Monday, July 27, 2015

Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen

We had a great concert here (Diamond Willow Retreat) Sat. night (July 25/15) from two of the most versatile and accomplished musicians I have had the pleasure to hear and observe in a very long time. Some great songs as well, written by them in genres from country through folk to jazz. I was blown away by a composition that reminded me very much of Django Reinhardt and St├ęphane Grappelli of the “Hot Jazz Club”.
However, those two greats from France did not have the lyrics and outstanding harmonies presented by Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen.
I hope to see them back again as do all those who attended.

You can take a look for yourself at:

or at their web-site which is:

And while I’m thinking of it I’ll mention again that after you have “liked” their facebook page I would appreciate it if you did the same to mine …

Here is a shot of them performing but I didn't get one when they were here the other night. My bad.

Monday, July 13, 2015

McCabe and Me by Lee Cheney

A highly entertaining read and a view of the American music business from the inside.

              I was waiting with anticipation for the release of this work since I had heard many stories about Lee Cheney. I knew that he had played folk, country and rock through the 60s, 70s and 80s. I knew that he had worked with song writers and musicians whose work I had covered in my two short excursions into the world of the road musician. I knew that he had done well with a novelty song he penned entitled “Fred” which had been recorded by Ray Stevens. I was hoping to hear, or more accurately read some great stories about the music world from someone who had been there.
I was not disappointed.
I am however disappointed that I did not have the opportunity to see Cheney perform live as a single, as a duo with the many partners he describes (including Chuck McCabe) or with a band. From what I have discovered of  his writing style, his method of telling a story, I’m sure his stage presentation was very entertaining. “McCabe and Me” had me laughing on several occasions.
Do you have an entertainer you once enjoyed – or even hated – but haven’t heard of for years? Perhaps you have one in your past that you wonder, “How did he ever get discovered?” If so you might find him or her in the pages of “McCabe and Me”. Even if you don’t you’ll be able to figure out the history of that particular person since the stories here explain the lives, emotions, distractions, abilities, talents and development of so many of those who offer their music for the world.
You may ask, “How would McGowan know that?”
Many of the stories are similar to those I experienced. True, none of my episodes were exactly the same, but I recognize it all and apparently I didn’t find some of it as funny as Lee Cheney. Or perhaps he learned better than I how to grin and bear (bare?) it.
True, I have never met the author but I must admit in the interest of full disclosure we’ve exchanged messages over the internet. In addition, that sister mentioned in the book seven years younger than him is married to me.
"McCabe and Me" is available on Amazon for $2.93 

By the way, the print proof copy of “The Great Liquor War” should be here in about two weeks and I can’t think of what mistakes they might make that would have me refuse it … but then again, everybody makes mistakes now and then.
I’ve also submitted “Jake’s Justice” but I haven’t heard anything back on that. Should have the first lay-out copy here in a couple of weeks on that as well.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Rex Murphy wacks Timmy

Tim Horton’s or “Timmy’s” as many call it has made a serious blunder in the world of “branding”, corporate identity and advertising in general. This gaff can not be better explained and understood than following the article/opinion that Rex Murphy has contributed to the National Post. It can be viewed and read at:

In many things I agree with Rex and even when I don’t I find his presentations highly entertaining.

The new release of “The Great Liquor War” has been through the usual three checks for technical perfection (and despite my best efforts I expect there will be a mistake or two) and the next step is for them to send me a test copy. Hopefully soon.

We went with the front cover as I presented it here.