Archive | 11:56 pm

Saint Blues Guitars

13 Jun

These guitars are awesome — pieces of art in their own right. My good friend Brian Halley, one of the coolest cats on the planet, is now working with Saint Blues Guitars in Memphis. The guys at Saint Blues are doing it the right way and deserve your interest and support. Dig deep and treat yourself to 2 or 3 axes … you won’t be disappointed. To learn more, go to www.saintblues.com .

The Bahi Hut

13 Jun

These are photos of an authentic Tiki Bar in Sarasota — the last of a dying breed. It’s called the Bahi Hut and it’s located on North Tamiami Trail in a not-so-nice part of town. I’ve heard quite a bit about this joint but haven’t ventured in yet. Our day will come very soon. $5 super-strong mai tai’s and 60’s era atmosphere to make Don the Beachcomber or Trader Vic proud. We are soooo there. Be looking for a review in future posts. Aloha!   

Tips for Surviving the DMV

13 Jun

It’s official — I now have my Florida drivers license and license plate (FL only requires a back plate). It was pretty painless, but that hasn’t always been our experience in the past. In Houston, we had to drive 1 1/2 hours to the little town of Brenham (home of Blue Bell Ice Cream!) to avoid the long lines and big city hassles. That strategy worked out great — we were second in line and in & out within 15 minutes.

Here are some tips for surviving the often painful DMV experience:

1) Go during the middle of the month … not the end of the month.

2) Go early in the morning (try to arrive before the office opens)

3) When in Florida, go during the non-peak season (June, July, August)

4) Call ahead & ask what is required. Have your act together & you won’t be disappointed

5) Be nice … even if the workers obviously hate their jobs. If you sink to their level of grumpiness they can make your life a living hell. But make sure your friendliness is genuine. No one likes a phoney

6) If you live in a large metropolitan area, find out if you can secure your license and/or plates anywhere in the state. If so, you might consider driving to a nearby rural DMV office. Combine it with a day trip to save on time and gas

Thanks to the people at the Sarasota DMV for their fast and friendly service. I was so happy with the experience that I kicked in a few extra bucks for a save the sea turtles plate design and agreed to fill out organ donation paperwork. I would have gladly donated a piano as well, but I don’t own one at this time.  

Sonny Salt

13 Jun

This is a great product, friends. Please seek it out and give it a try. My Memphis pal Sonny Reese has done quite well with this zesty spice blend. Think Emeril’s Essence without the high overhead and New England accent. This stuff is great on everything but rocks … and maybe ice cream. I use it, along with a couple of splashes of Tabasco, to get homemade macaroni and cheese “up on it’s feet.”

Learn more at www.sonnysalt.com

It’s a Lizard World, we just live in it

13 Jun

Living in Florida is a lot like being in a never-ending Geico commercial. Lizards, lizards, and more lizards. These little guys are everywhere. They are harmless and fun to watch, but you need to make sure they don’t slip into your house or lanais (pronounced “lah-nigh;” a fancy Sunshine State term for screened in living area). Waking up to one of these rascals crawling across your face is not my idea of a good time.  

Memories of Evan Johns & H-Bombs

13 Jun

Never heard of them? Of well, too bad for you. Evan Johns and the H-Bombs were part of the DC rockabilly scene in the 1980s. Yes, there was a pretty big rockabilly following in our Nation’s Capital at that time. I should know — I lived it. Acts like Evan, Tex Rubinowitz & the Bad Boys, Danny Gatton, Johnny Seaton, Billy Hancock, Switchblade, and Kelly Willis and the Fireballs were quite popular and even occasionally played on local radio stations like WHFS. Evan, a true rockabilly wildman, was a favorite of mine. Johns had the greased back locks, long 70’s Elvis sideburns, and tons of blue collar attitude. He typically played a Fender Telecaster — well, maybe played isn’t the best choice of words. More like he assaulted his Fender Telecaster. Yeah, that’ll do. The video clip above will give you a glimpse of his live act (circa 1987). Forgive the sound quality … it’s not the greatest. Note: My Va Tech college classmate Jimmy Starboard is on the drums … you just can’t see him in the darkness.

I actually took a few guitar lessons from Evan and got to know him and his brother (“Dootz”) pretty well. Cool guy, but he had his share of vices. I was driving a 1956 Buick Special at the time and Evan would often demand a ride to the local convenience store for a 6-pack before our lesson could get underway. Once back at his house, Evan would clear the bong, packs of cigs, countless matchbooks, and discarded empty beer bottles off the coffee table so we could get underway. The house was always pretty messy and Evan’s apparel usually consisted of some dirty old blue jeans and a white “wife-beater” tank top. What a piece of work!

My 1956 Buick Special was a two-tone green model

I would encourage you to find a copy of Evan’s CD “Rollin’ Through the Night.” Produced by the infamous Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys, it is one of the classic underground gems of all-time. Evan rocks out throughout the session with the urgency of Link Wray, the Johnny Burnette Trio, and Howlin’ Wolf. Go to  http://www.amazon.com/Rollin-through-Night-Johns-H-Bombs/dp/B000000F72/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1213376485&sr=8-1 to pick up your very own copy. I guarantee you that you will ultimately cherish it.

An ever-frantic Evan with his H-Bombs