Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I have a little secret. I've got a little bit of twang to me. I really don't know where it came from. My mother listened to the likes of Nana Mouskouri and Boney M. We had 8-tracks and records, which were played from a large stereo cabinet that looked something like this...
Not mine, but not far off of our super 70's stereo

Now that was a fine piece of electronica, let me tell you. It had an am/fm stereo, record player and an 8-track slot on it, plus the obligatory red velvet curtains on the side panels. Bring on the 'Night Flight to Venus'! Hooey, we knew how to throw one down.

Yes, well...

Jump forward a few years and my musical tastes expanded some. I was introduced to punk, alternative, pop, rock, and funny enough, a whole lot of folk music via some musician friends. I had a real eclectic taste, that was for sure. I was just as happy to listen to Depeche Mode or Skinny Puppy, as I was to groove to Gordon Lightfoot or Stompin Tom. I know. I know. Neophyte.

Nathan Rogers at this year's Home County
But out of all those musical stylings, the folky blues stuck. I still flip on the radio to whatever pleases the kids or myself in that moment (plenty of CBC 2 in the afternoons and evenings), but a good old dose of folk music makes me smile. In fact, I don't think I've missed the Home County Folk Festival in years. And I am pretty sure I have made folk fans of my kids too, as they always insist on going and staying as long as possible (dragged them away from Whitehorse at 10:30 pm this year).

I believe it was at a past year's Home County that I ended up on Rock Ridge Music's mailing list. They had me in a good mood and I would have signed up for anything on that day. In retrospect, it was a good thing though, as now they send me artist spotlights all the time. I have discovered 'Dwight & Nicole' and Levi Weaver, both of which are fabulous bands/musicians.

This week they sent me a teaser for someone new though. And I need to hear more.

Christian Lopez Band
On first listen Blaster Records snapped up this talented musician. It was a no-brainer and they have formed a great union since their initial meeting. That despite the fact that the front man for the band is a mere 19-years-old. Don't let his age fool you though. Christian Lopez is an old hand as far as making music goes. He began playing piano at age 5, and guitar by the time he was 9. Writing songs was a natural extension that came along in his teens.

Now the West Virginia native's dreams are coming true in the form of his first EP Pilot set to be released in October 2014. Not too shabby for someone who has played pre-shows for the likes of Zac Brown and The Dave Matthews Band. Intrigued yet? If it seems like a long time to wait for the EP, there is always live music to fill the gap. The band is touring the US this fall.

8/20 – Cumberland, MD / Downtown Cumberland Concert Series
8/21 – Floyd, VA / Dogtown Roadhouse
8/23 – Nashville, TN / Antique Archaeology
8/23 – Franklin, TN / Grey’s On Main (evening show)
8/29 – Charlotte, NC / PNC Music Pavilion
9/3 – New York, NY / Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3
9/12 – New Hope, PA / Triumph Brewery
9/13 – Winchester, VA / Bright Box Theater
9/18 – 9/20 – Dewey Beach, DE / Dewey Beach Music Festival
9/27 – Blacksburg, VA / Sycamore Deli (w/Deer Run Drifters)
10/4 – Thomas, WV / The Purple Fiddle
10/10 – Clear Springs, MD / Knob Hall Winery
10/11 – Bethesda, MD / Taste of Bethesda Festival
10/17 – Bedford, VA / Bedford Library Concert Series
10/18 – Shepherdstown, WV / Shepherdstown Opera House
10/25 – Centreville, VA / Cox Farms Fall Fest

It's one thing to rave over the music and pump up a band, but I know you just want to hear it for yourself, right. We have to wait I'm afraid, as the full EP will only be released later this week for streaming or download. The teaser I got was just a single song, which was enough to let me know that I definitely wanted to hear more.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Organizing with Mason Jars

Look what I found on Pinterest; a neat organization item made from mason jars...

Cool right? It looked simple enough, so I thought "What the hey?!"

And decided to try it myself. Any good crafty house has got a bit of glitter paint, mason jars and bits for knobs, right?

This one does!

I've already started my canning this year (made sweet pickles yesterday and have relish in the making as we speak), but wide-mouth jars aren't used very often, making them scarce. Two were all I needed for this craft though and polished tiger's eye stones were my accompaniment for knobs.

One for q-tips and bandaids in the other. What do you think? Pass or Fail?

     Take that Pinterest!


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