Music Recommendation: The Corbin Marsh Band — Uprooted”


Music: “Uprooted” from the album THE CORBIN MARSH BAND EP

Artist: The Corbin Marsh Band

Artist Location: Athens, Ohio

Info: “Though the subject matter mostly explores heartbreak and homeless roaming, it never feels too weighty for dancing or casual listening. The five songs presented on this album are good for both the beer-swilling Saturday night of a camping trip and the hungover Sunday afternoon that follows. An excellent little record from a promising new band.” —David Meram

Corbin Marsh – Guitar, Vocals 
Mike Flynn – Lead Guitar 
J.J. Reed – Bass 
Chris Lee – Drums, Backing Vocals 

Price: FREE Download

Genre: Blues


The Corbin Marsh Band on Bandcamp


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David Bruce: The Funniest People in Music — Alcohol, Animals, Audiences


• During the early part of the 20thcentury, dancer Anna Pavlova toured in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is famous for its beer. There, Ms. Pavlova’s music director, Theodore Stier, asked a traffic officer where he could find a place in Milwaukee that sold really good German beer. The traffic officer looked Mr. Stier over for a moment, and then he said, “Brother, there’s a place on every block — thank God!”

• Shortly after Edwin McArthur had become the accompanist for soprano Kirsten Flagstad, he struggled as he attempted to open a champagne bottle in her dressing room. She watched him for a moment and then told him, “Here, Edwin — this is more important for you to learn than all the songs we will do together.” She then taught him how to open a champagne bottle.


• While overseas entertaining troops in the Middle East during the Second World War, Joyce Grenfell was singing when a mouse ran over her foot. Because she was occupied, she didn’t even notice the mouse, but her accompanist did — and played the rest of the concert without using the piano’s pedals because she kept her feet off the floor. While in the Middle East, they were warned to shake out their shoes each morning before putting them on in case snakes or scorpions were curled up inside.

• In Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Rigolettois a scene in which the title character throws into a river a sack containing what is supposed to be the dead body of his enemy. Unfortunately, at a 1950 performance at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, a kitten wandered on stage during the scene and was fascinated with the sack. The kitten kept digging its claws into the sack, and the “dead body” inside the sack kept squirming. Finally, the singer playing Rigoletto noticed the kitten and removed it from the stage.

• Katheryn Bloodgood, a mezzo-soprano, was singing at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, when a bat flew into the recital hall. While she was finishing singing a Henschel lullaby that was supposed to end with the word “shu” sung very quietly, the bat flew directly at her. Instead of singing “shu” very quietly, she shrieked the word, and then ran offstage to escape from the bat.

• During a New Orleans production of the opera Nabucco, a horse committed a large indiscretion on stage. The producer, Jim Lucas, ordered the stagehands to clean up the mess, only to find out that they didn’t have a shovel. Angrily, he shouted, “Don’t you know you never hire a horse without a shovel?”

• The conductor Artur Nikisch was very popular and received many letters from women who asked him for a lock of his hair. A friend told him that he would soon go bald because he always responded to these letters. Mr. Nikisch smiled, and then said, “I won’t go bald — but my dog might.”

• Tenor Gilbert Louis Duprez once sang a high C in Gioacchino Rossini’s apartment. Mr. Rossini checked to see if any of his glassware had shattered; later, he said that the tone of the high C had been like “the squawk of a capon whose throat is being cut.”


• In Vienna, Alfred Piccaver and Elizabeth Schumann gave a joint recital, the program of which promised that they would sing a duet from La Boheme. Unfortunately, the pianist brought the wrong music, so they sang a duet from Madama Butterflyinstead. Nevertheless, the audience declined to go home until they had heard the Bohemeduet, so the house manager asked the audience, “Is there a Boheme[score] in the house?” A person in the gallery answered, “I’ve got one.” Borrowing the score, the pianist played the duet and the audience was able to hear Mr. Piccaver and Ms. Schumann sing it.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


The Funniest People in Music: Buy the Paperback

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Open Mic Night at Ohio University’s Front Room (28 February 2020)


Hardika Singh, poet (Above)


Tim Pike (Above) 


Lauren Davis (Above)


Sun Boats (Above)


Sam Debatin of Sun Boats (Above)


Zack Shafer of Sun Boats (Above)


Harper Reese of Sun Boats (Above)


Dallas Craft (Above)


Dallas Craft (Above)


Joshua Corbett (Above)


David Bruce (Above)


Bruce Dalzell (Above)


Below: Two YouTube Videos by Bruce Dalzell


Sam Debatin and Harper Reese of Sun Boats are also members of Velvet Green.

Velvet Green Brings “Junk Funk” Music to Athens (Backdrop Magazine)

Velvet Green, a local band formed in 2018, is composed of six members: drummer Shea Benezra, guitarists Sam Debatin and Harper Reese, keyboardist Liam McSteen, bassist Mitchell Spring and vocalist Cora Fitch. All members, except for New York native Benezra, met each other while attending Athens High School.

“Real Lizard” by Velvet Green

“Slipping Into Darkness” by Velvet Green


David Bruce’s Spoken Word (More or Less)

  • Rise above.

Theater director Tyrone Guthrie advised his actors and crew to do this. The advice means to rise above whatever forces are working against you. All of us have personal problems. No one’s life is perfect. Sometimes, life seems to conspire against us. Rise above all that, and produce the best work you can.

  • Astonish me.

Dance impresario Sergei Diaghilev advised his choreographers to do this. The advice means what it says. Do such good work that the person who commissioned the work—and of course the audience—is astonished. (Tyrone Guthrie also used this phrase.)

  • Do it now.

As a young man, choreographer George Balanchine nearly died and so he believed in living his life day by day and not holding anything back. He would tell his dancers, “Why are you stingy with yourselves? Why are you holding back? What are you saving for—for another time? There are no other times. There is only now. Right now.” Throughout his career, including before he became world renowned, he worked with what he had, not complaining about wanting a bigger budget or better dancers. One of the pieces of advice Mr. Balanchine gave over and over was this: “Do it now.”

  • Go out and get one.

Ruth St. Denis once taught Martha Graham an important lesson when Ms. Graham was just starting to dance. Ms. St. Denis told Ms. Graham, “Show me your dance.” Ms. Graham replied, “I don’t have one,” and Ms. St. Denis advised, “Well, dear, go out and get one.” (Everyone needs an art to practice. Your art need not be dance. Perhaps your art can be writing autobiographical essays. Of course, you may practice more than one art.)

  • Work a little harder.

“I think high self-esteem is overrated. A little low self-esteem is actually quite good—maybe you’re not the best, so you should work a little harder.”—Jay Leno.

  • The only way to do it is to do it.

Asked “What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?”choreographer Merce Cunningham replied, “‘The only way to do it is to do it.’ It’s advice I gave myself as a young man, and I continue to give to students now.”

  • Add a little color to the facts.

You don’t need to be 100 percent truthful in your autographical writing. As the great bard Fflewddur Fflam says, “I can’t help, ah, adding a little color to the facts—most facts need it so badly.”



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David Bruce on Amazon

Music Recommendation: The Cocktail Slippers — “Night Train”


Song: “Night Train”

Artist: The Cocktail Slippers

Artist Location: Oslo, Norway

Info: Song written and produced by The Cocktail Slippers 

The Cocktail Slippers are Bente Konstanse Larsen, Astrid Waller, Silje Hope, Sara Andersson and Stine Bendiksen.

Recorded at OSLO KLANG by Bjarne Stensli and Kim Lillestoel

Price: $1 (USD) for song (single)

Genre: Pop, Rock, Girl Group


The Cocktail Slippers on Bandcamp

“Night Train”

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David Bruce: The Funniest People in Music — Activism, Age


• Jazz musician Duke Ellington was active in the civil rights movement. In Baltimore, he performed at a concert. Afterward, he presented himself at a restaurant where African-American students had protested segregation. Like the students, Mr. Ellington was not permitted to eat at the restaurant, but his action succeeded in giving lots of publicity to the civil rights struggle in Baltimore. In addition, Mr. Ellington declined to perform a concert in Little Rock, Arkansas, after learning that the audience would be segregated. A short time later, he did perform in Dallas and Houston — but only after he was promised that blacks and whites in the audience could sit together.

• Because African-American actor/singer Paul Robeson used his right of free speech to criticize prejudice and injustice in America, the United States government revoked his passport. In 1952, he attempted to cross the border into Canada — which was normally permitted even when one didn’t have a passport — but he was stopped at the border. It looked as if the concert he had planned to give to benefit Canadian union workers would have to be cancelled, but the workers traveled to the border, and Mr. Robeson sang to them from across the border in the United States.

• World-famous cellist Pablo Casals often took a stand for his beliefs. In Brussels, Belgium, he once declined to perform unless the musicians were paid for their rehearsal time. Tickets had been sold to the rehearsals, and Mr. Casals believed that the musicians ought to be paid when they performed at any event that people paid to attend. In addition, when Francisco Franco took control of Spain, Mr. Casals opposed him, and he declined to perform in countries that recognized Francisco Franco’s fascist government.

• On a trip to Southern Rhodesia, which was then part of the British empire but is now the self-ruled country of Zimbabwe, jazz musician Louis Armstrong insisted that he play only in front of integrated audiences. For the opening concert, 25,000 people showed up and the seats were filled with both blacks and whites. During his concert, Mr. Armstrong looked out over the audience and said, “I gotta tell y’all something — it’s very nice to see this.”

• Pianist Artur Rubinstein cancelled a tour in Italy because of the then-government’s anti-Semitism; he also returned a prestigious award — the Order of the Commander of the Crown. Although people talked about how much money Mr. Rubinstein would lose, he talked about how many hearts he would win. He signed the letter with which he returned the award, “Artur Rubinstein, Jewish pianist.”

• World-renowned conductor Pierre Monteux was once denied a room at a hotel, but when the manager discovered that Mr. Monteux was famous, he said that he could arrange a room for him because Mr. Monteux was “somebody.” Mr. Monteux refused the room and departed, saying, “Everybody is somebody.”


• The aged conductor Serge Koussevitsky disliked the spiritless playing of a musician, so he told him, “Don’t play like an old man.” The musician responded, “You are an old man yourself.” Maestro Koussevitsky replied, “I know that. But when I conduct like an old man, I will give up the job.” The musician thereafter played with spirit.

• For decades, Sir Thomas Beecham conducted from memory. However, in his old age he sometimes used a score while conducting. When Neville Cardus asked him about this, Sir Thomas replied, “I have been going through my scores recently, and I find that they hold my interest from the first page to the last.”

• Latin singer Ricky Martin, famous especially for the huge hit “Livin’ la Vida Loca” (“Living the Crazy Life”), sang when he was a teenager as a member of the Latin boy band Menudo, but he left the group before he turned 18. He had to — the group’s mandatory retirement age is 17.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


The Funniest People in Music: Buy the Paperback

The Funniest People in Music: Kindle

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davidbrucehaiku: anticipation




Cherry blossoms and green leaves

Spring is coming soon


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Music Recommendation: Spanking Charlotte — “Find Me Out”


Song: “Find Me Out” from the album FIND ME OUT

Artist: Spanking Charlene

Artist Location: New York


Charlene McPherson- vocals 
Mo Goldner- guitar, vocals 
Eric Ambel-guitar, vocals, keyboard, percussion 
Eric Seftel-drums 
David Leatherwood-bass 
Nate Schweber- harmonica on “Find me out” 
Mario Viele- guitar lead on “Burn it down” 
Matt Polashek- saxophone on “Liar Liar”

Charlene McPherson (vocals) and Mo Goldner (guitar) formed the group Sad Bastards of Brooklyn as a side project to Spanking Charlotte.

Price: $1 (USD) for song; $10 (USD) for 10-track album

Genre: Rock, Strong Female Vocalist


Spanking Charlotte on Bandcamp


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David Bruce: Resist Psychic Death — Work, Zen


• When author Lucy Grealy, author of Autobiography of a Face, was a skinny little girl, she used to work at a stable owned by a Mr. Evans in exchange for being able to ride the horses for free. She earned that right both for her work and for helping Mr. Evans whenever one of the amateur riders who paid to ride a horse complained when the horse wouldn’t go. Mr. Evans would point to Lucy and say, “I bet this skinny little girl could get this horse to go.” Lucy would climb into the saddle and because she knew how to ride, unlike the amateur paying customers, she would get the horse to fly.

• Many Jewish sages have had “real” jobs. Rabbi Hillel was a woodcutter, Rabbi Shammai was a builder, Rabbi Joshua was a blacksmith, and Rabbi Hanina was a shoemaker. They understood the importance of work. One day some Rabbis were discussing the creation of the world, and they decided to ask Rabbi Joseph about it, because he was a builder and so would understand such things. When they arrived where Rabbi Joseph was working, he was on a scaffold and declined to come down, saying, “I was hired by the day, and my time belongs to my employer.”

• Ballet stage managers sometimes have strange duties. While dancing in Jerome Robbins’ Tyl Eulenspiegal, Tanaquil Le Clercq released a helium-filled balloon into the air. Unfortunately, during the rest of the concert, the balloon lost helium and eventually made an appearance in a Pas de Trois, thus forming the fourth member of a quatre. After that mishap, the stage manager was given the job of shooting the balloon with a BB gun after the curtain closed on Tyl Eulenspiegal.

• A Hasidic Rabbi was walking alone when he met a man. The Rabbi asked the man, “Who do you work for?” The man replied, “I’m the night watchman, and I work for the village. Who do you work for?” The Rabbi replied, “Sometimes I’m not sure, but I will offer you a job at twice your present salary. Your job will be to walk with me and from time to time to ask me, ‘Who do you work for?’”

• Caspar Wistar, a Quaker, first earned his living hauling ashes in a wheelbarrow, but later he became a mayor. Some of his opponents tried to embarrass him by wheeling a wheelbarrow outside his house, but Mr. Wistar came out of his house and offered to show them how to wheel the wheelbarrow correctly.


• Zen master Kangan once pointed to some boats on the sea and said to his disciple Daichi, “You speak of mind over matter — let’s see you stop those boats from sailing.” Daichi quietly put a screen between them and the boats, shutting off the sight of the boats. Kangan smiled, but pointed out, “You had to use your hands.” Daichi closed his eyes.

• Sakyamuni asked his disciples, “How long is a person’s life?” His disciples guessed various lengths, such as 70 years, 60 years, etc., but Sakyamuni rejected all these answers. After his disciples gave up guessing, Sakyamuni answered his own question, “Life is but a breath.”

• A famous Zen master from Korea came to the United States. When he was asked where he wanted to go, he replied, “Las Vegas.” This sounds shocking, but be assured that the Zen master didn’t gamble. He had heard from other Koreans about the bright lights at Las Vegas, and he wanted to see the bright lights for himself.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


Resist Psychic Death: Buy the Paperback

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The Awesome Blogger Award


Hello there, homo sapiens! I hope everyone’s safe and cool and doing great. There’s been a sudden increase of corona virus cases here in Kuwait so it’s pretty alarming but all of them who tested positive are quarantined at the moment. It’s crazy that there’s nowhere to buy masks anymore! Damn! Anyhow, I hope things will get better and hopefully no more additional cases of the virus here.

But you know what’s awesome, though? This.


I was nominated by the wonderful blogger, Carl @ The Pine-Scented Chronicles. Thank you so much, Carl. It’s really very sweet of you to think of me for this though I really couldn’t fathom why. But I’d happily take it. 😀

The Awesome Blogger Award

The award was created by Maggie @Dreaming of Guatemala. This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind…

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