Flyinshoes Review

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Rob Ellen

20 YEARS SINCE THE BERLIN WALL FELL AND I, TOO, AM A JELLY DOUGHNUT! (11/09/09)
(I wrote this a couple of months ago as a blog and I'm re-printing it here because I am returning to Berlin in a few weeks. Thanks for reading!)

Today, marks 20 years since the Berlin Wall fell and it seems like yesterday.

I had been in Berlin a short time before that, busking around Europe, and marveled at how it was the only modern, walled city on Earth. I visited both the East and the West and was shocked, like countless others before me, by the stark differences between the two.

Several months after that, I met a couple named Rolf and Beate Sieker. They came over to Nashville and we made a bluegrass album together featuring our own original material and dobro wizard, Jerry Douglas, and we planned for me to come over weeks later to start playing some shows and touring Europe.

Between the time we finished the record and my arrival in Berlin, 'The Wall' had fallen. November 9, 1989

After flying over there and settling in, I began to explore the city and found it already to be quite different. West Berlin was no longer an island. Scores of eastern immigrants and entrepeneurs had set up kiosks and were selling everything from ghetto blasters to West German Marks on the streets. The wall was coming down piece by piece as enterprising Turks were chiseling it down to small boulders, spray painting them and selling them to tourists as historical souvenirs. (I, myself, bought a hammer and chisel and sent home a bunch of the concrete chunks to friends and family and a large piece still rests on the bookshelf in my living room.)

Everyone loved everyone in those first brief months before the honeymoon had to come to an end. I met lots of Easterners including an American who had met a young East German and married her in 1961, taking up permanent residence in East Berlin and raising their daughter there. They were thrilled to have contact with westerners but were unsure about their future and what the new government and reunification would bring. (And, I must add, it was not entirely smooth sailing for them in the years that followed.) My purest musical jams to this were at their flat in the old East Berlin. I truly hope that I can find them.

But, I really had the time of my life and knew that history was being made and I, in my miniscule way, was getting to participate in it. I played and sang tons of bluegrass on those city streets and bars and met some amazing musicians who are still performing to this day. I hear that people still go out and listen to live music and participate in social gatherings surrounding all kinds of music there. One is reminded of a certain popular Broadway song from the 1970's, from a musical set in Berlin called 'Caberet', "What good is sitting alone in your room, time for a holiday, life is a caberet, old chum, come to the caberet". Berlin is still a caberet, old chum. Even after a 20 year absence, trust me, I know that it's still that. I have faith.

In a couple of months I will be returning to Berlin, after a 20 year absence, and I don't really know what to expect. I've seen photos of the glimmering new buildings which stand where the old wall once stood. I hear tales of the art scene and the culinary scene. I imagine what it's like and the changes that have occurred.

But today I marvel at the miracle that spontaneously happened two decades ago today and am reminded that people can do the right thing, go against the odds and bring real revolution not to mame or kill or seek power but to spread freedom and live their lives the way that they choose.

Even though John F. Kennedy's poorly translated cry to the Berliners, "Ich Benn Ein Berliner!", (which he thought meant "I am a Berliner," and actually means, "I am a jelly doughnut,") thundered through the assembled German crowd almost a half century ago, we can rally with JFK's sentiments and raise our glasses and our hearts to the fine, proud citizens of that capital and rejoice for what happened on that November night 20 years ago.

Today, in my heart, I am a Berliner!

And, tomorrow, I will still be a jelly doughnut.

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The Medicine Show is the home of the House Concert here is our rolling news

 

This site is the sister site to The House Concert Hub community and has been inherited in the main by kind donation of Shaun Belcher and Trailer Star.

It is the sum total of over ten years of tending a tender love of music by Shaun, a life time with Trailer Star and five or so years of an association with Rob Ellen from Medicine Music.

The House Concert Hub community will use it for the purpose of providing a online, all singing all dancing, review and preview area for the music of the community, and the music community at large. Have a look around tell your friends use the share button, tell the world.

We need reviewers, the idea is we have a correspondents in every area of the musical global village, it will be edited and co-ordinated by Rob Ellen of Medicine Music publicist promoter and presenter, if you wish to subscribe as a correspondent, join up here and drop Rob a line, he will send you cd's and send you to shows, display and publicise your content.

Here starts an other adventure.

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December 2018
1
Malford Milligan
75 pts.
Life Will Humble You
Royal Family Records
JF,FB
2
JD McPherson
61 pts.
Socks
New West Records
CVL,DHO,MVP,MB
3
Rosanne Cash
50 pts.
She Remembers Everything
Blue Note Records
WR,BP,JSM,HB
4
Ad Vanderveen
45 pts.
I Was Hank William
Blue Rose Records
TK,LM,BM,JB
5
John Hiatt
44 pts.
The Eclipse Sessions
New West
FC
6
The Yearlings
41 pts.
Skywriting
Lonely Sounds Records
EZ
7
Tip Jar
40 pts.
Onward
Independent
FS
8
Nathan Bell
39 pts.
Loves Bones & Stars
Angry Stick Recording Co.
RB,SZ,PG
9
The Brother Brothers
38 pts.
Some People I Know
Compass Records
BK
10
Richard Dobson
30 pts.
I Hear Singing
Brambus Records
JS,NC
11
Steve Forbert
29 pts.
The Magic Tree
Blue Rose Music
PR
12
J.P. Harris
28 pts.
Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing
Free Dirt Records
TJ
13
The Bottle Rockets
24 pts.
Bit Logic
Bloodshot Records
GS,PKO
14
Rodney Crowell
23 pts.
Christmas Everywhere
New West
 
15
Christian Kjellvander
22 pts.
Wild Hxmans
Tapete
 
16
Erin Costelo
21 pts.
Sweet Marie
Compass Records
PJ
17
Colter Wall
20 pts.
Songs of the Plains
Young Mary's Record
 
18
The Hillbenders
19 pts.
The Hillbenders
Compass Records
FH
19
Eric Bibb
18 pts.
Global Griot
Stony Plain
 
 
Karine Polwart
18 pts.
Laws of Motion
Hudson Records
HH,KG
21
Carson McHone
17 pts.
Carousel
Nine Mile Records
 
 
Malcolm Holcombe
17 pts.
Come Hell Or High Water
Gypsy Eyes Music
MF
23
Ben Bedford
16 pts.
The Hermit's Spyglass
Cavalier Recordings
SP
 
Craig Moreau
16 pts.
A Different Kind Of Train
Independent
MP
 
David Olney
16 pts.
This Side Or The Other
Black Hen Music

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