The guys in the band THE VARIANT showed their stuff from their new EP at Ashley Street Station last night and the Old Lady heartily approved.
THE VARIANT plays varied styles, ranging from heavy melodic to hard punk, and their high energy set left the Old Lady wanting more. “We have the new EP here available,” urged the main singer, “or you can listen to it for free online, and that will be fun for you and for me.” Get a taste by watching their music video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2zQvTVJWMYKILLMAMA just up from Florida starting their tour is a switch-hitting blues-rock duo, taking turns on guitar and drums with equal facility.
And if you’re listening to these bands for free online, buy some merch if you can. Hey, you didn’t have to spring for the cover charge to get into ASS so send’em a few bucks, ya cheapskate. LISTEN TO THE OLD LADY!
The Old Lady likes the little highways best of all.
That’s where she finds the cool stuff.
Along a stretch of CR200 in the community of Sparr, Florida, stand several metal sculptures.
The place appeared deserted. Only the roadside signs bore silent witness.
Further south, in a field along the highway through Anthony, the Old Lady spotted an orange kitchen trailer.Smokin Swamp BBQ features a brisket sandwich that tastes smoky and savory and simply superb. Try it with the Carolina Tangy sauce.
You can find Smokin Swamp BBQ on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Smokin-Swamp-BBQ/633927720034371 and see a map of the location.
Slow down and take the small roads. Adventures await in the little places! Listen to the Old Lady!
The Old Lady occasionally takes part in a Women Writers Workshop at Crones Cradle Conserve in Citra, Florida.
The Workshops are fun… a communal dinner, followed by writing exercises and discussions of good writing, among other things.
And CCC is a lovely place to visit. The Conserve is a wildlife refuge and land preserve surrounding an organic, sustainable farm operation. Vegetables are grown in raised beds with natural fertilizers.
The organic produce is available for sale along with local honey and grass-fed beef. The store stocks various pickles and preserves and art by local artists.
Art is also displayed throughout the Conserve.
CCC hosts various activities and events, and is available for group retreats.
A young lady at the Bleu Pub asked the Old Lady: “Is your son in the band?”
She seemed bewildered to hear that the Old Lady has no children and just came to hear the music.
“Besides,” cackled the Old Lady, “it would be more like my GRANDson.”
Blindfish opened the set, and OMG are these kids young! They all looked to the Old Lady to be no more than about twelve. But man, can these boys play!
Their songlist ran heavily to the Beatles and Pink Floyd, and they do more than passable covers of songs that the Old Lady has loved for decades. Fundamentals, she thought, tapping her foot. It’s just like the scales and Broadway show tunes she started out with in elementary school band. Learn well these old psychedelic rock licks, and let’s see where they go when they start to create their own music. The Old Lady can hardly wait.
A word about lead guitar Matt Mullis: he put more energy into Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird” than the Old Lady has heard live lately. Watch this kid.
Balloon Assembly Line closed out the evening. The Old Lady is keeping an eye on Kelby Clark as he produces fresh and new material every time she seems him. The addition of Matt Mullis to the Balloon Assembly Lineup this night was particularly interesting.
Fresh. New. This is what the Old Lady looks for in live music. And that’s why she listens to kids who could easily be her grandchildren… if she’d ever gotten around to having any.
Oh, and a word about the Bleu Pub in downtown Valdosta, Georgia: what a great venue for these performances. The wood-floor ceiling and distressed-brick walls give the place the comfortable feel of somebody’s basement rec room while concentrating the raw energy of these bands. The place was crowded and not really conducive to photography, and frankly the Old Lady was tired and not feeling terribly conducive herself. So, sorry, guys, no good pix.
Tellabration! is an annual world-wide storytelling event. Every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving storytellers gather in numerous places in many countries to spin their tales and listeners gather to appreciate this ancient art form.
In 2014 the town of Madison, Florida held its own event for the first time. Local storyteller Wanda Violet pulled together the first local Tellabration! event and “B” O’Toole of O’Toole’s Herb Farm provided the venue inside her Heartspace building.
The Old Lady does love a good story! From the comedic origin of turkey dressing to a legend about a dragon who learns how stories can heal old enmities, the Old Lady took them all in with open-mouthed wonder.
She particularly enjoyed Mattie Ann Barnes and Abby Ratliff, both young local ladies who are beginners but who already “get” this storytelling business.
Wanda Violet wants to start a storytelling group in Madison. If this interests you email her at email@example.com
If you are in the Valdosta, Georgia, area during December 2014 try to catch singer/guitar player Cindy Quick performing at Giulio’s Greek & Italian Restaurant which is located at 105 E. Ann Street near Valdosta State University.
Cindy has a full sweet voice and plays guitar with a delicate and lyrical touch. She sits like an elegant jewel in a glass windowed alcove off one room of the restaurant all a-sparkle with tiny white lights among green plants. Her repertoire of songs runs from James Taylor to Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen… and more!
She sets such a romantic atmosphere. The food is excellent too.
Call ahead to make sure which weekend evenings she will be performing. Giulio’s phone number is 229-333-0929.
She did have a destination in mind; she wanted to get to Memphis, Tennessee, to see her late sister’s children.
But she didn’t know how long she would be gone, or what route exactly that she would take. She started up through Georgia with the intention of doing some mystery shopping jobs in Columbus, Georgia and Auburn, Alabama. She knew she would camp along the way, and that the first campsite would be at Chewacla State Park just south of Auburn.What fine fall weather for camping! Warm enough to enjoy days outdoors, and cool enough at night to make a campfire both pleasant and needful.
Just sitting in a campsite during the daytime has its delights. The Old Lady heard a rustle. Something skittered. Then another. CHIPMUNKS!
A whole scurry of chipmunks came through the woods, apparently foraging. They were spaced among the trees, each little hunter-gatherer on his own track as they moved from north to south.
A while later, the scurry moved back south to north, and each chipmunk looked as though it had the mumps. Their cheek pouches were full of their findings and they were headed back to the den.
These are some of the things the Old Lady loves to find while traveling, woodland creatures and natural wonders.
But she likes to find man-made wonders, too… oddities along the journey.
There is no wilderness left in the state of Georgia; about the closest you can come to it is the Okefenokee Swamp. Even the Swamp is more woods than wilderness. Having been thoroughly logged out in the early part of the 1900s, what is now seen is regrowth from that harvest.
The Old Lady prefers to enter the Swamp at Stephen Foster State Park, 17 miles up a lonely highway from the nearest town (Fargo). Once in the park, you don’t have to go far to see wildlife!However, a short canoe ride reveals more of the Swamp’s beauty.
The Swamp is healing well from the logging, proving that the damage done by humans can be repaired by nature and by time.