Volume 3-2014





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

New RAR Songs

What began as a composition exercise in chord substitution – what I think of as being in “Donald Fagen’s house” – ended up being a story about social mobility, or lack thereof, unobtainable dreams, and grand larceny. Use this link or click on the photo above to stream "Donald's House".


Just playing with a Phrygian scale can take a person to a dark place, witness this cheerful ditty about the death of a relationship and a wishful release from suffering. Use this link or click on the photo above to stream "Phrygian Dominatrix".

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 Otto's Daughter

"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.



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.




REVIEW: Until After Then

Tommy Talton's Seamless New LP

By Bill Thames

Tommy Talton never bores us with his live shows, and certainly not with his recordings. Talton is constantly striving for, and inventing new and ultimately more interesting forms of musical expression as he moves along his melodic highway. Until After Then is simply another summit on which Talton pauses, as he continues his never ending pursuit.

This project was recorded for the most part at David Keith's Gintown Studios in Graysville, Alabama, from May through September of 2014 for Hittin' the Note Records. "Love You a Little,” was recorded at Rick Hirsch's Studio H2O in Mobile, Alabama. Production is credited to both Tommy Talton and David Keith. With this project, I believe that David Keith has demonstrated that he is no one trick pony.

To truly understand the diversity of this recording, you need to dust off your headphones...to surround yourself with, and get closer to the sound, because that's what Talton is all about. The lyrics, the music, the production, even the effects are so superbly seamless that you need to dive in and have the sound wash over you as these talented journeymen weave along through the pocket.

The opening cut, "Until After Then," sounds like you've just opened the door to a smoky nightclub where a band of well-oiled musicians is already deep into their third set of the night--that's how tight they are. And it doesn't let up until the project is finished. Talton's gracefully gritty guitar, and Matt Slocum's tasty organ fills weave a funky, mystical, almost Al Cooperish groove that seems to go on...well, until after then. Frankie Nattola's bass lines don't overwhelm, they fit perfectly between, and over David Keith's always perfect 4/4.

"Real Sugar" is a testament to the world we live in, literally and figuratively, where it is hard to tell both what is real, and what is not; who is real, and who is not. Billy Earheart's soulful piano, Kelvin Holly's hypnotic wah-wah guitar, and David Hood's solid bass lines align perfectly with Bill Stewart's rock-solid rhythm. The horn section of Brad Guin on Sax, and Ken Watters on trumpet add icing to an already sweet musical pastry. This is the real thing..."real bread with real butter."

Talton always tucks at least one dreamy aural adventure into each of his recordings, designed to set the mind free. On this project, "Mr. Love" teases with the promise to take the listener away as the spiraling intro begins. The tease stops, however, as the lyrics jolt, and the listener is slapped with the headline news. Talton's guitars titillate, while Kenny Head's tasteful organ drones over Keith's perpetual percussion, and Nattola is smooth as silk.

"Distant Light" takes the listener deep into Talton's emotional psyche. More of a Rhythm and Blues groove here, but as sweet and delicate as a love song has ever been sung. Earheart shines on this track, his trademark keyboard work, both emotional and gut wrenching. The horn section of Guin and Watters fills this track with heartfelt emotion. Kelvin Holly, David Hood, and Bill Stewart lock together tightly to become the almost unheard rhythm section, wrapping around the vocals like an invisible thread of silk. Talton's lyrics are pure magic.

"My, O, My" is a light, breezy tone poem that walks the listener through a musical picnic on a lazy hillside in the summer sunshine...so wistful and so right. Talton's windswept, rhythmic acoustic rifts are pushed aside momentarily by a stabbing slide guitar solo that is truly slinky, soulful, and trademarkable. This track is all about the tasteful picking, the slide guitar, and the hypnotic groove. The rhythm section of Head, Nattola, and Keith flow through this track like the soft breeze that kisses the leaves after a summer afternoon interlude. Warning...this track quickly became my earworm. It is truly addictive.

"I Keep My Mind On You," could easily be envisioned as Talton's personal chronicle set to music, complete with clever glimpses to the future, and the lyrics resonate. When young, especially, life is confusing, and the road has so many forks. Talton's music and lyrics encapsulates the human spirit, and he is always there to sooth us when we have more questions than answers. The entire band swings through this track gently cradling Talton's subtle lyrics, and lifting him up to the chorus.
"She Was There," written by Talton's brother, Gary Talton, is the only track on this project not written by Tommy Talton. Rich acoustic guitar by Talton, and Kenny Head's radiant piano accent Gary's stunning lyrics. At 2:30, Head puts his fingers to the keys and starts to play music so emotional and soulful that his notes are almost too beautiful for words. Brandon Peeples plays spot on upright bass, David Keith again keeps perfect time, and Brad Guin's flute flies high above the intro.
"The Man From Down Near Waco" is Talton's tribute to old friend, Billy Joe Shaver. Listening closely, you can almost feel the dust in Talton's voice as the band tucks into this western groove. If this doesn't bring you close to the westerns of your youth, then you are a city kid without dreams. Lyrics like these point to Talton's songwriting range, and genius.

Almost a bookend to "Waco" is the light western swing, "Love U A Little." This ditty again shows Talton's diversity, and his ability to create lighthearted lines as well as well crafted, cinematic Libretto. It also proves that Talton is not easily tongue-tied. "Love U A Little" features Talton on dobro, NC Thurman on honky-tonk Piano and harmony vocals, Rick Hirsch on rhythm Guitar, and Nattola on six-string bass. Pete Wehner debuts here on drums.

"You Got A Friend" was originally released on the Happy to be Alive album, Talton, Sandlin, and Stewart. The message resonates now just as it did then...friendship is all that matters in life. All it takes to win is one person who will listen and wrestle the concepts with you...someone to keep you company on your ride down, and lift you back up. Here Talton is all about the lyrics. The vocal groove is accompanied by a simple acoustic/electric feel which puts only the most important cuts of meat on the plate...then comes the guitar solo, where the notes are being squeezed out, like Talton's life depends on it. Talton's vocals, lyrics, and guitar work shine here. Along with his wizzardly-smooth bass lines, Frankie Nattola steps out front and adds harmony vocals that blend perfectly with Talton's voice. As always, Keith allows every note to rest comfortably on his shoulders.

As for the bonus track, "Surfin' the Levee," well...I rest my case...

This is surely some of the most diverse music that Talton has ever written and recorded.

Order a copy of Until After Then from Hittinthenote.com, and snuggle into this music with your headphones on so that you can feel what it is like to be in the studio with the artists...you won't be sorry!.


The enormously talented New Mexico artist Richard W. Padilla provided cover and inside art and recreated historical maps for the Atwood series.

ATWOOD - A Toiler's Weird Odyssey of Deliverance

by E.A. Kay

Rick Alan Rice’s epic novel ATWOOD: A Toiler’s Weird Odyssey of Deliverance, revolves around the founding of the town of Atwood, Kansas situated in Rawlins County in the northwest corner of the state. The book weaves together multiple stories that meander like a twisting stream through historical fact, fictionalized events, Native American beliefs, and the folklore and legends brought to this country by European emigrants who homesteaded Kansas in the late 1800s. ATWOOD is an entertaining, easily readable and incredibly informative book. You’ll find it enjoyable, whether or not you have Kansas roots, as will people interested in the history and folklore of the western United States. It is the first book in a trilogy the author is currently working on.

ATWOOD: A Toiler’s Weird Odyssey of Deliverance opens in the post-Civil War years, an age of massive European immigration to America when western territories such as Kansas were rapidly being explored and exploited by people bent on trapping, hunting, mining, grazing and farming. At this time the high plains of northwestern Kansas were being advertised as a veritable “Garden of Eden” by various moneyed interests: bankers, chamber of commerce, state publicity departments, railroads and real estate brokers. But the German and Czechoslovakian farmers who arrived in 1875 by wagon train to Rawlins County to establish homesteads soon discovered things to be quite different. Barely enough rain fell annually to grow a profitable crop of any kind. The homesteads had to be defended from Indian raiding parties and from vast herds of bawling cattle driven by cowboys who didn’t know the meaning of property lines. READ MORE...

Richard W. Padilla grew up the son of a painter and has spent his entire life capturing the beauty and mystery of the "Land of Enchantment": New Mexico. Use this link to visit his on-line gallery and learn more about his extraordinary work. Richard created cover and inside art for CCJ Publisher Rick Alan Rice's ATWOOD series. "I feel enormously honored by Richard's contributions to the ATWOOD books. He is probably the most intuitively gifted artist I have ever met, a guy who brings considerable magic to everything he does." - Rick Alan Rice

Section art developed by Richard W. Padilla for ATWOOD - A Toiler's Weird Odyssey of Deliverance

Nashville Unleashed

Nashville's Intimate Road Show Goes Big Time

Originating as a SOLD-OUT National touring show, Nashville UNLEASHED became a web series, attracting producers to bring it to Network TV.  Multiple Networks signed on immediately, with coverage on a collective of satellite networks reaching over 80,000,000 Households in the US and on Country TV in New Zealand. A refreshing alternative to reality TV, it’s an authentic show about the music and for the music, drawing viewers into the intimate, in-the-round performance style characteristic of the Nashville music scene. Hosted by husband and wife singer/songwriting team, Jack and Diane Untz, each episode profiles multiple accomplished songwriters (including GRAMMY-award winning artists and Grand Ole Opry performers) and shares the personal stories behind the hits and hit-worthy new songs. Use this link to visit the show's website to learn more, and check out the promo trailer below.

Yes, I Believe this is Something

Dylan McDonald and the Avians in Full Flight

Fueled By Dreams Of The Future is only the second CD by Dylan McDonald and The Avians, but is the next step in a long musical journey. Led by Dylan McDonald (son of five-time GRAMMY Award-winner Michael McDonald), the band’s primary musical influences are the legendary artists of the 60s and 70s, but they want to create their own path and make a distinct mark on the musical landscape. Dylan McDonald and The Avians deliver an intoxicating brand of eclectic rock reminiscent of John Lennon and Neil Young. “That comparison is flattering,” McDonald admits. “They are such influences to use musically that it makes sense that people hear it in our music, but I am humbled anyway.” McDonald is the sole songwriter on the record. “Sometimes it is frustrating because people expect to hear my dad’s iconic voice in me…and it’s just not there. Musically we are very different,” McDonald says. The band features McDonald on lead vocals and guitar, Daniel DeMonico on lead guitar, Will Brown on keys, Alex Geddes on bass guitar and Joshua Cobb on drums. Although DeMonico and McDonald have played together for many years, the current incarnation has come together within the last year. Before the band “evolved” to The Avians, it was called Dylan McDonald and the Stay Highs-- a nod to a certain segment of society that has gravitated to McDonald’s music. He jokes, “Well, my dad was a Doobie Brother!” “This band is different than any that I have been in,” Cobb confides. “It’s a lot more old school because we record live. It’s all recorded live in the studio and not many bands do that anymore….It’s about being together. I enjoy doing these songs that way. To me, it is like showing respect to the past.” McDonald echoes Cobb’s enthusiasm. “Everyone is really strong in their instrument and brings something different to the performances,” McDonald says. “I feel like our songs are constantly evolving. We tweak them all the time, and they change and grow, just like we do as musicians.” Fueled By Dreams Of The Future is available at all digital outlets and distributed by Chronin Records.

Jazz Donnay Style

Prohibition Mob Band

The San Francisco Bay Area has a long tradition of presenting some of the best and most innovative Jazz stylings, and it seems over the past few decades they have somehow been intertwined with another of the Bay Area's feature attractions: Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks. That band features two of the finest jazz vocalists in the nation - Roberta Donnay and the singularly-named Daria - as backing vocalists, which sort of puts that legendary band into perspective. (It's a little like Beyonce Knowles singing backup in her sister Solange's band.) These cats be fine!  Anyway, Dan Hicks and crew aside, Roberta Donnay has been tearing it up with her own entertaining unit, the Prohibition Mob Band, pictured above. There is a kind of a schtick that runs through the core of all these people; a kind of entertainment ethos that harkens back to an earlier time, almost Vaudevillian in its nature. Roberta and her mobsters are stepping it up a few notches of late with the upcoming release of a new CD, Bathtub Gin, which is expected in January 2015, and a soon to be released video titled "What's A Girl to Do?" The theatrical video will feature Roberta Donnay
(as Velma Parrish), Aaron Wilton as Johnny "Boom-Boom", Destiny Muhammad as Snookie Lovelle, Dan Keller as "Buttons" McGee, and
Jared Newman as Leo "The Lip". The Bathtub Gin CD features 15 songs including 1920s-30s gems which have been buried or seldom heard, plus some jump-swing with shout choruses and original compositions, with horn arrangements by Sam Bevan and Wayne Wallace. Stay tuned to the CCJ for more. Or, if you'd like to have your data mined you can visit Roberta's Facebook page using this link. Or, you can just go to Roberta's website at
www.robertadonnay.com. You can purchase the first Prohibition Mob Band CD, Here's A Little Sugar, by using this link to visit Amazon.com.


Wasted Wine's New Hypno Therapeutic LP

South Carolina's experimental sound machine Wasted Wine has a new LP, Wasted Wine vs. the Hypnosis Center, scheduled for release in February 2015. The video below is a promotional vehicle and provides some insight into this innovative duo's approach to 21st Century music. I took the opportunity to listen to the album, which in some respects is experimental in the way that Radiohead, Muse, Pink Floyd and others have been, with a rich seasoning of recorded messages and public service type announcements intended to immerse the listener in the high-concept nature of the album. Listeners will feel that they are checking into a therapeutic environment, as if they are in acceptance of the notion that there is something amiss in their mental processing. Musically speaking, however, it belongs to a kind of Gypsy cabaret genre. There are eastern modes at work, or possibly something of the Romani in the violin strains, that are mysterious, compelling, and quite beautiful, and in the accordion sounds that drive many of the songs. The vocals are odd, more theatrical than musical, and not quite up to the ambitions of the compositions, which are low-key spectacular, if that's possible. One imagines musical star Alan Cumming or the great Ron Moody doing these parts with real punch, but unfortunately neither is in Wasted Wine. (It would be great if Moody was in the band: he's 90 years old!) Robert Gowan and Adam Murphy are fantastic composers and they should really get themselves to Broadway, where they belong, and where they could employ the talents of more gifted vocalists. Their new LP sounds like the soundtrack of a Broadway production. - RAR  Read More about Wasted Wine on the Music Page.

The Red Paintings

Is The Revolution Never Coming? Maybe not, but The Red Paintings are. Check out this cool video for "Wasps".

Orchestral art-rockers The Red Paintings are in the midst of an ambitious world tour in support of the release of their debut album The Revolution Is Never Coming. The band is hitting the U.S., supporting "The Birthday Massacre". The Revolution Is Never Coming was five years in the making and features a 35-piece orchestra, 22-piece choir, harp players, French horn, Theremin, and more across thirteen tracks of biting, futuristic, alternative rock. Recorded and mixed with the late Bryan Carlstrom (Alice in Chains, Rob Zombie) in world-class studios around the globe, the band raised donations from fans all over the world to create their vision and have received critical acclaim for their creative vision and ambitious scope. The band’s heavy touring schedule has been driven by the release of The Revolution Is Never Coming and the album’s two singles - “You’re Not One Of Them” and “Wasps” - both of which have spawned music videos. The songs have charted in the UK, Europe, USA, and Australia.

Dutch/Polish band Faith Healer

Fiery Dutchman Peter Bourbon Lights a Faithful Fuse

FAITH HEALER is a modern hard rock band established in 2014 by Dutch legendary guitarist Peter Bourbon of Picture, Vengeance and many more. Joined by extremely talented crew of Dennis Geraads (drummer, producer, sound engineer and owner of the Skillz Drums Academy), Peter Rovers (bass), Marc Meesters (guitarist and singer) also decided to work with young polish hard rock & heavy metal vocalist - Zinny Zalesky (Piotr 'Zinny' Zaleski) well known by his expressive frontman image and great vocal range. First long play recorded in Swalmen, the Netherlands (Double Double U Studio) in 2014. Turn Up Sound premiered in September 2014 along with the full band video and it's a first official release for FAITH HEALER. The band gathers a lot of experience, great range of inspirations, music skills and true rock image. Hard rock fans can well expect the results of these sessions to be truly outstanding!


This Week in "Is This Anything?"

Martin Folb and Paul Gorman's Primal Intent

Rising from the club scene in Miami, Martin Folb (PANTyRAID, MartyParty) will join Ibiza producer Paul Gorman for a 2014 self-titled album release launching their newest project under the moniker, Primal Intent. Loaded to the brim with fresh progressive house and Ibiza minimal techno the 10 track self-titled LP cleverly combines Trap, Dubstep, Purple and Hip Hop into one tightly wound package delivering a powerful punch. Rich in bass and emotion, Primal Intent is a new musical foray for the South African born producer, Martin Folb. A deep dark audio voyage using synthetic sounds and organic tones Primal Intent takes the listener into a new world of minimal electronic music that is both sophisticated and psychedelic. Together with co-producer Paul Gorman, the new project captures all of the flavor of the European techno scene while remaining current and fluid with Miami’s signature house music sound. All of that stuff preceding is the type of hype one gets in the promo package for these types of productions. As the CCJ listens to the sample track below, we can't help but pose the timeless question that surrounds the release of any music product - the question originated by David Letterman and Paul Shafer for the Late Show With David Letterman, i.e., Is this anything? We can't tell, but your comments are welcome.

Phillip Rauls' Musical Slideshow

Here at the CCJ at RARWRITER.com we have featured the extraordinary photography of former Atlantic Records Artist & Reportoire guy Phillip Rauls', who owns one of the world's greatest treasure troves of photographs of musicians, places and things. He was instrumental in the promotion of the great music that came out of Stax Records in Memphis, and tons of other music as well. Several years ago he put together this nice musical photo tour, which he calls a "photographer's view of some long time personal alliances that are pieced-together in the form of a brief documentary". Phillip has tons of this stuff on his great Photolog site (use this link). He was there when music history was taking place, much of it helped along by his own hand in promoting the fortunes of so many of those acts that have enriched the lives of whole generations of fans. This video shares some of that in line with his notion that promoting music is promoting people. Music fans will recognize a lot of famous faces among these shots. Some readers of this site will also see the faces of old friends, some now sadly departed. Either way, it's a treat. And wasn't our boy Phil a fine looking young man?

Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes

Getting Through the Night on Black Coffee

Winner of the alt-country Album of the Year at the 2014 Australian Country Music Awards, Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes are releasing Black Coffee in the U.S. "Black Coffee transcends expectations and sets the new standard in roots and Americana music in Australia. We knew it was going to be good, but this is an exceptional album." - Adam Simon, Rolling Stone. Black Coffee, the new album from Australian songwriter Lachlan Bryan and his band The Wildes, has garnered glowing reviews, packed houses, and a slew of awards and nominations in Bryan's homeland this year.

Tetherball - Spring Chicken

So does the CCJ over promote Tetherball? Perhaps, but go ahead and speak unkindly of us, we just love this band. Steve Voss, like yours truly, is a former Boulder, Colorado guy. He relocated a few years back to Nashville to do studio work, which he describes thusly: "Atop a hill overlooking the Nashville valley, surrounded by industrial wasteland, sits what appears to be a paramilitary fortress. Massive, unnameable machines rust in the fields nearby, while a lone American flag adorns its concrete parapet. Inside, you will find the caverns of an abandoned steel-manufacturing multiplex, and one man: Steve Voss. In the adjacent cavern of a warehouse, a lone drum set and studio lights are set within 80,000 square feet of empty space. This is how Voss operates his studio, and where he conjures the sonic structures of his culminating project, Tetherball." Voss is a clever guy pulling some beauty of that American wasteland. - RAR

Mindy Smith and Matthew Perryman Jones

Rescuing Souls, Human and Otherwise

This is a beautiful song, wonderfully performed, featured on Shelter Me, the inspiring PBS series that celebrates shelter pets with positive and uplifting stories, is more than just a TV show -- it's become a whole phenomenon, including a special album, Songs For Shelter Me. Use this link to visit Mindy Smith's website and purchase her excellent musical products, and use this link to learn more about Shelter TV.

Isabel Rose

Why Not Bring on the Holidays?

Isabel Rose is set to release a pair of songs to radio just in time for the holidays. The just-recorded radio single, “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah,” along with “Never Satisfied” (the most-requested song from her latest album, Trouble in Paradise), will be hitting radio this month. “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah,” a traditional Jewish holiday song, was produced by Julian Fleisher (who recently produced Ana Gasteyer’s new album currently occupying the #4 spot on the iTunes jazz chart). “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah” features a signature Rose style: a fresh jazz-waltz mixed with a traditional Christmas melody called “Carol of the Bells.” Players on the recording include Clifford Carter (piano/Fender Rhodes), Arthur Vint (drums), Thomas Hubbard (bass), and Mark Sherman (vibraphone). “After a lifetime of Christmas carol envy, I decided to bring a little sass to a song from my own heritage,” says Rose. “Since there are only three Hanukkah songs in existence (at least that I'm aware of), I chose the one that best lent itself to my purposes. I hope you like the results as much as I do! I think it's a swingin’ way to welcome in the holiday season no matter what your religious identification is!” Isabel Rose released her CD, Trouble In Paradise, on September 16, 2014. The album was produced by the legendary Bob Rock and was inspired by a time when America was aglow with Kennedy’s Camelot by day and lit by the lights of Rat Pack Vegas by night. Trouble in Paradise delivers thirteen tracks that are infectious, charming and completely refreshing. The title track of Isabel’s CD, also called “Trouble In Paradise,” hit #31 on the Mediabase Adult Contemporary radio chart.

Paul Kelly – The Merri Soul Sessions

Kelly explains the evolution of the Sessions: “In recent years doing band shows with Vika and Linda, Vika had been singing “Sweet Guy,” an old song of mine, and bringing the house down each time. I was keen to record her version and thought, naturally, that if we were going into the studio we should try and get some other songs on tape as well. I had a song in mind for Linda. I wrote a couple of songs with Dan Sultan that had a soul kind of feeling. And a couple of recent songs of mine, as yet unrecorded, came back into view. They seemed to fit well with the others. Having half a dozen songs now that were talking to each other helped me write a couple more. This is how it goes. One thing leads to another. You never quite know what’s happening ’til you’re in the middle of it.

Following the recent releases of his groundbreaking song cycles, Spring and Fall and Conversations With Ghosts (the latter only in Australia), Paul Kelly is pleased to announce another innovative chapter in his long-standing career. Earlier this year, he assembled his touring band and an exciting group of singers to record a set of new songs as well as one old classic. The tracks were performed live in the studio by Clairy Browne, Vika and Linda Bull, Dan Sultan, Kira Puru and himself. Dubbed The Merri Soul Sessions, the music is being made available via PledgeMusic as a very “limited edition” series of four 7” vinyl singles (double A-side). The U.S. will see the release of an album on January 27th, 2015, containing all of the singles and three more songs.


The club Armando's in Martinez continues to be one of the jewels among the San Francisco Bay Area's intimate venues, every night bringing some of the finest musical entertainment this side of anywhere. A case in point would be the duo Gadjo, shown in the video below, who do their thing in French and English. Their repertoire includes many standards from the American Songbook, but also some swinging Louisiana Blues featuring Jeff Magidson on slide guitar and Isabelle Magidson on washboard. Jeff and Isabelle also perform with the Hot Club of San Francisco.

Hip-Hop Superstar Search

Keep watching www.nexthiphorsuperstar.com for details.

Already Missing Craig Ferguson

I am already mourning the loss of Craig Ferguson, the Scottish comedian who for the last 10 years has been starring in The Late Late Show, following Late Night with David Letterman on CBS. As much as I like Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers over at NBC, and as much as I have enjoyed Letterman over the years, it still seems to me that Ferguson is the only thing on network television that could truly be called anarchic. He seems to me to be the quickest wit on the tube, a guy who is elevated by the sense one gets that he really doesn't give a damn about doing anything "wrong" with regard to the covenants of late night TV entertainment. He is the Wallenda of comedy television, the dare devil who never thinks about the consequences of falling, and I feel inspired every time I watch him. I feel like this guy is irreplaceable; that anyone who follows in his footsteps will be doing some pale imitation of what it was to be Craig Ferguson. There is going to be a hole in my life when he signs off for the last time. He and his Green Mountain West production banner is going on to develop shows for the Science Channel and Discovery, and he is going to host a syndicated game show called “Celebrity Name Game.” I'm sure he will continue to be entertaining in whatever he does, but network television just won't be the same without him. In fact, his departure will mark the end of an era, even more so than the departure of Letterman, after which it will undoubtedly all be turned over, in some diminished form, to a younger generation that just doesn't seem to me to be quite up to the snuff that was epitomized by the marvelously manic Scot. I am actually depressed about the whole thing. - RAR


High on Southern Rock

Diana Olson interviews Atlanta, Georgia's The Higher Choir. See the interview on the Arizona Links page (use this link).

Going Back, and Back...

Use this link to go to the previous edition, where you will find additional links to other archived editions.


Bill Thames Photography

Excellent music writer Bill Thames has been following guitar hero Tommy Talton for a long time and has contributed an excellent review of Tommy's new LP to this edition of the CCJ at RARWRITER.com. Bill's talents don't stop there. Visit his website for Bill Thames Photography using this link and enjoy the wonderful gallery he has posted there.


Killing Scott Panetti in Texas

Convicted murderer Scott Panetti is scheduled to be executed in Texas on December 3, 22 years after he committed the double murder of his in-laws in 1992. This has been a case that the Creative Culture Journal at RARWRITER.com has followed for years. It was, in fact, the first major feature that ran on this site, which revolved around the work of Scott Panetti's sister Vikki Panetti, who at the time of our feature was fronting a rock band in Los Angeles called Shemonster. Use this link to revisit that story. The Panetti family has fought tirelessly to spare Scott Panetti's life, not because he is innocent of his horrendous crime, but because he is a schizophrenic who never understood his own actions, represented himself disastrously at his trial, which was a farce, and to this day has no idea why the State of Texas wants him to die. He believes they are persecuting him for his Christian beliefs. The story is tragic in so many ways, not the least of which, according to his family and his high-profile defenders, is that he is not mentally competent to be held accountable for his own actions. Panetti was a Navy man, part of a Naval Intelligence group, who had continued his family's tradition of military service, but he began to show signs of mental illness toward the end of his teenaged years, which is when schizophrenia typically surfaces in people prone to the disease. He started hearing voices in his head, which instructed him to commit the violent crimes that he committed. Why the State of Texas, which executes more criminals than any other state, is so hell-bent on executing this deranged individual, who defenders argue should be kept in a mental institution for the rest of his life, is beyond comprehension for many. Certainly Scott Panetti's execution would go down as one of the most tragic injustices against an individual citizen ever committed by any government institution in the history of the United States. This is a story worth revisiting because it says so much about who we are as a people; or more to the point, who the people of Texas are that they would allow this heinous act against a guy who has already been victimized by one of life's most secret and devastating assassins: schizophrenia.


PR World News

Billboard has announced that marketing and promotion powerhouse The Syndicate has acquired boutique PR & Artist Development agency Tijuana Gift Shop and is absorbing the company's roster and staff. TGS principal Jeff Kilgour will become VP of PR and Artist Development at The Syndicate and brings over an eclectic roster including The Revivalists, Faded Paper Figures, Elizabeth & The Catapult, The Dead Daisies, Mia Dyson and more.


Sean Michaels

Giller Prize for Us Conductors


Although Sean Michaels published his debut novel, Us Conductors, last April, he has been a stalwart in Canada’s music and cultural community for more than a decade, since founding the influential music blog Said the Gramophone in 2003. While the blog is still going strong, his writing career is going stronger. On Monday, November 10, he was awarded the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the $100,000 that goes with it, becoming, at 32, one of the youngest winners in the prize’s history and only the second-ever debut novelist to claim the annual fiction award.

So what is Us Conductors about? Here is the Amazon description of his work: "In a finely woven series of flashbacks and correspondence, Lev Termen, the Russian scientist, inventor, and spy, tells the story of his life to his “one true love,” Clara Rockmore, the finest theremin player in the world. In the first half of the book, we learn of Termen’s early days as a scientist in Leningrad during the Bolshevik Revolution, the acclaim he receives as the inventor of the theremin, and his arrival in 1930s New York under the aegis of the Russian state. In the United States he makes a name for himself teaching the theremin to eager music students and marketing his inventions to American companies. In the second half, the novel builds to a crescendo as Termen returns to Russia, where he is imprisoned in a Siberian gulag and later brought to Moscow, tasked with eavesdropping on Stalin himself. Throughout all this, his love for Clara remains constant and unflagging, traveling through the ether much like a theremin’s notes. Us Conductors is steeped in beauty, wonder, and looping heartbreak, a sublime debut that inhabits the idea of invention on every level."


Publisher's Weekly Names Their Choices for the Best Books of 2014

Feel free to disagree, but this is what PW came up with.

On Immunity: An Inoculation
Eula Biss (Graywolf)

Biss, while making an unimpeachable case for childhood vaccination, delves into the metaphors that accompany notions of purity and invasion, and recounts the medical history of vaccine development. It’s a touching personal story that seeks to understand why the antivax crowd exists and why it’s such a well-meaning, if misguided, movement.

Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David
Lawrence Wright (Knopf)

Wright’s meticulous account of the 1978 Camp David Accords weaves a nail-biting chronicle of the accords themselves with the histories of the three leaders and the land that has been an unending center of conflict since biblical times. It’s an unparalleled work and one that deserves to be called objective.

The Corpse Exhibition
Hassan Blasim, trans. from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright (Penguin)

Powerful and disturbing, these stories of the war in Iraq from an Iraqi perspective combine the grit of reality with the surreal. Wise and terrifying, comic and gripping, Blasim, in exile from his native Iraq, is an original voice whose writing is justifiably compared to Gogol, Bolaño, and Borges.

Emmanuel Carrère, trans. from the French by John Lambert (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

No run-of-the-mill biography, this witty, fascinating portrait of the paradoxical Edward Limonov—a far-right ally of Serbian war criminals and principled opponent of Putin; a butler in New York City; and a literary rock star in Paris—has biographer Carrère giving himself a supporting part in the story as he ponders his own relationship to a confounding man who mirrors Russia’s many transformations.

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
Elena Ferrante, trans. from the Italian by Ann Goldstein (Europa)

Ferrante’s series of Neapolitan novels has cemented its place as one of the greatest in modern fiction. This third installment, which follows the evolving and complicated relationship between girlhood friends Elena and Lila, is the best so far.

A Brief History of Seven Killings
Marlon James (Riverhead)

A virtuosic performance detailing three turbulent decades in Jamaican history, centering on the attempted assassination of Bob Marley. The voices of government agents, gang members, ex-girlfriends, and ghosts all contribute, and the result is shocking, cerebral, and exhilarating.

The Empathy Exams: Essays
Leslie Jamison (Graywolf)

Jamison is ever-probing and always sensitive in her first collection of essays, providing a heady and unsparing examination of pain. Her observations of people, reality TV, music, film, and literature serve as starting points for unconventional metaphysical inquiries into poverty tourism, prison time, random acts of violence, abortion, bad romance, and stereotypes of the damaged woman artist.

Lorrie Moore (Knopf)

In Moore’s fourth story collection, her characters seem to have caught up to her sly, sharp voice. The young women are gone, replaced by divorcées. The sadness may outweigh the humor, but the balance here may be Moore’s ideal combination, authentic and wise. No one captures what it’s like to live in today’s world quite like Lorrie Moore.

The Dog
Joseph O’Neill (Pantheon)

The unnamed narrator of O’Neill’s novel is an American adrift in Dubai, where he works as an “officer” for a wealthy Lebanese family, turning a blind eye to ethically questionable activity and knowingly pursuing his own dead end. It’s a devastating story of a man circling the drain, lost in the last society that will have him.

Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free
Héctor Tobar (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Tobar movingly revisits the story of the 33 miners who spent 69 days in 2010 trapped in Chile’s San José Mine. He captures, with compassion and without sensationalism, the experience of surviving more than 2,000 feet underground, and of emerging above ground into a media frenzy.





















Copyright © November, 2014 Rick Alan Rice (RARWRITER)