Giving Tree Band Recycling Inspired by Shel Silverstein

One of the first books I owned was the The Giving Tree written by the late Shel Silverstein. This book was a gift from my godmother many years ago. In the book, an apple tree gives joy to a the main character from the time he is a boy until he becomes an old man. The tree keeps giving back.

Recently I heard about the Giving Tree Band from Yorkville, Illinois. The Giving Tree Band uses social networking to connect with their fans and share their message of environmental sustainability. They made a green statement while recording their “Great Possessions” album in 2009. The group stayed near the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center where they recorded the songs to reduce their carbon emissions during commutes. Even the instruments used on this CD were made of recycled materials.

After the recording, the band raffled off the guitar pictured below, signed by the band, through the Chicago Bluesgrass & Blues Festival. McHenry County resident Kyle E. Williams, also a song writer and guitarist, won this Taliesin model guitar which Jason Harshbarger of Highland Strings created from reclaimed materials.

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Guitar Giving Tree Band used on the “Great Possessions” album
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Guitar inlay Giving Tree Band used on the “Great Possessions” album

Click on the image below to view the video of Kyle playing the guitar from the Giving Tree Guitar and signing his original song CTA accompanied by Noel F. Williams.

Read more about the band’s eco friendly practices and recording. Purchase the Great Possessions album. Listen to their music on MySpace and Facebook. Follow Giving Tree Band on Twitter.

New Years Eve With Lake Shore Vibe at Liquid Blues Woodstock

Looking for a fun way to rock in the New Year 2011? Ready to start 2011 off with a good friends and good food? The McHenry County place to be is Liquid Blues off the square in downtown Woodstock, Illinois celebrating with Lake Shore Vibe. Check out their sounds on MySpace! Follow Lake Shore Vibe on Facebook.

Lake Shore Vibe

Lake Shore Vibe

The band:

  • Josh Kremer – Guitar/Vocals
  • Mike Mongoven- Guitar
  • Jim Hegarty – Bass
  • Carson Williams – Percussion/Vocals
  • Dan Suwinski- Keyboards/Vocals

Voted Woodstock’s best keep secret, Liquid Blues is a flashback to the 1960s. Lava lamps, beads, candles, incense and the friendliest staff and patrons in the world. Travel back to the time when music and magic mattered.

Liquid Blues
126 N Benton Street
Woodstock IL
815-337-7254

Liquid Blues Limited on Urbanspoon

Sounds of Aloha from Around the World

On those cold Midwestern nights, we get the hankering for the warm Spirit of Aloha. There is something comforting about the sounds of Hawaiian music filling the house. We listen to Hawaiian 105 KINE streaming on the internet from our home in the summer or winter.

Hanauma Bay on Oahu Hawaii

Hanauma Bay on Oahu Hawaii

When you are ready to get back to the islands, listen to Hawaiian 105.

Jake Shimabukuro In Concert at Honolulu Marathon Expo

We met Hawaii born ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Honolulu Marathon Expo in the Hawaii Convention Center. This is was the first of Jake’s three appearances at Honolulu marathon events.

Tonight Jake will play a show at the Waikiki Shell. Last year we heard Jake Shimabukuro play with Jimmy Buffett at the same venue. After the race, Jake will play at the Kapiolani Park bandstand.

Jake began playing the four stringed ukulele as a young child and growing up in the islands influenced his music.

“When I think of the ukulele, I guess to me it has always been the instrument of peace, you know, because when I think of the ukulele, I think of beaches, I think of nature. ” Jake says. “You know growing up here in Hawaii, we are so spoiled with nice beaches, and the aloha spirit. That all rings through the instrument. Playing the ukulele, I tell people all the time that if everyone played the ukulele, the world would be a better place. I really believe that. It has really shaped my life and the instrument has really become, I guess a way of life for me. I am very honored to strum that four stringed instrument every day.”

Jake Shimabukuro


Jake’s new album “Jake’s website.

Click in the picture below to see my interview with Jake Shimabukuro and listen to Jake play “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

Music Festival Fan Art Posters

Check these Festival Fan Artwork – colorful posters from Kyle E. Williams. Illustrated in colored pencil and pen, these 11 x 17 posters are available for sale. Contact Kyle to order.

Kyle E. Williams Music Festival Fan Art Posters

Kyle E. Williams Music Festival Fan Art Posters

From Kyle festival fan art

Watch Out for the Hawk at Volo Bog Winter Fest

Watch out for the bird I said to Noel F. Williams. We were at the Volo Bog in Volo, Illinois enjoying Winter Fest. Lake Shore Vibe rocked the place with four sets during the afternoon. Visitors went on hikes in the snow to see nature at work and the photo contest brought the outdoors inside.

Noel F. Williams vs the Hawk Volo Bog Park

Noel F. Williams vs the Hawk Volo Bog Park

Here’s Noel about to be captured by a Red Tail Hawk. We see these birds of prey in our yard at times.

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