The Joup Friday Album: “Traveller” — Chris Stapleton

TravellerWhen I was tagged for the Joup Friday Album, I had already been thinking for weeks that it was time to write about Chris Stapleton’s album, “Traveller.” This album won’t get out of my head, and I realize now why that is: It hasn’t been since U2’s “The Joshua Tree” that an album has had such a profound and personal impact on my life.

Los Angeles to Austin: Austin to Los Angeles

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I moved to Los Angeles almost a decade ago, fresh out of my 20s and still basically a newlywed. I was coming from Chicago, where I’d met my husband, Shawn. He had lived his entire life in Chicago, specifically in the south suburbs. Meeting Shawn and his tight-knit group of friends was like being thrust into the pages of an Andrew Greeley novel. Irish, middle-class, witty, fatalistic … it was something I found hard to relate to at first, since my own experiences were so different. But Shawn was only informed by his past; he was also his future. So when I got an offer out here for a job, he put our persnickety feline, two computers and an aluminum softball bat “just in case we run into trouble,” into his car and we set off.

Los Angeles to Austin: The Preview Edition

“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”

It’s doubtful there will ever be another travel memoir that will have as much effect on pop culture as Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Countless writers have tried — most have failed — to recreate that uniquely American take on driving through the open desert, the twin engines of speed and freedom propelling them forward. It’s Thompson who springs to mind as soon as I find out that I’m going to be driving 1,300 miles to Austin, Texas, through the California desert, Arizona and New Mexico, especially since the entire route is essentially one road — Interstate 10.

Joup Fiday Album – Dada Puzzle

Dada Puzzle (I.R.S. Records/EMI Records)

Dada Puzzle (I.R.S. Records/EMI Records)

Nostalgia. This word means so much to so many people for so many different reasons. A simple photography, movie line or guitar lick can open up a world of memories of place and time once experienced for better or worse. Generally I like to remember the better but sometimes revel in the worse…maybe as we all do. In the last few weeks I’ve really tweaked my sound as a guitarist by adding a stellar early 70s twin reverb as my primary amp. My Strat and Tele have never sounded better. And then I came across a little number from 1992 entitled “Dim” on Pandora this week and everything became a little bit clearer. This week’s Friday Album is Dada Puzzle.


Again back to the early 90s? Come on Grez…surely you’ve evolved from there. I guess in some ways I have or just found a deeper appreciation for the music to which I listen for the past, um, 30 years. I did some homework on the band Dada and this is what I found:

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