Free House Concert!

A Sultry, Tropical December Night of Brazilian Music

with Paul Meyers

 Thursday, December 26, 7 PM

Forget the cold by wrapping yourself in the sensuous rhythms of Brazil – Paul will play many of the great Bossa Novas and Sambas of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfa and others, as well as some original compositions and American standards in Brazilian style. Let these tropical rhythms and melodies warm you up for the 2nd day of Christmas (if anyone has two turtle doves, bring them along too, maybe they can dance a little), Boxing Day, or the end of pre-Christmas sales and the onset of post-Christmas sales. Whatever your persuasion, be persuaded to come hear Paul on Thursday, December 26, 7 PM at Robin’s.

If you haven’t been here before, it’s 465 Old Market Rd.. Your GPS (or map) will find the driveway, but please read the  directions at: https://robinmcclellan.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/directions-to-robins.pdf so you don’t make the mistake that everyone makes: not going far enough down the driveway!
Why free? For several years I have been holding a New Years’ Eve party at my house and this year I decided to give it a break. But I still want to show my appreciation for the community that means so much to me. When Paul approached me about doing this concert, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I also know that people sometimes get uncomfortable when they don’t have an opportunity to give themselves, so donations to the Local Living Venture will be gratefully accepted.

Questions? Call me, Robin, at 315-261-2502

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Not a House Concert but…

Idan Raichel Project

October 30, 2013, 7:30
Maxcy Hall, SUNY Potsdam

Click here for Ticket Information

Community Performance Series will be presenting The Idan Raichel Project on October 30 in SUNY Potsdam’s Maxcy Hall.  Idan is an Israeli pop star, who has formed a collective of 12 musicians from countries including Israel, Ethiopia, Brazil, France, and Sudan.  His mission through this project is to celebrate diversity and rise above differences through the power of music.  In addition to the important social themes that Idan’s work illuminates, his concerts are very lively and entertaining.  We are likening him to the Israeli Dave Matthews.

In the past four years, Raichel has co-written numerous songs and toured with GRAMMY winner India.Arie, performed at the Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony in Oslo, Norway, co-written a song calling for racial harmony with Israeli President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres, performed for President Obama and family at the Kennedy Center on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, performed at the ceremony inaugurating the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington DC, sold out shows at Radio City Music Hall and other major venues worldwide, toured India, South America and Africa and released the highly praised Tel Aviv Session album with Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré. This year, Idan joined pop star Alicia Keys on stage as a special guest during her July concert in Tel Aviv. In August, Patrick Bruel met Idan during his visit in Israel. The instant chemistry between them has created a moving performance on stage.

We also recently learned that Idan’s October tour has been designated as a Daniel Pearl World Music Days eventThe Daniel Pearl Foundation is based in the United States. The organization was formed by his parents Ruth and Judea Pearl after musician and Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in 2002. The organization’s mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music, and innovative communications.

Daniel Pearl was a violinist in addition to being a journalist. To honor his musical spirit and promote tolerance, Daniel Pearl World Music Days is a network of global concerts celebrated each year in October. Daniel Pearl World Music Days uses “the power of music to promote tolerance and inspire respect for differences”. The first Daniel Pearl World Music Days was held on October 10, 2002, and now yearly includes more than 8,900 performances in 119 countries. More information available here: http://www.danielpearlmusicdays.org/about.php

More information about the Idan Raichel Proejct and to hear their music, visit  http://www.idanraichelproject.com/en/  and, I’ve attached a word document that explains Idan’s story and how he developed the project.  Potsdam is one of only 16 cities to be visted by the Idan Raichel Project during this year’s tour.  This is an amazing opportunity for our community.  I hope you might be able to help us spread the word about this extraordinary event.  Please let me know if you need further info.  Tickets can be purchased through our box office by calling 267-2277 or online at CPSPotsdam.org.

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Restocking Again – October 18, 7PM

“RE-stock” Concert Series to

Benefit Local Food Pantries

Featuring music by Rick Bates (aka Tas Cru) & Mary Ann Casale along with special guests.

October 18, 7PM

Mary Ann and Rick are doing another RE-stock concert series to benefit local food pantries and the opening date is here at my house. It’s the most beautiful time of the year here with the maples that surround the place turning color and I hope you can come and join us! Suggested donation is $10 and/or non-perishable food items. We face a lot of first world problems even here in the North Country, but hunger is a problem we share with the rest of the world. Please come and give what you can.

Rick Bates is a blues artist and songwriter, whose latest album, Tired of Bluesmen Cryin’ has made its way on to the international/national roots music charts. Recent appearances include BB King’s and the Rum Boogie Cafe in Memphis, TN. Mary Ann Casale is a singer/songwriter with a strong influence from her roots in the New York City folk scene in the mid-seventies. She started playing the coffeehouse circuit in New York State and Colorado as a solo performer and a vocalist in a number of bands. Their unique blend of folk/blues Americana was born out of their shared experiences as young musicians when they met in Potsdam nearly 30 years ago. They have been waiting these 30 years to perform together again!

Admission is a $10 donation or non-perishable food items.

Other Concert Dates to be Announced

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Paul Meyers, Jazz Guitarist

Benefit for Local Living Venture

Sunday, October 6, 2013

7 PM

Donation $10
Ticket Ordering Information below.
Seating is limited to 50, so ticketed reservations are necessary.


Many thanks to Paul for his generosity in helping us further the work of the Local Living Project!

If you have any questions, please call Chelle Lindahl at 315-347-4223.

Click for directions to Robin McClellan’s house in Sanfordville.

Paul Meyers – “one of the most eloquent jazz guitarists since Kenny Burrell”  –  James Gavin, NY Times – Paul is already familiar to many  music fans in the North Country through many performances there over the years. He has gained a reputation as one of the top jazz guitarists of our time. Paul has performed and recorded with an ever growing list af jazz greats – Geri Allen, Karrin Allyson, Kenny Barron, Bruce Barth, Ron Carter, Eliane Elias, Eddie Gomez, Jovino Santos Neto, Rufus Reid, Claudio Roditi, Annie Ross and David Sanchez to name a few. He’s also toured worldwide for many years with two of the greatest jazz singers ever – Jon Hendricks (since 1993) and Andy Bey (from 1997 to 2008). Paul performed in Argentina and the US with vibraphonist Gary Burton, who recorded Paul’s tune Panama on his “Reunion” CD with Pat Metheny. He has a number of critically acclaimed CDs including World on a String, a quintet with rising stars Donny McCaslin and Helio Alves, featuring Paul’s original compositions and arrangements, and Paul Meyers Quartet featuring Frank Wess, a relaxed straight ahead session with the legendary tenor and flute master. He has also recorded 4 solo guitar CDs including Welcome Home  (2011), a highly acclaimed CD of all original music. Paul teaches jazz guitar, improvisation and coaches jazz and Brazilian ensembles at William Patterson University and at New Jersey City University and he also taught at the first year of the Jazz for Teens program at NJPAC in Newark.

Paul’s web site has more about him and you can listen to some of his music at www.paulmeyers.info/live/

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Alexander Keith’s Brewery

And what trip of mine would be complete with a brewery tour? None. After breakfast at Shaw’s, we headed back to Halifax and signed on to the first tour of the day at Alexander Keith’s brewery. The tour took place at the site of the original brewery and much of the compound had been kept intact. Unlike most brewery tours, this was of the original brewery and was more “drinking theatre” than a tour. Actresses in period costumes led us through parts of the building under the guise of meeting “Mr. Keith” who kept getting delayed. The equipment didn’t appear to be in use, but the copper shone brightly and distracted me from the theatre. It was a little corny, but enjoyable none the less.

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Our tour guide

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The mash tun and lauter tun

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Left to right: boiling kettle, lauter tun and mash tun.

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The hot liquor tank

 

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Fermentation vessels

Then it was on to the airport to drop Zeke and Christina and time for me to head for home!

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West Dover

From Lunenburg, we drove east towards Peggy’s Cove. The road wound along the rocky coast, past Peggy’s Cove to West Dove. It reminded me of Newfoundland with more money. We checked into the B&B, then hiked out to Polly’s Cove. The photos speak for themselves.

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After returning, we walked a couple hundred meters down the road to Shaw’s for a lovely seafood dinner.

View from the deck at Shaw's

View from the deck at Shaw’s

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Lunenburg

We left Dartmouth Sunday morning to go to Lunenburg and the Peggy’s Cove area. We were shocked to find out the Christina had never been to a Tim Horton’s! Shocking! This coffee chain started by a famous (in Canada) hockey player, the franchise might be more ubiquitous in Canada than Starbuck’s or Dunkin’ Donuts in the US. So of course we had to start our day with Tim.

Tim Horton’s has a language all its own, and it’s not on the menus. Zeke asked for a coffee with half and half…which in Timspeak means half a sugar and half a cream. They don’t have “half and half” there—like much of gastronomically advanced world, milk is used for cooking and feeding the pigs—but they will make it on request. So the most common coffee in Tim Horton’s is the “double double:” 2 sugars, 2 creams, but you can have a “double triple” or a “triple triple” or a “single triple”…you get the idea. Sound strange? At least a small is a “small” not a “tall.”

Fortified with Tim’s coffee and breakfast sandwiches, we drove west towards Lunenburg. The geography in that direction is striking: the trees are much smaller and the rocks are much more prominent. Stan Rogers used the line, “Where the earth shows its bones” and it’s apt.

The bones of the earth

The bones of the earth

Lunenburg itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The colors of the buildings are, in my opinion, vibrant without being annoying.

Lunenburg from the pier

Lunenburg from the pier

The small harbor holds a variety of vessels from small ones driven by sail

A lovely new sailboat

A lovely new sailboat

or by the small, low speed engines that make a distinctive “putt, putt, putt,”

Putt putts

Putt putts

to a fishing fleet,

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The Cape Chidley, a stern dragger

The Cape Chidley, a stern dragger

The Farley Mowat

The Farley Mowat

to the Sea Shepherds “Farley Mowat,”

The Bluenose II

The Bluenose II

to the “Bluenose II,” most associated with Lunenburg and in dry dock for a major overhaul.

After some delicious homemade ice cream we boarded the Eastern Star and took a lovely cruise in the harbor. The captain was a quiet guy who managed his young crew with care and humor. Passengers were invited to help haul up the sail (which I did) and take the wheel. The tour included a little of the history of the place including the obligatory disaster: the raid on the town by privateers.

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Halifax

I was joined for the last weekend of the trip by Zeke and Christina. It was just great to travel with them! Zeke and I had some adventures together in the Republic of Georgia and the Yucatan and Christina knows Zeke well enough to expect the not always riveting conversations Zeke and I get going on…so she got a little more sleep than we did.

We started our Saturday afternoon in Halifax with a lunch at the Henry House with Jen Clarke. More great Nova Scotia seafood with the pleasant addition of local microbrews was had on the porch of a building constructed in the 1700’s. From there we walked along the waterfront taking in the sights.

There was a great kid friendly sculpture of a wave (or a tongue!) that kids could run up and slide down. It was surrounded at the base by foam so the landing was gentle. Kids spent many happy hours playing King of the Tongue…

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Hanging a Pirate is quite special

The Maritime Museum was a huge and interesting place. In addition to the exhibits inside, there was a retired research vessel, the Acadia, moored in front for tours (included in the admission price). As noted earlier, there were the exhibits about the Titanic and the Halifax munitions ship explosion.

Halifax Maritime Museum

Halifax Maritime Museum

We checked into our hotel room across Halifax Harbour in Dartmouth and took the ferry back across to cruise the waterfront for dinner. Unfortunately the Bicycle Thief, our restaurant of choice (thanks to Jen!) had an hour wait and at least one of our party couldn’t wait that long (nor did the other want to). We settled on the Seafood Warehouse.

Now I am by nature skeptical of most anything with “warehouse” in the name, it conjures up pallets of the stuff—and the only think I like to get on pallets is usually made of cast iron and goes in my shop. Adding to my skepticism was the fact that there wasn’t a wait. In this case my low expectations led to a good experience. The food wasn’t Lavena’s but it wasn’t bad.

Making our way back to the ferry, we took the ferry back over to Dartmouth and decided to stop in the “Celtic Corner” pub near the terminal. What a treat! There was good food and beer, but the high point was the local Celtic band and the enthusiastic audience. It really reminded me of Scotland and Ireland.

Music at the Celtic Corner, Dartmouth

Music at the Celtic Corner, Dartmouth

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Dark and Dreary Be

Farewell to Nova Scotia, the sea-bound coast,
may your mountains dark and dreary be.
For when I am far away on the briny ocean tossed,
Will you ever heave a sigh or a wish for me?
The Chorus to “Farewell to Nova Scotia”

On the surface, Nova Scotia is a happy bustling place, but scratch the surface and there is a depressing tale about to erupt. At first I chalked this up to the dourness of Scots’ Calvinism, but when I visited Grand Pré, I found another sad tale emanating from the French history.

In the mid 1700’s the British rounded up all the French living in Grand Pré and deported them to various parts of British territories in the New World from Massachusetts to Louisiana (“Cajun” is a bastardization of “Acadienne”) to the Caribbean. Then they burned their houses and farms. Many died of sickness on the ships.

In the video production they talk about how hard life was in Grand Pré—building irrigation dikes, building houses that would withstand the winter winds, etc.—then being taken away from it after they had made it their own. “We are no longer French, we are Acadian!” Some managed to hide and stay with the local Mi’qwak Indians and others managed to find their way back to the area, highlighting their diligence and pointedness of mind.

The Miners’ Museum in Springhill was a monument to the 74 miners and rescuers killed in the Springhill mining disaster of 1958. The museum itself was upbeat and positive. They focused on the heroic efforts of the rescue teams (Drägers, named after the inventor of the 50 lb respirators they wear) and ran a short CBC documentary made on the 50th anniversary in 2008.

Similarly, the Inverness mining museum focused on the life and times of the miners, but did highlight the fact that the tunnels in the Inverness mine were so low that miners often spent the whole day working on their backs. The lovely young docent also talked about the children working in the mine and their first job of taking care of the “pit ponies.” These ponies hauled the coal out of the mine and were born, raised and died in the mines, and so could see in very low light. If they ever got outside, they would go immediately blind, so the main job of the children caring for them was to keep them from getting out.

Visiting the Maritime Museum in Halifax, there were some great exhibits about local ships but the thematic exhibits were about the Titanic (Halifax was the closest port and most of the survivors—as well as the recovered bodies—went through it) and the explosion of a munitions ship during WWII. In fairness, the later was a truly spectacular tragedy: hundreds of lives were lost, blocks of the city were destroyed, a 500 lb cannon was thrown 5.5 km and windows were shattered 100 km away. And few Americans know about it.

A photo of the devastation from the Halifax explosion

A photo of the devastation from the Halifax explosion

Don’t get me wrong, the tales of woe, mistreatment and disasters of deportation, mine collapse and shipwreck are real—and US history contains plenty of the same kinds of things—but here in Nova Scotia they are placed front and center.

On the up side, there is always a silver lining—the survivors of the shipwrecks and mining disasters, the Acadians returning to L’Acadie, and presumably the author of “Farewell to Nova Scotia” made it somewhere to write the song—but as George Carlin said, “Around every silver lining, there’s a dark cloud.”

Footnote: I did finally find an activity here that didn’t have a depressing backstory: The theatrical tour of the Alexander Keith’s brewery, where the saddest moment was the singing of “The Parting Glass.”

Zeke and Christina in front of a joyful boat

Zeke and Christina in front of a joyful boat

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Tides

Anyone who has ever lived on the sea or even read books about the sea, you know tides are important. In the Bay of Fundy, the tides rise and fall more than anyplace on earth. As I noted in the post on tidal energy, they estimate that the flow in the Bay is equal to 4 times that of all the rivers in the world. The water level changes 25 and more in places. The photos below are taken in Sandy Cove are taken about 4 hours apart.

9:24 AM

9:24 AM

1:16 PM

1:16 PM

1:15 PM

1:15 PM

9:21 AM

9:21 AM

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Filed under Nova Scotia, July 2013