Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bob Weir and His Telecaster

I read this story years ago, and wanted to share it. Some of you have probably heard this story but here it is anyways. You can click on this link to read it all.

Bob Weir was adopted. After the death of his parents, he went searching for his real parents. He found his biological mom, who gave him the name of his biological dad. After Bob got in touch with his father, they found they were very much alike and have become close. After a time, the father gives Bob a guitar that belonged to his late son (Bob's half brother). It was an old Telecaster. You can read the rest on the link.

This is a great story, that after all those years, this guitar was sitting in the closet after its owner passes on. It is now (or was at that time) Bob's number one guitar.

Quote from this website: "After no one wanting this guitar it fell out of the sky one me. All of the family, as opposed to feeling forsaken, are really overjoyed at seeing a piece of their older brother and eldest son make it on the big stage. The whole story is really a little bit of mysticism. The lesson I learned from my new dad is confirming for me that fate follows in your footsteps so you need to have faith in your path and live life with a sense of wonderment."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Luo Ann Barton and Stevie Ray Vaughan

I have just started reading "Soul to Soul", a book about Stevie Ray Vaughan. This book, written by Kerri Leigh, was to be Stevie's biography and was started before his death. I have been a SRV fan since 1984, since the first LP "Texas Flood" came out. I had also see LuAnn Barton on a music TV show at about the same time.

Lou Ann was and still is one of the great female blues singers. She worked with Stevie in an early incarnation of Double Trouble, back in the mid 1970's. She and Stevie shared the vocals, as Lou Ann could be undependable at times. She was battling substance abuse right along with Stevie, and their egos often clashed. In the late 70's, Stevie fired her from the band, took over the vocals and went off to become a music legend.

The reason for this post is that there are a few songs from those days on YouTube. After hearing them, one can realize just how good they were. The band was very popluar in Austin, Texas and the surrounding area. At one point, they traveled to San Francisco, where they stole the show at a festival with their sheer musical power.

Here are a few links. This is audio only. The SRV sound we all love is in full force back in 1978.

Here is Lou Ann with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, a band she was a member of in the early days of the band. This video shows why I like Stratocasters!

Her website has lots of videos as well. Lou Ann never got really famous, but is greatly admired and respected in the music business.
To quote her bio on her website:
"Barton has to be seen live to be fully appreciated. She belts out her lyrics in a twangy voice so full of Texas that you can smell the barbecue sauce. She swaggers confidently about the stage, casually tossing her cigarette to the floor as the band kicks in on its first number. The grace, poise and confidence she projects on stage is part of a long tradition for women blues singers. The blues world still needs more good female blues singers like Barton, to help to broaden the appeal of the music to diverse audiences and to further its evolution. "

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Max Air 2 Air and a Few Apollo-era Space Items

I am an aviation buff. Have been since I dreamed of becoming a pilot when I was a kid. Guitars and planes...that was me. I learned guitar, but never learned to fly. I have only flown a plane for about 5 minutes, when I got ride in a WWII Stearman trainer. I fly plenty these days, on my computer with Flight Simulator. Safer that way, and lots cheaper.

I found this great website from a fellow Minnesotan, air photographer Max Payne. The site is This site is full of fantastic pictures from all aspects of aviation. I wish I could to fly, but my time has passed. Max takes incredible pictures along with a story or short commentary. The site is worth a visit if you like airplanes. Some of the planes featured on the site have flown over my house, as I live near a very popular airport in the Twin Cities. Hard to miss these vintage planes in sky as they rumble overhead.

I just finished reading a book about the Apollo astronauts. The book is called Moondust, written by Andrew Smith. This is a non-technical book, written for the masses, mostly about the personal impact the moon landings had on them. He did not get interview from Neil Armstrong, but did exchange e-mails. I loved this book. These guys were my heros, willing to sacrifice everything. Did you know that they got paid only dollars a day when they were in space? Armstrong as a civilian, and got paid about $28,000 a year. The rest were military men, who had to expense report out the time in space. Another fun fact: an average cell phone or iPod has more computing power than the spacecraft.
I also watched an amazing film called In The Shadow of the Moon. This film interviews all but one (Armsrtong) of the 9 remaining moonwalkers. The astronauts do all the talking here, mixed in with lots of archival footage. This is probably the best documentary about Apollo that I have ever seen. Highly recommened.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chantel McGregor

I just discovered this fantastic young guitarist while doing a search on YouTube for Robin Trower. Chantel McGregor is from England, and plays in mostly blues, Jimi Hendrix, Trower, etc. She has it all - soulful, bluseyvoice, stellar guitar skills. and great stage presence.

She has quite a few videos on Youtube. Please check them out. She is just fantastic.

Here she is playing "Stormy Monday Blues."