Having received Wade Bowen's CD, "The Given" to review, I prepared myself for a "new" artist...and was floored. This did not sound like a "new" artist...the songs were well written, the lyrics smart and the accompanying melodies well crafted but not over blown. I decided then that perhaps I should break my rule of NOT reading the "new" artist's bio before listening to the music As it turns out, Mr. Bowen has spent fourteen years building a loyal following is Texas, touring 200+ nights a year, and has won a multitude of local awards. He has five independently produced CDs, and "The Given" is a prequel, if you will, to his first full length Sony/BNA release.
Bowen's style, to me, is best described as a cross between Eric Church, and Kenny Chesney; smart, self written lyrics with a smooth, sexy voice. Trying to pick the hits on this CD is an exercise in futility; every track on here is as good, if not better, than most of what is currently playing on country radio. You want an uplifting, well written ballad about finding the one true love? "On My Way To Wonderful" is your song. Oh, you would like a harder, southern rock tune, about fighting back against life's kicks in the teeth? Rock on with "Beat Me Down". Feeling blue, want a really good, cry in your beer, I blew it with the love of my life song? Not one, but two..."Say Anything", and "You Ain't Got Me" would both fit that bill, and quite well, for that matter. Feel like honkytonkin? Well, "Saturday Night" will have you tapping your toes, and hoping that Sunday morning takes just a little longer to get here. You want a song about the most powerful love that will ever hit you..I dare you to listen to "Before These Walls Were Blue", about the love between a father and his newborn son, and not choke up, just a bit.
If I had to pick, the best, for me...I can narrow it down to two. "All That's Left" is an endlessly catchy tune about the physical remnants of a lost love, and the emotional memories that they bring back. If I were picking, this would be the first single off the CD, but again, any of the tracks could easily crack the Country charts. "A Battle Won" , about the battles we fight, us married folks, is an honest, heartbreaking look at those fights that just really don't have a winner. A powerful lyric with a simple production mesh for a country power ballad that has already taken a permanent place on this reviewers MP3 player. I don't know where Wade Bowen's legions of fans have been hiding him for fourteen years, but I sure hope they are ready to share him with the rest of us.
'The Given" will be available for download on May 29th.
Monday, January 23, 2012
"I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.
This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.
Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.
This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic"
-Tim Thomas, on why he didn't attend the reception at the White House.
Seriously? You fat bastard, don't you get it? Being received by the President of the United States is an honor that few people ever receive, and you refuse it? Wow, up until now, I just thought you were a douche...now I realize that you are an elitist racist douche, as well as a cheater. (Yeah, don't think we didn't see you throwing water all over the ice right before the shoot out, when Matt Read lost control. Coincidence? I think not.) Rebuffing the President because of your political views is akin to saying "Screw the soldiers, I hope they ALL DIE!!" because you don't support the war. Yes, you have the right, as an American, to protest....but the man you rebuffed is trying to FIX this country. You may not like his method of it, but you at least have to applaud that he is trying, same as the soldiers. You may not like that they kill people, but they are using the skills and knowledge that they have to make this country better. And for that, they deserve your respect. I'm gonna give you an example....when I was in high school, the then Republican President, who was running for re-election, chose my home town as a campaign stop. I, shamefully, was a band geek, and we were asked to play "Hail to the Chief". Our Band Director told all of us that we could decline the invitation if we were politically inclined to. Some did, but I think it had more to do with the fact that it was the first week of September and hotter than Hades, but I digress. Hell, I was a democrat before I was potty trained, but I played for The President. Republicans and I disagree pretty much on every point possible,since I am a woman and feel that what goes on in my uterus is MY business, not the business of any Republican, save perhaps Kenny Chesney. I also believe that everyone should have the right to get married, that stem cells are NOT babies, and that people who make a shitload of money should pay a shitload of taxes. Again, I digress. The point is, I was asked to have an audience with the President of The United States...and that is an honor I am proud to say I accepted. The fact that he stood for everything I was against made no difference; he was working to better the country that I am proud to call home. And for that, he deserved, and was given, my respect. The fact that Tim Thomas feels his refusing to visit The White House is a meaningful protest leads me to believe that he feels he is better than the average citizen in this country, and for that he is an elitist. I also have to wonder if the person occupying the White House shared the same beliefs as Tim Thomas, as well as the same skin color, would he have exercised his rights then?
Saturday, January 14, 2012
I have been pretty busy kids, and I have missed a lot, but the recent wave of Flyers concussions is making MY frigging head hurt. It was announced today that James van Riemsdyk is out indefinitely with a concussion. Sooooo...let's see. Pronger. Read. Giroux...and now JVR. I have been ruminating for a while now, on who or what is the cause of the recent wave of concussions, and I have come to the conclusion that there is one person that this can all be blamed on. Yeah, those of you that know my hockey views can guess who I am pinning this one on....yeah, you guessed it. Gary Bettman. Yes, I have myriad reasons for hating Gary Bettman, the first being that we have JVR at all, when we should have Patrick Kane. Who scored the Stanley Cup winning goal. In Philadelphia. For Chicago. But I digress...Shall we discuss how Gary Bettman has caused the concussion epidemic in the NHL, and not just the concussions I get by banging my head against the wall every time I think about "that" goal?
Yeah, that goal. Anyway, back to Gary Bettman. Not ONLY did he change the NHL draft from a straight worst to first to a "weighted lottery", he got rid of the red line. Yes, I know there is still a red line, but it used to actually MEAN something. For you young 'ens, there used to be something called a two line offside pass. To simplify, passes could only go over one line at a time. Those pretty stretch passes, that go from end to end? Nope. They weren't legal. Yes, the removal of the red line has made the game faster, but at what cost? The players are bigger, and have an entire sheet of ice to build up speed. Now, I was never a whiz at physics, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the faster two players are going when they hit, the harder the impact is going to be. Just watch Claude Giroux, whose concussion was caused by his own team mate.
That hit made MY teeth rattle. My point is, take a look at how fast the players are going. I understand that Bettman thought that making the game faster would bring more fans, and yes, hockey has more fans now. What it also has is two of it's most promising young players struggling with head injuries. While I don't LIKE Sidney Crosby, I would hate to see his career ended by a concussion. And Giroux? I obviously want to see him lift Lord Stanley's Cup in a Flyers jersey, not in a broadcast booth because of a career ending concussion. If slowing the game down loses a few fans, so be it. At least those that remain will be able to watch the best players have long, fulfilling careers.
Another way to stop the head shots? Stop trying to get rid of the fights. I know, I know, not very PC, but when have I ever pretended to be PC? Yes, Brendan Shanahan is doing a good job handing out the suspensions, but I personally think the players can handle it just as well, if not better. A suspension might cost a player money, but I think that knowing you are going to get the shit kicked out of you if you take a cheap shot at a star player is just as much a deterrent as a suspension.
If a player knew an ass beating like that was waiting, I think they might think twice before taking a run at Claude Giroux. Or any other Flyer. Fighting is a part of the tradition of hockey...a game of honor, where the players take care of each other. Gary Bettman loves to wax nostalgic about the traditions of hockey, during press conferences for the Winter Classic...but does he understand the traditions? Does he know that I still say the Flyers are in the Patrick Division and the Wales Conference? Considering that he wants to screw with the divisions again, I doubt it. So, Mr. Bettman, while you are crying about head shots and concussions, and looking for a cause, look no further than your bath room mirror. This is the NHL YOU wanted, sir. Are you happy?