Category Archives: Uncategorized

Elvis Costello – Live at Thompson’s Point!

Imperial Bedroom and Other Chambers

The show takes songs from the 1982 album, “Imperial Bedroom” as a starting point, but as Costello describes it…

“We never intended to recite this book from cover to cover. Listen to our new arrangement of ‘Tears Before Bedtime,’ it gets straight to the real meaning of that song, the way we hear and feel it today. Back in 1982, I might have been a step or two ahead of our crowd in the tragic, romantic stakes but I sense that they’ve all caught up with me now.”

Speaking of the second part of the show’s title, Costello added, “You never know who or what you are going to encounter down the corridor to those ‘Other Chambers.'”

Here’s a setlist from the evening along with youtube videos from the show!

I had a fantastic time that night…  I went to the concert with a single ticket and walked out of there with new friends!

Matt Becker

Live from Matt’s House

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Cooking while Camping!

Every year, I take my children camping… at least twice.  We love it.  I’m going to keep doing it until they beg me to stop!  The trick is, how do I cook good, healthy meals that all of us like without running water and a stove?

Here are some tips that I’ve learned along the way.

What’s the best way to cook lobsters?  I learned this one out on my last trip when the campsite above us was cooking up a feast.  Use a disposable foil lasagna pan from the grocery store!  Put it on the fold down grill over the firepit, put some water in it, cover with foil and you’re good to go!  Way easier than boiling in pots over the portable burners…

Steak on the grill!  When I’m camping, I would recommend buying one gallon zip lock bags for the cooler.  Typically you’re keeping your food on ice in a cooler, the zip lock bags keep the water out of your food while the ice is melting.  They’re also good for marinating meats overnight.

Freshly picked mussels from Somes Sound on Mt. Desert Island.  If you’re picking your own, make sure you check the web to see if there’s a Red Tide warning…  just saying.

 

If you’re making homefries for breakfast, make sure to use the left overs from the cooler!  Brocoli, onion, tomato, sausage….  basically anything will work.


Eggs and homefries in a skillet, not a bad choice for breakfast.  For portable grills, I always recommend the kind where you use the green propane containers, as opposed to the type where you use fuel.  They’re much easier to set up, break down and the tanks are very easy to find.


Fresh local steamers are always fantastic.


The perfect marshmellow…  Don’t forget s’mores!  Please, please, don’t set them on fire!

Matt Becker

Live from Matt’s House

 

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Franklin’s Tower – Dead & Company at Fenway!

Fenway Park

Dead & Company

Franklin’s Tower

Do you know what the song’s about?

The song is about events during the American revolution. ‘Franklin’ refers to Benjamin Franklin. The ‘Bell’ in the tower is the Liberty Bell.  Casting large metal objects is a complicated process. Casting bells is additonally complicated by the fact that bells must be able to withstand the stress of ringing, and they must produce a good tone. The Liberty Bell was not only very large, but it needed to ring loudly and clearly enough to be heard around the world. This was pushing the limits of 18th century technology.

As you probably know, Benjamin Franklin was not only a philosopher and statesman, he was an inventor. He was involved in the design of the Liberty Bell in the following way:

Franklin postulated that a process which he called “dewing” could be used to improve the production process of large bells. Dewing basically involves exposing the freshly cast bell to large quantities of steam while the bell is still hot. The steam causes a rapid cooling, producing droplet of ‘dew’ on the bell. After the dew is formed, the bell is rolled between large cotton sheets. He described this process as “rolling away the dew”.

Unfortunately, Franklin’s contempories had a very hard time understanding his technology. He showed them sample bells, asking him to simply look at the results without trying to understand the process. This was when he uttered the now famous quote, “if you get confused, listen to the music play.”

In the end, Franklin couldn’t convince the foundry to use his dewing process. Instead they used an alternate process developed by a Frenchman named Simon Legree (who eventually turned out to be a British agent). Simon’s process involved planting small ice crystals (seeds) into the metal while the bell was being cast.

As we all know, the Liberty Bell didn’t last very long. I believe it had one good ring, but you can’t really tell because it was so long ago.

Apparently the one time it was rung was during a storm. After ringing, the famous crack developed in the side of the bell and the wind blew through the crack. They tried ringing the bell again, but the only sound was of the wind blowing through the crack.

Benjamin Franklin was understandably disgusted. When asked later about the incident, his only comment was “They planted ice, so they harvested wind.” The ice refers to an alternate dewing process they used at the suggestion of a rival inventor (I’ll spare you the details, but he turned out to be quite a Tory). The wind, of course, is the lack of sound from subseqent ringings. By Andrew Shalit

In another time’s forgotten space
Your eyes looked through your mother’s face
Wildflower seed on the sand and stone
May the four winds blow you safely home

Roll away, the dew
Roll away, roll away the dew
Roll away, roll away the dew
Roll away, roll away the dew

I’ll tell you where the four winds dwell
In Franklin’s tower there hangs a bell
It can ring, turn night to day
It can ring like fire when you lose your way

Roll away, the dew
Roll away, roll away the dew
Roll away, roll away the dew
Roll away, roll away the dew

God save the child who rings that bell
I may have one good ring baby, you can’t tell
One watch by night, one watch by day
If you get confused just listen to the music play

Some come to laugh their past away
Some come to make it just one more day
Whichever way your pleasure tends
If you plant ice you’re gonna harvest wind

Roll away, the dew
Roll away, roll away the dew
Roll away, roll away the dew
Roll away, roll away the dew

I’ll tell you where the four winds sleep
Like four lean hounds the lighthouse keep
Wildflower seed in the sand and wind
May the four winds blow you home again

Roll away, the dew
Roll away, roll away the dew
Roll away, roll away the dew
Roll away, roll away the dew

What a fantastic show!  I’m grateful for Kyle Baker for the tickets!

We had a blast

Matt Becker

Live from Matt’s House

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

I’ve Just Seen a Face – The Beatles

There are times when things just come together and you stumble on something that’s really cool… “I’ve Just Seen a Face” by The Beatles is a great song and I just found a version by Doyle Bramhall II and Colin Hay (lead singer for Men at Work)  that I think is fantastic.  Ted Pecchio plays bass on this version and he’s a class act.  If you have a chance to Google him, check out his work with Doyle Bramhall II, Colonel Bruce Hampton, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks.

Released in 1965 on Help!, it is one of very few Beatles songs that lacks a bass track.  It sounds like there’s one, but that’s Paul walking down on the E string on his acoustic and George playing his solo on only the A and E strings of his acoustic.

Here is the version that I’m talking about, followed by Paul McCartney singing The Beatles version…

I’ve just seen a face, I can’t forget the time or place

Where we just met.

She’s just the girl for me, And I want all the world to see

We’ve met

mm-mm-mm-m’mm-mm

What a great song.  If you want to learn it, here’s a guitar lesson from Privetricker.

He gives great YouTube guitar lessons and can now be found under James James.

I have never known the likes of this, I’ve been alone and I have

Missed things and kept out of sight

for other girls were never quite like this

Matt Becker

Live from Matt’s House

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

CHEF and Gary Clark, Jr.

So I haven’t written in a while….  I guess I was in need of a little inspiration.  Things have come up, but for some reason, I haven’t grabbed the computer.  As you all know, this site is about food and music.  If I can combine a movie about food, staring a musician that I love, that’s close enough!

My friend Dan Walker and I were playing some guitar and Gary Clark, Jr. came up in conversation.  He said I should check out “Chef”, a movie that came out a few years ago and is currently on Netflix.  Gary Clark, Jr. plays a Blues singer from Austin, TX (which he is) and it’s all about a chef who finds his way opening a food truck, travels from Miami to LA and bonds with his son.  How could I not love that?  Food, Family and the Blues?  Not a bad combo.

I’ve seen Gary Clark, Jr. twice live and he’s nothing short of amazing.  I’ll be seeing him later this summer at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom.  I can’t wait!  Here’s a clip from his live record, and the trailer from the movie.

Travis County took my picture….  No, I didn’t smile

Told me I was gonna be here, for a pretty long while

Oh, c’mon!  Jon Favreau, Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara, Robert Downey, Jr, John Leguizamo, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, and my main man, Gary Clark, Jr.?

Anyway, I had a fun night watching the movie and listening to music.  Hope you enjoyed it.

 Matt Becker

Live form Matt’s House

 

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Blackbird – Live from Matt’s House

Bill Benoit with a fantastic version of Blackbird by The Beatles.

The boys came over last night for a casual jam session.

We played a little pool, had a little food.

The horn section was out in full force…  Michael White on trumpet and Bruce Addison on the saxaphone!

Mark Coder on drums…

Bill Benoit on electric guitar and vocals, and me on acoustic guitar.

We played most of the usual songs, but added a few old blues tunes and even Bang a Gong (Get it On) by T. Rex!

Matt Becker

Live from Matt’s House

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Charley Hicks… Reviving the Delta Blues

Today, I was inspired by the sound of a steel guitar.  I was first exposed to this sound listening to Doyle Bramhall II play with Eric Clapton on Sessions for Robert J, a DVD that was put out in 2004.  Since then, I’ve heard that same sound listening to “Henry” by Keb’ Mo and “Diving Duck Blues” by Taj Mahal.

Sometimes you’re in the right place at the right time and this weekend, something led me to find this video by Charley Hicks, a London based blues musician, influenced by Charley Patton and my favorite, Robert Johnson.  He sings and plays a song written by Charley Patton in 1929, Tom Rushen Blues.  Take a moment to watch the video, I think Charley had a unique voice and a fantastic sound.  Below is a video from Mule Resonator Guitars (the guitar that Charley Hicks plays in the video above).  They’re handmade by Matt Eich out of Saginaw, Michigan (the town where my mother’s family is from).

Charley’s debut album is available on iTunes.  If you liked the video, check it out on iTunes, you won’t be disappointed!

Tom Rushen Blues

Charley Patton, Recorded in Richmond, Indiana, June 14, 1929

Laid down last night, hopin’ I would have my peace, eee
I laid down last night, hopin’ I would have my peace, eee
But when I woke up, Tom Rushen1 was shakin’ me

When you get in trouble, it’s no use to screamin’ and cryin’, hmm
When you get in trouble, it’s no use to screamin’ and cryin’, hmm
Tom Rushen will take you, back to the prison house flyin’

It were late one night, Halloway was gone to bed, hmm
It were late one night, Halloway was gone to bed, hmm
Mister Day2 brought whiskey taken from under Halloway’s head

An’ it’s boozy booze, now, Lord, to cure these blues
It takes boozy boo’, Lord, to cure these blues
But each day seems like years in the jailhouse where there is no boo’

I got up this mornin’, Tom Day was standin’ around
I got up this mornin’, Tom Day was standin’ around
If he lose his office now, he’s runnin’ from town to town

Let me tell you folksies just how he treated me
Let me tell you folksies just how he treated me
Aw, he caught me yellin’, I was drunk as I could be

__________

Matt Becker

Live from Matt’s House

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

So you say you’re Vegan….

A new friend of mine is vegan, so naturally, I needed to check this out.  I love to cook, and I’ve cooked a ton of vegetarian dishes in my time, a fresh Caprese Salad drizzled in balsamic glaze on a hot sumer day or a Portobello Mushroom pasta with Sherry Cream Sauce on a cold winter’s night…  Trouble is, those aren’t vegan!  For those who don’t know, a vegan diet is (true) vegetarian, but also excludes butter or cream, eggs, cheese (from cows or goats), gelatin and honey.  This means not having any animal products or by-products in your diet.

I’ve learned a few things already about vegan cooking that are worth sharing.  To replace cream or milk in a recipe, try coconut milk.  For cheese, try Daiya Foods.  I tried Daiya cheese this weekend when I made Chloe a dairy free pizza.  She loved it!  Thai food is one of my favorites and as as it turns out, there are a ton of vegan and gluten free Thai recipes!  Here’s one that I’ve cooked for ages, but didn’t even realize it’s vegan, Thai Coconut Red Curry with Vegetables.

There are a lot of reasons to think about a vegan diet.  For me, well, this new friend of mine…  For the rest of you, it’s extremely healthy!  Here’s a list of Vegan friendly restaurants in Portsmouth, in case you want to give it a try.  I’ve been to The Green Elephant, and it was fantastic.

The Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro and Bar

5 Thai Bistro

Black Trumpet Bistro (by the way, the Black Trumpet just came out with a fantastic new cook book)

Shio Japanese Restaurant

Flatbreat Pizza Company

Matt Becker

Live from Matt’s House

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

1952 Martin O-18 for $96…

 

Bill3

The 1952 Martin O-18 Acoustic Guitar.

It might as well be the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Not because of the way it looks, but because of the way it plays…

My friend, Bill Benoit bought it in 1977 when he was 19 years old at Grandpa’s Lumber, outside of East St. Louis.  That’s right, a hardware store….  for $96.  Grandpa’s was a general store, with a rack of guitars out back and on that day in 1977 was this Martin, hanging there, all beat up.  It was patched up with bondo (for auto body repair).  The pegs were actually glued in with epoxy, and there is also some fire damage on the body (see below).

In 2006, Bill took the guitar to E.U. Wurlitzer in Boston, in the original location, downstairs on the corner of Mass Ave and Newbury Street.  They reset the neck and frets, put in a KLK pickup and changed the bridge and tuners to period correct replacements.

All I can say is it plays and sounds as good as any guitar I’ve ever picked up.

Not bad, Grandpa…

Bill2

Matt Becker

Live from Matt’s House

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Rolling Stones Blue and Lonesome

Blue and Lonesome

Blue and Lonesome by The Rolling Stones is coming December 2nd!  It’s their first album in over 11 years and it’s a blues album.  Yes, I’m obsessed with the Blues and The Rolling Stones and now they’re both wrapped up into one.  The first single, Just Your Fool, is out and available now on iTunes.  The song is fantastic, and Mick is killer on the harmonica.  I’ve seen the set list (below) and this is the first Stones album to feature all covers, most of which are Chicago blues songs.  Oh, and there’s a something special about this one…  Eric Clapton plays guitar on two tracks, “Everybody Knows About My Good Thing” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby”.

 

Here is the setlist…
1. “Just Your Fool” Buddy Johnson 2:16
2. “Commit a Crime” Howlin’ Wolf 3:38
3. “Blue and Lonesome” Memphis Slim 3:07
4. “All of Your Love” Magic Sam 4:46
5. “I Gotta Go” Little Walter 3:26
6. “Everybody Knows About My Good Thing” Miles Grayson and Lermon Horton 4:30
7. “Ride ‘Em On Down” Eddie Taylor 2:48
8. “Hate to See You Go” Little Walter 3:20
9. “Hoo Doo Blues” Otis Hicks and Jerry West 2:36
10. “Little Rain” Ewart G. Abner Jr. and Jimmy Reed 3:32
11. “Just Like I Treat You” Willie Dixon 3:24
12. “I Can’t Quit You Baby” Dixon 5:13

I’ve ordered my copy.  Give Bull Moose Music in Portsmouth, NH a call and order yours.

Matt Becker

Live from Matt’s House

blue-and-lonesome

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized