"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hark, I Heareth the Harpeth

Sunday, June 29, 2008 Just a quick addition to the barrage here to document a great 13-mile trip today down the Harpeth River with a canoe/kayak group out of Nashville that Ashlee found kind of last minute. Great weather, friendly folks and no capsizes made it a great day. This was the first time we've taken our canoe, "The Pigeon", out in quite a while and the very first time we transported it on our Honda CRV. It worked out great and we probably should have been using it long before since it was actually easier to load from the back of it than it ever was to side-mount the canoe on Ashlee's old Honda Accord. We wil definitely try and go again with this fun group of water-loving Nashvillians.

Paris in the Early Summer

Saturday, June 28th, 2008 With the blooming of our own daylilies in our back-yard, it was a signal to us that it was time to head back to the place from whence they came...Paris (the Tennessee one) for the Mole Hill Open Garden. This large beautiful private flower garden is the product of the sweat and love of Rob's best friend, Craig, and his wife, Alision, along with some vital assistance from their boys, Ryan and Colin.
The open garden is an opportunity for folks to look around at their work and to purchase some of the great hybrids of daylilies that Craig and Alison have created over the years and incorporate them into their owns gardens (or landscaping as we have done). The coolest thing is that all proceeds go to the Harris' church to support missions to Sierra Leone, the poor African nation that is still struggling from the ravages of civil war. Well done, folks. Keep up the great work! For more info, please see our link to Craig's blog about Mole Hill Garden on the sidebar. After the open garden and a little physical labor to help our friends close up shop, it was off to a late lunch and a visit to the newly-opened Paris Winery. This place is nice and although they are still in the midst of putting everything together, it looks like the finished product is going to be very cool with a multi-story French villa replica serving as the tasting room, fermenting room, etc., beautiful grounds and great vistas of rolling farmland and of course, vineyards.
We tried both of their chardonnays and were impressed. Ashlee opted for the reds next while Rob and Craig checked out the sweeter dessert wines with blackberry and peach flavors. Tasty. Craig even made a deal to provide the vineyard with some Mole Hill Daylilies for their growing landscaping. Sounds like a great combination!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bonnaroo - Days 3 and 4

We have combined days 3 & 4 at Bonnaroo into one entry because to be honest, Day 3 wasn't all that memorable. All the big-name acts (Ben Folds, Jack Johnson, Pearl Jam) while enjoyable, didn't leave that big an impression on us (no, we didn't stay up for Kanye West and so glad we didn't since he was 2+ hours late for a 2 AM start??) but the real jewels on Day 3 were found on the smaller stages with excellent performances by Two Gallants, Mason Jennings (no, he is not Waylon's son) and Matt Morris featuring Charlie Sexton. Day 4 started out with a little work in the morning as we packed up the pop-up trailer and went ahead and took it home so we didn't have to fool with it after dark later that night. We got home and rested a little and got back in time to see most of Jakob Dylan's solid afternoon set. Bob's little boy went solo recently on a new album of beautiful new songs, but was still amicable enough to play a few Wallflowers' hits. We caught a few minutes of Aimee Mann's set (the blonde chick from the 80's one-hit wonder band, 'til Tuesday) as well an enjoyable few numbers by the thunderous voice of Solomon Burke (photo below). Mr. Burke is a...somewhat.... large man and peformed sitting down.. on a throne of course since he's the self-proclaimed "King of Soul-Rock." What a peformer! Well done, sir! We would have liked to have seen more of his show, but Robert Plant and Alison Krauss were calling and put on an outstanding show themselves along with smoking guiter accompaniment by T-bone Burnett (photo below). We closed our Bonnaroo experience with a few numbers by Death Cab for Cutie (interesting name), a solid up-and-coming rock band from Seattle. We snuck on out before Widespread Panic closed the festival and we were home by 11 P.M. Our first Bonnaroo experience was amazing. We had a ball. A little bit of heat, a little bit of rain, a few weirdos, but overall an experience that exceeded our expectations. Probably the best thing to note about Bonnaroo is that we are were not (a) the oldest people there (b) the fattest people there, nor (c) the ugliest people there. We would be willing to go again in the future, but maybe skip the camping and just go in each day depending on who is playing. Postscript: RIP Solomon Burke 1940 - 10.10.2010

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bonnaroo -Day TOO

(from the Centeroo Wifi Tent) Another day in hippie-ville and we are alive and doing well. After waiting in line in scorching heat for "free" tickets to the comedy tent, we were able to catch the 2 PM show of Jeneane Garafolo and Mike Birbigula. Jeneane was not as funny as we thought she would be and admitted that she was not a stand-up comedian, but she set the stage well for "Birbigs" - a guy who is definitely a stand-up comedian and good at his craft. Ask us sometime about the difference between "cracker" and "cracka." We caught the last two songs of The Swell Season who earlier this year won The Oscar for "Best Song" for "Falling Slowly." We wished we had come earlier to the show because they were great and we hope to see them again...at the Ryman would be great [what about that, they will be at the Ryman in September...and so will we!!]. After that it was off to the "Which" stage to catch the opening songs of "The Red-Headed Stranger" Willie Nelson. Willie looked good for his age and cranked out the tunes non-stop. A short walk later we arrived at the huge "What" main-stage and caught all of Chris Rock's show. That dude was too funny. Was this the biggest live comedy show ever? We are searching to find out [80,000 people according to USA Today, but no mention of calling Guiness]. Ashlee called it quits after that as the rain came down and Rob stuck around and did his "uncle" duties by accompanying our nephew Matt to the Metallica show. Incredible show. Incredible energy and these dudes are old!!! The amount of weirdos has actually been much less than anticipated with our strangest encounter being some kook in the comedy tent line telling us that she working at a coffee tent around the corner and we should go get some because it was really good. Of course, when we looked at her like she was nuts since it was easily 95 degrees out, she missed the point completely and said..."Oh, they have hot cocoa, as well." Have another pill, chickie.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bonnaroo Day 1

(from The Centeroo Wifi Tent)
We're here! And intoxicated already thanks to Magic Hat # 9 (one of the greatest microbrews in America) and Shiva IPA from Asheville Brewery . We got the pop-up "popped up" in record time despite Matt's bitching and moaning (nothing better than cheap slave labor). We are situated next to Smokey and Chris from Texas and Rob has a bad case of "RV envy"...they have huge Denali that is to die for. We have no clue about the bands tonight and our plans to see the comedy show starring Jeneane Garafolo were bashed due to long lines into the "Comedy Tent"...maybe tomorrow. Bonnaroo has exceeded our expectations so far. Very organized and very cool. Our biggest hope tonight is Vampire Weekend who play late tonight and Rob has "kind of heard of."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Scott, Miller Lite and the Common Wealth of Chattanooga

Two for two, ladies and gentlemen. Two concerts in two weeks and we get to meet the lead singer(s) for both. Last week it was Shane and Jamie of The Gougers after the show, and this week it was Scott Miller himself of Scott Miller and the Commonwealth right before the show. We had just got into Rhythm & Brews in Chattanooga to hear the final few songs of Bone Pony's set who had opened for SM&TC and in walks Scott. "Hey, it's Scott Miller," Rob said, and Scott turns to us with a smile and a geniune "Hey there!" He was surprised to hear we had come "all the way from Nashville" to see his little band since The Black Crowes had just finished opening The Riverbend Festival down the street. Things were going swimmingly and Ashlee got a great self-portrait with Scott.
And then Ashlee asked Scott about why they didn't play Bonnaroo which resulted in this reaction: Evidently it was a sore subject. According to Scott, Bonnaroo is actually "The Man" and not too friendly to regional bands during their festival. It does seem that although Bonnaroo does bring in quite the range of different musical styles, Americana is pretty much ignored. They get close with rock and alt-bluegrass, but no true Americana artists. Oh well, it's their party. The Bonnaroo wounds healed quick and Scott and the boys put on a great show with several songs from their upcoming new album as well some great standards like "Jody" and "Amtrak Crescent." The crowd was pretty good since SM&TC have a strong east Tennessee following. We were not overly impressed with the venue since Rhythm & Brews still allows smoking and the acoustics weren't top notch. But it was great to see the boys up close and personal again and we are already looking for the next time we can see them again. Much thanks to our friends Patrick & Michelle, Brian & Mollie and Keith & Sydney for meeting us out for dinner and drinks before the show at Murphy's Ale House (we can't believe Durty Nelly's is closed!).