Impeccable harmonies: and then there was one.

Posted in Stuff with tags , , , , , on May 21, 2012 by Val McCall

Andy (1988), Maurice (2003) and Robin (2012). Although their youngest brother, Andy, left the group early on and began performing on his own, when I think of the Bee Gees (the Brothers Gibb), I think of them all. It was the harmonies, especially when they sang in falsetto, that was and still is a delight to listen to.


Blog, research or dance?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 20, 2012 by Val McCall

I’m torn between writing a blog post or do some research on a book collaboration. And then I thought, “Go dancing at Bembe’s in Brooklyn.” But that’s a long drive. Bembe’s in Brooklyn NY and I’d need to find some folks to come along with me for the ride. But then the majority of my friends are baby boomers like me and are probably settled in for the night, sipping martinis, musing over the politics of the moment, or stretched out on the couch while the tv watches them … so … Bembe’s will have to wait.

I guess I’ll head out to the veranda and watch the sun go down while I listen to some great World music, tap my feet a little. Who knows … maybe I’ll do a few spins! It’s difficult for me to sit still when I hear good dancing music. Click on the link and join me in celebrating the sunset, Bembe style.

Arturo Sandoval Talks with his Horn

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on May 19, 2012 by Val McCall

Moonlight and magic when the sun waits up for the Harvest moon.

Posted in Prose, Visual Arts with tags , , on May 19, 2012 by Val McCall

One lone shore bird, contemplating life, basking in the sunlight getting the tips of its webbed feet caressed by the sea. It’s a good time to stop and gaze. Tomorrow, the tide will be in soon and then the waves will rise, pushing the shoreline back up and into parts of the dunes. This night, the tide will be far out leaving a mile of shoreline behind it.

Perhaps this bird is pondering the grand beauty that nature brings. This night, where the sun now shines, the moon will rise. First, everything will be pitch black and then gradually a tiny ball of light will appear just where the sky meets the ocean.

As the moon rises, it increases in size and the ocean swells gradually, the wind begins to pickup and nature does its midnight dance.

Once up in the sky, the moon casts a beautiful glow reaching across the sea to the shore, while the waves pick up strength as the moon rises higher.

The waves increase responding to the gravitational pull from the moon. A glorious sight to see and enjoyed by all who come to Tybee.

What a wonderful sight.

As the moon gets higher, it’s dance with the sea, the wind and the shore gracefully ends and everything becomes calm again. The wind, a gentle breeze, the ocean steadies its waves. The sand glistens in the nighttime sunshine, sparkling like tiny jewels. And when the moon is fully risen, a warm glow remains as each grain of sand unites to emanate the light from the sun blended with the light from the moon.

Click on the moonlight pictures for photo credits and visit those who’re just as smitten with Tybee Island as I am.

Buttonwood Tree’s 3rd Annual Music Festival at Halfinger Farms!

Posted in Art and Culture, Music Festival with tags , , , , on May 19, 2012 by Val McCall

Today is a beautiful New England Spring day. Warm weather, clear skies and no humidity. Its perfect out there. If you’re looking for something to do, from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm in Higganum at Halfinger Farms, here’s something to bring the family and favorite vittles, and get your stomp on with some great music. BLUEGRASS MUSIC that is – fiddles and banjos, harmonicas and mandolins and so much more! On stage will be:

CHARTER OAK BLUEGRASS: The Charter Oak Bluegrass band is Connecticut tradition, solidly rooted in the bluegrass tradition of Bill Monroe and Jimmy Martin. Known for its drive and bounce on up-tempo numbers, and soul and depth of emotion on the slower tunes, Charter Oak Bluegrass is the essence of bluegrass.  [….]

SOUTH CAROLINA BROADCASTERS: The South Carolina Broadcasters are an award-winning old-time trio with modern day appeal. Featuring Ivy Sheppard (fiddle,banjo, guitar, vocals), David Sheppard (guitar, vocals), and Grace Kennedy (banjo, triangle, vocals), their expert songwriting, tight harmonies and exceptional instrumentation give The Broadcasters their powerful old-time sound. Drawing their inspiration from the Carter Family and early country duos, The Broadcasters aim to keep alive the roots of American traditional music.  [….]

POOR OLD SHINE: From their hand painted cereal box cd cases to their thoughtful arrangements, Poor Old Shine, a Roots/Americana band from Storrs, CT is about honesty and hand crafted creativity. It’s foot stomping, mind racing, dirty bluegrass like you’ve never heard it before! They travel with an assortment of instruments including guitars, banjos, pump organ, string bass, cello, a swarm of harmonicas, and a yard-sale-scrap-metal drum set. It’s old songs with a new feel, banjos with paint peeled, shoes with holes and treadless soles, and music that is real. [….]

Ode to Freedom 1989, Leonard Bernstein in Berlin

Posted in Art and Culture with tags , , , , on May 18, 2012 by Val McCall

And the wall that was no more … I grew up on the three “Bs,” Bach, Brahms and Beethoven with some Ella, Ellington and Lady Day thrown in for good measure.There was also lots of Mozart and Coltrane. I have favorites. Lately, I’ve listened to the 1989 recording of Ode to Freedom (Joy) (Beethoven), conducted by Leonard Bernstein in Berlin. It was a celebration of taking down the wall that separated Berlin’s east and west. I listen because it fills my heart with joy and eases my countenance.

Three Little Birds on Tybee Island

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 17, 2012 by Val McCall

I’m not a bird-watcher but the shore birds on Tybee Island are fascinating. “Tybee Island is on the Colonial Coastal Birding trail and hosts over two hundred and eleven bird species. Located on the Atlantic Flyway we are host to tens of thousands of migratory birds making Tybee and Little Tybee a must. We are also a safe haven and winter destination for wintering shorebirds like the endangered Piping Plover, Purple Sandpiper, Red Knot,  Black bellied Plover, Dunlin and many more.” [….]

This is an amazing sight. Every morning the shore birds line up in a “V” style formation with one bird leading the rest as in the photo above. I took this photo in early March on a cold, windy day. At first, I thought the birds were lining up like this to make ready for a quick “get-away” ahead of a storm. Not so. Every morning, they were there like clock work, and often in the same spot on the shore.

I took this photo right after a storm. The rain is over and the birds hone in on their spot and get in formation.

Of all the photos I’ve taken of the shore birds, this is one of my favorites. What is so amazing is that the wind was so strong, I could barely take this photo. Despite the wind, this pelican first sits perched with its wings spread full length for several minutes. Then it rears its head back and makes a guttural noise and flaps its wings and then begins the routine all over again. It’s the beginning of a Georgia spring so maybe this is a mating ritual.

Here are some full-grown pelicans up close. Some species wing-span can grow as long as eight feet. These pelicans don’t come that close to shore but stay near the fishing boats. I’ll bet they’re foraging for “food.”

Here’s a great photo to end the day’s walk. Makes one break out in song singing “Don’t worry … about a thing … cause every little thing’s gonna be alright.”