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With his 2020 album Starting Over, Chris Stapleton demonstrates just maybe there is still hope for country music of the major label variety. Whereas Stapleton’s excellent new one holds tightly to the traditional side of country music equation, the thinking here is it’s more of an anomaly and…

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Everyone is unique. Everyone is equal. Everyone has gifts and talents to share. The world functions well when we all recognize these simple points. Recognizing our gifts, primarily through identifying what it is we love, and then pursuing activities that utilize these skills and loves allows…

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I am a great believer in traditions and a passionate practitioner of rituals, and as if, growing up Jewish, I didn’t have enough of both, I invented, many years ago, an end-of-the-annum practice we’ve taken to calling “Turning Over the Year.” It’s become, I have to say, rather sacred on the …

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Winter, finally, is wood stove cold. Boats of all sizes are wrapped in slinky white  blankets while Monahan’s Pier rests without echoes of Narragansett Surfcasters’ salty tall tales. Seasoned anglers know all that means it’s time: we must respect our proximity to Spring with inevitable tasks…

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Are you aware of how many cells are in your body? Approximately seventy-six trillion, give or take a few million! That is a lot of zeroes. That is a lot of cells. In the time taken to read this article millions and millions of cells will die off, and millions and millions of cells will be bo…

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The Winter Solstice has been and gone. Christmas is past, but before the insanely wet, windy, and warm weather turned the Currier and Ives landscape from delicious white to somber brown, my son Noah and I strapped on our cross-country skis and journeyed into the snowy heart of one of my favo…

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That 2020 calendar belongs in a recycle bin and your Christmas tree belongs in a river. There’s not much to be done about what we all just went through but this year we’re starting off with a new hope. Since 2018, members of Rhode Island’s Trout Unlimited chapter have collected pine trees to…

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It has been a long, long year in which many have suffered. In times like these, music can be a salvation and  despite what has been a catastrophic year it still yielded much fine listening material which we here at Ear Bliss Central are forever grateful. As we usually do this time of year, w…

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Because traditions have been absolutely bulldozed this year, our annual Fish Wrap recap is getting a redo. For sure 2020 had some really low moments. You couldn’t buy a tent, kayak, trampoline or tiki torch. Even seeds for backyard gardens sold out. 2020 challenged our norms, took people we …

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Beginning with his work with roots rock & rollers The Blasters in the late 1970s and through his solo work and his own bands The Guilty Ones and The Guilty Women, not to mention side projects and sideman stints with bands like X, The Knitters, and Flesh Eaters, an electric guitar has alw…

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As we wind down another year, winter and its delights are settling in. The lights are strung along homes and public spaces to shed a little extra light in the darker times. The sun is low in the southern sky. Colder air is seeping down from our northern reaches. The trees are all happily sho…

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You’re a musician, so what do you do when locked down during a pandemic? Well, you certainly can’t tour. In the case of many musicians, you make a record which is exactly what the two artists in this week’s Ear Bliss spotlight accomplished. First up is the latest album from Sturgill Simpson …

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A holiday reissue and an historical collection of sorts are in the Ear Bliss spotlight this Thanksgiving week. Here at Ear Bliss Central, we forever give thanks for the music of Buck Owens & The Buckaroos. This is a band whose music never fails to put a smile on your face and a hop in yo…

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Founded in 1975, Bear Family Records of Germany has pretty much set the golden standard for box set reissues beginning with multi-LP sets in its early days and moving to compact disc with its advent as a medium in the 1980s. The latter, by virtue of being able to contain up to 80 minutes of …

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Tautog fishing has been strong for a few months now but that’s starting to change with a change in seasons. Reliable spots have been giving up just a few keeper sized fish, just a few shorts, or just simply none at all. Plus, autumn’s winds don’t help the boat fishing crowd. But, if you don’…

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It’s been so dry for so long. Moon dust dry, sawdust dry, so dry trees are whistling for the dogs. June, July and August all had above average high temperatures and in August, we suffered through nine days of temperatures exceeding ninety. The capital city recorded just 5.99 inches of rain a…

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Ladies are once again in the Ear Bliss spotlight this week as we look at recent releases from Kathleen Edwards and Molly Tuttle. For the Ottawa-based Edwards, her new album Total Freedom is a comeback story of sorts. Her first album since 2012, it marks the end of a six-year period where Edw…

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The day before the autumnal equinox arrived, the weather helped set the proper mood with temperatures so appropriately low that the national meteorologists posted lurid Frost Advisories on various forecast websites.

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Darkness casually faded into the summer excitement of unloading boats for a day chasing albies and striped bass. Galilee’s new boat ramp, designed to launch three boats at once with sturdy docks for coming and going, was bustling. Overhead were stars and stripes of irritating early morning c…

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“I’m tight!” Ray Stachelek yelled from the stern of his Everglades 230 center console. After an hour searching for fish in foggy Galilee, Captain Ray had moved west, along the beach, staying in thirty feet of water, waiting for what he hoped would happen. Now, leaning over the port side, he …

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We reap what we sow. This has obvious implications at this time of year, though if we contemplate our life path, we may see that this does not always have to do with food. There is much interesting spiritual, metaphysical and everyday material on things like karma, sustained effort, attitude…

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“Plants are more interesting than you think they are,” said botanist, teacher, writer, and photographer Carol Gracie, as she discussed her lifelong fascination with the green and growing world. We were talking, by phone—Carol, from her home in rural Westchester County, New York; your faithfu…

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The stellar new album from Austin-based country and roots artist Charley Crockett called Welcome to Hard Times receives the Ear Bliss look-see this week along with the latest effort from The Texas Gentlemen called Floor It! From busking in the streets of New Orleans, New York, Europe and Afr…

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When The Last Jedi debuted in 2017, immediate praise met its throne room fight, in which previous adversaries Rey and Kylo Ren united to take down a swarm of opposing guards after dispatching the head of the First Order, Supreme Leader Snoke. In recent years, though, Youtubers, bloggers and …

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The animal kingdom is vast. There are thousands and thousands of different species of animals across the globe. Most of them are wild, and have limited interaction with humans. Many are domesticated and live primarily with humans. Some have certain breeds and groups that are wild and some th…

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With July rolling right along and water temperatures rising, fishing remains strong. Bigger than slot limit striped bass are hanging all around everywhere and if you can be patient, Hexagenia mayflies are dancing on the Wood. 

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What more can you say about Jason Isbell? Multiple Grammy award winner, darling of the Americana scene, and judging by all interviews I’ve heard with him, a really nice and thoughtful guy, to boot. Isbell’s rise has been almost meteoric. In a normal, non-pandemic world, the release of his la…

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If you still remember your Latin, you’ll recall that omne trium perfectum translates to “everything that comes in threes is perfect.” Of course, “perfect” does not necessarily mean perfectly wonderful and, more often than not, the so-called “rule of three” refers to a complete set of utterly…

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The singer and songwriter Katie Pruitt is one of the new voices on the big tent Americana scene. On her debut for Rounder Records called Expectations, the Georgia native delivers a powerfully honest set of songs of a highly personal nature about growing up gay in the South. They are songs th…

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I have been very dutiful about sticking to the COVID-19 rules, but last week, on a sunny and windy day following a much-hyped-but-less-than-epic nor’easter, I did something that may not have been anti-coronavirus correct. Indeed, the possible-transgression I’m about to own up to may not have…

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And just like that, there’s talk of a thirty pound striped bass off Narragansett Beach. The snow shovel is still on the front step, daffodils have started lifting their heads and we are seeing our first few lice covered schoolies on the beach but a thirty? In a rainy April with still-chilly …