Steve Hunter: The Manhattan Blues Project

 

As Seen On ClassicRockRadio.co.uk
First Published: 17 June 2013
Uncle G’s FUN Music Reviews
Spotlight: Steve Hunter – The Manhattan Blues Project (2013 Deacon Records)
By: Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

Steve Hunter - The Manhattan Blues Project - CD Wrap

The first Kickstarter program I pledged money. A new Steve Hunter solo project. It’s a story I’ll tell the rest of my life. And with wonderful results for its funded, meaning the artist succeeded in reaching the goal set, and now the CD is a reality. A guitarist rock fans have been listening to since the golden 1970’s. A man who helped make popular such names in music as Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, and Alice Cooper. A professional musician in every meaning of the word. Displays superior guitar skills with each and every song he participates on. One of Steve’s latest successes being the lead guitarist on Alice Cooper’s Nightmare 2 album. Then being ever so respectful, standing in for the deceased Glen Buxton when the Cooper’s were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

Mr. Hunter, a sometimes independent artist, met his financial goal to put out this CD through a website I just previously mentioned, Kickstarter Dot Com. To all others thinking of getting a project funded, a lesson in how it’s done. Came to my house autographed with a signature that can actually be read. Packaging design is done very nicely. Good photos of Steve and I like the darker colors used in the cover wrap. Via Kickstarter and Steve’s official Facebook page, his wife Karen communicates with folks keeping everyone abreast as to everyday occurrences. The whole experience made it a pleasure to participate. The Hunters both come across online as very pleasant, and ever so professional. I personally could not be any happier to be a pledge participant. My first time backing an idea proposed on Kickstarter, and then it met and or exceeded its goal. I have witnessed proposed projects crash and burn. Will continue to keep open minded to participating again.

Steve Hunter has already participated on unique concept albums held in high esteem by fans and critics alike. And like all other past projects, The Manhattan Blues Project is consistent on the entertainment meter. Deeper than just the hit songs he participated on. The listener gets a more personal understanding of the man behind the guitar.

The topic of this CD is, of course, Manhattan. It is the smallest of the five boroughs that make up New York City. Madison Square Garden is located there. Having hung out in Manhattan (considered a county of New York State) as a teenager, I can tell you first hand that it’s an encyclopedia when it comes to music. Different bars/clubs all having different sounds. Big acts like The Rolling Stones used Manhattan / New York City as a backdrop for many of their songs. My introduction to rap was heard walking the streets of Manhattan. Young black guys on the street corners using rhythms to sell their drugs. I’d shake my head no and smile. Already had all the drugs I needed.

Each song on The Manhattan Blues Project is as unique as the location it’s named after. The CD starts off with typical outside street sounds. A nice instrumental mood piece that leads in wonderfully to one of the most bad ass songs I’ve heard in ages called; “222 w.23rd”. Do justice here and listen to this with a good pair of headphones. The song got a prominent lovemaking vibe. Music you imagine hearing in an erectile dysfunction TV commercial when the pill takes effect and it’s time to get busy. Maybe I’m the only one hearing this? And I’m not saying in any way, anything bad. The song inspires shagging. Has a definite sexiness to it. Includes interesting background noises, a vocal rap by Tommy Henriksen, some slide by Michael Lee Firkins, and Hunter’s wife Karen acing the background vocals. For Steve, Uncle G predicts a new greatest hit. Guaranteed repeat plays. It’s that good. And then draw a tub for you and a special friend. Let the music take you both away (wink wink).

At times throughout The Manhattan Blues Project, Mr. Hunter has some rather exceptional friends join in. One of my favorite bass players, Mr. Tony Levin appears on a couple of songs. One is a re-imagining of a Peter Gabriel hit song called “Solsbury Hill”. Ninety-eight percent is an instrumental with uncredited male background voices heard in somewhat harmony. Overall the guys did the classic rock song justice. An enjoyable track.

“The Brooklyn Shuffle” totally shines. A traditional blues sounding song with some outstanding guitar work by Steve and two other gentlemen: Johnny Depp and Joe Perry. Both offering meaty solos. Karen again outdoes herself on background vocals. Be fun to see this played in concert.

“Ground Zero” is a haunting, yet beautiful piece. Evokes emotion when listening to it. So many terrific days in Manhattan’s history and then you have that very dark one. Not a totally depressing tune, Hunter captures the right vibe. Each note and chord played, backed with feeling. A positive sign of a good blues guitarist.

“Twilight In Harlem” has this funky groove to it. Joining Steve on guitar duty are Joe Satriani and Marty Friedman. The song has a real band sound. Helping to make this so, on keyboards is Phil Aaberg, and on drums, Todd Chuba.

“Sunset In Central Park” is the last song on the CD. On bass again is Tony Levin and on cellos is 2Cellos. All the ingredients needed to close the CD on a fine note. Nice outro !!

Rating: A friend asked if I could be non-bias. Knew I have been a long time fan. An old Alice Cooper associate that Steve also knows would say assessing yours truly that I’m loyal and honest like a boy scout. To me that’s flattering. Using the one to five-star rating system I give Steve Hunter – The Manhattan Blues Project: 5 very solid stars. Well done Mr. Hunter. Well done indeed.

Steve Hunter – 222 W 23rd

Uncle G’s Helpful Weblinks

Official Steve Hunter Website: www.stevehunter.com 

Official Steve Hunter Twitter Page: @stevehunterguit 

Uncle G’s FUN Music Reviews: Dick – Dangerous Dreams

ClassicRockRadio.co.uk Music Review

Spotlight: Dick – Dangerous Dreams (2017)

By: Gary “Uncle G” Brown

Twitter @GBrown0816

Dick - Dangerous Dreams (1400 x 1400 RBG)

You know, the one thing Jon Kirkman requested from me on the day I became a correspondent for Classic Rock Radio (UK), was not to post prog-rock stories all the time. A friendly reminder that the station has a huge rock n’ roll playlist, consisting of every form of rock music imaginable from the 1960’s and on. Thousands of musicians and bands under the classic rock umbrella, in which to do stories on. And that I did.

Over the past five years via Classic Rock Radio’s main website, and or its social media pages, I mentioned a ton of different people and products associated with them. Nowadays focusing on either interviews or straight up music/movie reviews. And then anything under the  ‘pop culture’ roof, should I get a bug up my bum and feel compelled to express my opinion about whatever it is.

Pertaining to music, Classic Rock Radio (UK) has given me the opportunity to do pieces on acts I’ve known for decades, or be it something new to these now maturing ears. And remember, it has been said that in general, people over age fifty do indeed if able, become more adventurous. That for me is where ‘Dick’ comes in.

A multi-instrumentalist, songwriter gentleman by the name of Jaakko Soimakallio recording under the name, Dick, somewhere in Finland, contacted me through my archival website asking if I’d be interested in hearing his new album. I get these requests several times, every day. No exaggeration. Not all from Finland, of course. The website is still fairly new. One can add also as contacts, Twitter or my own personal Facebook page. No guarantee. Only so much time in a day. Yet I appreciate the requests because the fact of the matter is, I need topics to write about. One doesn’t need to be established, to create something worth the time for others like myself to check out. Saying that … no country or opera music, okay?

Comparing myself to other entertainment journalists out there, I know there are some that listen twice to something, and then type a thousand words on it, declaring to the whole WORLD, their yay or nay vote. Works for them … I just don’t do shit that way. MAIN reason. Knowing and understanding myself, my own first impression can be and is WRONG on many occasions. My mind needs to absorb and sometimes even understand all the sounds that made up the beats and tones, that make up the full project. I write (type really), expressing my viewpoint, when I feel it’s the proper time to do so, and not a minute sooner. Include editing, and you’re typically looking at a few weeks or longer.

I told Jaakko yes, by the way. Snail mail from Finland. The dude sent me two CDs, autographing one.

Note: The CD artwork by Niina Helimaa is extremely well done. Niina did a wonderful job on the wrap and booklet, capturing the overall feel of the music found within.

“Uncle G” discusses … Dick – Dangerous Dreams (2017)

A death of a friend, one of the first ones I made here in Fort Collins occurred right after I gave this CD, the first couple spins. The human condition. We all at one time or another experience situations that we’d rather not. Then a health issue for myself popped up. Nothing modern medicine can’t (hopefully) take care of. Taking some time off my writing, I did go back to Dick – Dangerous Dreams. Seven tracks total with one being an instrumental. Is certainly put together like a prog-rock album. The influences should one hear them, can range from random 1970’s/1980’s FM radio sounds to a classic rock group like Steely Dan. And I say that due to the album (Dick – Dangerous Dreams) having a tad of rock-jazziness to it. Blend in some Gabriel era Genesis. I can see old school art rock fans getting into this, as much as I do the Millennials.

Oh … lovely instrumental; Winter Ghost. Well done! Repeat plays for sure!

“Uncle G” rates … Dick – Dangerous Dreams (2017)

Using a five-star rating system, whereas one star basically means it SUCKS THROUGH A LONG  STRAW to five stars in which would mean I seriously think it’s worth your time and money checking out, Uncle G rates Dick – Dangerous Dreams (insert a Jaakko Soimakallio drum roll) … 5 STARS! In a nutshell, Dick – Dangerous Dreams has become a soundtrack to my Summer of 2017. Strong writing! Original and modern Progressive Rock that sounds GREAT on a decent set of headphones.

FYI: Since I mentioned headphones, for decades now (since the 1970’s) yours truly has been using; Sennheiser. Top notch products! I always get my money’s worth, plus!

I’ll close by again saying what some might find shocking: “I really LIKE Dick!” And again, THANKS to Jaakko for playing on a hunch. Sorry, I took so long in regards to producing at least a few words on your CD. Keep making music my new friend, and I’ll keep listening. and please pass on congrats to ALL involved in putting out such a solid album. Am looking forward to seeing where things go musically from here. DICK & Finland (country of origin) ROCKS!

Uncle G’s HELPFUL WEB LINKS:

Dick – Dangerous Dreams (Bandcamp Dot Com)

https://dickmusic.bandcamp.com/album/dangerous-dreams-full-album

Dick (Official Website)

www.dickmusicblog.worldpress.com

Gary “Uncle G” Brown Archival Website

www.garyunclegbrownarchives.com/home

Trevor Rabin – Jacaranda

As Seen On ClassicRockRadio.co.uk
First Published: 28 July 2012
Spotlight: Trevor Rabin – Jacaranda
Music Review by Classic Rock Radio (UK) American Correspondent Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

 

Trevor Rabin - Jacaranda - cover

Then: I, like many other YesFans became aware of Trevor Rabin back when the hit album 90125 came out. Read the name in the credits. When the tour came I checked it out. Yes was now a band with a new focus. They had a hit song with Owner Of A Lonely Heart, and the album was making the charts. All seemly guided by a very competent new guitarist. Not only did he play guitar, but other instruments as well. An all around multi-instrumentalist. Add to that, songwriter. He says ‘Owner Of A Lonely Heart’ came to him while sitting on the toilet. Plus he sings. All this he does very well. A talented musician and performer.

Trevor stayed with Yes, appearing on three other studio releases; Big Generator, Union, and Talk. At the end of the Talk tour, Mr. Rabin resigned from the band to focus on becoming a movie score composer. I always personally loved the medium myself. I grew up admiring the composing skills of John Williams. Another 20th century Beethoven. His scores equated to some of the best classic pieces even written. Typically performed with a symphony.

Not to be confused with songs that appear in movies. A song in a movie would, later on, appear on the film’s soundtrack. Keep in mind, a soundtrack is not a score. A score is typically original music composed and performed just for the film. Could also include dialogue or sound effects from the movie. Think Vangelis – Blade Runner.

When you think of the film Jaws (original score by John Williams), the music you hear in your head is likely to be the main theme which was composed by Williams. The music was meant to envision a shark attack. A short and very effective instrumental.

An example of a song in a movie that would appear on a follow-up soundtrack could be; Aerosmith’s – I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing. Was in the 1998 disaster film; Armageddon. Was a big hit for the band. Appeared in the actual movie during some mushy love scene.

The score or the original instrumental music heard in the background of the film Armageddon, was composed by Trevor Rabin. His first real BIG hit in films. So being a fan of both Aerosmith and Rabin’s, I ended up purchasing both the soundtrack and the score from the film.

After a while, the scores were becoming hard to find or were too highly priced to keep up getting them all. I do have a small collection anyway of his film work.

Here’s a sample of titles that Trevor did the music for:

The Glimmer Man (1996)
Con Air (1997) …with Mark Mancina…before that Trevor also helped Mark with his score to the film, Twister (1996).
Armageddon (1998)
Jack Frost (1998) …does a cameo as Trevor, The Jack Frost Band Lead Guitarist.
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Gone In 60 Seconds (2000)
Remember The Titans (2000)
The 6th Day (2000)…does commentary on the DVD
Rock Star (2001)
Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)
National Treasure (2004)
Flyboys (2006)
Snakes On A Plane (2006)
National Treasure: Book Of Secrets (2007)
Get Smart (2008)
I Am Number 4 (2011)

Add to this, his guest appearances over the years; Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Manfred Mann, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Seal, Paul Rodgers, Rick Wakeman, and Roger Hodgson just to name a few. And by the way, all this is NOT everything Trevor has ever done. The information I listed, just an attempt to answer the question as to who Trevor Rabin is. People ask me this. So there, in a nutshell, is my answer. Trevor has an official website. Additional information can be found there. I recommend bookmarking/keeping up. A player in the world of classic rock. Someone whose CD’s I automatically purchase based on past performances. My opinion is he helped resurrect the band Yes. Without his help, the relaunch of the group would have never happened, or been anywhere as successful. Worked out well for both. Yes needed the new blood, and Rabin needed a place he could shine.

Now: In May of this year, Trevor released what would be his fifth solo record; Jacaranda. To compare it to previous solo efforts would not be fair. Trevor’s matured as a musician. Not so he’s boring anyone to death. He’s been at this game for a few decades now. The man’s progressed. Kind of funny since he’s made a name for himself doing progressive pop type songs. Where some of our greats remain the same, Trevor’s taken his playing, and composing to a whole other level. In my past columns, I made mention of Twenty Century Beethoven’s. Twenty First Century now. Here’s old school showing itself. Musicians whom I would consider among the ranks of the great classical composers of yesterday. Two Hundred years from now I bet a symphony orchestra on another planet performs the music of this man.

Jacaranda: An almost all instrumental that covers a wide range of different musical styles. Worth every penny I paid for it. When’s the last time you could say that about a CD you purchased?

I knew I’d be writing this review on here. It’s impossible to comment about anything intelligently unless you know at least a little something about the subject matter. So I listened to this CD at least twenty times within the past few days. In the process, I have gotten to know it really well. I love instrumentals. I like when things are changed up some. Which could explain my getting into progressive rock as much as I do. I wrote a few notes alongside song titles. So to cut the suspense, I’ll tell you ahead of time I like Rabin’s Jacaranda very much. Here’s some of why.

Spider Boogie — Quick picking fun jam.
Market Street — Final Eyes 2. At times a similar tone or rhythm that reminded me of.
Anerley Road — Old style start — dream like jazz style — a solid song.
Through The Tunnel: Ball’s to the wall moments.
The Branch Office — nice melody.
Rescue: Very Mike Oldfield like. In a way too beautiful for words.
Killanney 1 & 2 — Piano playing that rivals Vangelis or Wakeman.
Storks Bill Geranium Waltz — like a song heard and applauded 300 years ago.
Me And My Boy — it’s a rocker !! Multi-layered & very cool.
Freethought — feelin’ happy.
Zoo Lake — lazy feeling in an old fashion kind of way.
Gazania — Happy ending.

Trevor plays almost just about everything you hear on this CD. It’s simply incredible. He’s a magnificent player in every sense of the word. Classic rock fans take note. Two current players accompanying Jeff Beck lately are found on here; Vinnie Colaiuta, and Tal Wilkenfeld. Trevor in the liner notes, remarks how happy he was with their appearance on here. Good job producing. They can be heard and enjoyed.

If the song titles sound or read a little strange, it’s due to this CD being autobiographical. In the liner notes on each song, Trevor makes comments with a lot of them being stories of his growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa. Uncle G’s favorite one is from a song called; Zoo Lake. It reads in part: When I was around 17, we use to go out on a rowing for 20 cents an hour and smoke some pot. Hard place to be stopped in the middle of the lake”.

For the classic rocker whose looking to branch out some. For everyone else who likes good music. Hopefully, it won’t be so long between solos for us to get the next one. A fantasy concert would be Trevor doing music from Yes and his films. I’d like to see that, and maybe for one night Trevor conducting the Boston Pops Orchestras. I love to hear them do Endless Dream.

Uncle G’s CD Rating: From one to five stars…Trevor Rabin’s Jacaranda: 5 stars !!

Official Trevor Rabin Website

http://www.trevorrabin.net/

Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews: Edible Report (#13)

Recommended Age: 21 +
Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews
Edible Report (#13)
Type of Edible: Gummies
Name of Company: Robhots (EST. 2015)
Medicinal: Yes!
Product: Robhots Mega Dose Infused Gummies
Flavors: Pineapple and Tangerine
THC: Contains TEN 50mg THC Gummies; 500 mg Active THC (entire bottle)

Story and Incidental Photography by Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

Robhots - Mega Dose - Pineapple_Tangerine - box (2017 09 08)

Welcome back returning readers, and also to those venturing into uncharted waters. Fair warning for the newbies, for from what I’m told, ‘yours truly’ can be an acquired taste. People have different points of view. Accounts on the time of day, and what the subject is. Pertaining to myself, I try to as a writer, to offer a variety of topics. Most fitting under the pop culture umbrella. I’m an individual and not into group think. Am fairly capable of drawing my own conclusion. I’m not an academic. Average ‘Joe’ type, blue collar kind of guy. I believe that alternative medicine is some serious shit. Cannabis may not be a cure all, but it sure can compliment, or get this …. perhaps even alter for the better what the average person is prescribed by their doctor(s). How many countless of stories are out there of people consuming pot to help get through difficult times? I have my own. Is part of a book that is still available on Amazon (dot com). Cannabis treats me well. Booze damn near killed me.

The last published write up I authored was just days ago for a classic rock 24/7 Internet station: Classic Rock Radio (UK). Doing this for five years now. My official title is; American Correspondent. The newest article was all about; Dick. For those interested, the piece can be found doing a simple Internet search. Just cut and paste the following into any Internet search engine:

Gary “Uncle G” Brown – Dick

That should do it. I’ve since received praise and good news regarding that review. The station informed me that I’m drawing in more female readers than usual.

Uncle G discusses … Robhots – Infused Gummies: MEGA Dose – Medicinal – Pineapple and Tangerine Flavor – Active 50 mg THC (infused with THC Distillate) – Gummies.

Robhots - Different Products

Banner by RobHots

I recently wrote about another cannabis edible made by Robhots. A 125mg THC mango gummy. I absolutely loved it! After that, it got me thinking about seriously trying to use only, or even mostly, medicated edibles throughout my day. Less pharmaceutical (if safely possible). One of the first questions that I wanted to answer for myself, was if this could be affordable, for the average everyday blue collar person out there. I’ll take for granted that professional business folk, could easily afford pot, especially at medical prices. So not really an issue with them. Make around 30 thousand and be married with two kids, and a large dog with an endless appetite, and it matters what things cost. I’m focusing on sixty thousand or less. These folks (including myself) have a budget. Be it a senior living solely off their social security. Disabled is the same. Or earn between 10 and 15 bucks an hour (two part-time 20-hour jobs). Part of life for the mature/adult thing is to be financially responsible. If cannabis is to replace what can be a very cheap pharmaceutical solution, it at least needs to be just as affordable.

Aspirin can kill you. I was told back in the 1970’s by an adult in which I was under their care, that an aspirin overdose was a nasty way to do yourself in. Tears up your stomach. Being a teen, I, of course, questioned this. What would one care about tearing up their stomachs, if wanting to be dead anyway?”

Point is what is considered a normal everyday go to, can be abused, possibly harming you fatally. Eat a whole bottle. The kind that looks like a knock-off M&M candy (colorful coated tablets so not to tear up your stomach). The results are, you’re dead! No coming back from that. Stiff City! That’s if the wicked witch Aunt Patsy who informed me of this was indeed correct. I smoked a ton of pot over the decades. I never once OD’ed on it. Of course, I wasn’t ever hoping to do that. Most people who have too much THC in their system will go to sleep. Been there, done that! Anytime it happened, I always woke up.

The cannabis edibles (medical) infused with raw THC Distillate (remember them) were packaged in a box, that inside contained a child proof plastic container, where the cannabis gummies could be found. All the information the law wants you to know and more is printed on the outside packaging. I had a real fresh batch. Oh, and it comes with a cool Robhots sticker. Smart advertising. Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon (1972), came with two stickers, and a poster (album).

Robhots - Sticker_Container (2017 09 08)

Successfully opening the child proof container (typically the same as what flower is sold in), the sweet fruity aroma was evident. On a Tuesday I consumed two tangerine gummies. A total of 100 mg of distillate THC. Dosing was spaced apart. Was reacting within an hour, or so it seemed. About four hours into it, I felt that I could safely do another tangerine medicated gummy. Whole and not cut/divided to lower the dose. Can do this with a butter knife, btw. Having simple mathematical skills, and one can figure out a dose for themselves that they can handle, without going off the deep end. Something that can help me forget about my injuries, that’s almost just as damn good as the opiates I can get at a local pharmacy, for a super low cost.

Know the strain. These gummies are a hybrid, more sativa than indica. All my tests were done during the day. Complimenting the experience with medium-strong ground coffee; Maxwell House. The caffeine and edible give me a ‘high’ that worked for me. Wake n’ Bake! When medicated, I was more than able to get stuff done. No melting in bed while watching Netflix.

A crazy-delicious gummy, made so one would purposely not taste anything resembling Mother Earth.  Awesome effects! Isn’t that what we want? Otherwise, we might as well be eating candy. The next time, three gummies, spaced out to last from the time I awoke to the time I crashed at night. The chronic pain was minimal. Two tangerines, and seeking variety, one pineapple, in which tasted as good as the tangerine ones.

For those keeping the flavor score; one container has ten pieces, so the breakup is Tangerine 4, and Pineapple 6. Wonderful for these taste buds! If not having THC as an active ingredient, I’d still eat the gummies. The whole thing at one sitting would be easily doable.

The last five solid gummies were split up two and three. Two more different days. Was sorry on the fourth and final testing day. During all that, I smoked less flower. Took my nerve medication only at night. No over the counter pain relievers. No thinking of doing opiates, or buying a pint of Jack Daniels. Congratulations Robhots!

FYI: Regarding opiates/booze, and just so we’re all on the same page … those are physically addicting. People can become mentally addicted to pot. It’s not for all adults. Take a person with mental disabilities and get them high on pot, and what you’ll get is a stoned mentally disabled person. Food for thought.

Uncle G Recommends

Walk out price at Verts Neighborhood Dispensary, at the time I picked this up, was about $36.00 (including tax .. having valid marijuana license) … ten medicated THC infused tasty gummies … breaks down to $3.60 a gummy. Lasted me four days. If money was no object, I believe three of these gummies a day, and then smoking some strong indica (cannabis) at night, could help keep the doctor away. Lower my smoke intake. Include the cost of flower and tax, and again having a valid marijuana license, we’re looking at about $12.80 a day. Pharmaceuticals are of course cheaper, over the counter as well as that which could be prescribed. If affordable, nothing better in investing in, than one’s health. Of course, I recommend this

Of course, I recommend this Robhots product. If looking for it to be financially feasible, and again this is with weed (1/4 gram at night), it’s a three to four hundred dollar a month habit. Based on prices I’m seeing today around the Fort Collins area (medical prices). For others, maybe less THC than what it would take for myself., and that would lower the cost; 2 edibles a day instead of three. Forgo the smoking. Lots of ways to make it work.

Robhots make a wonderful line of products. At least the two different items I checked out so far. I deem this was a cool writing assignment. Thanks to the incredible budtenders at Verts (in Fort Collins, CO) for recommending.

Uncle G’s Helpful Weblinks

Robhots (21+) – www.Robhots.com

Verts Neighborhood Dispensary –  www.vertsdispensary.com

 

Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews: Edible Report (#10)

Recommended Age: 21 +
Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews: Edible Report (#10)
Company: Cheeba Chews
Type of Edible Item: Gummy
Name: Green Hornet (Cannabidiol Infused Gummy)
Flavor: Strawberry Banana
Medicinal: Yes
Contents: 50 mg CBD (1 Gummy)

Story and Incidental Photography by Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

Green Hornet - CBD Only (2017 06 18)

For some time now I’ve been reading articles and watching clips compliments of various news sources about something I believe to be simply incredible. A compound of the cannabis plant; CBD (cannabidiol). How it is being used today by some humans as a natural, reliable and safe medication, some of those with rather serious illnesses. For those participating, perhaps an alternative to a pharmaceutical medication? What’s being substituted, illegal still in large parts of the country I call home. That is getting better by the day. Hopefully, cannabis legalization and decriminalization come swiftly. In the meantime, a new era with a more socially accepted opinion of marijuana, than in previous decades. Not being made in a lab someplace in New Jersey (example), seems to make it appealing to those seeking more natural remedies.

Heads Up CannabisHeads

My research states that CBD is completely non-psychoactive. I am stating this, just in case you didn’t already know. So when doing a CBD only cannabis medication and without the traditional THC being included, instead of the brain getting all the attention after being taken in, it’s more like from the neck down that in a way, reaps its rewards. Said just so we’re on the same page.  

On my part of the planet, because of my government’s past clueless approach (prohibition) towards a plant that when consumed by humans, exhibits positive physical and mental change, we are behind in knowing exactly all that this easily grown weed, can do for us. Other countries have stepped up recently in their research. Can’t stop progress. Big companies as well. The smart ones if feeling threatened should figure out how to work with or complement.  Of course, I expect shit (roadblocks) from those whose finances will be negatively affected; alcohol industry. A new hope for many is forthcoming.          

The intent of my using Cheeba Chews – Green Hornet – Medicinal 50 mg CBD (cannabidiol infused gummy) was to see how well it helps me with my chronic pain (lower back_tailbone_thigh injuries). Add to that; arthritis. Screws with me in my lower back area and right hand. Plus, I’m taking a shit load of pharmaceutical (gabapentin) to help cope with the never ending nerve pain I have. Especially leg cramps at night. Off the chart pain sometimes. Like I said,  injuries and I’ll add to that, aging.

On the average, using a pain scale of 1 (irritating) to 10 (morphine please), I’m always a 1 to 3, 24/7. It gets worse. I can’t really count on that, for the sole reason that the pain can jump from a 3 to a 7, five minutes from now. Always unannounced. Twenty minutes and I need to sit down. Twenty minutes sitting and I’m needing to stand up. Pain is dictating my moves. More to tell, but I’ll spare you all the shitty details. I obviously qualify for medical marijuana. That’s the point I thought needed to be made. In casual conversation, I just say I’m injured. Most times I don’t even say that.

If not for cannabis I would seek out other means of pain relief. Alcohol and opiates would be my favorite pair. By doing so, I’d be taking years off my life expectancy. Pot distracts me, and for moments at a time, I forget I’m hurt. Just toking flower, don’t take my pain away. Helps me cope with it better. A great tool to have in your own medical arsenal. Personally, I try never to be without it. Use with caution. Same as one would do with codeine (bad example; highly addicting yet still available at your local pharmacy). Unfortunately, even if of age to use, cannabis isn’t for everyone. This is what I read in the mainstream media land. Could it be the THC? What about a cannabidiol infused strawberry banana gummy? For those who tried and concluded pot/cannabis wasn’t for them, here’s another test. Hopefully, you’ll get better results. Side effects minimal compared to one of many man made drugs that help treat one thing, while possibly causing other health problems.

“Take this to stop diarrhea. Side effects can include dryness of mouth and possible long term abdominal problems. The kind that you would only wish on a political foe.”  

Diary

I’m taking the cannabidiol infused strawberry banana flavored gummy, made by the good people at Cheeba Chews (High Times Magazine approved) under their Green Hornet brand, as one dose; 50 mg CBD. This would have been last Saturday morning, the 17th. Right at sunrise with a fresh cup of hot instant Folgers coffee. I enjoy my coffee regular; two sugars and cream. As a rule, I wake and bake. Knowing I was doing this test, I stopped doing anything with THC, the night before. I awoke as I usually do when I put my feet on the floor, stand up, and start taking those first steps; sore midsection. Ass cheeks and thigh area hurt. Nothing new. Regardless, I’m telling myself, I say; 
 

“Self, got shit to do. Up and at it!”

Once I opened the airtight packaging, inside I found yet another package. It’s all childproofing efforts. I get it. FYI … the cannabis industry here in Colorado leads the way in safe ways to distribute whatever medical marijuana item there is. Some of these containers way harder to open and get at its contents, than drugs found at the local drug store. This based on my own observations since arriving here in Fort Collins, last September. Since then, I’ve been going pretty regularly to Verts Neighborhood Dispensary, easily found, in the west part of town. I’ve inquired about edibles with CBD, without the THC. I was advised Cheeba Chews offered an item that I’d be interested in. That’s how this writing assignment came about.

Green Hornet - Showing Actual Product (2017 06 18)

My notes tell me that when I opened the inside container, that a fruity smell all the sudden filled the air. Made me smile!

The actual gummy tasted exactly like a well-made strawberry banana flavored candy gummy, would/should taste like. The flavor loud, the medicated jelly pretty fresh, having been made only a few months before (Feb). That information, found on the backside of the outside packaging, along with all the other vital information about the cannabidiol infused gummy that you need to know.

Green Hornet - CBD Only (2017 06 18) (1)

Results

A beautiful Saturday morning it was. Sunny outside. Comfortable temperature. Perfect for opening the home windows. The consistent nagging, burning feeling that I had when I first awoke, around the top of my butt crack, kind of disappeared. Head was clear. I kept busy around the house. Took a shower while under the influence. Early afternoon I put on some street clothes and ventured out, going for a walk. Ended up being a nice day. Kind of uneventful. I smoked a pre-roll I had purchased earlier at Verts, toking it up after dinner. The effects of the 50 mg CBD by now, long gone. My notes tell me that the 50 mg of CBD lasted a solid 4 hours with a chilled outlook that carried over till the afternoon. Sure I dealt with my usual pain that day. This helped combat that. Overall, I feel the yummy gummy had its benefits, both mentally and physically. The less aggravated my injuries feel, the better I could do things, like walk. I do so nowadays, with a limp. Canes and walking sticks are a help. So I just found out first hand, so does CBD. I skipped using a walking aid that day. Always cool when I can do that.  

Uncle G Recommends

Of course, I do.

This was my very first venture into using cannabis as a medicine, without the THC being part of the ingredients. That in itself I will never say is a bad thing. Good for all adults? The verdict is still out on that one. In my mind, CBD and THC, together work wonders … for me. No questioning it. Figuring out what dose works for each individual interested, is a puzzle worth solving. Be safe! Start low with small doses, such as 2.5 or 5 mg, and then if it’s necessary, increase. Till that one day when you find out, your magic numbers. I’m six feet and around 180 pounds. In many ways, healthy. An old school pot smoker; joints, pipes, and bongs. My tolerance level higher than most who use cannabis casually. Right now I know that if I consume 50 to 60 mg of either THC or CBS infused edible, that I’ll be feeling okay. This Cheeba Chew product, under their Green Hornet label, did just that.

Cheeba Chews has a well-designed website. A variety of different cannabis edibles, from weak to super strong in strength. Check out the Cheeba Chew website in your free time, and bookmark for future visits. And if in the Fort Collins area, make sure to stop in Verts Neighborhood Dispensary. Plenty of Cheeba Chew products there. Maybe I’ll see you in line?

Helpful Web Links

Cheeba Chews

www.CheebaChews.com 

Verts Neighborhood Dispensary

http://www.vertsdispensary.com/

Lindsey Buckingham_Christine McVie (Self-titled)

ClassicRockRadio.co.uk Music Review

Spotlight: Lindsey Buckingham_Christine McVie (Self-titled)

By: Gary “Uncle G” Brown

Twitter @GBrown0816

Buckingham McVie - (album cover)

Just recently I was sent a link to a behind the scenes documentary on the making of a new ‘Lindsey Buckingham_Christine McVie’ album. First news I heard of this. So I viewed the almost 18 minute (well made) video and made a mental note that when the album became available, that I would make an attempt to give it a listen.

A few days later and I saw a ‘first listen’ announcement compliments of National Public Radio online. Made a tweet about it to alert all my classic rock friends. From then till now I’ve been taking advantage of that kindness and giving the ‘Lindsey Buckingham_Christie McVie’ self-titled album, multiple listens. Is not the usual rock album I favor/review, that I am known for. The music here is categorized: pop rock. Isn’t my usual cup of tea, so therefore I am not labeling it ‘pop-rock’ as it would be meant in a derogatory fashion. When it comes to music, we all have our thing. I’m more drawn to hard, heavy metal, instrumental, and progressive rock more than any other styles of rock n’ roll music. That does not mean that I can’t acknowledge/appreciate good sounds when I hear it. Under the ‘pop rock’ umbrella, millions if not billions of dollars are made every year in the music industry. Stupid to completely ignore, at least for a journalist like myself who covers pop culture in general.

I first learned of the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Fleetwood Mac, back in 1977 when their mega-popular album ‘Rumors’ was released. Age wise, I was 15 years old. My favorite song off it; The Chain. Interesting fact … ‘The Chain’ was the only tune on ‘Rumors’ that was a group composition.  

When the follow up, Fleetwood Mac – Tusk (1979) came out, I purchased the ambitious double album initially on 8-Track. How lucky for teens today that they don’t have to deal with that shitty technology. In between clicks, I over time memorized every song on it. Of course, I had my favorite numbers (the title track Tusk_Sisters Of The Moon), but this write-up isn’t about that particular release. I do recommend if not already having in your rock collection, to add both Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors and Tusk. Avoid the old 8 tracks if possible. Goes without saying that the entire Fleetwood Mac album catalog is worth having.

“Uncle G” discusses … Lindsey Buckingham_Christine McVie (self-titled album)

Released today (June 9th), a new duet album by legendary rock musicians, Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie. Their first album together where the focus is on them, together as a real duo act. Both known for being in a band that sold countless of records, and whose songs the classic rock station I write for, play every day; Fleetwood Mac. Along for the ride on Buckingham_McVie (2017) is one of the best rhythm sections in all recorded pop-rock music. And also from the group Fleetwood Mac; John McVie (bass), and Mick Fleetwood (drums and percussion). The only other musician credited to Lindsey Buckingham_Christine McVie is Mitchell Froom (keyboards).

Ten songs make this album, with a healthy combo of material from both featured musicians. Lindsey contributed five songs in which he sings lead vocals, while Christine brings along two songs she wrote herself, and then has three co-writing credits along with Mr. Buckingham. Christine does lead vocals on four songs, and then shares that duty along with Lindsey on what can be perhaps my favorite song on here; Too Far Gone.

Many solid consistencies with this almost forty minute modern pop-rock masterpiece.

For the record, on the new Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie release, the highly skilled drums/percussion of Mick Fleetwood shines, while maintaining the flow, John McVie’s bass work is spot on. Every song!

The melodies and chorus’ are memorable to the point of where I should warn … eargasm material included.

The lyrics, poetry/life reflections, it should be noted, is something one can play aloud around kids, old people, and here in America, Republicans.  

Listening with a very good set of headphones (Sennheiser), the finished product of what happened in the studio once the audio started, presented itself. The album itself has a nice crisp sound, where one can hear each member’s participations precisely as their performance(s) was meant to be heard. The entire ten-song recording has a nice flow, whereas the songs advance, and compliment each other. Playing the album from start to finish makes two-thirds of an hour fly by rather quickly.

Out of the ten songs, there are tracks that sound very much like Fleetwood Mac. The third track entitled, In My World, is one of them. If forty years ago this would be a huge hit on the radio. One of those songs they would play every 15 minutes, throughout the whole day. Track seven is another one; Lay Down For Free.

I got to mention the closing track; Carnival Begin. Clocks in as the longest composition on the album. Has a slow, mellow prog-rock vibe to it. Chill out with whatever adult libation you are into, and turn up the volume. Just what the doctor ordered. Additionally, and being wishful thinking, I’d love to see this song live in concert, along with ‘Too Far Gone’. Would be fun times!

“Uncle G” rates … Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie (Self Titled 2017)

Using a one to five-star rating system, whereas one star means it belongs in the cut-out bin, to five stars which means you can safely spend your hard earned cash on it, “Uncle G” rates Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie … insert a Mick Fleetwood drum roll … 5 stars!

The musicianship involved is what you’d expect from professionals who survived the music business, and turned what they do into an art form. Lindsey Buckingham excels on acoustic guitar, as well as electric. Christine McVie … I think I have a crush on her. So talented a piano and keyboard player, and with the voice capable of giving someone goosebumps. Having John McVie and Mick Fleetwood’s participation, was a smart move. After all, it’s the end result that counts most. No, it’s not a new Fleetwood Mac album. Hopefully, the classic line-up has at least one more studio album in them to release. And damn soon (by the end of 2018). But in the meanwhile, this new Lindsey Buckingham_Christine McVie should help carry over any follower of Fleetwood Mac jonesing out for new material. In closing “Uncle G” predicts that if allowed (which also means being promoted properly), and played on decent sound equipment, that Lindsey Buckingham_Christine McVie (self-titled duet album) should do the same as the music that these people were involved in decades ago; entertain the masses.

OH … sell a shitload of albums/CD’s also, but that is an entirely different thing. Another story, for yet another day.

Helpful Weblinks

The Official Lindsey Buckingham_Christine McVie Website

https://www.buckinghammcvie.com

The Official Lindsey Buckingham_Christine McVie Website

https://twitter.com/buckinghammcvie

Bonus Video (The Making of the Album… Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie)

Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews: Edible Report (#09)

Recommended Age: 21 +
Uncle G’s FUN 420 Reviews: Edible Report (#09)
Company: Sweet Mary Jane
Type of Edible Item: Fancy Chocolate
Name: Key Lime Kickers (Medicinal)
Contents: 200 mg active THC_4 Truffles
Special Instructions for Storage: Yes

Story and Incidental Photography by Gary “Uncle G” Brown
Twitter @GBrown0816

Last year at this time I was staying in Pennsylvania. Nine months visiting kin. Being new in those parts, I had a hard time scoring weed. What made it worse was I stayed in the country. Outside Wilkes-Barre, in the very small town, out in the woods, I rented a room. I thought at the time it would be a positive place for me to recoup after finding myself single again. First time since 1993. All this drama took place at the end of November back in 2015. Came home from work one early Sunday evening and found who is now my ex-wife, in the company of another man. Six days later with the help of a few dear friends, I was leaving Katy Texas on my own and heading east on superhighway I-10.

TX 2 PA - Driving_Leaving Houston (2015 12 06)_07_17 am

The thing about it being tough to get pot was that besides a few people, nobody really knew me. Not a cannabis friendly place. The front page of the local paper had headlines about people getting busted for dirty pot paraphernalia. Marijuana and marijuana-related busts appeared to be all the rage. Meanwhile, people in my age bracket were dying from, heroin overdoses, almost as routinely. While there, medical marijuana was passed. Whoopie! Wasn’t immediate. Way too many hoops to qualify. The end result would be doctors and the law up your ass so deep, they could tickle your tonsils. And that’s with no lube. Almost like they were on purpose trying to discourage those from starting the process, to begin with. I sooner or later told myself:

“Self, fuck this!”

Pulled into Dallas PA. driving a U-Haul and left town nine months later a passenger on a Greyhound bus, heading to parts unknown.

GB - Wilkes-Barre Bus Stop - 02 (06 Sept 2016)

For those who don’t know the “Uncle G” story, having made it safely to Colorado, and on my second day in Fort Collins, I made my first legal weed purchase. Blew me away! On the recreational side of a cannabis dispensary.  After showing my out of state driving license, and flirting with the two pretty young lady budtenders behind the counter, I purchased a gram. Less than two months later, I was an officially licensed medical marijuana user. Nowhere near as burdensome meeting the qualifications as it would have been in the Keystone State. Money wise, after all is said and done, the total was just under a hundred and fifty dollars. Once you are licensed, you then qualify for medical marijuana price discounts. Could be 50 percent savings or more. If on a fixed budget, and say really legally disabled … and the cannabis in whatever form is a successful substitute from meds’ with known harmful side effects … this shit ROCKS! Financially and mentally.

Diary

Just this last month when at Verts Neighborhood Dispensary (Fort Collins CO), I spotted a refrigerator with a glass door. Inside this electric environmentally controlled box, were medical marijuana edibles. Glancing through the very clean glass, I noticed a black pouch. A lot of items. This one for some unknown reason stood out among the rest. The cool looking black packaging read; “Sweet Mary Jane – Key Lime Kickers.” I said to myself, I said:

“Self … looks yummy! I need to know more information about that.”

Sweet Mary Jane - KLK - packaging (2017 05 10)

The budtender waiting on me, a very knowledgeable young lady, name Cayman. Has the title of assistant manager if I am not mistaken, and by the time we and other budtenders who were nearby got done conversing, I was walking out the door with medical marijuana … truffles. Friends reading this now are going … what? For they know I’m more a regular chocolate, kind of guy. The kind I’ve usually purchased in the past, as a rule, comes in wrappers with bar codes, and cost less than a dollar. From that to TRUFFLES … that need REFRIGERATED … A BIG jump. My choice could possibly be accredited to the female persuasion. Cayman (remember her) knew while informing me about what I was interested in, the already outstanding reputation this particular product, and the company that manufactured it, had. Having sales experience, it really helps a salesperson sell, when they have confidence in a product. I meanwhile just may have wanted something different? I liked that each of the four truffles contained 50 mg of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Knowing my body, I realized that with the amount of THC in that ballpark, I can start managing my chronic pain better. Keep in mind that everyone reading this is different. Please be aware of your health, and what cannabis levels you can safely tolerate without the dose being too much for you.

So I dosed on four different occasions. All at night, safely at home. Sometimes while in the nude.

The child-proof pouch is hard to open. Pissed me off at first. By the fourth ‘Key Lime Kicker’ I kind of had the hang of opening and closing the bag. The pouch I kept in the freezer, inside an empty Ego box. No real need for that, but I just found it safer in there. The package states how the truffles (HEMP CONNOISSEUR 1st Place Winner 2013) must be refrigerated. Freezing it properly will prolong shelf life for up to a half of year. So no stuffing in a sock drawer.

FYI: truffles are hand made from scratch and available in several flavors.

All four times I put a whole ‘Key Lime Kicker’ in my mouth. Was of course cold. The first taste is the outside graham cracker crumb coating. Reminded me of many a trip to the nearest Denny’s Restaurant, in which I would order their key lime pie for dessert, along with a fresh cup of coffee. The truffle, amazingly so, just kept getting better tasting. I noted; layers of yumminess. By the last truffle, I’m equating the taste and sensation of letting it slowly melt in my mouth, to an orgasm. Wow! The little white coated part that reads THC, like an M&M, but with a tastier tasting chocolate. Should sell them separately. While still melting, there is a creamy layer that’s to die for! Very little cannabis taste overall. If so, just for a split second or two. The magic ingredient; cannabis infused sugar.

I thought that the effects hit quickly for an edible. All four times I experienced being nice and calm. Worked well combating my nerve pain. It especially fucks with me at night. Helped me forget it some. Frankly, this is what I am looking for. I want to be able to cope and get by as reasonably as I can. Using medical marijuana I can do that. The candy tasted really good. An above average tasting THC delivery system. The effects seemed to last the entire night. Made notes waking up the next morning that I slept well on ‘testing’ nights.

Uncle G Recommends

Not something I might do every day/every night. For myself, better for evening use. Most moments under its influence, I felt serene. A tasty treat such as this ‘Key Lime Kicker’ a few times a month, sounds very doable. Especially on those more difficult to get around days. Help me recover when it’s dark outside. And Verts Neighborhood Dispensary is always stocked. After this review hits, I expect them to get sold out much quicker. Call ahead. Send an email. Communicate U R INTERESTED in Sweet Mary Jane – Key Lime Kickers. Plus their other products. Should help turn a shitty day into a glorious one. That is what “Uncle G” says. If one (adult 21 +) must for whatever reasons meditate, and is interested in medical marijuana edibles, here’s a good place to start looking.

Oh … and let go of my round waffle.

Website Links

Sweet Mary Jane

https://www.ilovesmj.com

Verts Neighborhood Dispensary

http://www.vertsdispensary.com/