Saturday, May 31, 2008
I wasn't able to catch up with Ryan in person between is aggressive tour and appearances on Conan O'Brien and my aggressive tour of committee meetings and forecasting budgets. Read the preview of this talented young man here.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
October 25, 1070 – May 7, 2008
(photographer: Matt Sommers)
LonPaul worked at CATH for awhile, both behind the counter and as the baker. The baker's job was perfect for a musician. As long as the muffins were done by 6:00 in the morning, it did not matter what schedule the bakers kept.
Even if you didn’t know LonPaul, I’m sure that you saw him walking around the end south Broad Ripple -- the last few years with his adorable looks-just-like-LP son on his shoulders.
LonPaul was one of those people that I've known forever, but not sure when I met him. He was a brilliant musician and sound engineer.
I got to see LP a couple of Saturday nights ago when he stopped in the Red Key. He was hanging out with a group of other smart, cool, musical folks. I was really happy to see him and I don't know what got in to me, but as I was serving LP his Coke-Cola in the cool little glass bottle, I almost kissed him on the top of his head. I stopped myself in time- I don't think that he would have minded, but it would be an odd thing to have your waitress do.
As some of you may know, I hung out with the punk-rock band, Dow Jones and the Industrials when I was a Purdue student. Twenty-some years later we hosted a benefit for the DJI drummer, Timmy North. As the date was getting closer, it was becoming increasing clear that Timmy was not able to travel to Indiana from California, and in fact died before the scheduled gig.
The members of DJI decided to go on with the show as a fundraiser for Tim’s wife and daughter. LonPaul stepped in as drummer. I think I was more nervous than LP about the show, he was working at CATH at the time and I felt some how responsible for him.Of course he was fabulous.He was a long-time DJI fan and nailed the set.
The rest of us forgot that night that we weren’t 19 anymore, and I had a dozen people sleeping at my small house. We were scattered on air mattresses and tucked in corners of the living room. We’d finally fallen asleep when LonPaul burst through the unlocked front door at 4:00 am saying that it was the best night of his life. Everyone clapped and tucked back in to their blankets.I made room for LP on the sofa and we laughed and replayed the night in whispers.
There was a memorial service for LonPaulat Crown Hill Funeral Home May 14. I won’t even begin to describe it, except to say that it was amazing and beautiful, just like LonPaul.
I encourage you to visit http://www.musicalfamilytree.net/ to read the lovely things that people have written about LP. He had an amazing impact on so many people.
Contributions can be made to the Rupert K. Briggs Ellrich Scholarship Fund c/o Key Bank, 10 W. Market St. #100, Indianapolis, IN 46204.
LonPaul’s mom, Kathie Stewart-Smith was the long time proprietor of Recollections Antiques at 52nd Street and College Avenue. She wrote a lovely obituary. I learned so much about LonPaul that I’m printing some of it here:
He then attended St Richard's, Park Tudor, and Broad Ripple High School where he was always known as Paul. This part of his name was given by his grandfather, Paul R Stewart, who, early on, instilled in LP a love for jazz music and the English language.
From BRHS on, LonPaul, as he has since been known, was educated by the books and magazines he read and by all of the different people he met. LP took to the computer when he was only 11. He even taught a class on computer fundamentals to Butler University Education students when he was 13. His love of Macintosh and all things Apple is well known, and in 1999, he was able to help his mother Kathie use a computer (iMac of course) for the very first time. He was recently helping his mom to establish a viable online eBay business, and although off to a decent start, many of their projects remain sadly unfinished.
LP was taught the fundamentals of the drums by Indianapolis drummer John Hill before he embarked on a life-long journey to listen to, interact with, and learn from as many musicians as he could find. During that quest, he played with Din, Tin Lounge, Sardina, Marmoset, and the Mysteries of Life while sitting in with many other groups, and helping to produce the music of even more. He was a natural but untrained singer, he taught himself to play the guitar, and he was able to find music or make music with the most common of items in any place he happened to be.
LonPaul never really cared where he laid his head, and from his teen years on he lived in a variety of houses, storefronts, basements, and apartments, in Indy, Bloomington, and even Chicago. Recently he found a stable home with his friend and mentor Richard Upton, and they were looking forward to possibly buying a house.
Often seen walking, sometimes waiting for the bus, and occasionally even driving, he could always find a way to get where he wanted to be. His walk was unmistakable, and his music friend’s feel that came from the constant energy and musical rhythm that was always within him. His vehicles were always old and full of stuff, but they ran - that is until they didn't.
He was a well-known fixture in many Indy and Bloomington coffee houses, and sometimes he even worked in them. He was quick to learn, energetic and personable until his artistic drive or inner demons caused him to quit. He really only wanted to make music. Having recently returned from a spiritual journey to Mexico, LP was more focused, more inspired, and more creative than he had ever been. Determined to be a healthier and happier man, his calendar was crowded with meetings of SMART and NA, with acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and counseling.
LonPaul's greatest accomplishment can be seen in the eyes and the smile of his three-year old son Rupert Kosmos Augustus. A true gift to both LP and mother Libby, Rupert was born on September 1, 2004. Postponing many musical opportunities, LP joyfully cared for his son almost daily while Libby had back surgery and went back to school. Recently, while Libby worked a full-time job, LP took Rupert every weekday at 7:30 am. They went to the Children's Museum every week, visited all the local playgrounds, had play-dates with other kids, and sometimes even just rode the bus for fun. They went everywhere together - LP walking with Rupert on his shoulders. Never has a three year old been blessed with as much fatherly love and attention as young Rupert was lucky to receive!
LonPaul is survived by son Rupert, and his mother Libby Briggs and Nana Lynn Burnworth. LP is also survived by his grandmother Molly Stewart, his mother Kathie Stewart and her husband Steven Charles Smith, and his aunt Chris and husband Jeff Marks. LP's father, Douglas K Ellrich survives along with his wife Nancy and children Duke and Nestan.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Have I told you how much I love house concerts? And Otis Gibbs?And celebrating my birthday? Friday night was all right with me. Kyle and MaryBeth Jackson hosted the house concert in their made-for-music living room. Otis is now living in Nashville, Tennessee and has been on the road touring a bunch already this year.
Otis played his amazing songs, told stories and made us laugh. I’m especially fond of Everyday People, Karlov Mostand of course, Happy Birthday.
Neighbor to the Jacksons’ Chad Mills made a great sign welcoming Otis back to town.
Monday, May 19, 2008
The talented band, Soul Bus never disappoints. Singer Tad Robinson had to skip the gig because of a sore throat. Of course, he was missed but fill-in Kevin Anker added a nice touch with his organ playing. Band members David Murray, Jeff Chapin, Jes Richmond and Gordon Bonham are all wonderful musicians and when they get together, it’s just amazing.
As great as the music was, I enjoyed the company just as much. Wendy Reed, erstwhile owner of Artsy Fartsy and Liz Barden owner of Big Hat Books were there and I can’t remember when I’ve giggled so much. The fairy wand and the sugar buzz from all of the chocolate cake added to the silliness.
All and all, a great birthday!
Lisa Wilmoth is moving to Muncie! 54th and College Avenue will not be the same. Lisa worked at CATH for years and the Northside News Café after the coffeehouse closed. Her last day is Saturday, May 24.
We’ll miss you Lisa!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I had the very daunting task of writing about LonPaul's music legacy. 500 words is not nearly enough to describe LP's impact on our musical community.
Read the piece here: LonPaul Ellrich
Also visit Musical Family Tree to read the amazing stories about LonPaul.
It was my honor to know and work with LP.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I’ve got your weekend planned.
Seriously, down to the minute, planned.
I can’t believe how much great stuff there is going. I like to think its all in honor of my birthday weekend -- I can celebrate the whole weekend, right?
I. (first-ever) Indianapolis Songwriters Cafe Show - Friday, May 16th, 7:00 pm @ Boulevard Place Café
II. Otis Gibbs House Concert- Friday, May 16, 7 pm (arrive between 6:30-6:45 pm)
III. Jeff Holmes (of the Floating Men) –Friday, May 16, 8:00 pm @ Indy Hostel
IV. Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market – Saturday, May 17, 8:00-noon, behind BRHS
V. Cottage Home Neighborhood Home Tour- Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18
VI. Broad Ripple Art Fair – Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18
VII. ike Winter with Amy & Duane Summers – Saturday, May 17, 7:00 pm @ Indy Hostel.
VIII. Lare Williams and New Direction House Concert – Sunday, May 18, 6:00 pm.
I realized as I was typing the list that all of the events are nonsmoking and family friendly. And don’t feel like you need to just pick one this to do this weekend. – I think four out of eight is very reasonable.
Read on for details, descriptions and a way to get a free ticket to the Cottage Home Home Tour and a complimentary yoga session!
- I’m sure I’ll see you out and about,
I. (first-ever) Indianapolis Songwriters Cafe Show
Bill Price, Frank Dean and Brent Bennett
Friday, May 16th, 7:00 pm, $5.
Boulevard Place Café
4155 Boulevard Place
Cliff Synder is the hardest working man in the singer/songwriter business. He’s kicking off the first of a series of Songwriters Café Shows. Cliff created this wonderful site: Songwriters Café. It is chock-full of information, schedules and one air-brushed photo of moi. Cliff has put his heart, soul, countless hours and money-where-his-mouth-is into this show. The rounded up the best-of-the best for this show. It would warm his little heart to see you there.
II. Otis Gibbs House Concert
Friday, May 16, 7 pm (arrive between 6:30-6:45 pm)
The Jackson’s are the new kids on the house concert circuit. They are hosting Wanamaker’s favorite son Otis Gibbs.
The details -
Who: You + your musically astute friends & family (no small children please)
Where: The Jackson’s house near Butler University
When: Friday, May 16 @ 7pm start time. Please arrive between 6:30 & 6:45
Why: Because we love good music by good people
Suggested Donation: $10 (100% of donations go to Otis)
Feel free to bring a snack or your favorite drink to share. NO RED WINE.
They have two 60-lb friendly dogs that will be locked up for the night. But if you are allergic, remember to take your allergy medicine.
They will send you a confirmation letter (which includes directions to our home in near Butler University on Indy’s North side) when you write back to let us know you'll be joining us for this great evening of music. RSVP to email@example.com
About Otis: Otis writes & sings songs that tell stories about small town life, simple pleasures, as well as protest songs championing workers rights.
Rick Cornell of NO DEPRESSION described Otis music as, “It’s the perfect mix of wit & grit.”
The CHAMPIAGN/URBANA CITY VIEW said, “Thinking Mans Country comes closest to the sound & wordsmithing of this brilliant singer/songwriter.”
III. Jeff Holmes (of the Floating Men)
Friday, May 16, 8:00 pm, $10
4903 Winthrop Ave
The Indy Hostel has a house concert vibe, the only difference is the living room is bigger, brighter and has a better sound system than my house. And no stacks of books to trip over. Floating Man member Jeff Holmes is playing a solo show. I love this quote, “He's the illegitimate father of lit-rock and could've launched Americana—yet Jeff Holmes still keeps a day job after two decades of great songwriting. It's a dashing "I'm the biologist who's gonna save the world" kind of day job, but Renaissance men should be free to let the art come first… The only other consistency has been Holmes' ability to write incredibly indulgent music that's catchy and appealing. He's a timid intellectual at heart, but also a wordy bastard who's fearless in mining classic pop territory. That's enough to qualify him as a true outsider artist, but without the extra chromosome."
-J.R, Taylor , Black and White, Birmingham's City Paper
IV. Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market
behind Broad Ripple High School
Saturday, May 17, 8:00-noon
This is the third week for the Market. Last week’s purchases: a package of locally produced pork chops, goat cheese, 4-H geraniums, a poppy plant and two tomato plants. The pork chops are so big and hearty looking and enough for a family of four that they scared me and I tossed them in the freezer- I blame Joe the cute meat guy for making me lose focus. I’ve been snacking on the cheese all week and have managed not to kill any of the plants, yet. The Market has it all- pie, music and community. Check out musician Tom Duncan while you’re there.
V. Cottage Home Neighborhood Home Tour
Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18
$10, available at each home
I adore the Cottage Home Neighborhood. Lovely houses and even more charming neighbors. I rode my bike to an event there last year. Before I headed home someone filled my tire with air, I’d had two home tours and a beer – all offered by people that I didn’t know. The home and garden tour features twelve eclectic homes…and, of course, gardens. For more information: www.cottagehome.info
I’ll be hanging out (docent is the official term) at the Henderson house on Saturday, and not just because Laura offered a free yoga class. She is still looking for a few more volunteers to help “man” their house- the reward: a pass to the tour and a yoga class for a two hour volunteer shift. Contact Laura for more details: firstname.lastname@example.org
VI. Broad Ripple Art Fair
Indianapolis Art Center$15 adults/$2 children
I don’t know that I can say much about this Art Fair that has not been said in the last 38 years.
Great art (say hi to Douglas David) and fabulous music (Michael Kelsey, The Richmonds and Ruditoonz to name a few).
Click here to download the program.
VII. Mike Winter with Amy & Duane Summers
Saturday, May 17
7:00 pm, $5
4903 Winthrop Ave
Mike Winters... a blend of country rock influences with songs of love for God, country and family. A balance of tempo ballads and rockers.
Duane and Amy Summers... Amy is a singer songwriter with passion, powerful lyrics and a beautiful singing voice. Duane adds strong accompaniment and harmonies.
VIII. Lare Williams and New Directon
Home Fields Advantage Concert Series Season Finale
Sunday, May 18, 6 pm
I saved the best for last!
The Home Fields Advantage Concert Series sets the bar pretty darn high for house concerts.
I’ll let the lovely Cary Allen Fields give you the lowdown:
It's been a marvelous "Home Fields Advantage" house concert season, and we're going to wrap it up in style!
With frequently-requested original songs such as "Changing Town" often heard on The Fields Of Bluegrass Radio Hour, this national touring act hails from Western Michigan and is one of the finest contemporary bluegrass aggregations on the scene today.
Lare Williams, with his smooth and distinctive tenor voice, leads this highly-entertaining family band which also includes Patty and Baley Williams. Rounding out the quartet is banjo man Tod Chapman. Everyone contributes vocals, and the harmonies and fine ensemble playing of Lare Williams & New Direction are truly a thing to be heard and to behold!
And, in keeping with our Utopian vision for a better musical tomorrow,
100% goes to the artists.
This is a pitch-in, so bring a dish or favorite drink, if you'd like.
Please RSVP ASAP!!! email@example.com
This one will fill-up fast, there are only 25 seats available.
We'll send a confirmation letter (which includes directions to our illustrious hostess Cyndi's warm and welcoming home in Nora on Indy's north side) when you write back to let us know you'll be joining us for this great evening of music.
That’s all I’ve got folks- I’ll see you soon,
Friday, May 9, 2008
The day the computer arrived was great. I got home in time to mow the lawn for the first time this year --for the first time since it's been 'my house, my yard.' The mower started up on the first pull and I finished five minutes before the rain began. I popped a bowl of popcorn and sat in my living room with the door open, lights off and candles lit. The house smelled great-- rain, springtime, freshly cut grass and the scent of a candle that I bought in Ireland. I didn't turn on the television all night (even though the pull of Ugly Betty, The Office and Grey's Anatomy was pretty heavy). I sat in my grandpa's old rocker in the dark and wrote and rocked and thought and rocked and wrote and enjoyed being in my house.
Around 11:00 I put my hand on the top of the computer to shut the lid and made a horrible discovery. I honestly thought I was going to faint. The beautiful smelling Belleck candle from had melted a spot on the top of the computer.
I’m happy to show off the new black MacBook, just pretend like you don’t see the big bump.
Tammy Lieber and I trekked out of our Broad Ripple comfort zone to see Justin Townes Earle. I always try to write about Justin with out mentioning that he is the son of Steve Earle and namesake of Townes Van Zandt, but that is nearly impossible. And as much as he might not want it to be, it’s part of his story. I cannot imagine how hard it is to be 25 years old, sober for four years and constantly being compared to his iconic father.
This was my fourth time seeing Justin in Indianapolis, and I’m a big fan. I have one of his posters hanging in my office and listen to his “Yuma” CD often. I’m really enjoying watching Justin try out new styles and grow in to his own skin. I’m also thrilled to see that Indianapolis is starting to support him. The first couple of times that I saw him the same dozen people were in the audience. This show the dozen of us (minus Otis and Amy) were joined by fifty other people. It warmed my heart to see people singing along and dancing to Justin’s songs. I think a big part of that has to do with Justin’s new album being featured on the listening posts at Luna Music.
Justin was touring with Cory Younts. Cory played harmonica, banjo and mandolin. The two created some good old honky-tonk fun. They played Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Justin teased Cory about his banjo “looks like some hillbilly put strings on a drum.”
For this first time since I’ve been seeing Justin he played one of his father’s songs, “because he was in a good mood.” Off stage Justin told me that he finally came around to singing his father’s songs after a fan pointed out that if someone came to see Arlo Guthrie, they would expect to hear a Woody Guthrie song and know that he was honoring his father’s music, not trying to be his father.
Peter just published his first book “The Book of Vice. Very Naughty Things (And How To Do Them). When he was signing my book, I mentioned that I’ve always wanted to be known as Naughty Nora, but I could never quite pull it off. Peter signed the book: To Naughty Nora, maybe this will help.
I’ll keep you posted.
Thanks to all of the musicians who played along the Mini Marathon route. I cannot tell you how much it is appreciated. I really enjoyed Win With Willard, they were pop-y fresh faced goodness even that early in the morning, especially after I know they played at the Melody Inn the night before. Oh, to be young again.
Second Friday, Second Helpings
This is the third installment of the Second Friday, Second Helpings series. The musicians (note the all-woman lineup) will trade songs and stories - my very favorite way to hear music. I’m already a big Cara fan (The Breakups, 19Clark25), I’ve been remiss in not hearing Jenn sooner and I’m not even sure if I’m spelling Dawn’s name properly – so it will be a fun new discovery!
Last month the show raised $100 for Second Helpings, it was really appreciated- noticed the gas prices recently? Feel free to bring rice and pasta- we use 125 pounds every single day.
Friday, May 16, 2008
The ISC will host a monthly show the third Friday of the every month at Boulevard Place Cafe, featuring three songwriters in the round. Creating a true listening room environment that will give both performers and audience an intimate, memorable experience where songs can be heard and stories can be told. The Web site is loaded with information on local venues, a community calendar, promoters and songwriter friendly press/radio contacts, open mic events, house concerts and more. ISC will serve as a one-stop shop for anything songwriter related in Indianapolis.
The long-term goal of the Indianapolis Songwriters Cafe is simple - to create an atmosphere & culture where Indianapolis finds more songwriters performing original music locally and to see more fans connected with artists.”
The Friday show will feature Frank Dean (Sindacato), Bill Price (Brains behind Pa) and Brent Bennett (Brent Bennett & The Movers).
Cliff has created a wonderful thing. Please check out the Web site for lots of great information. As a bonus, you get see my air-brushy professional photograph.
Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market
I had to miss the first week of the Market (Mini Marathon), so I’m looking forward to Saturday. Take some time to hang out and hear the music.