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Category: Food


I just can’t quit Thin Mints (insert your personal Girl Scout cookie choice). I certainly can’t “eat just one” as the saying goes. Usually, I barely hear about the cookies in time to buy any. Or one of our sons buys a few boxes and we get to share.

This year, I was determined to stock up. I was about to go into Walmart when they were starting to sell them. I bought four boxes of Thin Mints. I gave Cyndy a box, and I had a box, and I put two boxes back. It wasn’t but a couple of days or so when the first two were gone.

The next time I went into Walmart on a weekend, I bought four more boxes of Thin Mints. The last two boxes of the first four were going quickly. But now we had four boxes to spare. But, despite putting them in the freezer – out of sight and out of mind – they still were going. Not as quickly, but definitely steadily.

Then it began to be harder to find a sales location. The list of cookie sales sites on the Girl Scout website helped. One Saturday, I went to the wrong Half-Price books. The next Saturday, our son, Cameron, and I made another cookie run. This time I bought five boxes. Between the two of us, we bought them out of Thin Mints.

I put all five boxes in the freezer. I had seven boxes. I’m not sure how many Cameron had. So, to this point, Cyndy and I had gone through four boxes. That does not include the box my Mom gave us. Cyndy and I tried on another Saturday, but apparently they were out because no one was there.

I don’t know how long the remaining boxes will last. But once a box is open, its life is short. I know, though, that my question will not be answered again this year.

How many boxes would it take to last until next year? While I still don’t know, I do know that it is quite a few more boxes than just fourteen.

The other question I would like to know is – could I afford enough Thin Mints to last until next year?

Damn the Girl Scouts and their cookies!

Peace be with you.

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Layne Elizabeth

Layne Elizabeth opened the last Shaun and Dan  show at Love and War in Texas, Plano on Tuesday, February 6 on TexasSelectRadio.com. Layne is another of the talented young singer-songwriters playing around the Dallas area. She shared her own originals and a couple of cover songs. She has a lovely voice and insights in her songs that belie her age. Follow the link above to know where she’s playing next

Craig Langford is a bassist by profession, but he like’s the “songwriting thing.” Which is good for us because he’s pretty good at it. He illustrated

Craig Langford

his talent in a set of original songs. The most touching of which was a song about his mother, entitled simply, My Mom.

Rickey Gene Wright followed Langford on stage. Due to the encroaching storm, Rickey was the last performer of the evening. He played a set of his

Rickey Gene Wright

Americana music. Songs such as There is Nothin’ Like the Love of a Texas Girl, and Island Red. He played my favorite song of his, the haunting Waitin’ On My Time.

As always, follow the links and hear their songs for yourself. Better yet, go see them play.

If you would like a spot on the Shaun and Dan TSR Show at Guitars and Growlers on Mondays, send me a message.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

Shelby Ballenger

Shaun Outen and Dan Roark hosted the Songwriters Showcase on November 28 at Love and War in Texas in Plano. I’m a little behind, but it was too good a show not to share.

Shelby Ballenger and Brad Wayne Purdom swapped songs to start the show. Ballenger played her songs Messing With a Cowboy, and Smell the Rain among others. She also played Hank William’s You’re Cheating Heart, and Kris Kristofferson’s Me and Bobby McGee.

Brad Wayne Purdom

Purdom’s “set” included his songs, Gypsy Soul and Bright Light of Day. Brad Wayne also played his song about John Fulbright. He assisted Shelby on lead and harmonica.

Mr. Troll and I took the stage next and swapped songs. Troll played what open mic regulars would refer to as his “greatest hits.” Which obviously included Cry, which is one of my favorites. And of course, Going Nowhere. I played songs from my

Dan Roark

upcoming cd, Hello Out There. Shaun Outen closed out the show with a set of his own tunes mixed with covers.

Check out the links and hear the music for yourself. You won’t regret it. Go see them live when and if you get the chance. You won’t regret that either.

Mr. Troll Mallow

Come out and listen or play on Tuesday’s at Love and War. The heaters and enclosures make it comfortable. Come join us!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Shaun Outen

Bill Hook, Host

Bill Hook, host, opened the Songwriters Night at Guitars and Growlers on Wednesday, November 22. He played his songs, Let’s Dance, Give Me a Chance, and Heartache Blues.

Dan Roark took the stage next and played four songs from his upcoming cd, Hello Out ThereRob Case followed Dan with his signature song, Bayou City – about Houston. Case also played his version of Stormy Monday.

Dan Roark

Bill Nash played next and played four original songs, the last of which was a song with great wordplay, James Dean’s Genes. Alex Benavides played a set of covers with an original. He turned Country Roads into a sing-a-long that everyone enjoyed.

Khalil Coffield

Khalil Coffield just happened to stop in with a couple of friends. He signed up for an impromptu performance. Coffield is a good young songwriter with interesting songs.

Emma and her father were with the fairly large party in front of the stage. Emma put only her first name on the signup sheet. I had to leave without getting her last name. She sang a song or two with the words on her phone and her father playing guitar.

Follow the links and listen to these songwriters yourself. You’ll enjoy the experience. The next time you get a chance, go listen to them perform their songs live. More pictures will be posted on my Facebook music page.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

My show at Tribal Cafe on Sunday, November 12 was my second show there. I played a show with Gary Stockdale there back in April. It’s a funky little place in the Echo Park area of LA, not far from Dodgers Stadium.

The menu is healthy, expansive, and all over the wall by the order window. It’s best to ask what they recommend – the choices are overwhelming.                                                                           

The crowd was not as big as in April, but was just as enthusiastic. Neighborhood folks came in and lingered for a song or two while they waited for their order. Some stayed for a few songs. And the staff is always receptive to music.

I played a set of songs that included most of the songs on my new cd that I was to begin recording the next day. From the title song, Hello Out There, to the Aardvark Song, to Wishy Washy World and others.

Dan Roark

The upper picture is from my April show. The  picture to the left is my look this trip. After my set, I hung around to listen to the first few performers in the open mic. My thoughts on the performers will be in another post comparing Dallas open mics to LA open mics.

But if you’re in LA and want a funky neighborhood place to eat, check out Tribal Cafe. Friendly service, good food, innumerable choices – great place for coffee or smoothie. Entertainment pretty much every day of the week.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

Bill Hook

I went to play at Guitars and Growlers at the third installment of the every other Wednesday open mic, hosted by Bill Hook on October 11. Guitars and Growlers is – to quote the website – “an adventure of Rob and Amy Baker to bring craft beer and hand crafted instruments to the great folks of Richardson Texas.” There mission is to build a new way for people to see what is going on in world of guitar building while enjoying a great craft beer. And pretty damn good food I may add. Handmade guitars hang on one wall.

So quite naturally, they would have live music. And, of course, an open mic to showcase local songwriters. A number of local songwriters and performers were in attendance to play on this particular occasion. Bill Hook opened the show – as hosts are wont to do.

Cat McGee followed Bill. John Mason took the stage next. Alex Benavides followed

Cat McGee

Mason and preceded the inimitable Bill Nash. Riley Curnutt took the stage after Bill Nash. Riley is a fourteen year old songwriter and she performs her songs nicely.

David Christian followed Riley with his own take on cover songs. Richard Hunt, Dan Roark, and Baylis Laramore ended the list of performers with Bill Hook coming back to the stage to end the evening. Links are provided so you can check their music out for yourselves. Everyone performed well, receiving ample applause.

Come to the next open mic on Wednesday, October 25, have some good food and craft beer, and get on the list to play, or just listen. Guitars and Growlers is a good venue and it’s always a good time. More pictures will be posted on my Facebook music page.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Ben Martinec

Ben Martinec and Mandalyn Mack swapped songs to start New Faces Tuesday at Love

Mandalyn Mack

and War in Texas in Plano on September 26. The weekly showcase was live on TexasSelectRadio.com, the event’s sponsor. Shaun Outen hosts New Faces Tuesday.

Martinec was in a bluesy mood, mixed in with his signature, laid-back delivery and songwriting style with some handy guitar work. Mandalyn answered each time with a country song she had written. One of her most memorable songs is My Love Song to Beer – given the fact that she is only 16 years old.

John Morgan took the stage next and played a set of solid country cover songs. Dan Roark played after

Dan Roark

Morgan with his original songs, including Waffle House is a Mighty Fortress. Mr. Troll wrapped up the evening entertainment. He played

Mr. Troll

about four songs before the audience left. They didn’t leave because of Troll, because he played well. They had their carryout containers before he took the stage.

Come on out next Tuesday and join in the fun. There’s always a lot of good, original music mixed with some sing-along covers. The food is good, the staff is friendly, and the drink prices are reasonable. Songwriters interested in performing should message Shaun Outen on Facebook. The  show will be live on TexasSelectRadio.com and sponsored by Texas Select.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Dan Roark

Dan Roark and Ray White opened the show at Love and War in Texas New Faces Tuesday on September 19. Terry Strange

Ray White

started out as host while regular host, Shaun Outen, had a scheduling conflict.

Dan and Ray swapped songs for five original songs each. The pictures are from a previous New Faces. It’s difficult to take pictures of

Jerrett Zoch

yourself when you are playing on stage. White’s traditional country style was a fitting counterpoint to Roark’s Americana style. Ray played lead on a few of Dan’s songs, but they really jammed on Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters.

Terry Strange

Jerrett Zoch took the stage next for a set of originals and cover songs in his strong, forceful voice. Shaun arrived to take up hosting, and Terry Strange played a set of his red dirty country music to end the show.

Join Shaun Outen, Dan Roark, and other songwriters on Tuesday, September 26 for another installment of New Faces Tuesday. One thing you can be sure of – it’s good music and a good time. And it supposed to be cooler on Tuesday.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

David Card

David Card, Poor David his own self, put the benefit at Poor David’s Pub together in six days. I am proud to be a member of Team PDP that produced a successful benefit and raised  over $4000 on Saturday, September 2. The money  was delivered to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and a pet rescue agency in Port Aransas.

I opened the show and was happy to be the first in a long line of songwriters and one cover band.

Dan Roark/Mr. Troll/Don Wall/Sam Baker/Bill Nash/Loose Change/Elizabeth Wills/Grady Yates/Jimmy Baldwin/Mike Freiley/Bob and Sally Ackerman/Caroline Murphy/Jimmy Adcock Trio/Rickey Gene Wright/Tim York/Travis Buster/Rick Babb/Annie Benjamin/Grace Pettis/Sonia of Disappear Fear/Greg Schroeder/Ann Armstrong and Steve Hughes/Baylis Laramore.

I will post pictures on my Facebook music page. I had to leave after Caroline Murphy so I may have the exact order a little off. If people who have pictures of the other acts would send them to me, I’ll add them to the album.

Thanks to David Card, Clare Card, all the great songwriters and musicians, the food crew and all of Team PDP for a wonderful benefit for our southern neighbors.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

It’s heartening to see all the fundraisers being organized to benefit the victims of the hurricane and resulting storms. I’m happy to be playing at two of those fundraisers this weekend.

Saturday is the Poor David’s Pub benefit from noon to midnight. I open the show at 1 p.m. and there will be songwriters sharing their songs all day and into the evening. It’s a good lineup of songwriters. Come out for a full day of music. Bring a donation and a giving heart.

Sunday is a benefit at The Forge in Ben Wheeler. The Ben Wheeler Fire Department is taking donations and Eddie Pardee organized a benefit at The Forge to generate donations. It will be in the outdoor pavilion from noon until 9 p.m. I will be on at 2 p.m. Come on out and join us if you’re in east Texas. Or make a road trip from Dallas. It’s a nice little town and the Forge has really good food.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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