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reports and thoughts on legal issues, music, Orthodox Christianity and/or whatever else strikes my interest

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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Upcoming Shows

02/01 - The Hudsons @ Anderson Fair
02/01 - Greg Trooper @ McGonigel's Mucky Duck
02/01 - Miss Leslie and her Juke Jointers @ Blanco's
02/01 - Blaggards @ Continental Club
02/02 - Two High String Band @ Anderson Fair
02/02 - Guy Forsyth @ the Mucky Duck
02/02 - Yonder Mountain String Band @ Warehouse Live
02/05 - Dougie MacLean @ the Mucky Duck
02/06 - Over the Rhine @ the Mucky Duck
02/06 - Jed & Kelly @ Puffabellys (Spring)
02/07 - The McKay Brothers @ Blanco's
02/07 - Cory Morrow @ the Mucky Duck
02/08 - Shake Russell @ the Mucky Duck
02/09 - Eric Taylor @ Anderson Fair
02/09 - Patrice Pike @ the Mucky Duck
02/09 - Jesse Dayton @ Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe (Galveston)
02/14 - Jimmy Lafave @ the Mucky Duck
02/14 - Bob Schneider @ Warehouse Live
02/15 - Stoney Larue @ the Firehouse Saloon
02/16 - Tom Russell @ the Mucky Duck
02/16 - Bleu Edmonson @ the Firehouse Saloon
02/22 - Dale Watson @ Blanco's
02/22 - Clandestine @ the Mucky Duck
02/23 - The Band of Heathens @ Old Quarter
02/23 - Sisters Morales @ the Mucky Duck
02/23 - Delbert McClinton & Jesse Dayton & Brennen Leigh @
The Crighton Theatre (Conroe)
02/26 - Fred Eaglesmith @ the Mucky Duck
02/28 - Moodafaruka @ the Mucky Duck
02/29 - The Gougers @ the Mucky Duck


Al Again...

I just wanted to offer a few additional thoughts on the Al Stewart concert at the Mucky Duck that Fernando reviewed in his excellent post below.

I am still pretty new to Al's music and this was the first time I had ever seen him in concert. I was very impressed with both the show and the number of dedicated and knowledgeable fans who showed up.

I also found it interesting that Al is such a fan and student of popular music. For example, he referenced the Sixties-era British band The Move a couple of times during the show and videos of them available on YouTube. Very cool stuff that I had no idea existed.

His comments on historical figures, historical writings and works of literature were interesting as well. You know it's going to be an entertaining show when the performer comments that there just aren't enough Carthaginians represented in popular music these days. : )

More information on Al Stewart and his music can be found at his website and the Al Stewart Friends Yahoo Group.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Guest Blog: Al Stewart at the Mucky Duck

(This concert review is a guest blog by my friend Fernando who is a longtime Al Stewart fan)

Al Stewart at the Mucky Duck, Sunday, January 27, 2008

Last Sunday night I went with my friend Dave to see Al Stewart, one of my five favorite living singer songwriters (in alphabetical order the others being: Guy Clark, Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison and Neil Young) play the early show at the Mucky Duck. Al was accompanied by Dave Nachmanoff on lead guitar and on some songs joined by Mike Lindauer on bass. Dave and Mike warmed up the crowd with three of Dave’s songs (see complete set list below - copied from a post by Gail at Yahoo Group – Al Stewart Friends).

Al promptly took the stage upon completion of Dave’s last song and opened the show with a rousing version of House of Clocks from his second to last album Down in the Cellar. This song was followed by 11 adroitly played songs drawn from the albums Year of the Cat, Beach Full of Shells, and Between the Wars. Al related that he has recently been on a song writing tear, completing 17 new songs for his new album scheduled for release in the Summer/Fall of 2008.

Interspersed throughout the set, Al played 4 of these new songs, which were well received by the crowd. It is a testament to Al’s talent, as well as, the loyalty of his following, that a third of his play list on any given night can consist of so many new songs. I can’t think of another artist or group, popular in the 60’s or 70’s, performing today that can get away with playing anything other than their “Greatest Hits” play list during a concert.

For the encore, Al played End of the Day from the Time Passages album. This is one of my favorite Al Stewart songs and hearing it evokes in me a nostalgic and melancholy mood. I do not know if I read this somewhere else or maybe I was reading it at the time, but when I hear this song I think of the novel The Great Gatsby as seen through the eyes of Daisy Buchanan.

Al’s comfortable yet commanding on stage presence was evident during the performance. As always, Dave played beautifully. As in the many previous occasions that I have seen Al, between the songs he regaled the audience with funny and interesting stories and observations. Dictators from Stalin, Idi Amin, the Shah of Iran, as well as, Jean-Claude Duvalier “Baby Doc” formed part of a recurring theme during the show. At one point, Dave quipped that Al should do an album about repressive dictators throughout history. I think Al was taken by the idea. From past performances, Al’s between-the-song banter has steered me to writers like Ryszard Kapuscinski and Mervyn Peake and other musical performers like Aimee Mann and the legendary Leonard Cohen (in 2008 the 73-year old Leonard Cohen is scheduled to release a new album and tour for the first time in 15 years).

In the early 1970’s, with the release of his landmark album Past, Present and Future, Al Stewart invented a new musical genre – historical folk/pop music. This album contained tracks dealing with the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany, the German invasion of Russia, and the Cold War period in the U.S. and Great Britain. Not obvious subject matter for folk pop music. See this link to the History and References Behind Some of Al Stewart’s Songs:


After a period of pop music stardom during the mid 1970’s through the early 1980’s, Al has released, from the mid 1980’s onward, a new album every few years. Al continues to actively tour the U.S. and Europe. In my opinion, Al’s last 3 albums starting with the 1995 album Between the Wars, the 2001 album Down in the Cellar, and extending through the 2005 album Beach Full of Shells, show Al at the top of his creative power.

As an aside, I have irrefutable proof of the decline of Western Civilization. In 1998, I was fortunate enough to have dinner with Al and another couple at the restaurant in the Lancaster Hotel. During an enjoyable dinner with very interesting discussions, Al related that in more than 2 years after its release, the Between the Wars album had sold significantly less than 10,000 copies. This amazes me to no end, as in my estimation the Between the Wars album is among Al’s very best work.

Set List – January 27, 2008 – Sunday, Mucky Duck, Houston, 6 pm
Dave Nachmanoff:

Midnight Sea
A Certain Distance
Descartes in Amsterdam

Al Stewart:

House of Clocks
Flying Sorcery
Katherine of Oregon
A Child's View of the Eisenhower Years (NEW)
On the Border
Night Train to Munich
Hanno the Navigator (NEW)
Midas Shadow
Unexpected Frisson (NEW)
Gina in the King's Road
Shah of Shahs (NEW)
Year of the Cat (Peter Lorre replaced with Idi Amin, light hearted banter concerning dictators throughout night)

End of the Day

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Jesse Dayton & Brennen Leigh

Photo Source

Last Saturday night I saw Brennen Leigh and Jesse Dayton in concert over at the Mucky Duck.

The two were appearing together in support of their new duets cd Holdin' Our Own.

I caught their second show of the evening and it was great. What a fun show! It was like a trip to white trash musical nirvana. : )

More info on their duets cd can be found in this article from the Houston Chronicle.

You can sample more of Brennen's music here and more of Jesse's music here.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chris Smither

Photo Source

Last Thursday night I saw Chris Smither in concert at the Mucky Duck. I caught his second show of the evening.

Chris Smither is a veteran singer-songwriter who has had a long and interesting career.

This was the first time I had heard him perform and I was not very familiar with his music going into the show.

I was very impressed with his performance. He is an accomplished guitar player and his songs are steeped in a mixture of blues and folk and often feature a wicked sense of humor.

He played a number of songs from throughout his career including: "Hold On", "Love you Like a Man", "Lola", "Origin of Species", "Confirmation", "Winsome Smile", "Link of Chain", "Crocodile Man", "Train Home", "Leave the Light On" and a great version of Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row".

You can sample music from Chris Smither's discography here and here.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Scruggs Saga Continues

More new developments and guilty pleas (Langston and Patterson) today in the Richard "Dickie" Scruggs saga.

Some excellent coverage can be found at the following blogs and sites:

Insurance Coverage Law Blog
Jackson Clarion-Ledger
WSJ Law Blog
Y'all Politics


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Patriarch's Nativity Epistle

Here is a link to the Nativity Epistle of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of the Russian Orthodox Church.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Cadillac Sky

Last Friday night I saw Cadillac Sky perform their second show of the evening at the Mucky Duck.

Cadillac Sky is a very innovative band that has been generating a lot of interest on the acoustic and bluegrass music circuits the last few years.

This was the first time I had seen the group perform and I was very impressed. Every member of the band is a highly accomplished musician and offered some virtuosic playing on their respective instruments. Bryan Simpson's lead vocals were also backed by some masterful harmony singing.

You can check out some more of C-Sky's music from their new cd here.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Nativity Epistle

Here is a link to the Nativity Epistle of Metropolitan Laurus of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.