Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Western Road Pt 3

Another few days of adventures! I've been on a few longer hikes and drives during the last couple of days. Something my soul has desperately needed. Each day Im out here, i realize how much my soul needs the mountains. Each day this soothes me more and more as home.

This is from an area by the Gros Ventre Slide - a huge section of a mountainside that broke off, avalanched down, and obviously completely changed the landscape. But this area is so interesting because it has deep red rock hills, very unlie the rest of the teton area.

They have a few horse ranches in that section. This is a little colt that was romping around for the minute and a half before I snapped this shot.

The avalanche dammed up the Gros Ventre river and created Slide lake. They have since navigated some waters around, so the Gros Ventre still flows into Jackson, but this lake is gorgeous, especially at sunset.

You know that an area is huge when several bison look like dots on the hillside.

We are still in Wyoming however. In the National Forest, folks are allowed to bring guns. and hunt the critters (that move about from the national parks and just dont realize they're in the forst now...

Sleeping Indian is a very definable landmark in Jackson. I hope to climb it someday! I hear it's absolutely amazing!

The wildflowers are just now starting to bloom, and I imagine within the next week or so, they will be in full force. The mountain meadows have THE most lovely flowers. It is literally breath-taking sometimes. Not sure what this kind is called.

Ah - the Rocky Mountain Marmot. Posing for a good shot. Cute little buggars, indeed. There were lots during my Death canyon hike.

Waterfalls are all over the place. All of the canyons have dozens of them. And they're all brilliant. This is in death canyon. About 3 minutes after running into a Mama black bear and 2 cubs 10 feet from me on trail. She then sent her cubs up the nearest tree. They were tiny, maybe a foot and a half tall-ish. More than adorable. To watch bears climb a tree is a very moving sight. I dont know why, but it is!

The rain has been hanging around in the mountains. Making for wet hikes, but cool shots, and it really makes me feel like im in some sort of prehistoric land - some kind of Jurassic Park!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sad News For Fans Of Inexpensive Guitars

Hey There Everyone!!!

This is my first post on this blog and I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news for fans of inexpensive guitars.

The OLP brand of guitars has been retired. For those of you who have seen the Zach band or any of my old bands may know that one of my favorite guitars to use is my red OLP MM1 (Its right up there with my '76 Les Paul Custom). I have had that guitar for about 7 years now and it has always been one of my workhorses. I also have one of their 4 string Musicman Stingray knock offs which I love. This is really sad because these guitars only cost around 200-4oo dollars and now the only option is to spend a couple grand and get a real ernie ball musicman (if you have the money, why not?).


P.S. - For Your Listening Pleasure, Check Out:

Zach - What I Meant To Say (of course!)
The Wombats - A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation
Extreme - Saudedes De Rock
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Uncle Charlie and His Dog Teddy
Kenny Garrett - Beyond The Wall (Music to get lost in...emotionally speaking)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Western Road Pt 2

So it has been raining here for a month straight - something very unusual indeed. And of course, slightly hinders my hiking routes and abilities. A hike in a gentle rain to a mild rain is a beautiful thing. Some of my favourite hikes have been this way. But in a downpour, that is a different story.
So i have been pretty limited so far to sticking to the car.
Until today!

I started off with a 12 mile hike today. Not a bad intro hike. This first hike began at Taggert Lake and wandered about from there. I love this hike because whatever bushes grow there are the most fantastically pleasant fragrant bushes! If they could bottle it, i'd buy a case!

The wildflowers are just starting to bloom. These arrow leaf balsomroot are fairly prevalent thus far, and frequently turn whole fields and hillside yellow.

A few of the trails had to be shut down due to lots of bear activity.

I love the wildlife here. Not only are there squirrels and marmots, but otters, badgers, big horn sheep, moose, elk, coyotes, wolves, eagles, bears, mountain lions, bobcats, and more. Ah! There is no place better!

The clouds let up today. (for the most part). But there is new snow on the mountains. This is going to make it hard to do the several high mountain and canyon hikes I was hoping for...

There is still snow in the mountains. This is fairly low. I have never seen snow this far down this path before. Though with the rain and upper 60's this week, there will be very very high waters everywhere here.

This gorgeous moose came out of the willows and swam across a shallow lake to the other side, where I came upon him again later in the hike. Watching a large animal swim is so fantastic. The water was up to his chin/shoulders at the deepest. And he is a tall creature! This was the 2nd of 2 moose i saw today. Both bulls.

Also spotted: herd of elk, 2 bald eagles in flight, several marmots, several antelope, some pelicans, and

a very large lovely healthy black bear!

I get to hit the trails again tomorrow am, and will have some more pics up soon. There is little to nothing like being in the mountains - these mountains. Some kind of connection lives here, some kind of divine presence calls this home. At least for me. Every time I am here, i feel i am home - home in the rightness of the universe and my soul. Home where God is ever-present and frolicking with the bears, flying with the eagles, meandering with the moose, and fluorescent in the flowering hills.
"I just wanna melt away into your grace/ I just wanna drift away into that sacred place/ where there's no more you and me/ no more they and we/ just unity/ unity." - Trevor Hall

Monday, June 15, 2009

Agora / Metrosync

I was reading Cool Cleveland last week and came across some sad news. The Agora has come upon hard times (no big surprise after the Jigsaw incident) and is closing for the summer. The attached recording studio, Metrosync, has closed.

With my prior band I spent several nights playing the ballroom stage at the Agora, and I took in some great ska shows and The Black Keys in the theater. It is a really cool rock venue even thought it is a bit run down.

Metrosync was my first time in a studio (Charlie's too I think). We recorded a song there after getting to the finals at the High School Rockoff. Not the greatest cut, but it was a blast. Charlie laid down some killer arena drums almost knocking over a couple overhead mics, and then added some of the fun guitar sounds he is more known for. I remember the engineer telling us how rappers would call asking "y'all make beats?" Some great memories at 5000 Euclid Avenue.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Western Road Pt 1

First thought: It's nice how it costs more to drive through Chicago than it does to drive across Indiana and half of Ohio.
I had a marvelous sunrise drive up the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming. Im not sure there is a more beautiful place and time than driving up a mountain at sunrise and seeing the entirity of the countryside (including 2 states!).

These were the first critters spotted on the drive. This couple was in the Big Horn mountains, and was 2 of 15 moose spotted that day!

They were playing or fighting (not sure which), and it was amazing to see the female get up on her back legs for a second.

From there, the trip continued through the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway. Gorgeous huge country there. A few large herds of elk and deer were throughout this part of the drive. It winds into Montana, up by the Beartooth highway.

And from there, the Yellowstone enterance.

The Yellowstone welcoming committee was out and greeted me right away.

Yellowstone is breath-taking. Truly. There is no place on Earth more awesome than the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. I need to find a way to live there... anyway, a huge herd of about 500 bison roamed the Lamar valley. Continuing on I saw a wolverine by the side of the road. It stopped, looked at me, and dashed into the sage. I am still really excited, as I have never before seen a wolverine. This big horn sheep was next.

And the first black bear of the day. I ened up seeing 4 bears, two of which were Grizzleys and 2 black bears. This guy was pretty close - 30 feet or so.

Then he crossed the road and ate some leaves and branches. He stood up on his hind legs at one point to get he lower branches. He stood at least 4 1/2 feet tall. It was tremendous to see!

This is the frist Grizz I spotted. I couldnt get a great picture as it moved quickly acorss the street and up the forested mountain. But it was a gorgeous silver colour.

Just outside the Lamar Valley. Love it.
As i took this picture, a pack of wolves started yipping and howling near by. I couldn't actually see them, but they were definitely close and on the move. The yips of wolves are beautiful and haunting, and the song was happy.

It began raining as we left Yellowstone. It was kind of perfect, actually, adding that little ominuous vibe that so suits the amazing park.

More to come soon!

Ellet Library

Here is a short video shot of me performing "Upon Your Dreams" at the Summer Concert Series Kick-off event for Ellet Library in Akron this past week!

What a blast! Were you there? What'd you think? Yay for summer reading programs as well! I can't say enough good things about the public library - and Ohio has one of the very best in the nation!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

another blog

just thought I'd post from behind the virtual drum set.

must be in a blogging mood - just posted new blogs on my woodshed myspace and personal myspace minutes ago. never have been good at regular posting, too busy too often.

lots happening in dominic's car (pt next to the xb), working on (bug-fixing the geek-code now) and spending some time getting the last details of my October wedding ironed out (undisclosed location to thwart the paparazzi.)

crazy busy day today at Woodshed (lots of big, amazing, huge things coming my way since I put it out there...) and life is good. had a great lunch-time meeting today and reconnected with another old friend as well.

reading a great book you should check out by Seth Godin - called The Dip. Great, quick NF read about balance, specialization (being #1) and pushing through the tough times (for a worthwhile goal.) Great.

Gotta much more to do.

What's your favorite new book? Post a comment. Pretty please???

- Dominic Tancredi
Publish Post

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

CoolCleveland Review

What I Meant To Say
Buffalo ZEF Records

Parma-born singer-songwriter Zach is tireless. In the last decade, the Akron native has released nine albums and performed 200+ shows a year. He's played onstage with everyone from Dave Matthews and Neil Young to War and Chicago. And on his latest soulful effort, What I Meant To Say, he delivers his ten best and most organic-sounding tracks yet. He veers away from John Mayeresque territory and stretches out into a distinctive folk-rock/Americana take on pop music. Think Counting Crows with a Freedy Johnston-like sensitivity... and yet, he can get the funk out when he likes.

Zach recorded Say in Atlanta with producer Nick Chawala (Collective Soul, Gym Class Heroes) and the duo seem to have struck a creative chord together. "A Way Through" opens the festivities, with a rumination on Zach losing his father to terminal cancer. You find yourself thinking about the end of the line/ I find myself thinking about it more than I mind... he sings and you feel the disc (like his others) pull the direction of the disc into heartfelt existentialism. "Runaway," "Sky is Falling," "Some Love," "What Are You Afraid Of?" and the set-closer "World on Fire" are among the highlights here -- though "Apple Pie" could (and should) be this summer's funky-crunchy anthem of looking forward and staying real. Let's face it, you're fed up with what's on the radio in your car anyway. Zach's got a lot to offer; you'll definitely enjoy his craft.

Check out Zach's mad touring schedule and his new record by visiting

From Cool Cleveland Managing Editor Peter Chakerian

Monday, June 1, 2009


I love travelling around because there are so many bizarre things to see.
Take this, for example, in Morgantown, WV.

Some part of my life feels complete by seeing this.