Monthly Archives: February 2015

Music Machinations

Sometimes life gets so busy, and we forget or delay what we know we should do. Take time to exercise, find time to relax, go to the beach more, appreciate your partner more, listen to more music, read another book. We all know those feelings, and we all fall short of our own ideals sometimes. Then along comes a catalyst. Unplanned, unsolicited, random, yet irrevocable. So I won’t waste time apologising for lack of Blogs, possible no-one cares anyways. But yesterday a catalyst arrived, so here I am. Through Facebook, a message arrived from a friend of friend connection, asking if I would make a pledge to buy a CD for the benefit of Ralph Bennett’s family, as he is terminally ill with cancer. Ralph is a kiwi musician journeyman, legendary blues guitarist, song writer, and general good bastard. He made an album many years ago called Fat n Sassy, so there’s the connection. I saw the poster for a promo tour he was making in a Saloon Bar (that’s right folks, a Saloon Bar, and we’re not talking hair dressers!) in Wairoa, next to one of the best Cafe’s in the country (yes, really!), the East End Cafe. See the doorstep below;


The owner of these two utterly unique establishments is an old friend of Ralph’s. When I got back to Napier, I mentioned this poster and Ralph Bennett to Garry, a very dear friend and musical encyclopaedia, and bugger me he had a Ralph Bennett vinyl album in a box he had just unearthed from the bowels of his cellar!


Then to top of a rather bizarre week, one of my fellow South America trip companions names his 3rd born son Ralph! Does make you think huh? Anyways, the pledge was done, two CD’s heading my way, one for Garry. But the musical fuse was lit, and I spent a couple of hours wandering the net. Fast forwarded my way through some of the Grammy’s, and hauled up when I saw Beck win Best new Rock Album. LEGEND! So tonight whilst I write, its Morning Phase on the headphones. One word. Wicked! The track Heart is a Drum beautiful. A glass (ok, a bottle) of Sacred Hill HALO Syrah 2013 is liquid velvet.

So here’s another reminder from the East Coast, Mahia style;


Not just a road safety message from a small rural community, but a potent message to us all. Slow down. Take time for the real pleasures of life. Wine, food, friends, music, laughter, kindness.

Ka kite ano