Posted on: July 1, 2008 1:08 am

Flamingo Fest West


Time for a short review of Saturday night's concert with Antsy McClain and The Trailer Park Troubadours, otherwise known as Flamingo Fest West, in Davis, California.

The Pre-concert Flock Block Party began at 4 pm with Flamingoheads from as far away as Washington State, Idaho, Canada, and North Carolina gathered and enjoyed each other's company as well as a little hang time with Antsy and some of the band before the show started at 7:30pm. They were filming for a DVD, so the audience was given a few ground rules (Flamingoheads, as a rule, are not about rules), and other instruction that was largely ignored throughout the evening.

The frist set was highlighted by an appearance by the one and only Tommy Smothers who put one a classic comedy routine with Antsy before singing "(Your Sweet Talk Made Me Love You) The Prozac Made Me Stay)." Later, Tommy came back and did a stint as The Yo-Yo Man. Many of you may not know or remember that Tommy is an expert with the yo-yo and is absolutely hilarious.

After a break, Antsy played a number of acoustic solo numbers before bringing out the band for an acoustic set, then had the band get set to rock it on home. The next song was "Ron Howard's Brother," which featured another special guest - Clint Howard himself who appeared on stage with his attorney (Bernie) to announce they were suing Antsy for defamation of character for his portayal of Clint in this song. (If I was Ron Howard's Brother, I'd have it made in the shade. I'd hang around with famous people like Jim Belushi and Randy Quaid. Folks would see us at the mall and everybody'd know my name - "Hey! It's Ron Howard's Brother!!")

Well, before we knew it, it was just after midnight and and time to head on home. 4 1/2 hours of great music and comedy, and still had more great songs they could have played. What a show. If you're in Santa Cruz or the Bay Area in late July, or Pennsylvania or North Carolina in August, go and see them. You'll never regret it and soon you will be wearing funny clothes and following them everywhere!

Enjoy the Ride!!

Category: General
Posted on: April 29, 2008 12:41 am

Help Me Digitize My Record Collection

Slowly I've been digitizing my records one by one. It takes about an hour each and can be quite painful if I get distracted and miss a track and I half to rerecord a track or start over. Or, if my turntable decides to go into 16 1/2 mode, making Neil Young sound like Louis Armstrong, well, that's a problem as well. Anyway, while I've recorded many, I've done a little inventory and found that I've missed a number of great albums and hidden gems, so I'm asking for help in prioritizing the many albums I have left. I will list a small portion of my collection I consider digitization worthy and would like for you to rank the top ten, twenty or all if you want. Then I'll publish the results or go with the currently popular bracket system, or try something new, like pit each record in a schedule against another and post the standings each week. In the meantime, if I digitize anything, it will be something not on this list. For lesser known acts, I will add a bit of an explanation to help you decide. Thanks and have fun. To make it easier on you and me both, simply put your rank to the right of each artist. If you have any commentary to add, please do so, especially if you have a memory of an artist you are surprised to see on this list or you think nobody else has ever heard of. Here we go, in no particular order.

  • 1972-6 Kerrville Folk Festival - featuring live performances by Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson (Turn Out the Lights), and Guy Clark, among many others
  • Who's Next - Somehow I missed this one
  • Loudon Wainwright III - Final Exam - features a sports themed tune - Golfer's Blues
  • Loudon Wainwright III - I'm All Right - Includes a minor hit "Wine With Dinner"
  • Joe Louis Walker - Cold Is the Night - Robert Cray-ish blues
  • Stephen Stills - Illegal Stills
  • Rod Stewart - Every Picture Tells A Story
  • Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic
  • Maurice John Vaughn - Generic Blues Album - bought this at used record store years ago and never listened to it!
  • Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs - Best of (Little Red Riding Hood, Wooly Bully)
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival - Mardi Gras (post John Fogerty except Sweet Hitchhiker and one other)
  • Asleep at the Wheel
  • Beat Farmers - Tales of the New West - Country Dick Montana sings the unforgettable Happy Boy and The California Kid.
  • Harry Chapin - Verities and Balderdash ( one of the first 5 albums I ever pruchased- includes Cat's in the Cradle)
  • Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials - Chicken Gravy & Biscuits - Always a sucker for food songs, I bought this for the title cut.
  • Marshall Tucker Band - Searchin For a Rainbow - Nearly wore the grooves off this one 20 or 25 years ago, haven't heard it since!
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd - A Christmas present from my brother  after it came out.
  • The Doors - Classic debut album on MFSL
  • Heart - Dreamboat Annie
  • Robert Gordon with Link Wray
  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Southern Accents
  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Long After Dark
  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Hard Promises
  • Blues Brothers - Original Soundtrack
  • Kansas - Leftoverture
  • Carole King - Tapestry
  • Doobie Brothers - Stampede
  • George Thorogood - Move it on Over
  • Warren Zevon - Excitable Boy
  • Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues
  • John Fogerty - Centerfield
  • Weird Al Yankovic -  In 3D (featuring "Eat It")
  • George Thorogood  - Bad To the Bone
  • Graham Parker - Squeezing Out Sparks
  • Chuck Wagon and the Wheels - Red Hot Women and Ice Cold Beer (the featured band at disco demolition night because of their only hit - Disco Sucks - and one of my favorite regional bands of the late 70s and early 80s)

Feel free to influence other voters with your opinions. Let's make this interesting!

Category: General
Tags: albums, music, ranking
Posted on: April 14, 2008 11:33 am

Signed Up With (Or At Least I Tried!)

 I was referred by good fried RockFlorida to and had some difficulties with their service. It seems like you can get an awful lot of good music for a good price, but my situation didn't quite work out. Here is my story . . .

Ok, here is my correspondence with

My first question: I was referred to emusic by an email from a friend, but I am unable to sign up because you are unable to authorize my credit card. This card is American Express and works for everything else including concert tickets I bought on line last night.

Can you help?

The answer: Thank you for contacting eMusic Customer Support.  We wanted to provide you with an immediate reply to your issue. If this response does not fully address your concerns, please reply to this email and we will assist you promptly.

Tell A Friend credits are issued 30 days after the referred friend becomes a paying subscriber. Full terms of the offer are available at

If the Tell A Friend credits do not appear after the referred friend has completed his/her first paid period after the free trial, please let us know.  We will need both the referred friend's e-mail address as well as the e-mail address of the person who made the referral.  If you are the referred friend, please ask the person who referred you to provide us with this information.

We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused.  Thank you for taking the time to refer a friend to eMusic.

I didn't think that answered my question, so I pressed on: I would like to subscribe to, but for some reason you don't like my credit card. I was able to buy $40.00 worth of gas with it yesterday. Please help or I will have to cancel my subscription before it even starts.


The reply:  Thank you for contacting eMusic Customer Support.

We are having trouble processing your credit card. Please contact your bank to determine the reason for this issue. Once you resolve your issue, you should be able to proceed accordingly. 

If you would like to update your credit card information or provide a new card:

1. Login to eMusic - you will be presented with the update credit card screen
2. Update your credit card information and submit.

This will store your new credit card information. As soon as we are able to successfully charge your card
your account will become available for use.


Abbey - eMusic Support

Then I noticed my account was active, so I downloaded my 50 free tracks, but couldn't upgrade because of the credit card issue I thought was solved:  When I signed up, your system wouldn't take my credit card. Now it apparently has. I've downloaded my 50 free downloads, but when I try to activate the account to start my subscription, the system doesn't like my credit card again! What is up? Can you help? I'm trying to spend my money here, and it's frustrating to get nowhere.


The Reply:  




Your account is active and these are the terms.

The offer you accepted was for the eMusic Basic plan that includes 30 downloads for $9.99 per month as well as 50 extra downloads FREE for your first month:  Per the information presented before you accepted:

Clicking the continue button indicates that you have read, understand and agree to our terms and conditions. 
If you are enjoying your eMusic membership simply do nothing and your trial subscription will roll over into the subscription plan you chose above.

This confirmation was presented:

Your eMusic Plan

eMusic Basic 30 downloads for $9.99 per month Plus 50 FREE  for your first month

Again, I am sorry for any confusion you experienced.  I hope this helps you understand the charge you received.




My reply (by the way, I had never received a charge): 

Hi Amber,


I appreciate your help, but now I'm really confused!! I logged in tonight and get the same message about my credit card not being accepted, I have 0 downlaods available, and cannot upgrade to the $9.99 account, let alone to the $14.99 or $19.99 levels. I have not received any charge yet on my credit card. Do I have to wait 30 days before I get 30 downloads?


Musically yours (almost),

Amber replies:  Our subscription records indicate that your eMusic account associated with the email address


was not charged during the free trial period.  When you registered with eMusic, we authorized your credit card with a small temporary charge. Many financial institutions display this temporary charge online for several days even though it is subsequently removed. Please be assured that you will not be charged for this account authorization. (then she listed all my 50 downloads)

Seems like we are making progress here, so I write:  Thank you again Amber,

 I have gotten the 50 free downloads as listed below, but I am ready to start my account in earnest, but I am still receiving the following message:

 "We were unable to authorize your credit card. Please ensure that the information below is correct, or enter a new credit card."

 Since you have authorized my card for the free trial, I'm hoping it can be authorized for the full-on membership. Do I have to wait the entire 30 period before I can do that?


Wait, it's not over yet:


Thank you for contacting eMusic Customer Support.

Our records indicate that your credit card was declined because the zip code you entered did not match
the zip code that is on file with your credit card company.

The zip code for your eMusic account under the email "<!--ustomerEmai--> " is: ZIP CODE

Please verify that this zip code matches the zip code associated with your credit card.

To update the zip code associated with your eMusic account you must input the correct zip code during the registration process. To do so, go to
, enter credit card information, choose a plan and click submit. If the zip code you provided previously does not match the one on file with your credit card company, an error message will be displayed and you will be prompted to enter a new zip code. Enter the correct zip code and click submit.

Once you complete the registration process, you can start downloading immediately!

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.


Amber-eMusic Customer Service

Ok, I'm getting a little irritated at this point:

Sorry, but the issue is yours, not mine, unless I'm not filling out the form properly somehow. I buy gas with that card, used it a K-Mart two days ago, and it's the card I use most often - without any issues. Somehow, after getting the same message when I originally signed up, one day I discovered I had 50 free downloads. I was never given any indication my card was okay at that point, but I assumed it must have been since you required the card for the free trial. I'd really like to subscribe, but if you won't accept my credit card, I guess I can't. I you can't resolve this issue, I will cancel.

 Thank you,

And so are they!!

 When attempting to process your credit card we are receiving a decline message, which would be coming from your bank. 


As I have stated before, you would have to contact your bank and inquiry why our attempt for payment is being declined


Abbey - eMusic Support

So now I'll try a little humor:  Well Amb, is it all right if I call you Amb? I feel like we've bonded so we can be on a first syllable basis. I appreciate your help, but I give up. The zip code was correct, but I re-entered it anyway, and still got the same message. I tried clicking on the link below, but cannot sign in there because I already have an account. I really can't understand how I was authorized in the first place, since I've never changed my information and I was inititially rejected, then rejected again after my 50 free downloads. Now I'm dejected that I've been rejected and ejected.

 Have a nice day!

So much for humor!!:

Thank you for contacting eMusic Customer Support.


Your trail has been cancelled.  Due in part to the authorization failing on your card.  Please follow the instructions below to sign up for a new subscription.  Since you already had a free trial it might charge your card for a subscription plan.

To reactivate your eMusic account just visit and log in with your current account information.  You will then be able to re-activate your account.


Amber-eMusic Customer Service

I like the part where she says my "trail" has been cancelled. Good stuff.

Category: General
Posted on: April 14, 2008 12:15 am

Send Me Your Tour Dates

If you are a musician wanting to get your name out or if you have a favorite musician or band you want people to know about, feel free to add a comment here. If I know anything, I'll add my two cents in. If I don't, I'll try and find someone who does. In the meantime, the WAYLT? Jukebox (or What Are You Listening To? thread here on the CBS Sports message Board is a fantastic place to learn about new or emerging artists and discuss ones who have been around a while.


Enjoy the Ride!!

Category: General
Tags: live shows, music
Posted on: April 14, 2008 12:08 am

Antsy McClain and The Trailer Park Troubadours

Antsy has a solo acoustic show in Winters California at the Palms Playhouse on April 18th, followed on the 19th with the Trailer Park Troubadours joining him in Benicia.

The next weekend, the band will perform in Cincinnati, Ohio at the St. Xavier Performing Center for $20. For ticket info, go to

Don't miss one of the best and brightest singer-songwriters in America who's been described as a "natural showman." The Troubs live shows are not to be missed, and have fans so dedicated they will fly to his shows or drive as much as 16 hours and 16 minutes just to see a performance!

Category: General
Posted on: April 11, 2008 12:34 am
Edited on: April 15, 2008 6:59 pm

Upcoming Tour Dates for Tommy Emmanuel

Check out maybe the best guitar player in the world - See him on youtube, or better yet, see him live. He's playing in Canada and the US in May and June, so now is your chance. By the way, get your tickets early, because they won't last.

  • 5/1 - Montreal
  • 5/2 - Ottawa
  • 5/3-4 - Toronto
  • 5/6 - Syracuse
  • 5/7 - Rochester, NY
  • 5/20 - Indianapolis (Tickets go on sale 4/11)
  • 5/21 - Louisville, KY
  • 6/5-7 - Newport News, VA
  • 6/11 - Phoenixville, PA
  • 6/12 - Alexandria, VA
  • 6/15-16 - Beach Haven, NJ      Tommy playing Guitar Boogie

Posted on: April 10, 2008 1:55 pm

Great Shows in Ohio and Indiana this month

If you have the chance to catch Michael Kelsey, an extraordinary performer and guitar wizard, you should do so. He'll be in Ohio and Indiana this month. Here's where:

4/11 in Miamisburg, OH at Miami Valley Community Church

4/12 in Lexington OH at Bucks

4/19 in Columbus Indiana at 4th Street Bar

4/25 in Lafayette IN at Lafayette Brewing Co

4/30 in Terre Haute, IN at The Coffee Grounds

You can see videos on youtube or check out for more info


Posted on: February 22, 2008 11:46 am

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

 Found this article by Joel Selvin, Senior Pop Music Critic of the San Francisco Chronicle, about the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco. Don't know exactly when this is, but it looks and sounds incredible. And it's free!!

October 8, 2007

Joel Selvin

Banjo player Warren Hellman may have thought he tucked away on the schedule the performance by his bluegrass group the Wronglers early Sunday morning with the dew still on the grass at the Porch Stage of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Park, but several hundred supporters - "fans" might be a little strong - showed up to cheer on the festival's benefactor.

His guest guitarist, Ron Thomason of the professional bluegrass outfit Dry Branch Fire Squad, told the audience how tough Hellman was, training for his horse-riding hobby while recovering from a broken leg.

"That just shows you what sort of person turns to the banjo," Thomason said. "And at the end of this thing, someone's gotta say, 'check, please.' "

The partisan crowd rained a standing ovation on the seated Hellman, who conducted himself more like a reject from "Hee-Haw" than a financier, joking and telling stories on himself. "This is simple music," he told the crowd, "played by complicated people."

From the opening Friday afternoon performance by Nashville guitarist Buddy Miller to the traditional finale by Emmylou Harris late Sunday afternoon 52 hours later - after 72 acts appeared on the five stages, after most of the festival artists stayed up all night Saturday playing music at a private cast party, after dozens of festival artists made appearances at other festival artists' shows - Hardly Strictly Bluegrass No. 7 goes down in the books as another miraculous weekend, a gift from country music's most beloved amateur banjo player to the city where he lives.

Police told Slim's and Great American Music Hall general manager Dawn Holliday, producer of the sprawling event, that they thought more than 500,000 people filled the entire west end of the park from 25th Avenue out.

With each year, Hellman's million-dollar bash embeds itself more deeply into the San Francisco cultural calendar. Inevitably paired with Fleet Week - with the Blue Angel Jets buzzing the concert site - Hardly Strictly has become an annual community celebration of simple but profound values.

With the festival stretched over three meadows and five sites along John F. Kennedy Drive - Lindley, Speedway and Marx Meadows - festivalgoers thronged the roadway moving from stage to stage. Dogs and children were everywhere.

"This is Jack Casady on bass - he's played here before," said guitarist G.E. Smith of Moonalice introducing the Jefferson Airplane bassist as the band thundered into a revamped "Somebody to Love."

His Airplane and Hot Tuna bandmate, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, was also on hand, playing gentle, deft versions of country blues on the Rooster Stage in Marx Meadow, where the program was largely devoted to acoustic singer-songwriter type performers. The annual Songwriter Circle - this year featuring Ray Wylie Hubbard, Chris Smither, David Olney and Steve Young - is always a Rooster Stage highlight.

On the Banjo Stage, traditional country holds sway, like banjo great Earl Scruggs or Doc Watson, the 84-year-old blind guitarist from Deep Gap, N.C. Mandolinist David Grisman brought out Curly Seckler, a veteran of Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, who did a song he recalled having heard sung by Charlie Monroe, Bill Monroe's older brother.

On Saturday, a parade of authentic bluegrass musicians crossed the Banjo Stage. The New Lost City Ramblers, a group crucial in bringing traditional music out of the hills, made one of its infrequent reunions, this filmed for a documentary being made about the 50-year-old bluegrass band. The Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, out of the Smokey Mountains, featured the spunky vocals of washtub bassist Janice Birchfield, a short, rotund, red-headed spitfire.

Ricky Skaggs, Nashville's leading neotraditionalist, joined forces with sometime Grateful Dead sideman Bruce Hornsby for a rousing collaboration based on their recently released duo bluegrass album, followed by Gillian Welch and Steve Earle, two regular members of the Hardly Strictly lineup.

An all-Lone Star bill ran down the meadow on the Arrow Stage, with Texas troubadours James McMurtry and Jimmy LaFave sharing the stage with the Flatlanders, a hard-rocking collaboration between songwriters Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock, made all the more so when joined for the occasion by the king of twang, guitarist Bill Kirchen. T Bone Burnett returned from his triumphant Friday appearance with guest John Mellencamp to put on his own rock show to end the Arrow's day.

On the Star Stage, John Prine pulled a huge crowd down the road, while Nick Lowe played a marvelously assured, low-key solo acoustic set across the street at the Rooster Stage. With Hardly Strictly produced by his nightclub operation at Slim's and the Great American Music Hall, Boz Scaggs has wanted to join the proceedings for years. After many rehearsals and a warm-up show Thursday at the Music Hall, Scaggs accounted for himself admirably, of course. Wearing straw hat and blue jeans, he mined his Texas youth for a set of old Hank Williams and George Jones tunes backed by a band that included the stellar Buddy Miller on guitar and the amazing Jon Cleary on keyboards.

Los Lobos brought the afternoon to a close as shadows fell across the Star Stage with the band's trademark mariachi rock, following a sensational set of modern bluegrass instrumentals by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.

Category: General
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