davidbrucehaiku: the local girls




Some songs go to the

Pleasure center of my brain

Instant happiness


Available on Amazon:


5.0 out of 5 stars Very Listenable Precision, Three-Part Harmony Covers of Notable Songs

Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2019

Verified Purchase

This is a very listenable album with covers of notable songs by such music luminaries as Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, JD Hutchison, and Bruce Dalzell. I especially like “Where the Girls Are” and “I Feel Free.”

Three singers — Brenda Catania, Gay Dalzell, and Mimi Hart — formed The Local Girls in the summer of 1988 in Athens County, Ohio. They have performed at Town Hall in New York City as guests of A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, toured Europe, and sang for Hillary Clinton’s 50th birthday party. In addition, they have recorded two albums: Let Yourself Go (2000) and Three Little Words (2011). How to best describe them? Swing singers, yes. Vocal jazz, yes. Certainly, they perform precision, three-part harmony as they cover older and newer songs. The chronology of their repertoire ranges from 1854 (Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times Come Again No More” — no, not on this album) to the 1990s (T. Bone Burnett’s “It’s Not Too Late” — yes, on this album).

These are the songs on Let Yourself Go:

“Shout Sister Shout.” Recorded in the 1930s by the Boswell Sisters, a close harmony group. Very jazzy and tuneful. Some lyrics: “Just tell old Satan how you feel / Get that old Devil right off your heel / Shout sister, shout sister, shout!”

“Centerpiece.” Recorded by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross in 1960 on the album titled Lambert, Hendricks and Ross! The Hottest New Group in Jazz. This title is an example of proper (earned) pride. Notably covered by Van Morrison. Some lyrics: “The more I’m with you, pretty baby / The more I feel my love increase / I’m building all my dreams around you / My happiness will never cease / But nothing’s any good without you / ’Cause, baby, you’re my centerpiece.”

“Stay A Little Longer.” Some lyrics: “Stay a little longer / A little bit longer / You know you ain’t got nothing better to do / We’ll blindfold the cat / Put out the dog / Pull the shades and lock the door.” Written by Paula Lockhart with additional lyrics by David Lister. One of my favorites on this album.

“I’ll Never Say ‘Never Again’ Again.” Notably recorded by the Nat King Cole Trio, the Three Ambassadors, Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra, and many more. Some lyrics: “I’ll never say ‘never again’ again / ’Cause here I am in love again / Head over heels in love again with you / I’ll never say, ‘never kiss you’ again / ’Cause here I am kissing you again / That’s just the thing I said I’d never do.”

“I Feel Free.” The Cream song, written by Pete Brown and Jack Bruce. The Local Girls’ version is much less rock and much more harmonic. Some lyrics: “I can walk down the street, there’s no one there / Though the pavements are one huge crowd. / I can drive down the road, my eyes don’t see, / Though my mind wants to cry out loud.”

“Since My Bird Has Flied Away.” The composer, J.D. Hutchison, sings lead, backed up by The Local Girls. A different version of “Since My Bird Has Flied Away” appears on J.D. Hutchison’s album You and the World Outside. Some lyrics: “Pour some more coffee in my coffee cup / I don’t know why, I don’t even like the stuff / But nothing seems to matter / Since my bird has flied away.” The bird, of course, is a woman. Another of my favorites.

“Let Yourself Go.” The Irving Berlin song. Ginger Rogers sang this song, and — of course — danced to it with Fred Astaire. Some lyrics: “Come / Get together / Let the dance floor feel your leather / Step as lightly as a feather / Let yourself go / Come / Hit the timber / Loosen up and start to limber / Can’t you hear that hot marimba? / Let yourself go.”

“Where The Boys Are.” Written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield for the 1960 movie of the same title, starring Connie Francis, Yvette Mimieux, Paula Prentiss, and Dolores Hart. My personal favorite on this Local Girls album. Some lyrics: “Where the boys are / Someone waits for me, / A smiling face, a warm embrace, / Two arms to hold me tenderly. / Where the boys are / My true love will be, / He’s walking down some street in town / And I know he’s looking there for me.”

“Ready On The Firing Line.” Another great song by JD Hutchison. Some lyrics: “In this world / You’ve got to be ready / Got to have everything just so / You’ve got to be ready just to hang around / Or you’ve got to be ready to go / You’ve got to be ready just to hear the word / You must be ready to read the sign / You must be ready on the left / Ready on the right / Ready on the firing line.”

“The Bozo Blues.” A song by Bruce Dalzell, Gay Dalzell’s husband. Bruce and Gay have made a lot of excellent music in Athens County, Ohio, for decades. This is a bluesy, humorous song about going to Chicago to be on The Bozo Show. Some lyrics: “I’m going to Chicago / Be on that Bozo Show / Yeah, I’m going to Chicago / Be on that B-B-Bozo Show / Yeah, I don’t know where Chicago is / But, mama, I got to go.”

“It’s Not Too Late.” The T-Bone Burnett song. Some lyrics: “The wind turns like a dagger, / the rain falls like a hammer / The sky has grown dark but it’s not too late / The weather crashes down, what’s lost cannot be found / The night is closing but it’s not too late.”

“I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” A hit for Patsy Montana & The Prairie Ramblers. Some lyrics: “I want to be a cowboy’s sweetheart / I want to learn to rope and to ride / I want to ride o’er the plains and the desert / Out west of the great divide / I want to hear the coyotes howlin’ / While the sun sets in the West / I want to be a cowboy’s sweetheart / That’s the life that I love best.” Lots of yodeling on this one.

“The Blue Shadows On The Trail.” A Roy Rogers song. Some lyrics: “Blue shadows on the trail / Blue moon shinin’ through the trees / And a plain tiff wail from the distance / Comes a driftin’ on the evening breeze.”

“Caravan.” The Duke Ellington song. Some lyrics: “Night and stars above that shine so bright / The mystery of their fading light / That shines upon our Caravan / Sleep upon my shoulder as we creep / Across the sands so I may keep / The memory of our Caravan.”

“Mothra vs. Godzilla.” The main title of the 1964 Japanese monster movie of the same name. On Rotten Tomatoes, 90 percent of the critics like the movie. If nothing else, this song proves that The Local Girls are eclectic. Do you speak Monster? I don’t. Look for lyrics elsewhere.

Readers of this review should make heavy use of Amazon’s preview snippets of The Local Girls’ songs on this page.

The Local Girls ought to be famous, but one problem with Athens County is that it’s such a good place to live that excellent music-makers often stay here rather than moving to Nashville, NYC, or LA to seek fame and fortune. Lots of musicians choose to raise their kids in Athens County.

Support local music, and be aware that in the age of the Internet and the WWW, Athens County is local worldwide.

In Memory: “I think great art opens us not just to the truth as an artist sees it, but to our own truth …“

Art of Quotation

“I think great art opens us not just to the truth as an artist sees it, but to our own truth . . . You’re being invited to enter into the reality of what it means to be human.”

Sister Wendy Beckett, 1930-2018, religious figure, educator, art critic

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David Bruce: Food Anecdotes

• Colonel James H. Mapleson (1830-1901) once received word that mezzo-soprano Sofia Scalchi was ill and unable to sing in an opera scheduled that night. He and a physician therefore went to Ms. Scalchi’s hotel apartment to ask what they could do for her, but just before they arrived at her door, a dinner of roast duck and lobsters was delivered to her apartment. Colonel Mapleson waited for the dinner to get started and after hearing the sound of laughter, he and the physician entered her apartment. No longer able to claim that she was ill, Ms. Scalchi sang that night.

• Two feisty Church of Christ preachers, A.G. Freed and Foy E. Wallace, Jr., were invited to dinner. Their hostess asked them if they wanted coffee. Mr. Freed was against drinking coffee, so he said, “No, I’m a Christian.” Mr. Wallace saw that this remark embarrassed the hostess, so he said, “Pour me a cup. I’m a Christian, too, but I didn’t let it make a fool out of me.”

• When George Balanchine took his New York City Ballet on tour to his native Russia, many dancers found Russian food unappetizing. Suzanne Farrell once mentioned to him that she liked the omelets, and trying to be helpful, Mr. Balanchine arranged with the Russian cooks to feed her omelets for breakfast, lunch, and supper. She ate hundreds of eggs during the tour.

• Doug Gilbert, a drama critic for the New York World-Telegram, once had a chance to get involved in theater production. He was having dinner in a restaurant with a producer who wanted to hire him, but misfortune struck. Mr. Gilbert had ordered clam spaghetti and he had his mouth full when he suddenly sneezed — his mouth opened, and the clam spaghetti flew onto the face of the producer.

• These days, people are very sanitary in their eating habits; however, early in the 20th century, they were not. When Anna Russell was growing up in England, the maid used to leave a big bowl outside, and the milkman would ladle milk into it. By the time the maid brought the milk inside the house, several flies would be floating in it, but things like that didn’t bother people back then.

• Johannes Brahms enjoyed good food. One day, his doctor ordered him to stop eating rich food. The very next day, the doctor saw Mr. Brahms in a Viennese restaurant eating a feast of very rich food. After listening to his doctor’s criticisms, Mr. Brahms replied, “Do you suppose I’m going to starve to death just to be able to live a few more years?”

• As a young woman traveling from town to town to make money by singing, Emma Abbott was often forced to eat less than she should. Once, she was so hungry that she sold her long hair in order to get money to buy food. Fortunately, she was discovered by opera singer Clara Louise Kellogg, who helped make her rich and famous.

• Dr. Samuel Johnson disliked Scotland. At a dinner party, his hostess served a Scottish dish, then asked how he liked it. Dr. Johnson said, “Madam, it is a dish fit only for pigs.” His hostess replied, “Let me help you to more of it.”

• During the Russian Revolution, food was scarce. The mother of young ballerina Illaria Obidenna Ladré got hold of some butter and used the butter as payment to Ms. Vaganova, a ballet teacher, for private lessons for Illaria.

• A little boy wondered why at every suppertime, the family had to pray for its daily bread, instead of simply praying once a week. His older brother knew the answer: “We have to pray every day so the bread will be fresh.”

• As a youngster, H. Allen Smith’s father loved bananas. Once, he got hold of an entire stalk of bananas and ate every one. For the rest of his life, he couldn’t stand to be in the same room with a banana, much less eat one.

• Queen Liliukalani of Hawaii once met Queen Victoria of England and told her that she had English blood in her veins. Queen Victoria was surprised to hear this, but Queen Liliukalani explained, “One of my ancestors ate Captain Cook.”

• Q: Who thought up the idea of serving whipped cream on iced coffee or hot chocolate? A: The Italian Domenico Barbaja (1778-1841), who made a small fortune after his drinks became fashionable.

• In his old age, Gioacchino Rossini wrote piano pieces to amuse his guests. He titled one Hors d’oeuvres; its movements were titled “Radishes,” “Gherkins and Butter,” and “Anchovies.”

• Wolf Mankowitz’ father knew one of the last African Basuto chiefs who had been a cannibal. He asked the chief what human flesh had tasted like, and the chief replied, “It was delicious.”

• Mark Twain always ate breakfast, no matter how much work he had to do. According to Mr. Twain, “When I have something that I must do before I get my breakfast, I always get up and get my breakfast first.”

• Yogi Berra was once asked if he wanted his pizza cut into four slices, or eight. He replied, “Four. I don’t think I can eat eight slices.”

• “A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing.” — Samuel Johnson.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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Purl | Pixar SparkShorts (YouTube)

Purl | Pixar SparkShorts(YouTube)

Purl, directed by Kristen Lester and produced by Gillian Libbert-Duncan, features an earnest ball of yarn named Purl who gets a job in a fast-paced, high energy, bro-tastic start-up. Yarny hijinks ensue as she tries to fit in, but how far is she willing to go to get the acceptance she yearns for, and in the end, is it worth it?

davidbrucehaiku: Holi





Get yourself colored

To celebrate a holy

Color festival


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