letting Chris' current music be what you judge, we are giving you two from his latest project, Death And Texas...the poll is still open on the post below and you can always re-vote if these effect you in a different way...This is "For The Trees" and "Then We're Dead"...

Here is the schedule of shows Chris is listing at the moment...
Thu Feb 19 9:00 PM The Tun Tavern Atlantic City, NJ
Sat Feb 21 3:00 PM John and Peter's Place New Hope, PA
Sat Feb 21 8:00 PM John & Peter's Place New Hope, PA With Jessica Paris and NY Funk Exchange
Sat Feb 21 9:00 PM O'Donnell's Sea Isle City, NJ
Fri Feb 27 8:00 PM Village Tavern Montgomeryville, PA
Fri Mar 6 9:00 PM The Tun Tavern Atlantic City, NJ
Thu Mar 19 9:00 PM The Tun Tavern Atlantic City, NJ
Fri Mar 20 6:00 PM Paddy Whacks - Welsh Road Philadelphia, PA
Sat Mar 21 5:00 PM New Castle Farmers Market New Castle, DE

LIVE BROADCAST: February 17, 2009 @ 9 PM ET

Immediately following the live broadcast

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This week on Dr. Blogstein’s
Radio Happy Hour

Marla Cilley is better known as The FlyLady, the larger than life self-help guru who helps women around the world stay organized and do housework.

On December 7, 1999 someone asked Marla for help and the FlyLady mentoring group began. Now, almost a decade later she has nearly one million “FlyBabies” and is BlogTalkRadio’s most listened to personality.

Jason Sadler of is spending 2009 as a human billboard.

Sadler is selling the upper-half of his wardrobe (shirts). He’s selling every day of the year at face value, so January 1 was $1 and December 31 is $365.

On July 28th, he will be wearing a Got Blogstein? t-shirt. We’ll prep him on what we want him to do in our shirt that day and then check in with him again on July 28th.

All that, plus:
  • Justin the Weatherman delivers a forecast
  • and we’ll take your calls at 646-652-4804

Tuneage Tutelage - New Music Monday....

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Monday, February 16, 2009 14 Of Your Sparks

Welcome back to new music...

If you enjoyed the taste of Raphael Saadiq last week and want to check him out live, here is his touring schedule:
Sat/Feb-28 San Diego, CA House of Blues
Mon/Mar-02 Los Angeles, CA House of Blues
Tue/Mar-03 SF,CA The Fillmore
Thu/Mar-05 Seattle, WA The Showbox @ The Market
Fri/Mar-06 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
Sat/Mar-07 Vancouver, BC Richard's On Richards Cabaret
Tue/Mar-10 Denver, CO Bluebird Theater
Wed/Mar-11 Kansas City, MO Voodoo Lounge @ Harrah's Casino
Thu/Mar-12 Chicago, IL Park West
Fri/Mar-13 Minneapolis, MO Fine Line Music Cafe
Sun/Mar-15 Detroit, MI City Theatre
Mon/Mar-16 Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre
Tue/Mar-17 Montreal, QC Cabaret du Musse Juste Pour Rire
Thu/Mar-19 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
Fri/Mar-20 Philadelphia, PA Theatre Of The Living Arts
Sat/Mar-21 NYC, NY Fillmore
Mon/Mar-23 Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live!
Tue/Mar-24 Washington DC 9:30 Club
Thu/Mar-26 Charlotte, NC Wachovia Atrium
Sat/Mar-28 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse

Are you a fan of The Offspring? If so, The Offspring debut their video for "Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?" from their 8th studio album, Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace on "Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?" was directed by Lex Halaby. Check it out HERE.

This week we introduce you to Chris Huff.
We are in pocession of his first CD North Cathedral Way.

From his bio:
Chris Huff is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer specializing in hooky retro pop songs that combine different genres. His sound has been described as "Bob Dylan and David Bowie jamming in Jamaica"; his songs have also been favorably compared to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Lou Reed, Woody Guthrie, Kurt Cobain, Martin Sexton, and Dr. Dog.

Chris's musical background goes something like this: started on classical piano, moved to jazz bass with a big band, strummed some folky guitar after a bike accident as therapy, sang a cappella, opera, and gospel both solo and with award-winning choirs and ensembles, studied bluegrass in Kentucky, immersed himself in the electric guitar (focusing on anything pre-Van Halen), and hit the streets singing and playing in bars, clubs, restaurants, and wherever would have him (venues including Carnegie Hall and CBGBs).

Along the way he has played and sung with progressive rock bands, large soul groups, little alternapop combos, scored for independent film, and written and performed children's songs and new age Kirtan chant. So, at this time in history where mixing and matching genres to create endless subgenres is all the rage, Chris is uniquely qualified for this sort of work with his eclectic, all-encompassing musical background and multi-faceted, flexible writing and singing voices.

For some people, this kind of genre-hopping might indicate a lack of focus but for Chris it serves to highlight his core musical philosophy. "I think of what I do as musical gumbo," he says. "In the way the great jam bands pool together all of their musical influences to produce something new, my main goal with my Death and Texas LP was to create a retro pop album that pulled from a variety of sources. It would be almost like listening to a mix tape except, of course, all the songs would be performed by the same person."

Chris has opened for Hamell on Trial, Brooks Williams, Stanley Jordan, and played "The Killing Moon" live with Echo and the Bunnymen. He has also worked as a sideman with Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul, and Mary), Amanda Green (lyricist of Bway's High Fidelity), and Chuck Hammer (Lou Reed, David Bowie, TV/film composer).

Two from this CD, which can be yours for the asking in comments..."Short-Term Memory Blues" and "The Spider & The Fly"...

Music On The Couch