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Author Archives: americanleo

A Patriot is defined as someone who feels a strong support for his or her country.*

Patriotism is defined as a devotion to one’s country, excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term’s meaning upon context, geography and philosophy.**

Now that we have defined the above terms, let’s make the overall statement that it does not matter what country you are from, what your culture or ethnicity is, or where your ancestors are from, anyone can be a Patriot and practice Patriotism.

I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy, Yankee Doodle do or die!

When I tell people that I am a Patriot, they look at me like I have eleven heads and no pants on. They then feel the need to detail all the horrible things that the United States has done and all the corrupt policies that have been put in place over the years. Needless wars, greed, turning a blind eye to the pollution caused by Big Business…yes yes all this is true and currently going on as I type.

However, one of the biggest responsibilities of any true Patriot is to take the good with the bad. One must have a solid understanding of the history of their country to even be a Patriot in my opinion. I mean, how can you be devoted to something you really know nothing about? How can you better the object of your affection if you don’t know what mistakes NOT to repeat from the past?

It is easy to turn a blind eye to the bad attributes of something that we are taken with…compare it with a new lover. You can see they have a procrastination problem, or maybe they are a violent drunk…but they can be sweet at times right? Love is blind, we are quick to argue. However, true love comes when we fully understand the other side and not only learn of the past but comes to terms with it and strive not to repeat those same mistakes.

I refuse to hate the land in which I was born, bred, and raised. My ancestors built this land and yes, it has its faults. Heck, I am an awesome saucy individual and even I, yes I, have issues that will make most cringe and reconsider a relationship with me. Tis the same with the good ole U.S. of A. for me. I will forever stand firm on my beliefs and for my country.

Know your history. Don’t just take what others say as gospel. Read. Research. Ask questions. Then, when you wear your flag proud (confederate or otherwise), I can actually take you seriously.

#TeamAmerica,

American Leo

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot

** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriotism

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Since my relocation from NYC to Nashville, I have learned a great deal about music. The misconception is that Nashville is the mecca of country music, cornfields and cowboys…not that far off, mind you, but they don’t call it Music City for nothing! Nashville is actually a stew filled with Rock, Classic, Pop and R&B Country, Bluegrass, The Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Alternative, Indie Punk and singer/songwriters seasoned with a lot of blood, sweat, tears, whiskey…and beer. I never understood why people hated Nickelback so much until I started going to honky tonks and seeing guitarists use their fingers to make their strings sang…like a big fat woman singing lead in a gospel choir. While lyrics are important, the skill with which a musician plays their instrument is equally important and necessary to bring life to the story being told.

I say all this to say that while I love live music, I have been re-introduced to something that I never appreciated before Nashville…and that is vinyl records. The first time I heard Bob Seger and The Live Bullet Band’s (LIVE) record I had a religious experience. ‘Looking Back’ has now been engraved on my heart and in my very soul. There is something that alters in you when you hear that vinyl spin, the gentle snap, crackle and pop of the grooves as that needle releases the music into the air. Somehow, vinyl records captures the aura and power of a live performance and loses none of its staying power…a feat that CD’s and mp3 can never aspire to achieve.

A little history/definition of vinyl records:

A gramophone record, commonly known as a phonograph record (in American English), vinyl record (in reference to vinyl, the material most commonly used after about 1950), or colloquially, a record, is an analog sound storage medium consisting of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. The groove usually starts near the periphery and ends near the center of the disc. Phonograph records are generally described by their diameter in inches (12-inch, 10-inch, 7-inch, etc.), the rotational speed at which they are played (“33⅓ r.p.m.”, “78”, “45”, etc.), their time capacity (“Long Playing”), their reproductive accuracy, or “fidelity”, or the number of channels of audio provided (“Mono”, “Stereo”, “Quadraphonic”, etc.)

Phonograph records were the primary medium used for music reproduction for most of the 20th century, replacing the phonograph cylinder, with which it had co-existed, by the 1920s. By the late 1980s, digital media had gained a larger market share, and the vinyl record left the mainstream in 1991. However, they continue to be manufactured and sold in the 21st century. The vinyl record regained popularity by 2008, with nearly 2.9 million units shipped that year, the most in any year since 1998 and the format has continued to slowly regain popularity. They are especially used by DJs and audiophiles for many types of music. As of 2012, vinyl records continue to be used for distribution of independent and alternative music artists. More mainstream pop music releases tend to be mostly sold in compact disc or other digital formats, but have still been released in vinyl in certain instances.*

Are they ever making a comeback! If you can’t see a band/artist live, then the only other way to truly experience them is to listen to them on a record.

This might sound like ancient history to the generation today that is out buying music…or what is passing as music these days. However, I implore you to give it a try. Hit up places like Ebay, Amazon and Urban Outfitters to find a record player. They actually have modernized players where you can convert the songs from the record to an mp3 file that you can download into your ipod and/or computer.

Sunday Funday consisted of listening to Koko Taylor shake the earth! I AM A WOMAN!!!! Vinyl is the ONLY way to truly experience a legend like Koko.

Thank you Nashville for my continuing education in music. I’m working on my doctorate y’all! Next stop, Country Music Hall Of Fame.

Until next time,

American Leo

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Taken from Wikipedia. Check out the link for more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramophone_record


PSA: I was born and raised in The Bronx, NY, American, a Yankee through and through. Some say The Bronx is where Hip Hop was born as well, making it a distant cousin of mine. Staple diet for most New Yorkers includes bagels for breakfast, a hero for lunch and a large pizza pie from the local pizzeria for dinner.

So how the heck did I end up in Nashville, TN honky tonking my life away?

Easy. I love country music. Now, to be clear, I love all different types of music, especially since I love to dance and have been a dancer since the age of ten. However, I am also a writer and it is the lyrics and emotion of country music that appeals and calls to me the most. The twangs of guitars and the commotion that a fiddle can cause incites me to want to get up and two step or sit down with a bottle of whiskey and have a good cry. Both are healing and invigorating.

Country music is also relatable, seeing as how I am from this country. People tend to forget that. I may not go out into the fields or drive around in a tractor, but I get up and go to work every day to put food on the table and to provide for my family. I have experienced the kind of heart break that has turned weaker men insane and I love to party with my friends on special occasions…like when it’s someone’s birthday or/and when it isn’t. And country music, whether its 3 chords or magical, whimsical chords like the ones created by Brad Paisley or Keith Urban, it all captures my life in song.

Lastly, it is said that country music has the best and most loyal fans, but I believe this is true because country music has the best and most humble artists. Now, don’t get me wrong, every genre of music has assholes. However, 9 out of every 10 country music artist I meet have been warm, inviting, and thankful for my support. It makes me want to support them more (Note to music artists, y’all might want to highlight this and put it in ya pocket for future reference).

Are you ready for the country? Are you ready for me?

And that’s why I am here. And I am not going anywhere. Yeehaw!

American Leo


Click on the link to read this review on Amazon and get your own copy now: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ICWI4S

 

 

Yes, from page one of this book, that is ALL I could say about one of the main characters, Sedari. This book is so full of emotion, raw and honest life situations that I actually had to take a break from reading as I became very connected to the plot. All of us have been through the drama in this book in some form or the other, or have friends that have been through it. If I was impressed with his first book, it is nothing compared to how I felt after reading Open Spaces.

Be warned…reading this book will make you question your relationships, all of them, from past to the future and don’t worry if you become highly unstable emotionally…Keith is great at doing that to his readers. It’s all apart of how he connects the world he creates to the readers world and you can’t put the book down until it’s done, even when you want too.

Again, plot is seemless and very meaty. Every word counts and is relevant to the storyline. I say buy this book, support this amazing independent author and you will not regret it.

Great work Keith. The title of this review is for you as well….OH NO HE DIDN’T just kill me softly with his words!!!!


               Click on the link to check out this review on Amazon and pick up your copy of this book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003CJTZWU/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

 

All I can say is, I saw a woman reading this book on the train a few years ago and thought the cover art was cool. I read over her shoulder for a couple of stops and then didn’t think about it again until I met the author (who I had NO idea was an author) and got my own copy. SOOOO glad I did! Now, I haven’t really been a fan of all the current urban fiction that is out now, but Keith really brings his characters to life with his vivid descriptions and tone of voice for each person in the book.

It was very hard not to look back on my own life while reading this novel and seeing alot of myelf as well as the people I grew up with in this story. Kudos to Mr. Williams and I recommend this book to all readers, especially those who are into urban fiction. Beware tho…as I read this book I kept telling myself that he is NOT talking about me or anyone I know, lol.

 

Now THAT is what makes a great author.


Click the link to check out this review on amazon and get your copy today!: http://www.amazon.com/Blacklisted-ebook/dp/B006FELO96/ref=cm_cr-mr-title
Blacklisted

So in an effort not to spoil this ride for anyone, let me start by saying Luke Romyn is a master of suspense and non-stop action. This is not an easy genre to work in and he nails it effortlessly with Blacklisted. I really had a hard time putting this book down until it was
finished and it never got dull or boring or confusing. The main character Mike Swanson is badass and you will fall in love with him. I also like the conspiracy theories as it definitely fleshed out the storyline very well and drew you in as the reader into the world that Mike got dropped in.
I will end this review by saying this is a great deal on a story that gives the reader an intense ride into a world filled with guns, blood, fights, death, sex, passion, determination, insanity, evil, and even love, albeit a twisted, broken thing. Spend the $.99 cents and join me in the world that Luke Romyn has deamed “Blacklisted”.


Red Mojo Mama
Click on this link to see this review live and order your copy today! http://www.amazon.com/Red-Mojo-Mama-ebook/dp/B004UH0MG6/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

First, let me point out that the main character, Red, will capivate you as effectively as her red hair captivates those around her in this book. The storyline moves quickly and you will find that it will become difficult to put down! Second, the reader must be able to stretch the limits of their imaginations a bit; but no worries there since the book does it for you. Don’t let the title fool you either as this story is filled with suspense, mystery, fraud, murder, even sex! Yes I said sex although I guess the word mojo being in the title implies that lol.
I don’t want to spoil it for you so I will conclude by stating this is a fun book and money well spent. Guaranteed to make you laugh, cry, sigh, shout, smile and leave you feeling warm and fuzzy all over. Oh and if by chance you have lost your own mojo, once completing this book you WILL have it back!