Friday, February 29, 2008


On March 16 two wonderful artists will be joining me on TABLETALK. Fred Koehler and Jace Johnson.

If you click on the video below you will see the trailer for a brilliant film, LITTLE CHENIER. Filmed in the Bayous of Louisiana (co-written by Jace Johnson) and featuring Fred Koehler in a brilliant performance reminiscent of the great Charles Laughton in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. A Gothic tale filled with the most beautiful photography, the lilting dialect of the area (so well captured), and also the last views you will ever see of this gorgeous area. Thirty days after filming ended Hurricane Rita struck and totally wiped out this town.

While the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina remains with us Rita was no slouch in the devastation department and this area was never rebuilt.

In the film you will also hear the most beautiful Cajun music and a French version of Amazing Grace (which---you can also hear on TRADITIONS on March 9).

This is a film where the ending should not be revealed---so I won't. But do tune in to TABLETALK on March 16 at 8 A M Eastern Time or listen on the web at

The film is now playing in only one theater in the NY area--The Quad. Having won numerous awards it will be in wider release shortly.

Just allow yourself to be engulfed by the music and the atmosphere and live once again in a place you will never see again. For good or ill.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gift Giving Idea and a few more items.

A few weeks ago a CD came into my hands that truly impressed me by the concept and the execution. We all know about Hallmark Greeting cards amongst others; when some one comes up with a great idea for personalized music I do believe it is worth passing this information along since you may have an occasion---birthday, anniversary, tribute for a loved one, and who knows what more.

ERIK BALKEY has come up with just such a concept and has a CD out featuring some of the music he has created for people. All these songs are performed by others---handpicked for the occasion and all wonderful artists in their own right.

Below you will see a message from Erik's website explaining this concept and how it works:

About Family Album: Custom Songs by Erik Balkey

Make it a song! Words and music can capture a moment, express a feeling, and make it a timeless gift.
Erik will write a song for all occasions or purposes. He's written songs for birthdays, weddings, graduation, Mother's Day. He's written a song for a September 11 charity foundation, a song to accompany a personal story on discovery of spirit, and a song for a concert presenter on the occasion of his last show.

What is a custom song? A song can be written with the details that you provide. If you have an occasion, or wish to find a creative gift, a song can be a memory or feeling made timeless.

What do I have to do? Give Erik an idea. He will ask you some questions. Answer the questions, then sit back and wait for a song. Erik will do the rest. The melody, music and lyrics will be written incorporating the details you provide. And, more than just telling the story, it isn't a custom song if it doesn't also capture the heart.

What do I get? Erik will write the song. You can have it recorded simply with an intimate guitar and voice presentation and delivered on CD. Also, Erik works with a variety of singers and producers and can affordably deliver your song with a more 'full' sound. You can get one copy with simple text, but we can also provide multiple copies for your occasion (gift to wedding guests, for example), and some graphics to include photos.

Contact Erik for more information and rates -

My thanks for the nice comments and calls regarding the idea of a segment with story songs---songs that are like a novel in 5 or so minutes. If you have any suggestions for artists, themes, or particular pieces please do e mail