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Bruce Markow: NewsBlog

Riding the Gigorama - October 6, 2006


Happy autumn! The night breeze grows cooler (except for on those balmy Indian summer days), the earth more still... and I've been a fast movin', busy performin' singer-songwriter over the past few weeks, with multiple gigasms and oodles of studio work. So much for nature's natural flow slowing down this time of year.

The pace has kept me doing things instead of writing about them. Thus, this belated flurry of news items.

I'm happy to say all recent gig highlights were plugs for peace, something, as John Lennon once said, we're needing to give a chance, right?

Got up at the crack of dawn on Sept. 11, the sixth anniversary of, well, “The” Sept. 11, to sing, for the third year running, for ROC-NY (Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York), whose core members are surviving employees of Windows of the World, once atop the WTC. Performing with Bev Grant at ROC's successful, new cooperative worker-owned restaurant, Colors (417 Lafayette St, btwn Astor Pl & 4th St, NYC), as opposed to past gatherings outdoors at a downtown pier, I was touched to partake in a poignant ceremony to both honor their beloved 73 missing as well as take a festive, inspiring look to the future.

Afterward, guitar in tow, I bee-lined to Chelsea Market to join a bunch of my songwriting buddies singing all day as part of “September Concert”, a citywide, and now international, series of free events reaffirming a hope for peace. Pat Wictor, Tom Ryan, Glen Roethel, Teri Scheinzeit, John Redgate, Ina May Wool, Ritt Henn, Denise Jordan Finley, Tom Boyd, Fred Arcoleo, Matt Broady and I successfully slowed some of the shoppers whizzing by (Is this W's visionary plan to “shop for peace” in action?) -- and we singers made a boisterous, fully engaged audience for each other.

No-stone-unturned investigative reporter Greg Palast and his new expose, Armed Madhouse, prompted my return to Brooklyn, NY's Vox Pop on Sat, September 30 to headline the music at a special book party. Greg can no longer write for mainstream media since he digs uncomfortably deep for truth. He's an entertaining, mischievous, thought-provoking guy and kept the audience agog. One opinionated listener said she preferred my own approach to tellin' it like it is that night. Whatever. Greg asked to be my drummer.



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The Store is now WAAAY open - May 26, 2006


PayPal is so cool, easy and secure... and it's now fully set up at the "Bazaar". Check it out at http://www.brucemarkow.com/products.html


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Bruce records new track for True Blue CD - May 16, 2006


Following up on the last paragraph of the March 19 news turned out to be an adventure.

A week before Bob Blue died he had asked me personally to replace, with something else, my recording of his re-written version of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" since it had just failed to get publisher's licensing.

Bob had a list of songs he hoped to include on his tribute CD and a few of those were still unaccounted for on the project. Now without Bob on the scene the problem was digging them up. After an extensive search the producer found lyrics - but no indication of the music, and time was running out before mastering deadlines. So I wrote new music and some extra lyrics for choruses to two of the songs. I believe they gave Bob’s words a lot of impact.

Still, we made one last attempt to honor Bob’s original concept and I finally located Anne White, who hurriedly faxed the gorgeous canon setting for “Napkin Poem” that she had written for Bob. It arrived in time for me to create a recording on the last day before final production -- and on the day of a memorial ceremony for Bob. It was an intimate consolation to missing that gathering. Stay tuned for the CD's release.

I’m hoping to make further tribute down the road by sharing my “new” songs that Bob is still co-writing!

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The Store is now OPEN - March 26, 2006


Zip on over to http://www.brucemarkow.com/products.html for life's under-recognized necessities.
Check out the official Bruce Markow Bizarre Bazaar, including the Miracle Mango Mini Mart (Just say, "Mmmm...") Online Outlet. ("Oo!...")

Wo wo!

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Bob Blue, songwriter, teacher & friend - March 19, 2006


I just received sad news that dear friend Bob Blue died peacefully in his sleep two mornings ago. Despite increasingly debilitating effects of MS over more than two decades, Bob was rarely too tired to give to family, friends, school children, his assistants and strangers. He persisted writing songs, stories, essays and plays until nearly his last breath, inspiring so many with his wisdom, grace, humor and generosity. He was a good friend of mine and, I'm grateful to say, a mutual admirer. (See his kudo near the bottom of my "quotes" page.)
Six years ago Bob wrote, "This is a thank you note. Unless I change dramatically, I’m dying a sort of atheist. But you’ve [all] made my stay on earth feel a lot like what theists probably hope Heaven will be like."

I've been working on a forthcoming Bob Blue tribute CD, featuring interpretations by some of America's great singer-songwriters. Last fall I recorded two songs for the project. (One of them, Bob's words set to the tune of the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand," remains unlicensable despite repeated efforts with the publisher. I may or may not record a replacement.) Look for more info on Bob and the True Blue CD here and at www.bobblue.org


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The Mango Festival report back - March 18, 2006


The Mango Festival a Success!
Want to Bring it Home?



Once again, I had more fun than a pig in slop doing The Mango Festival yesterday.(See also Feb 1, '06 report.) And if their whoops, hollers, hearty singalongs on choruses (plus, as some of you know, that
section in the song "Mango"), standing ovation and enthusiastc comments were any signs, so did the audience of locals and pilgrims from faraway places.
It's clear things are clicking when the crowd takes over my vocal line on the very first song of the night, "Treasures," during the acapella part. What a gift to just stand back and receive your pleasure. Thank you, guys! I love my audiences.

Yes, big thanks to my terrific band (Barry, Ben, Bev & Robin), the Good Coffeehouse staff, Justin Stallard, who nimbly handled the board and all of you who attended or got involved one way or another.

Wanna take The Mango Festival home with you? Here are two ways to begin:

1) Help arrange for a show at a venue near you.(Just email me.)

2) Go directly to the fledgling store (up any moment now) [now open for biz - ed.], where some of the 5-senses Festival merchandise is available to you directly, starting with the cool and coveted Festival t-shirts and the CD single "Mango".

Meanwhile, hoping all is harmonious in your world. Stay juicy and succulent...
Bruce

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Audio is now UP on the Music Page. - March 14, 2006


Check it out. More to come. Yee hah!

Listen to "Prayer for Peace (1 Love)" [and read lyrics and check out Bruce's discography] at http://www.brucemarkow.com/music.htm

Comments welcome in the guestbook or email Bruce.


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The Mango Festival happens March 17 in NYC - February 1, 2006


GOOD NEWS! Bruce performs, for the second time ever, another full out rendition of THE MANGO FESTIVAL. The good times roll on Friday, March 17, 2006 at a favorite venue, The Good Coffeehouse Music Parlor in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NYC (details below). Not to be missed!
The Mango Festival features songs, stories and five-senses experiences in praise of "the fruit of the gods" and every juicy thing they represent, along with Bruce's other repertoire that uniquely supports the theme. Backed by his great band - Robin Burdulis (percussion), Bev Grant (voice, guitar), Barry Kornhauser (bass, ‘cello) & Ben Silver (voice, keyboard, percussion) - the action kicks in at 8 p.m.

Everyone from audience to venue staff to Bruce's band had a great time at the last one at the Peoples' Voice Cafe in Manhattan this past October 8th, reveling in the music and the abundance of pleasure, exuberance and uplift. It would be a treat to see you this time.
Stay for a second set of danceable "red hot & sweet" klezmer music with Madam Lewicki & her Yiddishe Syncopaters, no extra charge.
Yes, the Miracle Mango Mini Mart will be open (That's why people who eat mangoes say, "Mmmm..."), with unique Festival t-shirts begging to be worn, Bruce's CDs, mango body butter lotion, mango soap, mango edibles and more.

See you there?

Click on this March 17 Festival flier for a larger version.


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Benefits often bring out the best in people - January 31, 2006


Today is web site catching up day.

Time for some overdue kudos to Michael Sansonia, who produced a fantastic event on Sunday, January 15 at the vibrant Sixth Street Community Center in New York City's "Alphabet City". It was a benefit for Hurricane Katrina's survivors involved in a creative home building project, and it brought out some of the best of the area's performers, sharing music (Marcus Simeone, Bill Vanaver, Evans Thompson, Andy Heermans and Mason Sansonia [Michael's talented son]) and spoken word (Will Sales, Adam Sales, Sarah Dupuy, Pete Dolack and Mitchel Cohen), as well as a thoroughly engaging magic act (Frank Brents).

Michael is a consummate musician/singer, a great producer, an insightful arranger and a helluva bandleader (not to mention a fun, inspiring guy who's a pleasure to be around). The house band was an awesome who's who of in-demand session and touring backup players - Stanley Banks, Larry Eagle, Martha Hyde, Joe Bell, Sean Mahoney, Michael (and one or two more I may be forgetting, with apologies) - full out with three horns. The thrill I got playing in the house band alongside them (despite the orneriness of the jack connection on Michael's telecaster that I used on a few tunes) was at least as big as the one from being backed by them.

The whole event was top shelf, yet managed to exude a community feel and a deep aura of generosity.

Thanks, Michael!

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Welcome to the new Web site! - November 10, 2005


Thanks for stopping by. I'm very happy to get this Web site off the ground. There will be a lot of exciting things to share with you over the coming months (and beyond) so please come back often.

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