WELCOME! Check out the latest in arts and entertainment---right here.
If it's hip and happening in Central Kansas, you'll see it here first.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Ad Astra Duo

Metro Coffee
Hutchinson, KS
© Lydia Lowe 7/27/2012

The Ad Astra Duo: Pelischek & Kerstetter . . .The duo was playing Friday night as a warm up and trial run for the International Clarinet Festival to be held in Lincoln, Nebraska this year.  The duo will be representing clarinet players from across the state of Kansas. 

They played parts of a piece that they had commissioned for entry into the contest, written by a composer from Columbia, South America.  Last year's piece was by the same composer and was entitled "Columbian Dances", this year's piece is "Columbian Suite".  The contest runs from August 1st to the 5th.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Skylar Mead's Outside Drum Clinic

Metro Coffee
Hutchinson, KS
© Lydia Lowe 7/27/2012
Skylar Mead . . . gave a drum clinic at Metropolitan Coffee on Friday night.  Skylar is awesome on the drums.  He plays a double bass which is truly a thing to behold.  I really enjoyed listening to him play. 

In an interview after the clinic, Skylar explained about the various parts of his drum kit and how everything works together to achieve his sound.  He is self taught and plays by ear with no formal musical training.  If you've heard of the band, "Beneath the Burning Sun" then you are already familiar with Skylar's music, as he is one of the original founding members.  Although he is no longer with the band, he is still very involved with music, as evidenced by his drum clinic at The Metro.  I'm not sure if the pieces that he played on Friday night were improv pieces he made up on the spot or actually pieces that he's heard or learned, but the music he played on Friday night was amazing.

The drum clinic will be held again next month at Hastings.  Check it out and if you have children; Skylar says "bring them out and they can actually play on my kit".

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Look Who's Reading ReVue

Back in April (April 22, 2012) to be exact---I mentioned on my blog "Chalk Outlines" that the Delilah Show, featured on B98 FM, had mentioned one of my posts.  Well, just this week I heard that Jack Russell of the band "Great White" is reading my blog.  Good reporting and great writing leaves its mark.  I am so honored that these people are reading and commenting on my blog.  Thank you for your support!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pure Prairie League-Review by Davis Speras

Pure Prairie League was the highlight of the night for me.

These guys gave a very polished and energetic set which contained a great blend of country rock classics as only PPL can still do.

The lead guitar of Donnie Clark combined with the incomparable pedal steel of original member John David Call rocked the place. Lead vocals from three singers, Clark in particular were superb. Mike Reilly another member since the early years provided terrific vocals on several classic PPl tunes Kansas City Southern, Flat Tire Merle and others.

A great show from a band that knows what country rock is all about,a band that many of today's stars in country music still cite as an influence.

©David Speras

Monday, July 9, 2012

Swamplandia!-a book discussion

Monday Night Book Discussions
(written by Karen Russell)
Salina Public Library
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe  7/9/2012

Swamplandia . . . This is a different sort of book.  I wasn't sure what to expect from this book going in, as I had been told that it was a bit wild and quirky.  But this book is so much more.

This book is different.  It requires the reader to suspend belief of reality in some spots.  The locale is one that is seldom used and is full of mystery and magic.  While the book is set in Florida, this is not the Florida Everglades, but something entirely different.  The flora and fauna play a big role and interact with the characters.  Alligators, crocodiles and snakes are not fierce agressive beasts that are out for blood at every turn.  They are to be respected but not feared.  These reptiles co-exist with humans and both give each other a wide berth, going about their daily lives, seperately yet side by side. 

I think this book is more about family and how those families can fall apart at the seams when the glue that holds the family unit together is lost.  It's also about when everything seems lost, that's when you can find yourself once again.  Sometimes you have to go through great distress, be tested, before you can come to know who and what you are all about.  This book is also about relationships and how no matter what the odds, if it's meant to be, then it's meant to be. 

This book is a great read.  If you're looking for something different but with universal themes, you'll want to read this one. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

5 Man Trio Reunion

Metro Coffee
Hutchinson, KS
© Lydia Lowe 6/30/2012

5 Man Trio-Reunion . . . Metropolitan Coffee played host to this group on Saturday night and this was a show for the record books, if for no other reason than these three guy (Gary Gackstatter, Dave Bostwick, and Chris Mayer) played non-stop for three amazing hours.  Half way through the show one of the barista's from Metro Coffee joined in on his saxophone and the 5 Man Trio briefly became the 6 Man Quartet.  As the band's shirt says," do the math"!

     These guys are great.  When the band began to play they had this instant connection with the audience.  This is a rare quality that I've only witnessed a few times.  It is magical and instantly it's like the band just showed up to play in your living-room and hang out with you.

     Of course with all band these days, there are the usual cover tunes.  Although even then, 5 Man Trio didn't cover the "usual" cover tunes that bands generally play. It was an eclectic mix of everything from "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" by The Beatles to "All Along the Watchtower" which was covered by both Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan.

     There were a couple of really hilarious tunes toward the end of the show, "The Perfect Man" which had ties to Ike Turner and Gary sang a portion of the song doing Ike Turner and Tina Turner's parts, together.  And of course, no 5 Man Trio show would be complete without "The Weenie Song".

     Mixed in with all this craziness was lots of solid original music with strong tunes and lyrics that made sense.  At one point, Chris was playing his modified drum kit with one foot playing part of the tune on cymbals, he added in his other foot on the big drum with another part of the tune, finally adding a third portion of the tune with his hands on bongo's.  Each portion of the song was in a different rhythm.  It was truly awesome to behold.  Another song that I really enjoyed, (unfortunately I didn't get the title) started out with one rhythm, switched to a faster jazzier beat, switched again to another tempo and returned finally to the original rhythm.  It was like art for your ears!

     The group will play again on September 22 at an event called "Playing for Change" at Cowley College.  Check out this link: Playing for Change Fundraiser and go hear 5 Man Trio.  This group doesn't get together very often and when they do, it's an event not to be missed.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ribbonwork Gardens

Ribbonwork Garden
Christen Brown 
© Lydia Lowe  7/04/2012

     I'm a big fan of ribbon embroidery.  I'm use to a traditional soft and pliable silk ribbon that is fixed in some way to fabric and then manipulated into shapes to become a flower or leaf.  The book Ribbonwork Gardens is so far beyond those techniques of yesterday.

     Christen uses all types of ribbon, including double edged silk ribbon which I had always heard was a no no in silk ribbon embroidery.  All of her creations are individual flowers, not affixed to fabric, but free standing and once crafted they're affixed to the project of your choice.  This allows for a freedom that the old silk ribbon embroidery never had.

     Now silk ribbon flowers can be added to all kinds of projects, clothing and home dec like never before.  Christen provides step by step directions on how to achieve a realistic looking flower.  She even includes instructions on how to add stamens and other embellishments.  Truly, you are only limited by your imagination.  It doesn't stop there.  Christen shows you how to create a variety of leaves, berries, buds, butterflies and dragonflies, etc. to really give your creations a realistic feeling of abundance.

     If you've tried ribbon embroidery in the past or you've never tried creating with ribbon, this book opens up a whole host of opportunities for creating with this inexpensive, readily available product.  I know I'm going to have to make a few of these flowers myself.  Now where do I start . . .

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Moreland and Arbuckle

Thursday Night Concert Series
Eric Stein Stage-Oakdale Park
Salina, KS

Wichita, KS
© Lydia Lowe 6/28/2012

Moreland and Arbuckle . . .This is my favorite way to hear Moreland and Arbuckle, outside in a festival type setting.  This group has a lot of energy and really shines in a setting like this.  Their sound is big and it boomed out across Oakdale Park for all to hear.

     It was a super hot night but the band played from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. and did not disappoint.  How they kept going through it all is a testament to their talent and love of music.  And to the their fans.  The fans never get enough and called for an encore.  On this night, the band did not comply and who could blame them.  It was a very hot night to be out in the park. 

     Moreland and Arbuckle played all their hits: from Fishin' Hole to Caney Valley Blues, to everybody's favorite, Legend of John Henry.  The band closed the show with . . .John Henry.  It's become a signature song for them and as the concert moved along, fans thought they might not hear this song and began calling it out to the band.  At the end, the fans were rewarded with their favorite.

     Check this band out, buy a CD and take it home.  Moreland and Arbuckle are making a name for themselves and you'll want to be able to say, someday, "Hey, I saw them in Oakdale Park (or any local venue) way back in the day."