The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Ladies Night & Goldeneye Pinot Noir

Been traveling for the past week and I’m going out on the road again on Sunday. Heading for La La Land, alias Los Angeles.

I’ve just finished my fourth novel, Dancing Over Hell, which deals with an international sex trafficking ring. As I was researching it, I realized that that the main problem is men. Sex trafficking aside, look around. In this country you’ve got former presidential candidates like Jon Edwards, a plethora of senators and governors, sports figures like Tiger, and let’s not forget Ben Rothlisberger, famous for buying minors drinks and then taking advantage of them. Gentlemen, face it, our gender is made up of an awful lot of jerks. But here’s to the men who are faithful to their wives, fiancés, and girlfriends. Who treat them with respect and honor them in everything they do. In honor of my fourth book, I’m making this ladies night, with a special theme, something that will be obvious if you listen to the lyrics of these outstanding female artists. And to top it off, don’t miss the video of Orianthi & Steve Vai. It’s killer. Here’s to the ladies. Enjoy!

According to you:

What’s it gonna be:

Think like a man:



Lesley Roy:


Kelly Clarkson:
Behind these hazel eyes:

Avril Lavigne:
My Happy Ending:

Orianthi & Steve Vai: Highly Strung:

I was in Washington D.C. this past week and had a chance to sample some outstanding wines, one of which was a 2006 Goldeneye Pinot Noir. I ordered two glasses with dinner one night. Now, it’s way beyond the $25.00 per bottle cap for this blog, but it was $14.00 a glass at the restaurant, so if you ever see it and get a chance, try it. It’s about $50.00 per bottle in stores. Wine spectator gave it a 90 while Wine Enthusiast rated it 91. Lush cherries and orange zest on the nose. The cherries and orange follow on the palate along with notes of currents, cocoa, vanilla, and a touch of cinnamon. Very, very nice wine. So, raise a toast to the ladies and the good guys.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Robben Ford and Clos La Coutale Cahors

It’s been one of those weeks that couldn’t end fast enough. Lots of craziness, but nothing lifts my mood more than some rocking blues, especially when the guitarist is Robben Ford. He’s a four-time Grammy nominee and has played with a diverse slew of artists including Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Witherspoon, Miles Davis, George Harrison, Phil Lesh, Bonnie Raitt, Michael McDonald, and dozens of others. His first guitar idols were Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and after hearing them, he picked up the guitar and never looked back. He also developed a love of jazz, particularly the work of saxophonist Paul Desmond of the Dave Brubeck quartet. His style is a fusion of jazz and blues that gets your head to bobbing and your foot to tapping to some very upbeat and listenable music. Two of my favorites are “Start It Up” and “Talk To Your Daughter.” Hope you enjoy him.

Start it up:

Lovin Cup:

Talk to your daughter:

Rumba Blues:

Indiana Blues:

She Cries:

Worried Life Blues:

Crosscut saw:


Prisoner of Love:

You cut me to the bone:

He don’t play nothin but the blues:

Tired of Talkin:

The Brother:

With a big rich blues player like Robben, I’ve got to pair him with an equally big wine, a 2007 Clos La Coutale Cahors from France. It’s 80% Malbec (yes, Malbec was in France before it reached Argentina) and 20% Merlot that opens with a salvo of black cherry, cassis, blackberry, at touch of blueberry, and hints of oak. It’s a bright red color with elegant well-defined, concentrated flavors of dark cherry, blackberry and plum, followed by notes of dark chocolate. Lots of muscle and dense structure with a long, powerful finish. What’s even more incredible is it’s only $13.00 a bottle. Wine Spectator rated it a 90 and combined with the price, I’d give it a 105! Great wine, fabulous guitar, Friday night at last. Enjoy!


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Jeff Schmidt & Bodega Norton Privada

“Christ the Lord is risen today. Halleluiah!”

Tonight, I’m featuring a unique bit of low end talent. Jeff Schmidt placed 1st in the 2005 Bass Extremes International Solo Bass Competition – The judges were Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Will Lee, Anthony Jackson, Jonathan Herrera (from Bass Player Magazine) and drummer Gregg Bissonette. He has a unique style that combines beautiful melodic passages with tapping ala Preston Reed. Look carefully at his method as he plays a right-handed bass left handed with the strings upside down, that is, on a four-string fretless, the top string is the D string rather than the low E. He’s also the only bassist I know who uses a capo. Jeff is one of the few solo bassists to whom I can listen for hours. Hope you enjoy him as much as I do.

Solo on Piccolo Bass:

Solo #2:


Seeing is Freeing:

Still Silhouette:





Until you don’t:

Jeff’s music is dreamy—but it is, after all, the bass, so I’m pairing him with a rich deep wine. The Bodega Norton 2006 Privada is a blend of 40% Malbec, 30% Merlot, and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and is aged for 16 months in new French oak. It’s a deep crimson-color and has a classy bouquet of black cherry, plum, cassis, vanilla, mineral, and pepper. On the palate it has layers of smooth-textured black fruit and raspberry with touches of chocolate and a long finish featuring spice and mocha. Wine Spectator rated it a 92 while Wine Enthusiast gave it a 90. It’s an excellent wine and at $17.00 it’s a steal.

I’m going to enjoy the last of Easter Sunday sipping a glass of Privada, listening to Jeff, and reflecting on what Christ did for me so many years ago. Blessings at Easter.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Pete Huttlinger and Layer Cake Cote du Rhone

Tonight I’m featuring a man whose guitar playing is amazing. Pete Huttlinger is a graduate of Berklee College of Music. In 2000, he won the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. He did a stint touring with John Denver and played the guitar on Denver’s Grammy wininng CD, “All Aboard.” He’s performed on numerous other Grammy nominated projects. He was also nominated for an Emmy for the music he composed and performed for a PBS special and also played on the PBS Nature special “Let This Be A Voice.” In 2004 and 2007, he was invited to perform at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festivals. Accolades aside, listen to his stuff. I love what he does with Stevie wonder’s “Superstition.” In fact, I included two performances for your listening pleasure. He reminds me a bit of Adam Rafferty, one of my all time favorite acoustic guitarists. Of course, Pete’s also one of my favorites. Enjoy!


Superstition II:

Beatles Medley:


I wish:


Isn’t she lovely:

My Cherie amour:

Darcy’s guitar:

The Santa Rita Connection:

Things are looking up:


The View:

I’m pairing Pete with a French Layer Cake wine. However, Layer Cake Cote du Rhone (2006; $16.00) is a bit different than most other Rhones. Rather than being a blend, it’s pure Syrah sourced from the region around Châteauneuf du Pape. The bouquet is a combination of cherry and strawberry with a hint of black pepper. The palate is loaded with cherry augmented by flavors of chocolate and spice with a very nice lingering finish. This is the third Layer Cake wine I’ve reviewed and I must say I’m impressed. For the money, they are delicious wines with good value. Pete Huttlinger, Layer Cake Cote du Rhone, and Friday night. What could be better?