Saturday, June 30, 2007

Reflection of the Picture Taker

Sparkle & Twang: Marty Stuart's American Musical Odyssey

Marty Stuart invested his heart and soul in country music when he was a child growing up in the '60s in Philadelphia, Miss. Years later, he began investing his money in country music memorabilia and has amassed one of the largest and most significant collections this side of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. Items from his holdings have been previously displayed at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Louvre in Paris.

Picture is from Marty Stuart's website

Part of the collection is featured in Sparkle & Twang: Marty Stuart's American Musical Odyssey, an exhibit opening Wednesday (June 6) at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville. Representing more than 50 years of musical history, the display ranges from custom-made suits worn by the likes of Johnny Cash and Elton John to Hank Williams' handwritten lyrics to "Your Cheatin' Heart and a Fender Jazzmaster guitar owned by the late Roebuck "Pops" Staples of the Staple Singers. The exhibit, which features rhinestone suits created by Nudie the Hollywood Tailor, will run through Nov. 11 before traveling to other museums throughout the U.S.

With the CMA Music Festival bringing thousands of country music fans to Nashville this week, Stuart will host his annual Late Night Jam on Wednesday (June 6) at the Ryman Auditorium. A benefit for MusiCares, a nonprofit organization providing health and human services to those in the music industry, the concert will feature performances by John Rich of Big & Rich, Neko Case, Pam Tillis and two Country Music Hall of Fame members -- Charley Pride and Porter Wagoner.

Stuart talked about his passion as a collector during a recent interview with

The recent fire at Johnny Cash's former home house was a reminder that even immoveable objects can be lost in the blink of an eye.

I was walking through my orchard watching that burn. I mean, it was really a piece of me. I think what it burned out of me was a little bit more of the truth. I thought I had it settled that even though he wasn't there, the house was. I can kind of pretend that he wasn't gone ... we're on the road or something. I mean, what you said is exactly right. In the blink of an eye, it's gone. There's nothing you can do about it. Some things you can never get back.

There's so much in the way of country music memorabilia that has gotten lost along the way because it has been sold, donated or just thrown away.

That brings us to why I got into this. First of all, I just loved it. It followed my heart, and it was just stuff I just grew up loving. The first time I ever went to the Hard Rock Cafe [in London] was in the early '80s when I was on the tour over there with John [Cash] and his band. I ran into [Hard Rock founder and Tennessee native] Isaac Tigrett on the street. He's a Southern guy, and we got to talking to him and he said, "Come on down. See what I'm doing." So he took me to the first Hard Rock, and on the wall was all this stuff from the Beatles and the Stones and Jimi Hendrix that I thought that was really cool. Even though it was a hamburger joint, they treated it with a certain amount of respect. All the way home I was thinking, "You know, country music is really changing. I don't see new rhinestone suits coming. They're just kind of being washed away. Like they're cut off, and that branch is fading."

To see the rest of this interview, visit Country Music Television

La Purification Boutique Hotel in Mexico

La Purification Hotel is in a former water purification plant. Looks like a place that I would like to visit now. The pool is amazing with the side being open glass that looks out over a courtyard type area.

Photos are from BandersonF

The architects of the hotel are Legorreta and Legorreta

Read an article about the hotel in the New York Times

Met at the Hotel

A couple of days ago I met a nun with the name Pagan. I told her that she had the wrong name for her profession and that is when she said, "Well, my mother wasn't catholic and her last name was Pope."

Hmm, let me see...We have a Pagan nun and a baptist Pope. Seems like somebody needs to change their names.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Memories of favorite Nashville restaurants

By Hoyt Hill, Wine Critic
May 29, 2007

I’m wondering how many of you remember these restaurants:

Vizcaya? — Julian Serrano, the chef/owner of Picasso in Las Vegas worked there;

Hugo’s in the Hyatt Regency? — when it had a great Japanese sushi chef and ice carver named Richard Dezaki;

The Crown Court? — a Mobil Travel Guide Four Star Restaurant on top of the Maxwell House Hotel;

Julian’s Restaurant Francais? — Nashville’s best ever restaurant;

The Hearth? — lots of tableside cooking and ruffly tuxedo shirts;

Check out the rest of his list, HERE.

Monday, June 25, 2007

On The Road As A Child

When I was growing up and traveling with my parents we had a station wagon and I had the back to myself. I had the backseat and the very back of the wagon. I had books, toy cars and all kinds of stuff to entertain me. Back then we didn't wear our seatbelts like today so I was free to roam all over the car and if we came to a sudden stop mom would throw her arm out to keep me from flying through the windshield.

We always stayed at these cool little roadside motels and we would always go swimming and eat at some little local restaurant. We always met some of the locals and often had a really fun waitress to take care of us. On these little country or backroads we found some amazing sights to see, great people and what I think is the core of America.

I sometimes hear that station wagons are making a comeback. I think that would be a good thing but more important than that is that families travel together and have fun seeing more than just fast food joints and interstates. I think we need to slow down and make the long 2 week vacations as a family again.

Saturday Night at Martin's Bar-B-Que

We visited Martin's last week for the first time and I can't wait to go again. The video is a Saturday night at the joint and maybe more folks should swing in there to see what is going on and eat some bar-b-que.

This video is from Martin's Bar-B-Que Blog

Such Inspiration from Team Hoyt

I got this in my mail today it unlike most things I receive, it blew me away. Be sure to watch the video and check out their website.

Enjoy and be inspired...
~C.S. Webbspun

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in Marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a Wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and Pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back Mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. On a bike. Makes Taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester , Mass. , 43 years ago, when Rick Was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him Brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.

"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him And his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. ``Put him in an Institution.''

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes Followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the Engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was Anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was told. ``There's nothing going on in his brain.''

"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a Lot was going on in his brain. Rigged up with a computer that allowed Him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his Head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? ``Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the School organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, ``Dad, I want To do that.''

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described ``porker'' who never ran More than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he Tried. ``Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. ``I was sore For two weeks.''

That day changed Rick's life. ``Dad,'' he typed, ``when we were running, It felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''

And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly Shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

``No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a Single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few Years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then They found a way to get into the race Officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the Qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, ``Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?''

How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he Was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick Tried.

Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii . It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud Getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you Think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? ``No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for ``the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with A cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best Time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world Record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to Be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the Time.

``No question about it,'' Rick types. ``My dad is the Father of the Century.''

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a Mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries Was 95% clogged. ``If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' One doctor told him, ``you probably would've died 15 years ago.'' So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass. , always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

``The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, ``is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.''
And the video is below....

Team Hoyt Website

Jack White Interview from Pitchfork

Pitchfork: How's the Nashville skyline tonight?

Jack White: Looking real good.

Pitchfork: Enjoying living there?

White: Very much. The best thing I ever did.

Pitchfork: You don't miss Detroit?

White: Not really. There's some really nice buildings in Detroit, and I miss some of those.

Pitchfork: Was it always going to be Nashville?

White: I wanted to be somewhere down in the south. I looked around Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and it just felt right in Nashville. It kept calling out to me for some reason, so I didn't fight it.

Pitchfork: You played the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville recently, and it was the first White Stripes show since December 2005. Was it like getting back on a horse or were you a bit rusty?

White: It was a little of everything. Some things came completely natural and some things I had to think, "How did we do this again?" We just needed to get out there and do one. We'd been rehearsing with a new crew and new gear and all these new songs, of course. So we said, "Let's just play a show and get this out of our system." It's a lot different to rehearsing where you stop to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom. We needed an actual show to jolt us into being where we're used to being.

Read the entire article and interview, HERE

Where to Find Chocolate in Nashville

Take the time to stop in and visit these wonderful places for delicious chocolates and other sweets. Support your local businesses so we can all enjoy their creations for years to come.
~C.S. Webbspun

Xoconochco (locally owned)

The Cocoa Tree (locally owned)

Pralines by Leon (locally owned)

Godiva Chocolatiers

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Walk in the Park on a Saturday Evening

So last night we went over to Percy Warner Park for a little time on the trails before dark. Well, we were having fun, sweating, breathing hard and yes...just walking on the trails when we realized we weren't going to make it back to the car before darkness completely set in on us. We had gotten completely lost in the bird songs, rustling leaves, squirrels scampering around and just the beauty of it all and now here we were knowing that we wouldn't be able to see in the dark on the trails.

We found our way to the drive that winds its way through the park and then we took a service road out to Highway 100. Well, as it turns out we were even farther away from the car then we thought. So we set out walking on the side of Highway 100, where there are no sidewalks or shoulders and we had cars zipping by at a good speed and feeling a little to close for comfort sometimes.

After a while we finally found the drive up to where the cars were parked and begin the trek back to them when we see a guy walking his dog in the darkness and he was having a bit of a hard time since he was also on crutches. After passing him we hear this "scream" that we assumed must've been an owl or something and there were thousands of lightning bugs all over the sky to our amusement as we walked deeper into the darkness towards our cars.

Finally we are in our cars and riding through the night with the wind in our hair and our bodies feeling so good from the exercise.

A Conversation about Christian Recording Artists

I found this over at ChezBez and liked it, Enjoy.
~C.S. Webbspun

On the topic of Christian recording artists:

Him: How about Amy Grant?
Her: I'm more of a Jars of Clay girl myself.
Him: (singing poorly) "Wake me up..."
Her: Um, it's "Lift me up." You're thinking of Wham! "Wake me up before you go go."
Him: Oh yeah. I got them mixed up. Jars of Wham! Available at a men's restroom near you.

Architecture in Columbus, Indiana

I moved to Columbus, Indiana back in 1982 and lived there until 1985 and while it was a great city with lots of cool businesses and the city busses were Mercedes-Benz, that it was such a special place. After moving away and growing up and realizing all the cool stuff that I saw everyday around the city I felt priviliged to have lived in such a nice area.

Zaharako's is an old fashioned soda shop that has lots of marble throughout and stands the test of time and shines a light back to the grandness of architecture and design of days gone by. It is a family owned business and it has two Mexican onyx soda fountains that were purchased at the St. Louis World Expo in 1905 and a full concert German pipe organ that still plays songs of the 1890's on request.

Oh yeah and the people were wonderful as well. I plan to make a road trip either this summer or in the fall back to Columbus to see all the beauty and the changes since I was there last. Take the time to visit there someday and see what everyone is talking about.

HAVENS; A Farmland Showcase For Modern Architecture
Published: December 5, 2003

IT must have been 1964 or 1968 when I first visited Columbus, Ind., which no less a personage than Lady Bird Johnson called ''the Athens of the prairie.''

I went there with Nelson A. Rockefeller while covering one of his two campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, whose political futility was offset, for me at least, by their aesthetic benefits. There was an early-morning tour of the superb Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, for example, conducted by its benefactor, Seymour H. Knox Jr., and a weekend stroll through the unheralded Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha. One slow afternoon Rockefeller showed me some of the fine pictures and sculptures in his New York apartment.

Where there was art and architecture of quality to be seen, Rockefeller went to see it. Which is how we happened to find ourselves in Columbus, a city of 39,000 set in the cornfields an hour's drive south of Indianapolis. Columbus was and is the home of J. Irwin Miller, now 94, a remarkable businessman, political and social activist, amateur musician, philanthropist (and pal of Rockefeller). Besides building his family's company, Cummins Inc., into a multibillion-dollar manufacturer of diesel engines and generators, Mr. Miller made Columbus -- remote little Columbus -- into a Mecca of modern architecture, on a par with Chicago, Brasília or any other metropolis.

To read the rest of this article, visit the New York Times

Jack Daniels, Martin's Bar-B-Que and Driving Through the Tennessee Country

A road trip taken this past Thursday.

So we hop into the convertible and drove through a beautiful, lush countryside to Fayetteville to visit a horse farm. After that we decided since we were so close we would take the time to go to Lynchburg and visit the home of Jack.

We did the Jack Daniel's Distillery tour and had a great time. The weather was perfect for a walk through a distillery and the smell of malt wafting in the air was really nice. I bet it's just like the smell of Hershey, Pennsylvania where the smell of chocolate floats in the air except it isn't the smell of chocolate.

The guide was good but not quite like the last guy who took us on a guide last year, he was funny, grandfatherly, full of information but also kind of ornery. If you haven't been there to see how small and cool Lynchburg is then you need to get a move on. It is a cool place and make sure to stop in for a visit to Uncle Jack.

We hopped back into the convertable called the Red Baron and drove back through the green countryside and into Nolensville for a visit to Martin's Bar-B-Que. It was pretty busy but shortly after we got there the crowds came in. When I ask what I had to have and couldn't leave there without trying, I was told that it was all good and made fresh daily. The fries are handcut and cooked when you order them and the taste and texture showed that. They were delicious as was the pork and the brisket.

This is a place that I look forward to visiting again soon...again and again. By the way if you visit sometime soon, pick me up another redneck taco but make it mild this time.

Martin's Bar-B-Que
7215 Nolensville Road
Nolensville, Tn

What we ate:
Brisket Tacos
3 beef brisket tacos with a hot, homemade salsa and cheese. No sides and so it only cost $5.50

Redneck Taco
Cornbread cake covered with brisket or pork and cole slaw to top it all. I also had two sides which made it a total of $6.50 before tax.

Ice Cream in Nashville

Where I have found good ice cream in Nashville...

Bobbie's Dairy Dip (just like the good ol days when I was a kid in a small town. I love Bobbie's)
Las Paletas (unique and standard flavors but they are all excellent and fun)
Elliston Place Soda Shop (Another one that seems to have been around forever and yet forever young)
Marble Slab

Places I have heard about but haven't been to yet...

Pied Piper
Maggie Moo's

Do you all know of any other places in and around Nashville that are good?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Looking Into the Details of Architecture


David Macaulay could be called the Mr. Wizard of architectural history. In 23 books over three decades, his arresting pen-and-ink illustrations have explored everything from the construction of ancient pyramids to the subterranean systems that support a modern metropolis.

Often marketed to children, these books are equally popular with adults, who appreciate their ability to use a primarily visual language to make history, architecture and engineering clear to laymen.

The first major retrospective of the 60-year-old Mr. Macaulay’s work opens on Saturday at the National Building Museum here: “David Macaulay: The Art of Drawing Architecture,” a tour of his work and his methods. Mr. Macaulay assisted with the exhibition and will be present for “The Big Draw,” an opening-day event in which visitors may try their own hands at drawing exercises. The show, in fact, encourages this sort of family-friendly viewer participation with sketching stations throughout the gallery.

Mr. Macaulay was trained as an architect at the Rhode Island School of Design, but never practiced. Instead, after brief stints as an interior designer and high school art teacher, he returned to the college as an illustration instructor, a position he still holds.

His first children’s book, “Cathedral,” detailing the methods used to build Gothic churches, was published in 1973 and established a formula he has returned to many times — in “Pyramid” and “Castle,” for example. He examined the construction of a Roman town in “City” and the maze of pipes and tunnels under modern cities in “Underground.” He is perhaps best known for “The Way Things Work,” which reveals the mechanical and electronic innards of everything from radio telescopes to automatic transmissions.

To read the full article, please visit the New York Times

Friday, June 22, 2007

Flying day in German....


Check it out!!! I wanna fly too.


Video Provided by Red Bull Flugtag USA

Riverfront Park
Saturday, June 23

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Uncle Gio's and Innocento wine...Delicious

We had attended the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce mixer at Prairie Life Fitness in Cool Springs. Afterwards Laurel recommended a visit to Uncle Gio's and what a good choice she made. The four of us walk in the front door and meet Gio immediately. We were escorted over to the bar area to enjoy some wine and to have the chance to talk and get to know Giovanni a bit. Shane the bartender/server/nephew recommended the Frutti Di Mare with a red sauce and he was right, it was absolutely delicious. The servings were huge and plenty of meat and just the right amount of sauce which I appreciated so very much.

The wine was flowing, we had a feast on the table of this great Italian food and the conversations were delightful and boisterous. We started off with a good table chianti and after one glass of that we started into the Innocento which was superb and like velvet shimmering over my tastebuds. It was wonderful alone but it was also a perfect compliment for our food.

~Innocento 2003- Toscana Tramonti~

Thanks Gio and don't worry, we will be back and we will make sure all of our friends know you are there.

Frutti Di Mare is a seafood platter, Italian style, with Mussels, Shrimp, Scallops and Calamari served over a bed of Linguini and red clam sauce.

Uncle Gio's Pizzeriae' Ristorante
6448 Nolensville Road
Nashville, Tn

Prairie Life Fitness
300 Shingle Way
Franklin, Tn 37067
Mon - Fri, 5am - 11pm
Sat & Sun 6am - 11pm

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Stop and Smell the Flowers


Beauty in the Withering

Cross-country trip by train

By A.B. MINTHORN, For The Associated Press
Mon Jun 18, 2:45 PM ET

The Empire Builder snakes through Montana's Rockies, past evergreen forests and mountaintops that glisten with snow even in the warm months. It's a glorious morning in my transcontinental railway journey.

Amtrak's intercity express had departed Portland, Ore., at 4:45 p.m. the previous day bound for Chicago. My destination was Penn Station in New York City, four calendar days and 3,216 miles distant.

Traveling before a holiday, I wanted a no-stress alternative to jammed airports and packed jetliners. I also wanted to travel in comfort, so for $1,792.90 one way, I booked a deluxe bedroom compartment in blue decor, with a lavatory and shower. My meals and dinner wine were included.

I hadn't made a sleeper-car journey since the 1960s, when airliners and interstate highways came to dominate long-distance travel. My friends were intrigued by the idea of a train trip across the Rockies and Great Plains, through lands traversed by Lewis and Clark 200 years ago.

Read the entire story in Yahoo News

A Taste of Europe by Corey's Culinary Club

June 19 was the cutoff date for this event but check back at Webbspun Ideas for upcoming events on the calendar.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Friday at Fan Fair aka CMA Music Festival

Walked around downtown for a few minutes before going into the Wildhorse Saloon. We were there for a Jason Aldean concert that was also fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Jason performed his hits "Hicktown", "Asphalt Cowbow", "Why", "Johnny Cash", "Amarillo Sky" and more. He was energetic and really worked the crowd and surprised us all with doing a few cover songs. He did a few Alabama songs as well as a couple from Guns and Roses

Tracy Lawrence did 5 songs. Two of his hits were "Find Out Who Your Friends Are" and "Paint Me A Birmingham." Very nice set and he still has a cool voice.

Terri Clark played next and told us about performing at the Grand Ole Opry first and than rushing right over to the Wildhorse to perform. She sang a few songs and introduced her newest song "Dirty Girl,"

Brett James, Jim Collins, Jeff Stevens took turns doing songs they had written for country artists. Very entertaining and it was my favorite part of the night. It was truly amazing to hear so many major hits that these guys have written.

To see the full gallery from this concert visit the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

Hermitage Cafe was where we finished the night at around 1:00am and it was crowded with folks who had been at the different concerts and in the various bars and were trying to sober up a little bit before the drive home.

Hotels take pampering to next level on club floors

By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY

In a world where hotel guests increasingly crave pampering, upscale hotel chains are turning club floors into over-the-top retreats where members can choose their pillow, groove to a free iPod and pour a cappuccino day or night.

Hotel "clubs," members-only floors with special perks not available to standard guests, have been used for decades to reward good customers. But now hotel chains are trying to raise the bar to justify higher rates and boost revenue. Ritz-Carlton is adding fireplaces and barista coffee service, Sheraton's installing new computers that let users download music, while Hilton plans more late-night snacks.

Read the rest of the story in the USA Today

Hit the road like Jack: Retracing Kerouac's Novel on its 50th Anniversary

For wannabe hipsters of long ago, Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road gave permission to swipe a knapsack and hitchhike across the country in search of jumpin' jazz joints, pliant bohemian chicks and The Meaning of Life. Today's young readers perhaps dream of strangling their American lit prof with an iPod cord. Such is the litmus-test nature of this book, which was published 50 years ago and still reportedly sells 100,000 copies a year.

Kerouac's semi-autobiographical, stream-of-consciousness prose, spontaneously written during a three-week binge, is said to have energized the Beat Generation subculture and laid intellectual groundwork for the social upheavals of the '60s. The work is less a travelogue than a pulsating tale of searchers living on the edge, but it inspired a passion for carefree, bare-bones travel. And it rose to popularity just as the interstate highway system (and before The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) came into being.

USA TODAY's Jerry Shriver reread the book during a 1,727-mile journey trip through America's midsection. His goals: to See What's Out There and give armchair Kerouac fans an update on the state of roadside culture. (Owing to his middle age and hopeless entrenchment in the establishment, pliant bohemian chicks were off-limits.)

Read the entire article in the USA Today

Classical recordings 2: Music's seduction

Fevered passion often overtook audiences as they devoured the piano concertos of the 19th century

John Pitcher
3/28/2004 --

A hush fell over the room as the tall, fragile-looking young man with the long brown hair walked to the piano and slowly, sensuously removed his pair of green silk gloves. Moments later, he unleashed an orgy of octaves and a torrent of sound, driving his audience into frenzy.
The pianist, of course, was the great 19th-century Hungarian keyboard wizard Franz Liszt, and his legendary concerts were often more Saturnalia than musical soirée. Women shrieked and swooned in ecstasy, tossing their jewelry on stage. They fought over the gloves he purposely left on the keyboard; one woman reportedly snatched the stub of Liszt's cigar, carrying it in her bosom until her dying day.

This was the age of romanticism with a capital “R,” a time when the virtuoso was king and when composers were primarily interested in writing music of extraordinary immediacy and lyrical expression.

Liszt was the 19th century's most famous pianist, but he had lots of company. Every major European city, from London to Moscow, was home to an important composer-pianist (unlike today, almost all great 19th-century composers were also pianists), and they were all expected to write piano concertos. These are works — arranged for piano soloist and orchestra — of high musical drama, display pieces that allowed pianists to showcase their chops while indulging their lyrical fancies.

The following is a list of 10 Romantic piano concertos, listed in chronological order with their recommended recordings, that were once staples of the repertoire but are now seldom heard. They are expressions of a simpler and less cynical time — when composers were not afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves. No doubt, the unapologetic sentimentality of these pieces caused them to lose favor with a modern and anti-Romantic public. Yet the lush lyricism and sheer sonic beauty of these pieces can still stir the emotions. They are all gems waiting to be rediscovered.

Beach: Piano Concerto in C-sharp minor, Op. 45 (1899). Amy Beach was the first American woman to achieve international renown as a composer. That's actually an extraordinary fact because like most women of her time, she was strongly discouraged from pursuing a professional career. In fact, she had to teach herself composing and orchestration.
Her Piano Concerto is an imposing piece — nearly 40 minutes of pure passionate intensity. The piano writing is lush, romantic and energetic, and the orchestral part is as warm and lyrical as anything by Brahms. (Recommended recording: pianist Alan Feinberg with Kenneth Schermerhorn and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Naxos).

To read the entire article visit the Democrat & Chronicle from Rochester, New York.

Be Honest, Just Call It Fan Fair

by Gail Kerr
Sunday, June 17


This year's CMA Music Festival busted all attendance records, with 191,154 tickets sold over the four-day event.

With record crowds downtown came mega spending by tourists. A national TV special will show highlights. In short, the Country Music Association's flagship festival was an unquestionable success.

So can we please just change the name back to Fan Fair?

Might as well make it official, because that's what everybody calls it. Travel agencies are already promoting "Fan Fair 2008." Stars called it Fan Fair on camera. The band Burrito Deluxe sent out a press release saying they made a "media splash … at Fan Fair."

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, CMA. Hold a big star-studded press conference and announce the new name: the CMA Fan Fair Music Festival. Or Fan Fair for short.

Read the full article in the Tennessean

Old is New Again with Antique Tiles

Maria Bartlett recently was renovating her 1905 Queen Anne farmhouse, in suburban Atlanta. Her frequent trips to bistros and cafes in Paris had inspired her to search on the Internet for French encaustic tiles (tiles made with the color inlaid) for her kitchen.

And she found them - at L'Antiquario Antique Tile, a Miami Beach, Fla.-based tile company that reclaims European tiles. She scooped up more than 100 pieces of tile made in the 1840s in a French Country motif to set on her refurbished kitchen's walls "in a beautiful carpet," Bartlett said, giving the tile a second life, as she saw it.

Della de Lafuente
Associated Press
Jun. 16, 2007 12:00 AM

To read the rest of this story, please visit the Arizona Republic newspaper

Monday, June 18, 2007

Nine Centuries of History and Wine Making

Follow the Danube northwest out of Vienna by car, train or bicycle, and the cityscape shaped by the Hapsburgs and the Secessionist architect Otto Wagner quickly slides away into verdant countryside. Hamlets pop up, like tiny Kahlenbergerdorf, looking like an Epcot Center idealization of a Mitteleuropean village; Wagner's Art Nouveau Church of St. Leopold looms stark and lovely on a hilltop.

Twenty minutes outside the city limits, the Stift Klosterneuburg, a 900-year-old monastery straight out of a fairy tale, comes into view, rising up above the B14 highway with its stern peaks set against the backdrop of a steep, perfect-for-grape-growing hill. “Wo sich Himmel und Erde Begegnen” (“Where Heaven and Earth Meet”) advertises posters, beckoning visitors.

To read the rest of the story, please visit the New York Times

Sweatie City?

I'm not sure if we should be proud of this one or not. We have been at the top of so many lists and we love them all but hey it does get hot and steamy here in Nashville.

Nashville has made yet another list, but this time it's probably not a statistic that's going to be touted by the Chamber of Commerce.

The city is 37th on the "Sweatiest City in America" list published yearly by Old Spice.

Read the full story in the Nashville Business Journal

Lunch at Corrieri's Formaggeria

10K Lira= HEAVEN and especially when paired with the right wine. Visit Vinea while the sandwich heating for the wine and be sure to tell them what you are pairing it with. I would recommend the Domaine Pichot Vouvray 2005.

Ingredients of the 10K Lira sandwich:

A real Italian sub. Loads of prosciutto cotto, salame toscano, mortadella, coppa and sopressata. For cheese we add provolone and mozzarella. For flavoring we add spinach and peppadew peppers. All served in a big hunk of foccacia drizzled with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper and italian seasonings.

The Weasel, The Witch and Ward

Here are three beautiful horses that we nicknamed "The Weasel", "The Witch" and the little guy is now called "Ward". The nicknames come from their personalities and we didn't plan on calling them these names but it just happened. We were figuring out what to call the little guy and since we have the weasel and the witch already it just felt like a C.S. Lewis book title. Hence the little guy being called Ward, as in wardrobe.
Ward, the Weasel and the Witch
The Weasel- She is so cool but a little bit of a sneak and thus the weasel.

Ward and his mom, the Witch. She can be kinda ornery and wants to show the Weasel who is the boss sometimes and thus she became known as the witch.

He is the Youngest Member of the Family

Webbspun Wines

Here are some wines that I have tried recently and they are all delicious. Take a ride over to Vinea and buy yourself a bottle or a few.
-C.S. Webbspun

Domaine Pichot- Vouvray 2005

Slatestone Riesling 2004 Mosel-Saar-Ruwervon Schleinitz Estate~A German Wine that is so tasty and will delight your tastebuds. Enjoy this one while cooking dinner.

Cycles Gladiator- Merlot 2005 Central CoastCalifornia~A delicious Merlot that is full bodied and just melts over your tastebuds. Great sipping wine.

Stormhoek Sauvignon Blanc 2006 South Africa, Western Cape~Crispy, full of taste and goes well with food or by itself. A nice dry wine.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

C.S. Webbspun Enjoys The French Wine

This wine was very floral and absolutely bloomed over my tastebuds. It had a slight orange hue to it and was simply delightful to enjoy on a hot day. I recommend that you all stop by Vinea to purchase the lovely wine and sit under a tree or on the deck and enjoy.

Viognier De Pennautier 2005

It was so good that even the horse couldn't get enough

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Vinea Wine Tasting- Saturday June 16

Welcome back everyone...We have word of a possible wine tasting at Vinea this weekend. Mark Johnson is on location and lets send it over to him to find out what is going on.

Take it away Mark!

Hello Fellow Lovers of Wine!

Two terrific opportunities this week for great wine: The ever-popular Wednesday Wine Class, and the Saturday Wine Tasting. That's right, you heard me - it's back! Free tasting and great company.First up for Wednesday, we are having such a great time with these classes, and this week promises to be no exception! Pinot Grigio - Soft Tropical white wine will be the juice we study.

The featured wines are Cavit, Zenato, Kris, Botega Vinaia, Santa Margherita, and they are perfect for your weekend grilling and hanging out on the patio.

Class is $15 and will run from 6 pm to 7 pm, just call me at 269-6880 for reservations.

Saturday, we will feature August Kesseler Rheingau 2004 (90 points Robert Parker), August Kesseler Trocken (89 points Robert Parker), Cycles Gladiator Merlot and Pinot Noir, and finally Hahn Cabernet Sauvignon 2005.

It will be at the Formaggaria from 2 pm to 5 pm and don't forget to bring your palate.

Drink Great Wine
MJ the Sommelier

P.S. I have a few bottles of the 2004 Caymus Special Select available to me. At $129.99 please call me soon. You know they will be gone by this weekend.

Cavit Pinot Grigio

100% Pinot Grigio. Bright straw gold. Delicate and pleasing with floral and fruit scents. with a Dry, light and crisp taste. Highly versatile. A wonderful aperitif and equally splendid with pasta in cream sauces, risottos, veal, chicken and fresh seafood dishes. Enjoy well chilled.

Zenato Pinot Grigio 2005
Pale yellow in color with soft greenish highlights. A wine to be enjoyed while it is young and shows the freshes fruit. Refreshing and soft with a smooth, dry finish. Very balanced and harmonious. Recommended with lightly grilled preparations, hearty soups and risotto dishes.

August Kesseler Trocken 2004
Kesseler has long tried to champion the Silvaner from these slopes, since there is a lot of it in great locations and the vines are mostly very old. (Who in their right mind would plant Silvaner nowadays?) Now he has hit on a better idea, a 2004 Riesling – Silvaner trocken, a blend that has unfortunately been all but neglected in modern Germany. Simply labeled, and with a screw-top closure, this exceptional value smells of lime, almond and flowers. Juicy and vivacious on the palate, with persistently invigorating notes of apple skin, lime zest, and mineral salts, its sappy Silvaner fruit and brothy, nutty notes dovetail perfectly with the minerality of Riesling. When you taste this infectiously juicy and versatile wine
Cycles Gladiator Merlot 2005
Lovely aromatics of Emperor Cherry, blackberry, and cedar in the nose underscored with a subtle hint of pencil lead shavings. Lush red fruits fill the mouth in increasing intensity finishing with plums and a pretty green thread over the background. The tannins are substantial but melting, offering more of a velvet richness as opposed to the harsh, bitter character that many Merlots can have. And then there is the unique cool-climate acidity that suspends the entire sensation well into the finish. This is a Merlot that can pair with a broad spectrum of foods. Try pairing with a dinner consisting of a variety of finger foods: Mushroom and sausage over polenta squares, pepper teriyaki beef on wooden skewers, and lamb kabobs with a cherry balsamic marinade reduction.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Rainsticks, Gourd Drums and Didgeridoos

Drumz-R-Guru-Ven creates amazing art that are also music instruments that you will see at Bonneroo again this year and later in the month at the "Taste of Europe."

A "Taste of Europe" is presented by Corey's Culinary Club and is part of the Webbspun Ideas's family. It will be held on June 30th in Smyrna.

Earth, Wind and Fire at the Ryman

Tickets On Sale Friday, June 15 at 10 am!

August 7
at 7:30 pm

Ticket Prices
$69.50, $49.50, $32.50

Enjoy Exhibitions at the Frist Center for Half Price

Preparing to open three new exhibitions in the Ingram Gallery later inJune, the Frist Center is pleased to offer half-price admission to our visitors(through June 21).

Currently on display in the Conte Community Arts Gallery is Jim McGuire: The Nashville Portraits.

This exhibition pays homage to Nashville's country music heritagethrough 60 black and white photographs of beloved artists such as Johnny Cash,Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, and Bill Monroe. Taken by Jim McGuire, one of theindustry's most celebrated photographers, these penetrating portraits havehelped define the public's perception of countless musicians.

Presenting Sponsor: Allstate

Courtesy of The Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia, Tour Development bySmith Kramer Fine Art Services, Kansas City, Missouri.

Brushed with Light: Masters of American Watercolor from the Brooklyn Museum alsoremains on view in the Upper-Level Galleries. Composed of approximately 80 worksby artists such as William Trost Richards, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent,Arthur Dove, and Edward Hopper, this exhibition documents the evolution ofwatercolor as an artistic tool while following the development of landscapeimagery in America.

This exhibition has been organized by the Brooklyn Museum.

Story Time in the Art and Library Resource Center

Today, 10:30 a.m.

Visit the Frist Center for a reading of the children's book Roberto the Insect Architect by Nina Laden. This program is designed for pre-kindergarten children and their families.

The Frontier is Closing *correction*

The New Frontier Hotel-Casino will cease operations on July 15 and be imploded in September, according to the Las Vegas-based Web site,

Photo from Travel By Pictures

The property was recently sold to the Elah Investment Group, for $1.2 billion. It is expected to become the future site of a $5 billion Vegas version of New York's famed Plaza Hotel by 2011.

Picture from Las Vegas Hotel Tour

Norm Clarke was my source for this info, but he got it from I hope I didn't upset anyone one.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wednesday's Letter Was M

Moss Wright Park-Took Smokey the "caninecierge" there for some exercise and to play in the water and Mud.

Mambu-This was our lunch destination for the day.
Mahi-Mahi on a bed of chorizo sausage, corn, red potato hash with peach chutney.
Wasabi-crusted Tuna Salad, (Medium rare)

Midtown Corner Pub while waiting for Manuel.

Manuel-Visited him after lunch

Mark Johnson-Stopped by Vinea for a little wine advice.
Our wine selection? Tatone Montepulciano D'abruzzo 2003, Terra D'Aligi (Italian wine) It was very smooth, delightful on the tongue and was like velvet sashaying over our tastebuds.

Mile long walk through old town Franklin and to visit Xoconochco gourmet chocolate and than over to The Cocoa Tree for more chocolate. The chocolate we tasted at Xoconochco was some of the best I have ever had and they explained how the chocolate is made, what type is used and was just so very pleasant and willing to help. The Cocoa Tree offered delicious chocolate but the young lady behind the counter was not able to offer any information and they were out of the menus.

Meatballs, Mozzarella Salad w/ broccoli and tomatoes, Mashed potatoes and Mushrooms. Dessert was Mango and WaterMelon.

Bedtime at Midnight

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Criss Angel Locked Into Luxor in Las Vegas

Illusionist Criss Angel, the first headliner to team up with Cirque du Soleil, has signed a 10-year contract at the Luxor, with a 5-year option that could extend it to 15, it was announced late Tuesday.

Angel's 4,600-show run with Cirque begins in the summer of 2008.

The announcement by Luxor president Felix Rappaport came during a party celebrating the opening of Angel's third season of "Mindfreak," the hit series on A & E.

Earlier in the day, Angel appeared to escape from a cement box suspended 40 feet above Times Square in New York after it crashed to the ground.

The big mystery was how he got out of the box without being seen during his 24-hour stay.

Norm Clarke was the source for this story

Wine Tastings This Week to Note by Mark Johnson the "Singing Sommelier"

C.S. Webbspun- Mark, Would you please tell us about some upcoming wine tastings?

Mark- Hey there lovers of wine that will change the world!

We've got great, life altering wine tastings this week.

Wednesday, June 6th at Mafiaoza's. It's Week #3 of the ever successfully growing wine class. Last week was a hit with the sparkling wines, and this week we have Lighter Mood Swings (Perfect Patio Wine) featuring Cavit Riesling, Fetesca, Jewel Vioginer, Feudi Falanghina, and F Coppola Sauvignon Blanc. $15 a person and you will be completely satisfied with terrific juice and knowledge!

Last, but certainly not least is on Thursday, June 7th from 6:30 - 7:30 pm at Mafiaoza's. For you guys looking for a woman that can appreicate a fellow that loves good wine, come join us for Nashville's premier monthly singles wine adventure that rotates to the city's coolest wine spots. Sorry ladies, this month is already full.) It's a high energy, low pressure way to meet other wine loving singles and taste some great vino! This is not speed dating. However, you will be asked to participate in a scavenger hunt that will have you scouring the room for a perfect mate. Come thirsty, open minded and ready to have fun! $29 in advance, $34 48 hrs. before.

Register at

K-9 Support for our 4-Legged Soldiers

I saw this group featured on the CBS Morning News this morning and I was touched and I think they need our support in taking care of the military dogs and their handlers. Please go by and have a look and if you believe in what they do, please help support them.
-C.S. Webbspun

This is from their website:
On July 4, 2005, Dogtopia® in Vienna, Va. began a campaign to create awareness and generate support for military dogs and their handlers stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere overseas.

Their first fundraiser, a dog wash, attracted national attention to their cause and brought-in over $9,000. To date Dogtopia® has raised over $20,000 and shipped over 5,000 lbs of supplies. Packages include goodies for both humans and canine alike, but also essential equipment, such as cooling pads, protective eye wear and heat resistant clothing.

Following up on the campaigns success, Dogtopia® created a permanent non-profit arm to the company, known as K-9 Support, Inc., to support working dogs of all kinds. From military dogs to rescue dogs to Seeing Eye dogs, Dogtopia® is committed to aiding these wonderful animals in any way we can.

For more information about the organization or how you can help, please call 1-888-DOGTOPIA. Visit their website and support... K-9 Support

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Fred Thompson, The Next President?

Check out the new website, I', for Fred Thompson and see what the man is all about. Besides being a fellow Tennessean, I haven't heard any other candidate truly discuss the real issues and real solutions. They all seem to just say the things that they feel will get them elected.

If the election was tomorrow, here is the man that would get my vote.

He is on Hannity and Colmes tonight.

Photo comes from the University of Tennessee website.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Walking With Peter Jenkins

A Walk Across America and The Walk West both written by Peter Jenkins are about a young man who needed to discover what he was capable of and if his country was still filled with good people who care about their fellow man. He faces all sorts of obstacles during his travels and creates amazing memories. He deals with tragedy head on and yet also lives a life that keeps his senses alive and leads him on through the years to continue to explore and discover the best of people and of this great planet.

He later walked along the edges of the Gulf of Mexico and discovers the South and the Delta. He loved finding kind people, good food, working hard and truly experiencing what life is like in each place he visited.

His books are interesting to read and very entertaining. I know when I read them I wanted to put on my walking shoes and hit the road. Who knows, maybe one of these days I can enjoy some of the adventures that Peter Jenkins enjoyed. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys travel books and books with great stories.

Webbspun Weekend Wines

Cycles Gladiator
Pinot Noir 2005

Robert Mondavi
Private Selection
Sauvignon Blanc 2005

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Maybe Awestruck is a Good Description **edit**

This past Thursday we had lunch at the Sunset Grill where we enjoyed the Crabcake and Voodoo Pasta and for dessert we shared some coconut sushi*. We sat on the patio and enjoyed a beautiful, sunny day and the food was delicious and our server was pleasant and very efficient.

After that we went over to visit Manuel and to see his showroom and work. We talked with Laurel Nash for a bit and shortly afterwards we met with Manuel. He is an amazing man who is very sure of himself and you can truly understand why when you see his level of design and craftmanship. The list of people his has created for is unlimited and is mind-boggling. He was incredibly gracious and we talked about embroidery, design and all sorts of things. We walked out of there on a cloud having had the honor of talking to the best of the best.

After that we needed to come back down to Earth and talk about how cool it was to spend some time with Manuel. We walked across the street to the Corner Pub and wet our whistle and introduced ourselves to the owner, Aaron Palmer. He was a very gracious host and we enjoyed our visit there as well. We look forward to going back to try the food and festivities. I would recommend it as a nice place to stop in for lunch or after work.

Corner Pub
2000 Broadway
(615) 327-9250

*The coconut sushi is homemade frozen rolls of whole almonds surrounded in real coconut filling, wrapped in a chocolate shell and served sushi style.

Special Offer From The Sunset Grill and Midtown Cafe

Special on-line offer for a limited time. Get 33% off all gift cards now thru June 6th and after that all gift cards will be 25% off. Visit the Sunset Grill and Midtown Cafe websites for more information and purchase the gift cards.

Dukesfest Finishes Up Today

Dukesfest 2007 Promo

DukesFest 2007 at the Music City Motorplex at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds
June 2 & 3
Nashville Tennessee
Check out Cooters Place for all the information.

A Couple of Days in the Life of C.S. Webbspun

We rode the Red Baron down to the Gerst Haus for some good times done in the Bavarian fashion. While there we tried the hot beef and cheese dip and the Paulaner Hefeweizen. We enjoyed the "Bavarian" atmosphere but were also amused by the clicheness of`it all. I hope to visit again sometime when they have the lederhosen-wearing band playing live music so that we can get up and dance the Schuhplattler.

That night found us globe-trotting, culinary style into the land of siestas and hat dances. We enjoyed a fish bowl sized margarita while waiting for the food and we went back to the Webbspun household where we had a fiesta for the taste buds with tasty Mexican food.

We followed that up with more globe-trotting in the film fashion by watching Oceans 12 and it's exotic locations such as Italy, Amsterdam, European locations as well as the old faithful Las Vegas.

Once again we rode with the Red Baron through the country to the Peachie Farm while being serenaded by the Doc and the ol' Dawg. Upon arrival at the farm rode Chuck DeHorse around the outside arena and that is where I learned to ride with using the reins and only used my legs and body to direct the horse.

After going home for a shower we went to visit the "singing sommelier" Mark Johnson at Vinea. The international flair that we had been enjoying continued for our tastebuds as he sang the praises of some delicious Greek wines. He also recommended that we make a Mediterranean inspired dinner, since we didn't know what we wanted yet, to compliment the Greek wines. We wanted a red and a white wine and for the red he recommended Pape Johannou Vineyards, Nemea Old Vines 1999 to go with our dinner.

Pape Johannou Vineyards
Nemea Old Vines 1999

It was an outstanding wine that left us completely satisfied and our tastebuds overjoyed and thankful for the experience. All I can say is BOY HOWDY that was such an amazing wine. YUMMM....

We also got a dry white wine that we were told to try it by itself since it would be a nice to sit and enjoy while carried away by good conversation and filled with the spirit of the vine. This lovely little white wine was crispy and danced over my tastebuds and lingered just long enough to create a want for another taste. Moschofilero Boutari 2006 is one that I think most anyone could enjoy and than recommend to their friends.

Our Mediterranean dinner consisted of herb and feta-cheeseburgers with a greek salad and tsatsiki. It was unique, made from scratch and fun dinner that was the cherry on a fairly perfect day. I wish you all could have enjoyed it as well.

Moschofilero Boutari

Dry White Wine 2006

To learn more about this wine visit the vineyard

Read an article about Greek wine in Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette