at www.RARWRITER.com      

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Volume 1-2016






Use this link to add your email address to the RARWRITER Publishing Group mailing list for updates on activities associated with the Creative Culture and Revolution Culture journals, and other RARWRITER Publishing Group interests.


ABOUT RAR: For those of you new to this site, "RAR" is Rick Alan Rice, the publisher of the RARWRITER Publishing Group websites. Use this link to visit the RAR music page, which features original music compositions and other.

Use this link to visit Rick Alan Rice's publications page, which features excerpts from novels and other.


(Click here)

Currently on RARadio:

"On to the Next One" by Jacqueline Van Bierk

"I See You Tiger" by Via Tania

"Lost the Plot" by Amoureux"

Bright Eyes, Black Soul" by The Lovers Key

"Cool Thing" by Sassparilla

"These Halls I Dwell" by Michael Butler

"St. Francis"by Tom Russell & Gretchen Peters, performance by Gretchen Peters and Barry Walsh; 

"Who Do You Love?"by Elizabeth Kay; 

"Rebirth"by Caterpillars; 

"Monica's Frock" by Signel-Z; 

"Natural Disasters" by Corey Landis; 

"1,000 Leather Tassels" by The Blank Tapes; 

"We Are All Stone" and "Those Machines" by Outer Minds; 

"Another Dream" by MMOSS; "Susannah" by Woolen Kits; 

Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and other dead celebrities / news by A SECRET PARTY;

"I Miss the Day" by My Secret Island,  

"Carriers of Light" by Brendan James;

"The Last Time" by Model Stranger;

"Last Call" by Jay;

"Darkness" by Leonard Cohen; 

"Sweetbread" by Simian Mobile Disco and "Keep You" fromActress off the Chronicle movie soundtrack; 

"Goodbye to Love" from October Dawn; 

Trouble in Mind 2011 label sampler; 

Black Box Revelation Live on Minnesota Public Radio;

Apteka "Striking Violet"; 

Mikal Cronin's "Apathy" and "Get Along";

Dana deChaby's progressive rock




"Music Hot Spots"




























Rick Alan Rice (RAR) Literature Page


CCJ Publisher Rick Alan Rice dissects the building of America in a trilogy of novels collectively calledATWOOD. Book One explores the development of the American West through the lens of public policy, land planning, municipal development, and governance as it played out in one of the new counties of Kansas in the latter half of the 19th Century. The novel focuses on the religious and cultural traditions that imbued the American Midwest with a special character that continues to have a profound effect on American politics to this day. Book One creates an understanding about America's cultural foundations that is further explored in books two and three that further trace the historical-cultural-spiritual development of one isolated county on the Great Plains that stands as an icon in the development of a certain brand of American character. That's the serious stuff viewed from high altitude. The story itself gets down and dirty with the supernatural, which in ATWOOD - A Toiler's Weird Odyssey of Deliveranceis the outfall of misfires in human interactions, from the monumental to the sublime. The book features the epic poem "The Toiler" as well as artwork by New Mexico artist Richard Padilla.

Elmore Leonard Meets Larry McMurtry

Western Crime Novel











I am offering another novel through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service. Cooksin is the story of a criminal syndicate that sets its sights on a ranching/farming community in Weld County, Colorado, 1950. The perpetrators of the criminal enterprise steal farm equipment, slaughter cattle, and rob the personal property of individuals whose assets have been inventoried in advance and distributed through a vast system of illegal commerce.

It is a ripping good yarn, filled with suspense and intrigue. This was designed intentionally to pay homage to the type of creative works being produced in 1950, when the story is set. Richard Padilla has done his usually brilliant work in capturing the look and feel of a certain type of crime fiction being produced in that era. The whole thing has the feel of those black & white films you see on Turner Movie Classics, and the writing will remind you a little of Elmore Leonard, whose earliest works were westerns. Use this link.



If you have not explored the books available from Amazon.com's Kindle Publishing division you would do yourself a favor to do so. You will find classic literature there, as well as tons of privately published books of every kind. A lot of it is awful, like a lot of traditionally published books are awful, but some are truly classics. You can get the entire collection of Shakespeare's works for two bucks.

You do not need to buy a Kindle to take advantage of this low-cost library. Use this link to go to an Amazon.com page from which you can download for free a Kindle App for your computer, tablet, or phone.

Amazon is the largest, but far from the only digital publisher. You can find similar treasure troves atNOOK Press (the Barnes & Noble site), Lulu, and others.




The Stranger & Other Apparitions


Boulder, Colorado singer-songwriter Dennis Wanebo offers up another plate of imaginative soul searching.




Dennis Wanebo is a guy who once won one of those John Lennon songwriting competitions, which got his tunes played on the radio in the Colorado market. I have always appreciated his smarts and I love his high-range vocals. I enjoy his stories, and also enjoy hearing his influences, which come across particularly strong in his work.

Working with his musical partner Bob Story, Wanebo has a new CD out, The Stranger & Other Apparitions, which is reviewed track-by-track on this page. That cover art you see here is "Sweeping Squall" by Sushe Felix, and it aptly illustrates the theme of Wanebo's album, which seems to be resolution. It has him buffeted by memories of past relationships and seeking a restful state, like at the end of a storm.

Wanebo has a lifetime of experience to draw from, as he creates his musical expressions, though you wouldn't necessarily know that from his voice. He has a youthful quality that erases any barrier that one might imagine would exist for a senior songwriter writing for a junior world.

This new CD doesn't seem as ambitious in scope as has much of his past work. He is more in coffee house or theater mode here than usual, because he is a guy who will go for the grand musical statement. This time around, he is far less muscular and less science fiction oriented in his approach, and more homey by far. He has come up with a bunch of good songs. Overall, I wish that he had spent more time on his lower-range vocals, that they were supported more with harmony vocals, and that they were mixed further forward. I think he might have pushed some songs across with more urgency, seeming a little lethargic and unfocused in some instances. That said, I am a big fan of Wanebo and if I had five stars to hand out, I'd probably give this album 3.5. A remix and perhaps some improved vocals could push it up to 4.5, but no matter. His stuff always sounds great on Sunday morning, and in that mode The Stranger & Other Apparitions is a fine entry.


The album opens with "Come On Back", an acoustic ballad of longing that features two of the Wanebo-Story team's strong suits: Wanebo's lovely voice and Story's lovely slide guitar. "Misery looses all her nerve whenever beauty ascends the stage..." Wanebo references a Phrygian scale here, which is sort of odd and gets the song off on a mysterious tide that flows into a standard country ballad, occasionally referencing back to the opening feel. It supports the narrative structure nicely, putting the listener in the mind of the lonely suitor, swept along by a wave a nostalgic memory and longing.

"Demolition Man" has a Parisian nightclub vibe, decorated with a Hammond B3 decor. Christian Teele is on drums and Eric Moon on keys, as they are throughout the album. Wanebo's tunes often have the relaxed feel of one of those Sunday morning mellow music shows, and this is one such. There are nice female back vocals on this song, which go uncredited, but Wanebo has a talented daughter whose work it likely is.

"It Can't Be" introduces an electric guitar element, and it has a radio friendly chorus driven by some nice harmony vocals. This tune has that soulful grunge you associate with mountain folk, or possibly The Grateful Dead. It brings Bob Weir to mind, to my ear.

"Bottomless Lakes" is a piano tune turned rockabilly shaker, and it is quite effective. You start with Cole Porter and then Buddy Holly here, a little Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis, and a dose of '60s psychedelia sneaking in around the edges. Interesting song. I can almost feel the Fish in Wanebo's Country Joe.

"Interlude: Eclipse Over Alliance" is a narrative section in which Wanebo muses on the recent solar eclipse, which he witnessed from Alliance, Nebraska. (It is only one of the many reasons to visit that rich area of interest.) The lawyer in Wanebo is a good talker - he'd make a good panelist on a show about anything - and here he talks about the eclipse as a life-changing experience. He's like that Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, keen to the power of nature, and he uses it to get to this line - "You see something that you have never, ever seen in your life" - all to set the stage for the next song.

"If Those Hands Could Speak" features fine musicianship - love Teele's sensitive percussion work - to support a spooky, swampy sound. "All those years ago when there were no mouths to feed..." I have no idea what this song is about, but it seems to recall interactions that left a mark. I can't tell if it was good or otherwise, but the song works well with mystery.

"The Stranger" features Wanebo's facility with the high-range vocal. He is like two different guys, the lower register one being a sensitive, accessible, countrified every man, and the higher being this other angelic form. If he stayed in the high range he'd be Brian Wilson, who must have been an influence. This is a really good song, with a strong chorus and a cool build repeat. It makes me want to lick some window pane and hitchhike to L.A.


"Shut the Windows Please" is Brewer & Shipley, if that means anything to anybody. This is an acoustic style of music that was particularly popular around 1970, when there was a back-to-the-country feeling in the land. You get banjo here and some down home references. "My sweet mama, there's no real trauma..."

"Tending the Fire" - "there are those beneath you sleeping softly with the lord..." Did he say that? It would be a typical Waneboism. He loves an odd turn of phrase and a weighted metaphor. This song is all about custodianship, a tribute to those who "tend the fire", protect the flame, preserve the world.

"Routine-able Me" puts Wanebo back in coffee house mode, where he is really accessible. This song is nicely arranged and the back vocals are dynamite. Whoever this lady is, she has perfect pitch and a wonderful vocal quality. This is another one of those Sunday morning songs. I hear remnants of the commercial folk of the early '60s here - The Kingston Trio, for instance. And I hear early Paul Simon, who probably also liked those folk groups of that preceding generation.

"Fly On the Wall" would have been recorded by John Denver if John Denver was still singing. This demonstrates Wanebo's ability to toss off a clever ditty without really having to try at all. It is so commercial - maybe not from this time, but from that previously referenced era - that it feels off-the-shelf, clichéd in that way that would have once put it on a platter.

"A Night at the Roadhouse" is a clever tune, beautifully done. Love Moon's piano work. Wanebo invites a crowd in, seats them in an orderly manner, and starts the show with a relaxed groove tune that puts us all at ease. I cannot imagine why he didn't open this album with this tune, as it is sort of a countrified equivalent to the opening of Sargent Peppers. "There's room for you and for me..."

"Lost and Found" is a hit for Dennis Wanebo as a songwriter, and for this uncredited female vocalist. This should be on Nashville radio right now, though it could have been on L.A. radio in 1970, when Linda Ronstadt would have sung it. Quite honestly, if Wanebo had a CD of songs with this girl singing songs like this, he would be living in that place previously owned by Warren Zevon and other smart, ridiculously successful songwriters. This is the best song on the album. Not sure why it is the last thing you hear, and this singer should be getting credit!



To learn more about Dennis Wanebo, read the CCJ feature on him at www.rarwriter.com/Feature_Wanebo_16.htm

Find him on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-stranger-other-apparitions/1356622378

Visit Dennis Wanebo's website at www.denniswanebomusic.com/






Copyright © November, 2018 Rick Alan Rice (RARWRITER)