Trail Mix – Merry Christmas!

first_imgLike no other, the Christmas season is inextricably wound to music. From the traditional to the secular, Christmas is tied to music more than any other time of year.When else can you wander around, alone or with a group of your closest friends, and stop outside random people’s homes to sing to them and have the residents not think you have a screw loose.And everyone seems to have their favorite carol or album. As carols go, I don’t think it gets any better than “Carol Of The Bells.” And my favorite records are listed down below.I recently chatted with some of my musically minded friends about their favorite Christmas tunes.The album was entitled A Treasury of Christmas. It featured the likes of Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, and Bing Crosby, but the artist that stood out for me was Mahalia Jackson singing “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” Through the crackling needle, I remember hearing Mahalia reach down deep and sing it from the gut. That was my first taste of black gospel soul. It moved me so that I sang that song on my Christmas Eve nights in a balloon-stuffed gospel robe. Needless to say, it was a hit. In my own mind, at least.Seth Walker, Singer/SongwriterMy favorite Christmas album of all time is Vince Guaradli’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. Yes, everybody knows it, but that’s because it’s the best ever! My second favorite is a compilation called Soul Christmas, originally released in 1968. Otis Redding, Booker T. & The MGs, King Curtis, Clarence Carter . . . . oooh, yeah. You need this one in your life.Holly Bowling, PianistI’m not a big aficionado of Christmas music, so I always struggled to come up with appropriate stuff when I had a local radio show. My favorites tended to be goofy stuff, like “Winter Wonderland” by The Roches, sung in a thick, Bronx accent. Or “Run Rudolph Run,” which the Grateful Dead a few times in December of 1971, with Pigpen singing. It’s a perfect Chuck Berry song, and although Chuck performed it, he didn’t write it. It was written by Johnny Marks, who also gave us “Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” and other classics.David Gans, Singer/SongwriterPerhaps no tune better represents the joy and celebration of the season than The Cotton Top Mountain Sanctified Singers doing “Christ Was Born On Christmas Morn.” Recorded in 1929, Vaudevillian band leader Frankie Half Pint Jackson and band give the gift of raw energy, vigor, and freedom in a Christmas tune unlike any other. The first time I heard this record, it nearly knocked me out of my chair.Kris Truelson, Bill & The BellesChristmas In The Hills, by Larry Sparks, is the album that got me back into Christmas music after years of bah humbug. It would be easy for a bluegrass Christmas album to be cheesy and boring, but Mr. Sparks put together a very interesting collection of both secular and religious songs for this one. Standout include his unique take on “White Christmas,” “BEautiful Star of Bethlehem,” and  “Joy To The World,” along with killer versions of “Christmas Time’s A Comin’” and “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” However, my personal favorite might be “Away In A Manger,” with its long instrumentals out front followed by great quartet singing at the end. As usual, with Larry Sparks there is plenty of funky and interesting guitar work throughout the record, along with his one-of-a-kind crooning and harmony singing.Jacob Groopman, Front CountryAs for me, the Christmas sound is really defined by none other than Bing Crosby. Nothing is better during the yuletide season than a fire in the fireplace and Bing’s take on “White Christmas” in the background. Also high on my list are the Christmas albums from David Grisman and 60s surf rock legends, The Ventures. I scored both of these on vinyl early this month and both have been wonderful additions to the sounds of the season.Here’s wishing to each and all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thanks for tuning in to Trail Mix this year. This marks the last post of 2016, but Trail Mix will be back in January with a brand new set of tunes.Happy Holidays!!last_img read more

Erik Goeddel’s scoreless streak is approaching a Dodgers record

first_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.The Dodgers’ front office didn’t do much to alter the major-league roster after the final out of the 2017 World Series. Other than the trade for outfielder Matt Kemp, Goeddel has arguably had the most positive impact of any newcomer.“I was feeling good and throwing well before I got here,” Goeddel said. “It’s one of those ‘if it’s not broke don’t fix it’ kind of things.”Including his time with Seattle, Goeddel hasn’t allowed a run in his last 16 appearances. That’s his longest streak since an 18-game span between the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, when he pitched for the New York Mets.Goeddel, 29, said that health has been the key to his streak. He had Tommy John surgery as a senior at Bellarmine Prep in San Jose. Two more elbow surgeries followed as a pro. Other times, Goeddel said, “as soon as (my elbow) stops hurting, something goes in my leg, my shoulder – so it’s really been a blessing this year.”Related Articles How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season LOS ANGELES – In September 1991, the Dodgers traded a minor league pitcher named Jeff Hartsock to the Chicago Cubs for Steve Wilson, a left-handed reliever. Wilson did not allow a run in 11 games to end the year, or in four appearances to begin the 1992 season.Until now, Wilson’s streak of 15 consecutive scoreless appearances has been the standard for a new Dodgers pitcher.Erik Goeddel is making it interesting.In 13 games since he was claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners in May, Goeddel has yet to allow a run. Having a stable right-hander capable of throwing multiple innings made a measurable impact on the rest of the bullpen too. Dodger relievers had a 4.51 earned-run average when Goeddel arrived and a 2.82 ERA since (through Saturday). Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start center_img “The Dodgers have everything they could to make me feel comfortable, put me in positions to succeed,” he said. “Mix a little luck on top and I’ve been able to have success.”KOEHLER HAS SETBACKPitcher Tom Koehler experienced a setback in his recovery from a strained right anterior shoulder capsule. Manager Dave Roberts said that Koehler tried throwing a curveball this week and his shoulder “just didn’t feel great.”Koehler had begun throwing off the bullpen mound in recent weeks and was hoping to return before the All-Star break. Now, Roberts said, an August return amounts to a “fair” projection.Koehler will have “a couple days to leave it alone, then get back into playing catch,” Roberts said.The Dodgers signed Koehler to a one-year contract worth $2 million, not including several incentives for starts and appearances that are effectively unattainable now. He hasn’t pitched since suffering the injury in spring training.DUCKING DARVISHThe Dodgers will not see right-hander Yu Darvish during a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs beginning Monday. Darvish, the losing pitcher in Game 7 of last year’s World Series, has a good reason: He is on the 10-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right triceps.The Cubs moved Tuesday’s starting pitcher, Mike Montgomery, from the bullpen to the rotation in Darvish’s place. The results have been spectacular. Montgomery had a 5.33 ERA in 18 games out of the Cubs’ bullpen. In four starts since, the left-hander is 2-1 with a 1.14 ERA; opponents are hitting just .159 against him.The Dodgers will activate left-hander Rich Hill from the disabled list for Tuesday’s start. The left-hander will make his seventh start of the season and his first since May 19. Hill was 1-2 with a 6.20 ERA before he developed a blister on his left middle finger.ALSORoberts said that Matt Kemp’s appeal of his one-game suspension was still awaiting a response from Major League Baseball. Kemp wasn’t in the starting lineup Sunday but Roberts said the outfielder would return Monday. … Clayton Kershaw will throw a simulated game Tuesday or Wednesday, Roberts said. The left-hander is on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain. … Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a bullpen session Saturday that was cut off after 20 pitches when Ryu felt “a little tightness” in his strained left groin, according to Roberts. Ryu is expected to throw another bullpen in the coming days.UP NEXTDodgers (RHP Kenta Maeda, 4-4, 3.61 ERA) at Chicago Cubs (RHP Tyler Chatwood, 3-5, 4.12 ERA), 5 p.m., SportsNet LA (where available) Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Often when the Dodgers acquire a relief pitcher, they will tweak something about his repertoire, pitch selection or mechanics. Goeddel said the team has taken a hands-off approach with him, besides providing data that’s helped him to gameplan better than he could in Seattle. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more