It started when my friend Mark Braun, better known as the blues and boogie-woogie piano phenomenon Mr. B, asked me to go for a bike ride with him, or rather with him and his custom built piano-bike contraption, the Joybox Express.
Last week I put up one of my silly tongue-in-cheek HuffPost offerings: I Am the Coolest, Hippest Uncle in the Whole World. It's gone ever-so-slightly viral thanks to Hozier retweeting my tweet -- and tossing up one of his own.
For my music column in a southeastern Massachusetts newspaper, I'd interviewed Johnny three times for -- in 2011, 2013, and most recently in January. He'd played a local venue in our readership area every winter for years.
The duo's stripped-down, soulful, elemental blues sound reflects their influences, which are mostly first-generation blues artists. "I would raid my father's record collection," says guitarist and vocalist Dan Auerbach.
On breaks in the music, take a walk down Main Street, with its historic buildings, and read a few plaques on the walls about the history of our town. Downtown is only three blocks long. You can be back in your chair with a fresh glass of wine before the next set begins.
Words are a big thing for Marla Mase. For her, music counterbalances and complements the vignettes that swirl around in her head. The brief accounts of fear, the blues, anxiety or the hope -- these are the themes that drive her.
In a hospital in Brooklyn, you might hear the voice of Bessie Smith. That's because the New Brooklyn Theater has set a rare production of Edward Albee's 1959 play, The Death of Bessie Smith, inside Interfaith Medical Center.
In the face of such banal reforms, and amidst the death and the betrayal, and the corruption and delay and disappointment, Treme reminds us of something that the rest of our popular entertainment seeks to skip over.