The bouncy rhythm, the delicate music arrangement and good musicianship have made Harmonious Wail, one of the few outstanding bands that combines Eastern European folk songs and American jazz music. \nFor those who missed their first Taiwan concert in Chiayi yesterday, try to catch up with one of the six other concerts during their Taiwan tour. \nTheir upcoming gigs are Oct 1 in Yuanlin, Changhua county, Oct 3 in Taipei's National Concert Hall, Oct 5 in Taichung, Oct 6 in Chungli, Taoyuan county, Oct 7 in Kaohsiung and Oct 8 in Hsinchu. \nEstablished in 1987, Harmonious Wail inlcudes mandolin, acoustic guitar, double bass, occasional fiddler and a female vocal. Its music owes a debt to musicians such as Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli, and David Grisman. \nHarmonious Wail founder and leader Sims Delaney-Potthoff said, "It's Jethro Burns' fault," when asked about the style of the band's mandolin-heavy gypsy-jazz. \nFor seven years, Sims studied with Burns, the legendary jazz mandolinist, laying the foundation for Harmonious Wail's acoustic string sound. He studied at Boston's Berklee College of Music, honing his skills while immersing himself in "gypsy" music. \nVocalist Maggie Delaney-Potthoff is a captivating performer. Equally at home scat-singing over a bebop tune, soaring on a solo, or blending with Wail's tight vocal harmonies, she delivers both powerhouse tunes and ballads with confidence and ease. Her well-received tunes include I'm always Chasing Rainbows, After You've Gone. \nAs a strings-based band, the guitarist Tom Waselchuk and bassist John Mesoloras are vital to the band's music. Waselchuck has performed with and led jazz groups such as Full Count Jazz Band, Wholly Cats, and played folk and blues and western swing. \nMesoloras has a powerful, rock steady and energetic stand-up bass playing style and is a perfect match for Sims Delaney-Potthoff's mandolin. Together, the band has a unique aura that brings the audience back to the scene of Paris jazz clubs of the 1930s.
Taiwan Plus (@taiwanplusnews), the excellent English-language media outlet, reported last week that water levels were down in Taiwan’s largest reservoir as the nation’s dry season looms. The northern reservoirs may be brimming, but the rains have neglected the south, forcing the nation’s water bureaucracy to scramble to maintain supplies without rationing. Almost a metaphor for the nation’s political geography. There’s no little irony in this happening on the heels of a business-as-usual election in which all incumbents were re-elected. That construct we misleadingly label “mother nature” is sending us another tranche of signals telling us that business as usual is
Winter is the best season — the only season, many would argue — in which long walks near sea level are enjoyable. Remembering that Miaoli County is often very pleasant in the cool season, with little of the pollution that often plagues Taiwan’s south during that time of year, I broke out a map and scanned parts of the county I’m not familiar with. I hoped to work out a route that’d link a few points of interest I’d not visited before, and also begin and end at places served by public transportation. Jhunan Township (竹南), which has a population
In the past few weeks a photograph of Tony Blair and his buddy Bill Clinton sharing a panel with a scruffy kid wearing a T-shirt, baggy shorts and trainers has been doing the rounds. The April event was in the Bahamas and funded by an outfit called FTX — a supposedly “user-friendly crypto exchange”—– owned by the scruffy kid, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF from now on). Blair and Clinton are looking very pleased to be there, providing confirmation of the aphrodisiac effect of great wealth, because the lad who was playing host was apparently as rich as Croesus, or at any
Dec 5 to Dec 11 Recent visitors to Taipei’s Guangzhou Street Night Market (廣州街) may have noticed that the old concrete building with traditional tiled roofs at No. 200, which spans an entire block, is undergoing renovation. Jen Chi Hospital (仁濟醫院) maintains that it was just doing “emergency maintenance” when it partially demolished the building’s second floor walls in September, but the city stopped them and declared last week the 71-year-old structure a historic building. Since it still housed the hospital’s rehabilitation and dentistry departments, the hospital said that the structure was suffering