Archive for March 9th, 2008

“Humble Stumble” ends

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Roy Schneider’s comic strip The Humble Stumble ended yesterday. He had his characters deal with it in the strip, and he had some visitors from other comics, too. Fun stuff! Start here.

The Humble Stumble page at says: “Roy Schneider is ending The Humble Stumble on March 9 so that he can focus his creative energy on other comics-related projects and his music career. You can still see Joe and Molly in The Humble Stumble Classics, which will remain on”

I met Roy at the Suwannee SpringFest a few years ago – he won the Songwriting Contest there one year. I like his CD The Humble Sessions, and I am looking forward to hearing his next one, in the works as we speak.

And I guess Roy liked my music, too, because he put me into the strip once. I wasn’t actually seen, but I was the (more or less desirable) object of a case of mistaken identity.

Best of luck to you in your future endeavors, Roy. I look forward to pickin’ with you at Suwannee again soon.

“Wire” writers vs. the Drug War

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Opinion piece in TIME magazine by Ed Burns, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, and David Simon – all writers and producers of the amazing HBO series The Wire, which wraps up its five-season run tonight. If you haven’t seen The Wire, get the DVDs and watch them in order from the first one.

The Wire’s War on the Drug War

An excerpt:

What the drugs themselves have not destroyed, the warfare against them has. And what once began, perhaps, as a battle against dangerous substances long ago transformed itself into a venal war on our underclass. Since declaring war on drugs nearly 40 years ago, we’ve been demonizing our most desperate citizens, isolating and incarcerating them and otherwise denying them a role in the American collective. All to no purpose. The prison population doubles and doubles again; the drugs remain.

Our leaders? There aren’t any politicians — Democrat or Republican — willing to speak truth on this. Instead, politicians compete to prove themselves more draconian than thou, to embrace America’s most profound and enduring policy failure.

Nice article about the Suwannee SpringFest

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Julie Hauserman writes in the St. Petersburg Times about one of my favorite gigs: the Suwannee SpringFest. I’ve been fortunate enough to play almost every Suwannee SpringFest, and all but one of its fall counterpart, MagnoliaFest.

I am among the thousands who flock to Springfest each year to hear an outstanding, eclectic lineup of musicians – not just bluegrass. Musicians travel from all over the world to play in the tiny town of Live Oak, along the Suwannee River.

The music is so good, and such a value, you almost don’t want to tell anybody about it.

I’ve seen a 14-year-old Tampa Bay area mandolin prodigy kick out a tune by funk legend Prince; a young Canadian band segue improbably from an Afro-Cuban-French-Canadian pop tune into a smoking rendition of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love; a North Florida string band play acoustic arrangements of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. I’ve danced myself sweaty while a Miami House of God steel guitar band whips the crowd into a gospel frenzy at 1 a.m.

RIP Ted Freed

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

I only got to play one gig for Ted Freed, in Clearwater FL a couple of years ago. I wish there had been more – he had a great vibe and clearly loved the music.

Ted lost his third battle with lymphoma and passed away on March 4 at age 51.

From that Creative Loafing story:

A benefit for Freed’s family to help them pay for his outstanding medical expenses will take place at Skipper’s Friday, March 21. Uncle John’s Band, COPE, Rob Pieniak (formerly of Buffalo Strange), and Christee Lennee perform; admission is $10.

Rest in peace, Ted Freed, and thank you for doing what you did.

Grateful Dead Hour #1016

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Week of March 10, 2008

Part 1 27:32
Grateful Dead, Road Trips vol 1 no 2 – October ’77

Part 2 28:33
Grateful Dead, Road Trips vol 1 no 2 – October ’77

Weird that this turned out to be an all-Jerry GD Hour, but I wanted to play some of the longer pieces on this excellent new release and it just turned out that way. Bobby’s “Let It Grow” from Road Trips 2 was featured a couple of weeks ago; he is of course well-represented in the set. And Donna Jean sings “Sunrise” on the bonus disc, too!

The Grateful Dead Hour is made possible in part this week by:

Grateful Dead Productions, announcing the second release in the Road Trips series. Road Trips Volume 1 number 2 features great musical moments from October 1977, with highlights from several shows, a historical essay, and rare photos along with carefully remastered music from the original masters. More information, cover art, reviews, message board, and details of a limited-edition bonus disc, are online at

Fantasma Productions, presenting the Wanee Festival April 11 and 12 at The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. Bob Weir & Ratdog, Allman Brothers Band, Government Mule, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Levon Helm Band, Oteil & the Peacemakers & many more on two stages. The Wanee Festival, April 11 and 12 in Northern Florida. Complete artist, ticketing and festival information can be found at