Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pheaturing Matt Burke From Have Gun, Will Travel

Hey there, kids, welcome to another entry of the Phile for a Sunday. How is it going? I have to start off with an apology. In Wednesday's entry I ranted and said I didn't like Reba McEntire's son Shelby. There is even a comment from a reader at the bottom of that entry that said, "Check your facts, asshole! Kelly Clarkson is dating Reba's stepson, Brandon Blackstock, Blake Shelton's manager. Shelby Blackstock is Reba's son - not stepson - and he's not dating Kelly nor is Kelly dating him!" Man, someone is mad. Okay, so I apologize to Shelby, but as for as far as Brandon goes... Brandon. I don't like him either. And hey, it's not the first time I made a mistake on the Phile.  Okay, let's see what else is going on. Rick Santorum wants to crack down on pornography. Most political analysts say it could hurt him with the "every single man in America" vote. Santorum also said when he's in the White House he'll tell his attorney general to prosecute people who distribute any content that is deemed obscene. Will he appoint a team to watch porn all day? If so, he could solve the unemployment crisis.  Some top Republicans are urging Newt Gingrich to leave the race, but he says he's sticking around. If they could get him to marry the race, he would probably leave it eventually.  This Wednesday Mitt Romney goes one-on-one in a debate against the one man who stands in the way of his nomination: Mitt Romney. Massachusetts moderate squares off with die-hard conservative Romney on the issues. Man versus machine. Romney versus Romney.  Well, here is some sports news in case you didn't know. Peyton Manning has signed a $96 million deal to play for the Denver Broncos. How ironic is that? Tim Tebow's prayers to help the Broncos win are finally being answered.
The other big football story is that Tim Tebow has been traded to the New York Jets. Can you imagine Tim Tebow in New York City? Talk about throwing a Christian to the lions.  This is sad... the man who created the Red Bull energy drink has died at the age of 89. Actually, he died five years ago. He was just so wired, nobody could tell. Red Bull's creator is survived by a very jumpy wife and a bunch of really jittery kids. I don't like Red Bull myself. It doesn't give me wings, it gives me the shits. My wife Jen likes it though. I like the good ole Starbucks codee Mocha Frappuccino.  The movie The Hunger Games is out. It's based on the best-selling book. It's tricky turning a book into a movie. Sometimes people love the book so much that no adaptation lives up to what they imagined. You can avoid that disappointment by never, ever reading books. A lot of people are comparing The Hunger Games to the Twilight series. But that's thematically inaccurate because "The Hunger Games" takes place in a futuristic dystopia whereas the "Twilight" books are... what's the literary term again? Shit.  So, the other day I started running because I thought I was being chased by a Tracker Jacker. Then I realized it was just a wasp. Then I realized I wasn't in the Hunger Games. The closest I'll get to winning the Hunger Games is when I spot the last donut in the kitchen. Why is it that in every movie about the future, the future is awful? Just once, I would like to see a movie about the future where everyone just hangs out at Applebee's, has a good time, and then flies home in jet packs.  March Madness is still going on and I think we are down to the final 8. I don't know. Anyway, President Obama's bracket was in the top 2 percent of everyone who makes picks on I guess it helps when you can send the CIA in to scout the teams. President Obama did this last year, too. Once again, he is out of touch with regular hard-working Americans who don't know how to bet on college basketball.  I work for the Walt Disney Company... the greatest company to work for ever... and I thought this was cool. One of Walt Disney's oldest drawings is seeing the light of day after being locked away for nearly 40 years. Here it is if you didn't see it. 

Well, at the same display they also revealed a drawing Disney of Mickey that hasn't been seen in years either. And I have a picture of it here. 

Nice, right?  So, Michael Bey is rebotting the Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles film franchise and a lot of fans are skeptical. I am not. I have an exclusive screen shot of the film never before seen. 

I cannot wait. I think it's gonna be good.  Well, you all heard about the Trayvon Martin story, right? Well, all African-American kids about Trayon's age are starting to carry cardboard signs now. Here is one of those kids.

Alright, now from the home office in Phulfortha City, New York. Here is this week's...

Top Ten Signs Your High School Classmate Is an Undercover Cop
10. Does his homework in a parked car at Dunkin Donuts. 
9. Thinks doing his homework makes him fit in. 
8. He wants you to talk directly into his pants. 
7. There's just something about the way he shoves his notebook into his holster. 
6. Freshman class president keeps calling him "dad". 
5. Constantly taking notes while he's talking to you. 
4. Keeps talking about his retirement... er, graduation date. 
3. Drug-sniffing dog keeps eating his homework. 
2. Keeps bragging to the guys about the number of body cavity searches he's done. 
And the number one sign your high school classmate is an under cop...
1. As the rest of the class says the Pledge of Allegiance, he reads the Miranda rights. 

Okay, a regular guest of the Phile wanted to come on here and talk about a video she saw on Youtube that touched her. I don't know what it is, but here she is to explain it. Please welcome back to the Phile, Chair of the Democratic National Committee... Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Me: Hello, Debbie, welcome back to the Phile. So, the video is about a woman named Jusy, right? What about this video that you like so much and wanted to come on the Phile and other blogs to talk about?

Debbie: Judy's story makes me proud to be a Democrat.

Me: What's so special about Judy's story?

Debbie: She's proof that health care reform is making our lives easier, longer, and healthier. In Judy's case, the Affordable Care Act saved her life.

Me: What happened to her, Debbie?

Debbie: Because many preventive services are now covered at no additional cost, Judy didn't hesitate to get a mammogram in January. Cancer was detected early, she was treated, and now her outlook is great.

Me: This is right around the two year anniversary of ObamaCare, Debbie, so that all ties in, right?

Debbie: Yes, Jason, two years ago, her story might have been very different. No one should have to think twice about whether to get a mammogram, cancer screening, bone density test for osteoporosis, or other preventive care services.

Me: That's very true. 

Debbie: And this is one of the law's many benefits and one of the many reasons we must protect it from repeal. Watch Judy's story... then stand with the reform that made it possible.

Me: Where can my readers see this story?

Me: Can you relate to Judy;s story, Debbie?

Debbie: I know what Judy's feeling when she tells her story. Right after I got my first mammogram, I learned that I had breast cancer. Like Judy, I caught it early. And like Judy, I got through it with the help of my family, and quality care.

Me: Wow. I lost both of my parents to cancer in 2000, so I know what you're talking about in a way.

Debbie: I am sorry to hear that, Jason. Everyone in America deserves to have what they need to beat cancer and other illnesses... and health care reform is working to make that possible. The new law also protects all of us from insurance company abuses, will eliminate unfair premium increases for women, and extends the life of Medicare.

Me: Debbie, we should be sharing these stories about the Affordable Care Act...

Debbie: Especially around its anniversary, and especially since it'll be a defining issue in this election. There's no doubt: If we don't fight to protect health care reform, our opponents will take it all away. 

Me: Thank you, Debbie. And Phile readers, please put the video on your Facebook pages. I will put it on mine. 

Debbie: Thanks for stepping up.

Me: Thank you, Debbie. Talk to you soon.

Okay, let's talk football. Please welcome back to the Phile my good friend Jeff Trelewicz in a pheature I call...

Me: Hey, Jeff. So, welcome back. What do you think about Tebow going to the Jets? He was soooo close to go to Jacksonville. What happened? 

Jeff: Well, I was way off with my prediction for Tim Tebow. I don't honestly know what to think of it, since he will still be the back up in New York until Sanchez struggles (which will happen). As far as what happened in Jacksonville, I just think Tebow didn't want to go there. 
The team isn't very good, with the exception of Maurice Jones-Drew, so he wanted to play for a team with a chance, though I don't see the Jets being that much better of a team, especially with a loud mouth for a head coach. 

Me: Will Tebow be Quarterback and what will happen to Mark Sanchez?

Jeff: Tebow will be a QB, and be used in the wild cat formations because he is 1000% more mobile then Mark Sanchez.

Me: Okay, is there any Steelers or Giants news?

Jeff: The Steelers need some offensive line help, as well as help in their secondary. The Giants lost Mario Manningham in free agency, so I'd say they could use another WR or some secondary help too.

Me: Alright, so, as I didn't want this whole conversation to be about football, are you gonna see The Hunger Games?

Jeff: I am not going to see The Hunger Games! Why? I saw it yesterday. It was pretty good. A review will be coming possibly today on Entertainment Guru for it.

Me: Jeff, thanks for being here, and come back with a report on Wrestlemania. And check out Jeff's own blog at Thanks, Jeff.

The 14th artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A. G. is named Winter, and this is one of his pieces. 

Winter will be a guest on the Phile tomorrow. And man, I like that piece.

Okay, kids, today's guest is the lead singer for the Florida based band Have Gun, Will Travel. They have a new CD available on iTunes called "Mergers & Acquisitions". They'll be next appearing at Hillbilly Hellfest “Aces Lounge” in Bradenton, Fl on April 20th. Please welcome to the Phile... Matt Burke.

Me: Hello, Matt, welcome to the Phile. First, let me say you are one of my favorite new bands. How are you?

Matt: Doing well. Thanks very much for having us.

Me: I was surprised to find out you boys are from Florida. It's not every day I get guests from Florida here. Where in Florida is the band based?

Matt: Scott, our guitar player lives in Saftey Harbor. But the rest of us live in Bradenton.

Me: That's past Tampa, am I right? I live out by Clermont. Do you guys get to Orlando often to play?

Matt: Yeah. Bradenton's about an hour south of Tampa. We play in Orlando probably once every couple months.

Me: Okay, so, who is in the band?

Matt: Matt Burke (myself) on vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica. Danny Burke (my brother) on the stand-up bass and back-up vocals. Scott Anderson on electric guitar and lap steel. JP Beaubien on drums and other various percussion implements. And sometimes Andy Brey on mandolin.

Me: Are you all from Florida?

Matt: Scott's originally from Woodstock, GA. Danny, JP and I were all born and raised in Bradenton.

Me: Alright, let's talk about your new album "Mergers and Acquisitions" which I love and downloaded from iTunes. So, what does that title represent?

Matt: Well, it was originally the title of one of the songs on the record. The song title got changed to "To the Victor Go the Spoils," but we still liked it as an album title. I guess it represents the direction in which we're moving as a band. we're moving along on this path, and along the way we meet other like-minded people and bands that have similar goals and ideas. As that happens, our paths merge and it becomes more of a community effort.

Me: Where was the album recorded, Matt?

Matt: Mostly at our practice space in Bradenton. For the last couple records we've done most of our own recording. Our guitar player Scott engineers most of the sessions. We also did some additional tracking at our friend Andy's house studio in Tampa.

Me: I have to ask you about the band name. Are you fans of the TV show with the same name?

Matt: Yeah, for sure. It's a great show. I've seen quite a few episodes.

Me: So, do you really travel with guns?

Matt: Not really. But considering the few times that we've been robbed on tour, we might want start thinking about it.

Me: Okay, let's go back to the album. This is your third album, am I right?

Matt: Indeed.

Me: I have to ask you about one of the songs... "Katharine, Don't Fall Off the Wagon". Is that about anybody in particular?

Matt: We've actually been asked that before. And the answer is no. It's not about anyone in particular. But I've had experience with alcoholism both personally and with people around me. So it's just a well-informed narrative song about a fictional character.

Me: I like the song "Thirteen Miles To Empty" you made the video for. How did you guys choose that song to be the single?

Matt: Well, it's a song about touring. And our friend Brad Fleming (who directed the video) was on tour with us, getting a lot of footage from the road. He decided to edit the footage into a video for the song.

Me: Speaking of songs, didn't I hear one of your songs in a Chevy commercial? Was that a big thrill for you, having a song played nationally like that?

Matt: Yeah. The song "Blessing and a Curse" was from our first record, "Casting Shadows Tall As Giants". The music licensing company that we work with pitched it to Chevy and we got lucky.

Me: You guys have played many festivals. Is there a favorite of yours?

Matt: We really enjoy playing festivals. We just played one the other day in Tampa. The first annual Gasparilla Music Festival. That was a lot of fun. Hopefully, they'll start doing it every year. Tropical Heatwave in Ybor City, Florida is one of my favorites. This year it's going to be like 46 bands on 9 stages.

Me: Didn't you play a Zombie book signing or something?

Matt: We did. A friend of ours released "Zombie St. Pete", a collection of Zombie fiction based in St. Petersburg. We played the release party in full zombie make-up. I'm a big fan of the genre and actually wrote a song called "Living Dead Blues" which we recorded. It may or may not be released in the future.

Me: I have to ask you who are your influences. I am guessing Dylan or Wilco. Am I right?

Matt: As a songwriter, some of my influences are Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, John Prine, Gram Parsons, Neil Young, Townes Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Elliott Smith. As a band, we all have different tastes and influences. But a few would be Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Rolling Stones, Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt... too many others to list.

Me: Have you heard of the band Deer Tick? They sould similar to you guys.

Matt: I've known about them for a while, but just recently got into their music. We actually just played with them a couple days ago at the aforementioned Gasparilla Music Festival.

Me: So, what's next for HGWT? Any plans for a new CD yet? How about a live CD?

Matt: We've already started writing and recording songs for another album. While we were on our most recent tour, we had a few days off near Atlanta. So we set up our recording gear at Scott's parents house and started tracking. We're happy with what we've got so far. So we're just going to keep the ball rolling and work toward the next record.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back again. Go ahead and plug your websites and everything. Continued success to you and the other guys, Matt.

Matt: Thanks again for having us. Website:, Facebook:, link to our newest video "Dream No More":

Alright, that about does it for another entry. Thanks to my guests Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Jeff Trelewicz and of course Matt Burke. Also thanks to Heather West for hooking the interview up. The Phile will be back tomorrow with artist Winter. Then on Wednesday it's Zé, the lead singer for the band JointMethod. Next Sunday it's singer Jean Caffeine and on Monday Phile Alumni Fogdan. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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