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mySSnews: The Arts Blog

North East Texas Choral Society: A great holiday tradition

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If the North East Texas Choral Society's Christmas concert is not on your annual list of things to do during the holidays, you're missing out on something very special - and this weekend, you missed the chance to see them singing in their very best Christmas morning pajamas.

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Congratulations Darrell, Dierks, Guy, Verlon and Willie

The Grammy nominations were announced last night and some of the artists we've reviewed and/or interviewed are on the list.

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How we survived a loopy server at Carrabba's, a stint at Shoney's, communication issues at Cracker Barrel and the 'madding crowd' at the Peabody

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Most of our dining and travel experiences on the Mathews/McCrary Treck Across Tennessee were excellent. The new Margaritaville in Nashville was first class, as was Connor's (lobster bisque to die for) and the deli at the Peabody in Memphis (fabulous sandwiches that must be the best value in the city).

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I've learned my lesson

I've learned my lesson. I don't do well in the back seat.

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Who knew you could find the world's best lobster bisque in KNOXVILLE?

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Just got back to the room from dinner at Connor's ... here in landlocked Knoxville is the best lobster/crab bisque I've ever tasted. Who knew?

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Presidents, pork ribs and parrotheads

The Mathews/McCrary Trek Across Tennessee is in full swing.

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Thelonious Monk's 'ROUND MIDNIGHT ... brilliantly interpreted by Lady Ella

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I've been on a jazz journey lately ... the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis' revolutionary album, "Green in Blue," last year and the release of a new biography of Thelonious Monk have spurred me to rediscover this truly American sound.

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Ancient Chinese secret: Steve Berry's "The Emperor's Tomb," hits shelves Nov. 23

If you're a Cotton Malone fan, Tuesday, Nov. 23 is a red-letter day. If you haven't read Steve Berry's books featuring this dashing anti-hero, maybe it's time you start.

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The Guitar: Verlon Thompson shows us the way it should be done

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Verlon Thompson recorded this at his house one night after coming in from a gig. He and Guy Clark wrote the tune and do it when they're touring. They're great together, but this clip is a lesson in how to give an unforgettable performance. He's playing a Guild guitar ... Guild is using the clip for promotions. The playing is stunning. Verlon shows us what a piece of wood and some steel can become in the master's hands.

 

 

All roads lead to Townes

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I got the idea for the series "A Songwriter's Sojourn" from Nashville musician Darrell Scott. When I interviewed him in November of last year, we talked about songwriters he admired, and, of course, the late, great Townes Van Zandt's name came up.

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