Entries Tagged as 'Entertainment'

Jennifer Nettles

JenniferNettlesI had never heard of Jennifer Nettles and had no idea who she was until recently. I was watching the 2009 CMA awards on TV when an angel appeared. And so there she was, this statuesque beautiful blond with warm green eyes that just make you want to swim in them. She appeared sort of awkward in her movements on stage. Not quite Joe Cocker awkward, but more robotic sort of awkward. It fit the performance. I was riveted to the screen. I cranked the volume up to max and melted into the song and I was hooked. The song was “Keep You” and her current band is commonly known as Sugarland.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. One of the marks of a true musician is when the person doesn’t play they song, but the song plays the person. Jennifer Nettles is one of those people who gets it. She is like a medium or a portal where the music somehow enters her body and uses her as the vessel to release itself into you. She is amazing.

So being the geek I am, I fired up google and started learning what I could about her. Wikipedia has some good info, and she has a dandy JenniferNettles.com homepage. Google images has seemingly endless collections of photographs of her, and it was about then that I realized that I’ve been hiding in this house too long and I should get out more. Here is this absolutely gorgeous, lovely talent and I’m just now finding out about her. What else have I missed I wonder.

Sugarland More CMT Music More CMT Music Videos

Then through my googling I found the actual music video for Keep You. Wow! I’ve listened to a number of Sugarland songs since then, and while I really wouldn’t consider myself a Sugarland fan, I am definitely a Jennifer Nettles fan.

Enjoy the video(s). I’ve pasted the lyrics below for those who are interested.

We said goodbye. Tried her hand at magic.
But we couldn’t make us disappear.
Not a day goes by I don’t wish I had you.
So run away, I’m glad you’re still here.
It’s a bitter sweet victory.
Lovin’ the ghost in front of me.

Now I can’t laugh, can’t cry.
And I can’t run, can’t hide.
What do I gotta do?
What do I gotta do to keep you?
What do I gotta do to keep you from doing this to me?

I wrote a couple of notes.
One in love, one in anger.
They’re lying there dying in the dresser drawer.
Lived louder than my voice. Struggled through a stranger.
He loved me until I loved you even more.
It’s a bitter sweet victory.
Lovin’ someone else who wanted me.

Now I can’t laugh, can’t cry.
And I can’t run, can’t hide.
You get used to the pain, and numb to the sting
Till you can’t feel anything.

You tried to explain, but I couldn’t hear it.
As if your words were my tears.
Flowing freely, warm and quiet.
From the edges of my eyes and my ears.
Then all that disappears.

Now I can’t laugh, can’t cry.
And I can’t run, can’t hide.
Now I can’t laugh, can’t cry.
And I can’t run, can’t hide.

What do I gotta do?
What do I gotta do to keep you?
What do I gotta do to keep you from doing this to me?

The Joan Osbourne gig

joan-shirt1I don’t know why all of the sudden I feel like writing about these memories, but I do. If they bore you, please move on. Nothing to see here. You’ll have to wait till I get pissed off about something stupid Obama or his viceroy’s do if you want the juicy stuff.

Anyway, I played music professionally from the early 80’s to the mid 90’s. My most successful run was from 1988 to 1992. I had a great band at that time and we were working all the best clubs. We had an awesome fan base in central PA and everything was just falling into place with a lot of hard work and a lot of great music. I landed a solo gig opening up for Joan Osbourne in ’92. I booked the gig prolly around June of ’92 for a play date of late September. It was supposed to be just me and my guitar for a 45 minute opening set at Club Met, which was the biggest rock club in central PA at the time, and then Joan and her band would take the stage. I was really excited about it. Joan wasn’t real famous yet, but anyone who was into music knew who she was. She wouldn’t become a household name for about another 3 years when in 1995 she released “One of us” which comes from the refrain in the song “What if God was one of us?” Anyway, Joan was on fire and was touring all over the states and I was lucky to get the gig.

Something bad happened though on August 2nd of that year. I was in a bad motorcycle crash and lost my left leg. It was a very serious crash and injury as I’m sure you can imagine. August was a big pain blur for me. Naturally, August’s play dates were cancelled and so were most of September’s but I wasn’t going to let the honor of opening for Joan get away from me.

I was in severe pain and on heavy doses of mscontin.
I was all screwed up mentally and physically and decided that I still wanted to do the gig, but I didn’t want to do it myself, so I called my friend Dave Venet and asked him if he’d do a duo with me that night, and he accepted.

My mom hated the whole idea. She moved in with me after I was released from the hospital to take care of me, so she knew first hand what a mess I was, but she reluctantly drove me to the gig anyway. So, I’m in a wheel chair in pajama pants and a t-shirt and off to the club we go. I took an extra jolt or two of the pain killers to try to put that excruciating pain somewhere other than right in front of my face and once we were there I was getting my friends to order me and sneak me Jack and cokes when Mom wasn’t looking. She was all on my ass about drinking while I was on such heavy pain medication and wasn’t happy about the entire situation.

Show time comes. Me and Dave are on stage and the lights are dim. The local radio celebrities are getting the crowd jacked up and here we go. We get introduced and the lights come up and it becomes totally quiet. Pin drop quiet. I see a bunch of my friends and people I know in the audience and they’re all looking at me with compassion and hurt, as if they are sharing my pain. I made some kind of stupid joke about….”Don’t worry folk’s. I’m ok. It was just a motorcycle crash, but look what the hospital took for the bill!”

It’s seemed to lighten the mood and Dave and I started jamming. We played some great tunes that night and the crowd was into it, not only for us but they were really stoked for Joan. When our set was over, we went back into the dressing room and I got to meet Joan and her band. They knew what had happened to me and were completely amazed that I even did the gig. They treated me with with a great amount of respect and were all just incredible people. They all signed a t-shirt and gave it to me and I still have it today and keep it with my most valued possessions.

We stuck around for a little while while they played but Mom wasn’t having any of it and we had to go. I was drugged and drunk. She was pissed and in charge.

I didn’t do the gig for like…”the show must go on” or anything like that. I was having a hard time mentally at the time about losing my leg and I had to do it for myself to try to convince myself that my life would still continue with some type of normalcy. It was weird. Anyway, it was a memorable night for me and I’ll never forget meeting Joan and her band and how awesome they were, not only as musicians, but as people. Just people.

Music and Passion

me_and_bo2I started playing music at a very young age. My step dad played guitar so there was always one or two sitting around the house. I’d say it started at maybe age 5 or 6 for me. I continued to play through high school just for fun, for myself. My brothers and step brother played too. It was kind of a family thing. We lived on a farm with shitty tv reception. There wasn’t much else to do really.

By the time I hit my late teens I was good enough to play the bar circuit and that’s what I did. I played my guitar and sang for people for a long time. I played and sang for every reason a person plays and sings. To share the music. To share the emotion. To share the feeling. To be popular. To get girls. To play for money. To make a living. To play for fun. Every stage of the game was for one of those reasons.

I did pretty good. I hooked up with some great musicians. I made a record. I had a few great bands. I opened for national acts. I opened for Jonny Winter, Marshall tucker, Joan Osbourne, Lonnie Brooks and many more. I played on stage with Bo Diddley. It was a great accomplishment and a great time in my life. I used to love the thrill of the crowd and the excitement of the performance. I used to love everything about it. But then it wore off.

I like to be alone now. I spent so many years in the spotlight that I hate the spotlight now. I hate being recognized. I’ve gone the complete opposite. I moved to the mountains. I don’t keep in contact with anyone. I hate when someone recognizes me. I haven’t been in a bar in over 2 years. I seldom talk about those days and I’m not sure why I’m talking about it now. I had fun back then. More fun than most can imagine. But I’ve been there and done that and now, I just enjoy the memory.

My guitars sit in their cases. Untouched, abandoned and forgotten. I never play them anymore. I don’t want to pour my heart and soul out on a stage anymore. The little piece of myself that I have left I want to keep to myself. It’s weird.

Anyway, I enjoy every memory I have of that time in my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve just sort of moved on. Not ahead or behind. Just….moved on.

The pic is of a gig I did with Bo Didley at Gullifty’s in New Cumberland back in the early 90’s. That’s Bo up front, Ski playing drums and me in the back playing guitar. What a night!

“Cookin by the book” Lazy Town remix with Lil Jon

Here’s a question that I thought I’d never ask. What do you get when you cross a children’s video full of puppets and an innocent looking little girl with a gangsta rapper like Lil Jon?

Answer: Quite possibly one of the funniest videos on youtube.

A few words came to mind right away after viewing it. Disturbing, depraved, bizarre, hilarious, genius…. I’ve watched it several times now and I’m still not quite sure what to make of it. One thing is for certain. It took a lot of creativity and talent to put this video together with the quality that it is. It makes me wonder who would have even thought to do this. Anyway, this is what you get when two extremes collide.

Love it or hate it? You decide. Just watch it. You may even find yourself going…..


Johnny Cash – Hurt

I don’t know why but I’ve had this song stuck in my head for weeks now. Johnny Cash was a true american legend. I don’t know if he intended it this way but it seems like he recorded this song as a last goodbye. He died shortly after it’s release as if he’d written the last chapter of his life and then closed the book. Very powerful stuff.

The mark of a true musician is when they can make you feel their emotion through their song. It happens when the song is playing them, instead of them playing the song, and it goes right through their soul into yours. Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you one of the greatest entertainers that ever lived.

Johnny Cash singing – Hurt

The song was originally written and recorded by Trent Reznor, best known from his Nine Inch Nails fame. I have no idea how it wound up in Johnny’s hands but I’m glad it did.

The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger

Let me first say that I am not a movie critic. I have never made nor acted in a movie, therefore I am not qualified to be a movie critic and I will not try to critique this or any other movie. Also I should say up front that I’ve never been a big Heath Ledger fan.

Having said that, I just had the opportunity to watch The Dark Night last night. I typically don’t like super hero movies. I might have caught one or two of the Superman movies. I’ve never seen a Spiderman movie and I think I may have watched the Batman movie that had Jack Nicholson in it, but I can’t remember if I even watched the whole thing.

I wasn’t really into this movie either but I have to admit that all the hype that the media gave Heath Ledger for his performance in this movie was well deserved in my opinion. While there were some cool special effects and plenty of action, it was clearly Heath’s outstanding portrayal of the Joker that kept my interest throughout the movie. I found myself going to the kitchen for a drink or snacks when there would be a scene without him in it and when I’d hear his voice I found myself hurrying back to the TV to see what he was going to do next.

I wouldn’t have made it through a half an hour of this movie if it weren’t for Heath’s awesome depiction of the Joker. When the movie awards start coming out and he wins a plethra of them, I’ll know now that they were all very well deserved, and not just Hollywood handouts for a young man that died before his time.

Awesome job Heath.