Category: <span>Music</span>

Back in 1988, I received my first promotion to become the Postmaster at Camptonville CA. In 2014, I would become the last Postmaster of Camptonville, but that’s another story and another post. This one’s about the failure of musical education in the United States.

I needed a radio for my small rural post office with a good adjustable antenna to pick up stations from the Bay Area. It was June and I went to the local Long’s Drug Store (now, CVS), because they sold consumer electronics at the time. I found a ghetto blaster that looked promising: it had an impressive telescoping antenna, tone controls, headroom, and a cassette player.… Read the rest

Art • Design • Culture Music The Last Postmaster of Camptonville

I’ve been wanting to return to the blog and have a number of posts in the queue — strange that this will be the first one published since back in March. It’s not a subject I felt compelled to write about in the past, but Denise and I just finished watching the Grateful Dead documentary, Long Strange Trip, on Netflix

We were real live Deadheads for a short time and this film pulled back the curtain to reveal why we never felt that compatible with the band’s following and eventually lost interest in the Grateful Dead, a band we enthusiastically embraced almost 50 years ago.… Read the rest

Art • Design • Culture Film Music

Help My Unbelief

I know the Lord is nigh
and would but cannot pray
For Satan meets me when I try
And frights my soul away
And frights my soul away

I would but cannot sing,
guilt has untuned my voice
My sin, just like the serpent’s sting
Has poisoned all my joys
Has poisoned all my joys


Help my unbelief
My help must come from Thee
I would but cannot love,
though wooed by love divine
No arguments have power to move
A soul as base as mine
A soul as base as mine

I would but cannot rest
in God’s most holy will
I know what He appoints is best
And murmur at it still
I murmur at it still


I would but can’t repent,
though I endeavor oft
This stony heart can ne’er relent
Til Jesus makes it soft
Til Jesus makes it soft

Wilt Thou not crown at length
the work Thou hast begun?… Read the rest

Christianity • Religion Music

Do you know who #65 is? If not, isn’t about time? Check out this interview by PopDose.

A Songwriter’s Story: Bill Mallonee

BILL MALLONEE on August 21, 2014 at 3:40 pm

In a Paste Magazine poll of writers and artists, Bill Mallonee was listed at #65 of the 100 Greatest Living Songwriters. Mallonee is not only an accomplished songwriter, but a prolific one as well. Since the start of his recording career in 1991, Mallonee has released 58 albums. His latest album, Winnowing, is being released today. You can get a CD or digital download here. There’s going to be vinyl too.… Read the rest


Evidently, the cigar box guitar (and, bass) craze has swept the land and I’m the last to know. Glenn Kaiser and I go way back, although he wouldn’t know that. He was the front man for the Rez Band, which I saw perform at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa over 30 years ago. Glenn is a very good guitarist and blues historian. Check out why he is so passionate about the cigar box guitar over at his blog.… Read the rest


Hey, kids! Let’s have a sock hop at the Salisbury’s pad! I bought each one of these albums at the same yard sale for 25¢ apiece — much less than the original owners paid. They threw in the album stand for free! The entire display goes well with our entertainment center, don’t you think?

Bo had the Box Tops album, when he was in the sixth grade. The Fontaine Sisters and Herman’s Hermits were before our time.… Read the rest

Just Plain Fun Music Uncategorized

Why is Phil Keaggy one of my favorite guitarists? Here are four reasons, spanning nearly forty years from his days with Glass Harp (and a really cool macramé vest), through his “Alan Holdsworth period,” into the “Windham Hill era” and on to the present. Now, the second video is fairly long, but please be patient… Phil will turn himself and one guitar into an entire band by the time he’s finished with an incredible run. I hope you enjoy….

Read the rest

Music Uncategorized

Yes, that’s Promaster and not Postmaster. Although many of you know me as a Postmaster, I am also a harp player since about this time last year. I took up the harmonica, because I realized that the nerve pain in my right arm would probably prevent me from playing the guitar seriously.

I’ve really come to enjoy the harmonica, thanks in large part to my friend, Tom B., an excellent harp player. He dropped by one afternoon with Amy and a large suitcase full of harmonicas. Being a generous mentor, he gave me a handful of Big River harmonicas, Pucks, a tremolo harmonica and a nice Hohner Chromatic 260.… Read the rest

Music Uncategorized

Oh, my. I found this great little clip of the Electric Flag — Mike Bloomfield is in fine form. I was too young to see the original Flag, but caught them on a reunion tour with Moby Grape in about 1974. Fantastic! We were in the orchestra pit and Mike Bloomfield was right in front of us. His guitars were totally memorable. He played a Les Paul that was beat with the standard white knobs from a Stratocaster replacing the originals which he must have lost somewhere. He also played a blue Telecaster that looked like he had painted it himself — there were drips and runs across it.… Read the rest

Music Uncategorized

Because now, with a little bit of broadband, I can take a trip down memory lane and watch a lot of my favorite bands/artists from the past. For example, Living Colour on the Arsenio Hall show performing Cult of Personality. I once heard Living Colour referred to as the black Led Zeppelin… LZ wishes they were this heavy. Rock, funk, punk, noise, rap, African, reggae, metal, industrial, free jazz… they have it all and stage presence!… Read the rest

Music Technology Uncategorized

The Lost Dogs with Michael Roe, Derri Daugherty, Steve Hindalong and  Terry TaylorPress Release: Christian Music Singer-Songwriter super-group The Lost Dogs to wander in to Roseville.

On Thursday, September 28th, 2006, Valley Springs Presbyterian Church will host an intimate evening with The Lost Dogs at the Underground Café in Roseville. The Lost Dogs are a collaborative singer-songwriting effort that brings together some of the best musicians from the past 30 years of Christian music. It features the skills of Terry Taylor (of the 1970’s Jesus Movement band Daniel Amos), Derri Daugherty (of both the 1980’s alternative music group The Choir and City on a Hill fame), Mike Roe (of the Sacramento-based college radio favorites The 77’s) and Steve Hindalong (also of The Choir and City on a Hill, as well as the writer of the chart topping worship song, “God of Wonders“).… Read the rest

Christianity • Religion Music Uncategorized

This past weekend Denise and I enjoyed a concert by the Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir and it was lovely (our 30th wedding anniversary, too). What an ecclectic blend of modern western choral/sacred music, spiced up with some Mongolian folk songs, Taiwanese pop music and even an Australian aboriginal chant! It was different than anything we have heard from the Nevada Union Choir, The Boy’s Choir of Harlem or the Choir of the West.

The big draw, however, was Sam’s boyhood friend, Abe Sitzer, who brought the choir to town. We remember Abe as a fun, outgoing kid who loved to clean and organize Sam’s room… seriously!… Read the rest

Music Uncategorized

Today, I received my copy of the new 77s DVD Collection, featuring seven official music videos by my favorite band, The Seventy Sevens, as well as another disk of “live bootleg” concert footage going back to 1982!

It was just like Christmas in July, as Sean and Emma watched me excitedly tearing the cellophane off the case. They were also very understanding and patient as I rushed to the DVD player and cued up the first video, Mercy Mercy, which I had seen years ago. It was just as I remembered it. I was at a number of the featured concerts and, though they were 20 years ago, it was as if I had seen them just yesterday.… Read the rest

Art • Design • Culture Film Just Plain Fun Music Uncategorized

It’s been 15 years since I last saw Mike Roe perform with the 77s, my favorite band. Last Monday the Nevada County Chapter of the Mike Roe Fan Club traveled down to Auburn CA to see the Roe vs. Pritzl Winter Tour at the Fishbowl Cafe. The set began with Mike Pritzl of The Violet Burning singing some of the most serious, introspective and spiritual songs I’ve heard in a long time. After about 40 minutes, he introduced Mike Roe sporting a pair of secret agent style sunglasses. Mike sang some new favorites and some old ones, too. His guitar playing was muscular and his vocals were flawless.… Read the rest

Christianity • Religion Music Uncategorized

Bo Surf – Version 2Okay, I’ve had a bunch of people ask me what I’d like to see under the Christmas tree this year… so, here’s the wishlist. This list is over at and they have some cool stuff, but don’t feel like you have to shop there. You are welcome to locate the little treasures anywhere you like and if you’re feeling particularly generous, go ahead and upgrade the electronic items. I’m not picky either — these treasures may be pre-owned.

Update 2016: We have this Chanticleer CD now. Now, if you move down the list, you will see Chanticleer’s We Sing Christmas — another splendid choral collection.Read the rest

Books • Literature Film Music

Just Plain Fun Music Uncategorized

What an exhausting week. I actually stuck around work for a couple hours to catch up and now I’m listening to the Cowboy Junkies at a respectable volume. I’m one of those oddballs who, after a stressful day, will relax by hammering myself with some really loud music… it feels like getting tenderized.

The week started out well enough with barbecued ribs and beef brisket. Our trip to North Carolina inspired us and we had a hankerin’ for our kind of barbecue. I suppose I would classify it as Kansas City Barbecue or something along those lines. I’m not an expert… I just know I like it all.… Read the rest

Art • Design • Culture Food Music Technology Uncategorized Anesthesiologists Take Pride in Music: “Anesthesiologists Take Pride in Music

AP Medical Writer

October 2, 2005, 4:03 PM EDT

CHICAGO — General anesthesia or local? Hip-hop or Sinatra? These are among the decisions facing Dr. Frank Gentile in his double-duty job as anesthesiologist and self-styled DJ of the OR. He doesn’t use a microphone or speak in a fake baritone. But the eclectic range of CDs he loads onto the anesthesia cart headed for the operating room would impress any bona fide disc jockey. Gentile’s collection is between 50 and 100 CDs, and his iPod holds about 5,000 songs.… Read the rest

Music Necrotizing Fasciitis Uncategorized

I promised Zombieslayer a post about my short venture into the world of record producers, fusion guitarists, “shred-heads” and, of course, those vultures who bring all fun to a halt — lawyers and record distributors. Dear ZS… I hope this meets with your approval.

One day sometime in 1990, I believe, I came home from work and Denise told me she had met some new neighbors and they were real nice. She said that “Mark” produced and recorded music – he was working on a children’s CD. I remember thinking to myself, “So, what’s new… everyone in Nevada City is recording a CD.”… Read the rest

Just Plain Fun Music Uncategorized Wacky • Weird

I’ve been getting a whole slew of very thoughtful gifts over the past two weeks. The biggest surprise was the video, John Cipollina: Electric Guitarslinger. Brian, Kathy and boys (last name withheld for privacy) sent it to me for my birthday and I was just floored. It was totally unexpected. Words can’t express… Anyway…

John Cipollina was my first guitar hero. A friend’s older brother let us listen, through headphones, to Who Do You Love on Quicksilver Messenger Service’s Happy Trails album. I was captivated by his stinging tone and use of a Bigsby “whammy bar.” That’s all it took.… Read the rest

Music Uncategorized

kabulteeTeeing Off at the Kabul Golf Course

Regardless of your opinion of Bush’s War on Terror, I think everyone can agree that these freedom fighters have earned the respect of the world. Many groups suffered under the tyranny of the Taliban, but at least two members of the Kabul Gulf (Golf) Club have paid dearly for love of the game, going all the way back to the Soviet occupation in the 80’s.

“During the war against the Russians we were forced to close down,” said Mohammad Afzal Abdul, the 46-year-old club professional, who was a young boy when the course was built.
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Humor Just Plain Fun Music Wacky • Weird

Don’t you just love choral music? What’s that? You could care less about it? Oh, well. I’m gonna sing its praises anyway.

Today I’ve been very tired and just moping around. I wanted to blog a bit, but nothing heavy. I took a nap with KXPR on the radio and woke an hour later to the most beautiful music being performed by the Sacramento Choral Society. Good, modern choral music is the closest thing to “angelic” as I can imagine. Of course, you can’t beat John Rutter’s sacred works.

That doesn’t mean I still don’t love other simpler, more common or vulgar (said with a condescending, blue blooded tone) forms of music, just as much as I always have.… Read the rest

Art • Design • Culture Music