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Archive for Pencil Sketches


Ginger or Mary Ann?

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ginger-baker-pencil-sketchYes I thought Ginger Baker was a woman and well, I thought Grace Slick was Black, so are you surprised?

Tomorrow marks his 70th year on our planet.  Happy 70th Birthday to Ginger Baker

70 and still able to jam and is still one of the world’s greatest drummers.  Can you imagine still going strong on drums at 70.  I couldn’t until a few months back I decided I was going to learn.  Wow.. what a work out.  Not only mentally but physically.  The physically part I haven’t mastered, but I am learning what a 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 is.  I never knew what high hat was either, thought that was something in a Dr. Seuss Book.

Ginger pounds out a long drum solo on Toad, amazingly so, I sit and watch this, and try and listen to the “parts” of music that I have ingnored for so long.

We all take for granted the “pieces” that put the puzzle together, and until you start opening your eyes, or in this case your ears, you won’t get the big picture.  I guess this can go for almost everything in life really, consider SEO, there are so many elements, and us as bloggers just know it, others sit with their mouths open in amazement when we talk about all the “elements” or “pieces”.

This can be said for music too, for all you folks out there that don’t play, I encourage you to sit down with some kick-ass head phones, I have stolen my son’s Skull Candy with Bass Effect.. listen to the music and try to focus on one instrument.. it ain’t as easy as it sounds.  My husband has tried to get me to do this for years, but I honestly was just to damn lazy.

Now on my quest to learn drums, I find it amazing how all the pieces are there, but for so long, I  have just chosen to hear them as one.    In every facet of life, we can clump things together, missing crucial pieces, take the time today to focus on one single solitary piece of something today… it will help you focus.

If you haven’t ever watched a drum solo, go do it, there is so much energy that goes behind it.

Happy Birthday Ginger Baker – keep the sticks flying for as long as possible!.

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Stumbling Your Way Finding Friends

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Twenty some years ago, I heard a song on the radio that I fell in love with, it reminded me so much of where I was at the time in my life and yes at that time, I listened to a judy-rodman-musiclot of country music.

The opening lyrics

There’s a room in my father’s house
Full of old heirlooms
Grandma’s Bible, Grandpa’s trunk
To a total stranger no more than junk
The closest ties I ever knew
Until I met you

Finally one day the announcer said her name – Judy Rodman – quick to go to the store, and quickly disappointed, they didn’t have it.  There were no Best Buys or Super Walmarts, that’s when you actually had record stores.  Oh, how I miss Full Cyrkle Records!

I had to order it, and still have the cassette to this day.

Well, twenty some years later, stumbling my way through blogging and social networking, I started investigating my stumble friends & people who were subscribed.  I found in there a woman with a name that sparked a memory of those years long past.

Judy Rodman – I investigated her blog and realized this has to be the same woman whose music danced into my heart all those years ago.

I sent her a note through stumble upon asking her, and telling her how that song danced into my life all those years back and to this day I still listen to it, yes it was one and the same.

She has been a wonderful stumble friend and her blog is full of information on music and her teachings, she a remarkable woman and musical talent.  I am proud to know her.

We have such opportunity in front of us with social networking and it is amazing to me the people it has brought into my life.  We all want stumbles and reviews, we all want our blog’s to get noticed, but taking the time to see who is noticing us and helping us out is how it pay’s forward.

This sketch is a complilation of Judy  – she sent me a beautiful picture of her playing piano at Bluebird and the one that she uses on her stumble profile.  I used these two along with some photoshop work on what her song brings to my mind.

Grandma’s bible and grandpa’s trunk  – and the house in the backdrop is my family home where I grew up, one of which my dad built with blood, sweat and tears.

Go look and see who may be in your group of social may be surprised at what you find..

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How Deep are the Waters – Shark Week

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Andy McKeeThe week has wrapped up at Tech Jaws Shark Week – Frank over there is a good friend of mine and I am always amazed at all the information and people he finds online.

After all, he found me, over at.. the  defunct entrecard – Frank has taught me about friends, family and fun.. as well taking me under his wing and teaching me the in’s and outs of blogging.  As well as Business Plan’s – which my friend, I’ve done nothing with…yet..

Frank never fails to be a stumble away or an instant message answering my questions! THANKS MAN! CHEERS!

This is a sketch of Andy McKee, I am using this picture of him and him as a reference because this is not normally something I would listen to and online networking is something not all people are into, but the possibilities are so unlimited.

No matter how deep the waters are, we need to test them to find our place.

Stepping into shallow waters is your best bet when it comes to finding your niche.   Don’t dive into the pool until your certain the waters are deep enough or shallow enough in some cases.   My son introduced me to Andy McKee and when I read his bio – it explains how he brings something new to the industry.

We should all bring something new to our own lives, whether it’s people, hobbies or music.

Frank – thanks for showing me some of the ropes and opening my eyes to many things.. we love you with all our hearts..

Everyone else reading this, learn from others, teach others and never forget to listen to someone that you may not always listen too.. no matter what, there is something they can teach you..

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Swamp Blues – Lightnin' Slim

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Lightnin Slim - Otis HicksLightnin’ Slim or Otis Hicks, left our world July 27th, 1974…

Leaving a mark on Swamp Blues – debuting back in 1954, Bad Luck – If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.

I wasn’t even a glimmer in my dad’s eye..but know I’ve heard the name before, and needed to do a little research, low and behold, I figured it out.

Lightnin’ Slim backed mainly by drums (my new hobby) and harmonica, he had a gritty sounding voice and sang Louisiana Swamp Blues, with tunes such as – I’m Tired Waitin’ Baby, Your Old Enough to Understand and one of my favorites – Rooster Blues

Those tunes bring me back to New Orleans 22 years ago, when mom & I sat and drank Mint Juleps (nasty, nasty drink) in a seedy bar on Bourbon Street..  Listening to the musicians that were born with blues in their blood.

When I listen to someone like Lightnin’ Slim, I am instantly transported into a dark, smoke filled tavern in the south. A tavern that the heat is so thick you can see it, the sound is so profound, it rises through the floor into  your toes through the floor boards and grabs you buy the heart so you will sit down and listen.   No one listens anymore, they always interject….

One where people meet, to talk and share their stories.  Stories of how life brought them to this point, whether that story are sad or true, you get a sense that this is where the heart of blues is and will remain clinging to the walls, or clinging to the worn out bar stools.   Their is history there, a history of music and people that walked before us.

Take today to remember someone that walked before you, someone who paved the way, someone who brought something to the table that we often don’t think about..

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What Happened to Gravity?

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Hands and Feet Pencil SketchIt’s been all around us and no one seems to have a good solid answer.

Do you recently feel that you do not have your feet planted firmly on the ground?

Are they being cradled by faith or held up by some unknown force?

I have listened lately to several people say things, things that are out of character for them.  So many of the stories and feelings are very similar, that I have to question what the driving force is, why now, why so many people have so many questions that are along the same lines?

What is the feeling in the air? Is it the economy? Are the planets shifting? Is it the negativity flying through the air waves on the nightly news?

What happens to us when we feel that our feet are not on the ground? We begin to see things from a different perspective, albeit, that’s not a bad thing.  Focus seems lost and concentration is at a minimum.

Are those that are closest to you feeling the same or have your emotions just overflowed onto them? I find that when my feet are not on the ground that I begin to ask questions that I normally wouldn’t.

When our feet are planted firmly, answers do come more  easily, but is life supposed to be easy? Is uncertainty part of our growth process?  Can we live in a world of constant questioning, no way, can we live with the constant negative spin of the world around us.

When was the last time you turned on the television and picked up a positive story?

Do you hear from co-workers, family members and friends…

“I’ve been wronged”

“They owe me this, that, the other thing”

“That’s not how I would do it”

Take the great depression, do you think that anyone that lived through that era would be able to make a negative spin out of a “free loaf of bread?”

Perhaps our feet may not be grounded, feelings out of sync, questions flying around about the uncertain economy and the future, but somewhere out there, there is someone to hold you up, someone that is in your corner.  That is the positive force that we as a country have lost.

Everyone is aware of 9/11, it rocked our country to the core – do you recall the emotion it brought out in people across the country, people became kind and concerned about others,  people held doors for strangers, they said good morning, people took time for others…

Someone, something, somehow can help us get our feet back on the ground, it’s a matter of believing not only in others, but in yourself as well..

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The Never Ending Quest To Play The Blues

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The following article has been provided to me by Reed Terry and as I sat and read his words the passion for blues came screaming through as if there was a line up of musicians sitting behind me.

Reed knows his players and knows the music scene, check out his link at the bottom of the article for concert news and tickets.

The first time I can remember hearing a guitar lick, in my parents car most likely, I knew that I had to learn how to play. From that moment on, anytime I heard a great guitar player I would become obsessed with having to know what they were doing and how they were doing it. alpine-valley-sketch-guitaristsInstantly after hearing a guitar solo that would stand out as exceptional I would record it in my mind and try to think about where on the guitar it was being played, then rush home to my guitar and spend hours trying to figure it out. Great guitarist just have a way of standing out from the others, you hear them and it is like they are one of the best storytellers writers or painters, there is just something magical about those who play the instrument the best.

Coming from the “Generation X” age group I certainly do not have stories of rushing around to find vinyl 45’s and wearing the grooves out as some of my favorite guitarists tell, but with the great technology of the generation it was easy to hop on the computer and quickly have access to all the best blues albums and guitarists at my fingertips. This lead to endless hours spent finding the best albums and playing them over and over again till I could play every song as perfect as possible. This seemed to have caused an overload because there was no end to the great guitar players and albums that had to be learned, each day I was discovering more and more and just had to learn them all. To say guitar is addictive is an understatement but reading the interviews with my favorite guitarists they all had done the same thing to learn their instrument, lock themselves in a room with their guitar and favorite guitarist’s albums.

Over the years I have developed a certain love an respect for the Blues. From the different styles, guitars, pick ups and techniques. There have been a handful of what I would consider the most influential and important Blues albums for any guitar player to listen to and study. I know for my playing just learning these albums was the best teacher I could have had.

To learn the Blues and all of it’s history one must start at the beginning and perhaps one of the most important blues albums ever would be King Of The Delta Blues by Robert Johnson. The influence of the album is still heard today in most guitar players and one listen should provide an instant lesson into the history of the Blues, a must have for any Blues guitarist’s collection!

Another album which made me fall in love with the Blues would be Born Under A Bad Sign by Albert King. Albert King has had huge amounts of influence on many great blue guitar players including Jimmy Hendrix. King played a Gibson Flying V through a solid-state Acoustic amplifier which was unorthodox for the era but is considered today to have produced one of the greatest blues tones of all time.

When it comes to amazing Blues guitar then Buddy Guy certainly comes to mind. The amazing album “A Man and The Blues” has enough lessons within it to last a lifetime. Long considered the best Blues guitar player among his pears such as Eric Clapton. His influence runs deep into many of the greatest guitar players on earth and though considered mainly a “Chicago Blues style” guitar player his techniques, sounds and playing go far deeper then such a stereotype.

Probably the most important album for me personally as well as the most influential guitar player to me personally would have to be Texas Flood by the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan. Considered to be the album which saved the Blues, Stevie was able to bring the heart of Blues Rock to the mainstream at a time when it seemed the Blues would never get mainstream attention again. Heavily influenced by Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix all one needs to do is listen to the title track to hear and understand the true beauty of the Blues. Texas Flood is still today my favorite song to play on the guitar, a true masterpiece from a man who could make a Stratocaster sing, cry and moan at will.

Probably not in most guitar players top 5 but for me Roy Buchanan is one of the greatest and most underrated Blues players of all time. When I throw in the self titled album around friends they always ask “who is that?” and when I reply with “Roy Buchanan” they have never heard of him. After a listen I do not believe one person I know has not run out and bought the album. A true master of the Telecaster with some of the most beautiful, soulful and just downright amazing guitar songs ever recorded. For any one who has not heard Roy Buchanan I would have to insist that you take a listen to “The Messiah Will Come Again” as well as “Sweet Dreams”.

One final note on great guitarists and great albums would have to be Jeff Beck, not a Blues player and more of an all around guitar virtuoso his impact on guitar playing is not to be understated. Today I would have to put Jeff Beck in my top 3 guitar players of all time and perhaps he gets the number one spot. Beck’s abilities to truly understand the instrument and music are amazing. His understanding that less is more on the guitar is a lesson that most guitar players need to learn, myself included. The first time I heard “Blow By Blow” I realized I discovered something very special and twenty years later that album still blows my mind. The sounds that Beck effortlessly pulls out of his Strat (with heavy use of the whammy bar” are definitely some of the coolest and most beautiful ever to be played on the guitar and many of his latter albums still push the evolution of great guitar playing further.

U2 Tickets and Tour News A concert news web site with reviews of the biggest concerts and ways to get U2 tickets online..


A gift for graduation

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When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.  The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.  ~Henri Nouwen

Today I share with you words from Nicole – she approached me a few weeks back via email and asked if I could possibly morph two separate photo’s  into one drawing?  Nicole’s story has been told to many people I am close with, my heart was warmed by her passion to make a friend smile and bring a special moment to her friends graduation.

Below are Nicole’s own words of why she did this….

The quote above is a perfect example the relationship with my friend.  My friends mother past away last August after she battled three different types of cancers.  My friend and her mother were very close more like best friends.  She past 2 weeks before her senior year of high school and she wouldn’t get to see her graduate.

That’s way I decided to have this sketch done of her and her mother together as her graduation gift.  It shows that they will always be together at heart and will see each other again..

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Dan Fogelberg – Virtual CD Tour

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I was asked to host a virtual cd tour promoting Dan Fogelberg, well, I am a music lover – but that was a name that hasn’t been in my current music repertoire… I remember his name, but could I tell you a single song title? no…

dan_fogelberg_pencil_sketchI figured this was being sent to me for a reason, I was supposed to listen and find some lesson here or was it just to find another set of good songs to listen to on a warm spring morning.

Dan Fogelberg was interviewed by Fred Migliore and speaks about  on a personal level kind of a behind the song…  I loved that concept. Dan succumbed to prostate cancer in 2007 and yet another musician went to play next to Jesus, Mary & Joseph….a musician that so many know his name, but perhaps don’t know the history.

We look into the faces of the famous musicians that get us through difficult times with their music, but do we ever realize their tough times? What makes them tick? What’s behind the song?

One of the clips on the cd Dan speaks of the emotional involvement… “not knowing he would touch so many people so deeply...”

Musician’s touch us on  a daily basis, I can’t recall the last time I ever listened to one of his songs,   I had to do my research and was surprised to find he was  from Peoria and was as well a session musician.

I asked Fred Magliore a few questions about his experience with Dan Fogelberg –

Susie – I have gone written about several musicians and have drawn them, I often wonder of their lives.. you had the chance of sitting with Dan and learning about his life.. and him personally..what would be one thing that you learned about him, that surprised you?

Fred – I think his gift of being open to receive, and paying attention to the things around him that many of us are to busy to notice. I don’t mean on the physical plane either but more on the matters of the heart and soul. Thus a lot of the songs he wrote were channeled through him “like Souvenirs” as he put it, “frozen moments in time” that amazed him.

Susie – I also wonder if there are any questions that you wished you had asked him, that you didn’t, if so, and you could sit with him again, what would be one of those questions?

Fred – I hear what your getting at and there have been many times over the course of the hundreds of interviews I’ve done, where there were questions I wish I would have asked. But not with Dan. There was this feeling of closure that both of us had, when we finished the interview and I think it’s very apparent upon listening to the interview.

I wouldn’t say I am star struck, but always thought it would be truly fascinating to sit down with someone famous and learn about them.. learn what touches them, what brings the song into their life, this is the opportunity for Fogelberg fans to have another glimpse, another memory and keep his music and the man alive.

There are about 45 minutes of “lost segments” from the CD which have never been & WILL likely never be released to the public!

As an added bonus –  post a comment during this tour and you will be entered in a drawing to win a free copy of this one-of-a-kind CD with the remainder of the interview!!!

The most unique, insightful, special comment will be chosen to win a copy, in addition to the random drawing winners!

The tour started early on in April – check out the other blogs that were involved.  You can purchase the CD from as well from – FM Odyssey

Thursday April 2 – Cheryl Malandrinos Review

Friday April 3 – Steven Bradley – Review of CD, quips from interview, banners, possible interview questions (posting on 10 blogs)

Monday April 6 – Shelley Tucker Review of CD

Tuesday April 7 – Joyce Anthony Review of CD

Wednesday April 8- Dyan Review of CD

Thursday, April 9– Joyce Anthony

Friday, April 10– Linda Merlino CD Review and Shelia Goss- mp3’s clips & review

Wednesday, April 15– Marta Hoelscher & CD Review

Thursday, April 16th – it is me here at & my husband over at Bucks Guitar Modifications.

17th- Robin Epstein is a lover of Dan Fogelberg’s music for a long time & will submit a review

22nd- Susan Wingate: ; will review the CD

29th & 30th- Marvin at: Free Spirit blog at

Hippie Days blog at will review the CD.

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Roy Orbison – You Got It

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roy_orbison_pencil_sketchEvery time I look into your lovely eyes,
I see a love that money just cant buy.
One look from you, I drift away.
I pray that you are here to stay..

Topping out the charts on April 15th, 1989 was You Got It – posthumously – Roy Orbison, 24 some years after hitting it big with Pretty Woman in 1964.

Roy passed away in December of 1988, I remember hearing the news and could hear his voice resonating and thinking, yet again, we lost another great.

Every time I look into your lovely eyes… followed up by.. you got it.

Do we get it? Or have we forgotten it?

Remember after 9/11 when a compassion emerged from the American People, one that made time stand still, a time when we were all  grateful for the people in our lives,  when a stranger held the door open for you, when someone helped you pick up your fallen groceries.

We don’t “got it” anymore – and it’s really not that hard to “get” back either, but no one seems to be willing to take the time to get back to basics.

Orbison is remembered for his many songs of “lost love”, let’s hope we can learn from Roy Orbison, the feelings that are buried within us, the compassion that we know others deserve and let’s get back to the basics..

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Let's Put Some Laughter In The Day

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Think about that good old  belly laugh the one that makes your face hurt.   Do you remember the last time you laughed like that?

Let’s put some laughter in the day, share your stories of gut busting laughter! (mine is below)

Just Smile! It increases your face value and releases endorphins.

We go through life with the weight of the world on our shoulders, and forget that we need to laugh and make others laugh.

Let your hair down, and take off your hat.  This moment in time can never be relived.

No wasted time, we’re alive today
Churnin’ up the past, there’s no easier way
Time’s been between us, a means to an end
God it’s good to be here walkin’ together my friend.

By: Doyle Bramhall

stevie-ray-vaughan-with-no-hatStevie sang these lyrics on The Sky is Crying, no wasted time, we’re alive today.

Stevie had one of the most vibrant smiles and facial expressions – so I decided to share this image of him, with his hat off, the sparkle in his eye and a huge smile.  If you are not aware of his crazy alter ego – Brady – I will have to share that some day as well.

I don’t recall the latest gut buster – but hope you enjoy the story

I was 17 – drove a car with no air conditioning, came out of work, got in the Sunbird, and wiggled – at that time I could easily wiggle out of my upper undergarment, and the girls were free.  I threw the undergarment in the passenger seat, and was off on my errands.  The local grocery store was the first on the list.

What an ego boost when a bunch of guys whistled at me onto my way in the store – I strolled through the grocery store, and as I went to pay for my purchases.. just guess what was hanging off my purse straps.. yeah..that easily wiggled out of undergarment, how do you explain that to the cashier!.