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Mike Craver
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Summer/Fall 2010

Mike Baker has a new site of his photos up. Mike is a talented photographer. For more see Mike Baker Foto
Tommy Thompson has been inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, 10/12/2010: article in Charleston Daily Mail
How Does A Glass Eye Work?
The MP3 single is now available for preview and purchase at CDBABY -- and coming soon to other digital outlets near you!
I'll be playing at the "Home Craft Days" festival, Oct. 15th, in Big Stone Gap, Va., with Jim Watson, Bill Hicks and Joe Newberry. Other performers include Dale Jett and Hello Stranger, Adam Hager, Sparky and Rhonda Rucker.


I'll be performing "The Bible Salesman" with Clyde Edgerton, Saturday Oct. 2nd, at the House of Hope Presbyterian Church, 797 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota. Our concert is part of an all day event featuring Clyde, Azar Nafisi, Billy Collins, Andrew Hudgins, Jennifer Maier and James Calvin Schaap.

I'll be taking part in the Solatido Songwriting workshop in September. The annual weeklong workshop is organized and lead by Georgann Eubanks, Donna Campbell, and Cindy Campbell. Solatido is also presented in conjunction with the Table Rock Writers Workshop. Solatido participants will have a chance to sit in on some Table Rock faculty presentations and the writers will also join the songwriters for concert and jam sessions.


SIDETRACK is a group of musicians brought together to do a recording featuring Leroy Savage and Joe Newberry on vocals/guitars, Gene Knight/banjo, Mike Aldridge/mandolin, Bobb Head/bass, and Dewey Brown/fiddle, (and Yours Truly on one cut too!) Photo by Dean Hoffmeyer. The CD was produced by Penny Knight and Jerry Brown. fmi and purchasing information

Greetings from Bloomington

I recently did a live radio variety show for WFHB in beautiful Bloomington, Indiana. Bloomington is kind of like Chapel Hill, but with more enchanted forests and better thunderstorms. The show, in the Waldron Auditorium, featured Tim Grimm and Jan Lucas, the WFHB Gospel Gurlz (Natalie Coffin, Ginger Curry, Suzette Weakley and Jason Fickel;) Dennis Riggins and the Firehouse Swing Thing (with Pat Harbisson, Craig Brenner, Joel Kelsey, Jason Fickel, and Jack Wilkins;) "The Unusual Suspects" Acting Troupe with Mark Blackwell, Arbutus Cunningham, Daniel Grundmann, Mike Leonard, Will Murphy, and two wonderful actors named Richard Fish and Mary Reardon, also Suzette Weakley, John Whitehart, and Yours Truly. (Poster below.) Sound FX were by the amazing Tony Brewer. The show was produced by Colonel Mike Kelsey, who also wrote the whole script except for a skit written by Fred Allen. Mike even wrote a special skit for me about a folk piano player who goes down to the crossroads and sells his soul to the Devil (in this case, Liberace) so he can become a superstar and play in any keyboard style imaginable. The Devil even makes him pulverize his grand piano, revealing the "keyboard within" -- a digital job, so it makes everyone's life easier. You can hear the show, entitled "Looking for a Home," on WFHB's streaming archive located here.

I love cemeteries, and Bloomy has a beautiful one called "Rose Hill". It is on a sweet little 4th Street rise which is subject to the most gorgeous sunsets. Mike Kelsey had taken me there to see Hoagy Carmichael's grave on a previous visit and I had to see it once more. Hoagy was a Bloomy native and one of its favorite sons. One of Hoagy's earliest memories was hiding behind the piano while his mom accompanied silent movies. Makes sense to me -- good way to learn too. Which Hoagy sure did! When we were walking back down 4th Street from Rose Hill, there was a Baltimore Oriole singing in the trees. Perfect!

(Peter Woodruff, aka "Mysterious Dave Mather" & "Deadwood Dan" accompanied me on this trip to Rose Hill and snapped the above photo. Shirt courtesy of Klea Blackhurst)

"Stuart Chase tells of a brilliant young accountant who, after earning his C.P.A., had an opportunity to make a million dollars in a few weeks' time by certain questionable methods. The methods had to do with adjusting income tax returns. He told his mother of the glittering opportunity which had been offered to him.

"Tom," she said, "you know when I come to wake you in the morning, I shake you hard, and you don't stir." "Yes," he replied. "And then I shake you harder and you give a little moan." "Yes," he replied again. "And finally I shake as hard as I can, and you open one sleepy eye." "Yes," came the reply the third time. "Well," said his mother, "I'd hate to come into your room morning after morning and find you wide awake." The young man turned down the job.

Bookstores today devote entire shelves to advice about ways to reduce tension, prevent strain and worry and gain that precious possession known as peace of mind. The source of the most profound inner peace and serenity is not anything recently discovered. It is a clean heart before God, the habit of inner integrity, a clear conscience." ---FORWARD DAY BY DAY, 1965

"This is a good time to be a mortal," Weiner writes, noting that life expectancy in the developed world is about 80 years, and improving. Yet evolution has equipped us with bodies and instincts designed only to get us to a reproductive age and not beyond. "We get old because our ancestors died young," Weiner writes. "We get old because old age had so little weight in the scales of evolution; because there were never enough Old Ones around to count for much in the scales." The first half of life is orderly, a miracle of "detailed harmonious unfolding" beginning with the embryo. What comes after our reproductive years is "more like the random crumpling of what had been neatly folded origami, or the erosion of stone. The withering of the roses in the bowl is as drunken and disorderly as their blossoming was regular and precise." ---from NOT A DAY OVER INFINITY by ABRAHAM VERGHESE NYT Book Review
Poetry from Economists?

The "mathematics don't work," Mr. Acampora said, because such a big decline would imply that individual stocks would need to trade at unrealistically low levels. Furthermore, he said, "I don't want to agree with him, because if he's right, we've basically got to go to the mountains with a gun and some soup cans, because it's all over." ---Ralph J. Acampora on the dire predictions of economist and market analyst Robert Prechter: NYT article.

I mean... you know?

Contemporary English speakers seem to be in love with the expression "you know". I wonder how much time and energy is used up in the expression of this phrase. I suppose it's only real point is in biding time, while the speaker gathers his or her thoughts.  I hear "you know" constantly in conversation, and on television and radio. It is particularly distressing when it peppers the speech of reporters, experts, artists, politicians and government officials. Most of them ought to know better, yet they interrupt every couple of sentences or thoughts (or even words) with "you know".

"No... I don't know. That is why I am listening to you!"

Same goes for the phrase "I mean...". One often hears "you know" and "I mean" in the same supposed thought. Why say them? I am listening to you and you're telling me, needlessly, that you mean what you are talking about. I already know that -- otherwise I wouldn't be listening to you, and you wouldn't be talking. 

Where did these expressions come from? Who gets the blame -- television, pop culture, hippies, valleygirls...??? Ever so rarely, one encounters a speaker who doesn't use these mind-numbing phrases and it is like a breath of fresh air. Their other thoughts usually seem clearer, more precise and better organized as well. I mean, you know?

Am venturing to lovely Bloomington, Indiana, home of the U. of I, not to mention favorite son Hoagy Carmichael. Am doing a radio show there at WFHB, the Bloomy community Radio Station (see poster at right). My friend, DJ Mike Kelsey explains that the "Rok Star" in the bill is a figment of the imagination of Tim Grimm. Don't know if you know Tim, but he's a former Hollywood actor (once died in Harrison Ford's arms), who reverted back to his singer/songwriter roots and is now living in southern Indiana. "Rok Star" is an eccentric Welshman who has been living in a canyon somewhere in the American southwest for years and only infrequently emerges, with his bass player Little Shorty (who bears a striking resemblance to Tim's son Conner). Rok sings pithy little songs whose titles are sometimes as long as the songs ("Blue Skies, White Water, Red Ground") with an over-the-top accent." Rumor has it that some of the Mighty Richland Players are going to be joining me in a song or two from THE BELLE OF THE WABASH. WFHB has a live stream, so anyone interested can listen in.

Two GREAT sites I've discovered, with the help of friends, about film and tv history and 20th century cultural history in general: first is the Harry Ranson Center @ UT Austin -- in particular the archives of THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW from the 50's. He interviews all kinds of folks, from Gloria Swanson and Salvador Dali to Aldous Huxley and Reinhold Niebuhr. Douglas is a bit of a prick but the interviewees are great, plus you get to see Douglas' campy Philip Morris ads! Also, there are GREAT in depth interviews at the Archives of American Television from a long list of interesting folks and famous notables.

Artists Ensemble Theatre of Rockford, Illinois, is featuring an encore presentation of RADIO GALS July 2-11th. FMI

THE BELLE OF THE WABASH had its world premiere the weekend of April 30th, 2010 in Orangeville, IL, and ran for the two following weekends, in Hanover, Galena and Stockton. I was very pleased with the show and a good time was had by all.

the BELLE featured Emily Evans, Paula Fulton, Phil Jackman, Terri Jackman, Terrie Miller, Josh Ryan, Jane Van Hamme, and Peter Woodruff. Also featured were Glenda Adams, Jim and Mary Jo Fredericks, Chuck Hancock, Sandy Janicke, Sue Wichman, and yours truly. The band was Sheri Novak, and Carl & Joan Sanford. John Buford directed. A.J. Adams & Brandon Mills did the audio-visuals and Caryl Buford cleaned up everybody's mess.

This is a great group of people. We all enjoy each other, and I think we are going to do it again next spring, with a new show -- the third installment of the "Bosh and Moonshine" trilogy! profile in Freeport Journal Standard

FLASH!! Some of the BELLE kids are joining me the afternoon of July 18th in Bloomington Indiana, for a skit and a song or two on

LEARNED PLACE is a house concert series presented by Jim Robertson and Deborah Jakubs in their lovely home situated in a secluded and woodsy little nook of Durham. Jim and Deborah go out of their way to make the musicians welcome, down to putting on a gourmet pre-show spread and their (musicians') mugs on the water bottles! Clyde Edgerton and I just did a show there ( INDEPENDENT WEEKLY profile) and Jim and Bill and Joe and I did one back in the fall. It doesn't get much better than this! Go to for more information and a sampling of past concerts. The venue has received high praise from a variety of musicians who have enjoying playing there.

Yesterday's Papers:
Spring 2010
Winter 2009/2010
Summer Fall 2009
Spring 2009
Fall/Winter 2008/09
Summer 2008
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Fall/Winter 2007
Summer 2007
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