Yes, it’s true that I am a country music freak (from California,) but it’s only been recently, when country became more rockified. I love the sound of the new young artists who are blending their roots in the country western world with some of the cool rock bands they also grew up with! (ex. Eric Church’s “Springsteen.”) Since I was a teenager frequenting Winterland, and listening to the best rock stations in San Francisco, I liked the crossovers of the day – the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws, Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker, etc. Besides the catchy rhythms (Ramblin Man), lyrics (Simple Man) and rockin’ fiddle (Devil Went Down to Georgia,) this music ROCKED! And, tonight at Bottle Rock was a prime example of when country meets rock, when rock meets country, with the headliner-The ZAC BROWN BAND! (www.zacbrownband.com) Whereas, these guys are planted very firmly in country western and folk music, they know how to rip, rock, and roll. And, this came across straight away by the looks of their stage set – a smoky, smoldering, underground blue-collar, machine shop vibe with the keyboard and drum risers lined with gears, ratchets, various wheels, and stuff I couldn’t possibly name, not being an expert in that field.
Hailing from the great state of Georgia, Zac Brown was the eleventh out of twelve children, which might be why he surrounds himself with a large band of eight guys. The talent in this band is pretty incredible, with musicians schooled in a variety of unusual instruments, such as mandolin, organ, banjo, ukulele, pedal steel, keyboard, and violin, in addition to guitar, bass, drums and percussion. This, of course, raises their music level above and beyond your typical country western band sound. And, the highlight of tonight’s show, and every show this band performs (in my opinion) is their absolutely rockin’ fiddler, Jimmy De Martini. This man is mesmerizing and thoroughly captivating when he takes center stage and all eyes (and ears) are on him! He can rock a fiddle like Jimi Hendrix rocked a guitar – aggressive, fierce and fiery! There is nothing sweet and subtle about it – this man makes fiddle playing sexy…and the Zac Brown Band is better because of him! Every band has guitar, bass and drums in their repertoire, but to include a violin and highlight him, was a genius idea that puts this band in a league of their own. Check out the comparison between Jimmy and Charlie Daniels here: http://wyrk.com/who-is-the-best-fiddler-in-country-music-poll/
Starting off their set this warm Napa night with ‘Keep Me in Mind,’ the ZBB played fan favorites, such as, ‘Whiskey’s Gone,’ ‘The Wind,’ and ‘Chicken Fried,’ as well as covers of Dave Matthews Band’s ‘Ant’s Marching,’ Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir,’ Charlie Daniels’ ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia,’ and Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman.’ The morphing of country with rock just drives the point home that country absolutely rocks!
Then, about halfway through the show, Zac invited Kacey Musgraves onstage to join the guys in playing her song, ‘Follow Your Arrow,’ and in between some of the songs, Zac subtly blended well-known folksy songs with his music. The intro to his song, ‘The Wind’ was Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowin’ in the Wind,’ which was a clever blend, and ‘Free’ led into Into ‘The Mystic’ by Van Morrison. This show kept the crowd on their toes, combining songs from different genres, eras, and artists. What an interesting variety of music, and done with the Zac Brown Band’s signature sound autographed across it. This show made it clear that music transcends the lines between style, genre, and types of music, and that one band can crossover from one style to another, and make them both sound excellent. Their setlist may look schizophrenic at a glance, but you had to be there to believe how creatively genius it actually was. The next time these guys come to your town, I highly recommend you check them out. In the meantime, check out their songs online (Youtube, iTunes, etc.)
At 6:00pm, as the sun was moving further away from the sky over Bottle Rock, as the heat of the day faded, and the weather changed to perfect, a favorite local San Francisco band took the main stage. Train, (http://savemesanfrancisco.com) with it’s charismatic lead singer, Pat Monahan, commanded the audience with a confident presence. They love what they do, and it shows! I first saw Train at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas in 2012 (http://sxsw.com,) where they did a phenomenal job performing at the Central Presbyterian Church.
Tonight’s show was very different, on an outdoor stage in Napa, California’s wine country, as the sun was going down, and a crowd that was ten times larger. Any way you see them, though, they put on a good show. Singing many of their most recognizable hits – Soul Sister, Calling All Angels, Save Me, San Francisco, Meet Virginia, Drops of Jupiter – they easily got the crowd singing and swooning right along, right away. Monahan was all over the stage – and it was a big one – getting up-close and as personal as a singer can in a venue so huge. At one point, he pulled out his cell phone and took pictures of the crowd from the stage, and later in the show, he jumped into the audience and took selfies with people and their phones.
Pat Monahan is a crowd friendly performer, no doubt, and it was so very apparent just how much fun he was having. And, not only is he a singer, he is a musician, which he proved when he picked up the saxophone and played along with his band. Whatever your opinion is of the band Train, they have cut out a name for themselves in the music industry. Their songs are catchy, a bit poppy, with sometimes rather odd lyrics (“my heart is bound to beat, right out my untrimmed chest” or “just a shy guy looking for a two-ply Hefty bag to hold love.”) Where they come up with such odd, kind of nerdy, lyrics is beyond me, but it’s not my place to judge. They are good; they are successful; they have made a name for themselves in the world of music, and that’s admirable and honorable.
As the evening settled in, and the sun began to fade, Train’s show came to an end. The emotion exuding from the band was felt by, no doubt, everyone in the audience. Monahan’s appreciation to the crowd for their warm response, and the fact that he was overcome with gratitude that practically brought him to tears, was wonderful sight. Sometimes it seems to me like celebrities are untouchables, or on a higher plane that the rest of us mortals (or think they are!) So, to see them in such an obvious state of appreciation and indebtedness, is heartwarming. It shows that they are human, after all. These guys might not be the Rolling Stones, but they are Train, and train rocked Bottle Rock 2013!
I’m not quite sure how I managed to leave out from the 2013 lineup the young, up-and-coming, very talented country artist, Kacy Musgraves, a 26 year old Texas girl! (http://www.kaceymusgraves.com) She was a huge reason we “parked” ourselves at the main stage for the day. Being a country music fan, and because I listen to KRTY 95.3 (http://www.krty.com) religiously, I had been introduced to her music before attending Bottle Rock. Some of her radio hits that I especially like are ‘Merry Go Round,’ ‘Blowin’ Smoke,’ ‘Follow Your Arrow,’ and ‘Mama’s Broken Heart.’
Kacey and her band took the stage at 2:00 pm, before Michael Franti & Spearhead, and though she is a petite, young thang, she confidently led her band of men. Dressed in a mini skirt, black t-shirt and cowboy boots, she played her acoustic guitar and sang gems from her hit album, “Same Trailer Different Park,” as well as many others in her stash. Her sweet, humble demeanor was endearing to the crowd, who focussed intensely on this singing,songwriting musician that most of them probably hadn’t even heard of yet. This talented young lady has written songs for Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert, Gretchen Wilson and more. But, she has the voice, the presence and the talent to hold her own. Her lyrics are different form the average country song – clever, descriptive and sometimes controversial – and, I highly recommend listening to her album, “Same Trailer Different Park,” which won ‘Best Country Album’ and ‘Country Album of the Year’ in 2013. And, in addition to these prestigious kudos, Kacey also won ‘New Artist of the Year’ and ‘Best Country Song’ for ‘Merry Go Round.’ This young lady is surely just beginning a long, successful career in the music business. Atta girl, Kacey!!
Next up: San Francisco’s own….Train!
BOTTLE ROCK NAPA (http://www.bottlerocknapavalley.com)
Just returning from my second year at Bottle Rock in Napa, I thought I’d share what this festival has to offer from my perspective. But, if you want to read complaints and negativity about the event, you won’t see them here…cuz I tend to prefer things with a positive spin. Taking place at the Napa Fairgrounds in Northern California’s gorgeous wine country, this event is awesome, to say the least…but, it comes with some challenges. The lineup was phenomenal considering that this festival is all of two years old! The frustrating issue with festivals is that there are more than one stage, and the bands tend to overlap. So, you run into the problem of having two great bands (sometimes more)
performing at the same time and having to make the decision of which ones to see. It can be a tough challenge deciding whether to watch one band and miss the other, or to catch a little bit of each band, missing a portion of both shows (and usually some of their best songs.)
My two experiences (2013 & 2014) were very different from each other, but both kicked ass. But, unfortunately, due to my busy schedule, I was only able to spend one day out of three at this festival each year. Oh well, as far as I’m concerned, it’s better than not going at all.
In it’s debut year, my friends and I chose to plant ourselves at the main stage and stay there for the majority of the time. This was, according to us, the best choice, because three great bands were performing here, one right after the other. First was Michael Franti and Spearhead, who was followed by Train, and the grand finale was the Zac Brown Band. And, though the other stages featured bands we wanted to see, we felt that it was better to watch three bands in their entirety, than to catch partial shows at different stages, spending valuable listening time walking from one stage to another. This year, however, we did the opposite by mapping out our schedule and trekking from one stage (and one band) to another.
Bottle Rock 2013 was very warm, with temperatures feeling in the high 80s/low 90s. The fairground was dirt-filled and dusty, mingling with sweaty bodies, it was grimy. But, having spent what seems like a lifetime at concerts (I’m from the Day on the Green generation,) as well as experiencing festivals of many varieties (New Orleans Jazz Fest, South By Southwest, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, etc,) you know that anything can happen here, so you’d better be adaptable! It can be a scorcher, it can rain, it can be cold, it can be dirty, it can be crowded, it can be irritating, but if you truly love music, it is an experience, and usually a good one, if you ask me! As I mentioned earlier, we decided to stay put at one stage (there were four)…the Main Stage. First on was Michael Franti & Spearhead…but, I’m not going to critique or review their show here, as I’m no professional…and, that’s not what I really do on this blog. I will, however, mention that this was my first time seeing these guys and I really enjoyed them. With his hair wrapped up in a beanie, and strumming a beautiful acoustic guitar with a wooden inlaid design reminiscent of a Peter Max poster, Franti and the band hit the stage. They were high energy, with Michael commanding the stage (and the audience’s attention) from one far end to the other. At one point, he came out into the crowd to entertain us, up close and personal. Before long, the beanie was gone and his long dreadlocks hung freely in the warm breeze. I was impressed by the sharing of his personal path with the crowd, mentioning that he had been adopted by a family in Oakland, California and was so grateful for his life. He makes sure to pay it forward and is involved in a number of foundations, organizations, fundraising events, and raising awareness for those in need. Towards the end of their show, the band invited a whole bunch of kids onstage to join them for a song or two. Michael Franti embraces mankind and seems really in touch with who he is (an adopted child with French, German, Irish, Native American and African American) and where he came from (Oakland, CA.) Whereas, I really liked the music, which is a complimentary blend of reggae, hip-hop, funk and rock, I was more impressed with the man. Any way you look at it, though, it was a show worth watching…and a band worth seeing again! Check them out here: https://www.michaelfranti.com
I’ve been listening to the radio since I first discovered a transistor somewhere in my parents’ garage. (My dad used to listen to baseball games while working on his car.) Lucky for me, both my parents (especially my mother) were music lovers and we had a home full of radios, records, turntables, instruments, cassettes, and whatever else delivered tunes. Mom always had the radio on in the car when schlepping us kids around town, and I always tuned in. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I quickly fell in love with the two most popular AM radio stations of the time ~ KYA and KFRC. (It would still be a quite a few years before FM radio became popular.) Anytime I was in the vicinity of a radio, I immediately tuned in to AM 610 or 1240, and would continuously bounce back and forth between the two stations to ‘catch’ the best songs being played.
Fast forward to today: I still bounce between stations, and whereas I don’t necessarily have one favorite channel, there is a particular disc jockey that stands out far above the others ~ Steven Seaweed, on 107.7 The Bone! (KSAN) Not only does “The Weed Man” (http://ksanfm.dnn.cumulus.net/StevenSeaweed/TheSeaweedStory/tabid/271/Default.aspx) have quite an interesting history in the area, he is also an encyclopedia of music and has an enormous following. With his local fame and status, as well as the ability to keep the studio, microphone, and radio waves as a barrier between he and the public, Steven could easily distance himself from his listeners. But, he doesn’t. Instead, he often invites listeners into his studio, offers something called “Free Food Friday Hot Lunch,” and very hospitably entertains them. He also has tons of ‘friends’ on Facebook and is very interactive on it. He is a major supporter of local music and musicians, and in the “Bone Voyage” segment of his show, he kindly allows local bands to plug their upcoming gigs, which Steven announces every weekend. He very often has local musicians, as well as ‘well-knowns,’ visit him in the studio and interviews them on the air, or lets them plug a show. This is a man who really “pays it forward.” He is a diehard music lover and appreciator, and he is gladly using his forum to help others in their musical pursuits.
I don’t usually request a “friend” on Facebook unless I know them personally. However, because Steven and I have mutual friends, and he started the “Have a Ball Foundation” (http://haveaballgolf.com/about-us.htm) with one of them, and since I feel that I’ve known the man for years because of listening to him on the radio, we ended up as friends on Facebook. Well, the truth of it is, as any of you Facebookers know, “friending’ people on Facebook is no major feat. And of course, I figured I would basically be getting updates (ie. advertisements) about what is important in the Weedman’s life. However, when it’s a well-known radio personality of your time, who not only accepted your ‘friendship’ but actually takes the time to ‘inbox’ a personal “Happy Birthday” message on your birthday (can you imagine how many he has to do a day with over 5,000 friends?!) Well, that’s what started the ball rolling for my birthday celebration this year. Here is how the story goes:
Last year, on my birthday I received a personal inbox message from Seaweed wishing me a ‘rockin’ birthday. Knowing he has an abundant number of Facebook friends, I was surprised and honored that he took the time out of his busy schedule (even if it was only 30 seconds) to send me this message. So, I answered back, telling him that he ‘made my day,’ though never expecting to hear back from him again. But, lo and behold, he responded with an invitation to come into the studio on a Friday for his “Friday Hot Lunch.” Honored by this personal invitation, I happily accepted, But, busy as my life is, I never got my act together to get down to the studio and partake in the event. So, a year later, just before my next birthday, I was feeling like a schlepp for never getting in there for this unique opportunity. I mean, it isn’t every day that you get a personal invitation from a prestigious radio DJ to come in and hang out in his studio with him! So, I thought it would be a perfect way to celebrate this year’s birthday, as I could bring in nine of my friends, too. I went through all the rigamarole to set the whole thing up, which wasn’t as easy as expected since Steven was out with pneumonia during this time and my email got lost in Limbo land. Once he returned to work, and I gathered up nine eager friends who were also up for the adventure, the day came. Two car loads of women drove up to “The Steven Seaweed Building” in downtown San Francisco. First, we stopped by the Flower Market to buy him a bunch of orange flowers (to represent our San Francisco Giants) and brought alone a card signed by our group. Upon arriving at the studio, we were sent up to his floor where we waited in the lobby. I wasn’t expecting to see a room full of long-haired rocker dudes (and their wives/girlfriends) also waiting to get in. I thought that we ten women would be it, thinking that he had a crampy little studio. It ends up, these guys were in an AC/DC tribute band, cleverly called “ADD/C” that had a show in the area that night and would be promoting it on Seaweed’s show. While we waited, we were treated to our free hot lunch, which is donated by a local restaurant. On this day, it happened to be pizzas and sodas from Amici’s Pizza. In no time, Steven came out and introduced himself to everyone and we mingled and chatted. He was like an old friend, giving me a hug, and making a point to meet all of my friends. I never expected this man to be so friendly and personable, but as the time went on, we all learned that he is much more than that. Steven Seaweed is a ‘personality,’ so charismatic and charming that he makes you feel instantly at home in his presence. There wasn’t an air of arrogance or egomania whatsoever in this man. And, it wasn’t just me that felt it…every one of my friends took to him immediately. He has the gift of spreading great vibes and kindness without an ounce of attitude.
After our lunch, it was time to file into his studio and watch him in action. He has a nice ‘office’ four floors up in a room full of windows overlooking downtown San Francisco. We lined up around his ‘desk,’ which was a high-tech collection of computer gadgets and contraptions that I couldn’t begin to describe or understand. But, it was impressive! People came bearing gifts, which were delivered to him as we entered the room. During Steven’s “Hot Lunches,” which he has every weekday from noon to 1:00 (tho, Friday is the only day he includes the public, and food) he announces the theme word for that day and listeners call in to request a song that relates to that word. I’ve listened to this many times in the past, from the ‘other’ side of the radio, but today I got to see it from the inside. Interestingly, he fields the phone calls during songs, records them, then plays them when he is back on the air. His producer, Ander, is right by his side fiddling expertly on some technological gizmo that does something like line up things to get the timing right for airplay. At least, I think it was something of that nature. Meanwhile, during songs, Steven was up and out of his seat every time to make the rounds and talk to each of the twenty-odd people that were in his studio that day! He also handed out cards (similar to baseball cards) with his picture on them to everyone, because he was recently inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame. (http://bammagazine.com/index.php/archives/310-bay-area-radio-hall-of-fame-inductees-announced) It didn’t take long to figure out that he seems to have “groupies.” Many of the visitors this day were ‘regulars’ and were fans of this man. Meanwhile, I noticed that one of my friends, who happens to always have something up her sleeve, was taking him aside and whispering to him. This made me curious, as well as nervous, because you never know what this woman is up to! Was she requesting a song? Flirting with Steven? Or, could she be planning a way to put me in the spotlight because, after all, it was my birthday!! So much was going on in that studio – pictures galore were being snapped, we were amused and entertained by a DJ in action, there was an interview and ticket giveaway with one of the ADD/C band members, there were on-air requests (which reminds me, our word of the day was “THAT, “ which is one weird word to try to match with a song! But, people managed.) There was talking and schmoozing off-air, Hall of Fame cards being signed and passed out, etc, etc, so when Steven suddenly announced, “Where is Nadine?” I nearly jumped out of my skin. Uh-oh, what does he want with ME! I nervously stepped forward and he told me to come around to his side of the “desk.’ Yikes, what is going on here? I apprehensively went over to him, where he sat me on his lap. Yikes! “Are you going to make me talk on the air?” I barely managed to squeak out. No answer, as he fiddled about on his techie board. And, just as I breathed out, “Oh gawd, you are…” there he was, microphone dangling between us, speaking on air. “I have Nadine here in the studio today. Happy birthday!” I was shaking like a leaf, and barely remember responding, “Thank you, Steven.” The rest of our short conversation (what I can recall of it) went like this:
SS: “So, how old are you today, 32? 33?”
Me: “I’m 39 again…and again…and again”
SS: “39 and holding, huh?”
Me: “Yes, that’s right.” Smiling sheepishly.
SS: “Well, thanks for coming in and celebrating with us today.”
Me: “Thank you for inviting me.” Very gratefully.
SS: “Come in again some time.”
Me: “Oh, I will!” Excited!
SS: “Happy birthday.”
Me: “Thank you so much!”
I stayed seated on his lap while some more talking and announcements took place, probably so as not to disrupt the broadcast, still in a fog over what just happened. Then, when the time was right, I gave him a kiss on the cheek and stumbled back to where I had been standing. The rest of the show was a blur, as I was absolutely overcome by this unexpected twist. Thank goodness for Smart Phones, because I got some great pictures of the day, and of me on the air with the Weedman himself!
At 1:00, the show was over. It was time to say ‘goodbyes’ and ‘thank yous’ and end the adventure. I gave Steven a big, appreciative hug, thanking him for the opportunity to be a part of this behind-the-scenes experience. He respectfully shook everyone’s hand or gave hugs and said goodbye to each and every person who was there that day. What a blast it was! And, what an honor to be in the presence of this well-known, charismatic & charming disc jockey! My friends and I were in awe, and enjoyed every minute of that day. In fact, it was so much fun that I’m thinking of making it an annual event. Happy Birthday to Me!!
**San Francisco has hosted a pretty terrific Bluegrass festival every year since 2001 called ‘Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.’
(http://www.strictlybluegrass.com/) Sure, The City (this is what we locals have always called our city. We do NOT call it Frisco or San Fran) is known for old hippies, rock & roll, the Summer of Love, and Gay Pride, but we do have a very diverse musical interest in this area. I am focusing this post on bluegrass because we recently lost our founder, Warren Hellman, (aka.The Billionaire Who Loved Bluegrass, (http://www.baycitizen.org/obituaries/story/warren-hellman-dies-77/1/) and held a special memorial service for him. The event took place on Sunday, February 19, 2012 on a mile stretch of SF’s Great Highway, adjacent to Ocean Beach and the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The lineup included a star-filled roster of Hardly Strictly veterans, including Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Boz Scaggs and Hellman’s own band, the Wronglers. The weather was beautiful, the crowd peaceful, and the day was filled with love and gratitude for a man who shared his love of bluegrass with the city he also loved.
SF’s ‘Hardly Striclty Bluegrass’ festival came about from Hellman’s desire to indulge his musical fantasy by inviting some of his favorite artists to play at Golden Gate Park. Killing two birds with one stone, he was able to hang out with his favorite musicians, as well as share his love of bluegrass with others. The first year there were only two stages, nine acts, and around 13,000 people in the crowd. No one could imagine how quickly it would grow, or how popular it would become!
Within a few years, it became a three-day event, with an attendance of more than 600,000 fans coming to see world-renowned acts like Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, and Steve Earle — for free. Hellman’s gathering became a place where the musicians and professionals enjoyed it as much as the crowd did. He also called the festival “the single most fulfilling thing” that he had done.
‘Hardly Strictly Bluegrass’ also gave Hellman the opportunity to fulfill his desire to play in a band, where he showed his talents as an accomplished banjo player. His band, The Wronglers, came together at the same time as the festival, and he once joked that he’d gone to a lot of time and expense just to ensure he’d get to play his music.
Warren Hellman gifted San Francisco and its people many years of great music…and just because he is gone, it is not the end. He has requested to is family that the festival continue for at least fifteen more years. His ‘Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, Hellman has said, “is as close to heaven as I’m gonna get.”
*For those traveling in and out of the San Jose International Airport in Northern California, (http://www.sjc.org/) Bluz By-you is perfectly located right down the street – it is a terrific place to stop into, before or after a flight, and chill like (and with) the Southern folk. Check ‘em out some time.
- The moon rises over SF.
So’s y’all know, I’m a Booking Agent (no, not a Bookie) for local San Francisco Bay Area bands that I’ve come across over the three short years that I’ve been in this business. Tho, I hate to gamble, I love being immersed in music-great live stuff delivered by talented musicians. So, after years of working in odd jobs, as a teacher, a retail rat, a Mom, and blah, blah, yawn, yuck, I found (actually, it found me) this highly lucrative career (yeah right!) representing local bands and booking them into nearby venues. It’s creative, social, and just plain fun! I meet tons of people, go on ‘Field Trips’ (my excuse to get outta dodge and check out new people & places,) and mix things up a bit. Since the SF Bay Area is my territory, most stories will take place in those parts, but this will be the year of seeking and searching out bigger and better, new and different vehicles and locations for delivering music. In all honesty, I’m all about Rock and Roll, Blues, with a dose of Motown and R & B thrown in for good measure. Tho, I’m not huge on jazz or country (or hip-hop and rap) I suppose an occasional reference couldn’t hurt- that is, if it’s huge breaking news that we can’t live without. (*written with a touch of sarcasm.) I am VERY interested in the South, and all the great musical history that came from them thar parts, so that countrified stuff is bound to seep in eventually. I feel a lassoo pulling me to the southern regions, so that is where I will be venturing to in the coming months. Feel free to come along for the ride…
Happy New Year, party people! I hope to ROCK WITH YOU in 2012!
I decided to start this blog after realizing that wherever I go, it’s all about the music. Okay, not ALL about the music, but darned near pretty much! At my age (old enough to have been there, but too dazed & confused to clearly remember) I have decided to share my adventures with others who might be interested, and/or might not be able to get out there themselves. So, because of my love of travel and music, (and of course, food and drink!) I am beginning on what I’ll call a ‘Music Quest’ and am inviting you along for the ride. I have been ‘Goin’ Mobile’ and keeping a photo record of my journeys (via Facebook) for a few years now, so it’s high time I go to the next step and actually write/inform/explain these travels. (Bear with me while I perfect the art of blogging, as I’m new to this.) Not being a self-absorbed person, it won’t be ‘all about me,’ rather it’s for YOU…to join in , enjoy, kick back and go where the wind blows us. So, put on your seat belts…and let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!!!
For info on me, see: www.nadinerocks.com