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It is very important that we feel all our feelings. They are a kind of messenger to help us along our life path. We also do well in observing our thinking, the mental mind, the heart mind and the gut mind. These processes requires us to be able to step to a position away from the feelings an…

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As we do from time to time here at Ear Bliss Central, we take a look at some recent and very worthy gospel releases. The twist this week is that each is a spiritual release of the country variety. When it comes to Country & Western music, the legendary Hank Williams is considered by many…

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“For people living in colder parts of the world, watching for the first signs of spring—from the opening of snowdrops and daffodils, to birds building their nests, to the return of bees and butterflies—is a common winter pastime.”

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I keep hearing overtures from critics, pundits and whoever that Rock & Roll is dead. This week begins the first of a two-part installment this month (the 2nd part will run the last week of April) from Ear Bliss Central we are calling Rock & Roll is Not Dead. We begin with two recent …

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Are you happy right now? If you are, hurray, you are in Heaven! If you are not, why not? How we answer this question right off the bat, without thinking too much on it, says a whole lot about our life. Being happy, though not an absolute prerequisite at all times in life, is an ultimate goal…

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At daybreak, it was -32°. A rude northwest wind pushed that to -42°. Gathered at Lake of the Woods, one of the most storied freshwater lakes in the world, with the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers for Ice Camp 2022, we were fishing through 40” of ice for walleye, sauger and Norther…

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The little battles we fight in our heads mirror the conflicts that occur and have occurred around the world throughout all of human history. The peace that we all wish for when we look out at the conflicts in the world must begin with us. It is good to know that peace actually is the natural…

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According to a writer named Thomas Stearns Eliot, “April is the cruelest month,” and while a case could certainly be made for April’s cruelty, during which the meteorological rug is routinely pulled out from under the burgeoning spring weather, I’d really like to sit down with T.S. and lobby…

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At 83 years of age, Del McCoury is considered the reigning patriarch of American bluegrass music and he sure has the awards to prove his standing as such. Along the way of his lengthy career which dates back to the early 1960s playing banjo for the legendary Bill Monroe, McCoury has garnered…

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The singer and songwriter Anaïs Mitchell has come a long way since the first time I encountered her in the tiny backyard of a vintage store on a Saturday morning in March of 2007 in Austin, Texas. Mitchell was performing as part of a pop-up event during the annual South-by-Southwest music-fi…

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The Dalai Lama was once asked if he ever got angry. This is certainly a good question for someone like the Lama. He laughed as he always does, and said, “Yes I get angry, I am human, but it is not a problem.” This is a profound answer in many ways. He admits his humanness, which includes his…

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This week we are honored to speak with writer, photographer, filmmaker and author, Don Barone. DB, as he prefers, covered the BASS professional fishing circuit, meeting anglers, growing to understand their passions and dreams. His angle was different than any other outdoors writer because he…

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Classify Jake Xerxes Fussell as a song picker of the deep catalogue variety. A singer, guitarist and folklorist, Fussell’s forte is unearthing forgotten traditional songs from the vast world of “folk” music and putting his own unique spin on them. He has done so in expert fashion on three pr…

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This week, we enjoy a second seafood pairing with the Gourmet Goddess herself, Lucie Moulton, because we are finally, thankfully, surrounded by ice, snow and low lights leading to longer days. Earlier this winter, we discovered Lola’s Fine Hot Sauces and were amazed by their flavors so we jo…

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Courage is a rather interesting topic. It is also crucial for meaningful and lasting change to occur. Nothing changes if nothing changes. Fear, the great nemesis of courage is a potent and stifling response all creatures can have in life. How often and in what degree it, fear, rules one’s li…

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Around 7:25 on a chilly but sunny February 2nd morning, a large and enthusiastic crowd thousands strong—many of them unmasked—gathered on a well-trekked northwestern Pennsylvania hillock known as Gobbler’s Knob. There, they joined the top-hatted members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s e…

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In this season of colder and darker, sometimes we do not note all the changes that are still occurring in and around us. It requires a more attentive eye, and perhaps a more open mind and heart to receive the messages of change when we feel a bit shut down or constricted. It is funny that on…

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Under normal circumstances, I’d have paid the pending nor’easter that the Weather Channel called Winter Storm Kenan no more attention than I typically give to cold-times gales. The checklist would have included the usual: make sure the generator was working well and had plenty of oil and fue…

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Finally we’ve enjoyed a solid shot of solid ice throughout Rhode Island. Once temperatures dropped, some magic wand cleared people’s calendars so they could get out ice fishing, sailing, skating and plain old winter relaxing, from South County to North Smithfield to the Great State of Maine.

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Warm weather is not far away which means music festival season is coming soon. Check out this week’s “Festival Alerts” section below for information on both the Rhythm & Roots Festival here in Rhode Island and the Solid Sound Festival happening in Massachusetts.

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It was a film that sort of came out of nowhere and went to be one of the big hits of 2021 and going so far as to land on many critics’ Best-of 2021 lists. That’s pretty impressive for a concert film which was exactly what was served up in the documentary film “Summer of Soul (...Or, When The…

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WAKEFIELD — The Contemporary Theater Company is back with its annual theatrical feat, The 24-Hour Play Festival on February 5 at 8 pm. This celebration of creativity and collaboration is a collection of five short plays written, rehearsed and performed in a single day.

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We could all use a break from quarantines and isolations and Dan Kenney has the solution. He’s putting on the New England Fishing Expo in Boxboro, MA this weekend so if you’re not going to be on the ice praying for little orange flags alerting you to six ounce yellow perch, it’s time to take…

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There is so much in life to be grateful for. We woke up this morning, eyes opened, air flowing in and out of the lungs, heart beating. This seems to be something we might just take for granted, though if we show gratitude for these very basic things. Other parts of our lives seem to shine a …

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That fish glides by me as I sleep. She is grey, dark blue, brindle even, perfect in her seven stripes. From darkness, she rises sluggishly, worn from battle, pulled by braid alongside my bed’s port side. Seeing a green bunker spoon in her open mouth, her black eyes like stones, I reach but t…

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There are quite a few very positive things that have emerged out of the past couple of years of crazy world activity. One, folks are going outdoors for adventure, and on varying adventures, more than ever. The good Earth is providing mental and physical stability. This is very good news. Ano…

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As tropical storms go, a recent visitor named Elsa wasn’t particularly notable. Just in case, I had the generator and the emergency supplies ready, but, unless the not-really-a-gale delivered more than just copious amounts of rain—over four inches, when all was said, done, and totaled—we did…

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The commercial country world and namely country radio is a whole different beast here in the 2020s than it was back in the 1990s when Alan Jackson was knocking out hit after hit of songs well-deep on the traditional side of the genre. Songs like “Don’t Rock the Jukebox,” “Livin’ on Love,” “G…

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The fluke bite has been slow and based on the last few years, getting slower. Most reports from pressured points in Narragansett Bay, like the bridges, Austin Hollow, Bailey’s Beach and other southern reaches have been yielding only consistent shorts with the occasional keeper caught on a Gu…

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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…