Tempest/The Tracks We Leave (Celtic kings of the open green mountains)

tempestMy wife and I adore Celtic music. And finding Tempest in a tempestuous barrage of Irish traditional songs, original numbers, and a menagerie of instrumental expression fills the atmosphere with a delightful candor for the love of its roots. This band, which has been around a long time, has endeavored to enhance its musical directions with a massive flair and choice of instruments that have created and recreated the genre, evolving it into a cross of unyielding expansion. There are many ways that this band has derived bits and pieces of instrumentation from the likes of Jethro Tull, other nations around the globe, and perhaps even the ancient druids themselves. However, fully and truly making them all their own. It’s amazing how some good old folk can be delivered into the hands of semi-progressive rock and back again which they have done. They certainly aren’t afraid of including an electric guitar to multiply their reaches into the outer regions of Celtic experimentation. The flute finds it way into the tunes as does a Calliope of many ventured instruments unknown to most, but not to the Celtic kings of the open green mountains. This album is a pleasant journey on the road less traveled by the mainstream. It is indeed a musical adventure that draws all near to it as the songs either touch your heart or bounces you into an unexpected jig. Celtic on…

Skowron/Resurrection Road

scan    New albums come and go. New artists do the same (as do some old ones). Some of them delve into the feeling of the art more than the typical pop or expected structure, which is the path of least resistance here. Look towards cuts like “Shake yer Love” which handles quite the driving bounce musically throughout. Or “The Eagle” lending itself towards Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California” with its melodic acoustics. We could lean on “All dis Jass”for all of its blusey nightclub dramatic feeling, or soar about with the heartfelt “Pain” onto a place where the heart wrenching questioning derived within the vocals remains buried in its unrequited call for an answer. It provides a raw emotion gliding throughout with a most rhythmic overtone. Give a listen and squeeze out what you need. It all seems to be there.

Fireball XL5 (the complete series)

fireball  Rocket yourself into the cosmos with one of the most original and amazing pieces of nostalgic work ever put together. Welcome to the world of marionettes, or better penned by creator Gerry Anderson, supermarionation. This five DVD set includes every single episode during its time, special interviews, audio commentary and a featurette about the art of Fireball XL5. Those of you who can’t exit the earths atmosphere enough will stormtroop your way into the outer regions of space with Steve Zodiac, Venus, the professor, and no one can forget the indisputable Robert the robot who mans (or robots) the controls. The imagination is beyond evident with all of the strings in full view as marionettes are known for. The motion is wonderful and the models for the ships and such come to life in glorious black and white. This is a most collectable series noting the beginnings of space travel and warring with those terrible aliens who dare to give the crew a bad time, losing to the greatest space crew ever. Take a ride with this fireball and you’ll experience what its like to fly high.

Plum Creek Wilderness Sled Dog Race

FSCN0216     On an early cold morning, people gathered inside the Trailside Restaurant and Lounge awaiting the Plum Creek Sled Dog race with coffee in hand whilst our furry athletes were outdoors well within their element, anticipating some very serious running tactics. The race was accompanied by volunteers who not only would guide, assist, and work closely with these fearless canines but also exhibited qualities of strength in holding the sleds in place until the starting gun as the dogs were already pulling and howling for what they do best…run like the wind.FSCN0123 It was an interesting day complete with a cheering squad, photographers, and spectators watching as the participants gallantly took to the trails hoping for winning results. Warmth seemed to be on everyone’s mind once they were gone and until their return, both the thirty and sixty mile contestants would pummel the snow covered earth while we went indoors for food, discussion, and a hot cup. Many ventured out to the town to see what the local mercantiles  had for us to window shop and the like, then upon the racers gallant return, winners were announced, cheers bellowed, and ended with a perfect winters day. FSCN0223Where else in such a small setting but Greenville Maine could such an event take place bringing joy, curiosity, and multiple howls to  a momentous occasion. Woof!

Penobscot Theatre Company Presents: “Guys on Ice” (a big bit o’ broadway on the bangorian stage)

guys     For those who wish to partake in the usual humdrum predictable debris, you may find all you can digest (or perhaps not) on your nightly nauseating television programs designed for those who have decidedly chosen to follow the herd right off the proverbial cliff downward into the abyss. Then again you can be a true purveyor of the arts and thoroughly enjoy an evening at the Penobscot Theatre with the delightfully entertaining “Guys on Ice”. This cleverly crafted unintentional therapy session with a couple of plain old guys whose immediate ambitions (or obsession) meanders around fishing and fishing alone. However, it turns into so much more. The turn includes hilarious banter, a heartwarming and near tears recollection of better times, and an honest exchange of what begets what’s truly important in life aside from a fishing pole and a beer. The focus upon the transition between selfless motivation and emotional rescue will capture your heart in your hand alongside rhyme, reason, and song. An enchanting array of lyric and music feed the fire with childhood memories, moments in time, and those far too recognizable exasperating moments with no answer in sight. Our souls as well as those of the characters whose very spirits eventually burst with hope for a better tomorrow draw from each other the answers needed to come through the valley. Countless breathtaking dance routines, expressive facial expressions, and a host of general shenanigans brought so much life onto the simple stage setting that your eyes could be closed and you would still see it. Humor and its overwhelming protege in the form of an audience were deeply touched by the sentiments buried within the hearts of our two dear friends who actually did learn the lesson of the day with comfort, love, and the loss of two perfectly good football tickets. Scott Raymond Johnson and his profound facial interpretations mixed with semi-crazed logic complemented Marvin and what he determined his initial dream to be something more than what he was. Ben Layman, playing Lloyd, figured out that his dance moves seriously outweighed the danger of running out of beer, overshadowed only by the tenderness in his voice. Ernie the moocher was a one man riot squad in his own right. Offering his own brand of vaudevillian mayhem, a variety of vocal bursts of refreshing fruit flavor, and general pilfering (with a dash of game show half time conundrums). A gracious thank you to Larrance Fingerhut for providing us with musical accompaniment as well and the emotion behind it. A thoroughly enjoyable evening with so much flavor you’d need two tongues to taste all it has to offer. A masterful triumph moving your spirit in every direction.

The Collins Center for the Arts Presents “The Bangor Symphony Orchestra”

bso   The cold afternoon was immediately warmed as the Bangor Symphony Orchestra took to the stage with the music of the well known masters of the classical world, J.S. Bach and Jean Sibelius. The smooth and vivacious sounds permeated through out the arena with strength and a delicate gentleness flowing within the chosen pieces. Bach is well known for such vivacious compositions as “Bouree”, much like the uptempo sounds of Antonio Vivaldi. Wielding their instruments, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra soared about with “Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor with a many varied talents at the helm. The Jean Sibelius section paced its monolithic and epic piece Filandia with its well composed ease and highs and lows in an ever changing series of moods. Continuing with Symphony No. 1, and its menagerie of haunting sounds, similar to his other seven symphonies, his personal touch is evident in each of them. A wonderful musical event to celebrate the warmth of music in winter.

The Collins Center for the Arts Presents “Les Contes D’Hoffman” on February 7th from the Met

contes     In this exciting opera scheduled for February 7th at the Collins Center for the Arts brought to you from the Met, we see a story of intrigue, poetry, and of course love and its many dangers and deceptions. In a most fantastic tale of near science fiction, a mechanical doll named Olympia is the treasure of Hoffman’s eye. Stories of Zaches the dwarf are hypnotizing to Hoffman as he arrives unknowing that his arch nemesis Lindorf plots to replace him in his rendezvous and the quest for the love of the robotic Olympia. Never a dull moment in the grand world of opera. Come join us and see how this story unfolds alongside the mad thoughts that race through the mind of one in love, willing to cross any line to gain it, on February 7th at the Magnificent Collins center for the Arts starring Vittorio Grigolo. Bring your imagination…