I hope you enjoy your visit to my site – reading, listening, and watching … and come back often.


Use the menu tabs above to access posts and pages in the Music, Photos, Travel, WritingRecipes, or Blog sections. There is an About section with additional information about this blog and me, helpful tips about using the Menu, Sidebar, and Phone, as well as a Contact form.


There is a lot of music available on my site to listen with Spotify and watch on YouTube.

Some alternate Music Players may be used instead of “Spotify” to select highlighted artists or albums.  Additional information is also available about using Spotify.


The Photo Gallery highlights some of my photos, including a lovely panoramic full Morning Rainbow. My 10 most popular photo posts are listed in Favorite Photos. A Photo 101 Calendar displays all 21 photo blog posts during the Photography 101: A Photo a Day workshop in Nov 2014, organized in calendar format with day of week, date, and theme/title. There’s a Photo Summary that lists all photos in reverse date order.


Travel posts feature photos from an 8-day Viking Rhine Cruise from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, Netherlands, as well as an extended 2-week Germany Trip with visits to Munich, Salzburg (Austria), Romantic Road (Nördlingen, Dinkelsbühl, Rothenberg ob der Tauber), Leipzig, and Berlin.


Writing posts includes my Poetry assignments in the Writing 201: Poetry course in Feb 2015. Best Stories features a few articles with stories, short quotes, and thoughts about my grandchildren, children, and parents.


I would like to know what you like and what I can do to improve your experience. Comments and likes are encouraged on posts and pages, and general feedback about the web site and suggestions for improvement can be provided on the Contact form.

Blind Pilot: And Then Like Lions

Blind Pilot: And Then Like Lions

Listen to indie folk music by Blind Pilot from Portland on their new album And Then Like Lions that was just released this month. This is their first studio album in 5 years, and it is fantastic!

Singer-songwriter Israel Nebeker wrote about the first track Umpqua Rushing in an email to NPR Music:

The past isn’t finished with us yet. Love can be like that, too. I think of this album as a conversation about different kinds of loss and the courage we find when we face loss honestly, cracked open and unsure of what we will become, which is the only real way to face it. In this song, I write about the Umpqua Forest in Oregon and the lost coast of Northern California. It amazes me how places reveal themselves as significant to us by the stories we live in them. They echo memories back to us when we visit or when we listen from afar. I like that, and it reminds me how the past isn’t finished with us.

Here’s a description about the new album from an article from Red Light Management:

Israel Nebeker turns loss into inspiration on its new album ‘And Then Like Lions’ (ATO Records) out August 12. Written and composed by Nebeker over the course of three years, the record is a transcendent, cathartic response to the loss of his father and end of a 13-year relationship. ‘Lions’ is Blind Pilot’s most exhilarating album to date, a lush 10-song collection that is resilient, uplifting and often majestic in the face of tragedy. …

“Umpqua Rushing” was the first song written for the album, Israel’s reflection on the end of a 13-year relationship. The Umpqua River in Oregon holds memory for him, and becomes a metaphor for the pulling current of his relationship. Much of the songwriting took place after Israel’s father was diagnosed with cancer. “Seeing Is Believing” was written as a song of encouragement for his dad as he was battling sickness and Israel moved home to help him. …

After his father died, Israel wrote “Like Lions,” which would become the album’s finale. The title comes from a story about Israel’s nephews, who stood up to a bully by “standing like lions,” as they told it. Lions play a central role on the album; Israel’s father painted the lion flag on the album cover as a boyhood gift to his son. Israel shared “Joik #3” from the record with NPR’s All Things Considered over Thanksgiving. A joik is a “song” in the Sami (an indigenous people inhabiting the Arctic) tradition, Israel’s paternal heritage.

New Album

And Then Like Lions  (2016) – 10 songs, 41 min



These are several videos for songs on the new album that were recorded live at their Bear Creek Studio.

Umpqua Rushing – 4 min 15 sec


Packed Powder – 3 min 39 sec

Moon at Dawn – 4 min 0 sec


See my music post on Blind Pilot for more albums, videos, and links. It has been updated with the new album, and an extended playlist.

Photo credit: And Then Like Lions @ Amazon (album cover).

Lindsey Stirling

Lindsey Stirling

Listen to pop music from “hip hop violinist” Lindsey Stirling on her new album Brave Enough. She’s a violinist, dancer, composer, and performance artist who appeared on the TV show America’s Got Talent in 2010. She has a unique style that combines her love of classical music with electronic dance music, hip-hop, and dubstep.

New Album

Brave Enough  (2016) – 14 songs, 55 min

More music by Lindsey Stirling: albums, videos, and links.

John Paul White: Beulah

John Paul White: Beulah

Listen to music from singer-songwriter John Paul White from Alabama on his new album Beulah. He was formerly member of the Grammy-winning Americana duo The Civil Wars with Joy Williams.

New Album

Beulah  (2016) – 10 songs, 38 min



Here is a video from the album.

What’s So – 4 min 23 sec


Photo credit: Beulah @ Amazon (album cover).

Southern Family

Southern Family

Listen to country and Americana music from various artists on a new concept album Southern Family produced by Dave Cobb from Nashville. who recently also did the award-winning albums Traveller by Chris Stapleton and Something More Than Free by Jason Isbell.

It includes Simple Song by John Paul White as the first track, as well as songs by Morgane & Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown, Holly Williams, Brandy Clark, Shooter Jennings, and more. Rolling Stone recently named it one of the 25 best country and americana albums in 2016 so far.

Here is how he described the album in an interview article with Rolling Stone:

A friend and I were talking and he said, ‘You should make a concept record.’ I laughed him off the phone. . . But the more I thought about it. . .it came to me: Southern Family, because everybody has a great story, about their parents, their grandparents, brother, sister. Everybody has an intimate story and it was something that everybody could relate to. I wanted to have really talented artists custom write and do songs that mean a lot to them, and also just make the song that maybe they wouldn’t put on their record: the deep song, or the song that doesn’t fit in the queue or wouldn’t be a single. I wanted them to do the most honest song they could possibly do.

And people really brought it and poured their hearts out. They were enjoying the fact that they could do a song that wasn’t precious or didn’t have to fit a mold. It was a song they wouldn’t put on their album, and it’s been a lot of fun.

The concept is Southern family. It’s everybody writing personal songs about their family growing up in the south. And the second bigger concept is taking all these talented artists and putting them all together. ,,, It’s strength in numbers of having so many gifted, talented artists together, unify, and make one record for the right reason.


New Album

Southern Family  by various artists (2016) – 12 songs, 51 min



Here are a few videos.

Simple Song by John Paul White on Southern Family (2016) – 3 min 55 sec


Settle Down by Holly Williams on Southern Family (2016) – 2 min 24 sec


Down Home by Brent Cobb on Southern Family (2016) – 3 min 30 sec


Learning by Anderson East on Southern Family (2016) – 4 min 49 sec


Album Trailer for Southern Family (2016) – 1 min 5 sec


Sweet By and By [Making of the Song] by Miranda Lambert on Southern Family (2016) – 1 min 24 sec


You Are My Sunshine [Making of the Song] by Morgane & Chris Stapleton on Southern Family (2016) – 1 min 35 sec


Photo credit: Southern Family @ Amazon (album cover).

SXSWfm: Indie/Pop/Rock – Aug 25

SXSWfm: Indie/Pop/Rock – Aug 25

The Middle Biscuit is a weekly SXSWfm specialty radio show stream, hosted by Elizabeth Spruiell on MixCloud, which focuses on indie/pop/rock music gems (about an hour long).

SXSWfm_biggerSXSWfm is the official internet radio stream of the South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival which  celebrated its 30th anniversary in Austin, Texas from March 15-20, 2016. This is a great way to discover new music.

This is how Elizabeth describes her weekly show every Thursday at 12 & 6 CT.

What is the Middle Biscuit? Literally speaking, it is the warm, highly-coveted, center, perfect biscuit my brothers and I fought over when our Mom set down a pan of her homemade fare. Figuratively, the middle biscuit is a symbol representing any thing that is elite compared to those that surround it. Tune in weekly to feast on what I consider middle biscuit tracks and middle biscuit artists from the massive universe of indie-pop-rock. Mostly new stuff, sometimes classic, either way, you’ll get your fill.

Middle Biscuit #78 (8/25/16) – 1 hr 1 min

The title and artist for each track is displayed as you listen to the music.



This episode includes the following artists and songs.

  • Nice as Fuck – Cookie Lips
  • Father John Misty – Real Love Baby
  • Broken Bells – An Easy Life
  • Parquet Courts – Berlin Got Blurry
  • Cass McCombs – Bum Bum Bum
  • Brendan Canning – Book it to Fresno
  • Cosmonauts – Heavenspeak
  • Dent May – Face Down in the Gutter of Your Love
  • Gorillaz – Rhinestone Eyes
  • Jason Collett – Provincial Blues
  • Kevin Morby – Cut Me Down
  • MGMT – Flash Delirium
  • Sonny and the Sunsets – Pretend You Love Me
  • Spiritualized – Soul on Fire
  • Wilco – Locator