Sunday, September 20, 2009


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Rowan turned 3 years old on September 9th, but since that was in the middle of an extremely busy work-week, we waited until the weekend of the 19th to have his friends over for a blowout party.

Rowan helped get things ready as we prepared for guests to arrive.

We've had non-stop rain the past week, but thankfully, the let up for a day, and our backyard was filled with the sounds of laughter and play.

One of Rowan's birthday presents was a pirate-ship sandbox, and since the party coincidentally fell on International Talk Like A Pirate Day, we went for a full-on pirate theme.

"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you."

Even the birthday cake was a pirate ship!

It was a sweet treat seeing Harper and Anna Wyatt.

The ladies chilled out on the patio while the guys gathered in the living room for some SEC football...

...and the kids eventually got into just about everything in Rowan's room...including the crib. First it was Lucas...

...and then Rowan...

...and finally Harper.

Looks like it's time to retire the crib.

We haven't made many connections here in Oxford yet, so it was great to have our good friends make the trip from Starkville (Bill, Susan, Harper and Anna Wyatt) and Tupelo (Emily, Todd and Lucas; Tracye, Bart and Daniel; Jonathan, Niki and Ansley). Arrrrrr, mateys!

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Now that we live in Oxford, it'll be much easier for us to pursue our passion for good live music. Being a college town, Oxford has quite a respectable music scene considering its size, especially in the fall and the spring.

Our first big show of the fall was guitar virtuoso Derek Trucks and his band at the Lyric Theatre. It was a huge treat getting to watch Derek up close as he demonstrated his incredible tone control, coaxing the smoothest, sweetest, purest sounds out of his guitar. Playing entirely without a pick and mostly with a slide, he thorougly captivated even the most casual listener with his soulful, melodic leads that alternately sang, roared, swooped and soared, plucked with such dexterity and precision that would-be guitarists in the audience could only shake their heads in disbelief.

(Note: the photo above was swiped off the Internet without permission.) The nephew of legendary Allman Brothers founding drummer Butch Trucks, Derek was a child prodigy, gaining notoriety and sitting in with big names like Buddy Guy and Bob Dylan while he was still a teenager. These days he plays lead in the current incarnation of the Allman Brothers, in addition to his critically acclaimed solo career.

Singer Mike Mattison is a great complement to Derek. His rich, soulful voice ranges from raspy baritone to smooth falsetto, and he delivers Derek's contemporary take on blues rock and R&B with class and style.

Rounding out the band was keyboardist and flutist Kofi Burbridge, as well as bassist Todd Smallie, drummer Yonrico Scott, and percussionist Count M'Butu. Their 2-hour show consisted entirely of original music, with Derek often delving deep into traditional blues stylings, yet always staying true to his distinctive musical vision. While we were mostly unfamiliar with his songs, we were thoroughly enthralled.

Our only complaint of the night was the totally wasted guy who was almost comical in his infringement of the personal space of everybody within a 10 foot radius of where he was whirling, jumping, swaying and hollering. Too many drugs, dude!

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