The new year is almost upon us, so it’s time to start reminiscing about all the great events that took place in 2009. For Tangleweed, one of the highlights occurred just two weeks ago when we performed a pair of balcony sets at the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival. Here’s a clip of us playing “Little Sadie” and “Just a Spoonful”:
Actor, philanthropist, race car driver and inspiration for Tangleweed’s third album title Paul Newman has just been honored by the U.S. House of Representatives for his life’s achievements. The House passed H.Res.18.EH yesterday, and you can read the text below. Our album title is a quote from one of Newman’s films which was somehow overlooked for an Oscar, the quintessential hockey drama, Slap Shot.
H. Res. 18
In the House of Representatives, U. S.,
February 24, 2009.
Whereas Paul Newman, a great American actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian, and automobile racing enthusiast, passed away on September 26, 2008;
Whereas Paul Newman was born on January 26, 1925, in Shaker Heights, Ohio;
Whereas following his service in the Navy during World War II in the Pacific theater, Paul Newman completed his degree at Kenyon College and later at the Yale School of Drama;
Whereas Paul Newman is considered one of America’s most accomplished actors and his career in film and on stage spanned over fifty years;
Whereas Paul Newman was nominated for ten Oscars, winning Best Actor in 1986 for his role in The Color of Money and two honorary Oscars, the Humanitarian Award in 1993 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1985;
Whereas Paul Newman brought life to many memorable characters, including `Hud’, `Cool Hand Luke’, `Butch Cassidy’, `Henry Gondorff’, and `Fast Eddie’;
Whereas in 1982, Paul Newman co-founded Newman’s Own, a premium food and beverage company that began with salad dressings and has expanded to over 150 varieties of all-natural food and beverage products;
Whereas Paul Newman was a dedicated philanthropist, donating all of the profits from Newman’s Own sales for educational and charitable purposes, totaling over $250,000,000 in donations;
Whereas Paul Newman founded eleven Hole in the Wall camps around the world, named for the outlaw gang made famous by Newman’s portrayal of Butch Cassidy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and dedicated to providing free recreation to children with cancer and other serious illnesses;
Whereas Paul Newman founded the Scott Newman Foundation for the prevention of drug abuse in 1978 after the death of his son;
Whereas Paul Newman was a successful racecar driver and well-rounded athlete, winning several Sports Car Club of America national driving titles and competing in Daytona in 1995 on the occasion of his 70th birthday;
Whereas Paul Newman was beloved by his family, friends, and neighbors for his great generosity, good humor, and spirited charm; and
Whereas Paul Newman’s humanitarian works and incomparable talents have made him an American icon who will never be forgotten: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives honors the life and accomplishments of Paul Newman for his many contributions to American film, theater, and philanthropy.
I just returned from a week-long sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands. It was an amazing experience, and one I hope to replicate in the years ahead. The band is currently exploring ways to implement a zero carbon sailing tour around Lake Michigan and beyond, so anyone interested in helping to sponsor this (i.e. boat owners, companies, and donations) is encouraged to contact us. Enjoy the video montage, accompanied by “Sandy River Belle” from our latest record, Most Folk Heroes Started Out As Criminals.
Here’s some video footage of us at our last Old Town School show two years ago. It’s one of the handful of jazz tunes we play, “Honeysuckle Rose” by Fats Waller. We’ll be back on stage this Saturday, the 17th for two shows with Jerry Douglas.
Tangleweed’s own Ryan Fisher was recently featured in a documentary about the proposed Promoter Ordinance in Chicago. You can check out his segment below, and also view the entire documentary here. The documentary was produced by JaGoFF, presented in conjunction with TheRecordIndustry.com.
Since its proposal, the ordinance has been tabled thanks to the large outcry by Chicago’s independent music community. This means the issue can still become active at any point, so it’s important for everyone to stay vigilant. We’ll keep you updated on the TweedBlog if any new information becomes available. Also, here’s a good resource with links related to the issue:
… then I’m turning into the Jesse James of the interstate. Or more appropriately, the state highway. I managed to incur a couple of speeding tickets over the summer while driving the band’s rental vans on tour. One was on U.S. highway 19 in West Virginia near Lochgelly and the other on Iowa state highway 3 just past the town of Marcus. Total cost of tickets so far = $259.80. Not bad, you might say, for two tickets until I received a letter from the Iowa Department of Transportation last month. They decided to add on a “Serious Violation” charge in addition to the speeding, which would result in a suspension of my driving privileges in that state for three months, as well as an additional $200 fine.
I took a “You and the Law” course in high school and still feel that this was the most valuable and practical piece of education I’ve had in all my years of schooling. It gave me a basic framework of the law and the belief that all Americans need to know what their rights are and how to defend them. It has also saved me hundreds of dollars in tickets and helped remind me of my civic duties to fight for justice and equality. And all this from a free public education!
So, I’ve decided to send a letter of appeal to Iowa defending my right to drive there, and also to protest this cruel and unusual punishment. The text of it, for those who care about such things, is below:
Office of Driver Services
PO Box 9204
Des Moines, IA 50306-9204
To whom it may concern:
I am writing to appeal the action by the Iowa Department of Transportation to suspend my driving privileges in the State of Iowa. I believe this punishment is not warranted or justified and I will state my grounds for appeal below.
On 8/30/08 at approximately 1:30AM I was driving a rented minivan westbound on Iowa State Highway 3 on my way from Chicago, IL to Le Mars, IA. The reason for my travel was to perform a concert at the 33rd Annual National Old-Time Country & Bluegrass Festival. There were four other passengers in the vehicle, three of them members of my bluegrass band, Tangleweed, and one who was the wife of one of the band members. We were playing the concert free of charge and also to receive an award as â€œTraditional Musicians of the Yearâ€ by the National Traditional Country Music Association.
About 20 miles from Le Mars I was pulled over by an officer from the Marcus Police Department for speeding. He wrote me a ticket and suggested I pay it online at the Iowa state website. The violation on the ticket stated it was for â€œSpeeding 10-20 over, not localâ€ and the fine was for $102.80. I paid this fine at the website www.judical.state.ia.us on 9/05/08.
In early October I received a letter from the Iowa Department of Transportation informing me that my license was being suspended and that a civil penalty of $200 must be paid before my privileges would be reinstated. The reason stated was for a â€œSerious Violation.â€ I do not believe that I committed a â€œSerious Violationâ€ and at no time was I made aware, either by the officer or the website, that it would be considered as such. The road I was driving on was completely straight with clear visibility, and there were no other vehicles on the road. I did not pose a threat to any other drivers, my passengers, or myself. This is my first driving offense in the state of Iowa and I believe that this punishment is excessive and unjustified. Furthermore, it would prevent me from performing at future events in the State of Iowa. As a professional musician I believe that what I do contributes positively to the culture and economy of the state and would like to continue to do so.
For these reasons I am asking you to reverse the decision to suspend my license. Thank you for your consideration.
Video footage of our performance in Knoxville, TN for the “Blue Plate Special,” WDVX’s live radio show. In this episode, Paul shows off his Howitzer-bass, Ryan and Scott warm up with “Sandy River Belle,” and the band rips through “Logjam” and “The Takeup Medley.” All three songs are available on our newly released album, Most Folk Heroes Started Out As Criminals. You can download the entire audio portion of the radio program on our website here.
I just found out today that our friend Razor, co-host of the Razor and Die show on WLUW is in the hospital’s intensive care unit on a ventilator. I don’t know the details of his condition, but we wish him a speedy recovery and hope that everyone will send him and his wife Di well-wishes. You can contact Di through Myspace.