RADIO DAYS – WMEX

We were on Fireside, WMEX in Quincy, Massachusetts. Hosted by Jim Callahan and his beautiful (in every way) wife, producer, and co-host Nancy, we had a great time. Lots of laughter. Garry had the opportunity to tell a whole bunch of his celebrity anecdotes to a new audience and he sparkled, as always.

Again, he heard the familiar refrain: “You should write a book!”

He really should.

All the pictures were taken with the Pentax Q7 and (mostly) the f2.8 5-15mm “standard” zoom.

ALL-AMERICAN BOY – RICH PASCHALL

Steve Grand music, Rich Paschall

What do you think of when someone uses the term “All-American Boy?”  You may immediately think of someone who is quite handsome.  He may be “clean-cut” and “wholesome” looking, that is to say he is neat and well dressed.  Your image may include someone who is athletic.  He may have a body that is “buffed-up.”  It may be a young man with a glowing smile and pleasant personality.  An All-American boy can be a variety of handsome and talented things to the person thinking of this term.

Steve Grand is all of these things.  In addition, he is an excellent singer, songwriter, musician.  His musical talent alone is enough to impress, but when combined with his good looks, he definitely comes across as the quintessential All-American boy.  His image as a performer both supports this and makes it unique at the same time.

All-American Boy

All-American Boy

Steve Grand, like a number of artists of the current generation, became popular as a YouTube performer.  His self-produced All-American Boy video from 2013 caught on and went viral. It now has more than 4 million views.  This is a different version of the All-American Boy, because like Steve, the boy in the video is gay.

A lot of people do not think an “All-American Boy” can be gay, but why not?  Steve Grand has the talent, drive, and good looks of America’s best. Why should he not be the “boy next door?” He works hard at his craft and is as All-American as any young man anywhere.

The huge success of Steve’s video led to a “Kickstarter” campaign to raise money to produce an album.  Kisckstarter is an online funding mechanism where people can pledge money to help support a particular project.  It is similar in nature to the Patreon campaign we describe for Tom Law Music.  Steve set a goal of 81,000 US Dollars to get his first album self-produced and out to the public.  His video success and personal performances drove the total up over 326,000 USD.  As a result, Steve has had to sign his name A LOT on CD cases.  If you pledged at a certain level, you got an autographed copy.  I have one.

Album

Album

While Steve is known as a “country artist” because of “All-American Boy” and some other selections, Steve is certainly not that.  He is a well-rounded artist of many genres.  The native of a Chicago suburb, Lemont — “one of Chicago’s blandest suburbs” — he does not mind the country label, but wants people to know he is more than that.

His new album certainly announces that he has a variety of styles to offer and a number of messages to sing.  The newly released album was the third best funded Kickstarter musical project.  Important among the messages are the views of love through the eyes of a young man.  The feelings of love desired and won or lost as described by a young man, can resonate with gay or straight people everywhere.  Steve may prove to be one whose performances can transcend his sexuality and appeal to all.  That is a hard thing to do.  Few performers can come out early in their careers and expect to do well.  Steve may be one of those.

Of course, I am always drawn in by videos where Chicago is the background.  Having an “All-American Boy” up front certainly helps the scenery.

TRAINS

ON THE WAY – WEEKLY PHOTO PROMPT

My son took these pictures on a slow, rainy train journey through the swamps and woods of the Blackstone Valley. They have lain here, in my files, waiting for a time to properly present them. A little processing to make them more painterly … and they are ready.

72-OK-OIL-Train_8

72-OK-OIL-Train_37

72-OK-OIL-Train_39

The tracks are old and narrow and the train, which runs once a week and goes from one yard to another, never exceeds five miles per hour.

PORTRAITS OF MY OLD MAN – BLACK & WHITE CHALLENGE

CEE’S BLACK & WHITE PHOTO CHALLENGE: A NEW PHOTO

This week’s topic is “Take a New Photo.” You can use any photo you’ve taken in the past week or two, if you can’t get out and get new photographs today.

It isn’t hard to take pictures of my husband. It is very difficult to take pictures he likes. I like these. He said they are “okay.” I leave further judgement to you.

Garry black and white portrait 1

Garry black and white portrait 3

Taken with Olympus PEN PL-6 and a 45mm f1.8 portrait lens. Processed in Photoshop.

DOUBLE MINT – GRETCHEN ARCHER – AVAILABLE JULY 21st!

I have loved everything Gretchen Archer has written, from her first book “Double Whammy,” to this latest, greatest entry into the Davis Way caper novels.

Double mint gretchen archer

Davis is growing into herself. Still madcap, but madcap in a Sherlock Holmesian way. She knows what she’s doing. She knows why she’s doing it. She sees connections between seemingly random events. How they form a pattern. The problem is getting anyone else to see.

She and Bradley make a great team. They have that “thing” which makes husband-wife detective couples so much fun — the ability to communicate so cryptically no one else understands. But they “get” each other … and it may save a life or two.

It serves them well as the complex plot unrolls. Finding themselves living in the Bellissimo Casino itself (it’s temporary, isn’t it?), in the most hideous apartment imaginable. There’s a conference of bankers going on and Davis can’t get in. Not even for a quick security scan.

Why not? What’s really going on?

Bankers who have their own security people? Who look and act like thugs?  What’s going on with that super-secure vault? What does the apartment’s previous occupant and (shudder) designer, have to do with it? Has Fantasy gone nuts? Where is No Hair when you need him?

Mysteries within mysteries call for Davis’s clever mind and extraordinary ability to see what no one else can see. Will anyone else “get it” in time?

Another taut mystery and hilarious romp through the world of casino gambling, mysterious bankers, and sealed vaults. Not to mention gigantic heaps of money. Or something like it.

RESERVE A COPY NOW. AVAILABLE IN KINDLE AND PAPERBACK.

Prepare yourself for a great mystery. An intelligently written, perfectly plotted, marvelously witty, clever detective tale you’ll love from start to finish. If you are anything like me, you’ll wish it would never end.