Monday, May 29, 2006

Lake Wilgreen Success For Michelle

Michelle and I had a great two hour fishing excursion this afternoon at Lake Wilgreen in Richmond. We caught over a dozen nice bluegills and she caught her first catfish. It was a nice catch and she proudly caught it by herself.

Michelle's First Catfish

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival

Matthew went with me this year to the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival. We had a blast and he has informed me that he is "going back every year from now on". In addition to seeing us honored for our (The Sensations) induction into the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival Hall of Fame (we have played the festival 26 consecutive years), he heard me perform with famed lead vocalist Richard Street and The Temptations, Dixieland South, The DR Jazz Quintet, and The Sensations. He loved the big Saturday morning parade as well. Between gigs we went hiking on the Wilderness Trail in the Cumberland Gap and on Pine Mountain. He particularily enjoyed rock climbing and making it to the top of the "chained rock" atop Pine Mountain. He also enjoyed the stay in the Holiday Inn Express and Best Western in Middlesboro.

Arriving At Rehearsal For The Gig With The Temptations

David Hummel Joined Me To Make Up The Horn Section

Barbecue With Richard Street & The Temptations Prior To The Concert

The Concert Was Fabulous

Post Concert Smiles

Dixieland South Performed For The 23rd Consecutive Year

With Queen Candidate Danielle Caudill

With 2000 MLF Queen Kristy Nelson

WKU's Abby Wells Helps Me Play My Clarinet

With Galadriel Stineman And 2005 MLF Queen Chelsee Thompson

Sensations' Lead Singer Jr. Hardin With Matthew At Beaver's Party

Does She Look Like Aunt Bee Or What???

Doyle Rambo Found Something To Ride

Matthew Loved The Climb And The View

Matthew And I Bet Two Races And Had Two Winners

We Hit The Steakhouse With Authority

We Always Pay Tribute To Our Brave Veteran Heroes

It was a lot of work mixed in with a lot of play. Of the 26 Mountain Laurel Festivals I have played, this one was my favorite.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Angels On A Winning Streak

Matthew plays baseball for the Trophy World Angels. After seeing their first practice a couple of months ago, I silently predicted a winless season. After losing their first six games I was sure that my prediction was going to hold true.

Matt Bats Cleanup

I am happy to report that Matthew, Tanner, Logan, Colton and the boys have turned it around and are on a serious roll. Last night's 10-9 come-from-behind victory was their third win in a row. Matthew continued his pounding of the baseball and tough play at catcher.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Anticipating The Bengals

Matthew meets Bengal great Rudi Johnson

Bengals training camp in Georgetown will be coming soon. Each year Michelle, Matthew, various friends and I go to watch our beloved Bengals prepare for the new season. It is a blast to meet and talk with the players. Michelle and Matthew have collected autographs from nearly every player and coach.

Michelle enjoys watching the kickoff drills

Chef Steve Garth enjoys camp action

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Mom Hall

I guess I just lucked out! What a great mom.

Sharon Hall

My kids lucked out too! What a great mom.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mt. Laurel Festival Fun

The big weekend will be here soon. I always have lots of fun working at the annual Mountain Laurel Festival in Pineville. Tuba man Doyle Rambo and I were trying to remember how many consecutive years that we've played dixieland music at the festival. I think we finally agreed that it is between twenty and twenty five.

The neat thing for me is the variety of music that I get to play at the festival and the great fun I'll have with other musicians that will be there for the weekend. This year will have a little different schedule, as I go to Pineville a day earlier than usual. On Thursday, 5/25/06, I am honored to be able to play with The Temptations. I have worked with them before and have always enjoyed the great show. When they tour, they generally do not bring a horn section, but will hire one from the area. I've been able to play with them some in the past when they have been in Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Ohio. Lexington friend and trumpeter David Hummel will be playing in the horn section with me, which will make it even more fun.

Typically I play clarinet with Dixeland South on Mt. Laurel Friday during the morning and early afternoon. Later in the afternoon I play tenor sax with a jazz combo at a local residence. Friday evening is big doings at the Johnny Mack Brown High School...oops, I mean the Pineville High School gym for the Mt. Laurel Festival Princess Ball. After the Ball, we head to Beaver's house for his annual party. It is always a lot of fun and is eagerly anticipated and acknowledged by Pineville residents as the "event of the year". Trombonist and bachelor Dave Eucker particularily looks forward to this event! After the party we will stay overnight in Middlesboro at a motel and will be ready to get up early Saturday morning for another big day.

Saturday morning starts with the Pineville Community Hospital KMLF Breakfast. Celebrities generally attending will include the Kentucky's governor, senators, congressmen, UK athletic coaches, KMLF queen and princess candidates, and executives of many of Kentucky's finest businesses. I play clarinet with Dixieland South under the breakfast tent. We include lots of patriotic tunes at this event. After that I will march in the parade. Occasionally we will play on a float in lieu of marching (I prefer the float!). Saturday afternoon I am back to dixieland music with Dixieland South held at the Court House. Saturday night I'll play for the KMLF Queen coronation and then with The Sensations for the dance afterwards. That gig is supposed to end at midnight, but we generally have to play several encores and won't get out of there until around 12:45. I'll drive home, get to bed late, but will be up early on Sunday morning to attend church with my family and then head to a solo patio party gig in Hartland. It's a hard weekend of work, but the good times make it all worthwhile.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Melody Hall Wins Leadership Award

Madison Central High School junior Melody Hall was honored by receiving the prestigious 2006 Madison County Youth Leadership Award. Each year Youth Salute picks a student possessing outstanding leadership qualities. Melody will receive a financial scholarship when she enrolls in college as a result of winning the award.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Saturday Night At Caproni's Restaurant

Located on Rosemary Clooney Street in Maysville, Caproni's Restaurant is the finest restaurant in town. The scenic view of boats on the river and frequent trains passing by make for a special ambience like no other.

It seems like the room was made for a sax player, as the acoustics are just right for my alto, tenor, and soprano. I always enjoy playing there. I am fortunate to have a nice following of friends from the area that frequently come out to enjoy the great food and to hear me play.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Happy Birthday Maynard Ferguson

Legendary trumpeter Maynard Ferguson turns 78 today! Maynard enjoys continued musical success as he still tours and records with his band.

Maynard and Melody in 2004

I have been to many Maynard Ferguson concerts over the years and have attended them with many friends and family members including Johnny Hall, Melody Hall, Elizabeth Sames, Vince DiMartino, Chuck Buechel, Rich Hudson, Kim Harrod, Jennifer Harrod, Mike Paris, Danny King, Robert Moser, Brian Sturm, and many more. I have fond memories of every concert.

My library of recordings includes every album Maynard has released...and that is a lot! Each time I see him he signs another one or two for me and I treasure them all.

Happy Birthday Maynard! He has brought a lot of joy my way over the years. I look forward to the next time friends and I hear him in concert. I'll need to get him to sign the new "MF Horn VI: Live at Ronnie's" compact disc. It's a new live album recorded in London during his summer tour of 2005.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Gospel & Jazz Flavored Worship Service

Vocalist Cheryl Tolbert, keyboardist Kevin Moreland, and I (soprano sax) had a good time playing a twenty five minute music set last Sunday at Madison Hills Christian Church. We put the program together just prior to the service. It is a blessing for me having the opportunity to play with such fine musicians as Cheryl and Kevin.

Pastor Marty Frazer leads this wonderful congregation in an enjoyable service each week. His message is always inspiring, as is music director Kevin Moreland's playing.

Our music set can be heard by clicking here. Depending on your computer connection speed, it will take two or three minutes to download. It should start playing for you automatically.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Fun Gig At The Seelbach

Some gigs are just lots of fun!

Last night, at Louisville's historic Seelbach Hotel, the roaring 20's party theme was a blast. A good time was had by all!

I enjoyed blowing rock and roll tenor sax as a change of pace

Friend David Clark was there to elevate the funk level

Linda danced up a storm and had a great time

Monday, May 01, 2006

Upcoming Tower Of Power / Tom Jones Concert

My favorite soul group is Tower of Power. I have been to many of their concerts and am really looking forward to the 6/20/06 show in Whitney Hall at the Kentucky Center in Louisville. The acoustics should be excellent in that room.

Also on the concert bill is Tom Jones. I haven't seen the TOP/Jones show yet, but have heard from other TOP fans that the entire concert is tremendous.