THE HIGH PRIEST OF THE BIG BLUE – Kentucky Basketball, Music, Comedy

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The Sacrifice of Sports Ilustrated

Being the High Priest and all, I felt it was my civic duty of the Big Blue Nation to rid the memory of the National Championship game.

Complete with fire, skulls, and chants!

I felt much better when I did this, and you will feel better when you watch it!

Charlie Daniels Covers Dylan

Charlie Daniels doesn’t conform to modern sounds. He doesn’t care about popular trends in music. He cares what is coming from his heart. He cares about America. So what happens when you combine a good ole southern rocker with an American songwriting icon? You get Off The Grid: Doin’ It Dylan. And it’s only appropriate considering that some of Charlie’s earliest work as a guitarist was on Dylan’s 1969 release, Nashville Skyline. Charlie then went on to continue his work with Dylan on Self Portrait and New Morning.

This 10-piece masterpiece hits the Dylan standards with that remarkable CDB sound which gives it their own identity as if they belonged on Charlie’s albums in the seventies. It is Charlie’s all out acoustical assault on Dylan. Dylan soaked in country, with a damn good fiddle!

Off The Grid starts off with “Tangled Up in Blue” which lies somewhere between the CDB and the Marshall Tucker Band. Damnit, I love it! I’m not even surprised I made that comparison considering those boys ran around together back in the seventies.

Charlie moves on to “The Times Are a Changin.” It worked for Dylan years ago, but does it work for the CDB? I wasn’t a fan of the original version, so to me, it is an improvement.

The CDB keeps it going with “Be My Baby Tonight” which is somewhere between, again, a Tucker Band song and the CDB’s “Long Haired Country Boy.” Dig it!

The CDB gets funky with “Gotta Serve Somebody” which was always a funky Dylan song. Didn’t know Charlie could get funky? Go get ya Honey in the Rock and listen to “Funky Junky.” Charlie slows down on the funk and covers the great Dylan tune “I Shall Be Released.” To me, the ultimate version of that song was by The Band, but the CDB gives it a good effort.

To be honest, I like this album quite a bit and I like the energy, but it does slow down with “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Just Like a Woman.” Sandwiched in there is “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.” True to original form, you would almost think it is Leon Russell singing, but Charlie keeps the vocal styling close to the original. But, we all know Leon did it his way. Vocally it is very good, and I can dig the piano! These three songs offer up a different side of the album in a much slower tempo.

And speaking of vocals, Charlie’s vocals are just as strong and robust as they were back in the day. No special effects, none of that auto-tune garbage. Just clear crisp, southern enriched vocals!

However, as good as it all is, the CDB finishes damn strong with one of my favorite Dylan songs. Leon covered it. Manfred Mann covered it; Phish and the Grateful Dead. Yes, we are talking about the “Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo).” The Dylan version is a wonderful rock and country stomp, and Charlie’s version hits that lofty expectation. However, the pinch of Bluegrass makes it irresistible. I can dig the all-out country fried assault Charlie puts on it!

Dylan fans can crucify me. I can’t say that I am big Bob Dylan fan, but I have much appreciation for his musical contributions and there are many songs of his I find very good. However, for Charlie Daniels to take classic Dylan songs and give them a completely different sound takes courage and passion; and we all know Charlie is known not to back down from something he feels passionate about.

That passion lies within the songs of Bob Dylan.

 

Bobby Mackey/Dallas Moore Band Promo

Every once in awhile, I like to make promos for some of my favorite bands.  We are talking old school wrestling promos.  Here is one for my friends Bobby Mackey and Dallas Moore performing on January 25 at Bobby Mackey’s.

Country Music Lives On with Bobby Mackey

If you are familiar with Bobby Mackey’s in Wilder, KY, then you are familiar with the nightclub itself being billed as one of the most haunted places in America. What you need to need to do is forget about the ghosts and familiarize yourself with the country music of Bobby Mackey.

“When it Comes to singing country music, I know only one way… The traditional way. I’ve been singing true, real, traditional country all of my life. It works for my fans and it works for me,” says Bobby Mackey

And Bobby Mackey carries on that tradition with his latest release, Country Music Lives On. My first reaction to listening to this album is:  1. I HAVE TO GET BACK TO BOBBY MACKEY’S FOR FINE COUNTRY MUSIC. 2 THIS IS A DAMN GOOD ALBUM!Country Music Lives On CD - Click Image to Close

So what makes Bobby Mackey’s Country Music Lives On a damn good album? It’s unlike anything out there today in mainstream country, alt-country, Americana, etc. And why is it unlike anything else? Because it is an honest to God, true honky-tonk country album. And the way country music is today, that is hard to find. Country Music Lives On doesn’t create fake imagery of the country music scene today. It creates a scene remenicinst of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. When country music was good.

Bobby Mackey gets this record started off with “She’s On Her Way To Florida in the T-Bird.” And not only does Bobby know country music, he knows KENTUCKY. ” “…but its cold in Kentucky, I can’t stand that ice and cold.” Considering the weather we just go out off, Bobby speaks truth. And who doesn’t like the thought of a good-looking women in a T-Bird? But that is what you are going to like about this album. Truthful, humorous, reflective and auto-biographical.

Speaking of auto-biographical, we get a musical glimpse into the fine establishment that is Bobby Mackey’s Country Music World with “Kind of Place that Toby Would Love.” Almost as if Bobby was writing a letter to Toby Keith, telling him about all the great aspects of the bar. Creatively intertwined with lyrics from Toby Keith’s songs, the characteristics of Bobby Mackey’s Country World and Toby’s lyrics mesh well, creating a mental picture that this might be the last great honky-tonk on earth.

This album is traditional, fun, auto-biographical and a tribute to all of the great country music that Bobby has encountered throughout his years listening and playing country music. “That Jones Boy is Gone” is no tear-jerker. If anything, it makes ya want to drink…heavily…in honor of the Possum. You want to pull up a bar stool and trade stories with Bobby about the dang Possum. The tribute continues with “Song About Hag.” As Bobby sings “If not for him, I would have no songs to sing.” And with that, you’ve gotta give Merle Haggard thanks!

The title track, “Country Music Lives On”, is a timeline/auto-biographical journey about the country music that Bobby loved growing up. Not only the fact that he loved the country music of Hank Williams, but we also hear about Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, a Roy Rogers’ guitar, and all the sounds coming together in Bobby’s father’s grocery store.

We keep on with this fine honky-tonk sound as Bobby takes us to church with “I Saw Jesus on the Wall.” More great tracks on this album include “You Can’t Stop Love”, “She Walks the Hills” and “Poor Pearl Poor Girl.” The later two songs conjures up something up from the spirit world, but with a cold PBR in your hand, your foot will be a stompin’ with the up-tempo style to these songs.

One of my favorite songs on Country Music Lives On would be “Paycheck Was a Shove it Kind of Guy.” You’ve gotta have a good chuckle at the title, however, on the flip-side of that chuckle, you need to understand how serious Bobby Mackey takes his country music. How do I know? Social media. Also, how many country artists do you know that writes songs about Johnny Paycheck? The theme of tribute and influence rings true with “Paycheck…”

My absolute favorite songs on this album is “Where Hank and His Left Off.” Damnit, I want to drink to this song! I want to raise hell to this song! I want to dance with pretty girls to this song! I want to listen to Hank Williams Jr.  Again, tribute and influence, but it is a message to all those out there. Despite how bad country music is today, Bobby Mackey and the Big Mac Band are here to preserve the sound and tradition.  And yeah, we are steeped in traditional sounds of country music, and we’ve been around, but we can still raise hell. I dig the message.

Speaking of “Me and my rowdy friends are picking where Hank and his left off” we need give credit to the musicians on this album.

Kerry Marx-Elect Guitar, Baritone
Pat Severs-Steel, Dobro, Acoustic
Glenn Duncan-Acoustic, Fiddle, Mandolin, Banjo
Mark Prentice, Duncan Mullins – Bass
Tommy Hardin-Drums
Catherine Marx-Piano

These fine players along with the songwriting of Bobby Mackey produced a great country album that doesn’t play into the modern trends of current country music. It doesn’t fall into the trap of the mainstream Nashville culture and the artists and fans that have ruined country music.

As long as Bobby Mackey is making country music, REAL Country Music Lives On.

“The way it was is still the way it is” as they say at Bobby Mackey’s Country World.

I wouldn’t want it any other way.

FYI…

Follow Bobby on Twitter @bobbymackey

You can purchase Country Music Lives On at www.bobbymackey.com

The TWELVE DAYS OF DIO

 

DIOcember

 

 

DIOcember and THE TWELVE DAYS OF DIO are back!  DIOcember is when we pay tribute to the GREATEST HEAVY METAL SINGER OF ALL TIME!  My gift to you this year…THE TWELVE DAYS OF DIO.  Happy Holidays and enjoy this yuletide classic!

 

The Shillito Elves Move to Kentucky

 

The Shillito Elves

The other day, I asked my mamma what happened to the Shillito Elves in Cincinnati.  What?  You don’t know about the Shillito Elves and Santa’s Workshop?  Curses!  I’ll tell ya all about it.

As a kid, going to Cincinnati to see Santa’s Workshop at the old Shillito’s department store was the shit!  We started working on our letter’s to Santa right after Thanksgiving, then a couple of weeks later we would go to the big city and go and see the Elves make toys and commence to renderin’ in general mayhem in the North Pole.  We walked through this huge Christmas display of little robotic elves working hard.  At one point you would drop your letter in the mailbox and you would see it hit the conveyor belt and the elves would make sure it got into a postal bag.  Then at the end,  you had your chance to see Santa Claus.  Hey, 3-4, 5 years old…this was a big deal.

The display came to life in 1979 and it featured over 130 elves.  And the elves were not restricted to just the display itself.  The elves were street level in the display windows. Throughout the eighties, the elves were the real deal. You would see the elves, then go over to CG&E to the train display, and then do all kinds of Christmassy (is that a word?) around Cincinnati.

Unfortunately, in 1997, the elves were packed up as the department store moved (at that point, it was Lazarus). What a disappointment that elves were no longer.  How the hell could somebody rip this away from my childhood!?  I guess it was a part of growing up.  However….boom!  A little research, and hot damn! I found the elves.

The elves were then purchased by two Boy Scouts troops and they set up the display.  Sad to say at that point There were only 75 elves left, but they endured! The elves soon found themselves looking for a new home as they were almost shipped to Louisville.  NOOOOO!!!!  However, a Christmas miracle happened.  A man by the name of Bill Spinnenweber purchased the display at auction, and the elves were saved from being exiled to Louisiville.  In an interview with one of the elves (who remained nameless), he told me “The last place we wanted to go was Louisville, Kentucky. We were born in Cincinnati, and loved Kentucky Basketball. Cincinnati Basketball never did it for us.  And we loved the Reds and Bengals.  So it made no sense for us to go to Louisville.” 

Spinnenweber set up the display for 7 years in Mariemont, Ohio.  Two years ago, another Christmas miracle Shillto Elveshappened in which the elves found a new glorious home in Kentucky.  Further comments from the nameless elf: “Obviously, we were thrilled that we were going to move to Kentucky and be in the Big Blue Nation. Cincinnati is our home, but we feel just as home with these news digs on Newport on the Levee and with the good folks of Kentucky.  It could not have worked out any better.”

The displays were constructed by the original team with some new members to keep this great Cincinnati tradition alive for youngsters and families.

Below, here are some videos about the Shillito Elves, their great history, and their big move to Newport on the Levee.

For more info on the elves, http://thesantaworkshop.com/

Mr. Spinnenweber, I thank you for keeping this tradition alive.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to the Big Blue Nation

Well, here we are about putting the cap on 2013 and we’ll bust it right open in 2014.  Merry Christmas to the Big Blue Nation and the rest of ya’ll.  As I was digging through my archives, I found these old UK programs and thought it would be cool to share with you. I love the vintage advertising, the creative covers, and yes, the beer advertisements in the programs. Shocking that they had beer advertising in the ole programs.

1981 UKITAnd yes, you will notice that these programs are from the UKIT in the eighties.  The UKIT was a 4 team holiday tournament in December.  I remember going to them as a young Wildcat fan, and I thought it was the best!  The UKIT was usually two weeks/a week before Christmas and it was like you were on sensitivity overload.  I remember seeing the Christmas trees lit up in the Civic Center, Victorian Square and Festival Market. Your heard Christmas carols, saw Santa Claus dressed in a blue suit, and you got to see the Wildcats in action!  As a little kid, this stuff was a big deal. And I would go back home in good ole Northern Kentucky and tell all my friends.  For some reason, it was difficult for them to wrap the minds around basketball and Christmas.  Regardless, I loved it!

The UKIT was started back in 1953 as the Wildcats took on Duke in the inaugural tournament. The Cats pulled out a victory 85-69 over the Blue Devils.  The next night, the Cats defeated LaSalle, 73-60.  Some of the teams that came to Rupp to play in the UKIT:  Duke, Ohio State, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Army, Navy, and Indiana.

Overall, the CATS were 64-10 in the UKIT, and there were some team that got the best of the Cats.  12/21/55 Dayton was #4 in the nation and defeated #7 Kentucky, 89-74. West Virginia ended up beating the Cats twice within a two year span.  12/20/57, the Mountaineers defeated the Cats in the first round, 77-70.  The Cats got their revenge in the 1958 UKIT Championship game on the Mountaineers with a 97-91 win.  The following year in the UKIT, West Virgina defeated the Cats in the championship game, 79-70.

The final UKIT came on 12/23/89 as the Cats took on the Ragin’ Cajuns from SW Louisiana.  And what a finale!  1989-90 was Rick Pitino’s first year as the coach of the Wildcats.  A skinny pasty white kid from Paintsville, Kentucky by the name of John Pelphry poured in 24.  Another Kentucky kid, Derron Feldhaus gave the Cats 17.   Feldhaus also led the Cats with 10 rebounds. Derrick Miller was great that night with 19 and Reggie Hanson chipped in 13,  unfortunately, the Cats went down to defeat in an overtime classic, 116-113.

With recent criticism of students not filling seats in Rupp and the attendance numbers being UKIT 2down, why not bring back the UKIT?  Fans complain that home schedule is weak.  Well here is a way to bulk it up a bit at home.  It does get a little old seeing lesser competition come into Rupp, but you know what?  Some of that lesser competition has provided a couple of entertaining games this season.  Boise State and Belmont.  Cal talks about preparing a young team for March.  Here is your chance.  Play 2 games in 2 days.  Hell, invite some of the in-state schools.  EKU, WKU, Morehead, Georgetown, Transy, NKU, Murray.  You want to talk about creating a buzz?  You want to talk about putting fans in the stands?  You want to generate some excitement with Rupp?

Bring back the UKIT.

What the hell do I know though.  I’m just a UK fan reminiscing about what the holiday season meant to me as a young Wildcat fan.

Merry Christmas.

On the 12th Day of Dio, Ronnie Gave to Me…

Twelve DIO albums, mix or match!

 

Tonight at the stroke of midnight…we unleash the 12 Days of Dio holiday song!

On the 11th Day of Dio, Ronnie Gave To Me…

Devil Horns a poppin!

Devil Horns a poppin!

 

Devil Horns a poppin!

Some great history behind the devil horns, but as it pertains to music…

From Wikipedia.

The 1969 back album cover for Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls on Mercury Records by Chicago-based psychedelic-occult rock band Coven, led by singer Jinx Dawson, pictured Coven band members giving the “sign of the horns” correctly and included a Black Mass poster showing members at a ritual making the sign. Starting in early 1968, Coven concerts always began and ended with Jinx giving the sign on stage.

On the cover of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine album (1969), the cartoon of John Lennon’s right hand is making the sign above Paul McCartney’s head. For many fans, this was one of the many “Paul is dead” clues. Some may think it is possible that the cartoonist misrepresented the sign for “I love you”, which is very similar and more in keeping with the band’s public message and image. However, the 1969 cartoon is based on many photos of John Lennon making the hand sign in 1967. One of these photos of Lennon doing the hand sign appears on the cover of a Beatles single release shortly after, making it the first time the hand sign appears on a rock release.

In 1977 Gene Simmons [1] of KISS [2], does the “sign” on the cover of Love Gun [3], band’s 6th studio album. Simmons is the person who did the “sign” and still does it on or off stage.

Beginning in the early 1970s, the horns were known as the “P-Funk sign” to fans of Parliament-Funkadelic. It was used by George Clinton and Bootsy Collins as the password to the Mothership,[7] a central element in Parliament’s science-fiction mythology, and fans used it in return to show their enthusiasm for the band. Collins is depicted showing the P-Funk sign on the cover of his 1977 album Ahh… The Name Is Bootsy, Baby! Frank Zappa can be seen jokingly making the gesture in the 1979 film Baby Snakes in response to the audience, commenting, “That’s right, spindle twice.”

Ronnie James Dio making the sign at a Heaven and Hell concert.

Ronnie James Dio was known for popularizing the sign of the horns in heavy metal.[7][8] He claimed his Italian grandmother used it to ward off the evil eye (which is known in Southern Italy as malocchio). Dio began using the sign soon after joining the metal band Black Sabbath in 1979. The previous singer in the band, Ozzy Osbourne, was rather well known at using the “peace” sign at concerts, raising the index and middle finger in the form of a V. Dio, in an attempt to connect with the fans, wanted to similarly use a hand gesture. However, not wanting to copy Osbourne, he chose to use the sign his grandmother always made.[9] The horns became famous in metal concerts very soon after Black Sabbath’s first tour with Dio. The sign would later be appropriated by heavy metal fans under the name “maloik”, a corruption of the original malocchio.

Terry “Geezer” Butler of Black Sabbath can be seen “raising the horns” in a photograph taken in 1971.[citation needed] This would indicate that the “horns” and their association with metal occurred much earlier than Ronnie James Dio suggests. The photograph is included in the CD booklet of the Symptom of the Universe: The Original Black Sabbath 1970–1978 compilation album.

From a 2001 interview with Ronnie James Dio on Metal-Rules.com:
Metal-Rules.com – “I want to ask you about something people have asked you about before but will no doubt continue to talk about, and that is the sign created by raising your index and little finger. Some call it the “evil eye.” I would like to know if you were the first one to introduce this to the metal world and what this symbol represents to you?”
R.J. Dio – “I doubt very much if I would be the first one who ever did that. That’s like saying I invented the wheel, I’m sure someone did that at some other point. I think you’d have to say that I made it fashionable. I used it so much and all the time and it had become my trademark until the Britney Spears audience decided to do it as well. So it kind of lost its meaning with that. But it was…. I was in Sabbath at the time. It was a symbol that I thought was reflective of what that band was supposed to be all about. It’s NOT the devil’s sign like we’re here with the devil. It’s an Italian thing I got from my Grandmother called the “Malocchio”. It’s to ward off the Evil Eye or to give the Evil Eye, depending on which way you do it. It’s just a symbol but it had magical incantations and attitudes to it and I felt it worked very well with Sabbath. So I became very noted for it and then everybody else started to pick up on it and away it went. But I would never say I take credit for being the first to do it. I say because I did it so much that it became the symbol of rock and roll of some kind.”

On the 10th Day of Dio, Ronnie Gave to Me…

Master of the Moon.

The tenth and final album of Dio, Master of the Moon…well first, the album cover is the coolest!  The metal master himself put together a fine effort for his last album.  Slow, dark and gloomy rhythms haunt this album in a true masterpiece of RJD’s career.

At times, Master of the Moon gets a little slow.  Hey, it’s DIO!  He can do anything he wants!  The title track is a great start with some great guitar work, and “End of the World” is a strong second cut.  Other standouts are “Death by Love” and the finale, “In Dreams.”

Give Master of the Moon a few spins before you fully come to a conclusion on it.  Trust me.  It will grow on ya!

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