Give the Gift of Music

With the Holidays approaching I wanted to let you know about some great music I’ve been enjoying. Music is always a nice gift and a gift that keeps on giving. My friend Rob usually has to prompt me to write about “what I’ve been listening to” but here you have it, just in time for last minute shoppers and some suggestions that you can also put on your wish list.

First off…….and I’m not just saying this because I am true to my team……although I am definitely that…. Should you have a friend that doesn’t have the new HOT TUNA CD / LP, STEADY AS SHE GOES give them this as a gift. Jorma and Jack waited a long time to go into the studio to record this gem and it is a crucial Hot Tuna release. A great gift for a Hot Tuna fan and at the same time a great gift to turn a friend onto a great band with a great new release. The CD is also available as a limited edition record (LP) as well……for those vinyl aficionados……the LP shows off the beautiful LP artwork….by the way KEVIN MORGAN the Fur Peace, Jorma, Hot Tuna artist has been nominated for a GRAMMY for his work…….and the LP also is beautifully packaged in a gatefold sleeve with pictures omitted from the CD…….it has three sides of great music and a fourth side engraving of Jorma and Jack in the vinyl. Records are making a strong comeback (YEAH!!!) and this would be a great gift for a record collector with impeccable taste in music.

I also want to let everyone know……the FUR PEACE COMPANY STORE is running some great specials through December for the Holidays. Discounts in several departments and FREE shipping on ALL orders…..there are some great gifts to be found at the Co. Store. Our CAMPFIRE COFFEE and our FPR teas are all on sale and they make a tasty gift.

Now…….back to CD recommendations.

In the Rock, Blues category, this year has given us some great releases. JOHNNY WINTER is back with a great new release, appropriately titled, ROOTS. This CD finds Johnny with a host of special guests playing homage to his Blues’ heroes. All solid Blues’ covers that sound fresh and Johnny’s guitar playing and singing sound crisp as well. Even with all the great guests, it’s Johnny’s trademark guitar slinging that comes through loud and clear. One of my favorite tracks, “Dust My Broom” is all JW and it finds him in top form. A real nice surprise this was. Some other old favorites have come through with great releases as well this past year. Check out STEVE CROPPERS tribute to 1950’s – 60’s R & B on his release, DEDICATED. The legendary guitarist is joined by some great guests on this record and the results are great fun. WARREN HAYNES’ CD, MAN IN MOTION, is another great release with some special guests. As special as the band is, it is Warren’s great guitar playing, singing and song selection that make this CD standout. It’s a Warren record, so you know it jams…..but the R & B originals give it a special turn.

A couple of other old faves released impressive CDs late in the year. DAVID BROMBERG’s new CD USE ME finds the A-list session man getting help from a top shelf group of special guests. David is known for his acoustic guitar playing, but on this release he pulls out the electric and really goes back to his roots for a great record. Another great going back to his roots is RY COODER on his new release PULL UP SOME DUST & SIT DOWN. Well done Ry!

I’ve really been enjoying TRANSLUCENT BLUES the new collaboration between DOORS’ keyboardist RAY MANZAREK and slide guitar king ROY ROGERS. Roy’s slide playing is brilliant and exciting…..he is one of the greatest in that style….and Ray’s singing is strong! Some of the songs have a “Roadhouse Blues” feel to them and it is good to hear. Ray’s keyboard playing is stellar as well. I picked this up without a listen because I knew how good the players were and I was happy I did. GEOFF ACHISON came by the Ranch in late September and he was kind enough to lay a copy of his recent “Live” CD on me. JAMMIN IN THE ATTIC catches Geoff and RANDALL BRAMBLETT live in Georgia in 2010 and this CD kicks butt…..great sound, great songs, great solos……..really was knocked out by this one. I could say I was surprised…..but I really wasn’t……I hold Geoff’s playing in high regard and this collaboration works real well too!!!

I love Native American flute music and really would recommend R. CARLOS NAKAI’s CANYON TRILOGY. This was originally released in 1989 and I still have my vinyl copy, however I was thrilled to find in on CD. This is a great CD to listen to for relaxation, meditation, grounding and pure aural enjoyment. I like to listen to it while driving and that is another reason why I was happy to find the CD…..the turntable in the truck hasn’t been working to good. This is solo flute and it is beautiful.

The new CD from SEUN KUTI, one of FELA KUTI’s sons, is killer Afro-Beat. This finds Seun joined by his father’s late band, Egypt 80, for a blistering set of infectious African groove music. The CD is titled…. FROM AFRICA WITH FURY: RISE.

The great GREGORY ISAACS has left this world for Zion, but while he was with us he recorded some of the most crucial Reggae music you can find. Gregory was know for his beautiful voice and his vocal styling. He was a genuine hit machine in Jamaican music. THE RULER 1972 – 1990 serves as a perfect anthology of his hits as well as some obscure gems. This is a nice 2 – CD package along with a DVD of his 1984 performance at Brixton Academy…..the DVD is a real treat. This is a winner.

One of the great things about music listening is all the joys that are waiting to be discovered. Very recently I made such a discovery and it’s been knocking me out. I had heard of JOHN MARTYN and was aware of his high status in British Folk Music, but did not have any of his recording in my collection. I had a chance to hear the Deluxe Edition of SOLID AIR and I’ve now been playing it in heavy rotation…….what a gem……what a voice…..what a guitar player and songwriter. I just love this album and have gone on to also pick up SWEET LITTLE MYSTERIES the Island Records Anthology by John, which I also thoroughly enjoy. Solid Air was originally released in 1973 and I’m glad I finally got around to adding it to the collection.

My musical palette is far ranging and I picked up a classical guitar CD recently by MILOS KARADAGLIC, a nice Italian guitarist, called MEDITERRANEO and am really impressed by his classical guitar playing. He is a master and at a very young age…and yes I was kidding about his Italian heritage. This CD on DEUTSCHE GRAMAPHONE sounds beautiful and his solo guitar playing is extraordinaire!!!

I have found myself a fan of some ELECTRONICA music and my fave in this genre is THIEVERY CORPORATION. Their 2011 release, CULTURE OF FEAR, finds them doing their thing, which is world music as well as outernational music, and they have never disappointed me. Their sound is exciting and they cover a far range of musical stylings and they always add the Thievery touch, which makes it all so special. I highly recommend this CD if you’re looking for something different. On the same record label as Thievery Corp, ESL RECORDS, is a group called THUNDERBALL and their recent release, 12 MILES HIGH, is also a top pick and very well may end up in my top ten for the year. Thievery Corporation uses a great cast of singers and players to make their sound. Two of these singers……who bring the Reggae vibe to the outfit…..are known as SEE –I…..and their self-titled debut is a killer. This has some straight ahead Reggae but they take the music to higher heights and new dimensions. This is a sleeper and I find myself liking it more and more. These guys know how to plant a groove and make it grow.

Well……there you have it……some of my best picks and most enjoyed CDs of this past year…..I hope you get a chance to give some of these a listen and I also hope you’re enjoying your music, whatever you’re listening too……..because life is too short to miss a beat…….but long enough to catch one too.

Another GREAT time!

We’re getting ready for another guitar camp weekend……the weather and the Ranch are both looking real good…..and we’re close to a sellout on the Jonathan Edwards and Steve Kaufman show for this Saturday night. However, I’m still thinking about what a great time we had during the last camp session and wanted to fill you all in, while it is still on and in my mind. The April 9th weekend brought a lot of familiar faces and old friends of the Fur Peace together. Our big opening weekend at the end of March was just off the charts and I foolishly thought it would be hard to top that one. Well, I’m happy and lucky to be able to say…… was another great time. This was our Hot Tuna weekend with JK, Jack and Barry all here teaching and also performing on Saturday night. We were also graced by the presence of Marjorie Thompson who was here to teach her class on Country Blues.

There were 32 students here at the Ranch and 20 of those were repeat offenders. Just a clarification on that…..REPEAT OFFENDERS are what we affectionately refer to our repeat students as. Hot Tuna Weekend Class PhotoSO…..two – thirds of the camp is filled with people we already know. Yes, you can do the math…….the other a little over a third, 12 students were all here for their first taste of the Fur Peace and I’ve got to tell you…….they were all such nice people……we made them instant family. It was truly a wonderful mix and a super positive vibe was in the air. Several …..or maybe even more then that……students that were here for this session have been coming to the Ranch since we opened and it really is special to see them again. Several others maybe haven’t been coming that long, but their easy going ways and cool disposition, make it feel like we’ve been friends forever. So….hopefully you get the picture, cause what I’m seeing is the most glorious reflection of humanity that you could hope to see.

Nice weather all weekend and another bombastic job in the kitchen added to the joy. Lots of good eatin’ and with weather this nice, many folks took advantage of the tables we have outside for dining. On Friday and Sunday night the campfire was blazing and some of the ranchers really enjoyed hanging out at the fire circle. Then again….lots of playing in all the different buildings kept some people inside …….where the music was blazing!

The really big show on Saturday night packed the Fur Peace Station to a capacity we didn’t know it was capable of. We had a very full house for this show, which incidentally had been sold-out for over two months. People came from all over for this show and the fine state of New York was well represented!!!! The evening’s festivities kicked off in grand fashion with Collin Rocker performing an opening set, solo acoustic. In many cases this would not be the ideal spot for such an opener……before Electric Hot Tuna……but Collin’s warm, enthusiastic, and talented persona started things off not too bad…….if you don’t mind perfect! Collin I am honored to say has become a good friend…..and boy, oh, boy……I was proud of him. We met through his parents, Jon and Lori, who have been coming to the Ranch for a long time now. One year they brought Collin and the friendship was immediate and it has been growing ever since. Collin has just released his first CD….Milk Box Love and Juke Box Blood and Other American Favorites……you’ve got to love that title……and when you get a chance to hear the CD…..well you’ll love his music too. Now Collin is a young man of 18, but as his Mom mentioned to me one time (see I was listening) he has an old soul….and a fine old soul at that. His music is roots Americana…..totally original material…..and he is a fine songsmith. His lyrics evoke many images, times and thoughts that you can relate to even if they are from a bygone era. The crowd really dug his performance and the response was overwhelming. He played my favorite song off of the new CD….Soggy Dollar Blues……. and it was just outstanding ! BIG UP to C-Rock!

Next……we go to a nice and busy intermission……with the good folks enjoying some Hot Tuna Burgers and our Hot Tuna Melts right off the grill and the Station Break Cafe humming like a food wagon when the break whistle blows.

After the break I came out to announce the second half of the show with ELECTRIC HOT TUNA……I know you people have all been waiting for them……but rather then a stage announcement we have a special surprise guest……the Ranch’s very own Jeroch Carlson….who wears so many hats and does so many righteous tings……has just finished off a poem he had written that would serve as a great Hot Tuna intro. The poem Jeroch had just finished was entitled….”The Only Thing We Need More of Around Here is Some Jamaican Jerk Chicken.” Now I’m not sure what that meant ……but it was a crucial idea! The poem is nothing short of fantastic……as was Jeroch’s reading of the poem. The poem has all kinds of Hot Tuna / Jorma references and we were all swept up in his magical presentation. Deep stuff……..but it was fun and full of culture! I’ve asked Jeroch if it would be OK for me to print the poem in one of my future postings and he says YES and he is sending it my way…, soon come on that.

Next…….out comes Hot Tuna…….ELECTRIC……and blazing they were! (Please go to Jorma’s site for a set-list.)Electric Hot Tuna Takes Over! What I’ll tell ya is that it was Hot Tuna at its best… and more fire!!! The whole set was a high-light but my favorite was the moving version of Corners Without Exits! Jorma’s having lots of fun on that electric guitar and when he want to be….he is…the best psychedelic guitar player out there bringing emotion and feeling out of every note that is from another cosmos. Everyone has a different favorite and the good news is that there was plenty to choose from. Several of the comments I heard after the show pointed to the 99 Year Blues and Good Shepherd as other choices for best song of the evening. Now I really do hate to sound cliché, but, it really was ALL GOOD.

Indeed, one of the concert goers said it was the best Hot Tuna show he had heard since the 80′s. Now I was going to tell that guy, that he needed to get out to more Hot Tuna shows……but I let it pass. Everyone left the concert hall that night feeling very satisfied……it had been an incredible evening of music. There was a real bliss in the night air as the people left the Ranch.

Now back to the concert……..Aside from JK sounding bombastic fantastico…….JC was menacingly punching through some great bass lines. I had given Jack a big up earlier in the day……telling him how fantastic he sounds on that NEW Hot Tuna CD release from the New Orleans House. That was Jack in 1969 and he has refined his bass playing over the years…..and that has resulted in Jack’s fine bass playing only getting better. Jack also shared some fun and funny banter with Jorma on stage that really set the relaxed tone for the concert. I’ll tell you…..some of those laughs and shared smiles were contagious …….and it made everyone in the audience feel the joy. Barry Mitterhoff…. ever incredible……with his array of instruments he added fuel to the fire that made the evening’s music exciting and kept the momentum climbing. The addition of Skoota Warner to the Hot Tuna lineup has been another great addition and he fits in the groove …… and actually creates quite a groove as he propels the rhythm to new heights. Aside from being a GREAT drummer, Skoota also possesses a wonderful smile and he sure looks like a man who enjoys his work……..and work it he does. A hotter then hot night at the Fur Peace Station as the home field advantage, the fans and the greatness of the Hot Tuna sounds all came together to create a night to remember!

Sunday morning and everyone is still talking about the show as we start our day with some fine Fur Peace Ranch coffee……the preferred…. Campfire Blend. It’s a nice Spring Sunday and the mood reflects that as we gather in the afternoon for our customary group photo and student performance. The student performance starts off magnificently and just climbs from there. Barry’s class……man, oh, man, he had a great group of students….. takes the stage and they perform a couple numbers as a group. I do believe the songs were…Vicksburg Stomp and Stompin at the Savoy… I mentioned, the caliber of Barry’s students was graduate school and their performance made that clear. The entire student performance had a super flow to it and the quality of the talent on that stage……on that afternoon……would have gotten Mr. Sullivan’s nod of approval. I got a chance to jump up and play a number with Stu and John B. Stu was on a repeat visit and we had decided to work out a song together. Stuart’s a very fine bass player and I suggested an old Animals tune….Don’t Bring Me Down…. and even suggested the opening bass riff …doo…doo..da..doo…doo…that Stu dubbed on for a bit before I came in with the opening chord. John B…….what can I say about this cat. It’s always great to see him and his brother here at the Ranch. Aside from them both having impeccable taste for vintage shirts they both have an arsenal of instruments that they like to bring out and say …..hey, check this out…..and their talent is high grade for sure. Well……John had earlier let it be known to me that he had an electric sitar with him….and with that announcement he was asked to join Stu and I. Well…….it was so cool when he came in with that sound……he also took the solo after the second verse and he turned the Fur Peace Station into the Psychedelic Shack….and we didn’t look back……but someone told us JK rose up out of his seat and did a couple twirls as he felt the vibe. The fine production team that brought us Fur Peace Ranch TV on You Tube is working on releasing that performance ……so…..keep an eye out for that one and while you’re at it enjoy all the great video clips that they have been posting. The STUDENT PERFORMANCE came to a fulfilling finale with that same John B. along with Bob D., Pete M., Professor Mitterhoff and the Victoria Barkley of guitar camps, Vanessa, performing Blue or Not, My Sweetie Gives To Me. It was the cream!!!

We all enjoyed another great feast that night as we dined on Homemade Pesto-Ricotta Ravioli, Garlic Bread, Organic Salad Greens and Brocollini……which they tell me is baby broccoli…..topped off with a Strawberry Napoleon. It was out of sight! Later that evening we were all treated to a wonderful concert……just for us… the very talented Mrs. Thompson. Marjorie treated us to a great set of her music and her performance was dynamic! The cheers from the ever appreciative student population brought MJ back for an encore….Poster Child for the Blues! The night was complete. We finished things off on Monday and as is always the case, broke camp at noon. Lots of smiles and good cheer as we bid a farewell to another great weekend !!! We are so blessed by the good folks that come through our gates……….the cup is full and we give thanks.

Jazzed Up At The FPR

We’ve put the wraps on another GREAT Fur Peace Ranch weekend. This was our first – big session camp weekend – here at the Ranch in the beautiful hills of SE Ohio. I say big session because not only did we have the Captain of the camp, Jorma, here teaching, but he was also joined by two real heavyweights in the music world…..Stefan Grossman and Larry Coryell. We had a great mix of
students that was predominately made up of “repeat offenders” along with some new students. I’m not usually aware of who will be coming to the Fur Peace on a camp weekend until the day before arrival. When I started to go through the list and cabin assignments…..I’m like….no way, wow, all my favorite people are coming in this weekend. As Debbie has pointed out to me….I do have lots of favorites, still the concentration was deep and strong. The new folks were all great as well and the combination was a beautiful thing. Sometimes I look at the Ranch as a microcosm and when I look around at all the fine folks that come through our doors…..I think how lucky I am……and I also think that if the world community had the energy, spirit, music and friends like we spend our time with in the course of a weekend……well, just lookout…..there would be no problems, no worries and alot of good music in the air.

We were so happy to have both, Stefan and Larry, back to the Ranch. Stefan is such a treat and a treasure!!! He is the consummate teacher and does alot to prepare for his class. He made up a nice instructional booklet just for his Fur Peace visit with 15 songs that he taught his students along with a CD. All respect Stefan……what a nice thought and great learning tool, and he gave one to each of his students.

Part of Stefan's FPR student pack

Part of Stefan's FPR student pack

Larry got down to the Ranch just in time to start his afternoon session. He had played up in Quebec the night before and had really done some hustling to get to the Ranch. He jumped right into things and got the place swinging. Jorma had a great class too! Lots of teaching and learning as our three professors worked diligently with their eager students.

Saturday night was our first concert in the 2010 concert series and what a way to kick off the season! We started things off in our usual manner with Vanessa and I taking the stage to greet the crowd and make some stage announcements. After we had said about all there was to say…..I prompted the entire audience into a stellar version of Happy Birthday in honor of Vanessa’s birthday as
the staff promenaded down the aisle with a birthday cake ….. candles a burnin….not that there were a bunch of them. The cake was delicious and they had spelled out the “Happy Birthday Vanessa” in red, gold and green……now I don’t know where they got that idea……but I dug it. Stefan took the stage and treated all to a fine hour of country blues guitar. He was in top form and you could tell he was enjoying the evening and the audience ……he had the whole house clapping through one song……until the stop spot came up……and he also got everyone to sing along to “My Creole Belle”. Brilliant fun is what this master spun during his set. Stefan as a young man learned his craft from the old Blues Masters of the day…… Rev. Gary Davis, Skip James, Son House, Mississippi John Hurt among others. He channeled them during his performance and added some colorful stories that were an added treat. The beautiful thing about hearing Stefan play or teach is that you feel the link from way back as he connects these early masters to the present day……..they left their treasures in good hands.

Larry Coryell took the stage after the intermission along with his bass player, Jonathan Wood and drummer Jun Saito and they came out swinging. Opening their set with Milt Jacksons, “Bags Groove”, they totally put us in the groove and the mood for a night of Jazz. In introducing Larry I declared that he is arguably Jazz’s greatest living guitarist and I would stand by that. His set was fantastic!!! He played one of my all time favorite Larry songs….”Dragons Gate” along with Thelonious Monk’s “Twinkle Tingle”…..we got to hear the Theme from Black Orpheus as well as his beautiful original ……named after his beautiful wife……”Tracie”. He also played a solo piece on acoustic guitar, “Bolero”, and one of our regulars came over to me and told me that alone was worth the price of admission. At the end of the night Stefan joined up with Larry for a fine jam!
Larry Coryell and Stefan Grossman share the stage for a rare encore

Larry Coryell and Stefan Grossman share the stage for a rare encore

What a night…….boy, we were all jazzed. Larry has such a nice way about him and he is also quite articulate…..He remarked to the audience how happy he was to return to the Fur Peace Ranch….. “Jorma’s castle of culture in the wilderness.” Yeah, Larry.

While I do try to give my blog the feel of a journal into a day in the life of…….I also will try to spice it up a bit from time to time with some precious information…..and here is some. Just about when I was saying my goodbye to Larry, I asked him….”What are your favorite three Jazz albums?”…..Now aside from having too many favorites, I also have a ton of records accumulated from my time in the business and a life long love of record collecting… these kind of things interest me…..and here they are: Wes MontgomeryIncredible Jazz Guitar of“, Bill Evans – “Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1” and Miles DavisMy Funny Valentine: Live at Lincoln Center“. Good stuff and a great time.

Sunday’s student performance was another winner. The variety and talent on the Fur Peace stage was staggering. BIG UP to all, cause it truly was all good. I was very happy that Brett E. asked me to play a song with him. He knows I’m a big Dylan fan and we decided to do ” I Shall be Released”. While running through it on Sunday morning Alan D. heard us and he was adding some nice sounds on his twelve string while sitting off to the side…..but he wasn’t out of ear range and we pulled him on in as a part of the performance. Now on top of this we added the fine sounds of Mitch’s accordion and Vanessa’s harmony vocal to make the song complete.
Hurl, Vanessa, Brett E, Alan D, Mitch R during Sunday's student performance

Hurl, Vanessa, Brett E, Alan D, Mitch R during Sunday's student performance

Come Sunday night……another treat……we all got to hear a brilliant and magnificent set from JORMA…..solo…..and just for us! I get to hear JK alot and although he always sounds great……he went past that this night. Alot of happy campers leaving the concert hall that night. Everyone was inspired and a group of students got a jam going that went into early morning. Everyone has left now…..but the groove remains……and many memories of another great weekend here at the Fur Peace.

Back in the groove again!

Well, we’re back at it once again here at the ole Fur Peace Ranch……just about to wrap up our first session of season number 13…..and it’s been a good one. This was one of the weekends we do a couple times a year where it is just Jorma and his trusty teaching assistant, Marjorie Thompson, passing on their knowledge in an intimate workshop setting…..only 10 students in the whole camp. It’s a great way for us to start a new season as it allows us to ease on in, before going full tilt boogie. We’re able to test the waters and make sure every thing is working and that we remembered all the things we do and I’d say that there is no doubt……we are back in the groove again. They were calling for storms all weekend, yet we were treated to a beautiful and sunny Friday before the storms did arrive. Still…..we never let weather dampen our spirits…..and it has been said…rain or shine it’s always a good time at the Fur Peace Ranch…..and it was. Jorma and Marjorie had a wonderful group of students and they were treated to some intensive and thoughtful workshop sessions. This arrangement also allows Jorma to give each and every student some one-on-one instruction and that is a priceless addition to the curriculum. Marjorie just loves teaching and she was always available to help with student’s individual needs as well as adding a session on the caged system for a bonus.

Aside from all the great teaching…..the kitchen staff was dynamite as were the meals they so lovingly prepare. Chef Chris……maximum respect to that dude…..he was on top of his game right from the get go and the meals were just better then ever…..and they’ve always been top shelf. Queen Deb is still here with us and aside from the help she provides in the kitchen she always adds a nice touch to the presentation……the food doesn’t only taste great….the way it is served and the way the dining room is set up is great too. Brenda…..the cookie lady……was in prime form too……and the cookies and cakes (especially that angel food cake and pistachio cake) were nothing short of bombastic fantastic!!! On Friday night we had for dinner a wonderful penne pasta with smoked salmon….on Saturday night we had ribs with sweet potatoes fries and scalloped potatoes……and cornbeef made from scratch for Sunday lunch, followed by a pistachio chicken with organic raspberry sauce for dinner. All these fine meals were accompanied by some wonderful side dishes and organic salads. Yes……we’re eating well!

The days here at camp are busy, with learning and eating filling up the schedule. Each night we had some real special happenings as well. On Saturday night Jorma performed a very intimate “Living Room Concert” for the students in attendance. We set up one of the Library rooms for the concert and it was just like being in a nice living room. We had folks sitting on the couch and easy chair……and some enjoyed a nice spot on the floor with some pillows to provide comfort. Jorma put on a heck of a great show and he also put together a wonderful setlist for the occasion….It went like this…..True Religion….Too Many Years (nice to hear this back in the mix)……Come Back Baby…..Things That Might Have Been (one of JK’s newest compositions that has been really growing on me)…..There’s a Bright Side Somewhere……Nine Pound Hammer……Izze’s Lullaby……Search My Heart……Uncle Sam’s Blues……Follow the Drinking Gourd……What are they Doin in Heaven Tonight……River of Time……Death Don’t Have no Mercy…..and Let Us Get Together.

Jorma's living room performance

Jorma's living room performance

You see what I mean? …..a fantastic set only surpassed by the fine delivery from the Captain! Another very cool aspect of this evening’s show was that it was totally unplugged… mics and no cords and I sure like that …….for several reasons. Very cool night and very special time!!!!

Saturday night was another special one too. For the second part of our “Living Room Concert Series” we were treated to a wonderful performance from Ms. Marjorie Thompson!!! Always good to see and have Marjorie around the Ranch and she played a wonderful show for us all. Marjorie performed in the same format as JK…..unplugged and acoustic….and her set had a fine continuity to it which showcased material from several of the 6 CDs in her discography. She performed songs from her just released CD…Good, Fast and Cheap and they are some of her strongest compositions. Marjorie’s set went like this……Weather Report…….Poster Child……So Long……Clean My House……She Loves You…..Too Old to Care…….Angels…….Good, Fast and Cheap…….Spirit Train……and Old Timers. A real nice night of music and a dynamic performance from Marjorie.
Marjorie performs in the living room

Marjorie performs in the living room

Well……The students are in the workshop building doing their last morning session before we break camp……it’s been a great weekend and I’m taking that to be an auspicious sign…..I ‘m going to have to wrap this journal entry up for now……but in closing I’ll add……Aside from the good eating…..the great lessons ….and great shows……we also had a wonderful student performance. We were able to do the student performance as a round robin….everyone in a big circle and everyone playing a song when it came their way. We went around that circle three times and man, oh, man……it was a lot of fun……The Student Performance was another really big show!!!

All this and a fellowship of friends and musicians that is down right good for the soul…….Bless Up!

. . . Here We Go Again . . .

Well it’s been real nice here at the Fur Peace Ranch this week as we all scurried about getting ready for the upcoming season. Yes, some nice warm and sunny weather……brought directly back from California….has been a big plus in creating the perfect environment for us to get everything done around here.

The outside grounds are looking real nice with Brother Jeroch putting his special touch on the landscape. The Tibetan Prayer Flags that hang at various spots throughout the Ranch have been replenished. The CD order has come in and the CD case in the Company Store is now full once again. The Library Building, which houses the Co. Store, a classroom and a second floor musical resource library has brand new carpet and Kelly has also given the walls a nice new coat of paint.

The Company Store sparkling with new carpet and paint!

The Company Store sparkling with new carpet and paint!

The truck driver from the local rock quarry has just left after spreading TWO truck loads of crusher run rock on our long driveway…..he’s done a nice job.The fresh shipment of Fur Peace Ranch Campfire Coffee …..just roasted on Tuesday…..was dropped off by Loraine from Silver Bridge Coffee. The entire kitchen staff has been in all week making sure everything they need for the start of our season is on the shelves and in the cupboards.

Yes, indeed …….Year #13 for the Fur Peace Ranch will commence tomorrow with the arrival of students for Jorma’s Special Weekend, with Marjorie Thompson and the Captain teaching the finer points of Finger Style Guitar that will give the students keys to the fingerstyle highway.

It’s funny……most of our employees have been here for a long time……long enough that we can all joke about how we wait till the last minute to finish things off. But you know what……I’m OK with it and I’d guess we all are……it has become our modus operandi… we all work good in a pinch and under pressure. As we get ready to leave for the day and look around this beautiful place that we call the Fur Peace Ranch…it is looking great and we’re ready….everything on the list…….ok, well almost everything……has been crossed off. So………….let the workshops begin and all the good times and good eating that come with them……it’ll be nice to see our people again.

Good Time In The Golden State

Dis mornin I woke up and was thinking about what a full and action packed time these last few weeks have been. Yes, it was just three weeks ago that I escaped the cold snowy Ohio winter for a reprieve in the golden state. The weather here has been just the best and the sun and warmth has been good for my soul, but there has been a good deal of other things pitching in as well. Of course MUSIC is and has been for a long time a big part of my life and these past weeks have been a nice dip or should I say soaking in the musical springs.

On the day we landed here in San Diego, Vanessa, my sister – Marylou and her husband – John, and I made a dash into downtown San Diego to catch the great Tommy Emmanuel in concert. I had been telling ML and John about Tommy for some time and it was so cool how well the timing worked. Well, Tommy was in prime form and they were just knocked out. For Vanessa and I the nice thing was getting to sit and enjoy a complete set of Tommy’s magical performance without being pulled away. It was just fantastic….his show covers it all in gold…The Merle Travis style……Chet Atkins….Les PaulDjango Reinhart and his own original gems. The music is accompanied by amazing stories and energy. Thanks a lot Tommy!

Over the next couple of days we hung around San Diego and did some chillaxin. My sister had everyone over for a pasta and meatball dinner on Friday night and everything was VA BENNE!!! My Italian Mom is and would be proud of her. My niece Brittany has a penchant for fine deserts and she made a cheesecake that was fantastic. Good eating tonight….Jorma put the icing on the cake with a beautiful Embryonic Journey that added a touch of surrealism to the evening. It is still sustaining in their living room. The next night Jorma did a rare private performance for some real nice folks in the San Diego area. Seeing Jorma perform solo is rare too these days and it made it all the more special….back to the roots. A big up to the hosts of this fine time…..your hospitality and good vibes really made for another great time.

Sunday comes and we’re convoying up the 15 heading to the Desert Hot Springs for our FPR on the road adventure. We pull into town a little early for check-in so we while away our time with a killer lunch at The South of the Border Mexican Restaurant. Fernando, the owner, is still here and the food exceeded our anticipation and boy did we have that. We’ve eaten there several times each of the last three years we’ve come this way and what can I say…’s so good it’s almost worth drivng here from Ohio. Suerte, Fernando…..keep it coming. The day ended with a nice soak in the mineral hot springs at the Resort….making sure the waters were perfect for our guests coming in on Monday for the workshops.

Come Monday….GE and I start the day with an early morning drive out to the Indian Canyons on the edge of Palm Springs. We hike into Palm Canyon which is a part of the Aqua Caliente Indian Reservation. The Cahuilla people have been stewards of this sacred land for centuries. We don’t see anyone except the tribal rangers until we start our walk back. The land is so peaceful and beautiful….we note the absolute silence other then the morning birds and ramblin stream…. and think what a perfect way to begin this day. We drive back to the spa and I spend some time in the hot springs and the big swimming pool. Later in the afternoon our people start to arrive and before long we’re orientating and having dinner. GE and JK decide to kick things off with a class that night.

The Captain and his class

The Captain and his class -photo: Joe Couri

Tuesday sets the pattern for what will be a very full week. The day consists of breakfast…workshop…lunch….workshop…..dinner …….workshop… and some time to also relax in the waters. We are being treated to some beautiful weather the whole time we are at the Resort. The temps are in the high 70s and low 80s and the clear sky affords us a nice view of the San Jacinto Mountains. Nights are clear with a bunch of stars in the sky and an occasional passing of a Correlian Star Cruiser…..class three.

We start our Wednesday very early as a group of us have made plans to catch Jah sun rise out on highway 74 at the vista point. Vanessa and Joe C. drive 10 of us out of the Resort at 5:20 am for our adventure.

Early morning flight crew

Early morning flight crew -photo: Joe Couri

A little light is starting to show as we make our way up the mountain ……. And then more and more light…….then the real star arrives to bath the sky in colors. The Salton Sea, some 40 miles away, reflects the colors back to the heavens. The day is off to a great start and it would only get better and better.
Sun Rise over the Sultan Sea

Sun Rise over the Sultan Sea -photo: Joe Couri

That night after dinner, GE and JK treat us all to a wonderful show in the Grand Ballroom. The show would prove a good starting point for the week plus of shows that GE and JK have scheduled for the west coast once the workshops are finished…..but let me not get ahead of myself here.
Jorma and GE Smith performance

Jorma and GE Smith performance -photo: Joe Couri

Thursday is another full day and we’re all looking forward to the really big show that night. My FPR associates and I always find great joy in the Student Performance that we usually do on Sundays at the Ranch….and it would be no different here at our workshops in the California desert. The Student Performance is just like an open stage except for….as JK notes…..we all like each other. That night we were treated to some great music and entertainment, as solo performers……newly formed duos…..GE’s
GE's class recital - Acoustic Guitarmaggadon

GE's class recital - Acoustic Guitarmaggadon -photo: Joe Couri

class (boy, oh, boy …can that Neil sing) and other singers and players of instruments took the stage.  Everyone brought something to the show….Marc got us going….Anne and Bob did my song…. I mean their song….my request…..and John D. never stopped …. following through to the delight of all…..respect my man! I got a chance to take the stage tree times. Joe C. and I did a nice version of The Weight, hitting the harmonies and sharing verses….when we got to the third AND, and the chorus……everybody was there. Next, I got a chance to play with my buddy Norm for a take on Dylan’s She Belongs To Me. GE joined us and played some nice and tasty leads. We were about ready to wrap things up, when I asked Vanessa if she wanted to do our song. Back at camp in Ohio we have closed many a Student Performance together with the Tim Hardin song Seems Like A Long Time. I first heard the song on a Brewer and Shipley record called Tarkio Road….it’s the same one with One Toke Over The Line on it and Rod Stewart also did a nice version of it on one of his early records….Well as we head for the stage here comes Izze right behind Vanessa and up onto the stage to share the microphone with her Mom.
Izze's open stage performance

Izze's open stage performance -photo: Joe Couri

Izze was the greatest….I’m not kidding…..hitting the harmony notes and starting and stopping at precisely the right moments. As I looked at Vanessa on my right and then turned to Jorma on my left….it was hard to decide who had the biggest
smile… was one of those golden moments. GE was there to accent the song with some delicately beautiful guitar work. So we call it a night and everyone in the room is feeling the love as we bring the performance to a close. THANKS TO EVERYONE….what a night. A group of us meet over in one of the hot pools for a late night soak and session….wait a minute……who’s that comin……it’s Captain Jorm jumping in.

We all have a nice breakfast and the teachers wrap up the week’s workshops with one more session before we all get ready to head out. We sure had a great time!!! We’re on the road just after 11:00 am as we are trying to beat it on down the line to Santa Monica before the traffic gets too crazy…..and we do. We check into a nice hotel right by the Santa Monica Pier and not too far from McCabes Guitar Shop, where Jorma and GE will be playing four soldout shows over the next two nights. Check out Jorma’s Diary for set-lists and a full report. What I will tell you is that I was so glad to be there to see the amazing music that poured forth from these two great guitarist and long time friends. GE has been coming to the Ranch since the very beginning and JK and him have had many an occasion to do some playing, but this was their first tour as a duo. Each show got better and better and during the course of those four shows ….not a song was repeated. The format was very organic….so don’t panic….with both players swapping songs and stories into the night. JK would add some nice lead work to GE’s song choice and GE would respond in kind. One of my friends wrote me after seeing them in Santa Cruz and said it was like seeing two friends jamming at their house and getting invited over to listen.

Sunday morning I say my farewell to the guys for now….it sure was fun…..they’re driving up to San Francisco and I’m heading over to Glendale to see an old friend. My friend lives just a couple of miles from the Gene Autry Museum and we head over there to have a visit. The museum is fantastic….they have an open stage going on with a large group of Cowboy singers and Cowgirls too… singing out. There is also a Western Artists Show going on and my favorite Western Artist, Howard Terpning has won first prize with the beautiful oil painting Sound of Bugles in the Distance. The original is on display and I’m in amazement with how life like his images are…..very cool. We go through all of the many displays of Gene Autry memorabilia and Cowboy culture of the old west. Later in the afternoon I make the drive across town to Long Beach for the 29th Annual Ragamuffin Reggae Festival. The lineup is top shelve and I have a very irie time listening to the mighty…Mighty Diamonds….Coco Tea….and a long time favorite…Gregory Isaacs. Gregory, the cool ruler, has been around for a long time and although he’s looking older and rougher then when I saw him on the beach in Negril in 85.…his performance is Super Irie and he’s hitting all the notes…..with sustain….oh, what a feeling……he stretches out on all his big numbers. I left the arena super stoked to drive back to the hotel.

Morning comes and I drive Izze and her Mom over to LAX and then I start my drive down to my sister’s place in San Diego. No one will be home until late in the afternoon so I decide to take my time and cut over to the Pacific Coast Highway around Oceanside. The drive is beautiful and I’m really diggin the sights. I make a long stop in Encinitas, again one of my favorites, for a nice long walk from Swami’s Beach all the way to Moonlight Beach and back. It was just one of those days…..Bless and Bless again.

After several days back in San Diego doing fun things with all family members…sunsets, beach walks, hiking, good eating and other things….I fly up to San Francisco for the weekend to visit some old pals. I’m there less then two days….but we find time for some good live music out on the town. On Saturday night we catch an exciting concert with Niko Vega and Soundtracks of our Lives. I wasn’t hip to either of these groups, but really glad my buddy was and that he had grabbed us some tickets….it was sold out. The music was primal rock and roll and I dug it.

Tomorrow I’m flying back to Ohio. It has been a great time here in California and as you can see…..I’ve caught some great music. This afternoon as I sat in my sister’s backyard the birds that have been singing sweetly throughout my visit, sang a beautiful farewell song…..and I thought…’s been great, now it’s time to get back to Meigs County, Ohio and get the Ranch ready for our opening weekend.

Happy Lunar New Year!

Happy Lunar New Year!
I had wanted to get a post up before the New Year and I see I just made it…..The Chinese and Lunar New Year starts on Feb. 14th.  For all those who have already been celebrating ….Happy New Year!  Here we are in the year of 2010… seems like it was only yesterday we were fretting over Y2K….yes, the time is moving fast.  Some folks are calling this year two thousand and ten…..I heard Lester Holt refer to it as Twenty – Ten… good friend and FPR alumni, Leon “The Lion”  has called it Two-Thousand and Zen… I really like that.  We finished off last year blazing and when we all looked back at the year in perspective,  we just had to give THANKS for the blessings that came our way.  We’ve been having a good and productive down-time here at the Ranch……but I wouldn’t be kidding a bit to tell ya that we’re all looking forward to kicking off our 13th Season here at the Fur Peace.  I’m heading to California in the morning.  Flying out to San Diego and then we’re driving up to the Desert Hot Springs for our FPR On The Road Workshop at the Miracle Springs Resort.  To say that I am looking forward to the trip……well,  that’s for sure….we’ve been having an oppressive winter here in Ohio with lots of snow and cold, cold, cold temps.  There was a point in January where for two weeks we never got above freezing…..20′s for a high and single digits at night.  The cold weather has kept the snow in place and this is the most snow we’ve had in some years.  Right now as I write the snow is continuing to come down and the cold won’t let up.  I’ve heard more then one person say….enough already.  But……what are you gonna do…….this is winter time in the mid-west.
Hurl outside his office

Hurl outside his office - anyone for frisbee?

Everyone is doing fine around the Ranch.  Miss Kitty has been staying warm in my office during the days and in her nice cat-house at night.  I imagine all my blog readers have been checking out Vanessa’s blog……as she noted in her most recent blog……we’ve been having some great lunches together and the sharing of soup and fellowship has been warming to the heart.  I’ll tell you what……that Vanessa can make a nice soup.  We all have been taking turns in the kitchen and I’ve got to send a BIG UP out to Brett…..Vanessa’s Assistant…..he too can make some good soup….only surpassed by the great bread he has been making from scratch and bringing in to compliment the soup of the day.  Let us not forget Ms. Kelly….the lady who runs the Co. store…..she’s been bringing in some vital vittles as well.  So even though it has been cold and nasty weather……we’re eating good ……breaking bread……and remembering to give thanks.

Now that Jorma……boy, oh boy…..he’s been busy as ever.  He was in for our soup lunch at the end of last week and we got to catch up a bit.  I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Jorma /  David Bromberg Tour that just finished up. Jorma said all but one of the shows were completely sold-out…..YEAH!  It doesn’t come as too much of a surprise as we have been privileged here at the Ranch with Jorma and Dave doing a show together each of the last couple of years.  They have a great dynamic on stage… that comes from years of friendship……and a gigantic amount of talent…..they have a mutual respect that is understated and a joy for life that is contagious.  I’m glad this show went on the road so that others can enjoy and see Jorma and David…..alone and together.  Check out Jorma’s Tour Page for future Jorma and Dave dates scheduled in the Spring.

After our session at the Miracle Hot Springs……fellow instructor and guitar master……GE Smith will join Jorma for a string of dates on the west coast.  This will be another cool run of shows and Jorma and GE have a nice dynamic as well….not to be missed.  The word is that GE has become a member of the ELECTRIC HOT TUNA line-up and that is a win for everybody!

Now in closing……and speaking of wins……I want to give a BIG UP to the city of New Orleans and it’s New Orleans Saints.  I don’t get to watch much football during the season…..but once the playoffs start….I’m on it.  Of course I was disappointed that my Cleveland Browns didn’t make it this year……the disappointment has been long-term……but the post season games have been just great!  By the time it got to the last four teams…..well, heck…..any of them could have been the champions.  But the title goes to the Saints and maximum respect to them, their city and their fans!  And while I’m talking about champs and winning………A BIG….BIG…..UP to my true brother Spencer Bohren who was awarded the BLUES FOUNDATION’S KEEPING THE BLUES ALIVE AWARD in EDUCATION!!!!  Spencer you are a true treasure and a great teacher and the award is so deserving !!!!!!  Yes……lots of good things are happening……it’s feeling like another pennant season.
Bless Up!

Sweet Second Week at the Full Moon

For our second week at the Full Moon Resort we were actually treated to a full moon and it looked just incredible castings it’s light across the grounds as I headed from  the fire circle back to my room in the Morning Star Lodge.  The second week of our Fur Peace on the Road workshops was every bit as great as the first week……and that says alot.  It was a bit different…..Jorma was the sole teacher and he had a nice class of 10 students.  There was no one else at the Full Moon, so we had the place to ourselves.  The student count was evenly divided between repeat offenders and first timers.  One of our …..we’re so happy to see you again……repeaters was Bob Doherty and it was great to see Bob along with his wife Carol at the Full Moon in Big Indian.  Bob liked the just over two hour drive from NYC better then the long trip to Ohio…….but that wasn’t the only thing.  He really summarized our Full Moon trip when he said……”I’ve been to the Ranch 25 times and this week has been every bit as special.”   We have such a special thing going on at the Fur Peace Ranch and the good news is that we have been able to bring the spirit of Fur Peace with us for these “On the Road” workshops.  Several of the students all said the right thing…….”This food is great……not as great as the Fur Peace kitchen, but still great.”  Yes, indeed,  we like to hear that kind of report and I was glad to relay it to Queen Deb and King Chris. 
For the second week, the relentless rains gave us a partial break and it was nice to see and feel the sun. The first day the rains came down so hard on the metal roof in the barn deluxe, where JK was teaching, so we moved the class up into the Performance Space.  This worked out great as the room served as a classroom, jam room, practice space and it was where we took the stage for the student performance.  The student performance was nothing less then spectacular……there were many special moments. Bob D.  got pressed into service several times and did a great job every time!!!  Nick had Bob join him on mandolin for a couple old fiddle tunes that were very authentically played……you definitely got that old time feel…..Bob also accompanied Jill on an angelic version of “Don’t Think Twice….”  and I too was able to persuade him to add some pretty mandolin to one of my favorite Gram Parsons tunes….”Hickory Wind.”   I must give a BIG UP to my friend Collin Rocker who played one of his fine originals…”Soggy Dollar Blues”……at my request.  Collin is the fine son of Jon and Lori Rocker and they are one beautiful family.  Collin’s playing has been progressing at a nice pace, and his songwriting is keeping right up with the playing.  I’m feeling a John Prine vibe and that couldn’t be anything but a good thing.  Another “young gun” Eli performed a couple nice pieces….one slow and one fast…both with alot of taste.  Another highlight came at the end of the performance…….Vanessa Kaukonen joined me on stage to play one of our perennial favorites…..the great Tim Hardin  song…..”Seems Like a Long Time.”  Like alot of the songs I play, I’ve been playing that song forever and love it just as much as when I learned it.  When the chorus came around most everyone was singing it with us…..very powerful ……and if that wasn’t enough…..Izze was right there sitting with Mom being the great girl she is…..I look into the near future and can hear her throwing in a nice harmony.   So……Yes…..the student performance was a great time!!!
We had another treat coming at us later and I’m not just talking about the great pesto coated salmon that was served for dinner that night……At about 8:00 pm we all joined up in the living room / reception area of the Valley View House for a TRUE living room concert with Jorma and a very special guest…..Happy Traum.   Now Happy is an old friend of Jorma’s and the two of them played just like you would expect two old friends to play…..considerate, respectful,  joyful and with alot of good cheer.  JK started things off with a song that never grows old….”That’ll Never Happen No More”  and he ended the 90 minute set with an eternal version of “Re-enlistment Blues.”  The vibe in the room was relaxed and special…..could it be the ambiance of this 100 year old house or the comfort of having several parlor couches to sit on?  Without mics and amps …….and in this wonderful setting… was a living room concert to set the standard by.  So the laid back 30 miles from Woodstock feel came through as Jorma and Happy traded songs …..sometimes joining in accompaniment ….and at other times just listening with a big smile on their face.  Happy is a true American Treasure and it was great to hear him play.  A long time ago he played with Bob Dylan and he has a great way of interpreting a Dylan song….in fact the last time he was at the FPR to teach he taught ….”Classic Bob Dylan Songs for Fingerstlye Arrangements”. So….you get the picture. Well,  the Captain himself, JORMA, requested that Happy do “Buckets of Rain”……and Happy said he would be happy or should I say glad to play that request, but first ……he had a different Bob song to play…..Well, next came a version of “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You”  that brought wonder to us all.  We sure had us a good time at the Valley View House that night and I sure hope that good feeling will be staying with me for a long time to come.  After the show all the campers were fired up……more fire!!……and we headed over to the Performance Space for a late night jam session.  Much like the week before….we sat in a big circle and everyone took turns picking songs and playing parts and to say it was a whole heap of fun and talent a blazin …….well, that is about right.
So before you know it ……it’s Friday and we’re wrapping up two weeks at the Full Moon Resort.  We all say our goodbyes and secret handshakes are exchanged…..I could be sad to say bye……but instead I’m happy to have got to say hi…..we sure had a great time!!!  Jorma is still the Road Warrior that he has been for all these years on the road and he takes control of the kon and points it towards Ohio……. Southeast Ohio to be exact …..and we’re off.  Twelve hours later ……the Kaukonens are dropping me off in my driveway.  I’m tired but still ablaze with the joy of a good road trip with a very special family of friends….. Izze you are the best……a joy to travel with……. and you know what…..the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree!!!!   Give Thanks!

Miracle Hot Springs…..Here we come….

I’m really looking forward to starting off the New Year right….. and what better way to do just that then a trip to California. I’ll be heading that way early next week. I’m spending a few days with family around San Diego before heading over to Desert Hot Springs, California where the Fur Peace Ranch (FPR) will be conducting two weeks of workshops at the wonderful and beautiful Miracle Springs Resort and Spa. This Fur Peace Ranch on the Road adventure will be a return trip to the Miracle Springs. We held workshops at this very special place in February of 08 and it worked out so well we just had to do it

We have a nice workshop schedule for the two weeks we are there….. the first session ..January 12 – 16….has Roy Book Binder teaching along with Jorma, who will be joined by his TA extraordinaire…..Marjorie Thompson. For the second week of workshops, January 19 – 23, Jorma will be joined by GE Smith, who will be teaching his first ACOUSTIC class for FPR. As of this writing there are still a few open spots in these classes. While Jorma’s class is FULL for the first session, Roy has recently had a couple of cancellations……. so he has room for two more students to sign up for his workshop. For the second week of workshops, both Jorma and GE have two spaces open in their classes as well. I know this posting doesn’t allow alot of time for planning, but sometimes things do work out on the fly, so……. if you have found yourself with some extra vacation time or in need of a retreat from the cold and dreary winter weather this might be just what the bushdoctor ordered. Details on these classes can be found on the FPR Special Events page.

I just want to say a few things about what a great time we had at the Miracle Springs Resort (MSR) on our last adventure. First off, MSR is in a fantastic location. Nestled in the foothills, not far from the Joshua Tree National Park, the MSR overlooks scenic Palm Springs and the California desert’s Coachella Valley. The Resort is surrounded by the San Jacinto Mountains which offer a wonderful view……you can gaze across the desert floor and let it carry you to the top of the mountains snow -covered peaks.

While you enjoy the spectacular view you can soak your cares away in one of the eight natural hot mineral pools on the Resorts grounds. Of course, you won’t want to skip class and you won’t have to ….. these mineral pools as well as the big swimming pool are open 24 hours. Last year I really enjoyed a late night soak beneath the star filled skies before heading back to the room for a good night’s sleep. The mineral pools are cool…and I don’t mean in temperature….the Resort sits on top of a aquifer that is 300 feet deep and the water rises up at a steamy 140 degrees…. it is cooled and pumped into the eight pools and spas at the hotel. Take a virtual tour.

The hotel is very nice and was a perfect fit to what we like to provide for our students venturing to the FPR in Ohio. Each student is checked into their own spacious guest room with private patio and panoramic view. The hotel is meticulously maintained and the grounds offer a nicely landscaped courtyard for relaxing. The Grand Ballroom at the hotel is where workshops are held and where we also eat our meals three times a day. Now as anyone knows who has been to the FPR before…….food, and good quality food is an important part of our camp experience. You will find that same regard for great food here at the Resort as well. The MSR’s staff is also very friendly and accommodating. So….. you see why I am so stoked about our FPR on the Road Workshops. I’m looking forward to seeing some of our Fur Peace Repeat Offenders and meeting some new folks. One thing for sure – you’re going to have an experience of a lifetime and a great time. The workshops will give you the opportunity to study with some real masters ….. and the Miracle Springs Resort will give you a perfect vacation spot to relax and rejuvenate.