Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An Interview with Mose McCormack

Jan.s:  Mose...As I understand it, you're resident with your family in Santa Fe...but where did your musical journey begin?

Mose:  Born in south Alabama on Dec. 31, 1949. My first musical memories were, my mother singing to me, and being dragged to the southern Baptist Church, where the white folks were were trying to sing "black" and they didn't even realize it. I didn't realize it either , at such an "innocent" age. 

Jan.s:  When did you begin playing?

Mose:  It wasn't till my first band ,at age 15, did I acknowledge The Blue Eyed Soul Brother in me. All those folk songs my Mama used to sing me to sleep with, all had black roots. The "real" gospel singers were in the black churches. And here I was singing, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, Percy Sledge, and don't forget James Brown.

Jan.s:  What was the name of that band...what was the lineup...where were you gigging?

Mose:  One band was named "Sound of Six", another was"Brand X". My Brother Randy, played guitar. Mike Sisson on drums, Bill Moore-Bass, Bubba Carl Phillips- guitar, And the late Jimmy Edwards on keyboard. We played at local high schools and drunken, college fraternity parties. This was 1965-66. We were a real "Garage Band". We drifted from R&B to playing the "hip" west coast sound. Slightly psychedelic. 

The reality of the uptight south made me flee at the age of 17. To much fear and loathing of different races, creeds, religions. All I could do was play guitar and I needed to do something with my life ,so I became a songwriter,lived in San Fransisco, played there and Northern California in small listening clubs and coffee houses.

Jan.s:  Tell us about your jewellery making ...the stones you use...and the designs?

Mose:  OOOKAY, San Francisco was great for music. Music everywhere. But moving on was in the plan and I found myself living in a ghost town in  Arizona, on probation for bank robbery.(search Mose McCormack hard enough and you'll find the dirty truth) My probation officer said he didn't like me playing guitar in bars and such. Had to get a real job. So I asked a friend to show me a couple of things on making jewelry. I'd hang out with the Hopi and Navajo jewelers, learning traditional styles and methods. 

I fell in love with Turquoise. I grind/shape all my settings.

Onward... I heard all about Santa Fe and how it was the third largest art market in the world. Great place to be a starving artist. When I was released from my probation, I moved to New Mexico.



If you want to read a full interview with Mose...check the following link out!


All photos courtesy of & copyright of Mose McCormack unless otherwise stated:

Photo of guitar and bird. 'That's one of my many chickens. It's a bantam Mille Flur. A breed from Belgium.' Photo: Courtesy of & copyright of Jack Clift.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Northern Beaches and the Nagas!

I've just returned from a stay on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, (NSW) ...

This vast coastline & its inlets have always been a haven for surfers, musicians and visual artists  ..

At present it seems to be overflowing with them...with brilliant photographers, fashion creatives and home designers opening stores which often combine cafes & flower stalls in glorious waterfront restaurants...

With the Year of the Dragon now underway ...here's to celebrating the world of the creatives who ride the waves of change!  Those who dive into the realms of water where the aspect of Benten and the great Naga, serpentine energies lay ready to be awakened...

Here's to seeking & finding then riding those powerful energies of change ...to witness the Dragon and to respect it's powerful nature rather than fight or try to tame it...

Below is a most gorgeous image of Benten...link at end of post::

 'WHO IS BENZAITEN. Female. A river goddess in Indian mythology. Her Sanskrit name "Sarasvatī" means "flowing water" and thus she represents everything that flows (e.g., music, words, speech, eloquence). Later adopted into the Buddhist and then Shinto pantheons of Japan. One of Japan's Seven Lucky Gods. Comes in two main forms: (1) with two arms holding a lute; (2) with eight arms holding martial implements to indicate her role as protector against disaster; this version is called Happi Benzaiten. In less-common forms she is depicted naked or as Uga Benzaiten (esoteric form). Her messenger is the snake, so she is sometimes shown mounted on a serpent or dragon. Goddess of Learning, Eloquence, Music, Poetry, Speech, Rhetoric, Wealth, Longevity; Protects against natural disaster; Inventor of Sanskrit; River Goddess'.

Taken from the following link:


The fabulous image of Benten was found on the following site but it does not say who it is attributed to:



Thursday, January 5, 2012

An Interview with Johh Currie

 Jan.s:  John, would you tell us about your recent climb on Mt Cho Oyu?

Cho Oyo is the sixth highest mountain in the world, and is approached from the Tibet side. Base Camp is near a mountain pass called the Nangpa La, which has been used as a trading route between Nepal and Tibet for centuries by the local people. The climb is not technical but the standard route is long and cold, and once you get above 7000 meters you realize what a huge mountain Cho Oyo really is. 

Unfortunately I was not travelling strong enough this trip to go beyond camp 2 at 7100 meters, but some members of my team pushed up to around 7700 meters. We always have a puja at base camp and bless each other and our equipment before climbing the mountain, our Nepalese Sherpa’s will not set foot on the mountain without this taking place. No one on my expedition summited this year, despite the best puja ever. Snow conditions were bad this climbing season, in that there was a lot of it, which made sections of the mountain avalanche prone and therefore very dangerous. 

Jan.s:  On the plains in Tibet you visited some villages....can you share some of your experience...

To cross the Nepal\Tibet border at Kodari, you must walk across the friendship bridge to the town of Zangmu and there pass through “Chinese” immigration control . Zangmu is a typically ugly border town, lots of concrete, there is an air of oppression which is tangible. After leaving Zangmu you climb relatively quickly to the vast brown Tibetan plateau. Initially there are more concrete towns, Nylam , (pronounced Neel am),  but eventually there are small Tibetan settlements which can be seen in the distance and the last town before leaving the main road for the track to Cho Oyo is Tingri. 
Tingri has a wild west feel about it, the local Tibetan people are shy compared to Nepal and often don’t like to have their picture taken. Maybe if I was approached by some rough looking, hairy, western mountaineers – I wouldn’t let them take my picture either. There are few amenities in Tingri and local life is hard, but like all of Tibet it is changing. 
 The Chinese are making massive investments in roads and bridges, I suppose there are both good and bad aspects of this development. Some local Tibetans followed us to base camp, in the hope of selling their wares. Local people are very colourful, with bright red cloth in their hair, and ornaments of yak bone. The women ware large silver belts, both sexes ware their hair long and usually braided in some fashion.  There is a wildness about them. If you could bottle it I would drink some. 

 Tashi Delek John! 
All photos courtesy of & (c) copyright of John Currie 2011.