tusk

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TUSK: New Hope Winery, New Hope, PA

Published December 29, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_3306New Hope Winery

A long awaited show, as this night was supposed to happen 14 days ago but we had a storm and it was postponed (even though my husband Dennis and I were more than willing to make the effort!) It was our first night ever at New Hope Winery (http://www.newhopewinery.com/) and I fell in love with the place, a rustic 18th century barn with an event room. We sampled a semi-sweet Solebury Red wine, which was absolutely delicious!

We were seated in the front next to another couple who knew a lot about music, so it was awesome. This was my sixth time seeing Tusk (my husband’s fifth). After the last show over the summer (see blog: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/tusk-the-ultimate-fleetwood-mac-tribute-linden-new-jersey/) Tusk guitarist Scott McDonald wrote to me on Face Book thanking me for the blog and we became good friends on the internet. Then I did phone interviews with all the Tusk members, so stay tuned for a future blog which will coincide with their Stockton Bridge CD release party. (Stockton Bridge is Tusk’s original band with all the same members).

Thanks to Scott for comping us this show! It was fantastic, as usual, and there were some extra special surprises like the cover of Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road,” Tom Petty’s “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” and Christmas songs including “River” by Joni Mitchell (which Kathy Philips sang beautifully) and “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” sung by bassist Randy Artiglere. It was also cool seeing Kathy Philips as Stevie Nicks dressed in white instead of black for a change during the second set. I absolutely love white, especially in winter (See photo below, such a pretty outfit!)

Unfortunately the Winery had a “no flash photography” policy, so we couldn’t take photos of the performance. (We tried without the flash, but no luck). But it was super cool meeting the band after the show for a photo op. As a journalist, it’s always surreal meeting people in real life after you meet them on the phone. And it was doubly surreal meeting Scott after conversing and joking around on Face Book for four months! You gotta love the modern world we live in. *smiles*

SAM_3304From left: Tom Nelson (drums), Randy Artiglere (bass), Kim Williams (keyboard/vocal), Kathy Philips (vocal), Me (applause in audience) and Scott McDonald (guitar/vocal)

After the show Dennis and I took a nice drive through New Hope and then Lambertville to look at all the Christmas decorations. We had so much fun!

SAM_3309“Loves Saves the Day” store front

Love Saves the Day was once one of my favorite stores in NYC, right around the corner from St. Mark’s Place. I was devastated when it closed down a few years ago. Thank God the one in New Hope still exists! It has lots of fun vintage toys, clothes, comics, etc.

SAM_3310My fur is faux, I’m an animal lover!

SAM_3311Pretty nativity scene in front of church

SAM_3319Reminded us of Queen’s “Innuendo” cover!

SAM_3324Stunning antique clock

SAM_3326Beatles lamp

Tusk: The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute, Linden New Jersey

Published August 28, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_2306TUSK

Tusk is my favorite cover band because each individual musician has greatness to offer.

Kathy Philips IS Stevie Nicks. She has the vocals down pat and never breaks character. Her costume is made beautifully: black suede boots, sequined black shawl and Nicks’ trademark top hat. She whirls and twirls and shakes her tambourine throughout the night, never missing a beat. (Note: Last summer I saw them perform outdoors during a full moon — it was enchanting to see a recreation of Stevie Nicks doing “Rhiannon” with a full moon as backdrop!)

Scott McDonald on guitar is amazing. I’ve seen this band perform several times and thanks to him magically  recreating the work of Lindsay Buckingham, I am now a big Lindsay Buckingham fan and have several CDs. I have to say, he’s my favorite band member.

Kim Williams on keys and vocals has the prettiest voice. I said to my husband last night, she plays as she sings, soft, pretty and delicately. She’s so cute and stylish too — great hair, bell bottoms, platforms and a halter top. Don’t know if that’s her real style or doing the ’70s thing for the show, but it works!

Randy Artiglere on bass was mind-blowing. I’ve always been a “bass girl” and he certainly delivered.

And for the greatest drum solo from a cover band, Tom Nelson, who added all the drum solo cliches from popular bands such as U2 and The Rolling Stones, then got up and started drumming on the pillars and door along side the outdoor theater. It was crazy, fun!

They leave no stone unturned when it comes to the library of Fleetwood Mac songs. You’ll hear all of them. My favorites are: “World Turning”; “Say You Love Me”; “Gypsy”; “Edge of 17”; “Gold Dust Woman” (which is total perfection, thank you Ms. Kathy Philips!); “Go Your Own Way” and best of all “Second Hand News.”

Interesting, this is probably the fifth time I saw Tusk over the past three years and every time they begin “Rhiannon” I’m thinking it’s “Oh Daddy” — but since they are doing the LIVE version of “Rhiannon” it throws me off. I’d love to see them do “Oh Daddy” someday.

Another suggestion would be Lindsay Buckingham’s “Holiday Road.” Because not only does McDonald have the guitar genius going on, he can sing like Lindsay Buckingham!

If you’re a Fleetwood Mac fan, or someone like me who only had a few albums, check out Tusk and trust me, you’ll end up being more of a Fleetwood Mac fan then you ever thought you’d be!

SAM_2305Kathy Philips channels a young Stevie Nicks

SAM_2282Guitar extraordinaire –Scott McDonald

SAM_2288Left to right: Kim Williams, Tom Nelson, Kathy Philips

SAM_2276Randy Artiglere and Kim Williams

NOTE: If anyone wants to swipe these photos, I have no problem with that — just be polite and credit: Photos courtesy of Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta.

Maryanne’s Best 12 of 2012

Published December 15, 2012 by Maryanne

Me in front of original Batmobile earlier this year

It’s the end of 2012, also the end of my first year as a blogger.

For those who follow me, you may have picked up that “fun” and “positivity” are my middle names.

Life is meant to be lived to the fullest and I am so blessed that I have my amazing soul mate husband, Dennis; two gorgeous healthy kitties; my friends; a wonderful immediate family as well as in-laws; and all the other wonderful folks in my life; all a part of my big picture, there for me for fun times, as well as being there for me when I need shoulders to cry on or some damn good advice. What a blessing. Thank you all!

With so many special things going on every day, it’s really hard to pick what I feel is best, but I am giving it my best shot and I hope you enjoy my list! Thanks for reading and following!

Love, Maryanne xo

BEST OF 2012

1. Proudest Moment: When I found out The Aquarian Arts Weekly newspaper got into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame — every issue, which means a lot of my writing since I had my own gothic column in 2002 and reviewed CDs for them. Not to mention in 1991 I was a model for a guitar ad! After receiving this news, I felt like I became a part of pop culture history!

2. Creative Project Most Proud of: I am beyond honored to have had the opportunity to work with Scott Schiaffo, actor best known for his role as the Chewlies Man in Kevin Smith’s movie “Clerks.” Scott hired me to edit his poetry book, “Vicious Dogs Attack Me in Sleepless Nights of Summer.” But even better, I wrote the foreword about my long time friendship with Scott.

3. Most Rewarding Work: All year long I was writing for The Paterson Press online. This was a very rewarding experience to me for two reasons. One, I was able to write four articles about the Great Falls; and two, I got to write about so many positive things that kids have been doing for the community and the rewards they have received. Not much could beat the high I get when I am in the midst of it all. Writing will always be my first love and I am blessed to be able to make money doing it. Not to mention all the inspiring people I meet along the way.

4. Favorite Creative Moment: For the past several days I’ve been blogging about “Hounds of Winter” a Christmas studio project courtesy of musical masterminds Tom Corea and Tom DiPaolo. Each year my husband, Dennis, plays bass on several tracks and sometimes guitar too. Each year I go several times to the studio with him and have a blast. Well, this year I got to sing back up on one of the tracks “C’mon, C’mon.” Not a big deal, but a very big deal to me. You see, I’m not a singer. Several years ago I wrote a children’s Christmas song for one of the CDs and I couldn’t even sing my own song! Luckily we had a professional singer sing the song — the way I wanted her too (like Rudolph!) So I was shocked when Tom asked me to sing. Not like it was a big singing job, but it was singing! My husband coached me, tapping my leg when to join in because my sense of timing and rhythm is completely off. But I did it and I am so happy that this little dream of mine came true! It only makes me wonder what other great things can happen in the future!

5. My Most Viewed Blog: According to my stats, hundreds of people have viewed my tribute to Helen Gurley Brown when she died this past summer: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/rip-helen-gurley-brown-feb-18-1922-to-aug-13-2012/

6. Best Concert: I can’t do this to myself! I’ve seen so many fantastic shows this year (Gordon Lightfoot, Smokey Robinson, Dick Dale, Glen Campbell, the original Crickets, The Toys, 1910 Fruitgum Company, to name a few) … no, no, no, I can’t pick one!! But if I was strapped to an electric chair and had to pick one or die, I would have to go with Glen Campbell. Yes, the man has alzheimer’s disease and was playing songs in the wrong key, it was hard to notice unless you are a musician yourself and his audience was so supportive of him, he received standing ovation after standing ovation. He still had the star quality and I was moved beyond belief!

7. Best Song (and comeback): “Stay Away From Downtown” by Redd Kross. Check it out:

8. Best Cover Band: Tusk (Fleetwood Mac tribute). This band is so freaking amazing I saw them several times over the summer. They are just so on the money. The guitarist plays so well he inspired me to add a few Lindsey Buckingham CDs to my collection. What a terrific treat! Check them out: http://fleetwoodmactribute.com/

9. Best Natural Food: GT’s Chia Kombucha. I am so hooked, I have to have this drink at least once or twice per day.

10. Email of the Year:  Two years ago, 2010, I interviewed fashion icon Oleda Baker for my health column, “Here’s to Your Health.” I absolutely loved talking to her. She was great. But the surprising thing was, she emailed me earlier this year saying how much she loved my interview back in 2010 and wanted to thank me again. In all my years of journalism, I’ve had people thank me in the sweetest ways, but never so many times as Oleda did. She is just a wonderful person, that’s all there is to it! You can read the interview here: http://verona.patch.com/articles/fashion-icon-oleda-baker-shares-her-fountain-of-youth-beauty-secrets

11. Best Radio Show: The Glen Jones Radio Show w/X-Ray Burns. If you live in New Jersey, you can get it at 91.1 WFMU. If you don’t live in the area, you can listen to it on the internet: http://wfmu.org/jones/