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Page 2, The Loafer • April 22, 2014


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April 22, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 3

Volume 28 Issue #20

Publisher - Bill Williams • Editor/Graphic Arts Director - Don Sprinkle • Office Manager - Luci Tate Cover Design - Bill May • Photography - Mark Marquette Advertising - Dave Carter, Akey Kincaid, Lisa Lyons, Terry Patterson Contributing Staff - Jim Kelly, Andy Ross, Ken Silvers, Mark Marquette, Pat Bussard Published by Tree Street Media, LLC., P.O. Box 3238, Johnson City, TN 37602 Phone: 423/283-4324 FAX - 423/283-4369 www.theloaferonline.com • info@theloaferonline.com e-mail: editorial@theloaferonline.com (editorial) adcopy@theloaferonline.com (advertising All advertisements are accepted and published by the publisher upon the representation that the agency and/or advertiser is authorized to publish the entire contents and subject matter thereof.The agency and/or advertiser will indemnify and save the publisher harmless from any loss of expense resulting from claims or suits based upon contents of any advertisement,including claims or suits for defamation,libel,right of privacy,plagiarism,and copyright infringement.


Page 4, The Loafer • April 22, 2014

Chillin’ and Grillin’

Children’s Advocacy Center of the First Judicial District to hold Chillin’ and Grillin’, An Annual Wine Tasting and Grilling Event, at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The Children’s Advocacy Center of the First Judicial District (CAC) will be holding their annual Chillin’ and Grillin’ Event at Bristol Motor Speedway, 151 Speedway Boulevard, Bristol, TN on Sunday, April 27th, 3:00pm-5:30pm. Chillin’ and Grillin’ is proudly sponsored by Plaza Package, Libation Station, Modern Woodmen, and People’s Community Bank. The event is held to support the CAC, a non-profit organization, which helps children who have been severely physically or sexually abused. The CAC serves children from Washington, Carter, Johnson and Unicoi Counties. The event will showcase food, wines and beers. There will be wonderful dishes to enjoy and the event’s signature sponsor, Plaza Package and Libation Station, will provide wine and beer pairings. Several restaurants will be at the event preparing some of their favorites including Troutdale, The Local, One 12, 620 State Street, Tipton Street Pub, and Holy Taco. The CAC Board of Directors will be grillin’ several dishes and desserts. Music is sponsored by The Law Offices of Tony Seaton. Tickets are $50 and are available at the CAC (201 E. Myrtle Ave, Johnson City), Plaza Package (4471 North Roan Street, Johnson City) and People’s Community Bank, 300 Sunset Drive, Johnson City).

Come enjoy an afternoon of “Chillin” and “Grillin” and make a difference in the lives of abused children in our community!!

For more information contact the CAC at 423.926.6528 or Plaza Package at 423.282.2841


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April 22, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 5

Shoe Drive added to Keep Bristol Beautiful’s

Great American Cleanup Keep Bristol Beautiful has added a shoe collection drive to the Great American Cleanup, which takes place April 26 at the old Goody’s building on Euclid Ave. The Great American Cleanup and shoe drive take place from 9 a.m.-noon and raises funds for Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful, while benefitting microenterprise ventures in developing nations and keeping old shoes out of landfills. Individuals can help by

donating gently worn shoes. In the U.S. alone, approximately 630 million pairs of shoes are thrown away every year. The materials used to manufacture a pair of shoes are created from chemical compounds that will create health hazards if left to disintegrate openly or in landfills. By donating your gently worn shoes to Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful, your shoes are given a second chance to make a differ-

ence. All donated shoes will be redistributed to microenterprise partners through Funds2Orgs and used in developing nations for impoverished people to start, maintain, and grow a unique business opportunity to feed, clothe, and house their families. As always, civic groups, youth teams, churches, schools, clubs, and businesses are asked to show community pride that day to help clean up the Bristol community. Bags and gloves are provided for the Cleanup, along with lunch and t-shirts while supplies last. Free electronic waste recycling, provided by Scott’s Recycling, and

tire recycling, courtesy of Patriot Tire, also will be available. Household Hazardous Waste Disposal, provided by Bristol, Va., is free for Bristol, Va. residents while a nomi-

nal fee will be charged for others. For more information, contact Kathy Lowdermilk at klowdermilk@bristolchamber.org or (423) 989-4872.


Page 6, The Loafer • April 22, 2014

Milligan jazz concert to pay tribute to trumpet legend The Milligan College Jazz Ensemble will present a spring concert titled “A Tribute to Maynard Ferguson” on Monday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mary B. Martin Auditorium of Seeger Memorial Chapel. The concert is free and open to the public. The 23-piece ensemble is under the direction of Rick Simerly, associate professor of music at Milligan. The concert will feature a former member of the Maynard Ferguson band, Steve Patrick, of Nashville, Tenn. “We will be playing the original charts of the Maynard Ferguson Band, with Steve taking on the role of Maynard,” Simerly said. “The high notes will be ringing in Seeger Chapel that evening.” Ferguson was one of the greatest lead trumpet players in jazz history. The jazz icon was also a big band leader who led many variations of big bands from the 1950s until his death in 2006. His programs always featured his virtuosic, high note trumpet artistry. The 70s and 80s were an especially

popular period for Maynard’s band and they made several appearances in the Tri-Cities area, including a performance at Milligan. The Milligan Jazz Ensemble consists of Milligan students, as well as students and adults from throughout the region. The ensemble is devoted to the performance of jazz and pop styles with emphasis on ensemble playing, solo playing and improvisation. The guest artist, Patrick, earned a Bachelor of Music in jazz studies from Indiana University (Bloomington, Ind.), where he studied with Bill Adam, Bernard Adelstein, Charles Gorham, Allan Dean, David Baker and Dominic Spera. He has performed on more than 4,000 recordings with various artists such as Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, Elton John, Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, Norah Jones and many others. In addition to performing, Patrick teaches applied trumpet and has been an adjunct faculty Steve Patrick member at Cumberland University (Lebanon, Tenn.), Belmont University (Nashville, Tenn.) and Trevecca Nazarene University (Nashville, Tenn.). He is also the founder and owner of Steve Patrick Musical Services in Nashville, Tenn., and Steve Patrick mouthpieces, a company specializing in upper brass mouthpieces. The concert will include classics from the Maynard Ferguson library such as “Chameleon,” “Give It One,” “MacArthur Park” and “Birdland.” In addition, special guest Kyle Bothof on tenor sax will solo on many of the songs. He is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.). “All of these Maynard charts are very difficult and I’m proud of this group and the hard work they have done to program these selections,” Simerly said. For more information, contact the Milligan music area at 423.461.8723 or visit www.milligan.edu/arts.


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April 22, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 7

Monies Available Through Arts Build Communities Grants The Johnson City Area Arts Council (JCAAC) will be accepting applications for funding arts projects in its five-county service area through the Arts Build Communities (ABC) grant program. The Arts Build Communities grant program is funded through the State of Tennessee Specialty License Sales, and administered in cooperation with the Tennessee Arts Commission and the JCAAC. JCAAC is a designated agency authorized to regrant monies for art projects held in Carter, Greene, Johnson, Unicoi, and Washington counties. The JCAAC will subgrant these funds through a highly competitive grant process for arts activities being undertaken by non-profit organizations (or government entities, such as public libraries, Parks and Recreation departments.) The objective of Arts Build Communities (ABC) grant is to build communities by nurturing artists, arts organizations, and arts supporters in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Some examples of eligible projects are those that involve and promote Tennessee artists; workshops, festivals and conferences; public performances, productions and exhibitions produced by the applicant organization; improved program accessibility for special constituencies; touring projects that bring professional performers to communities; extensions of literary projects, to name a few. Arts Build Communities arts project support provides funds for a variety of quality arts projects. The maximum amount of funds awarded to a single organization in this category will be $2,000 and must be matched dollar-for-dollar. Applications must contain a clear, single-project focus. Any applicant who wishes to apply must call or email a letter of interest prior to application that will outline the proposed project. Emails may be directed to phill@mounet.com at the Johnson City Area Arts Council.

Guidelines, detailed eligibility information, and an online application, can be found on the website of the Tennessee Arts Commission, at www.tn.gov/arts/ community_arts_abc.htm. The JC Area Arts Council will be offering an optional workshop for applicants on Thursday, April 24 at 10:30 a.m. at their office/gallery at 300 East Main Street, Suite 102, Johnson City. The workshop will provide assistance on utilizing the

new eGrant system developed by the TN Arts Commission. Please call to register for the grant workshop at 423-928-8229. Applications must be submitted online through the Tennessee Arts Commission’s eGrant system by 4:30 p.m. (CT) on July 1, 2014. Awarded projects must take place between August 16, 2014 and June 15, 2015. For more information, contact the JCAAC at 423-9288229 or email phill@mounet.com.


Page 8, The Loafer • April 22, 2014

Roan Mountain 56th annual Spring Naturalists Rally scheduled for Friday through Sunday, April 25 - 27 Sponsored by the Friends of Roan Mountain, the rally continues the tradition of offering nature enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy field trips and engaging programs that cover many aspects of the natural history of Roan Mountain and the surrounding area. Past participants will notice a few new field trips, including one Saturday afternoon lead by our Friday night speaker Dan Dourson, mixed in with perennial favorites. Evening programs and the lunch-time workshops will take place in Roan Mountain State Park’s Conference Center throughout the weekend at varied times, and field trips will leave from the field on the left before entrance to the cabins in the park. Because of the continued support of the Friends of Roan Mountain, the Naturalists Rallies have the resources they need to prosper

and grow. The Friends of Roan Mountain also provides support for research and restoration projects on the Roan. Consider joining the Friends of Roan Mountain, if you are not a member. Members receive free admission to all Naturalists Rally events and our newsletter, “Friends of Roan Mountain.” The Friends of Roan Mountain thanks Roan Mountain State Park for their long-time support of the Naturalists Rallies. Our Friday evening program will be presented by Daniel C. Dourson – “Of Ice Thorns, Tree Crotches and Love Darts: Shelled Creatures of the Southern Appalachians.”   Did you know that some snails are covered in long “hairlike” structures? That the slime of some snails will fluoresce under UV light? That the slime from snails is used to treat skin disorders?  Join wildlife biologist, natu-

ralist and natural history author, Dan Dourson, as he shares his passion for the shelled creatures of the southern Appalachians, the land snails. Dan, who has been studying land snails in the Southern Appalachians for nearly 20 years, recently described 4 new species of land snails from the area including the globally endangered Roan Mountain endemic, Roan Covert, Fumonelix roanensis.  Learn of the intricate delicate features that separate these creatures and find out what love darts, ice thorns, and tree crotches have to do with these organisms.  Join Dan in the field on Saturday afternoon for an exciting field trip to search for these jewels of the forest leaf litter. On Saturday evening, we welcome Bob Hale, whose program, “Spring Wildflowers and Native Orchids,” will provide a colorful look at some of the unique spe-

cies that make their home in the southern Appalachians. Bob’s interest in wildflowers began with making slides of spring wildflowers in the late 1960’s. This interest expanded to photographing wildflowers throughout the growing season. While working as a chemist at Eastman Chemical Company for 33 years, he was a member of the Eastman Camera Club for over 25 years, where he served as president, held several other offices, and taught numerous photography classes. Bob has

used SLR cameras for many years, taking both slides and negatives for prints. With the coming of the digital age, he switched to digital in 2004. Bob’s program will feature a sampling of his digital images of wildflowers including a special focus on numerous native orchids. The collection of images are taken from many nearby locations in the southern Appalachians including Grayson Highlands, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Unaka Mt., Buffalo Mt., Cherokee National Forest, the Appalachian Trail, middle Tennessee, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Bob is also an avid gardener, growing a wide variety of annuals, perennials, spring bulbs, and shrubs. Plan to spend a weekend in Roan Mountain April 25 – 27 and enjoy a weekend full of outdoor activities presented by very knowledgeable leaders. For additional information, please contact Jennifer Bauer at 423-543-5808, James Neves at 706-224-3355, or Roan Mountain State Park at 423-772-0190.  Visit us online at www.friendsofroanmtn.org or www.facebook.com/ FriendsOfRoanMountain


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April 22, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 9

Theatre-at-Tusculum to present provocative drama

‘Twelve Angry Men’ Theatre-at-Tusculum will present the powerful and engaging drama “Twelve Angry Men” the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May. The life of a young man hangs in the balance as the “twelve angry men” of the jury must decide whether he is guilty of murder in the play, which will be performed at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, April 25-26 and May 2-3 in the Behan Arena Theatre in the lower level of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building (side entrance). Sunday matinee performances will be at 2 p.m. on April 27 and May 4. “Twelve Angry Men” was originally a teleplay by Reginald Rose, which was later adapted to the stage and also became a critically acclaimed film featuring Henry Fonda. Rose’s original work reflects the time period in

which it was written in that only men served on juries. Theatre-atTusculum will be performing an adaption of the play by Sherman L. Sergel, which provides for jurors of both genders. Those who are familiar with the film will find that the play does differ in several points. For example, the film’s focus is preventing an injustice whereas the play’s emphasis is how people from diverse backgrounds come to a consensus, said Frank Mengel, who is directing the play. Mengel is the technical director for Tusculum College Arts Outreach and has directed such productions as “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “Dogg’s Hamlet” for Theatre-at-Tusculum in recent years. When the play opens, the jurors are almost unanimous in a “guilty” vote, except for a single dissenter. As the jury discuss their views, in-

Juror Three (Will Maddux) has to be restrained from Juror Eight (Paige Mengel) during this scene from Theatre-at-Tusuclum’s upcoming production “Twelve Angry Men.” (Tusculum College photo)

dividual biases and prejudices are revealed and seeds of doubt about the guilt of the accused man begin to grow. Many familiar local actors will be portraying the jurors, who are not known by name but by their juror number, including Paige Mengel, Brian Ricker, Will Maddux, Parker Bunch, Angela Bride, Sandy Nienabar, Margo Olmstead,

Jeff Reese, Eva Griffin, Larry Bunton, Michael Fillers and Jeff Klepper. Zach Gass will portray the guard to the jury room.         The jury room is the scene of all the action of the play and the single set is being constructed by DeAundra Bowker, Bonnie Parks, Jacob Hoffman, Devon Suttles, Ashley Brooks, Andrew Herzig and Gary Mitchell. The stage man-

ager is Suzanne Greene and Barbara Holt is the costume designer.      Admission for the play is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 and over, and $5 for children 12 and under.             To make ticket reservations, please call Tusculum College Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620 or email jhollowell@tusculum.edu.


Page 10, The Loafer • April 22, 2014

Come Celebrate Earth Day in Abingdon! Earth Day Celebration & E-Waste Recycling

The Town of Abingdon will hold its 2014 EARTH DAY CELEBRATION on Saturday, April 26th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Fields-Penn House on Main Street in Abingdon. This year there will be 55 groups (non-profits, private groups, local businesses, educators and state & federal agencies) who will have a great deal of fun

quired). William King Museum of Art will be having a giant puppet parade. There will be a free kid’s area with a huge inflatable to play on, a “trash to treasure” crafts tent, fun games and displays, face painting, a local foods food court, and some groups will have wildlife on display. Adults have the opportunity to receive a free gift by bringing 2 cans of food to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank. Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful is collecting “gently used” shoes for reuse and fundraising. Just down the street in front of the Arts Depot, we will have a drop-off area for electronic waste (e-waste). E-waste includes but is not necessarily limited to, laptop computers, to have and information to share. desktop computers, CRT moniThe theme of the event is “WA- tors, LCD monitors, hard drives, TER” so many groups will have modems, plug and play devices, something to share about our most printers, scanners, copiers, comprecious natural resource. mercial telephone equipment, Several activities are planned fax machines, power backups, throughout the celebration such power transformers, miscelas a rain barrel workshop where laneous electronic business you can make your own rain bar- equipment, wires, cables, circuit rel to take home (registration re- boards, video game systems, DVD players, VCR players, miscellaneous home entertainment equipment, microwave ovens, televisions, small electronic household appliances. Any item that has a power-cord or uses batteries is considered e-waste. This will be a free service provided by the Town of Abingdon. Items with compressors like refrigerators, ACs and dehumidifiers cannot be accepted. Other household hazardous materials (like batteries, chemicals, petroleum products and fluorescent light bulbs) can be taken to MXI Inc. on Saturday 5/10/14 from 10am-2pm. For information, please contact the Abingdon Convention & Visitors Bureau at 335 Cummings Street, Abingdon, VA 24210. Phone: 1-800-435-3440, 276-676-2282 or visit the Sustain Abingdon facebook page- www. facebook.com/SustainAbingdon.


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April 22, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 11

World Premiere Set for Documentary

“Outcasts: Surviving the Culture of Rejection” The world premiere of “Outcasts: Surviving the Culture of Rejection” will be held at Wellmont Regional Performing Arts Center on the campus of Northeast State Community College, Blountville, on April 26 at 7 p.m.   The showing is free to the public and will be followed by a Q&A and panel discussion at 8:15 p.m.   Locally produced by Hillhouse Video Works LLC of Kingsport, Tenn., the documentary examines the devastating effects of recidivism and its impact on Tennessee communities. Recidivism refers to a person’s relapse into criminal behavior after previous incarcerations.   Local film producer Stephen Newton wrote and directed the film, which examines the history and causes for the high rate of recidivism in Tennessee, where more than 50 percent of all released prisoners return to jail or prison within three years. Nationwide, recidivism is a $50 billion problem. “Once you’re convicted of a felony crime, your chances of having a normal life after you serve your time are slim to none,” notes Newton of the film’s content. “Being branded as a felon means you’re barred from most jobs, denied public housing and food stamps; probably you have no transportation and cannot vote. Unless you have family support or qualify for rehabilitation, your felony record condemns you to live your life as an outcast.”   The film, which will also premiere later this year on Knoxville’s East Tennessee PBS station, dramatically shows how recidivism devastates Tennessee families and communities. It also offers possible solutions, such as work carried out at John R. Hay House in Kingsport. Notably, statistics show that the United States leads the world in the number of people behind bars. One out of 107 Americans is incarcerated, and one out of every 34 Americans is under some kind of correctional supervision.

This graphic visual from “Outcasts” symbolizes the ex-con’s “culture of rejection.”The wall , the closed door with no handle and the bit of blue sky showing on the other side represent both the promise and the barriers against reentry into their communities that most former offenders must overcome.

The musical score for “Outcasts” is by Paul Vanderbeck, a multiple award-winning composer and music producer who has worked with such notable artists as Johnny Cash, Melissa Manchester, Carole Bayer Sager and Peter Allen. Motion graphics designer is Sergei Prokhnevskiy.

Hillhouse Video Works LLC is a division of Hillhouse Graphic Design LLC and produces documentary films for regional nonprofit organizations. For more information about the documentary and to RSVP to attend the free premiere, please visit www.cultureofrejection.org.


Page 12, The Loafer • April 22, 2014

Old Oak Festival returns to Tusculum College The 2014 Old Oak Festival will feature fine arts and crafts from more than 80 vendors as the revived festival makes its return to the Tusculum College campus on April 25-27. The arts and music festival will span three days and will feature something for everyone including music, art, theater and creative writing, as well as gallery and museum exhibits. The juried arts and crafts show will feature more than 80 vendors and will offer everything from watercolor painting to handmade quilts to stained glass. “Visitors will have a wide variety of items to choose from, including an assortment of handmade jewelry and wood crafts, chainmail jewelry by Marci Million, papermache sculptures by Fran Church,

candle accessories by W & J Scents and wind chimes. Demonstrations will also be conducted on pottery, blacksmithing and cooking,” said David Price, director of music at Tusculum College and festival coordinator. A parade, hands-on activities, impromptu performances and other surprises are planned throughout the festival. A new event will be the opportunity to step up and test your conducting skills. The Tusculum College concert band will be set up on Saturday afternoon from 1-1:20 p.m. and will play for any conductor willing to try his or her hand at directing the musicians. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, there will be pizza dough tossing lessons, and local celebrity chef Jan Charles will be conducting a cooking workshop at 3 p.m. in Chalmers Conference Center. She will be providing tips on cooking highquality family meals on a fixed budget.

The festival will also feature a number of local and regional writers, including Barry Blair, Emory Rhea Raxter, Joe Tennis, Keith Bartlett, Matilda Green and Peggy Dorris. There will be two literary readings during the festival. The first will feature Wayne Lee Thomas, associate professor of English and chair of the Fine Arts Department at Tusculum College. Joining Thomas on the Thursday evening program will be Joseph Borden, senior creative writing major at Tusculum from Lyles. The event will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Shulman Center. Borden is the winner of this year’s Curtis Owens Literary Awards for poetry, fiction and script writing. On Friday, April 25, at 4 p.m., poet Richard Greenfield will be the featured reader. He will be joined by Britany Menken, a senior creative writing major from Maryville. Menken is this year’s Curtis Owens Literary Award winner for non-fiction.

Tallon Kidwell, a visitor at the 2013 Old Oak Festival, found the llamas from the Walnut Ridge Llama Farm a highlight of the weekend attraction. In addition to artist vendors and music performances throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, there will be three performances during the festival of “Twelve Angry Men,” presented by Theatreat-Tusculum under the direction

of Frank Mengel, the technical director of the Arts Outreach program. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Performances will be held in the Behan Arena Theatre in the Continued on page 21


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April 22, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 13

ETSU to host

Old Crow Medicine Show and Carolina Chocolate Drops The East Tennessee State University Student Government Association’s Spring Concert featuring Old Crow Medicine Show and the Carolina Chocolate Drops will be held on Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m. in the ETSU/Mountain States Health Alliance Athletic Center (Minidome). The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The headlining band, Old Crow Medicine Show, was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in 2013. The group won the Grammy Award for “Best Long Form

Music Video” for the film “Big Easy Express,” and the group’s single, “Wagon Wheel,” received platinum certification for selling over one million copies. The opening group, the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, released their studio album “Leaving Eden” in 2012. They have traveled extensively and have appeared at Bristol’s Rhythm and Roots and at the Paramount Theater. Tickets are available to the public for $30 and may only be pur-

chased online through the Student Government Association Web site at www.etsu.edu/concerts. All tickets may be picked up at the “Will Call” booth on the parking garage side of the venue beginning at 4 p.m. on the day of the concert. For more information, visit the Web site above or call the ETSU Student Organization Resource Center at (423) 439-6633. For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.


Page 14, The Loafer • April 22, 2014

Shivering Timbers Performing At The Acoustic Coffeehouse

Shivering Timbers will be performing at The Acoustic Coffeehouse in Johnson City on Thursday the 24th. The band will perform at 10:00 p.m., and admission is free.    Shivering Timbers ‘ Southerly Love Tour brings the band out in support of their latest release, Sing Sing. They will be performing songs from both their debut and their latest record, as well as from an upcoming release due this Fall. Shivering Timbers is a husband and wife band, joined on the road by a drummer and their young child who plays the toy piano. Shivering Timbers’ sound considered Indie-Folk-Rock, with elements of Blues, Gospel, Folk, and Rock n’ Roll. They got their start when performing their songs at the birth-

day party of Grammy-winning producer and musician Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Auerbach subsequently recorded their debut album We All Started In The Same Place, and through Auerbach, Shivering Timbers met Brian Olive, who produced their latest effort, Sing Sing. The band has been touring the continental U.S. for over two years, and is planning Canadian dates in 2014. This spring brings them down south from their native Ohio, for their “Southerly Love” tour. Most of this tour will debut the band in locations they had not previously visited on past tours. Learn more about Shivering Timbers on their website: www. ShiveringTimbersMusic.com


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April 22, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 15

COUNTDOWN TO MERLEFEST 2014 IS ON! Four days - 130 artists - 13 stages

Preparations are well underway for MerleFest 2014, presented by Lowe’s, which officially begins Thursday, April 24, and runs through Sunday, April 27, on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Fans of MerleFest know to expect the unexpected with special surprises, spontaneous jam sessions and one-of-a-kind musical collaborations from the 130+ acts performing on 13 stages during the four-day festival. As in previous years, the list of performers fits the “traditional plus” definition

end getaway, MerleFest provides a true value to its customers,” said festival director Ted Hagaman. “The admission prices are extremely reasonable – especially considering that we feature over 130 artists on 13 stages. Also, there are no hidden charges. We provide free parking, a free shuttle that will deliver you to the entrance, a free program guide as you enter, and all children 12 and under are admitted free with a paid adult. In addition, our Little Pickers Family Area for children offers each child the opportunity to make crafts and participate in several interactive exhibits – all free of charge.”

originally offered by the late Doc Watson. Watson coined this term to describe the unique mix of music found at MerleFest: traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock, “plus whatever other styles we were in the mood to play,” he would say. The complete lineup and stage schedules are posted at www.MerleFest.org and available on the MerleFest mobile app; festival updates are delivered via Twitter (@ MerleFest) and Facebook In addition to music, MerleFest offers special activities and shopping, all in a family-friendly atmosphere. The Shoppes at MerleFest is a centrally-located shopping village featuring demonstrating artisans, vendors, convenience foods, official MerleFest memorabilia and services such as first aid, lost and found, and Internet access. Nature walks of the gardens and forest on the WCC campus will be offered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. “For those wanting an affordable week-

Ticket purchases can be made on the web at www.MerleFest.org, by calling 1-800-3437857, or at the gate. Gates open on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of the late American music legend Doc Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts over 130 artists, performing on 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.


Page 16, The Loafer • April 22, 2014

Stargazing 101:

How to Enjoy the Night Sky The transition of winter to spring not only warms our bones and give us a boost with the new life springing up around us, but it’s a great time to learn how to stargazer. With some of the most recognizable constellations like Orion saying goodbye in the west, new ones are replacing them, including Leo the Lion, Bootes the Charioteer and the best appearance of the Big Dipper in the north. So here are some real life tips on how to survive under the stars while learning about them. Always remember, you are connecting with every human who has looked up on the celestial night and wondered why…no one owns the original when it comes to a star

or the ancient constellations. The practical necessities for stargazing are: 1. Star maps -- The heart of stargazing are maps of the unchanging stars and the imagined patterns they make. You’ll need a road map to the night sky that will be a trusted friend. Whether a wheeled planisphere (available at most nature museums or some bookstores) or charts from a library book, these tools will help you to become familiar with the constellations and bright stars that reappear for months at a time, year after year. At www.starmaps.com, you can download and print for free a map with notes on plenty of places in the night sky to visit. The two popular amateur magazines,

Sky & Telescope and Astronomy, always have a monthly centerfold of the sky, and highlight what’s visible. The magazines also have free websites to see their night sky reports, www.skypublishing.com and www.astronomy.com. 2. Red Flashlight – If you’re going to read and keep your night vision, you need a red light. A red light is used because it doesn’t affect the eye’s sensors like white light, and you maintain a dilated pupil, allowing maximum night vision. Use red cellophane on a regular flashlight, or paint the bulb red with fingernail polish. And there are many battery powered lights with red filters available if you look around hardware and sporting goods. 3. Lounge chair – Oh, yeah. You want to be comfortable. Lying down in a comfortable lounge

chair settles you in to look around the sky, sometimes concentrating on the right sight, other times the left side. And you are able to look overhead easily and watch for faint satellites—which are more common than you may think! 4. Dress for night – The dip in

night temperature creates a dew point when water in the atmosphere condenses as a liquid on everything. Dew is the enemy of maps, binoculars and telescopes, which can get quite wet around the 2-5 am coldest part of the night. Putting your maps and gear on a


www.theloaferonline.com table with an umbrella will keep them dry. And you might need a light jacket, hoodie or a blanket to keep the chill of you. 5. Computer planetarium program – It’s best to prepare for your night observing by reading your maps and looking at a desk top planetarium show of the night. The best planetarium program out there is the free Stellarium sky program. Download it in less than 5 minutes at www.stellarium.com. Play with all the features, in a few sessions of an hour or so you’ll have the program under your control. You can go to any date in history—like your birthday or 2,000 years ago—and see what the night sky looked like! 6. Binoculars before a Telescope – There is a lot to see with just the naked eyes. But adding binoculars of any kind will reveal fainter stars that might not be on basic beginner maps. With binoculars, you can also begin to see some of the faint, fuzzy spots of light that are galaxies and nebula, as well as resolve some of the larger star clusters. You don’t have to buy a telescope right away to enjoy the

April 22, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 17 night sky, but when you do buy one, you want to get the biggest and best you can afford. 7. Snacks, beverages and the radio – Unless you’re stargazing with a friend, you’re going to get a little lonely—though neighborhood sounds will keep you alert. A radio for music or late night talk shows will help pass the time. And you probably will want to sip on a beverage and enjoy some snacks. Get them on hand early in the observing so you don’t go inside and ruin your night vision. And take periods of time walking around between lying in the lounge chair to keep you alert and your body awake. 8. Give Time some Time. Stargazing is like an athletic event in some ways…the longer it goes on the more invigorated you get into what you’re doing. As your eyes adjust to the dark and stay that way after about 30 minutes, you start seeing the sky (as well as your night neighborhood) in ways you never imagined. After about an hour of continuous looking around the sky, you’ve seen things like airplanes, satellites

and maybe some strange lights! And you’ve gotten used to looking at your star maps, then up at the constellations and bright stars that are your destination to find and remember. If you get two hours under your belt, well, you will find the night sky grip you. In that amount of time, the stars you began looking at have shifted to the west and in the east there are new constellations and stars to see (maybe a planet or two) in the east. It’s the continually changing parade of constellations and their treasures that keep you stargazing for hours. 9. Make Notes and Photos – Keeping an observing log of your own “discoveries” is fun, and duplicates the steps all stargazers— amateur and professional—have taken in their quest for knowledge about the Universe. And with today’s digital cameras with high sensitivity, it is easy after a little practice to photograph constellations and the Moon among the stars. 10. Read, read, and read – There is always something new being found among the stars above. The

libraries are full of great books that document the history of astronomy as well as how-to observe with and without telescopes. And the Internet is an amazing resource

for everything astronomical—just Google subjects at your heart’s desire. And, of course, keep up weekly with what’s up in outer space by reading The Loafer!


Page 18, The Loafer • April 22, 2014

Skies This Week Celestial events in the skies for the week of April 22nd - 28th, 2014, as compiled for The Loafer by Mark D. Marquette.

One gold star is setting and one red star is rising—but these stars are actually planets Jupiter and Mars, respectively. Jupiter is making a swan song in Gemini as it has dominated the winter. Mars on the other hand is rising in the east at sunset, and its garnet red is brilliant as darkness takes hold. Mars and Earth were just opposite each other some 55 million miles apart, but as we part ways, the Red Planet will become noticeably dimmer as Spring nights roll on.

Tues. April 22

Fri. April 25

Happy 24th birthday Hubble Space Telescope! It was on this date in 1990 when Space Shuttle Discovery deployed the telescope with a 96-inch mirror into an orbit 450 miles above the Earth. Five service missions by Shuttles have lengthened the life of the amazing Hubble. It will probably last five more years before being plunged in the atmosphere to destruction in a fiery reentry.

Sat. April 26

Astronomy Day today is celebrated throughout the world. Amateur astronomers will be talking up their hobby at most science centers, and clear skies will bring the telescope out at Bays Mountain Park in Kingsport.

In the north, the Big Dipper is visible in all its glory, its three star handle arching to bright star Arcturus, speeding on to bright white star Spica with red Mars above in the ancient a huge constellation Virgo the Vir- Sun. April 27 gin. Say goodbye to the great hunter, Orion as Wed. April 23 he’ll be below the horizon by 10 pm. Right Virgo is a sprawling star pattern with a behind will be the brightest star in the sky, couple dozen faint stars occupying most of Sirius, skirting the southwest horizon. the southern sky. Bright star Spica draws at- Mon. April 28 tention to Virgo, and with red Mars visiting That bright star Arcturus that the Big Dipalong the ecliptic, this lady eventually gets per’s handle arcs to anchors the bottom point a visit from all the planets. of the star pattern Bootes that looks like a Thurs. April 24 kite, or an ice cream cone—or a diamond! On this 1970 date in space history, Chi- An ancient constellation named after a man na became the fifth space-faring nation by who built and drove chariots a few thousand launching their first satellite. Today, China years ago, not much else is known about him. has an escalated manned space program But he must have been a pioneer of wheeled that has already occupied a small space sta- vehicles to have such a prominent constellation while plans are being made to go to the tion named after him! Moon.


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April 22, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 19


Page 20, The Loafer • April 22, 2014

Michelle Malone Is Coming

to The Willow Tree Coffeehouse and Music Room!

Get ready Tri-Cities! Michelle Malone is coming to town Saturday April 26.and she is a force to be reckoned with. Here is what people are saying about her. .-GUITAR WORLD says Michele is “Equal parts badass guitar slinger and sweet songstress, with masterful lyrical introspection –

sublime to raucous” and ROLLING STONE says she is “Raucous and jubilant – somewhere between Lucinda Williams and Shelby Lynne comes Malone alternating between soulful ballads and rowdy, riffy blasters.” Malone started making music early, singing in her hometown

church at age four and soon after that, started sneaking into her brother’s closet to borrow his coveted guitar. After many sibling battles waged, Michelle Malone finally got her own guitar and she hasn’t been without one since. Her guitar chops, her trademark voice, and her songwriting craft have won her critical acclaim and numerous awards over the years including: best album (Atlanta magazine), 2 time best acoustic guitarist (Creative Loafing, IAC), and 5 time female vocalist of the year (Creative Loafing), Best Blues Guitarist (IAC.com). Malone has played every state in the Union and toured all over the world but she calls Atlanta home. This show is a don’t miss. Starts at 8. Cost $7. For information email teri@thewillowtreejc.com. The Willow Tree is located at 216 East Main Street, Johnson City, TN 37604

Earth Day Donation Drive For Goodwill! In honor of Earth Day, Goodwill Industries of Tenneva and Food City have partnered up for a two day clothing donation drive! You can donate your clothes and gently used accessories at your local Food City from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 22 and 26! Goodwill staff will be on site at various locations to take your donations and provide a tax write-off receipt. Please call your local Food City or visit their website (www. foodcity.com/earth-day) to see what day they are participating! All of the donations Goodwill collects are resold at one of our 13 retail stores. The proceeds from these sales support our employment and vocational services for

people with barriers to employment. Your donation will be ‘recycled’ and will help create jobs! Goodwill Industries of Tenneva operates thirteen retail locations throughout a 17- county service area, spanning from East Tennessee into Southwest Virginia. The mission of Goodwill Industries of Tenneva is to provide vocational services and employment opportunities for people with barriers to employment. In 2013, Goodwill Industries of Tenneva provided service through employment training, job readiness and vocational assessments to over 1,000 individuals. For more information, call 423.245.0600 or visit www.goodwilltnva.org.


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April 22, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 21

Old Oak Festival continued from page 12 Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center. A new event for this year’s festival will be the Tusculum College Old Oak Festival Annual Bed Race. The event, which features decorative, competitive racing beds, will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Two trophies will be conferred, one for most creative entry and the other for the winner of the speed competition. For more information, contact Barb Sell at bsell@tusculum. edu. The college’s Allison Gallery will be open throughout the weekend, featuring the Tusculum College print collection, “Under the Old Oak.” A closing reception for the exhibition will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 26. The festival will present the sounds of the region, with a wide variety of music from bluegrass to jazz to local vocalists and musicians. Pickin’ at the Doaks, which is a traditional music jam session, will be held at the Doak House

Museum on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at noon. Saturday’s performance will be a special session with a surprise guest. Highlights of the performance schedule will be Americana band Annabelle’s Curse and Appalachian Reggae artists Ras Allen and the Lions who will perform on Friday evening. Saturday evening will feature two classic rock bands, Shiloh and the Kevin Wilder Group. Other performers will include Tusculum College student groups, Capgun Alliance, fiddler Carson Peters, Charles Tunstall, Claxton Creek, Curtis and Jim Moneyhun, Fire Cry, Frankie B. & the New Chronic Dream, Jessica Koenig, Hinkle & Cable, Jimmie D. and the JDB, Joyce Carroll, the Kevin Wilder Group, Living Testament, Lonesome Pine, the Madisons, the Matt Sanders Group, Mike Joy, Shiloh Road, Step Cousins, Steven Brown, the Thursday Night Boys, Think Floyd and Zack Wampler.

At 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, there will be a lantern-lit tour of the Tusculum College buildings listed on the National Historic Register. From 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library will feature the “Reaper: Nettie Fowler McCormick and the Machine that Built Tusculum College” exhibit. This exhibit explores the changes wrought by the mechanical harvest and explores the context through which Mrs. McCormick viewed her philanthropic mission. The festival will feature children’s activities on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Throughout the weekend there will be storytelling performances on stage and around the festival grounds by Judy Butterfly Farlow, Jim Foote, Gregg Harrell, Saundra Kelley, Sherril Miller, Marci “The Entertainer” Nimick, Majorie “Mother Goose” Shaefer and Libby Tipton.

Llamas from the Walnut Ridge Llama Farm, previous favorites of the festival, will visit the Tusculum College campus over the weekend, with Walnut Ridge Llama Farm products available for purchase. A Sunday highlight will be an outdoor chapel service beginning at 11 a.m. designed to re-create the feel of the frontier church experience. The service is open to the public and will be followed by traditional and contemporary gospel music performances throughout the day. Food selection will include festival favorites, such as homemade strawberry shortcake, Philly cheese steak, and Amish doughnuts. The festival is being coordinated by a committee of college and community representatives who are working to promote arts and music in the East Tennessee region. There are limited spaces still available for artisan and crafter booths. There is no fee to attend the festival. Artisan vendor hours will be Friday from noon until 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6

p.m. and Sunday from 10-4 p.m. For more information, contact Price at 423-636-7303. Service animals are welcome; however, no pets allowed. Coolers and alcohol are also prohibited during the festival. For updates and more information, visit the website at www.oldoakfestival.org or on Facebook at www.facebook/OldOakFestival. Tusculum College, the oldest college in Tennessee and the 28th oldest in the nation, is a liberal arts institution committed to utilizing the civic arts in developing educated citizens distinguished by academic excellence, public service and qualities of Judeo-Christian character. Approximately twentyone hundred students are enrolled on the main campus in Greeneville and three off-site locations in East Tennessee. The academic programs for both traditionalaged students and working adults served through the Graduate and Professional Studies program are delivered using focused calendars whereby students enroll in one course at a time.


Page 22, The Loafer • April 22, 2014

“Draft Day”

When it comes to movies about sports, I have always leaned to stories about football. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen movies about every sport from soccer to baseball, I just prefer tales about the pigskin. Some of my favorite football movies from the past include “Friday Night Lights”, “The Blind Side”, “Rudy”, and “Remember the Titans”. However, I was not exactly overjoyed about the prospect of seeing the new film “Draft Day”, if I had not been coaxed by a friend to see the Kevin Costner effort. As you may have noticed by my favorites list, I tend to gravitate toward high school and college based football films, but I decided to give “Draft Day” a chance. Costner stars as Sonny Weaver, the general manager of the Cleveland Browns, who is dealing with the recent death of his father, pregnant girlfriend Ali (Jennifer Garner), and overbearing mother (Ellen Burstyn), a difficult owner (Frand Langella), and the pending NFL Draft Day. So even with a lot on his plate, Sonny must put together the best team he can for long-suffering Browns fans. Sonny has the opportunity to get a number one pick in the draft, but must decide if the star quarterback is worth the price in more ways than one. The movie provides an opportunity to see behind the scenes of the wheeling and dealing of the NFL, but due to the apparent involvement of the NFL (use of the teams, etc), the film paints an ideal picture of the organization. Personally, I would have preferred a “warts and all” story, but I guess I will refer back to the film “Any Given Sunday” for such a take. The film presents draft day as a glamorous, must attend party, with a concert like atmosphere, and I half expected Miley Cyrus to ride across the stage on a giant football. The film does have some light hearted moments, via a nervous new intern,  providing a respite from  all the drama. The performances were all fine, with Costner being his usual “dry” self. While “Draft Day” was mildly enjoyable, it was nothing more than a love letter to the NFL, and far from a cinematic  touchdown. (Rated PG-13) C+


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Billy, Brits, and the Blues

April 22, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 23

It’s a night of Billy, Brits, and the Blues April 25 as Northeast State presents regional favorite The Billy Crawford Band in concert. The Bristol-based blues rockers will turn their fiery style loose during a British Invasion-themed concert. There will be backbeat and backstory as the band presents a bit of history about the British Blues Invasion with each tune it plays. The concert is the culmination of a semester-long tribute to the Beatles and the British music invasion of the 1960s. Most recently, Caravan of Thieves presented its take on the Fab Four’s Sgt. Pepper album. The band’s repertoire reflects wide-ranging interests and influences and includes blues, ballads,

rock, surf, and even New Orleansstyle tunes. Crawford lists rock guitar greats such as Randy Rhoads, Ritchie Blackmore, and Gary Moore as inspirations, but Elvis Presley, B.B. King, and Stevie Ray Vaughn are the real kings of his party. He has notched three decades of blues music and for much of the 1990s, audiences around the world heard Crawford’s intense work with blues-rocker Deborah Coleman. Crawford gave up the road in 2002, but he still rocks regionally with a group that consists of singer/guitarist Rex Boggs, sax man Jay Corder, bassist Robert McClain, drummer Keith Chinault and on occasion, Hammond B3 player Jacob Tipton. The concert will be staged in

the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the Blountville campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport. The 7 p.m. concert is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact 423.279.7669 or jpkelly@ northeaststate.edu.


Page 24, The Loafer • April 22, 2014


April 22, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 25

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Your Table is Now Ready

We both knew going into the restaurant at seven on a Friday night was asking for a long wait, but it was the only time she was free, so we went with it. It wasn’t a particularly upscale place, and it wasn’t a particularly downscale place either, but it was the type of place full of people on a Friday night. After a twenty minute wait in a cramp waiting room surrounded by strangers—which always makes me a little uneasy— our table was ready. A plucky hostess came to seat us. Our table was one of the two

that bordered the large, circular table for groups that sat in the corner of the dining area. I glanced at the table as I waited for my dining partner to sit down. There was five people there, looking at menus with two more menus on the table, they were waiting for people. I sat at the table, and we both opened up our menus and began to look over what we might want to digest. As this was going on, we heard the voice of a woman, it was shrill, not loud, but audible. “If you touch that one more, I’m gonna kill you!!” the voice said.

With perfect timing, my date and I both lowered our menus and glanced at each other. As we both shot each other looks that said “Did we just hear that?” we heard a voice that said “But Mom, I just wanted to play with my Nintendo for a moment.” That was followed by the shrill voice again saying “Don’t touch it!” We knew we wanted to laugh, but couldn’t, and quickly buried our heads back in our menus. A moment passed, and after that moment our waiter appeared and we ordered. It had seemed that

while we were ordering, the other members of the party arrived at the corner table. A couple who appeared to be late middle aged, with the man wearing a baseball cap, and a ill-fitting T-Shirt that read “Whatever It Takes” all over the front of it. My date and I shared another look at each other, accentuated by a smirk. Our appetizer came, we ate it while we chatted about various aspects of life. All of this peppered with sounds from the circle table wafting over from time to time. I don’t know what that kid did, but everyone was ready to bring holy hell down upon him if he dared played with his Nintendo DS again. We did learn that Mr. “Whatever It Takes” had some kind of weird business deal situation going on, as he kept taking calls on his cell phone and loudly discussing his deals at the table. The moment that my date and I came very close to bursting out in laugher, was when Mr. “Takes” was overheard saying “Fire her!? I can’t get rid of her! She’s got papers on me, Man! I could face a $10,000 fine and five years of prison!” It didn’t help that this was followed immediately by a shrill “Don’t touch it!” At that mo-

ment, we both began to wonder, were we on to some type of new TV show that is a perfect blend of Arrested Development and Duck Dynasty. After dinner we drove to an ice cream shop, laughing all the way, we had hurried our meal as we didn’t want to bare witness to a murder. Standing in line at the ice cream shop, we both kept laughing to each other. Each time one of us would point to a flavor, the other one would say “Don’t touch it!” The whole week I was hoping for a evening that would go well, and it did, complete with free table side entertainment at dinner. What more could one ask for, unless you’re not allowed to touch that you want to ask for? See you next week.


Page 26, The Loafer • April 22, 2014

Jazz Appreciation

I didn’t realize until a few days ago that April is Jazz Appreciation Month. So I would be remiss if I didn’t say something this week about jazz. Of course, I have written a lot about jazz during the past twenty-five years, but I always enjoy any opportunity to share my thoughts about music. And, note that I didn’t say “jazz music.” Although I will use “jazz” as a term many times in what is to follow, I prefer staying away from categories as much as possible. It’s all just music to me, and I hope it is to you as well. Like most genres, jazz has its share of supporters and detractors. Some will contend that it’s the best music on the planet while others rant and rave about it being just a lot of “insolent noise” (a description made popular by the novel and film, “The Talented

Mr. Ripley”). The same of course can be said about any genre, especially rock and roll, rap, and hip hop. Noise or music? Make your choice. More than a form of music, jazz is a way of thinking, a way of self-expression. Jazz musicians (which can exist in any genre of music, from country to classical) refuse to color within the lines and insist on recreating and rethinking their music every time it is played. Some jazz, such as big-band, can be quite formula-ridden with little experimentation, while other examples, such as early 1960s free jazz performed by Ornette Coleman, rebel against musical formality and its prescribed chord and tempo changes. As a way of thinking, jazz adapts itself to many genres. Listen to Willie Nelson’s signature guitar solos and vocal

phrasing, for example, and you will be listening to an experienced and nuanced jazz musician. When asked what type of musician he was, the late Duane Allman replied that he was a jazz musician, more influenced by the music of Miles Davis than he was by classic American blues musicians; of course, Miles Davis was greatly influenced by blues and gospel music, but also by the jazz-tinged music of Ravel and Stravinsky. In a world that is too much influenced by the highly stylized and creatively-flat performances demanded and dictated by the panel of judges on “American Idol” and its several clones, jazz prefers to take the road less traveled, to take risks that would never be allowed on so-called TV talent shows (actually these shows more closely resemble beauty con-

tests than they do music competitions). Jazz is all about getting rid of the box rather than thinking outside it. It’s all about redefining what we consider normal and expected—although there are plenty of jazz musicians who, like their counterparts in other genres, prefer adhering to formulas rather than risking it all and blazing new trails for the sake of being creative. As a form of expression, jazz refuses definition and can be applied to any creative endeavor—i.e. there are writers who use words like jazz musicians use a saxophone or a piano, jazz painters, jazz architects, and jazz mathematicians (yes, it’s true—STEM education rests on the foundations of music and the arts). Ironically, many music critics describe the history and development of jazz in ways that run counter to the spirit of creativity, innovation, and improvisation that defines what it is to be a jazz musician. They pigeonhole jazz into neat little historical packages and time periods. They divide jazz into pre and post-Big Band eras, bop and post-bop, cool jazz and hot jazz, fusion, jazz-rock and postmodern jazz. And, sadly, some set up a “golden age” for jazz (usually defined as the period from the early Fifties to the middle 1960s), denouncing everything that has claimed to be jazz ever since. For instance, when Miles Davis, the man perhaps most responsible for reinventing jazz many times over during his lifetime, used a drum machine on one of his albums and started experimenting with hip hop rhythms inspired by James Brown and Sly And The Family Stone, his critics accused him of “selling out” and ruining the genre. This slavish devotion to historical periods (although it is vitally important to see jazz through the lens of historical context), all-

too-often takes away from the enjoyment of a music that knows no boundaries. Despite those critics who bemoan the “death of jazz,” the music is still very much alive and just as creative as it ever was—if not more so. Contemporary musicians like Christian McBride, Robert Glasper, Etienne Charles, Nathan East (who played on the latest Daft Punk album),Pat Metheny, Brad Mehldau, Dianne Reeves, Tierney Sutton (listen to her Joni Mitchell tribute album), and Ambrose Akinmusire are creating some incredible modern jazz that pays tribute to the past while redefining the future. If you’re a fan of Phish, for example, you can also count yourself as a jazz fan. And new albums like The Bad Plus’ reimagining of Stravinsky’s once-very-scandalous “The Rite of Spring” are making us think in new and exhilarating ways, just like “back in the day” when jazz refused to stand still in its insistence that should stray as far from normal as possible. I toyed with the idea of listing some of my favorite jazz artists and recordings, but decided I would rather you discover some of these delights yourself. And, after all, there are already many lists to choose from, from iTunes and YouTube to Amazon.com and Pandora. You never have to leave the boundaries of your smart phone to discover the many delights of jazz, so get busy. Here’s hoping you will find some interesting ways to enjoy the few remaining days of Jazz Appreciation Month—and I certainly hope you don’t end your journey on May 1. See you next week.


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April 22, 2014 • The Loafer, Page 27


Page 28, The Loafer • April 22, 2014

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