Archive for category: Family and Friends
I recently took a trip to Payne’s Prairie to hang out with my oldest daughter, Kendall, for Dad / Daughter weekend with her sorority at the University of Florida. Kendall and I decided to go for a hike in this spectacular state park and came across a lot of wildlife (although we didn’t run into any wild horses or bison -yes, bison- that live in the park). Nonetheless, it was an awesome time adventuring with my daughter, who’s always up for exploring with me.
Here’s some bad cell phone footage of Jack Johnson on his recent (2017) stop at the St. Augustine Amphitheater in St. Augustine, Florida (Sorry, I was too busy watching and listening to try and film him!) Fantastic concert, as always! Here’s Jack doing a cover of Sublime’s Bad Fish and Boss DJ.
The Blizzard Branch Syrup company in Middendorf, South Carolina makes pure cane sugar syrup using fresh cut sugar cane and a hand press. Sugar cane goes in. Sweet stuff comes out. Then it’s off to be strained boiled and strained again. Willy Wonka has nothing on these guys! I’m pretty sure this is where they recorded the sound effects for that movie, anyway. This is a great example of sustainable farming and agritourism. Interesting stuff! We had a good time romping around up there while visiting family in Hartsville, SC over the Thanksgiving holidays.
Here’s one more unplugged acoustic cover from the Dead 27’s. This one is Stevie Wonder’s ’74 classic, “Livin’ in the City”. Again, you can’t really even try to tackle a song like this one on unless you’ve got a lot of soul in you. These guys do.
Here’s a couple of more great tunes for you! If you want to catch a fantastic up-and-coming band, check out the Dead 27s (named for all of the famous musicians who died at age 27 including Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin, among others). They’re based out of Charleston, SC where they recently won Rock Band of the Year and Best Rock Song for the area. Their sound is a mix of rock, funk and soul. They’ve put out a couple of albums, the most recent being Ghosts Are Calling, which represents their first major record deal. They’ll be touring to support that album this year.
Will Evans, their lead guitarist, keyboardist and harmony vocalist is a great guy who is marrying my wife’s cousin, Amanda. We get to see both of them up on the Chapman family farm in Hartsville, SC each year, which I’ve written about here before. I’m excited for both of them. I’m sure 2017 is going to be an epic year for Will and Amanda in many ways!
The Dead 27s have an active Facebook page where they regularly post unplugged acoustic music videos. I’m going to post a couple of their fantastic covers. Here’s Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” which they performed as a tribute shortly after the Purple One’s passing. This is Will and lead singer, Trey Francis. I don’t know too many people who could pull this song off. You’ve just got to have a lot of soul to be able to do it. These guys have got it! I’ll post one more after this showcasing the entire band tackling Stevie Wonder. It’s also pretty amamzing! Enjoy, and make sure to check ’em out!
A peek at the fun from our recent annual trip up to farm country in Hartsville, SC at Thanksgiving! Roasting hot dogs on a stick and making s’mores is always on the agenda here. Good times!
I recently took a trip to the Smoky Mountains with my brother Rob’s wife and daughters, her parents, and my own, to release some of my brother’s ashes into the Appalachians, up there. His 18-year-old daughter, Madison, found this perfect spot. This stream is on the Gatlinburg side of the Great Smoky Mountain. Fortunately, we made it up there just a few weeks before the deadly wildfires of this past week.
Rob, myself and our family used to travel up here every Christmas, to romp around around in the snow, hike the trails and go skiing. Like all of us, Rob loved it, and while his soul is with the Lord, I know he’d sure be happy with the returning of the ashes of his body to the earth, right here in this beautiful, peaceful setting that held so many great memories for our family. Rest in Peace, Rob. We love you, and will never forget you.
My good friend and former UF roommate, Dan Rudd. Dan hosted us for a few days in Santa Barbara on our recent trip out west. When I was 19, Dan and I, along with my younger brother, a friend of his and my dad went across country in two cars hitting a ton of national parks. All the way from Florida to Huntington Beach! We did the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, White Sands, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Grand Tetons, Rocky Mountains, Mt. Rushmore… More than I can remember over 2-3 weeks! There was no Instagram back then, but we took a coffee table book about national parks with us and in each park, we’d look at the photos and try to find the exact spots where the photographers shot from, to recreate them for comparison later. It was fun detective work. Dan said that trip changed his life and later helped prompt him to move out West (like several other of my close college friends). I’m a very happy third-gen native of (Jax) Florida, but do love it out there. So beautiful! Tomorrow is the 100th birthday of the National Parks Service, so a good time to reflect on some of those special places and good times.