at www.RARWRITER.com      

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Volume 1-2016






Use this link to add your email address to the RARWRITER Publishing Group mailing list for updates on activities associated with the Creative Culture and Revolution Culture journals, and other RARWRITER Publishing Group interests.


ABOUT RAR: For those of you new to this site, "RAR" is Rick Alan Rice, the publisher of the RARWRITER Publishing Group websites. Use this link to visit the RAR music page, which features original music compositions and other.

Use this link to visit Rick Alan Rice's publications page, which features excerpts from novels and other.


(Click here)

Currently on RARadio:

"On to the Next One" by Jacqueline Van Bierk

"I See You Tiger" by Via Tania

"Lost the Plot" by Amoureux"

Bright Eyes, Black Soul" by The Lovers Key

"Cool Thing" by Sassparilla

"These Halls I Dwell" by Michael Butler

"St. Francis"by Tom Russell & Gretchen Peters, performance by Gretchen Peters and Barry Walsh; 

"Who Do You Love?"by Elizabeth Kay; 

"Rebirth"by Caterpillars; 

"Monica's Frock" by Signel-Z; 

"Natural Disasters" by Corey Landis; 

"1,000 Leather Tassels" by The Blank Tapes; 

"We Are All Stone" and "Those Machines" by Outer Minds; 

"Another Dream" by MMOSS; "Susannah" by Woolen Kits; 

Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and other dead celebrities / news by A SECRET PARTY;

"I Miss the Day" by My Secret Island,  

"Carriers of Light" by Brendan James;

"The Last Time" by Model Stranger;

"Last Call" by Jay;

"Darkness" by Leonard Cohen; 

"Sweetbread" by Simian Mobile Disco and "Keep You" fromActress off the Chronicle movie soundtrack; 

"Goodbye to Love" from October Dawn; 

Trouble in Mind 2011 label sampler; 

Black Box Revelation Live on Minnesota Public Radio;

Apteka "Striking Violet"; 

Mikal Cronin's "Apathy" and "Get Along";

Dana deChaby's progressive rock




"Music Hot Spots"




























Rick Alan Rice (RAR) Literature Page


CCJ Publisher Rick Alan Rice dissects the building of America in a trilogy of novels collectively calledATWOOD. Book One explores the development of the American West through the lens of public policy, land planning, municipal development, and governance as it played out in one of the new counties of Kansas in the latter half of the 19th Century. The novel focuses on the religious and cultural traditions that imbued the American Midwest with a special character that continues to have a profound effect on American politics to this day. Book One creates an understanding about America's cultural foundations that is further explored in books two and three that further trace the historical-cultural-spiritual development of one isolated county on the Great Plains that stands as an icon in the development of a certain brand of American character. That's the serious stuff viewed from high altitude. The story itself gets down and dirty with the supernatural, which in ATWOOD - A Toiler's Weird Odyssey of Deliveranceis the outfall of misfires in human interactions, from the monumental to the sublime. The book features the epic poem "The Toiler" as well as artwork by New Mexico artist Richard Padilla.

Elmore Leonard Meets Larry McMurtry

Western Crime Novel











I am offering another novel through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service. Cooksin is the story of a criminal syndicate that sets its sights on a ranching/farming community in Weld County, Colorado, 1950. The perpetrators of the criminal enterprise steal farm equipment, slaughter cattle, and rob the personal property of individuals whose assets have been inventoried in advance and distributed through a vast system of illegal commerce.

It is a ripping good yarn, filled with suspense and intrigue. This was designed intentionally to pay homage to the type of creative works being produced in 1950, when the story is set. Richard Padilla has done his usually brilliant work in capturing the look and feel of a certain type of crime fiction being produced in that era. The whole thing has the feel of those black & white films you see on Turner Movie Classics, and the writing will remind you a little of Elmore Leonard, whose earliest works were westerns. Use this link.



If you have not explored the books available from Amazon.com's Kindle Publishing division you would do yourself a favor to do so. You will find classic literature there, as well as tons of privately published books of every kind. A lot of it is awful, like a lot of traditionally published books are awful, but some are truly classics. You can get the entire collection of Shakespeare's works for two bucks.

You do not need to buy a Kindle to take advantage of this low-cost library. Use this link to go to an Amazon.com page from which you can download for free a Kindle App for your computer, tablet, or phone.

Amazon is the largest, but far from the only digital publisher. You can find similar treasure troves atNOOK Press (the Barnes & Noble site), Lulu, and others.







Modern Bluegrass Blender:

Kentucky Bluegrass, Nashville Country, Texas Swing, Cajun Traditional, Bebop Jazz, and Jam Rock


It seems as if there is a vein of musical ore that extends down from Louisville, Kentucky, through Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, and on through the Mississippi Delta and into Louisiana, becoming particularly rich around New Orleans, and then progressing on into Texas, where it miraculously condenses into a vapor that reconstitutes itself in Colorado.

This vein of musical inspiration, in all of its seemingly disparate parts, has come to define an authentic American art form, different from all of its progenitors, and endorsed by a particular breed of musical enthusiast who puts high value on musical chops and inspired spontaneity. Colorado likes bands that do extended, jazz-style free form improvisation, especially with roots instruments, i.e., banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and upright bass, often augmented by drum kits, percussion instruments, and an electric guitar and bass. It is a Colorado hybrid confection that is riotous, audacious, joyous, and as outlaw as the strain of Mile High resident that made the state the first in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.

Colorado owes a part of its musical legacy to two magnet locations - Aspen and Telluride - that for decades have been drawing talent from that southern musical vein, as well as strong influences from California's roots music communities. These have included the jug bands that, in the mid-1960s, spawned The Grateful Dead, the original incarnation of The Eagles, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and the Country-Bluegrass vein that, indirectly through Chris Hillman, gave the world The Byrds. Colorado's magnets were the burgeoning enclave of wealth, Aspen, which was bringing artistic influences from both coasts and both borders, and the bluegrass music festival held annually in Telluride, a tiny mountain town that occasionally swells in size to become a resort community sponsoring special events. In 1973, Telluride turned its annual 4th of July celebration into a bluegrass music festival and has since become one of the premiere such events in the world. This year's lineup included Leftover Salmon,Yonder Mountain String Band, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen w/ Front Country, Jason Isbell w/ The Lone Bellow, Aoife O'Donovan & Chatham County Line, Greensky Bluegrass, Tim O'Brien & Darrell Scott, Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers w/ Willie Watson, Del McCoury, and the Punch Brothers.

The third leg of the stool that provides the foundation for Colorado's special brand of music is Boulder, the university town (University of Colorado) that, with business such as IBM, Beech Aircraft, and later Storage Technology, plus the government research developments in the area (e.g., National Center for Atmospheric Research), have been bringing a high-tech focus to the state since the 1960s. While Aspen was developing as a private getaway for the rich and famous, Boulder was developing as a magnet for entrepreneurial spirits from throughout the world. Both places funneled a great deal of creative energy into the state, and to varying degrees provided locations where creative types, including top-flight professional musicians, could actually live and work. Boulder, in particular, became an attractive location for older jazz players to move in their retirements (e.g., Spike Robinson, Eddie Shue), which has given the club scene there a special flavor that is cosmopolitan and sophisticated. That continues to exist to this day, with several Boulder bistros (e.g., Caffé Sole) regularly featuring high-end jazz and blues units.

Colorado's "grass" connection - Bluegrass, Newgrass, other types of grass - really exploded through the contributions of the seminal modern-bluegrass band the New Grass Revival. That band played the first Telluride Bluegrass Festival, featuring two young lions, multi-instrumentalist Sam Bush and banjo master Bela Fleck, who both came from the seminal band Bluegrass Alliance. Through their virtuosities, they inspired legions of followers and devotees to the hybrid bluegrass sound. One of the most notable bands to burst forth from that wave of new bluegrass energy was the Boulder band Hot Rize, featuring Nick Forster on bass, Tim O'Brien on mandolin and fiddle, Pete Wernick on banjo, and Charles Sawtelle on guitar. All four of those guys became legends, almost in a league with Bush and Fleck. Tim O'Brien continues to be one of the most revered musicians in Nashville. Pete Wernick became "Dr. Banjo" and the author of numerous instructional texts, and since 1991Nick Forster and  his wife Helen have hosted the NPR musical variety radio show eTown, from a facility in Boulder. Charles Sawtelle passed away in 1999, after battling leukemia, but he is remembered as one of the greatest flat-pickers that the bluegrass genre has ever known. The clip below features the late Charles Sawtelle and his Hot Rize stalwarts. Hot Rize continues to perform as a bluegrass outfit to this day, while also performing Texas Swing under the name Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers.

Leftover Salmon

Leftover Salmon was an example of the influence that Colorado's bluegrass sound was having nationally throughout the 1980s. The band's founder Vince Herman traveled to Boulder, Colorado from his home in Morgantown, West Virginia, chasing his desire to immerse himself in the bluegrass sound. It didn't take long, as he writes on the Leftover Salmon website. “The day that I arrived in Boulder, we literally drove in off the highway, parked the car, saw a sign at a bar that said ‘Bluegrass’, went in there and it was Drew playing with the Left Hand String Band; like the moment we got to town.” Drew was singer, guitarist, fiddle and mandolin player Drew Emmitt, who along with Herman would build Leftover Salmon in 1989. The third co-founder of that band was banjo player Mark Vann, whose died of cancer in 2002, only 39 years of age. The band included a musical chairs roster in the support positions, including (from the Leftover Salmon website): "drummers Michael Wooten (1989-1997) and Jeff Sipe (1997-2000, 2007-2010), bassists Keefe (1989–1991) and Tye North (1993–2000), accordion and harmonic player Gerry Cavagnaro (1990-1991), keyboard players Bill McKay (2000-2011) and Joe Jogerst (1991-1993). Leftover Salmon replaced Mark Vann with RockyGrass Banjo Contest winner Andy Thorn, who had played with Drew Emmitt and the Emmitt-Nershi Band. The band went on Hiatus from 2005 to 2010, but have since resurrected themselves to continue their special brand of bluegrass. In 2012 the band released Aquatic Hitchhiker, produced by Steve Berlin, the saxophone-playing producer and Los Lobos band member. It was Leftover Salmon's first record release in eight years.

The String Cheese Incident (SCI)

Also given birth by Colorado's absorptive bluegrass enthusiasms were mandolin/guitar/violin player Michael Kang, drummer Michael Travis, guitarist Bill Nershi, keyboard player Kyle Hollingsworth, bassist Keith Moseley, and percussionist Jason Hann, who hail from the Crested Butte and Telluride area. They are collectively known as The String Cheese Incident (SCI).  SCI plays original bluegrass infused with rock, electronica, calypso, country, funk, jazz, Latin, progressive rock, reggae, and occasional psychedelia (description from the SCI Wikipedia page).




Colorado Music Archives

Previous Colorado Page


Boulder Archives

- Use this link to go to previously published articles on the Denver/Boulder music scene.

Chuck Hughes - Licensed to Go International

For years, Chuck Hughes has made a living for himself pounding out rockabilly with his band the Hillbilly Hellcats. They released four albums and Hughes was making his living through merchandise sales at live performances. That began to change in 2001 when he licensed his music to Pumpaudio.com. Somehow Hughes came to the attention of MTV and Rob Drydeck's Ridiculousness. The veteran entertainer has become a favorite, which has given him a level of exposure that dwarfs the following he has been able to build up over the years by merely working the club circuit. Hughes felt he had worked the Colorado scene so hard with the Hillbilly Hellcats that he started working in other bands (Atomic Drifters, Dixie Lead Foot and the Chrome Struts, Royals) to stay busy without wearing out his own band's welcome. He also was the featured player The Stick Band. Back in the early 1980s, Chuck was one of the few people anywhere playing the "Stick".

Hughes licensing arrangements have been successful for him, landing him deals in film and television. His recordings (instrumentals) are in use on network programs, including Desert Car Kings, Court TV, The Food Channel, and the History channel.

He says that his licensing business model has allowed Chuck to focus on the core activities of songwriting and production, and avoid the time-consuming support tasks of venue booking, promotion, band recruitment and training, and publicity.

Recognize that guy on the left? That is Larry Burnett, who in the 1970s was a founding member of the pop-country-rock confection Firefall (along with Rick Roberts, Mark Andes, David Muse, Michael Clarke, and Jock Bartley). Burnett, who was a serious foodie back before it became a fad, dropped out of music after leaving Firefall, focusing on chef studies in his native Washington D.C. Burnett never stopped writing songs. Use this link to visit his website and learn more.

Speaking of Rick Roberts, the former central figure of the Flying Burrito Brothers, Firefall, and The Roberts-Meisner Band band member is putting together a new unit, Winter Rose, featuring some of Colorado's most recognizable players. The band members are Michael Reese, guitar and backing vocals; Jim Brady, guitar and vocals; Rick Roberts, lead vocals; Bob Schlesinger, keyboards; Milt Muth, bass and backing vocals; Andy Sweetzer, drums.

Winter Rose is recording an album right out of the box, with former Firefall and Poco producer Jim Mason handling production chores.

Rick Roberts did a wonderful interview series for the RARWRITER Publishing Group a few years back. Use this link to read that series, which provides great insight into the music industry of the 1970s. Rick has also published a book - Song Stories: And Other Left-Handed Recollections - that discusses his long music career. Use this link to go to Amazon.com for more.





Copyright © November, 2018 Rick Alan Rice (RARWRITER)