Monday, December 5, 2016

From Stockbridge to Boston

Now the first of December was covered with snow
So was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston 
The Berkshires seemed dream-like on account of that frosting 
With ten miles behind me and ten thousand more to go... 

from Wikipedia, Sweet Baby James (Song)
This of course is the very notable verse from James Taylor's famous song, Sweet Baby James. I had just included this song on My 100 List that I posted last week when I got an email from one of my loyal blog readers, Ron Ouellette. Ron is the father of Jeremy, my son-in-law to my step-daughter, the now just married, Alexandra Ouellette. Ron and I have been getting to know each other over the past couple of years and as the topic of music came up, well need I say more.

So Ron writes me an email (on December first) with the following line, "the 1st of December was covered with snow and so was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston. 'It has happened once that I can recall but it won't happen this year. Love that song!' "

Ron and his lovely wife Karen live in Londonderry, New Hampshire and represent the New England region well with their roots and support of the sport teams and music too. Recently, Ron gave me three CD's of lesser known bands I had never heard of before. It's always great to get new music and continue to expand my rock n' roll repertoire a bit more.

I've also been trying to expand my travel repertoire too, as I had never been to New York State, or for that matter, most of the eastern United States. This past October, I had an opportunity to speak at a Librarian's conference east of Syracuse and just off Interstate 90 in Vernon, New York. It is called the Leatherstocking Conference, referring to the region where James Fenimore Cooper lived in nearby Cooperstown and his famous book series called the Leatherstocking Tales about the frontier, including The Last of the Mohicans. So, from Syracuse, one takes Interstate 90 east through Albany and then south and east into Massachusetts and towards Stockbridge. In looking at a map yesterday, I realized the continuous Interstate 90 turns into the Massachusetts Turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston. Okay, I'm just trying to get a little more connected here with my recent visit east and James Taylor's turf.

The irony here is that I wasn't going to feature any other James Taylor songs in this week's playlist, but then I couldn't help myself as I sneak in another one. My real aim is to feature the lesser known artist's with the three CD's Ron gave me. I will however keep that theme going and end my playlist this week with Livingston Taylor who is James' lesser known brother, who by the way had success in the 70's too.

The first band is The Alternate Routes from Bridgeport, Connecticut  (and yes, extending the New England connection). Ron gave me their 2007 album, Good and Reckless and True. I love this band and want to explore them more as I venture into their catalog.

Next up is Eric Bibb, born in New York (see I got that in there again too), who is an acoustic Blues singer-songwriter. Eric Bibb has grown on me the more I listen to his 1999 CD, Home to Me and listen to him on YouTube. After making this week's playlist, I'm a fan.

and then, Vintage Trouble, a R&B band from Los Angeles, CA and why do I not know this? I would love to see these guys in a bar, just seems that alcohol would be involved. I've been listening to the 2015 CD, 1 Hopeful Road and enjoy their videos too.

Lastly, Livingston Taylor, currently a faculty member of the Berklee College of Music, in Boston. Livingston and I once had long sandy brown curly hair, take care my friends.


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