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.




Slide Guitarnema



Wikipedia: "Slide guitar is a particular method or technique for playing the guitar. Instead of altering the pitch of the strings in the normal manner (by pressing the string against frets), an object called a "slide" is placed upon the string to vary its vibrating length, and pitch. This slide can then be moved along the string without lifting (hence the name), creating smooth transitions in pitch and allowing wide, expressive vibrato."


I'm sure that if you took a poll, the vast majority of Rock and Blues music fans would count themselves as slide guitar enthusiasts. That would also apply to fans of Hawaiian music and Country, though Country music sliding is mostly about the Pedal Steel, which is an entirely different instrument than what people are usually talking about when they talk about "playing slide". Pedal Steel is to the guitar what the Hammond B3 Organ is to the acoustic piano, which is to say much more complicated. To play Pedal Steel, a musician not only has to move a slide across a double-neck guitar, but also has to manage a dozen pedals, a volume pedal, and about eight different knee pedals. It's like driving the freaking space shuttle and not something anyone can do, to any great effect, without years of dedicated study. The Hammond B3 Organ is almost as complicated, relying on an array of valves and things other than just tickling ivories. Playing it well, like my friend Gary Swan does, is an extraordinary accomplishment. I don't even know anyone who plays the Pedal Steel; in fact, I assume that you would have to explore the deepest recesses of Nashville to even spot such a creature, similar to spotting Bigfoot in the wilderness. Those dudes are rare.

What is not rare are guitar players who use a slide as a technique employed on a regular acoustic or electric guitar, and this is probably why I, personally, have a strong negative bias regarding slide guitar players.

It's not that there aren't good ones, it's just that it takes no talent at all to tune a guitar to an open tuning - they usually play in open D or open G - and wiggle a slide along the raised strings above the frets. You could hand an open-tuned guitar to a chimp, push a slide onto his finger, demonstrate the basic technique, and Chita would give you something back that to most people would sound a lot like a slide guitar.

One of the most revered slide players of all time was the late Duane Allman. He started playing slide after he hurt his hand and couldn't play his instrument the way it is supposed to be played, utilizing chord structures and picking techniques that can be used well with standard tuning. (I have something of a negative bias against alternative tunings, as well, because they function as crutches for players who just haven't mastered their instrument. That will bring me heaps of scorn from Joni Mitchell fans, but though I love Joni Mitchell there is nothing that she has ever done with alternative tunings that couldn't be done by playing full chords in standard tuning. Open tunings are just short-cuts, from my point of view, which comes from the place of one who has spent 50 years trying to figure out how to play guitar the "right" way. Note that there is something to be said for open tunings because unfretted strings sound clean and clear, and that is used to positive effect.)

Run-of-the-mill music fans love the Rock sound of a George Thorogood or the Blues of a Bonnie Raitt, though neither of them really do anything that rises above clichť. Most musicians who play the slide are imitating Robert Johnson or one of the other Delta or Chicago Blues luminaries who leaned heavily on the swampy sounds that can so easily be created using the slide technique. Here in the Bay Area, we have Roy Rogers, who doesn't seem to do anything but play slide guitar and after hearing one song you have basically heard his entire reportoire because everything guys like him play are major chords, and for me music has to be a lot more interesting than that. There are slide players who try to add some regular-level nuance by playing with two slides, one on their wrapped around thumb, designed to cover just the fifth and sixth strings, but why? Why wouldn't you just throw the stupid slides away and play minor chords, and augmented chords, and diminished chords, and everything else that real guitar players play? I'm sure slide enthusiasts have answers to all of those questions, but none would satisfy me.

Louisiana slide player Sonny Landreth is certainly one of the more interesting of the sliding lot, but you know why? It's because he puts the slide on his little finger so he can augment his slide playing by using this three free fingers to play melody and connecting notes outside of the slide, interspersing those into his slide playing. That passes for innovation in the slide community. Sonny does this exceptionally well, but you never see him become Django Reinhardt, the Gypsy guitarist of the pre-1950s Jazz era, who was injured in a fire that essentially fused his third and fourth fingers and so he did almost all of his extraordinarily complex jazz using only two fingers. He did not, to my knowledge, say "fuck it", I'll just tune my guitar to D and use a slide, because you couldn't play complex music doing that. Likewise, the talented Landreth never really uses his three free fingers to play Django-level jazz, but rather just touches on added melody notes before leaning hard back into the slide. For my money, he is probably the greatest of all the slide players, but he's still a slide player.

Derek Trucks is the slide player who seems dominant in the slide world these days, but he is just playing support parts and the kind of Rock'n Blues slide that you get a lot of in Southern Rock. It involves a really limited vocabulary, which is actually what his fans relate to. Music fans who don't care about the ins-and-outs of guitar playing do respond to familiar sounds, and Derek Trucks serves these up expertly. But, he's a lot like Roy Rogers and the rest, playing the same licks over and over.

Eric Clapton scored a big reputation boost through the slide guitar he played on The Beatles "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", for which the technique worked perfectly, because slide guitar can be expressive, particularly if you want weeping, moaning and whistling sounds. He played parts created by the vastly under-appreciated George Harrison, whose slide guitar work became a big part of his signature as a player, though he never used the technique as anything other than a tool in his fully-realized arsenal of tricks. Like Clapton, Harrison was an actual guitarist.

Provided below are videos of notable slide players, just so you can check my points of view and tell me where I'm wrong.



From Guitar World Magazine:

Five Reasons Why You Suck at Playing Slide Guitar

#1: Your guitar is in standard tuning. This is the biggest killer of new slide players. Donít try to play slide in standard tuning. As a starter, re-tune your guitar to open D (D A D F# A D) and rake that slide up to the 12th fret like Elmore James! With an open tuning, the slide becomes a moveable chord up and down the neck.

#2: Your strings are too light, and the action is too low. Slide guitar is different than shred guitar. If you want to grind out some deep grooves with that new slide on your finger, get some heavier strings on your guitar that will maintain pressure as you slide. (My electric guitars are strung with .012 sets with wound G strings.) Also, raising your action keeps your slide from clacking on the frets.

#3: Your non-slide friends told you to study Sonny Landreth and Derek Trucks. Thatís like learning to drive a car using a Lamborghini! Sonny and Derek are amazing players, but theyíre the top-level masters. Start where they started, with the foundational slide heroes. Fill your playlist with Hound Dog Taylor, Elmore James, Muddy Waters and even some George Thorogood.

#4: Youíre putting the slide on an uncomfortable finger. So which finger is correct for slide? The answer is, there is no correct finger! If the slide feels comfortable on your pinkie, then thatís where you should wear it. I use my ring finger. Bonnie Raitt puts her wine bottleneck slide on her middle finger. Australian slide wizard Dave Hole uses his index finger and plays with his hand over the top of the neck!

#5: Your slide doesnít fit right. This one has a simple solution: Collect more slides! I now have more than 50 guitar slides, from generic slides sold in guitar stores to hand-cut wine bottlenecks, spark-plug sockets (they make awesome slides!), medicine bottles found at flea markets and even strange contraptions like The Edge Slide, which mimics Blind Willie Johnsonís pocketknife.

One extra suggestion: Get a dedicated slide guitar. Heavy-gauge strings and higher action might not be the best thing for your main axe. Instead, find the cheapest, gnarliest guitar and convert it to slide. Hound Dog Taylor played the shittiest, cheapo Japanese guitars through old Silvertone amps with blown speakers, and it was the greatest sound ever. For some reason, slide guitar sounds fantastic when played on junky guitars. Old electrics such as Silvertone, Teisco, Harmony and other off-name brands from the Sixties are prime axes. But your kid brotherís abandoned First Act electric guitar will work, too.






Copyright © November, 2018 Rick Alan Rice (RARWRITER)