Saturday, July 31, 2010

Help for Chuck McCabe's Family

Chuck has a whole lot of devoted fans and friends here in the North State. Here's a chance to help his wife, Cindy.

According to Chuck's website:

"Both Chuck and his wife Cindy encountered challenging circumstances in the last two years of his life. Contributions toward expenses will be graciously accepted and deeply appreciated.

To make a donation, please write a check out to Cindy Costa and mail it to:

Cindy Costa

15466 Los Gatos Blvd.
Los Gatos, CA 95032

Thank you for your generosity."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nick Rocks the Loft

photo by Bryce Goldstein

This Bohemian Art Loft will ring with the sounds of original folk rock music this weekend, when Nick Ciampi and the Rocs rock the house.

Nick is a veteran musician - composer, rocker, folk troubadour and teacher. This new venue is a beautifully appointed performance space, dedicated to both visual and performing arts.

Read up on Nick and his 50 years in the music business on his website: Nick Ciampi Productions

And come on out on Saturday night, July 31st, to enjoy the show - it starts at 9.

Bohemian Art Loft
3304-B Bechelli Lane

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chuck McCabe

Singer songwriter Chuck McCabe lost a battle with cancer last Friday, and the North State music community lost a dear friend.

I met Chuck when he offered a weekend songwriting workshop through the Shasta County Arts Council several years ago. He listened to us -- all rank amateurs - and he shared stories and advice and he encouraged each and every student. Lunch time came around, and he worked right through, smiling, laughing and answering questions and sharing the insights that only come from years of experience on the front lines of the music industry.

Chuck listened to a rough version of a song I wrote, "Heart Shaped Stones," and made kind comments. "Do you have more?" he asked. When I nodded, he said, "Well, what are you waiting for? Get 'em recorded." His encouragement was a precious gift.

Chuck was a most gracious and generous performer. He was never impressed with his own talent, though everyone else was, and he always took the time to chat, ask about the local songwriting scene and to listen. When Chuck was on stage, I never saw ego -- only a talented entertainer who loved picking and singing and sharing the laughter. His performances were all about the song - funny, poignant and brilliantly crafted, and delivered with sincerity.

The last time I saw him at The Post Office, Chuck beamed like a proud Papa when local musician Richard Horner played his song "I'd Rather be in Redding."

Chuck left us a whole heap of great songs - available on CDBaby - and these last few days, I've found comfort listening to "My Prayer for You."

You can listen to it here: Chuck McCabe on Podsafe

Listen to clips and purchase Chuck's music at: CDBaby

There is a guestbook at Chuck's website for remembrances: Chuck McCabe

I'd Rather be in Redding was his gift to the North State - enjoy:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Down-Home Ranch

We eat bushels of fresh veggies this time of year -- love the organic produce at the Farmers Markets and our Cottonwood Holiday Market.

This Ranch Dip/Dressing is much better - and more wholesome -- than the bottled versions. We go through a lot of it. The secret is the Cow Camp Garlic Season-All:

- I've found it at Holiday and at Winco -- I imagine it's available at other food outlets, as well.

Ranch Dip/Dressing

Combine in a small bowl:

2 tablespoons Cow Camp Garlic Season-All
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried dill (or a tablespoon of fresh)

1/4 cup sour cream or mayonnaise
2 cups plain yogurt

Whisk together and refrigerate.

Here's a link to a printable version: Ranch Dip/Dressing

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vote for Local Songwriters!

Cottonwood singer-songwriter Diana Wallis and her husband Wally are finalists in the Next Wedding Song Contest. Diana and Wally are terrific writers, engaging performers and good-hearted souls.

You can help them out -- together they are The Pine Dogz -- by casting a vote (or two or three) on the contest website. Their song is "Want to be Where You Are" -- to vote, click here

More on The Pine Dogz check out their web site: The Pine Dogz

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Remember Me

Without any gigs on our schedule, Craig and I are having fun learning a few cover songs.

I love this one - Remember Me - a 70-year-old song written by Scotty Wiseman, a songwriter and singer who also penned "Have I Told You Lately that I Loved You?"

He and his wife Lulu Belle (who had a hit with "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?") were a popular husband and wife duo, performing regularly on the country music circuit. Lulu Belle and Scotty - "The Hayloft Sweethearts" - were fixtures on the radio from the 1930s to the 1950s and even made some feature films.

Read more of their story here:

Listen to them singing "Remember Me"