Ask Toshio Hirano how he discovered honky-tonk music and he replies with the question: "How much time do you have"? It's not a simple answer and he explains his transformation from fanatic to performing artist the same way a musicologist might discuss the development of recording techniques from the Edison cylinder to digital audiotape. Hirano is part teacher, anyway and part student still discovering his roots at age 57.
His audiences can be divided into two camps: faithful veterans and incredulous newbies. Read more »
George Sheehan, in his best-selling 1975 book of jogging-inspired philosophy, Running and Being: The Total Experience (Second Wind II), describes the endurance runner as being "twice born." The second life is the runner's internal struggle a gauntlet of pain, failure, and disappointment that ultimately becomes the necessary condition for hope. Read more »
Forty years ago Rufus Wanta sent lyrics to one of the song-poem studios that were popular at the time. The record he eventually received from the company was, with its tacky torch-song treatment, a big disappointment. Call it poetic justice, then, that keyboardist Nathan Wanta uses words penned by his grandfather in a song written by his band, Last of the Blacksmiths. Read more »