Sunday, May 30, 2010

Performer with Best Head of Hair

Never paid attention in my younger days but what a great head of hair on ole Ricky Nelson. Song is on the mark and makes for a nice Sunday morning walk down memory lane. Gotta go drive a truck now.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Best Performance by a Group of Backup Singers

Their performance is priceless so enjoy the show...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Off the Beaten Path but It's Hiatt Nonetheless

E., check this performance by Hiatt and Lovett out. Also, check out "A Mess Of Blues" by Hiatt (could not get it to post as embedding was disabled) on Youtube, another fine performance by the HMan.

One for Brother Man PK7

Here's one of your favorites from Zachary Richard's latest album. A powerful song for a good man hanging tough and helping out. Thanks for everything...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Alex Yoncak, RIP Hero Who Dat

New Orleans Saints fan Alex Yoncak touched a lot of people
By Jeff Duncan, The Times-Picayune
May 22, 2010, 10:25PM

The Who Dat Nation lost a great one last month.

Alex Yoncak was a huge New Orleans Saints fan and a devoted family man.
Alex Yoncak died in a car crash near his home in Dingmans Ferry, Penn., on April 21.

The news report in The Pocono News consisted of three sentences. Under the headline "One dead in Pike crash," it read, in part, "Police say Alexander Yoncak, 37, of Dingmans Ferry, failed to negotiate a curve on Doolan Road, crossed into the oncoming lane, then swerved back and off the right side of the road, striking a tree." The accident occurred less than five minutes from Alex's home. He died instantly, the only positive news in this sad story.

He is survived by his wife, Abby, and their four children: sons, Xander, 11; and Sawyer, 6; and daughters, Bronwen, 10; and Anya, 8.

"My brother was a devoted New Orleans Saints fan who loved life and dedicated his life to helping others," his sister Kerry Yoncak wrote in an e-mail last week.

If there were a Hall of Fame for Saints fans, Alex would be a first-ballot entrant. There's a football term for guys like him. He was a difference-maker. He accomplished more random acts of kindness in his 37 years than most of us will in twice that time.

He saved the life of Jeremy Perrin when the boy fell through some ice and almost drowned. He served his country in the Marines. He coached youth sports teams and DJ'd at church and school functions (Favorite spin: "The Gummy Bear Song").

When he saw homelessness and despair in Mexico, he didn't just empathize, he bought a plane ticket, packed a hammer and flew south to rebuild homes - three times.

He touched lives

His classmates at Timothy Christian High School in Piscataway, N.J., remembered him as the prankster who kept everyone in stitches and eventually married his high school sweetheart.

His coworkers in the Local 157 carpenters union in New York City praised his work ethic and dedication to his craft.

His neighbors in the Pocono Mountain Lake Forest community extolled his charitable nature, selflessness and mentorship to the youth in the area.

And his fellow Saints fans at, revered him as sort of Drew Brees-Jeremy Shockey leader in their online community.

Everyone who ever posted a thread or read a message on the fan forum knew Alex, aka HammernNails. His ubiquitous avatar - a picture of him standing in front of the Superdome, dressed in his favorite gold Deuce McAllister jersey, gold-and-black Mardi Gras beads around his neck, head thrown back, arms thrust high above his head, expression of pure unbridled joy splashed across his bearded face - was one of the most recognizable sights on the site.

The photo was taken Sept. 25, 2006, the day of the historic Dome-coming game against the Atlanta Falcons. It was Alex's first trip to see his beloved Saints in person. There might be people in this world as happy as Yoncak was in that picture, but no one could be happier.

"That was exactly how I remembered him -- larger than life and enjoying every moment of it," said Steve Carp, a fellow Saints fan from Lynbrook, N.Y., who met Alex at the Saints' 30-7 victory against the New York Giants on Christmas Eve, 2006.

A true Who Dat, Alex would later get kicked out of the game by Meadowlands security for heckling Giants fans too intensely. He returned to his tailgate site, busted out his electric guitar and amp and immediately began singing disparaging songs about the Giants.

Yoncak's passion for the Saints started at the age of 7, when his grandmother played "When the Saints Go Marching In" on her accordion. A few days later he saw a Saints game on TV, loved the look of their jerseys and helmets and was hooked.

It took Katrina, though, to get him to New Orleans. Like many Americans, he was moved as he watched the disaster unfold on TV. He felt compelled to help. He'd worked to rebuild homes on church missions to Mexico and knew his skills would be useful in New Orleans. He posted his idea on Pledges of support poured in. Alex raised donations, rallied volunteers and requested nominations for help. The Hammer and Nails Project was born.

In July, Alex and Kerry made their first trip south to help rebuild the home of Blaine Miller, a fellow member whose Gretna home had two feet of floodwater and suffered close to $50,000 in damages.

Flush with $36,000 in donated supplies and services, an army of volunteers descended on the Miller home and worked through the entire weekend. They culminated that by eating crawfish and drinking beer.

Yoncak returned three months later to do the same at Mark and Emily Forbes' four-bedroom home in Arabi. Through website donations and a fund-raiser at the Mid-City Lanes Rock-N-Bowl the night before the Saints' home opener against Atlanta, the group raised more than $3,000, which was used to buy Sheetrock, paint and flooring.

"This may sound stupid, but it made me sad to think that because of a hurricane the Saints would no longer be the New Orleans Saints, that my team would be gone," Yoncak told me between sessions of sheetrock hanging that day in Arabi. "I wanted to do something that would make a difference. This is something I can do. Things happen for a reason."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sweet Home New Orleans via the Easy's own Night Tripper

Great photos including one of Dr. John in front of Fats Domino's place after Katrina.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Good Advice for Memorial Day Weekend

True to form, Mr. Benoit nails yet another one.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mike Zito at the Bradfordville Blues Club

If you are ever in Tallahassee, Fl, do yourself a favor and turn in at the BBC sign and take the winding dirt road to catch some of the best blues around for miles and miles. Regardless of where you are, if you get a chance to check out Mike Zito, best do it while you can. What an amazing talent!

I saw him in Tally a year or so ago when he opened for Tab Benoit (another true talent). Had a chance to talk to both of them which made for a very special night and of the best music has to offer.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Did I Die and Go to Heaven?

An old friend of mine would say that this is proof positive that the west coast is the best coast. Amen Brother!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Back in Louisiana

Made a quick trip back this weekend and with the oil coming ashore, this one by the Police is stuck in my head...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Eric Lindell Live

Dis dude rocks!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Repeat Performance - Mark Knopfler & Sonny Landreth

Man oh man, it just doesn't get any better than this!

Randy Newman - Louisiana 1927

For the folks back home...

Oil Spill is Another Nail in the Coffin

Came to me this morning that I grew up hearing the old folk say "Ole Randy Newman was right." Never thought all that much about it back then. Now, "Damn, damn, damn and no need to excuse my French."

Gulf Coast Towns Brace as Huge Oil Slick Nears Marshes

Ann Heisenfelt/European Pressphoto Agency
Thousands of feet of containment boom line the Louisiana coast, an effort to protect the shore from the encroaching oil spill.

New York Times
Published: May 1, 2010

COCODRIE, La. — Oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico unabated Saturday, and officials conveyed little hope that the flow could be contained soon, forcing towns along the Gulf Coast to brace for what is increasingly understood to be an imminent environmental disaster.

The spill, emanating from a pipe 50 miles offshore and 5,000 feet underwater, was creeping into Louisiana’s fragile coastal wetlands as strong winds and rough waters hampered cleanup efforts. Officials said the oil could hit the shores of Mississippi and Alabama as soon as Monday.

The White House announced that President Obama would visit the region on Sunday morning.

Adm. Thad W. Allen, the commandant of the Coast Guard, who is overseeing the Obama administration’s response to the spill, said at a news conference Saturday evening that he could not estimate how much oil was leaking per day from the damaged underwater well.

“There’s enough oil out there that it’s logical it’s going to impact the shoreline,” Admiral Allen said.

The imperiled marshes that buffer New Orleans and the rest of the state from the worst storm surges are facing a sea of sweet crude oil, orange as rust. The most recent estimate by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded on April 20 and sank days later, was gushing as much as 210,000 gallons of crude into the gulf each day. Concern is mounting that the flow may soon grow to several times that amount.

The wetlands in the Mississippi River Delta have been losing about 24 square miles a year, deprived of sediment replenishment by levees in the river, divided by channels cut by oil companies and poisoned by farm runoff from upriver. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita took large, vicious bites.

The questions that haunt this region are how much more can the wetlands take and does their degradation spell doom for an increasingly defenseless southern Louisiana?

Many variables will dictate just how devastating this slick will ultimately be to the ecosystem, including whether it takes days or months to seal the leaking oil well and whether winds keep blowing the oil ashore. But what is terrifying everyone from bird watchers to the state officials charged with rebuilding the natural protections of this coast is that it now seems possible that a massive influx of oil could overwhelm and kill off the grasses that knit the ecosystem together.

Healthy wetlands would have some natural ability to cope with an oil slick, said Denise Reed, interim director of the Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences at the University of New Orleans. “The trouble with our marshes is they’re already stressed, they’re already hanging by a fingernail,” she said.

It is possible, she said, that the wetlands’ “tolerance for oil has been compromised.” If so, she said, that could be “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

To an untrained eye, the vast expanses of grass leading into Terrebonne Bay, about 70 miles southwest of New Orleans, look vigorous. Locals use boats as cars here, trawling though the marsh for shrimp or casting for plentiful redfish. Out on the water, the air smells like salt — not oil — and seabirds abound and a dolphin makes a swift appearance.

But it is what is not visible that is scary, said Alexander Kolker, a professor of coastal and wetland science at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. Piloting a craft through the inland waterways, he pointed out that islands that recently dotted the bay and are still found on local navigation maps are gone. Also gone are the freshwater alligators that gave the nearby town Cocodrie its name — French settlers thought they were crocodiles.

All evidence, he says, is that this land is quickly settling into the salt ocean.

The survival of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands is not only an environmental issue here. Since successive hurricanes have barreled up from the gulf unimpeded, causing mass devastation and loss of life, just about every resident of southern Louisiana has begun to view wetlands protection as a cause of existential importance. If the wetlands had been more robust when Hurricane Katrina’s waters pushed up from the ocean, the damage might not have been as severe.

But they were not. Levees holding back the Mississippi River have prevented natural land replenishment from floods. Navigation channels and pipeline canals have brought saltwater into fragile freshwater marshes, slowly killing them, and the sloshing of waves in boats’ wakes has eroded natural banks.

Since 1932, the state has lost an area the size of Delaware. Not all the damage is caused by humans: the hurricanes of 2005 turned about 217 square miles of marsh into water, according to a study by the United States Geological Survey.

Garret Graves, director of the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities, said that since Hurricane Katrina, extraordinary efforts at restoration had been made and, to some extent, had slowed the decline. But, he said, a severe oil dousing would change that.

“The vegetation is what holds these islands together,” Mr. Graves said. “When you kill that, you just have mud, and that just gets washed away.”

Leslie Kaufman reported from Cocodrie, La., and Campbell Robertson from New Orleans.