Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gabrielle Louise in Park City, Utah

High and dry in the Wasatch mountains, Park City, Utah, is a popular tourist destination in the summer as well as the winter, when it's best known for great powder skiing. A local organization called Mountain Town Music promotes live music at numerous venues around the area during the summer.

Walking uphill on my way home, in scenic Old Town last night, I was drawn to the sound of a woman vocalist singing on Main Street under the permanent stage at Miners Park Plaza. Turned out to be Gabrielle Louise, who's here from Denver with her drummer and bass player. She entranced the crowd with soulful originals, including a number inspired by her winter spent in Buenos Aires.

Here's a youtube video to give you a feel for her sound:

Beyond her potent musicality, Louise is a passionate environmentalist, who has apparently fueled her entire national tour with vegetable grease: "For over a year - 60,000 miles on the road - The Gabrielle Louise Show has toured using vegetable grease collected, for free, from restaurants. The tour van was converted to run on 100% waste vegetable oil at a cost of less than $1000.

Driving from coast to coast several times as well as to Alaska and back, The Gabrielle Louise Show has saved over $9,000 in would-be fuel costs and spared the atmosphere of over 11 tons of CO2 - the equivalent amount of CO2 release to power a 60-watt light bulb 24/7 for 20 years!"

How incredibly inspiring is that? And how does she do it? "Ridiculously simple!
Clean (filtered) waste vegetable oil, heated to 160+ degrees, functions the same in a diesel engine as petroleum diesel. Waste vegetable oil has already served its purpose (cooking!) thus this second use comes free of any manufacturing, transportation, or pollution requirement. Unlike diesel and gasoline, waste vegetable oil emits no sulfur oxides or sulfates (acid rain) and is 100% carbon-neutral (does not cause an increase in the overall amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere)."

For my part, I'm happy to be without a car in Park City this summer. There's an entirely FREE bus system here. Sturdy sneakers, a knee wrap (ouch, the hills!), and hiking boots take care of the rest.

I hope to be posting more musical finds from Park City, now that I can breathe again, after two weeks of adjusting to high altitude (7300 ft.) and walking up and down the hills and stairs. Best to all in SRQ, where the beaches are beautiful and storms never touch down.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Walking out of the Whole Foods garage in downtown Sarasota last weekend, I heard a unique collection of sounds coming from the outdoor plaza. Upon closer inspection, I saw yet another talented group of Sarasota middle-school musicians. (Yes, this town is full of precocious players, including Jazz Juvenocracy and Fogt's Jr All Stars.)

The twist in this case was that each of their "instruments" was constructed from recycled junk. The lead "guitar" body was a cereal box, the bass "guitar" was made from a shoebox, and both had been electrified and hooked up to an amp. The "drum kit" consisted of jars and metal cans. The "horn section" included a trombone, flute, and recorder, all wrangled out of PVC pipe and a plastic funnel.

Beyond the novelty of their instruments, these kids could actually play music, by ear, and they surely cheered up an empty day downtown in the heat of the Memorial Day weekend.

In addition to their appearance at Whole Foods in downtown Sarasota, the Garbage Men can be seen entertaining the strollers at the First Friday Towles Court Art Walks.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday: Susan James at Sarasota Vineyard

Local Sarasota singer/songwriter Susan James will perform at Sarasota Vineyard tonight, from 6 to 10PM. Along with familiar songs from the 70s and 80s, she'll serve up originals with folk-rock and country flavors. Themes include love and the quirks of everyday life, with music from sweet to rockin'. Look for a couple of special guests backing her up at the mic stands.

Sarasota Vineyard is a comfortable wine bar located on Main Street, next to Barnacle Bill's, a few doors east of Lemon Avenue, in downtown Sarasota.

No smoking, no cover. Tips and CD purchases appreciated. This show is part of the Vineyard's week-long celebration of its 2nd year anniversary in business.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday: Special Guest with Michael Kach Group

Mike's been inviting some special guests to join The Michael Kach Group onstage at The Irish Rover the past few weeks. Dickey Betts and Tony Tyler showed up recently. Tonight there'll be another surprise or two, so stop by the Rover to listen and enjoy.

No cover, no smoking. The show runs from 7:30 -10PM. The Irish Rover is on Gateway Avenue in Gulf Gate, Sarasota.