Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Sunday, July 31, 2016

EOM Meme Dump

Time once again to unload those memes which, for one reason or another, didn't make it into the blog over the last month. Some of them may have actually made it onto the blog, but they are good enough to repeat. Copy all you like, and you may need to click on a pic to be able to read it better.  

Good bye July! Hello August!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

National Orgasm Day

Don't forget that Sunday, July 31, is National Orgasm Day.  I'm not quite sure WHO proclaimed it that or HOW they did it, but who cares? Get to it!

And here are some interesting "facts" about orgasms.

8 Fun Facts About Orgasms for National Orgasm Day

National Orgasm Day, July 31, is upon us—and there's a lot about orgasms that we still don't understand. Luckily, Match’s Singles in America survey asked over 5,500 singles about their sex lives, and we have to admit some of the findings perplexed us (who knew your emoji usage could predict how easily you orgasm?). Here, a few other fun facts to celebrate this very important holiday.
1. People who smoke weed have more orgasms. Like, way more. Pot smokers surveyed were 109 percent more likely to have multiple orgasms.
2. Being politically active pays off. People who are more passionate about politics have more multiple orgasms and more orgasms in general.
3. Faking orgasms isn't something just women do. 37 percent of men in Match's survey said they'd faked orgasms before. The most common reasons they cited were because they weren't enjoying sex anymore because they wanted to "show their partner that they loved them" and because they were too drunk to finish. The first two reasons were also top ones for women, and boosting partners' self-esteem was also a big one for us.
4. Our parents are getting off more than us. Millennials have 12 percent fewer orgasms than boomers. Womp-womp.
5. Redheads have it best. We will not attempt to explain why, but for whatever reason, single women with red hair have the most orgasms, followed by blondes.
6. Miami is the place to get off. 60 percent of singles in the 305 orgasm during 90 to 100 percent of their sexual encounters.
7. Tech nerds are doing something right. Despite what stereotypes might lead you to believe, people working in computers and electronics have more orgasms than any other profession.
8. Emoji flirting is good for your sex life. Women who use the lips and kissing emoji have more orgasms with their it may be time to ramp up the sexting.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Us and Them

I hope they don't make you watch a damn commercial before the video, but you can probably skip it after a few seconds. This album always gets to me.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

DNC Day 4

So Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman ever nominated for President by one of the two major political parties.  It's historic. Monumental. Exciting. Her acceptance speech was electrifying, if you're a Democrat.

You could contrast the two conventions simply: hate from the Republicans, love from the Democrats. That's how it seems to me. Obviously, many of the haters on the right won't see it that way at all. They despise Hillary with a palpable and irrational hate. Sadly, they have been fed a steady diet of propaganda, lies and vitriol about Hillary by their main source of news - FOX News - for so long now, their hatred is almost understandable. Irrational and wrong, but understandable. If you only rely on FOX, that's what you get. 

In his speech on Tuesday, Day 2, Bill Clinton called it "the cartoon Hillary." Then he went on to say that the convention nominated the "real Hillary."

The differences between Trump and Clinton are also stark. I have to believe that enough Republicans will "come around" and reject Trump at the ballot box. I also have to hope that not too many Democrats defect to a third party, or not vote at all to protest Hillary.

We still have 100+ days until Election day (which ought to be a national fucking holiday!!) and we are likely to see all sorts of crazy shit between now and then. The upcoming debates will probably score some of the highest viewership on record.

And while who wins the election will have far-reaching implications and effects, I wish I could say I trusted the counting of the votes. Most of this country is using electronic and unverifiable machines which have been shown to be easily hackable. The stakes of this election are very high. The temptation to cheat is also great.

And one of the big things we learned from the DNC last night: Bill Clinton likes balloons. He's got to be pretty damn proud of his wife at this point, as if he wasn't already. My final hope is that no nut with a gun decides to off the first female Presidential candidate. There are lots and lots and lots of weapons around this country.

Remember you can see all the speeches on demand at

Oh, almost forgot, you should really watch Khizr Khan speak, an American Muslim whose 25-year-old son was killed in Afghanistan in 2004. This Muslim gives Donald Trump a lesson on the U.S. Constitution. Khan is making the media rounds after the speech.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

DNC Day 3

Tonight's DNC was packed with heavy hitters: Tim Kaine, Michael Bloomberg, Joe Biden, tons of elected Democrats, and topped off with a great speech from President Obama. I listened live most of the night. You can find all the speeches here at

Just compare the hopeful, positive visions of the Democrats with what we hear coming from Donald Trump: nothing but how horrible everything is, and ONLY DONALD TRUMP can fix it. An ugly display of narcissism and ego. There is no comparison at this time between the two parties. Any rational, reasonable person should be leaning towards the Dems. Even the reasonable Republicans are. 

There was one video missing from the link that I wanted to find. 40 current Broadway actors sang, "What the World Needs Now" and it was very moving, especially coming right after remembrance of the recent massacre in Orlando, Florida. But I found it elsewhere.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

DNC Day 2

Silly hat at the 2016 DNC

The 2nd day of the Convention typically includes the roll-call of the states to report the number of delegates for each Presidential candidate. I like this portion of the convention. Each state picks a speaker or two to read how many delegates each candidate got. And they often give silly tidbits of info, like "The great state of Iowa, home to the world's largest ball of twine, proudly casts 66 votes for...." etc etc.

In this case, the roll-call gave some the opportunity to proclaim their admiration for Bernie Sanders and how Bernie has opened up politics to a new realm of younger, progressive voters. Some were quite poignant, as were some of the pro-Clinton comments.

Another silly hat - 2016 DNC
Bill Clinton gave the big speech tonight, and he tantalized the crowd with some new details of he and Hillary's early personal lives. He stressed the point that the Convention nominated the "real" Hillary, not the fake "Cartoon Hillary" that the right has been spreading like manure into the minds of the poor, gullible right-wingers. 

You can watch each speech, including the roll-call of the states, plus past keynote speeches and other speeches from conventions past at And yes, if you are of a strong disposition, you can also watch each Republican speech too.

Monday, July 25, 2016

DNC Day 1

I tried to watch some of the Republican National Convention last week, but every time I tuned in, some speaker was screaming about Hillary and the crowd was chanting "Lock her up! Lock her up!" or other unintelligible stuff. It was so dark, bitter, and angry. 

GOP: "Everything is horrible! The economy is in freefall! The military is decimated! Liberals are releasing hardened criminals to rape your daughters and kill you!!" (sigh). Lie after lie.

They didn't have many elected Republicans appear on stage either. No wonder. Who wants to be associated with that garbage?

The first night of the Democratic National Convention was very different. Sure, there were denunciations of Donald Trump, but the charges were a lot more fact-based this week instead of shrill opinion-based like last week.

Still, sometimes the Bernie backers or the Black Lives Matter people chanted enough to make it hard to hear the speaker. However, a chant of "We want Bernie!" or "Black Lives Matter" is in a different galaxy from "Lock her up!"

Bernie Sanders' supporters need to understand that defeating Donald Trump is paramount this November. And that will mean voting for Hillary. IF you respect Bernie, listen to him.

Next Steps for Our Revolution

By Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News
26 July 16
 ur campaign has always been about a grassroots movement of Americans standing up and saying: "Enough is enough. This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires."
I just finished speaking at the Democratic National Convention, where I addressed the historic nature of our grassroots movement and what's next for our political revolution.
I hope that I made you proud. I know that Jane and I are very proud of you.
Our work will continue in the form of a new group called Our Revolution. The goal of this organization will be no different from the goal of our campaign: we must transform American politics to make our political and economic systems once again responsive to the needs of working families.
We cannot do this alone. All of us must be a part of Our Revolution.
When we started this campaign a little more than a year ago, the media and the political establishment considered us to be a "fringe" campaign. Well, we're not fringe anymore.
Thanks to your tireless work and generous contributions, we won 23 primaries and caucuses with more than 13 million votes, all of which led to the 1900 delegates we have on the floor this week at the Democratic convention.
What we have done together is absolutely unprecedented, but there is so much more to do. It starts with defeating Donald Trump in November, and then continuing to fight for every single one of our issues in order to transform America.
We are going to fight to make sure that the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party becomes law. This means working for a $15 federal minimum wage, fighting for a national fracking ban, and so many more progressive priorities.
The political revolution needs you in order to make all this happen and more.
Thank you for being a part of the continued political revolution.
In solidarity,
Bernie Sanders

To paraphrase:

Sunday, July 24, 2016

You don't have to record any of the speeches at the Democratic National Convention. There have already been a lot of good ones, on the first night. will allow you to access EVERY single speech ON DEMAND at 

Don'f fill up your DVR, just go to C-SPAN and throw it up onto the TV.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Jaclyn on sex

I sure love to see and hear beautiful women talking positively about sex. Jaclyn Glenn is one of my favorite atheists, and she really likes talking about sex.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Stewart on Colbert

Perhaps you heard that Roger Ailes, the right-wing, obese, sexist piece of shit that has run Fox News for many years now, is resigning, because a lot of women at Fox are coming forward and charging Ailes with sexual harrasment. Ugh, just the thought of that tiny little penis getting sucked by the beautiful blondes on Fox ought to be not repulsive, but this is Ailes we're talking about.

You know, picking on Roger Ailes and Fox News was one of the main preoccupations of Jon Stewart when he was hosting The Daily Show, and Stephen Colbert, when he was hosting The Colbert Report.

So, Stephen Colbert had a few words about Ailes resignation.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

DNC platform

After the shitstorm that is otherwise known as the Republican National Convention, it will be a pleasure to hear Democrats for a change.

About the only way you can be a Republican today is if you are an ignorant, greedy hater and bigot. I actually feel sorry for these people. Something went wrong somewhere during their education and upbringing, or else they dropped out early, already convinced they knew it all. If you are a truly principled conservative, how can you justify a vote for Donald Trump?

Still, as Democrats, we cannot take anything for granted. Assume it will be a close race and do what you can to advocate for reason and sanity, e.g. Democrats.

Meanwhile, take a look at what is being called "The Most Progressive Platform in Democratic Party History." I look forward to hearing Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren speak on Monday evening.

How Bernie Sanders Delivered the Most Progressive Platform in Democratic Party History
by Heather Gautney of The Nation Magazine

Before this primary season, the Democratic Party’s national platform had not been contested since 1988, when Jesse Jackson offered amendments on military policy, health care, and education, and introduced rules to diversify the party. The 1984 DNC witnessed four hours of platform discussion, which was nothing compared to the 17 hours of heated debate in 1980 over Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy’s fundamental split over unemployment and inflation.

Bill Clinton’s “third way” platform in 1992 marked a rightward sharp turn from the Democrats’ New Deal agenda of tax and spend, social safety nets, and full employment, toward one of small government, personal responsibility, and market-driven growth and investment. Since then, Democratic platforms have gone unchallenged, and the convention itself has functioned as a spectacular coronation. Barney Frank said as much when he branded the platform (in an interview with Slate) the “Miss Congeniality” of the convention process. Frank worked on the 2012 document, but the process was so boring, he intimated, that he couldn’t recall what was in it.
But this year, Bernie Sanders broke that consensus by reviving the New Deal of FDR Democrats. Hillary Clinton, of course, went on to win the majority of delegates. But heading into Philadelphia, she still needs to win over a significant portion of Sanders’s base supporters. Sanders was clear early on that his campaign aimed to fortify a grassroots movement, not himself as a candidate. He identified the platform as a way to register the Democratic Party’s commitment to a progressive agenda—a kind of peace treaty between the DNC and the political revolution, but also an historical marker of dissent from the party’s neoliberal agenda.
I served as the Vermont representative to the platform committee at its two-day meeting in Orlando this past weekend, along with 186 other representatives from around the country. The committee included 25 members named by the DNC; the remaining seats were divided between Clinton and Sanders supporters, with the Clinton campaign appointing the majority. We were charged with amending the already drafted platform with input from around the country. Since more than 200 amendments were submitted, the campaigns worked in back rooms to negotiate some amendments into noncontroversial “manager’s amendments.” To be frank, the experience was part NBA final, part Weber’s iron cage of bureaucracy. The tedium of the rules of order and minor amendments was broken up with grandstanding on contentious issues and elaborate presentation of “unity amendments” before C-Span’s public eye and a fired-up gallery.
Among the unity amendments was a Sanders-Clinton compromise on education that included free public higher education for families with income of up to $125,000 a year. Having campaigned on free higher ed as a counterpart to universal health care, I was ambivalent. On the one hand, the $125,000 cutoff meant that some 83 percent of American families would get free tuition. On the other hand, it tainted Sanders’s elegant College for All with means-testing. In the end, the negotiated language made no mention of the cap, so I was pleased to stand with AFT President Randi Weingarten to present the amendment: “Every student should be able to go to college debt-free, and working families should not have to pay any tuition to go to college.”
The result was similar for health care. A unity deal was announced that called for increased funding for community health centers and the National Health Service Corps, and expanding Medicare. National Nurses United had lobbied hard for a single-payer amendment, and, despite the unity deal, their union rep delivered a spirited speech in favor of Medicare for All—to which gallery chanted rigorously “single-payer now!”
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was another story, as Representative Elijah Cummings made it clear during the drafting process that the party did not want to “embarrass the president” on his premier issue. AFSCME president Lee Saunders introduced an amendment to strengthen the platform against bad trade agreements—to which former NAACP head Ben Jealous followed up with a second-order amendment. Jealous called for the party to state its opposition to the TPP unequivocally. After that was voted down, Jim Hightower delivered a namesake amendment (“the Hightower Amendment”) in his classic spit-fire language—fingering the TPP as “a little shop of corporate horrors” and offering his amendment as “political Viagra to stiffen the spine of our party.” Hightower warned DNC brass that Trump plans to include anti-TPP specifics in the GOP platform. Then he and Sanders’s 70-plus members held up boxes marked anti-TPP to signify the 700,000 signatures they collected on a petition opposing the trade deal.
Sanders’s foreign-policy amendments were no less notable. His list of 12 “priorities” included reducing spending on nuclear weapons in what’s fast becoming a new arms race. The US government is projected to spend $1 trillion on “modernization” over the next 20–30 years, which, experts argue, is being read by Russia and China as an act of provocation. Hillary Clinton had not taken a position on this aspect of nuclear proliferation, but her assent to platform language against the $1 trillion program runs counter to President Obama’s current position.

The Sanders side also introduced language to temper the document’s saber-rattling against Iran. Maya Berry of the Arab American Institute introduced the amendment, and together we argued that the party should affirm its commitment to diplomacy, instead of echoing the “reckless warmongering” of Trump and neocon Republicans. Berry also joined with Cornel West to speak truth to power against the occupation of Palestine and for humanitarian assistance in Gaza. The Institute’s co-founder, James Zogby, argued the same during the drafting process, and to strike from the document a gratuitous attack on  the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Berry emphasized in an e-mail to me the nonviolent, Gandhian character of the movement, pointing out that “BDS has worked. The human rights of—and justice for—Palestinians are now part of our collective understanding of what is happening in Israel and Palestine. Some in the DNC can decide to engage in political posturing but honestly, even they know better.” After the amendment to secure the rights of Palestinians was voted down, the room unanimously supported a move to eradicate wildlife trafficking that would have helped save creatures like Cecil the lion.
There’s not enough to space here to further highlight the achievements of the committee: from a surprise Sanders win on the $15 minimum wage and a pathway to marijuana legalization, to improvements in Social Security and reference to full employment, to financial reforms that would revive Glass-Steagall and institute a financial-transactions tax. A series of unity deals on climate change inched the party closer to renewable energy, and the platform registered the first-ever call to abolish capital punishment.
On unresolved planks like the TPP, members signed minority reports that could be brought to delegates at the DNC in Philly. Sanders decided not to do so, out of concern that it would appear obstructionist. In the meantime, Sanders just endorsed Clinton in New Hampshire, and they’ll tout the platform as “the most progressive platform in the party’s history.” If Sanders secures the top spot in the Senate’s high-profile HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) Committee under a Clinton presidency, the new DNC platform will no doubt come in handy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Steve Miller

Looking forward to the Steve Miller Band concert this coming Saturday night at the Revention Center in downtown Houston.

Steve appeared on the Charlie Rose show earlier this year.  Steve comes in about the 25 minute mark.

If that link doesn't work, try going here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Giving Pledge

In June of 2010, Bill (and Melinda) Gates and Warren Buffett, two of the world's wealthiest men, formally announced The Giving Pledge. The simple idea was to urge the world's wealthiest people to donate a majority of their net worth to philanthropy.

So far, over $350 billion has been pledged by 139 individuals.

Now THIS is the BEST use for vast wealth. Give back. Become a philanthropist. Billionaires who care! So much of the world could use help of some kind.

Hmm, someone is conspicuously absent from the list of pledgers. Someone who claims to have "super vast" wealth and is described, by some fools, as a "blue-collar billionaire" who cares about real Americans. And he's running for President.

Philanthropist is not a word commonly associated with Donald Trump.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

prices plunging

Prices plunging? For what? Gasoline? Naw, they've leveled off.

WEED! Did you know that tourists in Colorado can now buy a full ounce at a time, per visit to a dispensary? The limit was 1/4 oz at a time for tourists, but now? One ounce at a time! And if you consider that weed prices have dropped to around $100-$200 per oz of top-quality weed, well, when is our next trip?!

Just look at the amazing entrepreneurial spirit of Americans!


It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it makes a lot of people happy. In this case, it is the declining price of pot.
As of March 2016, dispensaries in Washington State were selling a gram of weed for $9.32, according to a Washington Post report citing the state’s Liquor and Cannabis board, while the wholesale price per gram was just $2.99.
Compare those prices to September 2014, when pot cost around $25 per gram. Only a year later, it had dropped more than 50 percent to $11 per gram.
Although prices initially went up after pot was legalized, there was obviously a surge linked to increased demand and limited supply, said Steve Davenport of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, who helps aggregate data from Washington’s cannabis board.
Since then, prices have been coming down at a rate of two percent per month, Davenport told the Washington Post, and they could potentially shrink 25 percent every year.
“It’s just a plant,” Professor Jonathan Caulkins of Carnegie Mellon University told the Post.
Caulkins said marijuana could become so inexpensive that certain types will be given away for free.
“There will always be the marijuana equivalent of organically grown specialty crops sold at premium prices to yuppies,” Caulkins said. “But at the same time, no-frills generic forms could become cheap enough to give away… the way bars give patrons beer nuts and hotels leave chocolates on your pillow.”
These bargain prices are not unique to Washington State. Colorado has also seen prices plunge.
Fortune Magazine reported last summer that an eighth of an ounce cost between $30 and $45—notably less than the $50 to $70 it was going for the year before.
As pot prices trend downward, there are positive (for the buyer) and negative (for the seller) consequences. Lower prices are not great news for the state either because pot is taxed by sale; falling prices mean less money for the government.
On the other hand, reasonably priced pot could encourage people to buy from legal sources, undercutting the black market, which ultimately means less need for law enforcement.
But, even with pot prices dropping, new businesses continue to crop up, Denver-based KUOW radio reported.
“Standard theories of economics would only suggest entry into an industry when people see that it’s profitable,” said Tracey Seslen, a lecturer at the University of Washington.
As legalization becomes more and more prevalent around the country, the increase in pot production and drop in prices will produce pros and cons.
Whether the pros outweigh the cons is something the industry will have to observe over time and adjust to accordingly.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

more blues

That story on Freddie got me wanderin' all over the place.

A couple of my current blues faves are Ronnie Earl, sometimes with the Broadcasters...(don't mind the crowd)

and sometimes with Duke Robillard, who performs a 19-minute tribute to some of the blues greats. This guy has the chops.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Freddie Cisneros

I'm not going to comment directly on the recent police killings of blacks in Louisiana and Minnesota, nor the police themselves being killed in Dallas.  While those are horrible acts, dwelling on them before all the facts are known serves no one except the TV media, who insist on broadcasting crap 24-hours a day.

This country is greater than that, but it's going to require some of the GOP to temper their rhetoric (are you listening Trump?) to cool things down.

Meanwhile, I'd rather focus on good stuff. Here's a great story from Blues.Gr featuring Freddie Cisneros, aka Little Junior One-Hand, aka South-of-the-Border Sammy. We got to know Freddie and his wife Mary Jane through some other friends and family of ours, and Freddie was how he describes a lot of big-time bluesmen - soft-spoken and generous.

Freddie Cisneros: Lone Star's Knight

Who is Ft. Worth legend, Freddie Cisneros? "I was born, April 12th 1947 in Austin, TX. My parents moved to Ft. Worth when I was 6 months old, that was our house until the mid-90s. I attended Paschal High School class of 66. I made my living as an artist, electrical draftsman and playing music. I was drafted into the Army in '67, and did a one year tour of duty with the Combat Engineers in Vietnam. Now I’m a Luthier, a service center for the Fender & Martin Guitar Co. Growing up on the South side of Ft. Worth I played in bands with Mike Buck, Jackie Newhouse, Randy Panda, Sumter Bruton, Robert Ealey, Anson Funderberg, Darryl Nulish, Mark Pollack, Mark Hickman, Jimmy Don Smith, Cadillac Johnson, Danny Hukill, Johnny Reno, Brother Red Young, Jack Carter, Jim Jones and the Chaunteys, Lou Ann Barton, Craig Semicheck, Steven Springer, Uncle John Turner, Bubbles Cash, Rev. Filmore James & The Flames, Leon Ellis, Barefoot Miller, U.P. Wilson, Mark & Arvil Stricklin.

I did a few gigs with Delbert Mc Clinton, Mason Ruffner, Fabulous Thunderbirds when Jimmy was sick, Bruce Channel, Ray Sharpe and T-Bone Burnett. I did a few 45 singles with Jim Jones and the Chaunteys on the Keye and Manco label. While in Ft. Worth, I recorded an album with Robert Ealey called “Live at the New Bluebird Nightclub” on the Blue Royal Label. T-Bone Burnet and Stephen Bruton were the producers. I moved to Houston in 1980 to play in a band “The Cold Cuts” with my friend Jimmy Don Smith. I met my soon to be wife Mary Jane. The Cold Cuts recorded an album called “Meat the Cold Cuts” on the Black top Label. We opened for so many Blues acts I can’t remember all of them. Son Seals, Bobby Blue Bland, Bo Diddley, B.B. King, Albert King, Jr. Walker and the All Stars, Gatemouth Brown, Muddy Waters, Wayne Bennett, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Eric Burdon and the Animals, John Lee Hooker, The Pointer Sisters, Anson Funderburg and the Rockets. Later on in Houston I played in Alan Haynes band with Tony Dukes and Jerry Chambers. We also opened for a lot of Blues acts. I had a band in Houston called the Sheet Rockers, with my good friends Phil Florian, Al Bettis and John Grayum and Tommy Dar Dar. In 1993 I moved to Prescott Arizona. I played in a band called Big Daddy D and the Dynamites. I worked for years in Music stores in Prescott and learned how to repair guitars. I owned a small guitar shop called “Mercy Guitar Hospital” form 2005 to 2012. I’m kind of retired now, doing some guitar repair at home and playing an occasional gig. I head up a band called “The Leisure Kings” with my friend Paul McKee." ...OKAY, Freddie Cisneros aka Little Jr One-Hand aka South-of-the Border Sammy!! Let's talk about the Blues...
Photos courtesy by Freddie Cisneros archive / All Rights Reserved
What do you learn about yourself from the blues and what does the blues mean to you?
My brother, sister and cousin were all older than me. Back in the 1950’s they were bringing home Blues, R&B and Rock & Roll records. I was hooked on all of it by the time I was 8 years old. Back then you couldn’t separate Blues from Rock and Roll and you couldn’t separate and R&B from Blues. To me, it was all one kind of Music. For me, it was like water, sooner or later I had to have a drink, I drank a lot! I tasted other kinds of music, but nothing moved me like Blues, R&B and Rock & Roll of the Fifties. I started playing drums when I was about 11 or 12, now that’s when the Blues became more deeply embedded. I was now a part of the band playing along with the records. I felt like I belonged here, I fit in, I was happier playing along with those records than anything I had ever done before. I started teaching myself to play guitar at 13. I was so focused on guitar; schooling took a back seat to Blues. I had to do the 7th grade twice but I had learned how to play every song on Jimmy Reed’s first record album. The Radio stations in Ft. Worth were not playing the hardcore stuff like John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf. I didn’t know these guys existed until I was hanging out at a Black record shop downtown Ft. Worth . The lady there was very nice to me and suggested I listen to some different artist. I was consumed by Black music, culture, food, humor and fashion. I was starting to wonder why I wasn’t born Black. The biggest thing of all, is this; I had a purpose in life, I had a direction and a dream. I was going to be a musician a Blues musician.
(Photo: Muddy Waters & Cold Cuts drinkin' backstage in Tipitina, New OrleansLtoR: Screaming Kenny Beaux Beaux, Freddie Cisneros, Jimmy Don Smith, Muddy Waters and Rick Holman)
Which meetings have been the most important experiences for you? What is the best advice ever given you?
I met B.B. King for the first time in 1967 after one of his shows. What a gentleman he was. I didn’t see him again until 1983, again after one of his shows. He remembered my name! Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, T-Bone Walker, Albert Collins, Freddy King and most of the other great Bluesmen I got to meet all had a common virtue. They were soft spoken and generous. We opened for Muddy Waters in New Orleans at a place called Tipitina’s. Muddy sent someone to our dressing room with a message, that he wanted to meet us before the show! So we walked into his dressing room and he says, “This bottle of Champagne is for me, this bottle of Champagne is for my band and this bottle is for you”. So we spent about an hour hanging out and getting drunk with Muddy Waters. We had never met before and he didn’t know us either, it was just mutual respect between musicians. I guess the best advice I ever got was this: If they’re not dancing to your music, you’re doing something wrong.
How do you describe Freddie Cisneros sound and songbook? What characterize your music philosophy?
There are three record albums that I studied as a kid and I’m still studying them to this day. I still listen to the tone, phrasing and dynamics of these three gentlemen. These records are timeless. In my opinion, anyone who wants to understand Blues Guitar should sink their teeth into these records. “Hideaway and Dance Away with Freddy King, “T-Bone Blues” by T-Bone Walker, and “Albert King, King of the Blues Guitar”. There other artist I really like too: BB King, Elmore James, Lightnin' Hopkins and Jimmy Reed. They all influenced me and molded my style of playing. I was lucky to grow up in Ft. Worth, TX, there was a man named Ray Sharpe who lived in a near-by neighborhood. His style of playing Blues Guitar was like no other. Because I could see him almost anytime playing around town, his style rubbed off on me also. He had a hit record back in the late '50s called, “Linda Lou”. He takes a short solo at the end of the song that gives you just a taste of his guitar tone, phrasing and style.
I took something from all these people and added my own twist. As far as Music Philosophy goes, I look at it like this; If a person talks too much, too loud and too fast, you’ll just want to walk away even if they’re saying something important and interesting. Now if that same person says the exact same thing but takes their time and pauses after every thought, that’s something you can digest! I try to make each solo I take, a paragraph with sentences that has comas and periods. A friend of mine said he liked my playing because, I knew when NOT TO PLAY.
"Blues doesn’t pay the bills. So people take the Blues and they fracture it, they stretch it, they add fruity chord changes, they add violins and they over-dub 36 tracks. So it goes, the Blues has paved the way for so many contemporary artist and the people who invented it are mostly forgotten."
Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?
I was about 13 or 14 when I played my first gig with a band. It was a neighborhood garage band I was the drummer. One of the guys knew a man who owned a bar and booked us in there to play. So we played the gig and they brought us pitchers of beer even though we were all under the legal drinking age. At the end of the night the owner couldn’t be found. The bartender said he had left no instructions to pay the band. My first gig and we get ripped off! So the guys dropped me off at my house and I was unloading my drums when a taxi cab pulls up to the house. It’s my Dad’s ride home from a night of drinking. By now it’s 1 in the morning. My dad says, “How did the gig go son?” I made the mistake of telling my drunken Dad we didn’t get paid. He blew up, got a butcher knife from inside the house and said, let’s go!” My mom was screaming NO! NO! NO! It was about 2 in the morning when we got to the bar owners house. My Dad was beating on this guy’s door with the butcher knife, “Where’s my son’s money!!” Lights were coming on all over the neighborhood and we could see the bar owner peeking out from behind a curtain. The man never opened the door, instead, he started shoving 5, 10 and 20 dollar bills out from under the door like an ATM machine. We got our money.  
I was good friends with Keith Ferguson. Keith played bass for the Fabulous Thunderbirds. We would crash at Keith’s house in Austin when my band would play down there. So it was one of those nights, we were all drunk and having a good time. One of the guys asked Keith if he had anything to eat. Keith dug around in his refrigerator and found a bag of Tamales. If you don’t know, Tamales are a Mexican food specialty, individually wrapped and usually sold by the dozens. There was enough for everybody. Keith’s gas had been turned off for not paying his bill and we had no way to heat up the food. So there should’ve been somebody there with a camera, because we were heating up those Tamales with Zippo lighters, matches and candles one bite at a time. We had played some gigs in Austin and were headed back to Ft, Worth. This was during the mid-70 and you could only buy gasoline if you had an even or odd numbered license plate on even or odd days. It was a way of rationing gas. Well we ran out of gas 50 miles from home. We were at a gas station but we had the wrong numbered plate. The old bastard in the filling station wouldn’t make an exception. We sat around for an hour or so trying to figure something out.  We had a really beautiful sexy girl who sang in our band at that time and she was getting pissed. She said, “I’ll take care of this!” She was gone for about 10 minutes. She came back out and said, “Fill her up!” We never asked what happened in there and she never told us.
"The biggest thing of all, is this; I had a purpose in life, I had a direction and a dream. I was going to be a musician a Blues musician." (Photo: Freddie Cisneros, Alan Haynes, and Tony Dukes)
What do you miss most nowadays from the blues of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?
Back in the Fifties and early sixties amps were much smaller than today. I remember playing gigs with two guitars and a mic plugged into one amp. Back then we would sing through a guitar amp. I never saw a P.A. system until the late Sixties. Here’s something you should try; find an old Hi-Z mic and plug it into a small tube guitar amp. That’s how they did it back then and nothing can duplicate that vocal sound. Listen to some old Howlin’ Wolf records and you’ll see what I mean. I miss the simplicity of Blues. Everyone wants to put their own spin on it but somehow the feel gets lost in translation. Commercial Radio has always put Blues on the back burner. Here’s an example. The only music Blues out sells is Classical Music! Blues don’t pay the bills. So people take the Blues and they fracture it, they stretch it, they add fruity chord changes, they add violins and they over-dub 36 tracks. So it goes, the Blues has paved the way for so many contemporary artist and the people who invented it are mostly forgotten. Something else I miss is the great rhythm sections I used to play with. Good Blues Drummers and Bass players are always booked solid. The drummers in bars today don’t hit their snare drum they just play it politely. Man, the snare drum is what wakes everyone up, it gets them dancing, it’s the heart and soul of Blues. Bass players today think they are a lead instrument, they sound more like a drum than a drum. When it comes to playing Blues “Old School”, the rhythm section should be in support of the band not the other way around. There are a few die hard musicians out there who still play it the way I remember, hats off to Kim Wilson, Hash Brown, Alan Haynes, Johnny Nicholas and a hand full of others. 
If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?
Music for the masses is crammed down our throats 24-7-365. Popular music distribution and content is dictated by a few powerful people in the industry. They control what’s getting aired on the radio. I’m guessing most of the listeners out there buy it. It’s canned music. The industry has a formula for Pop music and they crank it out like sausage. The average Joe eats it up because it’s what’s available. It’s the way it’s been for as long as music has been recorded. It’s funny that if you try to sell used music to a record/CD Music Store they won’t give you much of anything for popular CDs or records but they will always give you more for any kind of roots music. They also price roots music higher than Pop music. I would like to see roots music aired and shared on a regular rotation like Pop music, so the general public could get taste of it and judge for themselves.
(Photo: Robert Ealey & his Five Careless Lovers at Mabel’s Eat Shop, Texas 1972. LtoR: Good Rocking Ralph, Sumter Bruton, Mike Buck, Freddie Cisneros, Robert Ealey and Jackie Newhouse)
What were the reasons that made Texas in 70s-80s to be the center of Blues/Rock searches and experiments?
Geographically speaking, Texas is situated in the middle of the Southern U.S. It’s a great place to book gigs while going to the West Coast from the East Coast or East to the West. People in the Seventies came from all over the world to see where this great music was coming from, people came to learn it and people came to hear it in person. I may be repeating myself but Texas is like a separate Country from the U.S., food, fashion, dance, music and a rich diversity of cultures. Because of the diversity there was lots of crossover music, a blending of sounds and rhythms. I guess you could say that back in the 70’s the Vaughan Brothers had a lot to do with the resurgence of Blues in Texas, others would include Johnny Winter, Billy Gibbons, Delbert McClinton, Robert Ealey and his Five Careless Lovers, Freddy King, Albert Collins, Roy Head, Lou Ann Barton, Janis Joplin and Doyle Bramhall to name a few. Blues clubs sprung up everywhere that had an impact on the music scene too. Antone’s in Austin, Mother Blues in Dallas, The New Bluebird Night Club in Ft. Worth and The Market Square area in downtown Houston. I have to mention one more important venue, The Cellar, it was a Jazz and Blues Beatnik coffee house that started in Ft. Worth back in the Fifties. Almost everyone I know at one time or another played at one of the Cellar clubs in Ft. Worth, Dallas or Houston during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. The Cellar was insane, it’s a story all by itself. Blues was popular again in the 70’s and 80’s but Blues wasn’t a secret anymore, it was Nationwide and Texas was right in the middle.
What is the relationship between the Blues culture to the racial and socio-cultural implications?
I only know what I experienced firsthand. It was people of all races going into a bar to hear music. They loved getting drunk together, dancing, sharing joints in the parking lot and just being friends. It was a model for race relations for the whole Nation. Every now and then, Love or should I say Jealousy would stir up trouble. I saw fights, shootings and stabbings but it was always Black on Black or White on White never a race issue. One of the first Black Juke Joints I played in on a regular basis was Mabel’s Eat Shop. It was the home of the best fried chicken on Earth. One night at Mabel’s a Black guy was giving everybody a hard time, messing with all the girls, Black, White, Mexican, he wasn’t particular. It got so bad that one of the Black customers pulled out a .44 caliber handgun and shot the guy pointblank right on the dance floor while we were playing. To add perspective, we were about 5 feet away, my ears are still ringing. The guy who got shot hit the floor ran outside and collapsed. Later when they tried to put him in the ambulance he jumped up and ran away. I guess what I’m trying to say here is, the man with the gun was trying to protect all of us in the bar regardless of color. For the 10 or 12 years I played in those joints music was always a common denominator that brought people of different color together, better than any law the government could dream up. 
"Geographically speaking, Texas is situated in the middle of the Southern U.S. It’s a great place to book gigs while going to the West Coast from the East Coast or East to the West. People in the Seventies came from all over the world to see where this great Music was coming from, people came to learn it and people came to hear it in person." (Photo: Freddie Cisneros & Cadillac Johnson)
What has made you laugh lately and what touched (emotionally) you from the music circuits?
There’s a young man in Ft. Worth named Dylan Bishop, who puts a smile on my face every time I hear him. If I lived in Ft. Worth I’d play rhythm guitar in his band for free. I’ve seen a lot of young Blues players who play circles around me, but they are mostly Stevie Ray Vaughan clones who play faster than a bum eating a baloney sandwich. Dylan is still in his teens but he sounds like a well-seasoned Blues player from the past, who doesn’t need to prove anything to anybody. In other words his playing is mature, he only plays what is necessary and gets his point across without any show off licks, gold teeth, monkey suits or ear splitting volume. He’s the “new old school” Blues player I’ve been waiting for and I wish I could be here to hear him play when he’s my age. This is the kind of Blues player that comes around once in a lifetime, the kid is that good. My friend Cadillac Johnson is playing Bass for him now. Cadillac, with his special sense of humor, Blues savvy, street smarts and cool fashion, is helping to keep Dylan between the ditches. Dylan couldn’t ask for a better mentor, and Bass player.  
Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?
If you’re talking about Blues, I would want to spend a day at one of the great recording studios of days gone by. Most of those recordings were live, no over dubbing. Man just to be in the same room watching Howling Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Lightnin' Hopkins, Freddy King, Amos Milburn, Willie Mabon, Big Walter Price, Frankie Lee Simms, Little Richard, Muddy Waters, BB King, all of them. Spending a day in the studio listening, watching and learning on just one of those session would be my fantasy.
(Photo: The Sheet Rockers, Houston, Texas c. 1991)
Original. And you can listen to some of Freddie's stuff by clicking here.