27 February, 2008

Who Are the People in your Neighborhood?

Well, Kids

I probably should have started this a while back but oh well, it's better late than never... I'll be doing an installment of "Who are the people in my neighborhood?" every once in a while just so you get to know some of the people in my life in Arles.... In the short four months that I have been in Arles I have met some wonderful people.. Most of them I have known for a while as I had met them on previous visits to Arles... Being there for an extended period of time has allowed me to get to know them better.... As for my neigborhood..... Well, all of Arles is my "hood" tee hee.... So along down the road I will be introducing mi amigos to you... These are the people who make me feel like I am truly at home in a country that is far away from my own..

And I am blessed to have each and every one of them in my life..

First up, and does this really suprise any one? tee hee... The boys at " Chez Paul"

As most of you know... Well, I am sure all of you know... The Gitanos in Arles are a huge part of my life... They are my extended family here in Arles... At any given night at the bar you can hear anything from the Gipsy Kings to Camaron de la Isla, and Jose Reyes being played... This place is run by Paul. Paul is, as you can see from the photograph of the Reyes Clan... He is the son of one of the Reyes' sisters, Faionne.... Just a bit of triva for those of you who are familiar with the music of the Gipsies... His sister is Bernadette, of Canut's "Bolero" fame... Just thought I'd throw that in...

Here's Paul doin what all of these guys do best and that's sing.... This happened to be on one of the "Homage nights" This night was the Homage to Cameron de la Isla.. On any given night who's who in Gitano music just shows up... If you are there it's an amazing treat to sit and just listen to these guys sing... This night Juanito, and his little boy just happened to be there...

It was amazing to sit and listen to not only Juanito sing along with the Camaron songs but his little boy sang too.. 8 years old and he knew all the words to the song and he sang it with just the same passion as his father did...

Sometimes I have to sit back and look at where I am. I sort of take an inventory of how I ended up at this time and place... I suppose we all do that.. What leads us to where we are... The Gitanos are a part of my experience here.. They have allowed me to share a small part of their world..

Well, this is it for installment 1. Right now I am in America.. Hangin out with friends and family. I will add more to my blog about the people who I call friends in Arles...


26 February, 2008

The Gipsies invade New York!!

Oh la la. WOW !!

All I have to say is my boys sold out one of the biggest houses in NYC!! Radio City Music Hall...

For me it's very strange.... When I first met these guys it was through a mutual friend.. They were the Gipsy Kings... Cool!! First band I had ever seen live! Now I just know this little band of Gipsies from the South of France as Poulette, Canut, Nicolas, Patchai and Andre... So it's amazing to see them headline at Radio City... Not only headlining there but selling the damn thing out!!

As always this little group of Gitanos were spot on.... I missed the first couple of songs due to some managment issues.. But.... After a brief discussion with the powers that be about exactly who I am... hmm somehow that was all cleared up.... tee hee At any rate... We were able to enjoy the show from a backstage vantage point. I will say this about seeing them from this point of view.. you do hear the music in it's purest form.... Radio City is huge and things tend to get muffled... Andre's sweet voice tends to loose it's self in all of the space.... And some how all of the guitars over power him.. It was an Amazing show.. As always... Canut sang with that passion and soul that he always sings with. Singing his signature song. "Montana". Listening to him sing that song and knowing where the song comes from and what it is about brings tears to my eyes.... When his brothers add their harmonies to his song.. Those Reyes Boys know how to touch your soul... Of course Tonino being the guitar god that he is.. Never disapoints.. I don't really keep track of set lists or anything like that... Most of what they played were songs from all of their previous recordings.... Which is never a let down... I have always said that they would be just fine singing "Row your boat" and I would be happy... I do have to say this... And yes I am partial to the oldest of the Reyes brothers... My boy sang!!! Poulette belted out some wonderful riffs during "Pena Penita" that just blew me away!! Hmm always knew that the sweet one had it in him..... Simply adding to the magic of the whole evening.... Of course the back up band well, what is a group without it's support?? "Sabroso" showcased this very talented group of musicians.... It's amazing when a group gets it right.... These guys are what they are. Gitano Puro... But for two months out of the year they are genuine rock stars!!
So my next stop with the Gipsies will be in Denver.... For me seeing these guys play is a treat. I am honored to know them as the brilliant musicians that they are and most of all I am blessed to share my life with them and they in turn do the same... I never thought that this chica from Pueblo Colorado would be friends with Royalty... eh their just the Reyes boys... tee hee

So after all of the weather problems and all of the complaints of lost voices and the countless lines of "chicas" who pass through. These guys still have it... If you sit and talk to them they will tell you about all of their problems and what happened to them on their way to where they are. But when they step onto that stage they truly are Kings!!

18 February, 2008

I think I would like to be a dog

Okay y'all here's one for the okay Mel please esplain file.. Actually I think I would like to be this dog.

This was our tour guide at this little chaple off to the side of the road.. We were on our way back from lunch in Tarascon and we saw this small chaple off to the side of the road and thought hey what a neat spot to photograph... Well, we got out of the car and this dog stood at the top of the steps and greated us.. She actually took us to the chapel then she walked with us up the path as if to say hey there is more up this way... It was cool.. I mean really.. She probably lives in the Mas near the site but she wanders around showing tourists the sites... cool huh? Ah to be a dog. No real worries, well, if you have a person who loves you.... You get all the food you could possibly want... Yet sometimes you still want more... You have pretty much free roam over the entire domain of your people. You ask no real questions like where when why and how? but you do, however, make many many many demands... And being the sucker that your person is.. They always give in... Cause they know that you love them. I think I would like to be a dog.. But not one of those sissy celeb. dogs that get dressed up in stupid little outfits.. Those poor things are nervous all the time.. Hell, I would be too if i walked around with a half baked ditzy master who liked to put little shoes on my feet cause they thought it was cute... yeah i wanna be this dog.. tee hee.... ~mel~

02 February, 2008

Off to find dragons

Hey hey gangaroonies.... Iknow it has been a while since my last post....... Well, almost a month... whew!! Alot has happened since the last post.. Mi Amiga Prima was here for two weeks.. We did quite a bit... Having a car allows you a bit more freedom to find little places that you didn't know really existed.... We found a whole bunch of little churches... Well, actually they were chapels.. word of note: small abandoned chaples are great places for when you have no where else to go to the bathroom. Yeah yeah... i know you shouldn't pee on a church... eh... okay... tee hee... We had a blast tooling around provence... acting like we owned the place. it was fun... of course whe spent time with el primo amigo too so... Now i must speak about what happens to be one of the strangest days i have ever had here....... My saturdays start like any other saturday... Clean up after the friday night before.... Not that I make a huge mess but i usually leave it until the morning... so i did the dishes and picked up my stuff... then i headed out for the market... After the market i headed to one of my favorite to places to eat... where a friend of mine was telling me that there were some chinese or lunar new year events going on here... cool, i could go take pictures.... so i headed back home after lunch... stopping at my favorite cafe for yet another cup of cafe.... oh la la no sleep for me tonight... i headed back home to drop off my goodies from the market. i headed out in search of dragons... yeah kinda like martha in tarascon.. yet my dragons weren't a threat... these are good luck dragons.... after searching and searching i found no dragons.... Rat balls..... but i did find a funky band of dudes playing beatle's tunes... rather badly... the weird thing is that they had old couches and toilets sitting near their little stage. trying to listen to them play... oof if you could call it that?? i was pretty bummed out.. no dragons.... i headed to the cafe where i tap into the internet.... and i heard chinese drums and fire crackers... AHHH DRAGONS!! i found them but they were running away from me... quick mel catch the dragons... so i ran after them... tee hee camera in tow they passed by and made their way to the place du repbulique where there just happened to be a wedding and the band playing beatles tunes.. AWESOME..... chinese drums a really bad band and a wedding... WHO SEES THIS STUFF?? Well, i had found my dragons and i got my good luck for the year... It's the year of the Rat.. my year.... woo hoo so unlike martha in tarascon i did not conquer these dragons i tickled one on the chin and took his picture... Well, kids that's it from Roman Gaul again... I am off to see what i can see..