Friday, September 28, 2007

Two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers -- together -- and an upcoming one?

Found the following review of the concert Laura and I enjoyed last night, posted at   Unfortunately, Amos Lee, a Philadelphia artist who opened the night with his band, is not mentioned and he was incredible!  Check him out at
Review: Richmond Times-Dispatch

Costello, Dylan prove an engaging pairing
After Brit's solo set, Dylan mixes it up on keyboard and guitar

Once a year, concert industry magazine Pollstar awards the most creative tour package of the season.

The 2007 winner can already be named.

As striking a pairing in reality as on paper, Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello brought their legacy, cynicism and airtight songbook to John Paul Jones Arena last night.

Though Costello, chipper and grinning in a black suit and trademark black specs, referred to himself and fledgling soulster Amos Lee as Dylan's opening acts, Costello should never be relegated to secondary status.

After giving the nearly sold-out crowd of about 6,500 a hearty "How are ya?", he burst into "Either Side of the Same Town" and "Veronica," attacking his acoustic guitar with electrifying vigor. Even in acoustic form -- Costello performed his hour-long set solo -- and missing its glossy sheen, the song still bopped infectiously. What else can you expect from a pop tune partially constructed by Paul McCartney?

The British Costello cheerfully accepted his many ovations with the curl of a smile that suggested he basked in the adoration. But, even when sharing a witty yarn about his two American-born sons and their chances of becoming president over Arnold Schwarzenegger, it was evident that Costello had a deeper message to convey.

A biting "kind of campaign song" written with T-Bone Burnett contained the chorus "It's not very far from sulfur to sugar cane," and Costello altered the lyrics to the pensive ballad "Scarlet Tide" to include "Admit you lied and bring the boys back home" -- a line greeted with impassioned cheers from the audience.

The crowd spanning many ages retained its enthusiasm when Dylan and his five-piece band, dressed in identical sidewalk-gray suits and black fedoras, crept on stage.

Dylan, clad in a black suit with a flat-brimmed cowboy hat hovering over his craggy face, plowed into his fusion of blues, country and rock, his guttural rasp of a voice swallowing every word.

But this Charlottesville stop afforded a setlist more familiar than other dates on this joint tour that began last weekend in Georgia.

On "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," Dylan injected eloquent pauses between the syllables, burning up the fret board of his guitar while lead guitarist Denny Freeman did the same, both seemingly lost in their own musical world.

While he spent some of his 100-minute set caressing the guitar, Dylan appeared most comfortable behind the keyboard, knees bent and shoulders hunched over the keys.

"Tangled Up in Blue" was Dylanized with an unrecognizable cadence, but those groovy keyboards were unmistakable, especially as he played with his right hand, the left one busy with the harmonica at his mouth.

At times, especially during "Watching the River Flow" and "Workingman's Blues," Dylan's voice was more akin to hacking up phlegm than singing. But isn't that part of the reason people revere him so much?

Though pockets of the show trudged with similar-sounding chord progressions, when Dylan and his crew blazed through "Highway 61 Revisited," they sounded like the tightest bar band this side of the Mississippi.

While those seated on the floor stood and clapped along for much of the show -- especially set-closer "All Along the Watchtower" -- many in the side levels remained seated. They would nod politely to the beat and try to decipher a single word, figuring at least they can tell their friends today that they saw the legendary Dylan live.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A big week ahead

David had no school on Friday, so I walked with he and Lily at the track after dropping Daniel off - used the double stroller. Only got a mile in - plus the extra weight. He and I had a rare daddy/David morning since I don't see him as much as I'd like during the week with my second shift work schedule. We went mall window-shopping, though he did come away with a used "on-sale" Gamecube game. I worked half-day in order to take Laura, David and Lily to a local night of magic, sponsored by the Salvation Army. The local ministry is raising money for a new Center of Hope which will house more homeless citizens in transition and have the capacity for husbands and older children to also be able to stay with mothers - currently not an option. There were 5 local magicians who performed, part of the Hersy Basham Assembly 32 of the Society of American Magicians. FUN! Lily maybe enjoyed it even more than David, clapped a lot, and repeatedly I heard "How did he do that?".

Saturday Lily, David and I walked 4.5 miles on the Blackwater Trail, and Sunday had Laura join us for a 2.0 mile walk there again. It starts at the awareness garden which honors those who been impacted by cancer.

Daniel had a show on Thursday night which his band, A Breath of Plagues, performed in and he went to one on Friday night, then spent Saturday night at a friend's house.

Today, I decided to break out the bicycle... something I have not seriously tried in a very long time. I rode three miles on the same track and what I discovered is that 1) it is harder than it looks and 2) my bike seat is not big enough to make my personal seat comfortable in the slightest!

Laura and I are looking forward to Thursday night when we'll go see Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello in Charlottesville!!! Then, this weekend, I'm taking a bus trip with a friend from work to Camden Yard to see the Orioles and Yankees.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

...and three today!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Keep walking

2.5 miles on Friday and 2.0 Monday!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

"L"ong way "U"p there

Ever since Liberty finished the moutain-side LU monogram, I've been curious about what it looked like up-close. Today for my walk, I followed the Liberty trail to the top ... some of those inclines were very demanding. The view is amazing. ... and now the legs are tired and aching!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

More Happy Times at the Park

Lots of fun - daddy, David and Lily -- but it was HOT!

Fun at Day In The Park

Walker again

Yea for me! Twice in the week I've used my 'alone' time after dropping off Lily to walk! I hope I can remain consistent. This time, I stopped at the local high school track consuming less travel time and gas than the park would have to get there. Eight times around - that's two miles! Listend to audio Bible on my mp3 player and made it through 8 chapters in Romans. Good way to exercise multiple elements of my being, huh?

Today was yellow day for Lily... did you wear your yellow too?

Hope to take David and Lily to 'Day in the Park' tomorrow.

Feeling a little better today - stayed home from work yesterday. It's not fun to have a cold when its hot!
By checking out these sites, I'll bet you'll learn a little more:
About my teenage son at

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Lily's First Day of School

Today is a very significant day in the parenting life of Laura and I. It was the first day of school for Lily (pre-school) meaning that all of our children were in school today. My morning was spent as Mr. Mom's shuttle-taxi service ... dropped Daniel off at 8:15, David at 8:30 and Lily at 8:45 (actually we had to wait a little as the doors didn't open until 8:55a). She had a great day and did very well.

Afterwards - I knew I'd have a couple hours to myself. I'd appreciate prayers that I may use this time (3 days a week) wisely for personal/spiritual growth, rest, projects, exercise, etc. Today, I decided to go to Peaksview Park and take a short walk since I have been very negligent in doing any kind of exercise and the scales are showing it. I only did a mile and a half but will increase as I continue. I encourage you -- if you want a way to lift your spirits, build your faith and re-energize -- take a walk alone if you can... I found myself talking to God about a lot of things. Sure, the endorphins help - but what helped even more was listening to some biblically inspired, and annointed worship music. This morning it was Matt Redman's "Beautiful News". I probably looked a little strange walking with an ocassional clap or hand lifted... all refreshed, I came home and cleaned!!! After all, I wanted the roses I left on the table for Laura to look good! Roses in the midst of dirt and clutter just don't impress as much.

Other than that, I'm fighting a cold, which is terrible anytime, but especially when its still so warm and nice out. It may actually be allergies exasperated by lawn-mowing!

I did have a teary moment the other night when listening to the Liberty Flames opening football game. It was pointed out how this year so much is going right for the team and they hope this is the year they go from good to great - but it will be without their number one fan, Jerry (Falwell). The new tradition for each game will be a moment of silence in his honor, followed by the playing of "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes. At that point, a new flag, a jersey-like flag with the number 71 (the year LU was founded and the number on the Falwell jersey given to Jerry last October and then immediately retired) is hoisted. Listening to it all was very moving and I couldn't help but tear up. Its only been 3 1/2 months since Jerry went home. Sometimes it feels longer and sometimes it doesn't seem to be true.

On a totally unrelated note ... I have now been posting to this blog for over two years and I'm pretty pleased with that even with moments of inconsistency. Just look back at the oldest pictures of David and Lily and you'll see how much they've grown and changed! :)