Friday, September 30, 2011

COMING SOON: Sara Groves "Invisible Empires"

The latest from Sara Groves
arrives October 18th.

_______________________
 
I've boldly articulated
my unabashed passion for
Sara Groves
since first discovering her
music in 2010.
_______________________




Simply put, I believe this Springfield, Missouri native to be the greatest singer/songwriter since Brian Wilson. In fact, even acknowledged modern-day pop messiah Butch Walker cowers and runs for cover like a little sissy whenever Sara Groves enters the room (at least I imagine that he would). And it gives me indescribable joy to post here that Groves' long-awaited new record, Invisible Empires will drop on October 18th. I just purchased, "Eyes on the Prize," the first single off the album from iTunes this morning, and as expected, it's epic! The video clip below is a stripped-down acoustic version of "Eyes" and is perhaps even more powerful than the full-blown band album version.


Acoustic version of Sara Groves'
new single, "Eyes on the Prize."

Sara Groves' 2004 classic, "Less Like Scars."
(Natalie Merchant wishes she could rock the
"Sunday-go-to-meetin'-look" like Sara does!)

After numerous recent failed attempts to  be granted  admittance to one of her typically sold-out  concert appearances (apparently I'm not such a "big shot" after all), I'm praying that Jesus will give me Sara Groves tickets for Christmas this year!
 
-Christopher Long
(September 2011)
 
 
Author Christopher Long's latest book,
is available NOW on Amazon.

Monday, September 26, 2011

THE "HERMANATOR"


Herman Cain
I've been an admitted political junkie since I was a ten-year-old kid collecting presidential trading cards while growing up in Springfield, Missouri during the early '70s. I follow the national and international political scene with the same passion that many Americans have for following the NFL, the MLB, the NBA or NASCAR. In fact, despite my personal love of the NFL, I'll choose The Sean Hannity Show over Monday Night Football anytime. And as I've posted previously, I embrace the presidential primary season the way the retail world embraces the Christmas holiday shopping season. 

Consequently, I receive frequent emails from friends which include links to various political-related sites and news stories. Earlier in the year I received one such email from a longtime business associate of mine, telling me about an interesting underdog candidate named Herman Cain who had recently entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Also occasionally referred to as the "Hermanator," Cain's background is based in the business world. His impressive track record includes achieving enormous success while working as a computer systems analyst for the Coca-Cola Company, Vice President of the Pillsbury Company and President and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza.

I found the whole "Hermanator" thing to be rather amusing and I began to pay close attention to the Atlanta, Georgia native. I was impressed by Cain's performances during the various recent televised Republican debates, but I doubted whether his candidacy would gain much momentum. I realize the "political outsider" factor has become quite appealing among voters as of late, but Cain perhaps seemed to be a little too far "outside" of the political arena to be considered a real contender.

That is, until this past weekend's Florida straw poll. Governor Rick Scott boldly stated prior to delegates casting their votes that the straw poll was so important, that the winner of the contest would likely become the party's nominee. And that made perfect sense on Saturday morning, when Texas Governor Rick Perry was the perceived front-runner. With underdog Cain's surprise upset on Saturday evening, Governor Scott was back peddling a bit in the press on Monday.

But why not Cain? His professional track record is impeccable. As many have pointed out in recent years, perhaps having sound business savvy is as vital a quality to running our country as having political experience. To me, it's his experience in business that makes Mitt Romney so appealing. And don't forget, Dwight Eisenhower had never held political office either prior to his presidency.

I want to be clear that I'm not suddenly jumping into bed with Cain now that he's become the new "flavor of the week." I've made no bones about being a staunch Michele Bachmann supporter. On many levels, I believe she's the best candidate for the gig. I'm just giddy with delight to see such a devastating blow dealt to the political establishment and the media which were all too ready to hand over the nomination to Perry -- more than five months before the official primary season kick-off -- which makes about as much sense as declaring a Super Bowl champion before the coin toss. More than ever before, our nation deserves as much time as necessary to thoroughly look at all of the candidates before calling this race too soon.

-Christopher Long
(September 2011)


Author Christopher Long's latest book,
is available NOW on Amazon.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

ENTER SANDMEN

Master Sand Sculptor, Jill Harris
 
ENTER SANDMEN

I had the distinct pleasure
earlier this week of meeting
with Master Sand Sculptor,
Jill Harris, at my local
Starbucks. I had recently
discovered the amazing
creations by Jill and her
partner, World Champion
sand sculptor, Thomas Koet,
 
 
 
_______________________________________________________________
 
 
World Champion Sand Sculptor,
Thomas Koet
One of Sandsational's slogans is, 'When you want WOW!' And to be quite honest, I can't think of a better or more accurate pitch. I was immediately in awe of their incredible artistry, and since this creative team is based in my hometown of Melbourne, Florida, my journalist instincts led me to set up a face-to-face interview with Ms. Harris.

Although Harris and Koet travel the world year 'round creating their unique art, one of the more exciting events currently on their schedule is the upcoming Art of Sand International Sand Sculpting Festival being held next month here in Melbourne at the Space Coast Stadium. The Art of Sand is a sand sculpting exhibition featuring the work of seventeen international Master Sand Sculptors. I'm looking forward to witnessing first-hand what these renowned artists will create with over 1,000 tons of sand. The festival will run from October 14 - 23 and is open to the public.

More behind-the-scenes details coming soon!

-Christopher Long
(September 2011)


Author Christopher Long's latest book,
C'MON! - My Story of Rock, Ruin and Revelation
is available NOW on Amazon!