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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2012 Presidential Debates

"Mr President, you ran against my brother when he wasn't in the last race. It seems you're trying that again. Sir, I know my brother George, and I'm not him."
                                                                               Jeb Bush, September 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012


"Modernists in Exile" Five-Person Show Extended in Old City

First Friday Celebration March 2, 2012

First Friday offers another opportunity to celebrate "Modernists in Exile," the current group show at Jules Goldman Books & Art, Philadelphia.  Paintings by Brian Gormley, Ronald C. Martin, David Ohlerking, Robert Petrick, and Nico D. Smith are on view.  "Modernists in Exile" encompasses art both abstract and representational; what unites this motley selection of artists is the expressiveness of their styles.On Friday, March 2, Jules Goldman Books and Art will stay open late to welcome Old City's art crowd, and the second floor gallery-- normally closed to the public-- will be open.

BRIAN GORMLEY made his name in the early 1980s as part of a small cadre of young artists from the East Village and Lower East Side, including Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, who brought graffiti into the realm of fine art.  Today, his colorful, frenetic abstract paintings and prints still retain traces of street art's influence.  Gormley’s massive body of work has been exhibited in solo shows in Dublin, Vienna, Prague, Zurich, Rome, and Mexico City.  ROBERT PETRICK's eclectic portfolio includes non-objective and abstract art as well as word paintings, installations, and sculptures that speak to his background in graphic design.  RONALD C. MARTIN is a local artist, born in Philadelphia, whose work is influenced by his studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Barnes Foundation, and Christie's New York.  DAVID OHLERKING is already well-known to Philadelphians for his loose, painterly oils of the local scenery, which he completes
on-site in a matter of hours.  Ohlerking is known for bartering his paintings; in fact, in his first encounter with Goldman, Ohlerking traded a still-wet painting of Goldman's storefront on Second Street for a bundle of antique frames.  NICO D. SMITH's abstractions suggest a variety of influences, such as Synthetic Cubism, Minimalism, and Geometric Abstraction, but his inspiration is emotional and intuitive rather than studied.

The title "Modernists in Exile" was inspired by the group's lack of exposure in the mainstream art establishment.  Unlike a typical Old City gallery, Jules Goldman’s store on Second Street overflows with books, art, and all other manner of things collected during his thirty years in the antique business.

Jules Goldman Books and Art located at 29 N. 2nd St. in Old City, is open from noon to seven p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and by appointment. "Modernists in Exile" will remain on view through April 5.

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Further information about the exhibition and Jules Goldman Books and Art can be found at

For details about the artists, please visit,, and

Friday, February 24, 2012

More Fracking Lies from Harrisburg

Delaware Riverkeeper Network Calls on (Demands?) Pennsylvania Senator Chuck McIlhinney to Retract Misinformation in His Statements Regarding Act 13

            Bristol, PA -  Delaware Riverkeeper Network sent a letter today to State Senator Chuck McIlhinney (R-10) calling for him to retract his recent public statements misinterpreting Act 13, the law enacted with the passage of HB1950, the Marcellus Shale law that adopts sweeping changes to the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act and preempts municipalities’ control of gas drilling, exposing local residents to greater risk of pollution and community degradation from natural gas operations throughout the Commonwealth.  Senator McIlhinney had gone on record opposing HB1950’s gutting of municipal rights but then voted for the measure, casting one of a handful of critical votes that allowed the municipal takeover bill to pass. 
Senator McIlhinney has falsely claimed that Act 13, signed into law last week by Governor Corbett, does not remove municipal controls and has defended the law as a financial benefit.  Delaware Riverkeeper Network has rebuked the Senator for misleading communities, including his constituents, as to what the law really requires and - considering his gross misinterpretation of the law - soundly criticized him for not knowing what he actually voted for.  The group has petitioned the Senator to immediately retract his false statements and set the record straight. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras -- Tonight @ the Hotel B

Uke Jackson & Johnny Peppers at the House of the Good Shepard last night

Last night Johnny Peppers and T.U.P. played a hot set for the residents at the House of the Good Shepard in Hackettstown, NJ and that got us warmed up for tonight. When we get warmed up, get ready for some hot sounds -- which is what we promise you TONIGHT @ the Hotel Bethlehem in beautiful downtown Bethlehem, PA.

Seriously, if you want as authentic a Fat Tuesday evening as you can possibly have outside of New Orleans, come see us tonight. Johnny Peppers will be playing contrabass, bass, and soprano saxophones; Mike Green will add dulcet brass stylings on the flugelhorn and cornet; Paul Kendall will play both Bb and bass clarinets; T.U.P. will sing and play his silver ukulele and the Grand Contraption.

It being Mardi Gras, and Bethlehem, PA being one of the most musical small cities in America, we may have some sitter-inners, as various musos we know are liable to drop by with their axes.

It's going to be a hot time. The food is great at the Hotel B.  The band is tight and the music is Dixieland! It's Mardi Gras, kids. What more could you ask for?

Uke Jackson & the Ginseng Roots Band
Hotel Bethlehem
437 Main Street  
Bethlehem, PA 18018

(610) 625-5000

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sing my song -- You Might Win $500

Okay. Here it is. The contest is open. If you know anyone who might be interested, please share this with that person or persons. A HUGE thanks to my buddy Chaz de Bourbon for putting together this video. It's about six minutes long and you'll hear "The Place" lyric from Chapter 28 of "The Moon of Innocence" set to music. Sing my song and you might win $500.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Elizabeth Gilbert on Creative Writing MFAs

"Eat, Pray Love" author Elizabeth Gilbert (who helps finance the Frenchtown Riverfest each year) on her distrust of the creative writing MFA programs, and more.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mardi Gras musical celebrations

Friends of the Ginseng Roots Band,

It's that time of year -- shiny beads, food, booze, and women baring their breasts. (Well, it's Mardi Gras and we can say that and hope for that but count on it? Probably not.)

You have 2 opportunities to do your Mardi Gras partying with the band. This year we're in Bethlehem, PA!

Friday, February 17
The Bookstore Speakeasy

Ginseng Roots Band
9pm - 1 am
336 Adams Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015-1661

(610) 867-1100

Band members will include: Uke Jackson on reso ukulele, vocals and the Grand Contraption; JJ Peppers on saxophones; Tuba Pete on tuba (how did that happen?) and trombone; Chris the Pool Manager on melodica and washboard.

For those of you who are traditionalists, we will be playing 4 sets of classic Dixieland on Fat Tuesday. This is our first time at the Hotel B and we're excited to establish ourselves with this venue. If you're free on Fat Tuesday and in the region, come on out and partayyyy!

Tuesday February 21

8 pm - Midnight
Ginseng Roots Band
Hotel Bethlehem
437 Main St
Bethlehem, PA 18018

(610) 625-5000

In addition to Uke Jackson, JJ Peppers, and Chris the Pool Manager, Mike Green will join us on cornet and flugelhorn and Paul Kendall will be playing clarinet and bass clarinet.

See you at the gigs!
Ciao for now.
Uke Jackson & the Ginseng Roots Band

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day -- from JW Hawkes

You gotta love my old band mate from the NY Ukulele Ensemble -- J Walter Hawkes. Here's a new Valentine tune from the 3-time Emmy winning composer:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fracking -- The Struggle Continues

Delaware Riverkeeper Network
Announces Settlement That Secures Some Reforms
In How Pennsylvania Reviews and Regulates Gas Drilling
Bristol, PA – The Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) announced the settlement of an appeal DRN filed with the PA Environmental Hearing Board concerning one of the first shale gas wells drilled in the Delaware River Basin.  The well is a vertical gas well and was not hydraulically fractured.

The appeal -- filed in coordination with Damascus Citizens for Sustainability and local residents -- involved the Newfield Appalachia PA, LLC “Woodlands” well in Damascus Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania.  The well is located within the Hollister Creek watershed, a designated Special Protection High Quality (HQ) watershed.  The project is also within the Upper Delaware River Basin and is approximately 0.43 miles from the Delaware River.  This section of the Delaware River Watershed is located within the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, a National Wild and Scenic River. 
During the course of the appeal, DRN conducted depositions of DEP personnel involved in approval of the well permit.  As a result of these depositions, DRN was able to establish that for well projects with under five (5) acres of earth disturbance, the Department has not considered the potential impacts of these projects on special protection watersheds.  DRN was also able to establish that for the wells that have been drilled within the Delaware River Basin, the Department has not considered the potential impacts of those wells on the Delaware River or the Delaware River Basin.  Further, DRN established that Department personnel who are responsible for reviewing permit applications have spent, on average, less than thirty-five (35) minutes per permit prior to granting final authorization.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sing a Song and You Might Win $500

There's a song lyric in Chapter 28 of The Moon of Innocence. The title of the song is "The Place" and over the next few days a PDF of the  music and lyric will be posted on my website, along with guidelines for entering a contest for the best version of the song, or the best video of the song using the recorded version by my band that we'll be posting as well this week.

There's a $500 first prize, and in the interest of naked commerce -- if 1,000 or more copies of the ebook and paperback, combined, are sold between now and June, a $300 Second Prize and a $200 Third Prize will be added.

So, there you go. It should be interesting.