Music Review |
Jericho Summer |
Night Train

 
Each summer, I am looking for the perfect album to listen to while driving around in my Fiat 500 convertible. I have just found this year’s winner: Night Train, the debut album of Southern country rock band Jericho Summer.

Jericho Summer is husband and wife team Jay Zeffin and Vanessa Joy. They were both working in the music business when they met in 1997 and I encourage you to read their interesting bio on the official website! Their current adventure started back in 2012, when Jay contacted his old producer with new material as well as songs produced over the years. The pair then managed to get on board musicians such as bass player Marco Mendoza (currently touring with The Dead Daisies), Richard Fortus from Guns N’ Roses and Double Grammy Winner Albert Lee.

I am always interested to hear the story behind the song and asked Vanessa and Jay for some anecdotes to share with my readers. For example, Bitchin With A Woman has a double meaning; it is about not arguing but also about both parties thinking they are right. No Regrets is very personal, with Jay reminiscing about his shared life with his wife and still being together despite all the tough times. Finally, Lonely Town is about when the couple met in the UK, getting married and leaving behind the small town Vanessa was from. Lonely Town reminds me of country rock band Blackberry Smoke and is my personal favourite.

The album is a well-balanced mix of rock numbers and ballads. It contains eleven songs and when Jericho Summer said there would be no “filler tracks”, they meant it. Two videos will support the promotion of the album, Bitchin With A Woman in August and Running Free in November. A great deal of care also went into the unusual and atmospheric album cover, and one cannot help wonder how far that train is going to take Vanessa and Jay.

Night Train is the album country enthusiasts will love and rock fans will go for. The release date is August 12th and it can be pre-ordered on iTunes and Amazon.
 
 
Music Review - Jericho Summer - Night Train - Southern Country Rock
 
Music Review - Jericho Summer - Night Train - Southern Country Rock - Jay Zeffin
 
Music Review - Jericho Summer - Night Train - Southern Country Rock - Vanessa Joy
 
Music Review - Jericho Summer - Night Train - Southern Country Rock - Jay Zeffin and Vanessa Joy
 
 
JERICHO SUMMER

Jay Zeffin – Rhythm guitar, Writer, Composer, Producer, Lead & Harmony Vocals
Vanessa Joy – Lead vocals, Harmony Vocals, Writer, & Vocal Arrangements
Richard Fortus – Lead Guitar
Albert Lee – Lead Guitar
Marco Mendoza – Bass Guitar
Rodders Godders – Rythm Guitar
Brett Morgan – Drums
Tom Tyson – Bass Guitar, Producer
John Marcangelo – Drums and Piano
Stuart Duncan – Fiddle
Alan Hawkshaw – Pianist
Guy Lancaster – Hammond Organ
Pete Mahyer – Sound Engineer / Mastering Enginner
 
 
TRACK LISTING

Night Train
100 Times Again
Bitchin With A Woman
Does It Matter
Lonely Town
Good One Comin On
Red Neck Cousin
No Regrets
Coming Home
Live For The Moment
Running Free
 
 
SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook
Twitter
 
 
 
 

My Love For The UK

 
I had planned to write a post about my visit to my lovely friend Sarah at the end of May. And then Brexit happened, so I felt that I had to share some of my thoughts on this too.

I first set foot in the UK twenty-five years ago, when I came as an au pair to learn English. Back then, being Swiss meant that the family I was going to work for had to get a permit for me. The many reasons I fell in love with the country I described in my Manchester – An Anniversary post, if you want to have a read. I spent a year in England and came back, intending to stay, a year later, having in the meantime lived in Vienna to learn German, gone to Australia and worked in Switzerland. I did apply for jobs, but again, my nationality was a real obstacle. My only hope was for the December 1992 Swiss referendum to join the EEE to be accepted. 78,73% of the population voted and it was refused by 50.3%… Sounds familiar? My last hope had been crushed and I went back to Switzerland, both angry and heartbroken.

Of course, in the greater scheme of things, my personal experience is not that important. But now that my two daughters have lost overnight the “European passport” they had thanks to their British father, it makes me really sad that they, like thousands and thousands of other young people, might experience the same disillusion. To encounter difficulties in getting a university spot or a job in the country of their choice, or worse, to see their dream disintegrate should not have happened, in my opinion. And for the moment, I am clinging to the hope that somehow, it will not.

Meanwhile, my love relationship with the UK continues and I am looking forward to making more and more memories. Like the ones created during my recent trip: going to a charity barn dance, walking along the sea on that gorgeous South coast, and eating fish and chips in the pub. Or having cream tea in the gardens of Highcliffe Castle and sharing tapas, wine and laughs with friends in Bournemouth.

Until next time.
 
 
Going to a barn dance with our checked shirts and cowgirl boots
Healthy juice for brunch
South Coast of England
Enjoying a walk along the sea in the UK
Arriving at the beach in the UK
HighCliffe Castle UK
Carved wooden bench UK
Pretty courtyard in Lymington UK
 
 
 
 

A Moment Of True Happiness

 
The last six months of 2015 were filled with our massive house renovation project (see Buying And Renovating A House | Part I and Buying And Renovating A House | Part II) and our move.

This spring, it is our garden we are busy with, transforming it into our own little corner of paradise. Ivy was pulled out and more plants took its place in the hedge, grass was planted in front of the kitchen/dining room and a new home found for bushes. Lovely sand stones got a new life as steps and a bench. Old garden furniture has been repainted and the hammock under the cherry tree is quickly becoming a favourite spot.

And there is the garden house. Originally a simple shed, we decided it was far too pretty to be used as storage. It has been painted in grey and white and left over wooden floor from the lounge installed. The idea is to be able to stay “outside” when it is cooler in the evenings or starting to drizzle, so there is a day bed and a little table in it. An Indian screen and an old trunk hide what needs to stay out of sight. We are almost there, I just need to print some photos to put in the lovely frame I bought and when we go to the South of France this summer, we will buy a painting as the finishing touch.

Last weekend, I was sitting outside, relaxing while colouring in the book I had borrowed from Second Daughter. I was doing my best to ignore the ominous dark clouds gathering, until the wind picked up and the storm started. Instead of rushing back to the house, I opened the garden house and took refuge inside. Sexy Hubby, braving the elements in true Viking style, brought me a glass of white wine and some salted almonds. It was pouring down yet I was safe and cosy, looking at our lovely new home while inhaling the fresh smell rain brings.

I smiled. This was just perfect, a moment of true happiness, a moment of grace.
 
 
Colouring Book and Crayons
 
 
 
 

Hanami In Germany

 
Last Sunday, Second Daughter and I headed off to Ludwigshafen am Rhein to attend a Hanami festival. Hanami literally means “flower viewing” and is commonly used for the traditional observation of cherry blossom. In our case, it referred to a cosplay convention.

Second Daughter is fascinated by Japanese pop culture and she had been looking forward to this convention for weeks. She had arranged to meet with her friends and I had a date with my beloved camera. I was not disappointed. Every time I turned around, there was a new photo opportunity. I was gobsmacked by the amount of work and attention to details many cosplayers had put into their costumes. The atmosphere was very convivial and the sunny weather added to the festive mood. The full photo gallery is available on my Of Lens And Pen website.

The convention took place over two days and offered many activities for the manga and anime fans: shows, karaoke, contests, workshops and plenty of shopping and eating possibilities, of course! Second Daughter spent more or less all the money she had been saving and was especially delighted with the art she bought. Talking to some of the artists present was definitely a highlight for her.

After about five very interesting hours, we decided to call it a day and made our way home. Second Daughter is already dreaming about next year, and about attending the cosplay day at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October and EpicCon in December…
 
 
„Hanami – Con meets festival“ in Ludwigshafen am Rhein
 
Letzten Sonntag sind meine Tochter und ich nach Ludwigshafen am Rhein gefahren, um ein Hanami Festival zu besuchen. Hanami bedeutet “Blumen besichtigen” und wird normalerweise bei der Kirschblüte-Beobachtung verwendet. In unserem Fall war es eine Cosplay-Convention.

Meine Tochter ist von der Japanischen Kultur fasziniert und sie hat sich auf dieses Ereignis schon seit Wochen gefreut. Sie hatte geplant, sich mit ihren Freundinnen zu treffen und ich hatte ein Date mit meiner geliebten Kamera. Ich wurde nicht enttäuscht. Jedes Mal, wenn ich in einer anderen Richtung guckte, fand ich neue Gelegenheit für ein Foto. Ich war von der Arbeit und der Liebe zum Detail, die viele Cosplayer in ihren Kostüme gesteckt hatten, sehr beeindruckt. Die Atmosphäre war sehr gesellig und das sonnige Wetter sorgte auch für gute Laune. Die gesamte Bildergalerie ist auf meiner Website Of Lens And Pen zu finden.

Die Convention fand über zwei Tage statt und bot viele Veranstaltungen für Mangas- und Animes-Fans: Shows, Karaoke, Wettbewerbe, Workshops und natürlich, ausreichende Shopping- und Essens-Möglichkeiten! Meine Tochter gab fast das gesamte Geld, das sie gespart hatte, aus und war von den Bildern, die sie gekauft hat, besonders begeistert. Mit verschiedenen Künstlern zu reden war für sie ein Highlight.

Nach ungefähr fünf sehr interessanten Stunden haben wir uns entschieden, nach Hause zu fahren. Meine Tochter träumt schon vom nächsten Jahr, und auch davon, den Cosplay Tag auf der Franfkurter Buchmesse im Oktober und EpicCon im Dezember zu besuchen…
 
 
„Hanami – Con meets festival“ in Ludwigshafen am Rhein„Hanami – Con meets festival“ in Ludwigshafen am Rhein„Hanami – Con meets festival“ in Ludwigshafen am Rhein„Hanami – Con meets festival“ in Ludwigshafen am Rhein„Hanami – Con meets festival“ in Ludwigshafen am Rhein„Hanami – Con meets festival“ in Ludwigshafen am Rhein„Hanami – Con meets festival“ in Ludwigshafen am Rhein„Hanami – Con meets festival“ in Ludwigshafen am Rhein„Hanami – Con meets festival“ in Ludwigshafen am Rhein
 

Full Gallery on Of Lens And Pen