Showing posts with label Mark Hunter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mark Hunter. Show all posts

Monday, October 29, 2018

Jesse Colin Young • Live at the Belly Up • 10/28/18

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Jesse Colin Young with my old buddy Mark Hunter at the Belly Up in Solana Beach, CA.  Mark and I go way back to our college days together as we became fast friends in our first year at San Diego State in the Toltec Dorm in 1975. We used to meet in the Toltec commons area where they had a big console TV and we watched several of the first episodes of Saturday Night Live during that year.

For high school graduation, I had received a rather large stereo system as a gift from my parents, and managed to cram that into my little dorm room with my roommate Kevin Kuhlmeyer. Anyway, my room became a kind of hangout for listening to music and my girlfriend, Mary Kit would bring her Zapotec girl dorm friends over, so it was kind of a happening place for a nerd like me.

We listened to all kinds of music as some would bring over cheap beer and their albums.  Mark would drop in with either his Martin guitar, or have some really cool records in hand to listen to, like Jesse Colin Young.

Now I had seen The Youngbloods (Loggins and Messina opened) at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1972, but really didn't know much about Jesse Colin Young who like Mark had lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mark provided this introduction so to speak.

After that first year, Mark and I broke from the dorms and got a two bedroom apartment together about a mile from campus. We listened to a lot of music that year, because we were both broke and I remember us heating tortillas up on the stove and eating peanut butter burritos many a night.

It was during that school year of 1976-77 that I got my stereo system stolen after we had left the windows open during a heat wave.

No worries, I downgraded where I found an ad on campus and got a simple record player. Both Mark and I took that cheap stereo with us to another apartment on a street actually named Jessie St. I'll never forget that time thanks to Mark, listening to Jesse Colin Young's hot streak of albums through the 70's including, Song for Juli, Lightshine, Songbird, On the Road, and Love on the Wing.

So, it was incredibly fitting that Mark and I would get together all these years later and spend an evening together listening to Jesse Colin Young with his wonderful band of young people. I say that because it seems Jesse went shopping one day at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and literally recruited all these talented, young musicians to be in his band. Actually, Jesse saw all these musicians as students performing at their graduation ceremony with Jesse's son Tristan Young, also a graduating student at Berklee, and now bass player in the band.

Mark commented how brilliant it was for Jesse to assemble this group and take them out on the road and into the studio together. As good as Jesse is to his band, they are equally good to a 76 year old legend who has suffered greatly over the years as he was not correctly diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Jesse said last night that ten years ago he thought he'd never be able to perform again and now that he is being treated for his disease, has been given another chance to be the troubadour he has always been. Now, he gets to do his thing surrounded by a fresh group of young people that give a real pop to the Jesse Colin Young jazzed infused sound of folk rock of the middle 1970's.

Here is my shot of the group from my cool loft seat at the Belly Up last night.

It was truly an evening to remember. Jesse has all these great songs he has written over the years as a folk singer in Greenwich Village, leader of the Youngbloods, and then his successful solo career. I had forgotten how many great love songs he has written that still touch me today. In this week's playlist, I got a chance to catch up on some "newer" songs that I had never heard before and look forward to his new album coming out in early 2019.

So Mark, this one's for you, thanks for all the good times- past, present and future!

Monday, May 01, 2017

The Waits, San Pasqual Winery - April 29, 2017

On Saturday night, Mary Kit and I had the pleasure to see The Waits at San Pasqual Winery in La Mesa, CA. The acoustic band is Mark Hunter on guitar and vocals and Peter Lauterbach mandolin and vocals. Last night, Mark's brother, Dutch Hunter joined in as a special guest with the band and played harmonica and also backup vocals.  Dutch lives in Nevada City, CA and came down to visit Mark in San Diego this past week. MK and I were thoroughly impressed as Dutch with just one practice with The Waits did a great job of improvising with harmonies and harmonica! I love this band not to mention they cover songs that every boomer knows. Pete is fabulous on mandolin as both he and Mark do great interpretations of mostly 60's-70's songs with an Americana flare. A younger couple sitting up front were very quiet and enjoying the show and I think Dutch asked them if they even knew who Herman's Hermits were?

Back in the day, Mary Kit and I met Mark almost 42 years ago at the dorms at San Diego State in August, 1975. We were all community college transfers, Mark from Millbrea, CA and Mary Kit and I from Santa Maria, CA. Mark and I were in the same hallway in Toltec dorm and bonded as friends for life during the first episode of Saturday Night Live. I remember they had a big box console TV in the lobby/social gathering area of the dorm and we just started talking and laughing at this crazy new wonderful TV comedy. The next year, Mark and I moved in as college roommates and lived in a couple of different apartments together. We also were camp counselors up at Palomar Mountain for children and adults with disabilities through ARC of San Diego.  It is still known to this day as Camp-A-Lot and Camp-A-Little. I have great memories of Mark playing his guitar and singing songs around the campfire with all the campers and staff. We had the pleasure to enjoy the summer mountains together while being paid $10 a day to work at the camps. Mark and I would later become teachers for students with severe disabilities as both of us had a variety of experience as teachers in San Diego County. Last night in fact, a group of Mark's old teacher friends showed up to listen to the band.

Now sit back and enjoy The Waits live as MK and I recorded a few songs from the evening on our phones and made them into a YouTube Playlist. Before the first video, The intro is a shout-out to Mark's and Dutch's dad, Floyd who is 91 and a veteran of World War II who landed on the beaches of Iwo Jima. Mark once told me his dad entered the military under age at 17 and was put into one of the fiercest battles in U.S. history. The song that follows, Neil Young's Ohio is a bit ironic from his son's who grew up in a very different era during the Vietnam War near San Francisco. Anyway, Floyd has never seen Mark and Dutch play together at a venue, so Floyd this playlist was made for you! I used to listen to my old buddy sing a lot of Neil Young and all our musical heroes with his guitar on our living room floor with no more than a few dollars to stretch out together and get through the month. This just made me think of the time we were living on College Ave. in 1976 and it had been a hot hot day in sunny San Diego. We had left the front window open and when we both returned to the apartment later that day from classes, my stereo system had been stolen (my high school graduation present). I think we both heated up some tortillas on the stove, had a few peanut butter burritos and then fired up a few that night.

The Waits will be performing next on May 27th at San Pasqual Winery, 8364 La Mesa Blvd. La Mesa 7-10pm.

Link to Complete Playlist - The Waits, San Pasqual Winery - April 29, 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017

Have an IPA with your IPA

When one (me) thinks of IPA, it is India Pale Ale. San Diego County is a national leader in the micro brew industry and I'm proud of our West Coast IPA's. So, the other day, while drinking a couple of IPA's, I came up with this blog title as MK and I were playing with our new Christmas present to ourselves. This would be our Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA), otherwise known as the Amazon Echo with the personal aka, "Alexa."

The other night we had our friend, Mark Hunter over for dinner and after a few IPA's (the beer kind), we showed him our current favorite game of, "Alexa, play Seinfeld Trivia." We also jumped into asking Alexa about music. Mark is currently learning the 1965 song (with his band The Waits), You Were On My Mind, by the We Five. So, Mark asked, "Alexa, play You Were On My Mind by We Five." The song comes on and smiles all around.

So I realize as I'm writing this it's probably going to sound like a free advertisement for Amazon; something they really don't need as the Amazon Echo did quite well and in fact sold out during the holiday season.  Anyway, we are having a blast with this IPA as the market continues to grow with these products and is probably the little canary before we get an IPA robot someday off in the future. I can't wait to get "James the Butler" for Christmas in 2020 something.

For music, we also dressed up Alexa a bit by purchasing Amazon Music Unlimited for $79.00 a year if you are an Amazon Prime member. At first, I balked at the price, but after purchasing, it was a smart move for us because now we have unlimited streaming music on several devices: our computers, phones with Bluetooth in the car and of course, Alexa. For the car, I downloaded the Amazon Music Unlimited app for my smartphone and can choose between my extensive Offline music collection on my phone and not eat into my data minutes, or stream any Online Playlist I want to. For the Echo (and I recommend the sound of the Echo vs the smaller Amazon Dot), Alexa is strategically placed on a table that is located by the bottom of our stairs. This is almost the center of our up and downstairs house, where Alexa is in earshot from almost any location in the house. While writing this on my computer upstairs, I asked "Alexa, play We Five," and she responded by giving me a mix of their music, until you simply say, "Alexa, pause or Alexa stop."

Anyway, I hope to tap into a lot of old and new music this year drinking IPA's and using the Echo which may lead to some random Monday Monday Music blog. I leave you with my We Five Playlist.