Ira H Weiss Dds Msd

Thursday, 24. July 2014

Ira H Weiss, DDS, MSD Reviews


Beachwood
3755 Orange Pl
Average Rating: 5 out of 5 (1 Reviews)

Review by Jen M.
At the ripe age of 39 I decided that my bottom teeth had shifted enough to warrant some type of movement device to put my teeth back in perfect alignment….
Rating: 5

Jay Honda Reviews


Bedford
175 Broadway Ave
Average Rating: 4 out of 5 (3 Reviews)

Review by Christy L.
Excellent service yesterday from Ira! He was funny, fast and ready to make a deal. He was able to give us the best offer between 3 dealers. Loved the…
Rating: 5



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How To Increase The Productivity

Thursday, 24. July 2014


There are many different reasons for starting up or intensifying your physical fitness program, but among the most popular are to enhance one’s appearance, increase their overall level of health, and to prolong and improve the quality of their life. Use the information found in these tips to get started with your new plan.

Whatever fitness routine you choose, be sure to include cardio-vascular exercise. Staying heart and lung healthy is extremely important, and a cardio workout will do just that for your body. Try to do 30 minutes of cardio or aerobic exercise at least 3 times a week. This can take the form of running, biking, using a treadmill or elliptical trainer, or swimming. Remember not to overdo it. If you find yourself short of breath, you should take a break until your heart rate slows down.

If you’re trying to bulk up, start out by going until you can’t go anymore and then having two cups of chocolate milk. Sounds simple, but a group of those just beginning were studied and it was found that training “to failure” caused a weight gain of 5 pounds in 2 months, but only if followed by a supplement.

A high calorie diet will allow for you to fully utilize your workout. You will be using the calories to provide energy and make your workout last longer. This will allow your muscles to grow because the intense workout causes small tears and once healed makes the muscles stronger and also increase in size.

No matter what your schedule is, make time for exercise. Now this doesn’t mean that you have to be able to make it to the gym each and every day. Just make sure that you are getting some movement in every day, whether that’s a walk at your lunch break, playing with the kids at the park or doing an exercise video before bed. Make a commitment to move your body every day.

Climbing trees can be an excellent way to improve fitness. When one climbs up and down trees frequently they are building muscle in areas all over their body. The upper body such as the arms and shoulders benefit from pulling the individual upwards. The lower body benefits from pushing the individual toward the top. It is rewarding and fun.

Making up your own workout routine is a great way to stay in shape without having to join a gym. The equipment that you use in a gym simply replicates activities that you might do on your own. Don’t have a step climber? Find some stairs that people don’t usually use.

Get some sunshine and fresh air! It’s easy to succumb to boredom and become completely inactive when we are always confined to the inside. Make an attempt to get outside for at least a few minutes every day. It will improve your mood and greatly increase your likelihood of exercising.

To reduce acid reflux through your diet, eat plenty of plant proteins. Plant proteins are easy to digest, and have been shown to improve the function of the muscles normally effected by reflux. Examples of plant proteins include lentils, whole grains, and hazelnuts. Try eating a small plant protein snack 30 minutes before your meal.

Increase the size of your back by performing break cable rows in two portions. Begin the rows by grabbing the bar with your arms outstretched and making sure you are squeezing both of your shoulder blades together. After that, begin pulling the bar towards your body for maximum results to your back.

You should stop using a weight belt when performing most lifting exercises. Over time, a weight belt will weaken your abs and lower-back muscles. The only times that you should wear a weight belt is when you perform large lifts, such as squats, deadlifts and overhead presses.

Bench pressing is the thing that many people define as the exercise that shows how strong you are. Everyone wants to know how to bench press more. A good tip is to look at the hand that you are dominant in while you are lifting up the bar.

To build stronger abdominal muscles, don’t overdo it. You don’t want to do abdominal exercises every day of the week. Just like the other muscles in your body, your abs need to rest between workouts. Do your abdominal workout, just two or three days a week for the best results.

Your neck can receive quite a bit of strain when doing crunches. Try to remember to place your tongue against the roof of the mouth while doing them. This should help with your head alignment and keep it properly set in place while minimizing the stress to the neck area.

A great way to build up the muscles in your legs is to perform squats. Squats can be an essential part of any work out, but they have to be performed correctly. If they are not performed correctly, you might end up injuring yourself and not getting the best workout.

If you are looking to run faster, try lifting more weights. Studies have shown that experienced runners who also lift weights were able to increase their 5k times by up to 30 seconds. It is important to know that this tip should only be used for professional or experienced runners.

You can better your running skills and increase your speed by maintaining good running form. This consists of looking ahead naturally (not down at your feet!), a loose upper body (with shoulders low, not raised), and a quick, short stride. You should land softly on the middle of your foot and roll the foot forward. Without unnecessary tension in your body, you will be able to maintain a running pace for longer distances and time.

Now that you have identified your key motivation for starting up or stepping up a comprehensive fitness program, you can take some time to plan out and visualize your most effective approach and contingency plan. Use these tips and tricks as you push yourself to beat the obstacles and win your way to physical fitness.

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Japan Mint Set Unc

Wednesday, 23. July 2014

Finance on eBay:

1970 Japan Mint Set – UNC In Mint Bureau, Ministry Of Finance, Folder

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Personal Finance (5th Edition) (The Personal Series in Finance)

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BMW : 3-Series 330Ci Convertible 2001 BMW 330Ci 5spd Manual Convertible Clean Carfax Serviced Financing Warranty

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William Ackman Everything You Need

Wednesday, 23. July 2014

William Ackman: Everything You Need to Know About Finance and Investing in Under an Hour

William Ackman: Everything You Need to Know About Finance and Investing in Under an Hour. WILLIAM ACKMAN, Activist Investor and Hedge-Fund Manager We all wan…

True Story │JP Morgan │ Finance (Documentary) │

It was the eighteen hundred’s, America was growing and vast financial empires were being built. Into this area of opportunity one powerful man emerged, man w…

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Josh Abbott Band

Wednesday, 23. July 2014

Josh Abbott Band

Event on 2014-08-09 21:00:00

with Adam Craig, Rich O'Toole
A mere 57 seconds into the opening track of the Josh Abbott Band's She's Like Texas, you're likely to be hooked. One intro, one verse and one chorus are pretty much all that's required to recognize something special in the Texas-based act.The winding riffs that open "Road Trippin" have a weighty Southern-rock air about them, though the actual instrumentation-fiddler Preston Wait and guitarist Gabe Hanson breeze through the lines in unison-hints faintly at the western-swing heritage deep in their Texas roots. Bass player Daniel Almodova and drummer Edward Villanueva set a powerful, chugging rhythmic foundation that walks the line between commercial country and raw honky tonks.And Josh Abbott-the founder, lead singer and chief songwriter for the ensemble-evinces a slight Steve Earle character: breathy, fiery, intense.Those initial sounds set the tone for She's Like Texas, the sophomore album from the Lonestar State's best-kept secret. The project is deceptively simple in its approach, built around honest songs about real-life emotions with strong harmonies and winsome melodic hooks.But it's complex in its results. There's a joyfulness in the sonic foundations of "All Of A Sudden," "Brushy Creek" and "If You're Leaving (I'm Coming Too)," an ease in the de-stressing "Hot Water," a philosophical bent in the folksy "End Of A Dirt Road" and a reflective sadness in the closing ballad "Let My Tears Be Still."There are so many emotions tied into the album that the listener is guaranteed to feel something."The most important idea that I write songs with is that they're autobiographical," Abbott says. "Nearly every song I write is a true story of mine, or of someone I know."That truthfulness breeds passion for the material. And that passion comes through in the performances, both in the recording studio and on stage. It's why the Josh Abbott Band has quickly become a Texas institution, selling out many of its shows in the region-and why its talents can't be confined for long to the Lonestar State.Texas has its own sound within country, and acts have been able to make a living inside its borders while the rest of the U.S. looked the other way. But the walls that once separated the state's multi-genre sound from country's mainstream dropped for many of its most important acts in the last decade. After more than 15 years as a live Lonestar mainstay, Jack Ingram won the Academy of Country Music's Top New Male Vocalist award in 2008. The rough-and-tumble Randy Rogers Band claimed a pair of Top 10 country albums, Pat Green picked up a trio of Grammy nominations, and the Eli Young Band broke into country's Top 15 singles chart for the first time in 2009."Those guys paid their dues by playing a lot of venues where they probably got paid 0 and a case of beer," Abbott notes. "Texas music wasn't really being played on the radio very much. But now because of the hard work of all those guys, over time, it's become kind of its own genre and now all the stations in Texas and Oklahoma play it, and it's been able to create a whole new environment of music for us."It was that very environment that bred the Josh Abbott Band in the first place. While studying communications and political science at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Abbott and his Phi Delta Theta comrades frequently partied at the Blue Light Live, a downtown club on Buddy Holly Avenue that's been a linchpin for such hard-scrabble acts as Cross Canadian Ragweed, Wade Bowen and Golden Globe nominee Ryan Bingham.During one Blue Light visit with a couple of friends around 2004, Abbott saw the Randy Rogers Band for the first time. He would never be the same."It was packed," he remembers. "I watched them play and how they moved on the stage, how they sang their songs, and how they connected with the audience. I literally looked at my friend-and this is the story she tells to this day to her friends-and I said, 'I think I can do that.' She was like, 'What are you talkin' about ?' I said, 'I think I can be that guy on stage, singing and writing songs that people connect with. I think that I can do that.' She was like, 'Well, go do it.' That night or the next day, I started writing country songs."After doing a few acoustic open-mic nights at the Blue Light, Abbott and three frat buddies formed a complete band and started playing the club, where they were greeted by a full house their first night. Word spread quickly about the Josh Abbott Band, and soon they were opening shows for the acts they were trying to emulate: Cory Morrow, Pat Green and Robert Earl Keen, among them.Naturally, the early set lists were dominated by cover songs, but Abbott quickly realized any long-term success required that they establish their identity through original material."If we play a bunch of covers, we're gonna impress the crowd, but we're not gonna impress the band," he surmises. "I want other bands to be talking about us, so I just wrote a bunch of originals and we started practicing 'em."One song in particular, the sexually driven "Taste," motivated Josh Abbott Band fans in a way the group had not anticipated. Recorded cheaply as a demo and posted to the band's MySpace page, "Taste" has since garnered more than two million streams. When local listeners flooded Lubbock radio stations with requests, the station got a copy from Abbott and it won noon-hour listener contests for months on end."Being requested over George Strait," Abbott muses, "that's ridiculous!"Abbott quit his pursuit of a masters degree to devote his time fully to the band. He'd completed his course work and needed only to finish his thesis to wrap up his education. His family and friends thought he was nuts. Abbott, however, needed to commit to the music."I took probably 15 courses and averaged around a 3.5 doing it, so it's kinda like if I don't write my thesis, it doesn't mean I didn't get an education," he reflects. "To me, the value of the education is more important than the paper of the degree."If I ever decide the music thing's not goin' in the right direction, I can go back to college, but when you have a song that's on the radio and it's hot, you've gotta follow up on it because you may not have that opportunity again."The band quickly evolved. Fiddler Preston Wait-who trained at South Plains College in Levelland, where the alumni include Lee Ann Womack, Natalie Maines, songwriter-guitarist Jedd Hughes and Ricochet's Heath Wright-was hired to play on the band's first demo and soon joined the lineup permanently. When the original rhythm section dropped out, Wait brought in fellow South Plains students Daniel Almodova and Ed Villanueva, and JAB took on a more aggressive sound.Drew Womack, formerly with Sons Of The Desert, co-produced the vocals for their first complete album, Scapegoat, in Lubbock. A duet from that release, "Good Night For Dancing," featuring Charla Corn, gave them a second hit in the band's homestate and was one of the Top 15 songs of 2009 on the Texas Music Chart.For She's Like Texas, Abbott enlisted Eli Young Band associate Erik Herbst to co-produce the album in Denton. The difference is noticeable. The songs and arrangements are more focused, the sounds have more clarity, and there's a smart cohesiveness to the project, even when it veers from its central sound: bringing in Kacey Musgraves for a duet on "Oh, Tonight"; employing Roger Creager and Trent Willmon as guests on "End Of A Dirt Road"; or ending the guitar-centric collection with a piano-based ballad, "Let My Tears Be Still." "All Of A Sudden," released in advance of the album, became a Top 10 hit on the Texas Music Chart.Abbott wrote the bulk of the songs in April and May 2009, shortly after he'd gone through a rocky period in a relationship. It was personally difficult, but creatively inspiring, and the feelings he encountered during that period were central to She's Like Texas.Appropriately, he delivers the material in a voice that's both manly and sensitive. He sings about the relationships and small-town lessons in a dusty, masculine tone, but he's deft enough to consider-and understand-a woman's viewpoint."In order for the female audience base to really embrace you, you have to do one of two things: you have to either flatter them or empower them," Abbott suggests. "The empowerment comes from other girls, other lead singers such as Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood who kind of make girls feel like they're stronger than the man-the if-you-can-do-it-then-I-can-do-it-too kind of songs. I go the other direction, and I try to flatter them. When women come to our shows and they hear the songs, I like to think that they feel like we're kind of makin' 'em feel special."Abbott doesn't just talk about his concepts; he invests in them. He financed the entire album himself, he's given away thousands of the Brushy Creek EPs, and he's been known to toss freebies-coozies, T-shirts, ball caps, etc.-into the crowd during his shows. He released She's Like Texas on his own Pretty Damn Tough label (the PDT initials mirror the acronym of his Phi Delta Theta roots), and Thirty Tigers-an indie marketing company that's helped build careers and projects for Kathy Mattea, Justin Townes Earle and James McMurtry-supported his belief by signing on."The way I see it, it will come back," Abbott says of his investments. "It might be in dollars, it might be in fans' loyalty, it might just be that they remember you for giving them something for nothing. You may not be able to trace the way in which that comes back, but it will."With She's Like Texas, it's paid off in the form of a sturdy, emotional album that sets up the do-it-yourself Josh Abbott Band as the Lonestar State's next authentic breakout. It might take years to analyze the depth of the sound, but it takes only minutes-maybe just seconds-to recognize the powerful uniqueness it adds to Texas music, and to the whole of country music. 2010 Josh Abbott Band

at Tractor Tavern
5213 Ballard Avenue
Seattle, United States

PARADISE FEARS

Event on 2014-08-15 19:30:00

In July 2010, just months after the majority of the band's high school graduation, they released Make Them Believe EP, produced by Jordan Schmidt (All Time Low, Sing it Loud). In just 8 months, the album has sold several thousand copies nation-wide, and the band's career has taken off. They've completed nation-wide tours with Quietdrive and Floral Terrace across 32 different states, and have shared the stage with acts like Stereo Skyline, The Audition, and You, Me, and Everyone We Know.

Coming from a town of 3,000 year round residents in a state noted for its lack of a music scene, nothing has come easy. But these six kids grew up fast. "It's been an entirely self taught process…with a very steep learning curve. We've had to teach ourselves how to promote, how to book shows, how to tour, how to record, everything…but it gives us a very unique approach, because in our area, what we're doing is so unprecedented that we haven't fallen victim the generic, cookie-cutter career path, and instead we've received a tremendous amount of support from our home town." explained lead singer Sam Miller.

Though they may be young, Paradise Fears has several things going for them:

First, an incredibly energetic and engaging live show that can win over even the most uninterested bystander, described by one Battle of the Bands judge as "N'Sync meets a UFC cage match." They were crowned champions of a 65-band, Midwest-wide Battle of the Bands in October, sponsored by Rawkzilla magazine, scoring them ,000 in endorsements, equipment, and cash. Their performance, described by Paul Pederson (Prince, Steve Miller band), was "absolutely spectacular, one in a million, and completely breath-taking."

Second, an arsenal of infectiously catchy and musically developed rock-pop songs, some of which received airplay on top 40 radio stations throughout the Midwest. David Hooper of Music Business Radio described Make Them Believe as "catchy and remarkably polished, particularly given the age [of the members.]"

Third, an incredibly loyal internet following of all different ages. In just 8 months, their Facebook, Twitter, and social networking profiles have acquired tens of thousands of fans/ followers, and are still rapidly expanding by hundreds daily. "One of the best parts about our style of music has always been that it's not limited – it's the kind of music that someone can appreciate with their 12-year-old sister or their 70-year-old grandmother," said keyboard-player Michael Walker.

Finally, and most importantly, an insatiable drive for success. Paradise Fears is constantly touring or recording, and when they aren't, they're exploring new and creative ways of expanding their fan base. Most recently, the band split into three teams, racing around the country following large tours in a competition to meet the most potential listeners. 50,000 miles, 10,000 demos, and 5,000 CDs later, their "Amazing Race" has created both hundreds of fans and a Paradise Fears buzz in every major market in the United States.

The large-scale release of a full-length album will be a huge step forward in the band's career. Recording time for "Yours Truly" was split between Schmidt and Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount (Mayday Parade, Cartel). It will feature 11 new songs, tremendously evolved in music and lyrics. "It's a new found maturity for us…these songs are real. We wrote songs about people we love, songs about people we hate, songs that tell stories…it's an album full of songs we really love," described guitarist Cole Andre.

But why so independent? Says Miller, "That's the way we want to do it, and the dream we've always envisioned. We're financing it, we're writing it, we're releasing it, we're promoting it. It started out as just the six of us, and come good or come bad, we've still always got that. We're committed to being able to make it ourselves."

at World Cafe Live
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, United States

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Money Express Check Cashing Center

Wednesday, 23. July 2014

Money Express Check Cashing Center Reviews


Saint Paul
785 7th St E
Average Rating: 3 out of 5 (1 Reviews)

Review by Sarah C.
I never remember to have cash with me, and either go here or to the manky market a few steps away. I’ve not used their moneygram services, etc, just the…
Rating: 3

Money Express Check Cashing Service Reviews


Minneapolis
108 E Lake St
Average Rating: 1 out of 5 (1 Reviews)

Review by Headsup A.
took my money and said card declined and it went through,….then I paid the bill in cash..left store and went back show them charge went through..they…
Rating: 1



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Auto Insurance Tips You Must

Wednesday, 23. July 2014


Whether you are new to the insurance world, wanting to combine your policies or shopping for better rates or coverage, you probably have some questions. Here you will find lots of helpful information that will make it fast and easy to learn more about the often, confusing world of auto insurance.

To save money on your car insurance shop for it before shopping for a new vehicle. Besides your driving record and location, the biggest factor in your price is the car they are insuring. Different companies will set different rates that are also based on their experiences paying claims for that type of car.

Consider purchasing your auto insurance policy online. Many companies offer a discount for online purchases. The companies do this because it costs them less to use an automated system to begin your policy. In most cases, you will see a five to 10 percent reduction in your quote for the policy.

Check into how much you would save by using the same insurer for both your home and your car. Some companies offer a discount if you have multiple policies with them. The majority of companies today do insure a variety of items, so it is a good idea to look into the possibility.

If you are looking to get auto insurance, do not commit to any company until you have gotten multiple quotes. You can do this online without having to speak with an insurance agent or sales representative. By getting multiple quotes you are reducing the chances of auto insurance companies cheating you.

If you pay several policies with one company, you may qualify for a discount. This means that you should look for these bundle offers, and insure your home and your car together. Make sure to compare the cost of combining your home and auto or insuring them separately before making the decision to bundle.

If your son or daughter is sharing the family car and moves away to college or makes the honor roll, this means you could get a discount on your insurance. Make sure you notify your insurance right away if this happens. You should also let them know once your son or daughter is done with college.

Install an alarm in your vehicle. Getting an alarm for your car can protect it from being stolen or vandalized. It can also help to lower your premiums. Check to see if your car insurance provider offers a discount for having an alarm. If you already have a car alarm, make sure you inform your provider.

There are many TV ads for auto insurance, most of them advertise incredible savings and claim to be cheaper than their competitors. You should not subscribe to an insurance based only on what you have seen on a TV ad. The prices given on TV are based on a particular configuration of demographics and might not apply to you.

Top tier status refers to the percentage of customers from a insurance company that have filed the fewest claims and have the best driving record. Perhaps you qualify as a top tier customer, or your status will improve over the years. Make sure you ask your insurance company to be considered as a top tier customer, as they might not switch your classification automatically.

Be a good and defensive driver. Avoid text messaging or any other distractions that may cause you to have an accident. If you have an accident that is your fault, it will cause your car insurance rates to go up and you will pay more for your car insurance indefinitely.

Check with your automotive insurer to see if you can qualify for a premium discount by enrolling in a defensive driving course. Such courses are becoming very common, and many insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who attend them. Remember that proper documentation of your course will be vital to securing a discount.

Take advantage of any discounts that your insurance agency offers. Get a list of discounts from your agent and go through them to see what you qualify for. Many insurance agencies offer discounts for taking a defensive driving course, or for students, maintaining an A average in school. The more you can save, the better off you are.

Your auto insurance policy might be costing you more if you are paying month-to-month. Consider buying a 6-month or a 12-month policy to reduce your rates. Setting aside money each month would insure that you don’t find yourself with a large bill you are unable to pay at the start of a new term.

When you are shopping for auto insurance, it is always a good idea to get at least three quotes before you make a decision. By doing so, you ensure that you have found the best deal for you. Compare rates and what each company has to offer such as roadside assistance.

Be smart about which claims you put it to your automobile insurance company. Weigh the total cost of the damage against how much you have to pay for your deductible. If the difference is only a few hundred dollars, it may not be worth the extra premiums that the company is likely to charge you after you make your claim.

There are many types of coverage in an auto insurance policy. One that is very important is comprehensive (physical damage) coverage. This important type of coverage covers the damage to your car as a result of theft, fire, vandalism, flood, wind, and other natural causes. Remember it carries a deductible too.

Drivers who have maintained a safe driving record with no accidents or traffic tickets may be eligible for a discount on their car insurance. Contact your agent and inquire if they reward drivers who consistently follow the rules of the road. You may qualify for a reduced rate or a reduction in your deductible.

The information you have read, should give you the confidence so that you will be able to go out and make the right choice for your auto insurance needs. Now you should better be able to understand coverage, find affordable rates, keep your family safe and be prepared for any losses that may occur.

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Cobham Wine Merchant Wins Prestigious

Tuesday, 22. July 2014


(PRWEB UK) 23 July 2014

The Wine Reserve, Cobham?s family-owned wine merchant has won the International Wine Challenge Regional Merchant of the Year Award for the second time since it opened in 2010. The award is given to the independent wine shop that has an outstanding range, excellent customer service and demonstrates interesting or innovative ways of engaging customers in Wine.

Owner, Marco Attard and the rest of the team attended the ceremony last night to collect the award. The International Wine Challenge is often thought of as the Oscar?s of the wine industry. Attard said, ?We are very proud to receive this award and the team have done a great job over the years to build us into one of the most successful wine merchants in the UK.?

The Wine Reserve opened in Cobham in 2010 with the aim of supplying good quality, interesting wines to the area. The staff are dedicated to unearthing star wines from across the wine producing world from little known grape varieties through to unusual countries such as Armenia or Uruguay. Whilst building an impressive range of old world favourites from Italian, French, German and Spanish wines as well as some fantastic producers in the New World.

Tim Walker, The Wine Reserve?s wine manager said, ?I?m incredibly pleased with the variety of wines we have to offer. There?s not a single wine I?d have problems recommending. We now stock around a 1000 wines so whatever your taste we have a wine you?ll love. We know wine can be intimidating, so we offer free tasting all day every day ? customers can try before they buy. Everyone in the Wine Reserve loves wine and likes to share that passion; whatever the occasion whatever the question, we?re always happy to help.? There are extra discounts available for customers when they buy six bottles or more and free delivery to the local area.

The Wine Reserve has built up an impressive range of premium, artisan spirits of which many are also available to taste. They also boast some of the best Champagne prices in the country. As Attard explains, ?We negotiate hard in order to pass the savings on to our customers, we never artificially inflate the price in order to make a discount look good we concentrate on delivering a good price always.?

The Wine Reserve hosts wine tastings in store, recent tastings have included Greywacke winemaker tasting and a blind pink Champagne tasting: challenging customers to identify some of the top Champagnes when all the branding and packaging is removed. There is an Autumn event plan in place which includes a Rioja tasting, Crystallum winemaker tasting and The Wine Reserve?s annual Christmas tasting at Horsley Towers.

To celebrate their success The Wine Reserve are inviting customers to stop by the store this Saturday, July 19th, for a free glass of fizz. Attard said, ?Most of the praise must go to the people of Cobham and the surrounding villages for their continued support and making us one of the best. Thank you.?







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Lucinda Williams

Tuesday, 22. July 2014

Lucinda Williams

Event on 2014-07-30 19:00:00

It's not all that hard to find an artist who's capable of offering a guided tour of life's dark clouds nor is it rare to come into contact with one who can hone in on the silver lining. But the ability to do both with equal grace, well, that's an altogether rarer gift and it's one that Lucinda Williams displays with remarkable lan on her latest Lost Highway album, Blessed.Blessed, recorded at the end of what Williams calls "a really big writing streak that gave me enough to make two albums," brings those textures to play in some of the most straightforward songs she's ever written. While it's not a concept album as such, Blessed recorded with producer Don Was brings together a dozen masterfully-crafted pieces that fall into place beautifully, their welcoming sonic tenor offering an ideal foil for the conversational narrative that runs through the dozen short stories tales that take in plenty of topical territory, but invariably end up offering the listener a sense of affirmation."Being married and feeling comfortable in my life, I've been able to go outside myself and write about other things," she says. "I feel like this album, as a whole, is positive, but it's not my so-called 'happy' album. Yes, I'm in love and I'm happy in my personal life. But my personal life isn't the only focus. There aren't all those unrequited love, 'I've been shot down by a bad boy songs' well, there's one of those but there are songs about all sorts of things. It's just a lot easier to stretch these days."The expanse of Williams' palette is gradually revealed over the course of Blessed, a collection that unfolds in an origami-like fashion. The gentle plaint of "I Don't Know How You're Livin" a stripped-to-the-bone track on which she uses the appealingly weathered edges to carve out a loving message of hope gives way to the pedal-steel laced "Copenhagen", a tender requiem for her late manager.While that air of mortality imbues a few of Blessed's songs notably the fiercely slashing "Seeing Black," on which Williams cuts through a hail of angry guitars that come courtesy of Elvis Costello, who makes a rare non-vocal cameo, with stark, poignant questions to a friend who chose to end his life, the album offers as many looks at the light at the end of the tunnel as it does glances into the abyss. "Kiss Like Your Kiss" exudes a sassy sensuality, while the closing "Sweet Love" is, quite simply, an aural incarnation of that title, pure, warm and sweet."I didn't have a fully realized picture of what I wanted the album to sound like going in, but I hardly ever do," says Williams. "Back when I was playing open mic nights by myself, I'd be sitting up there with my Martin guitar and doing 'Angel' by Jimi Hendrix or 'Politician' by Cream' alongside Robert Johnson and Memphis Minnie songs. It never occurred to me to pick just one style. That's stayed with me ever since. "Williams has never hesitated to wave that flag of iconoclasm, but she's never used it as a shield. Ever since the release of her 1978 debut Ramblin' on My Mind (recorded on the fly with a mere 0 budget behind her), the Louisiana- bred singer-songwriter has been ready, willing and able to call upon both her natural affinity for roots music and her familial literary tradition. She learned the importance of professional integrity around the same time most kids are learning their ABCs, thanks in large part to her award-winning poet father Miller Williams — who invested her with a "culturally rich, but economically poor" upbringing where artistic expression was of primary importance."Thanks to my dad, I grew up around poets and novelists and they all had families and normal lives and most of them didn't achieve even nominal success until much later in life," she recalls. "I have to keep reminding people that, yeah, I'm a musician, but first and foremost, I'm an artist and art is about expression, about expressing your feelings about what you're going through every day. I think this is the closest I've come to capturing that essence completely as an artist."She's never settled for any sort of pigeonholing, entering the '90s with the rich, sepia-toned Sweet Old World — a disc that, as much as any release, helped place the Americana movement at the forefront of listeners' minds — and cementing her own spot in the cultural lexicon with 1998's raw, immediate masterpiece Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. The latter disc earned Williams her first Grammy Award as a performer (she'd also scored one as a writer thanks to Mary-Chapin Carpenter's version of her "Passionate Kisses"), but rather than try to capture the same lightning in a bottle a second time, she stretched her boundaries on 2001's Essence, an album rife with both cerebral interludes and soul-stirring stomps.In recent times, Williams has shown herself to be the kind of artist who'll never back down from a challenge, whether collaborating with surprisingly kindred spirits like M. Ward and Flogging Molly or putting her own spin on iconic tunes like Bob Dylan's "Positively 4th Street" and Jimmy Webb's classic "Galveston". She's taken that same approach to her most recent recordings as a solo artist as well: The 2006 release West and 2008's buoyant Little Honey – an album Paste hailed as "an album that brims with varied, impeccable writing" – made for an ethereal emotional travelogue that takes in both great loss and the sort of discovery one can only make when emotional barriers are taken down."People buy into this myth that once you're quote happy unquote, you just die as an artist that's inane. It's ridiculous," she says. "People have actually asked me, 'well, will you still be able to write now that your life is happy?' That's a somewhat pedantic point of view, the myth that happiness can't be part of the backbone of creativity.Indeed, she takes on a number of roles here, from the fallen fighter who narrates the whisper-soft elegy "Soldier's Song" to the affably hard-nosed kiss-off specialist delivering "Buttercup." But whatever the topic, Williams' voice both literally and figuratively is unmistakable. It's a voice that conveys experience without world-weariness, purity of spirit without naivet a combination that reaches its zenith on the album's title track, a poignant acknowledgment of those who bestow blessings upon us each day, whether we know it or not."I had this image in my mind of how a stranger can affect you, and you them, at the same time," she says. "We have this concept that someone who is less fortunate than we are in some way has nothing to offer us, and that's not true at all. Everyone has a gift to give as long as you're willing to accept it, from the girl selling flowers at a Mexican restaurant to the homeless man on the street. It's all about the hope that there's good in humanity if you look for it which is really the feel of the whole album."By the time Blessed's final notes resound, that hope will not only be clear, it's likely to be passed on to the listener paid forward in the most touching way.

at Oregon Zoo Amphitheater
4001 SW Canyon Road
Portland, United States

Wade Bowen – Sean McConnellThe Walcotts

Event on 2014-08-11 20:00:00

Wade Bowen

As Wade Bowen looks ahead to the full-length release of his major-label debut and his emerging transition from regional success to national prominence, there was one vital dynamic affecting the timing: his fans. Across five independent albums and a decade-plus of touring, Bowen not only amassed a string of regional hits and awards, but also the kind of fan base whose passionate anticipation motivated the timing behind the May 2012 release of The Given, a 10-song collection and his first new music since 2008’s If We Ever Make It Home.

Indeed, in the fourteen years since Bowen launched his career at Stubb’s Barbecue in Lubbock, Texas, he’s risen from collegiate greenhorn to the top of the Texas music and Red Dirt circuit. His colleagues and friends Pat Green, Jack Ingram, Eli Young Band and others had made the major-label leap, helping to take a vibrant regional sound to the rest of America. Now Bowen is poised to bring that Red Dirt and independent spirit to country music at large.

Make no mistake, this collection is a document of artistic evolution. Longtime fans (and there are quite a few of them) will hear the Bowen they’ve known and the next steps on his journey. They’ll get better acquainted with the ballad singer who doesn’t often get a chance to show that side of himself in honky tonks. Newcomers will hear a head-turning country artist with range, road-tested hits and one of the best male voices in the business.

That voice truly jumps out of these tracks. Wade’s baritone is dense and concentrated, with traces of whisky and smoke and an autumnal warmth. Bowen takes command of his songs, cutting over the top of producer Justin Niebank’s sculpted guitar-scapes. The sound is one hundred percent country, rife with pedal steel and vivid emotion, but it’s also music that could easily find a home with fans of Bowen’s rock idols – folks like Bruce Springsteen and Jackson Browne. Take a few passes through this project and you’ll hearing a singer’s singer and a focused songwriter who’s adding layers to his music all the time.

“All this work and the care we’ve taken with this album just fall in the category of trying to get better,” says Bowen. “When it comes to my intent as a musician, I’ve not changed anything since day one. I’ve only tried to mature and tried to get better, and I think this record is representative of that.” On a live circuit where the overwhelming mandate is to stir up a party, Bowen has aimed to leave folks with a memory. As a writer, even one from a state with some tall literary traditions, he’s not trying to earn a PhD in poetry; he’s trying to communicate. “My style,” he says, “is more to try to evoke an emotion. I’m more about trying to leave a mark on people.”

Growing up in Waco, Bowen’s exposure to the music of Texas was limited to whatever made it on FM country radio. George Strait was king. Guy Clark was a name he’d not have recognized before getting to college. But at school, in Lubbock, he discovered the full spectrum of Texas artistry, starting with Robert Earl Keen. “He was a big changing point in my life,” says Wade. “I realized by listening to him that there was way more out there than I ever knew. So I started getting into Guy Clark and other great Texas music. But I was obsessed with Robert Earl. When we started the band we were sort of a Robert Earl cover band.”

That band was called West 84, and they found that with their large posse of friends who’d always show up for a good time, it was easy to land gigs. Bowen meanwhile began to channel a lifelong love of writing into songs, and when college ended he made two major decisions. He took on the role of solo artist, and he moved to Austin. By then, about 2001, fellow Waco native Pat Green had busted out to national prominence and the Texas music phenomenon was the buzz of Nashville. It was part of Wade Bowen’s inspiration to charge ahead.

Try Not To Listen is the album Wade regards as his true debut, the project that kicked off a life and living made of 200-plus nights a year on the road and patient grassroots fan development. Then with Lost Hotel in 2006, things really began to click. The opening track “God Bless This Town” reached No. 1 on the bellwether Texas Music Chart, and over the next six years, he released six more chart-toppers and three additional top fives. He achieved another landmark when he was invited to add his name to the roster of great artists who’ve made a Live At Billy Bob’s CD/DVD combo at the iconic club in Fort Worth. With a decade that good, it was inevitable that Music Row would become interested.

The origins of Bowen’s Nashville record deal can be traced to his music publisher, Sea Gayle Music. It’s where Brad Paisley, Radney Foster, Jerrod Niemann and others do their songwriting, and in 2010, it was the first indie company to be named ASCAP Country Publisher of the Year since 1982. Sea Gayle has a track record of investing in artists and helping them reach their potential, and that’s how they’ve worked with Bowen, ultimately backing this album and introducing its independently made sound to Sony Music Nashville. Step one in that process was to find a producer who could preserve Wade’s vision yet find the sweet spot that would help his music have its best chance at country radio. “Of all the producers we talked to, Justin Niebank was the only one who said, ‘I need to come down and see you live,’” says Bowen. “Well, after 13 years of doing this I’d hope someone would want to see what we do, why we have fans. He totally got it and based the whole sound of this record around that.”

That live immediacy certainly throbs on disc-opener “Saturday Night,” which tracks the internal monologue of a lonesome hombre sitting on his stool, nursing his drink and thinking about “that sad goodbye.” Its chiming descending guitar riff will be the first thing many audiences hear from Wade, his calling card. Also likely to grab listeners early is “Patch Of Bad Weather,” a brisk, rocking take-down of a treacherous lover. It paints dramatic pictures of a stormy Texas landscape and it kicks like a gun. A further highlight is a cover of Guy Clark’s “To Live Is To Fly,” in a duet with the man himself.

Bowen has also taken advantage of his recent songwriting sessions and the comfortable studio environment fostered by Niebank to develop his love of ballad singing and the emotional side of country music. “All That’s Left” brings strings into the mix, and it works. Bowen sounds at home. In “Say Anything,” a guy can’t think of a thing to say to a girl he’s just met except gush on about the one he let get away, so he shuts up and listens. Its chorus will surely make some leading male country singers wish they’d been given a shot at the song. “I love those songs like that. Sad ballads,” says Bowen with an apologetic shrug. “That’s where my passion is. ‘Say Anything’ is one of my favorite tracks on the record.”

So think of The Given as a gift to the fans and a teaser for even better things to come. Wade knows full well how much his fans have given him over the years, and he’s more than happy to plan a long career ahead giving everything he can back.

“This record, like everything in my life, is not necessarily what I planned or even asked for,” says Wade. “But this is, thankfully, what has been given to me. I’m a very lucky and blessed man. And I have The Given to thank for that.”

at Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, United States

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Tuesday, 22. July 2014

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