Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Jamey Jazz

Jamey Aebersold did his usual summer thing at Masterson's restaurant. He produced a night of great jazz featuring members of his UL Jazz Summer Camp. Tenor saxophonists Gene Walker and Don Braden were the highlight of the evening backed by a wonderful guitarist, organ and drummer ( I didn't get their names.) Walker's sound is a dead ringer for Gene Ammons. JUG LIVES!

Monday, June 28, 2004


28 June 2004 @ 09:12 am

During a 25 mile bike ride yesterday, Yardhog paused a moment in Riverfront Park and was entertained by a young Mockingbird, nature's own jazz musician. Although these birds don't really improvise, but merely mimic other birds. If any true improvisation is involved it must be song selection.
Yesterday's experience was unique because of the bird's proximity. He was sitting in a tree not five feet from the Hog. His little beak opening and closing singing his song.

luv, yardhog

Friday, June 25, 2004

We are all Heros - a good one by a local boy

25 June 2004 @ 03:12 pm

that special bond of people
united by crisis bigger than themselves--
soldiers surrounded by brutal thunder
and flash of nightfire or
skinsoaked levee shores sandbagging
against an indefatigable muddy rise

facing death unalone
behind the veil of
that opiate of higher purpose
suspends the soul's normal chaos
simplifying our choices

the sweat stained grind
of snagging a weekly paycheck
harbors no opiate
no "win one for the Gipper"
alone against the white noise
of rush hour gridlock
the code is less lofty here
but the stakes are no less high
where survival is the only
viable option

Christian or Lion
we are all heroes
in our own arenas

Dean McClain

Thursday, June 24, 2004


"Which of us is not flesh?...

Everyman is me, I am his brother. No man is my enemy and he is in and of me.

This is my faith, my strength, my deepest hope,
and my only belief."
Kenneth Patchen

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


The heavy set, black woman
in the convenience store
talked on a pink cell phone
while reaching for a large box of
Juicy Fruits and said,



22 June 2004 @ 07:45 am
"The Blind Boys of Alabama" tore up the last two hours of the Indianapolis Jazz Fest Sunday. Yardhog and D utilized the gorgeous "first day of summer" weather to drive Gracie on her first sanctioned road trip. We managed to get lost in the maze of downtown streets for an hour before finally finding a parking spot, but managed to catch both featured acts.
Alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett's set was a bore. When I first saw him with Miles Davis over 15 years ago I was impressed. Unfortunately his idea of jazz is to play as hard and long as possible. His trio works from the same principal. I don't like his tone. I don't like his attack. Nuff said.
The Blind Boys gospel group started off a little slow but soon got into the groove and had the crowd, which was rather small, jumping. Some of these guys have been in the band since 1939! At one point three members of the group took their portable mikes and with the help of several security guards formed a human chain and wandered the perimeter of Military Park shouting praises.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Volvo Land

20 June 2004 @ 12:07 pm
Due to the recent purchase of a new (used) Volvo 940, Yardhog has been thrust into the world of "Volvo Mania." Suddenly wherever he looks there they are; boxy, impregnable and ubiquitous. But it's yet another reason to start a conversation with a total stranger. And remember if you don't talk to people you don't learn a damn thing.
Just yesterday the Hog was sitting on street at a local coffee house during a respite from a morning bike ride, when he began talking to a middle-aged lady at a nearby table.
"Beautiful weather isn't it? By the way, is that your Volvo sitting across the street?"
"Oh yes! I've had it for years. The thing won't die. It's been wrecked several time....."
And on and on... Will everybody who owns a Volvo in the eastend of Louisville please stand-up. Then again, maybe not. It might start an earthquake. luv, yardhog

Friday, June 18, 2004

Last Words

18 June 2004 @ 08:06 am
"Evil covered by transparent lies, that only the very stupid will believe. And (that) the liars and promoters of the Big Lie work tirelessly (since they have nothing else to do) to promulgate..."

"People in the mainstream are actually getting stupider, under a deadly hail of lies and misinformation from those in power."

William Burroughs

Very interesting, reading the last journals of a dying man, especially when the man is one of most bizarre and wisest thinkers of his generation.
So, Yardhog was more than enthralled yesterday as he sat in a local Mexican restaurant drinking a Margarita and perusing the "Final Journals of William S. Burroughs."
The Hog had just gotten to the April 1997 entries, where Burroughs is lamenting the recent death of his great friend Allen Ginsberg, when a young Mexican boy approaches and asks "How much you pay for car?" The lad, one of the workers in the restaurant is looking out the window and beaming at the Hogmobile.
When the Hog told him the price, he became even more enthralled, opening the front door of the restaurant and going outside to get a closer look. When he returned still smiling ear to ear he asked, "How many gears?"
"Six," the Hog told him. "Six!," the boy exclaimed. "Six! Six! Six," like a mantra.
The Hogmobile had worked it's magic once again. luv, yardhog

Thursday, June 17, 2004


17 June 2004 @ 09:56 am


They'd make you believe that your problem is one of sex,
That men and women have mysteriously become
Strange and fearful to one another-sick, diseased, cold-
And that is true. But no loss of father-image or of
Any other image, did this. Why don't you face the truth for
You have accepted the whole filthy, murderous swindle with-
A word of protest, hated whomever you were told to hate,
Slaughtered whomever you were told to slaughter; you've
Cheated, made the earth stink with your very presence-
Shouldn't you despise and hate one another?
Why should you expect to make "love" in a bed fouled with

Oh, you poor, weak little frauds, suckling around
Frantically for something to ease your guilt-
Why don't you face it?
Your birthright, liferight,
Deathright, and now your
Sexright, you've lost. What
Did you expect? How
Else could it be? You've
Made property and money your only gods-
Well, this is their rule,
This is what you wanted.
And now they'll wipe you out.

Why don't you face it?
Stop sucking around.
Your pet witch-doctors can't help you,
They're all sick from the same thing.
Your pompous intellectuals can't help you,
They're all sick from the same thing.
Your sly, vicious statesmen can't help you,
They're all sick from the same thing.
Why don't you face it?

No, your problem is not one of sex-
Your problem is that you have betrayed your animal
Into hands as cruel and bloody as your own
Man is dead
I don't know what kind of thing you are.

Kenneth Patchen

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


Yesterday Yardhog helped clear the ennui laden afternoon air with an exciting acquisition; a cheap, gold chain. The kind worn by leisure-suited lounge lizards in the 1970s. The Hog never sucumbed to that fad back then, which is very unusual since he once wore with pride everything from platform shoes to hot pants.
So, in this retro-infested decade he was not surprised to suddenly see the recent re-appearance of this anachronistic bauble. Walmart to the rescue! After looking at several models, he purchased a particularly flashy, gold one at an economical price. This morning after draping his neck with the item, he asked D how it looked. Without missing a beat, she said, "YOU LOOK RIDICULOUS!" No worry. That's the same thing she said about his ear rings. luv, yardhog

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


15 June 2004 @ 11:54 am
The birds have finally returned to Yardhog's back yard feeders. For two months they hung full of seed but ignored as my winged friends surfeited on cicadas.
But now they are back in full force. Saturday I counted at least five different species (which is unusual, most often the feeders are made up of the more common variety of sparrows, etc.)
I still have trouble identifying all the different kinds of birds. But the more I observe them the more I'm able to see their differences.

Monday, June 14, 2004


In Order To

Apply for the position (I've forgotten now for what) I had
to marry the Second Mayor's daughter by twelve noon. The
order arrived three minutes of.

I already had a wife; the Second Mayor was childless: but I
did it.

Next they told me to shave off my father's beard. All right.
No matter that he'd been a ennuch, and had sucumbed in
early childhood: I did it, I shaved him.

Then they told me to burn a village; next, a fair sized town;
then, a city; a bigger city; a small, down-at-heels country;
then one of the "the great powers"; then another (another, an-
other)- In fact they went right on until they'd told me to
burn up very man-made thing on the face of the earth! And
I did it, I burned every last trace, I left nothing, nothing
of any kind whatever.

Then they told me to blow it all to hell and gone! And I blew
it all to hell and gone (oh, didn't I)...

Now, they said, put it back together again; put it all back the
the way it was when you started. was my turn then to tell them something! Shucks,
I didn't want any job that bad.

Kenneth Patchen
(Yardhog's tribute to Mose Allison)

Sunday, June 13, 2004


Yardhog completed 70 miles of biking today in three days. Rode down to Shawnee Park Golf Course this morning along the river. All kinds of wild life breaking in front of him, rabbits, doves, robins. mallard ducks. The track was wet from yesterday's storms. When I got to the park just before entering a heavily wooded area a quarter inch of mud covering the asphalt and assorted sticks left from the river, caused the Hog to use caution and turn back. No use tempting fate.
I did managed to stop at the new children's playground and boat dock that opened last week at River Front Park. A very nice area with lots of seating and good views of the river.
Last night D and I sat through two sets of singer/pianist Mose Allison at the Jazz Factory. A large, but not very attentive crowd. Couldn't these people save their cash and go some place like Walmart to hold their loud, long, boring conversations.
Allison doesn't look much different from when I last saw him playing on Washington Street in Louisville in the 1970s. A little grayer, a little thinner but the man is 77 years old.
I first became aware of Allsion over 40 years ago when I bought a record by saxophonists Al Cohn and Zoot Sims entitled "You n'Me." Allison was the pianist on the date. Not long after he began a solo career based on an odd melange of classically influenced piano, nearly dissonant vocals ( he sings around the edges of a chord where few vocalists dare to go) plus an eclectic repertoire of originals, blues and country music.
Trouble is, I know the man's music by heart and last night there were no surprises. I did enjoy the crowd's reaction when Allison sang an old original with the lyrics "Everyone wants peace on earth as soon as we win this war." Somethings never age. luv, yardhog

Saturday, June 12, 2004


A nice bike ride down to the river this morning. The air full of the scents of fresh mown grass and road kill. A bloody, fly blown raccoon smashed into an unrecognizable pulp save for it's tell-tale striped tail.
The mighty Ohio was much cleaner and drift wood free than last week, although there wasn't a pleasure boater to be seen. I hadn't paused a moment until the distant rumble of thunder and dark clouds on the Indiana side caused the Hog to head for home. Good thing, it has been storming all day. Severe weather has hit the state again.
Despite the weather L and I drove downtown to the Galt House for a casting call for extras in a Hollywood movie that is being shot here. I should of known better. The event had been announced all week both on TV and the newspaper so, it turned out to be a cattle call. Everybody including Betty Lou and Bob with their photos clutched tightly in their greedy, expectant hands were there waiting to be transformed into "movie stars." I told L how this phenomenon is fully explained in Walker Percy's novel "The MovieGoer." How an ennui laden day can be transformed by the mere presense of an "ACTOR." As Spaulding Gray so eloquently put it "America is a pagan land and all the Gods and Goddesses are movie stars."
When we arrived at the hotel we boarded a packed elevator to the third floor and when the doors opened, I panicked. Bodies as far as the eye could see lined the room in front of me and some Hollywood type was standing amid the hoard announcing "Alright we're going to take the first hundred people and if you all don't cooperate we're going to be here all day."
Visions of Dachau and people being loaded on-to box cars filled my head and I said to L "Let's get out of here!"
Gearing up for Mose Allsion tonight at the Jazz Factory. I'm looking forward to it. Unlike tuesdays Rick Jones concert I'm sure I'll be able to understand the lyrics. Funny thing, both Jones and Allison are musical poets with a lot say, but I swear to the heavens I couldn't make out a word that lady uttered during her show. I can't even make out the words on her latest cd and the liner notes don't provide song lyrics, So, I'm still in the dark.

Friday, June 11, 2004


Jeffrey Lee Puckett wrote in the Courier Journal today that the late Mary Ann Fisher sang in the 1970s with Ray Charles and was one of his Raelets. Wrong on both counts. Fisher was a featured singer in Charles 1950s band. She performs a solo piece on one of his early Atlantic albums. She had a romantic relationship with Charles and she was never a member of his back-up singing group the Raelets.
In the 1970s she was living and performing in Louisville. Yardhog will never forget the night at the old Downs Supper Club on 4th Street when she encouraged and complimented his singing.
To borrow a quote from Roland Kirk, "WHY DON'T THEY KNOW!"

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Addendum - Telling it like it is

10 June 2004 @ 12:52 pm
Saxophonist Joshua Redman on Stan Getz:

"He's one of the greatest lyric voices and melodists in jazz. He always sounds like he's singing a song...

He could play any tune in any key at any tempo-sometimes ridiculously fast tempos-with command, control and a sense of relaxation...

More than anything, Stan's music is about natural, unforced, uncontrived beauty. EVERYTHING HE PLAYED WAS BEAUTIFUL."

Downbeat July 2004

Ricky Lee Jones

Ricky Lee Jones blew into Louisville for a performance at Headliners Tuesday night in two very shiny, sliver tour buses.
After standing outside in the muggy evening air for 45 minutes, D and Yardhog were ushered into the cavernous music hall and took seats at one of the few tables provided.
After another 45 minutes or so Jones took the stage with her band which featured two horn players. Performing many of the songs off her new album "The Evening of My Best Day," Jones alternated between guitar, piano and several hats. Her one standard "On the Street Where You Live" was a disaster. Very sloppy with intonation problems galore but Jone's version of "Coolsville" accompanying herself on piano was hypnotic.
One other note, Headliners needs to get their air-conditioning fixed. At times Yardhog felt like he was in New Orleans at Tipitinas

Tuesday, June 8, 2004


John Lee Hooker

Monday, June 7, 2004


"You have to live a life in order to tell a life. It's better to tell it, because you are always in control. You're like God."

Spaulding Gray


07 June 2004 @ 10:14 am
Logged over 20 miles on River Road yesterday morning. Talked to a ice cream vendor on downtown's Water Front Park, who last week saw a tornado drop down across the river in Jeffersonville, Indiana. "I told my boss I'm getting out of here. I jumped in my car and took off."
The weather was much better this weekend. Gorgeous, low humidity and cool tempt. Last night Yardhog and D were invited to a "soft opening" of Lou Lou's restaurant on Frankfort Avenue. Housed in what was used to be "The Black Cat" nightclub, the new eatery specializes in an eclectic menu that features everything from pizzas to hummus dip. The pizza is wonderful. Very tasty crust and the cheeze is a delight.
The owners moved last month to Louisville from New Orleans where they operated "The Mystic Pizza" on Magazine Street.
Looking forward this week to seeing Best songtress Ricky Lee Jones at Headliners.


So, because of wearing a certain t-shirt Yardhog found himself in the testosterone charged environment of a blues club, where normally passive, young suburban husbands and wives go to act out their sexual fantasies.
At least that was the case with Stevie Ray's. Yardhog hadn't been in the place more than five minutes when he noticed a 30-something year-old fellow in a loud Hawaiian shirt wandering around the room in a slightly inebriated state. When he got to where Yardhog was sitting he managed to accidently rub his pants leg across the bottom of the Hog's cowboy boot which was sticking out in the aisle.
Looking like a wound spring ready to pop he stares down the Hog and gives out a mean "You wanna fight?" look the Hog hadn't seen since he was a kid on the playground.
To diffuse the situation, Yardhog immediately said "Excuse me!" To which his combatant only looks more menacingly in his direction, which calls for another "Excuse Me!"
This time it worked. The cocky fellow assumed a less dominant pose and thrusts out his paw in friendship. Disaster avoided, the Hog watched while the fellow gets on the dance floor with his pretty, well built wife
and does some low down, dirty dancing.
You gotta watch them blues clubs. They can be bad for your health. luv, yardhog

Sunday, June 6, 2004


Yesterday morning I went to Lotsa Pata to buy a muffalata sandwich wearing a t-shirt I bought at a club in Nashville called Bourbon Street Blues. It's a loud tye-dyed shirt with bright white letters that announce "Bourbon Street Blues - Nashville, Tenn. It always confuses people and I always wind up explaining to them that "Bourbon Street Blues" is a blues club in Nashville that recreates the New Orleans ethos with beads, booze and sometimes bare female breasts.
I did that with a young male clerk at Lotsa Pasta yesterday. I also told him about the club's house band Stacy Michart at "Blues You Can Use."
Yesterday afternoon I changed into the "Buddy Guy's Chicago Blues Legends" t-shirt I bought last Sunday. I was having a beer with a friend at the Cumberland Brewery on Bardtown Road when a woman comes up to me wearing another Chicago Blues t-shirt, not the same one but with a reference to Chicago. Turns out she lives on the North Side of Chicago and had driven to Louisville to see a Chicago Band, "The Buzz" perform at Stevie Ray's. She asked me if I was interested in going because the sax player and the guitarist were formally with the Buddy Guy Band. I said "Sure" and a couple of hours later I found myself seated in Stevie Rays' watching a kick ass white blues band do the blues... to be continued. luv, yardhog

Saturday, June 5, 2004


The last several hours have been very interesting. It all began yesterday afternoon with a private consultation with a man Yardhog many years ago dubbed in an article in the Louisville Times "the Guru of Bardstown Road," one Harold Maier, the owner and "OPEN EAR" of Twice Told Books.
Yardhog usually drops by his shop on Saturday afternoons when Maier is leading a circus of loquacious individuals in a roundabout of verbiage. This obviously isn't Yardhog's favorite environment considering his solipsistic nature so, he was more than pleased to have the Masters' full attention for over an hour.
This morning Yardhog was primed for his 11 mile Saturday bike ride to Cox's Park on River Road. When he arrived at the boat ramp he was shocked to see the river banks clogged with the detrius of last week's storms. Layers of driftwood competed with old tires and bottles, to clog the mighty Ohio. Weren't no speed boaters are bikini babes to be seen and the air had a distinct sour smell.
Yardhog parked his bike and stood for a while watching an intrepid fisherman with one of those heavy duty, salt water rod and reels designed to catch 300 pound Tarpon or Sail Fish, when all of a sudden a car pulls up and out pops a good natured looking middle-aged black man who moseys on down to where Yardhog is standing and says, "This is all a gift. People don't realize everybody doesn't have all this beauty."
Meanwhile the river is churning and looking very ugly hardly reflecting the beauty of the early summer sky.
"You see all that drift wood piled up out there. It's dead like we're all going to be one day, but it will be pounded into sand and clay by the river and come back. This was all given to us by God and we should appreciate it."
Yardhog realizing that this cat was on some kind of a roll began a extemporaneous interview. Almost immediately the man revealed that his name was Lester Goin and he was one of the first inter-racial graduates of Jefferson Community College in 1969. "My name and several others is on a plaque in the entrance hall of the College."
He was an only child born to a poor farmer in Tennessee, five miles outside of Middlesboro, Ky.
"Four states converge at that point of the country and I used to sit in my back yard and look out at the Blue Ridge Mountain range," he said wisely, ever now and then looking over at Yardhog's tattooed arm.
"There was a GreyHound Bus that used to pass on the Highway down there everyday and I said one day I'm going to be on that bus out of here. And I did it. I've been a lot of places in my life."
One of those places was Vietnam where he served a full term before being discharged and finding work as an electrician. "I learned a lot about people there. We are all alike just different."
Much of Goin's conversation concerned religion, so Yardhog asked him if he belonged to any certain denomination.
"No, I just read a lot. I read the Bible and Spinoza, Kant, a lot of the Philosophers."
Did that all begin in College? "No my family was religious we all went to church together and they encouraged me to read."
He paused and pointed out to the muddy river. "You know, there is a war going on out there. Nature isn't pacific.
Baby Boomers don't want to face death. They think they're going to live forever."
luv, yardhog

Friday, June 4, 2004




d.o. 6/4/04

Thursday, June 3, 2004

A Take on Merton

 According to Jean Leclercq talking about Thomas Merton in "Those Who Knew Him."
"I think (Merton's) legacy has been to call attention to the importance of prayer in life. Not so much prayer as an actiivty, as an obligation, a particular exercise, but a prayer life. TO BE A PRAY-ER."
Yardhog would like to take that idea a step further. MAKE YOUR LIFE A PRAYER! luv, yardhog.

Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Chicago, Chicago

Chicago, Chicago a toddling town! Back from a weekend in Chi-town. One of our best trips. Got into town early Saturday morning. Stayed at the sumptuous Conrad Hilton next to the old Blackstone, which is being renovated for condos. I haven't stayed this far up on Michigan Ave in a while and it was a nice change. Grant Park is directly across the street and Buddy Guy's Blues Legends is in back of the hotel. And Powell's Books, one of the best remainder book stores in the country is a block away.
The legendary jazz singer Sheila Jordan was singing at the Green Mill over the weekend. An annual event every Memorial Day. I brought Jordon to Louisville to appear at a Louisville Jazz Society concert at least 15 years ago and I hadn't seen her since. Now 75 she hadn't changed a bit. D and I were seated in a booth waiting for the concert to start, when suddenly D said "There she is!" Jordon, who was married to Charlie Parker's pianist Duke Jordon, had come in the front door and was headed for the bandstand. I stood up, went over to her and said "I picked you up at the airport for concert a long time ago. Do you remember me?" Whether she did or not, she jumped up and hugged me. Then I said "Gail Wynters said to tell you hello from Louisville." "Oh! I love Gail Wynters. Tell her, I hope she's doing well," she said.
The rest of the night was magic. Jordon was in fine voice and the young trio of piano, bass and drums was tight and swung like mad.
Chicago is cultural gumbo. The first thing I saw when I stepped out of the hotel Saturday morning was a large Indian wedding being held on the sidewalk in front of the parking garage. Several drummers were playing along with a recorded sound track while men and women danced, jumping up and down, their hands high in the air. The men wore white, gold trimmed ceremonial hats and the woman were dressed in saris.
The streets were also full of military men and women participating in the Memorial Day parade.
At one point a rather worn looking white horse was led to the front door and a large man, I presume the groom, mounted it. The dancing and drums became more intense and the group marched in a procession around the block to the front of the hotel where the wedding was being held.
It is impossible to stand out or be a freak in Chicago. To much competition. On the way to Water Tower I saw in quick succession; A man in a large black hat, striped shirt and boots, a man wearing a sandwich board which announced something about the Russian communists being responsible for world terrorism, a very thin middle aged man running in a bikini shorts, and a young black male midget who asked for a contribution. "We're having a party for boy who went down. Tickets are only $3.50."
The weather was a great, high in the 80s, but thunderstorms, part of a severe weather system that spawned tornados back home in Kentucky and Indiana, occurred of and on.
It rained Sunday night so, it was perfect for walking across the street and hearing the blues at Buddy Guy's Legends. A really nasty looking store-front but a nice spacious interior. The evening began with an acoustic blues group followed by a rather dull electric blues band. The music and the bland cajun food made for a convenient but less than memorable evening.
Before leaving Monday afternoon D and I walked down to Lake Michigan from Grant Park and got caught in a down pour that caused us to seek shelter under the trees in Grant Park.
Yesterday, a severe thunderstorm hit Frankfort just before quiting time. I waited it out and when I got to Louisville the weather looked like it had cleared up. So, I decided to ride up Frankfort Ave. on my bike for dinner. I stopped at El Mundo's and ordered a burrito and had taken about two bites when I looked up and saw a large black cloud bearing down on me from the north/west. One of the restaurant workers came out and said something about a tornado warning, which caused me to began eating my burrito even faster than I was previously, which had to be some kind of a record for burrito consumption. As the sky darkened and the wind picked up, I jumped on my bike and rode like hell for four miles arriving at home just as the first drops of rain began to hit the pavement. Whew! I spent the rest of the night sitting on my new screened in porch watching the first fire flies of the season compete with the lightning.