Saturday, February 23, 2013

Support Your Local Musicians

Music is an outlet for us all

They say that the first forms of music were the birds singing and the winds whistling. Well, now we have instruments and men and women singing with their blood, sweat and tears. For you!  You can go on your back deck and enjoy natures sounds. I encourage you to do so. Relax and become one with nature but when you want to paint the town, go out and support your local musicians. No matter where in this big world you live, they are there. They are everywhere! And the sad thing is, so many talented people are hidden behind their mic stand in a chain restaurant or local watering hole. When a talented artist gets a following, they can move on to bigger and better venues and that means a larger paycheck, plus a much needed boost of self esteem.  You wouldn't believe how much or how very little these guys/gals make. I know this because I am a wife of a local musician. We are part of the luckier ones as I am able to stay at home with our daughter, but not for long. She starts kindergarten in August and it's Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Back to work I go. I do look forward to this because I want to contribute more to society and have another title besides mom and wife. So here's to me for going back to work! Wish me luck!!  I haven't had a job in 4 years. 

But, back to our topic. Music!! Music can make you smile, cry, sing along, get inspired, tap your foot or even ask a complete stranger to dance. Music can take silence and smash it with its thumb and forefinger and uplift your mundane day to a productive one or whatever it is that you're wanting your day to become.  Music is one thing that will ALWAYS be there for you.  I know I've needed it in hard times, as well as the best of times. My life is a sound track.  I can hear the song, Celebrate, and I'm all the sudden sitting in the backseat of my mothers VW Bug. I can even smell a certain smell. Can't describe it, but it's there. What I'm trying to say is if you look hard and long enough back, music was at one time there for you when you needed it most. 

So, let's vow to go out and give back to what music is capable of giving us. Check your local papers or Internet sites and search for a genre of music that suits you. I promise you won't regret it! And maybe, just maybe, it can rekindle some much needed sparks in your relationship. 

And remember, tip your musicians. They are there to entertain you! And if the atmosphere provides it, try and give them your attention and applause. There's nothing more that would make them happy. And maybe a good conversation when they're able to take a break. 

To check out and listen to my hubby go to 
I promise you'll love it!! 

Ryan Perry White 

Southern Living Magazine asks is Greenville, SC the tastiest town in the US

Greenville, SC up for an award in Southern Living Magazine for tastiest town in the US

If you have been to Greenville you know that our main street is mostly restaurants and bars. We have some of the best restaurants/bars out there, in my opinion. You can choose fine dining one night and a chain restaurant the next. You name it, we have it!  We are a tasty town.  And the atmosphere is to die for. I' m very proud of my city!! But my question is, why would Greenville let one of the most talented young chefs out there go?
Stephen Devereaux Green is culinary's future. Stephen now owns a restaurant in Raleigh, NC, but he started his career right here in the upstate. His first restaurant, Devereaux's, is still located on East Court Street downtown but without him as executive chef. It was his vision and recipes that forged its way with some steep competition, I might add. Now, he is no longer there to welcome guests that mostly came in for his dishes (made by his hands) and southern hospitality. 

George Clooney was a frequent guest at Devereaux's while he was living here shooting a film. So was Renee Zellweger and John Krasinski.  My husband and I went there every chance we could, especially special occasions. The night Tim proposed to me, we went to celebrate there and Stephen went out of his way to make our night even more special.  Thank you, Stephen! We will not forget that night! Even after all the champagne. ;)

Rumor has it that Stephen asked for a much deserved and meager raise and was told by investors that if he thought he could get that much somewhere else, they wished him luck.  Well, I'm happy to report, he got it!! But Greenville lost a 5 star restaurant because of greedy investors. I'm a big believer in everything happens for a reason and I hope Stephen found that reason.  

He deserves a HUGE shout out as he was a front runner in bringing fine dinning to Greenville, SC. So, if you're ever in Raleigh and would like to taste a little slice of heaven, stop by my friend, Stephen's, restaurant AC Cuisines and tell him I sent you!! 

If you'd like to vote for Greenville, SC as tastiest town in the US go to 

Ryan Perry White 

Bruce Springsteen honored as MusiCares person of the year

Lets Raise our Glass to MusiCares  Person of the Year, Mr  Bruce Springsteen 

There is no such question, do I love Bruce? My husband may ask,  how much do I love Bruce? I can't even answer that question. I breathe, live, take in as much as I can and adore anything Bruce. My husband has asked my 5 year old, "Who's Mommy's boyfriend?" Her answer and I love it, "Bruce Springsteen." She may be the only 5 year old on the planet that knows every one of his songs by heart. Her favorite is Ghost of Tom Joad but she calls it, Ghost of Tom John. ;)  Bruce Springsteen is  almost a  God to me. Bruce Springsteen brings out any inspiration in me. Bruce Springsteen has helped me be me.  He is a believer of words as I have always known I was.  He takes his words Literary and stands behind them, something I wish I could do. Since the 70s, Bruce has been talking and it seemed like no one was listening. You're listening now, aren't you, you corporate Aholes? Bruce will take you from the depths of hell but bring you out as a king.  Bruce  Springsteen, in my opinion, is writing at its finest. Greetings From Asbury Park (73) Brilliant! , The Wild the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle (73) Transcending!, Born to Run (75) All I can say is, DAMN!, and Darkness on the Edge of Town (78 and the year I was born) What an album, I'm actually speechless here!,  are my top favorite albums. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE them ALL!!! Oh, who could forget Tunnel of Love!?!  Some of the Best love songs out there. One of my favorite lines off this album is, " And it's a thin, thin line But I want you to know I'd walk  it for you anytime." Ah, my heart melts! But I digress. 

 If his words (sung by him) are in the forefront and the E Street Band are in the background those melodies collide and its like being transformed into the person you always thought you might become. If you're seeing him live you've been transformed and taken somewhere besides the dusty old arena but somewhere spiritual and inspirational. I've had the privilege of seeing him live three times. My first show was the Magic Tour in Atlanta, Ga. Ahhh... I fell hard! The second show was in my hometown, Greenville, SC (on my wedding anniversary) and I was able to be in the pit and got to spank his behind. One of the highlights of my life besides giving birth to my daughter. And early last year I got to see him in Greensboro, NC, again in the pit and I actually stood next to his daughter, Jessie. I couldn't get the nerve up to talk to her, but her parents tribute to her was very touching. Here is this Rock N Roll icon swooning over his beloved daughter. His eyes lit up at the sight of her. So honored I got to witness this touching, heartfelt moment. It will stay with me. And, I've never been a huge fan of his wife, Patti ( only out of pure jealousy) but I am now after seeing what a caring mother she is. I could see how proud and excited she was to have this surprise tribute to her daughter. So, damn it, Patti. You got on my good side. :)  I am also lucky to know a set engineer who toured with Bruce this year across seas. He gave me his crew t shirt and badge and also bought me a Born to Run t-shirt! Thank you, Michele.  I cherish them all! 

Not only has Bruce shared his brilliance with us through his records and writing but he has also shared his time with helping President Obama win another 4 years. I have to say, I think Bruce had a HUGE hand in that. He played in the 12-12-12 benefit for Sandy Relief. How fitting. Sandy is a song on The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle. Let's just say, Bruce didn't become MusiCares person of the year by not being the charitable person he is. He has also been honored with the Kennedy Center Honors and many, many more. 

Awards he has won and man there are A LOT! I'm sure I'm leaving some out, but here ya go. 

Inducted to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 1999, Rammy Award  for Best Original Song " The Streets of Philadelphia" 93, Polar Music Prize 97, MTV Music Video Award "Dancing in the Dark" 85, MTV Video Music Award "Streets of Philadelphia" 94, Meteor Ireland Music Award for best international  male  2008, Juno Award  for Album of them Year for Born in the USA 85, Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance " Dancing in the Dark 85, Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Solo Performance " Tunnel of Live 88, Grammy Award for Best Rock Song " Streets of Philadelphia" 95, Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance " Streets of Philadelphia 95, Grammy for Song of the Year " Streets of Philadelphia" 95, Grammy for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture or for Television ( from movie "Philadelphia") "Streets of Philadelphia" 95, Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album "The Ghost of Tom Joad" 97, Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance " The Rising" 2003, Grammy for Best Rock Album "The Rising" 03, Grammy for Best Rock Song " The Rising" 03, Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group " Disorder In The House 04, Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Solo Performance "Code Of Silence" 05, Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Solo Performance " Devils & Dust" 06, Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album " We Shall Overcome -The Seeger Sessions" 07, Grammy for Best Music Video, Long Form "Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run" 07, Grammy for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance "Radio Nowhere" 08, Grammy for Best Rock  Song "Radio Nowhere"08, Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance "Once Upon a Time in the West" 08, Grammy for Best Rock Song " Girls in Their Summer Clothes" 09, Grammy for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance "Working on a Dream"2010, Golden Globe for Best Original Song-Motion Picture from movie "Philadelphia" "Streets of Philadelphia" 94, Golden Globe for Best Original Song-Motion Picture "The Wrestler" 09, BFCA Award for Best Song " The Wrestler" 08, Brit Award for Best International Solo Artist 86, ASCAP Film and Television Music Award for Most Performed Songs from Motion Pictures "Philadelphia" 1993 'Streets of Philadelphia" 95, American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Single  " Dancing in the Dark" 84, American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist Video 85, American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Album "Born in the USA"85, American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist 85, Oscar for Best Music, Original Song ( from movie Philadelphia) " Streets of Philadelphia" 94, Oscar for Best Music, Original Song ( from movie the Wrestler) "The Wrestler" 
Whewwww...... Next time I'll just put up a link for that. Wow!! Didn't realize my morning would be taken up with writing Bruce's awards list. I'd do anything for that man, though. 

So, needless to say, I am a HUGE fan. My friends and family know if I'm around Bruce will be, too. I carry my Bruce collection of cd's everywhere I go and when I have parties at my house Bruce's documentaries are playing on the tv. I have a favorite to play and it's him playing at Hammersmith in the early 70s. I recommend every Springsteen fan to buy the Born to Run box set. The making of Born to Run called Wings for Wheels (he won an award for), live at Hammersmith, Born to Run cd and a little book of pictures come with it. It's Awesome!!! Also, I have a few book recommendations for fans, as well.  
Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin,  Down Thunder Road (Making of Bruce Springsteen) by Marc Elliott and Mike Appel and a book called Journey to Nowhere by Dale Maharidge. Journey to Nowhere had a huge influence on him making The Ghost of Tom Joad album. Bruce also writes the forward in it.  

So, if we could all raise our glasses and cheers a brilliant and caring man on all of his accomplishments! Congratulations Bruce!! Lord knows you've earned it!! 

Ryan Perry White 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

South Carolina's Low Country has inspired many Great writers

It is no question that South Carolina has paved its way for recognition in The United States of America. Not only for its beauty in the plains that grow and sow seeds of our fore fathers or the enchantment in the waves rolling in and out that at one time held Black Beard afloat or in the mountains reaching up to the heavens that were trailed by our earliest settlers, The Indians. The most famous thing SC is known for is it starting the Civil War. 
Fort Sumter, SC was where the first bombs and screams  were heard on April 12th 1861.  Fort Moutrie had its hand in the revolutionary war in 1776. South Carolina is not only known for its patriotism.  It played a huge hand in literature as well. We know the The Great Edgar Allan Poe was stationed at Fort Moutrie In 1827. Only spending about about a year in the low country and registering under the assumed name, Edgar A. Perry. At 19 he had already published one book of poems. It's rumored he enlisted under an assumed name because of gambling debts he owed.  South Carolina must have had an impact on the literary man as Gold Bug, The Oblong Box and The Balloon Box were influenced by the low country. This is how he described Sullivan's Island in The Gold Bug.
“This island is a very singular one. It consists of little else than the sea sand and is about three miles long. Its breadth at no point exceeds a quarter of a mile. It is separated from the mainland by a scarcely perceptible creek, oozing its way through a wilderness of reeds and slime, a favorite resort of the marsh hen. The vegetation, as might be supposed, is scant or at least dwarfish. No trees of any magnitude are to be seen. Near the western extremity, where Fort Moultrie stands and where are some miserable frame buildings, tenanted, during summer, by the fugitives from Charleston dust and fever, may be found the bristly palmetto; but the whole island, with the exception of this western point and a line of hard, white beach on the seacoast, is covered with a dense undergrowth of the sweet myrtle. …”
Sullivan's Island still has its tributes to the brilliant writer. If you are driving around the island you might come across Gold Bug Avenue, Raven Drive or Poe Avenue. If you cross The Intracoastal  Waterway going to Mount Pleasant you might happen to stumble upon Poe's Tavern, where some of items on the menu include hamburgers with names such as Gold Bug, Pit & Pendulum, Annabelle Lee, Tell-Tale Heart and, a tribute to Poe’s time on the island, Starving Artist.

South Carolina didn't stop there with its well know writers. DuBose Heyward wrote his 1925 novel Porgy which his wife, Dorothy, later adapted into a play in 1927.  Porgy inspired the opera Porgy and Bess with music by George Gershwin, (whom also enjoyed his time in SC)and later adapted into a movie in 1959. DuBose and his wife wrote the song Summertime for P&G sitting on their deck looking out at the beauty of Beaufort, SC. "summertime, where living is easy, fish are jumping and the cotton is high, oh your daddy's rich and your ma is good looking, so hush little baby, don't you cry." Heyward was born in Charleston in 1885. His father, Judge Thomas Heyward, Jr was a SC signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Heyward  went on to write many more plays, novels and poems.

We also have been honored with other brilliant writers such as, Pat Conroy, who has written many books, but most famously The Prince of Tides which was filmed on Fripp Island, SC where the writer lives and still holds book signings in a little convenient store at the tip of the island. 

There is also Dorethea Benton Frank.  She writes romantic novels that always have a promise of true SC facts. If it weren't for her, I wouldn't have known that much about my mysterious state that I've always been proud of but never needed any proof as to why. I've always known this state was special and that it grows and houses honest, smiling, down to the bone good people. Im proud to be a South  Carolinian and most proud the state I like to call my own was home, maybe just for a while, to some of literatures finest. Like our license plates once said, Nothing is Finer than living in South Carolina. 

Ryan Perry White 

Greenville Family Partnership

Keeping Our Kids Off Drugs 

Greenville Family Partnership 
"We are building healthy drug free communities one person at a time through education and partnering with families and communities." 

Greenville Family Partnership is a non profit organization in Greenville, South Carolina. Established in 1984, some caring adults of our community got together and decided they wanted to get involved in doing whatever they could to keep our youth drug free. They must be doing something right because twenty something years later they are still going strong. They still ask that the community get involved and welcome volunteers of any age! 

One of the many things GFP does is supports our Red Ribbon Week in our schools where students take a pledge to stay dug free. The organization has fundraisers ( which in  2012 I got the privilege to attend and donate some thirty-one bags for a silent auction) and benefits to help raise money so they can continue to teach the next generation all the facts they need to know about tobacco, drugs and alcohol. They also hold parenting programs that help enhance the skills of parents, grandparents and other caring adults. Their goal is to arm these adults with the skills and knowledge of alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, positive discipline, communication and anger management. One parent that attended this class had this to say, " This class was very informative.  The steps and procedures parents should take to handle teens are acurate.  Like the "deflectors" or specific words parents can use to deflate an argument before it can even get started.  I used them with my child and they actually worked! Sometimes parents think they know everything about being a parent but this class proves we don't and I think every parent should put their pride aside and admit these classes help." 

Other classes they hold include 
The Parent Connection- how to answer tough questions
Preparing for the Teen Years- how to meet future challenges
Parent to Parent- learn skills that will help your kids through the teen years without significant alcohol, tobacco or other drug use
Raising Children in Troubled Times- how to overcome obstacles to raising kids and setting and enforcing rules of discipline 
Building Family Strengths- how to guide your child in making good choices about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs 
For information about classes contact Lynn Hooper or Terry Taylor at 864-467-4099 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Books I think should be read by everyone who Loves to read

Books, Books, Books

I am a lover of all books and feel that everyone should at least try to read, at the least, a book a year. My husband does not like to read so he does not understand my passion for reading. I can sit for hours, if you'd let me, and read. I love that I can sit in my living room and travel to another world completely, free of all worldly, personal or silly little problems.  I like that I somehow feel just a little smarter after I finish a book.  Silly, I know. But, hey, I'm a stay at home mom of a five year old daughter, Norah, and feel that since I have decided to stay home with her, I have gotten dumber each day. Don't take me the wrong way when I say that. I wouldn't trade my "job" for anything.  Hey, it gives me even more time to read.  So, if you share my passion and would like some recommendations, here ya go!! 

These are not in any type of order. And please comment and share some of your favorites because I'm always up for a book rec and I promise, I will read it!! we go!! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! 

First, any books by Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck, Toni Morrison, Ernest Hemmingway, Flannery O'Connor, Nicholas Sparks, Sidney Sheldon, Catherine Coulter, Nora Roberts, John Grisham or Greg Isles are a go! I discovered Isles last year and read everything I could get my hands on. Great mystery writer. The authors above, I have read most everything by them so didn't want to list them all. 

Stupid and Contagious by Caprice Crane
The Paris Wife by Paula Mc Lain
A Winter's Night by Valerio Massimo Manfredi
Remembrance of Things I Forgot by Bob Smith
The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera 
Black Boy by Richard Wright 
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffengger
Forbidden Places Penny Vincenzi 
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines
The Pilots Wife
Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
Lilly Beach by Jennie Fields
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Jennie Fields 
Folly Beach by Dorthea Benton Frank
Porch Lights by Doethea Benton Frank 
Happy Family by Wendy Lee

Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunee
I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb 
The Curious Case of the Dog in the Nighhttime by Mark Haddon 
A Seperate Peace by John Knowles 
Nadia's Song by Soheir Khashoggi
Mosaic by Soheir Khashoggi 
A Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans 
Saints at the River by Ron Rash 
The Last Nightingale by Anthony Flacco
Boulevard by Bill Guttentag 
Aleph by Paulo Coelho
The Last Letters from your Lover by JoJo Moyes
Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris
Jesse's Ghost by Frank Bergon
All Over but the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg 
The Immortalists by Kyle Mills 
Friends Like Us by Lauren Fox 
Daughters of the Revolution by Carolyn Cooke
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes 
The Cotton Queen by Pamela Morsi
Lying Awake by Mark Salzman
No Angel by Penny Vincenzi
Sheer Abandon by Penny Vincenzi 
House of Daughters by Sarah-Kate Lynch
Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah
The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt
The Syndrome by John Case 
Eleven Kinds of Lonliness byRichard Yates
The Easter Parade by Richard Yates
The Problem with Murmur Lee by Connie May Fowler