Keep Austin Weir’d: Bob Weir Awarded Key To The City Of Austin For His “Vote Local” Initiative

first_imgThis weekend, Bob Weir took to Austin, Texas, to continue his Campfire Tour with his Campfire Band with two shows at The Moody Theater for Austin City Limits Live. Before his first performance on Saturday, the Grateful Dead guitarist met with Austin’s Mayor, Steve Adler, to talk about his “Vote Local” initiative. This newest project is in conjunction with HeadCount, an organization that advocates for musicians and music lovers to get more involved in politics and for which Weir is a board member. After Saturday’s meeting, Weir kicked off the first of two nights at Moody Theater with the Campfire Band featuring Steve Kimock, Jash Kaufman, Jon Shaw, and The National’s Aaron Dessner, Bryan Devendorf, and Scott Devendorf. This most tour has been in support of Weir’s recent solo album, Blue Mountain, which was released during the tail-end of last year. You can check out pictures from Weir’s mayoral meeting below, as well as setlists from Saturday’s and Sunday’s performances. [H/T JamBase]last_img read more

Trail Mix: Fiddle Tune X

first_imgA couple years back, while looking at a slate of bands that might be booked for a festival, a good friend accused me of being fixated on acoustic guitar duos. Two guys. Two guitars. That’s it. I was told that was all I liked.While his proclamation was a bit tongue in cheek, and wasn’t entirely true, I must admit to a certain fondness for a stripped down acoustic duo. There is something about the intimacy that two musicians can create with their music that I find alluring.The songs don’t get lost within the dynamic of a larger band and the listener is free to hone his focus on what is happening between just two people. There is some validity to the statement that, sometimes, less is truly more, and the simplicity of what is taking place between the two musicians can be fascinating.I do believe it takes a certain caliber of musician to make a good duo work. First, both musicians have to have chops. A good chemistry between the partners also helps. Good songs are a must, too. There are certain duos out there that share this mojo; Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott, Russ Barenberg and Bryan Sutton, and, when both were still alive, the partnerships between Jerry Garcia and Dave Grisman and John Cephas and Phil Wiggins were beyond extraordinary. When listening to these duos, I never lament the fact that there are just two musicians on stage. The music they make is perfect as is and wants for nothing.I am ready to add another duo to this list. Billy Strings and Don Julin, who have just released their latest record, Fiddle Tune X, are a study in contrasts, a cross-generational coupling, with some thirty years separating the close-cropped Strings with the longer haired Julin. The distance between their birthdays is aptly bridged, however, by the affinity they share for the music of the Appalachian coal country.Both Strings, on guitar, and Julin, on mandolin, are impressive pickers. Strings pulls from his Martin tonal sounds reminiscent of the great Tony Rice, and Julin calls to mind mandolin pickers like the aforementioned Tim O’Brien. As evidenced on Fiddle Tune , they also share great chemistry.Fiddle Tune X, recorded around a single microphone in a variety of live settings – you can hear audience chatter and even traffic sounds in the recording’s background – is a collection of old standards and original tunes. The record brilliantly captures the magic Strings and Julin create when they play together. Take a listen to “Walk On Boy,” featured on this month’s Trail Mix, which highlights Strings’ bluesy tenor and tasty guitar licks, or the tender tones of Julin’s mandolin on the duo’s rendition of Bill Monroe’s “Lonesome Moonlight Waltz.” Strings and Julin also rip through old standards like “Shady Grove,” “How Mountain Girls Can Love,” “Little Maggie,” and “Sharecropper’s Son” on the record. I have heard each of these songs many, many times by many other bluegrass bands, but Strings and Julin add a new spice to each, mainly because the instrumentation – just guitar and mandolin – is so varied from the banjo driven traditional bluegrass line up.When Billy Strings and Don Julin flank their condenser microphone, they command my rapt attention. It takes a special musical pairing to captivate me that way. After each listen, I am not left wanting more musicians, just more songs.last_img read more

Mushrooms Kill Fourth California Senior; U.S. Cases on Rise

first_imgHealthLifestyle Mushrooms Kill Fourth California Senior; U.S. Cases on Rise by: – November 28, 2012 23 Views   no discussions Share Tweet Sharing is caring!center_img Share Share Another person has died after a caregiver at their California senior-care facility served them poisonous mushrooms. (ABC NEWS)Another elderly person has died from accidental mushroom poisoning at a California senior care facility, bringing the death toll to four.The latest victim, 92-year-old Dorothy Mary Hart, died at a nursing home, according to The Associated Press. The date of her death has yet to be released.The first two women died the day after a caregiver at their senior-care facility inadvertently served them a meal with poisonous mushrooms picked on the Loomis, Calif., property Nov. 8. The caregiver and three other residents of Gold Age Villa were hospitalized, according to WTEN-TV, the ABC News affiliate in Sacramento.Hart was among those to be hospitalized after the poisoning, but she was released and living in a nursing home.Teresa Olesniewicz, 73, died the morning of Nov. 9 and Barbara Lopes, 86, died that night, according to the county coroner. Frank Warren Blodget, 90, the third victim, died Nov. 17.“It looks like a tragic accident,” Lt. Mark Reed of the Placer County Sheriff’s Department said.Reed told the Sacramento Bee that the caregiver “just didn’t know” the mushrooms were poisonous. It is not clear what kind of mushroom the victims ate, however.Dr. Pierre Gholam, a liver specialist at University Hospitals in Cleveland, said he has seen an uptick in wild mushroom poisonings in his area, too. More than two dozen patients have arrived in the past three years with telltale mushroom poisoning symptoms, he said, including diarrhea followed by kidney and liver failure.Gholam, speaking to ABC News by phone from a meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in Boston earlier this month, said doctors there from across the country report similar increases in mushroom poisoning patients, even in areas not typically known for mushroom poisonings, such as the Midwest.Specialists historically see case clusters in Northern California and in the Northeast.“Clearly, there is something that has changed, in my mind, that has led to more mushroom poisoning cases,” he said. “It looks like a nationwide phenomenon.”The reasons are unclear but Gholam suggested that more people could be picking their own mushrooms in the bad economy to save money.Gholam’s hospital is one of only a few authorized by the federal government to give patients an antidote called silibinin, which blocks the poison from attacking the liver. Fourteen patients have come from up to 150 miles away for the life-saving drug.The poison in these mushrooms is called amatoxin, and it’s colorless and odorless, so people who pick or eat them won’t know until it’s too late, Gholam said. The poison fungi can also come in different sizes and shapes. Cooking or freezing the mushrooms does not deactivate the toxin.Typically, people begin to feel sick within six hours of eating the mushrooms, and come down with severe diarrhea, which causes dehydration and kidney failure, he said. Without the antidote, liver failure can set in after 72 hours, and the needs a liver transplant after 96 hours.“I think at this point, it is absolutely critical to spread the word — especially to folks that picked mushrooms — that the landscape has changed,” Gholam said.ABC Newslast_img read more