Monday and a new week begins

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Monday, July 18, 2011

So, how was your weekend? We had a great one.

Thursday evening, Nancy and I got in the rental and headed to Baton Rouge. Nancy had a presentation on Friday evening with a nice size client and I decided to tag along.

We arrived about 11pm and settled in at the hotel. On Friday, Nancy prepped for the meeting and I got to relax and hang out. Unfortunately it was an overcast day, so it wasn't a pool day.

Nancy's meeting went great. In fact, so good she was not done until after 9pm and she had arranged a meal to feed the participants (I got my own and had it at the hotel), so with an early departure planned, we didn't experience Baton Rouge.

All go biggie by clickie...

Saturday we were up and out on the road heading for Highway 61 out of baton Rouge North. This is called the Blues Highway once you get into Mississippi. It is a long stretch of blacktop used by the blues artists who were able to get off the plantations and head north to Memphis and possible fame.

Six plus hours later - after a stop in Natchez, MS for lunch we arrived at Hopson Plantation and the Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale, MS.

The Shack Up is for those who are not looking for room service and gourmet dining, but it is an experience that really should not be missed.

There are 10 shacks on the property that range in size from small to medium. There is also 10 rooms in an old grain building that are considered the more 'upscale' accommodations on the property. We had tried to get the Pinetop Shack or another...but they were all booked, so we were placed in Bin #6!  up the circular stairs in the silo to our room.  The room was spotless and very comfortable indeed.

That evening we drove a few miles to Ground Zero Blues Club and partied with the Reba Russell Band and some other friends including Victor Wainwright and Jay Moore.

On Sunday, we took our time and left and finished the last 90 minutes to home.

A cool weekend made even better with my darlin' Nancy.


Ryan Michaels has been immersed in music since he was a child, his family having owned an instrument store in the San Francisco Bay area.

He moved to Nashville with his band; drummer Andy Calmes, bassist Matthew Heath Harper, guitarists Steve Cunningham and Josh Sulfaro, and Peter Spero on keys and have released their debut album Life Is For The Living.

What is next for this group of skilled musicians? I will chat with Ryan and find out more. We will also listen to cuts from the album.

Then, Vincent Hayes, guitarist and leader of the Vincent Hayes Project will take a seat on The Couch.

The band were nominated for the 2011 Blues Music Awards for Best New Artist Debut category. Their album Reclamation is being honored from all corners.

The album is a collection of songs borne out of the decline of the area (West Michigan) which the band calls home. Begun in 2008 as a trio the band has grown in numbers and in skills and now includes, Hayes, David Alves - Bass, Donny Hugley - Percussion, Steve "Doc" Yankee - Piano, Christian Van Antwerpen - Hammond B3.

Vincent's guitar work will make you stop and listen. Clean licks while causing the fretboard to smoke.

Vincent will be calling in and we will find out more of his history and where the band is heading today and tomorrow, while catching tunes from Reclamation.

Join Me As I Introduce You to Musicians You Should Know


10 Of Your Sparks

  1. Awesome experience! Out-of-the-way, off-the-beaten-path places to stay, eat, and visit. Very cool. :)

  2. Julie Says:
  3. What a wonderful runaway! Cheers to going away from the mainstream! Gotta love it.

    When will Nancy hear if she landed it?

  4. Unknown Says:
  5. Sounds like a "10" on the Phun-o-Meter!!

  6. Lisa Says:
  7. Oh how cool!! I love places like that but admittedly haven't stayed in many. Glad you had a great weekend!

  8. That's a pretty cool trip to a cool area of the country. Lots of interesting people, places and things down there.

  9. DrillerAA09 Says:
  10. You guys had waaaay too much fun this past week-end.

  11. Dianne Says:
  12. I love the name Shack Up Inn ;)

    glad Nancy's meeting went well

    road trips are so much fun especially with someone you enjoy being with

  13. SONGBIRD: It was a very neat idea

    JULIE: Hopefully soon...

    PHFRANKIE: Might have been an 11!

    LISA: Do IT next time!

    JAY: indeed it is

    DRILLER: Is there a limit to fun now? LOL

    DIANNE: I do also! They are much more fun with nancy

  14. Mimi Lenox Says:
  15. The Shack Up Inn is adorable. You packed a lot into your weekend with darlin' Nancy.
    Glad her presentation went well and she was able to give 'em the "Nancy wow"...What a great road trip!

  16. Travis Cody Says:
  17. Now that's how you mix business with pleasure!


Music On The Couch