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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).

Friday, February 27, 2009

January Shows

Lots of good shows last month. Probably the most concerts I've ever attended in one month.

First was the Twelfth Annual Townes Van Zandt Wake at the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe in Galveston, Texas. What an incredible experience! I can't believe I have never been before...I have really been missing out on an amazing event. There were over 100 people crammed into that small bar. People were everywhere...standing outside, in rows at the bar and anywhere they could find a space. It got so crowded they started letting people stand behind the bar. I just could not believe there were that many Townes Van Zandt fans all in one place at one time. It was a sight that I will never forget. Here's a clip of Jon Hogan (along with Gary Ragan and Maria Moss) performing his version of Townes' song "Lungs":

Next up was the final fundraiser for the Old Quarter, which sustained heavy damage from Hurricane Ike, held at Anderson Fair. The lineup for this benefit concert consisted of: Danny Everitt, Bill Cade, Ann Armstrong & Steve Hughes, Carrie Elkin, Danny Schmidt and The Hudsons. A great night of music for a great cause. I even won free tickets to the Old Quarter for correctly answering a door-prize question: What year was the album Live at the Old Quarter recorded? Answer: 1973...I thought everyone knew that. Here is a video of Danny Everitt performing one of his songs:

and here is Carrie Elkin performing her song "Roots & Wings":

Here's a clip of the amazing Danny Schmidt (more on him below) performing his song "This Too Shall Pass":

and finally here are The Hudsons performing one of their infamous "folk rap" songs "Green Man":

Next I saw Idgy Vaughn, Amy Speace and Danny Schmidt in a Songwriters night at the Mucky Duck. Good concert and an interesting pairing of singers. Here's a clip of Idgy introducing and performing her song "Small Town Girls":

This show was the first time I had seen Amy Speace and I was very impressed. Here is Amy playing her song "The Killer In Me":

Once again I was able to see the very talented Danny Schmidt perform. He is definitely an artist to keep an eye on. Here's a clip of Danny performing a song that may well be his masterpiece..."Stained Glass":

....yeah, he's that good...here is one more clip of Danny performing "Guilty By Association Blues" (a song obviously written prior to January 20, 2009):

Next up was the Junior Brown show at the Mucky Duck. A great show! It was so good my friends and I (who had seats for the first show) bought standing-room only tickets for the 2nd show as well. The only negative was that Junior did not bring any cds or merchandise with him and didn't come out to greet anyone after the shows. Here's a clip of Junior playing his perennial hit "My Wife Thinks You're Dead":

I also saw Eliza Gilkyson at the Mucky Duck. Eliza's show was a lot of fun and she has a great voice. Unfortunately that night she had some kind of bug and had to stop the first set early to recover her voice. She returned to the stage, however, and continued the first set and even did a full second set. I thought that was admirable when many performers would undoubtedly have cut the evening short. Here's a video of Eliza performing the song "Runaway Train" from her newest cd:

Lots of good shows at the Duck in January...next on my schedule there was Greg Trooper. I had been meaning to see Greg for a long time but always had conflict with his last few appearances in Houston. Another good show and he had a great band with him. Like Fred Eaglesmith, I have to admire a performer who isn't afraid to heckle his audience. Here's Greg playing his song "Hummingbird":

Then there was the sold-out Hayes Carll shows at the Duck. I went to the second show which always features a rowdier crowd. Hayes brought along his band the Gulf Coast Orchestra. I thought it was a great concert with one exception...Hayes' voice really sounded strained on a few songs. I know Hayes keeps a very demanding touring schedule but I honestly think it's time for him to shut it down for awhile and rest his voice. Here's Hayes in better form performing "Little Rock":

As a bonus...after the Hayes' show...I was able to catch the end of Dale Watson's show at Armadillo Palace. I only heard a few songs from Dale but I was impressed with his voice...and his wardrobe! Here's a video of Dale and his band performing "Nashville Rash":

Then it was back to the Duck to see one of my favorite bands The Gougers. Great show from the Gougers as always. Here's Jamie and the gang doing "Everybody Knows":

The next show on my schedule was supposed to be Bruce & Charlie Robison playing together at the Mucky Duck. That show had to be cancelled due to Bruce coming up sick. Fortunately, Hayes Carll and John Evans (aka The Ego Brothers) were able to come to the rescue. Here are the brothers themselves doing their one and only song "Ain't Enough Of Me To Go Around":

Next up was a songwriters round over at Anderson Fair with Ken Gaines, Wayne Wilkerson, Jim Patton, Sherry Brokus and Jon Hogan. Here's a clip of Ken Gaines and Karen Mal performing Ken's song "Catfish Moon":

Finally, I made the drive down to Galveston to catch the legendary Richard Dobson at the Old Quarter. It was a great concert...with the exception of the loud drunk girl who laughed incessantly throughout the show. It was a great pleasure to get to meet Richard and have him autograph of copy of his book Gulf Coast Boys. Here's a clip of Richard (and Jerry Douglas?) performing his song "Hard By The Highway" from the Heartworn Highways documentary:


Monday, February 23, 2009

Icon Exhibit Presentation

Here are videos of iconographer John Lickwar's presentation entitled "The Icons of Annunciation and of the Myrrh-bearing Women". This presentation was given at the Icon Exhibit held recently at St. Jonah Orthodox Church.

The video of the presentation is available in 5 parts:

Special thanks to Torsten for assisting with the presentation and making these videos available on YouTube.


Uncle Seymour

Some words of wisdom from Uncle Seymour Washington...and one of Townes Van Zandt's first songs. Scenes are from the documentary Heartworn Highways.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

More Podcasts

Photo Source

A series of podcasts of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah's talk on preparing for Great Lent are available on the Orthodox Christian Network's "Special Moments in Orthodoxy" podcast page.

Metropolitan Jonah's talk can be heard in three parts here, here and here.


Icon Exhibit Podcasts

A series of podcasts recorded at the Icon Exhibit (held last weekend at St. Jonah Orthodox Church) are available on the podcast page of the Orthodox Houston website.

The podcasts related to the Icon Exhibit include:

Fr. James Early's talk on his pilgrimage to Orthodoxy entitled "From Baptist to Bosnia to Byzantium"

Fr. John Whiteford's talk on "Why Do We Venerate the Saints";

and a selection of hymns from the Church year sung by the St. Jonah Choir.


Friday, February 20, 2009

"Tecumseh Valley"

Townes Van Zandt sings "Tecumseh Valley" at a Holiday Inn hotel room in Houston, Texas in 1988. (h/t Arthur's Musical Journey). More info on the video from this private concert can be found here.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Icon Exhibit

Holy Images
, an exhibit of Russian Orthodox icons dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, is being held this weekend at St. Jonah Orthodox Church in Spring. Admission is free.

The schedule for the lectures and presentations can be viewed here.

Directions to St. Jonah's can be found here.

I will be at the exhibit throughout the weekend. Come by to see the exhibit and say "Hello".


Monday, February 02, 2009

Enthronement of Patriarch Kirill I

Photo Sources here, here and here

The enthronement of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill I occurred yesterday at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow.

More information on the enthronement can be found in this post from the official web site of the Moscow Patriarchate.

A lengthy video featuring excerpts from the service (with commentary in English) can be found here.

More photos from the service can be viewed here.