It’s Miller time! Chuck is moving on…

Chuck Miller, who had blogged at the Times Union newspaper site EVERY DAY for the past 8.5 years, is moving on to a new blogging venue, Chuck the Writer. NOBODY has been a more reliable blogger, cheerleader for the community bloggers, or more active social director than Chuck.

He initiated several TU community blogger gatherings. His most outstanding contribution, though, has been Best of our TU Independent Bloggers: Ten for Thursday. Sometimes it was 12 or 20 posts – Chuck isn’t that good at math – but I always found pages I had not previously seen that were of interest.

He’s written about his photography, being a trivia maven, obscure musical tracks, the Notorious KGB, and some big life issues, among many other topics.

There were a number of issues that went into the decision to change venues, including the editing of some of his posts in the past few weeks. One of the great tradeoffs of being an unpaid TU blogger, we were told when we were recruited by Mike Huber, the former TU blog herder of cats, is that there would be no editorial interference unless it would fail to meet basic standards – no obscenity, no libel. Chuck found a clever way to work around the former with a humorous grawlix-type graphic.

For his April Fools Day post, he wrote that one Kellyanne Conway would be speaking at commencement at UAlbany, clearly as fictitious as his Collarworld columns. He has written absurdist posts on the 1st of April before without incident. The new piece, though, was not only removed, but Chuck was locked out of his own blog. I’m sure that, if he had been asked, he would have altered or removed the “offending” item.

This became what I call a Popeye moment; “That’s all I can stands, ’cause I can’t stands no more.” So he walked away. It’s not as though he can be fired; as a local band once sang, “You can’t fire me, I QUIT!”

Coincidentally, the TU portal has fallen into disrepair over the past few months. There are bloggers that haven’t posted in almost a year

If I were of the mind to, I’d tell the powers that be at the Times Union that they were CRAZY to suspend Chuck – or whatever it is they call it – over the type of post he had written EVERY YEAR on this date. He has created more visibility for the TU community bloggers than any half dozen bloggers combined.

So I’m going to go follow Mr. Miller over at Chuck the Writer, because the platform is not the thing, it’s the writing.

Emmylou Harris turns 70

When a friend of mine, who was a big fan of Emmylou Harris, first heard the album Wrecking Ball in 1995, she complained that it wasn’t at all what she was expecting. She threatened to give it away, and I expressed my interest in taking it, but ultimately she held onto it.

I had quite a few Emmylou Harris LPs, and Wrecking Ball wasn’t what I expected either, but I meant that in a GOOD way. Read about the 2014 re-release.

The CMT page describes her well:
“Though other performers sold more records and earned greater fame, few had as profound an impact on contemporary music as Emmylou Harris. Blessed with a crystalline voice, a remarkable gift for phrasing, and a restless creative spirit, she traveled a singular artistic path, proudly carrying the torch of ‘cosmic American music’ passed down by her mentor, Gram Parsons. With the exception of only Neil Young — not surprisingly an occasional collaborator — no other mainstream star established a similarly large body of work as consistently iconoclastic, eclectic, or daring; even more than four decades into her career, Harris’ latter-day music remained as heartfelt, visionary, and vital as her earliest recordings.”

For her sheer range of work – from background singer, to solo artist, to duets with a range of artists including Mark Knopfler, to her best selling collaboration with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt – her distinctive sound always enhances her many projects.

I expect Eddie at Renaissance Geek will feature Emmylou Harris today.

The links below are in roughly chronological order, from the most recent.

The Traveling Kind (with Rodney Crowell)

My Name Is Emmett Till

Amazing Grace/Nearer My God To Thee (with Ladysmith Black Mambazo)

Beachcombing (with Mark Knopfler)

Flesh and Blood (with Mary Chapin Carpenter and Sheryl Crow)

Didn’t Leave Nobody But The Baby (with Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch)

After the Goldrush (with Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton)

1917 (with Linda Ronstadt)

Orphan Girl

Where Will I Be

Wrecking Ball

Love Still Remains

Songs from the Trio album (with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt)

Two More Bottles of Wine

Blue Kentucky Girl

Save the Last for Me

Together Again