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If the long-range forecasts—the ones from the Weather Channel and the National Weather Service, not the prognostications of the Woolly Bear caterpillars, whose relative amounts of black to brown seem to be calling for a bit colder weather than usual—are even close to correct, early to mid No…

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Gospel music is in the air with this week’s installment of Ear Bliss as we look at the two inaugural releases from the newly christened, Memphis-based Bible & Tire Recording Company.

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Prayer is a contemplative process used by many people the world around.  There are thousands of set prayers found in all of the spiritual elements, worship groups and religions of human culture.  Prayers are directed at God, gods or other objects of worship.  The definition of prayer is, “a …

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Start your engines! Here we go into the holiday season. The first one is many people’s fun favorite, Halloween. With bags or candy flying off the shelf and pumpkins being carved, homes decorated and a general air of scare running, kids and adults alike are excited. With the run into Thanksgi…

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I have confession to make: I was raised Jewish, I identify myself as Jewish on all official documents, and I delight in all things Jewish, from bagels and lox to minor-key music. That said, I also carry within me a kind of deep spiritual secret—in my heart of hearts, I’m something of a pagan.

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With documentary filmmaker Ken Burns’ recent PBS television special called Country Music fresh on folks’ minds, and particularly with its frequent focus on the country sounds emanating from the West Coast of the U.S., the time is certainly prime for the release of a collection zeroing in on …

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Rich Heffernan smoothed his perfect gray mustache and surveyed the crowd. They were cold, hungry fishermen in fleece hats and sweatshirts, the salty uniforms of those who spent long nights in the surf. Rich was helping host the breakfast banquet of the 26th Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Ass…

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In recent years, music festivals have been popping up with greater frequency on the summer landscape. The beauty of them aside from the warm weather and kick-back attitude of attendees? It’s the smorgasbord angle to them with promoters typically offering up a stylistic variety of sounds and …

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Everybody take a deep breath and say thank you to the trees for the nice clean air. We are reminded at this lovely autumnal time of year of the trees around us, more by sight than anything else. The changing of the leaves from green to orange, yellow, red, purples and browns is a clear sign …

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“I came because I love to fish,” said Pat Green. Sitting in a stark white Cape Cod conference room with an impromptu bar on one side and a plate of smoked salmon on the other, she was happy to be out of the rain. Fall was delivering a third day of northeast wind of biblical proportions. Rain…

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Contemporary Theatre is once again living up to their name. The Wakefield company is staging a trimmed, non-traditional casted, version of what is, arguably, the most important play in the English-speaking theater; a work of poetry and power, the penultimate challenge for actors for more tha…

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Officially, the temperature on our venerable Taylor maximum-minimum thermometer never got below 38 degrees F. in the early morning hours of October 16th, and while there was no sign of silver when the sun rose at our address midway up the ridge, I had a sneaking suspicion that things were a …

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He was the son of a fisherman. Gabriel Thomas Littlefield was ten, strong, a little wild and was blessed with an old man’s soul. He was dealt a tough card. He proved wisdom doesn’t always come with age. 

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For his latest release called Fever Breaks, the singer/songwriter Josh Ritter enlists the big guns on the talent front. From an Americana and contemporary folk perspective where Ritter’s music has always resided, it doesn’t get much bigger than Jason Isbell who produced Fever Breaks and his …

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Crossing a bridge, whether literally or metaphorically, will bring you to the other side. What lies there at the foot of the bridge just crossed is always going to be a bit of a mystery. If the bridge is never crossed, then of course the mystery will never be revealed. What does it take to c…

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Recent albums from one-man band The Suitcase Junket and a new project from Luther Dickinson of North Mississippi All-Stars fame are in this week’s Ear Bliss spotlight. The Suitcase Junket is Bay State native Matt Lorenz. Produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos fame, Mean Dog, Trampoline is Lor…

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Project Healing Waters and Stars and Stripers have teamed up for a second year to give disabled veterans a day fishing on Narragansett Bay. On Saturday, June 8, the non profit group of passionate volunteers will help a dozen vets fish with local captains for blues, bass and anything they can…

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A snippet on a radio talk show piece caught our attention the other day in a very real and startling way. The number of deaths each year from opioid related drug overdose is greater than the number of deaths in traffic accidents and by gun shooting combined in the United States. Somewhere in…

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In Salt Lake City, the faithful call it “The Miracle of the Gulls,” and, in countless retellings from Mormon pulpits, the story goes like this. In 1847, a band of pilgrims led by Brigham Young, the so-called “American Moses” and second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Sa…

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David Gregg, executive director of the Rhode Island Natural History Survey (RINHS) sits under a canopy at a long table sorting ants. There are perhaps a dozen or so that he has recently collected contained in a tiny bottle. He separates them before handing them off to an ant expert who will …

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If we set an intention to do something, the chances are much greater that we will actually do this thing.  If we write the intention down somewhere, in a journal or such, we again increase the odds of this thing being done.  It is a good way to begin to feel better about ourselves and the wo…

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Here’s thinking the prevailing thought out there amongst Nora Jones fans is any new album from her, even if it consists of songs not necessarily recorded with the intention of releasing them as a complete work, is better than no new Nora Jones music. That new “album” is called Begin Again an…

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For the past 27 years, the Maryland-based American Hiking Society has co-opted the first Saturday in June to stage a nationwide celebration of this country’s more than 200,000 miles of pathways. But, as with many good things, “National Trails Day” soon expanded to encompass the first weekend…

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What if the State held a meeting about the future of our outdoor recreation and no one went? How would we know how our parks, beaches, woods and trails were being managed, purchased or changed? Public participation in public policy is tricky since couches are more comfortable than podiums an…

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One falls under the genre of pop while the other lands in the folk sphere, but what they share is a love of atmospherics in their songs. Wreckless Eric has had a long and one could say storied career that began back in the 1970s as one of the original Stiff Records artists with the likes of …

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If you have not been outside in a little while, it has been raining, a lot.  The grass, the trees, the flowers and shrubs are not complaining.  The green is deep and rich just now.  The flowers have survived inordinate numbers of days due to the cloud cover and cooler temperatures.  Flowerin…

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If you ever needed a dose of humility, I have a suggestion: run, don’t walk, to an outdoor  “pharmacy” that encompasses the wonderfully frustrating world of birdwatching. For most of May—indeed, most Mays of my entire life—I have been rummaging through its shelves in search of various “compo…

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On the new album called Union from long-running alternative country act Son Volt, lead singer, songwriter, and band founder Jay Farrar has things to get off his chest. In the true spirit of folk music and restless troubadours like Woody Guthrie or Pete Seeger, Union is a platform for Farrar …

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When we catch ourselves becoming frustrated with other people, in certain situations or just with the way we feel generally, it is always important to notice if we are trying to hold steadfastly to some idea, concept or expectation. If we find that in fact we are being a bit stubborn with th…

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I can’t be sure that this is correct, but if a certain well-placed source heard this right, then it seems that the powers in charge of writing the newest edition of the definitive Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—this would be the DSM-6—is currently debating, and debatin…

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Fire can destroy everything as it tears through roofs, walls and hearts. What fire doesn’t always do is destroy the human spirit and passions to rebuild. When Big Bear Hunting and Firearms in Harmony burned in January of 2018, the building was left in tough shape and save for some firearms a…

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In a typical early-ish May, the Journal topic-of-the-week would, no doubt, encompass all things avian. The spring migration would be in full force, and every day would be rich with new discoveries. There’d be a host of different male warblers flashing their resplendent breeding plumage and s…

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Last week, The Ocean Conservancy invited a flotilla of fishermen from all over the country to Washington D.C. to discuss long range protection of fish stocks and the path to abundance, by ensuring a strong Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, with our congressional repre…

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Now that cookout season is truly upon us, let us all consider what toppings we may like on our first grilled hamburger this year. Of course, some folks grill all year round, and for you hearty folks, perhaps some new recipes might be in the mix. Either way, the hamburger, America’s most popu…

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With warm weather approaching, Ear Bliss kicks off its periodic series of music festival alerts for some of the finer events happening in Northeast this summer. Leading things off is a preview of Solid Sound Festival of Music & Art hosted and curated by the band Wilco. Featuring music, c…

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The first migrating stripers have shown along Jerusalem’s West Wall. These new fish, fresh from a long migration out of the Hudson River and Chesapeake Bay are brushed with sea lice, hitchhikers picked up in open waters. While they tend to arrive in waves, the first round really gets fisherm…