Proud to say that I had the honor of playing one of the many Super Bowl protest parties this past weekend in New Orleans, especially being that is was one of the bigger ones, the "Anti-Goodell Protest Bowl" at Mid-City Lanes Rock N Bowl. The energy was unlike anything I've ever felt firsthand before (and I say that because I wasn't here after Katrina) as the city seemed joined in one, giant group hug. We shared the stage with a number of bands including Tin Star and Bag of Donuts, and we were even treated to a set by Mr. Seafood City himself, Al Scramuzza.
Thanks to the hundreds if not thousands of folks who walked through that door, and to you I say ... let's hope we never have to do it again!
This Thursday, January 11th marks my return to Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts, as once again I help provide the on-stage musical accompaniment to the month-long production of "Greater Tuna." I'll be joined by Scott Frilot and Sherri Montz (Ginger and the Bee) and by longtime friend and collaborator Chris Finney. See the pic above for the dates, and get your tickets now at www.rivertowntheaters.com.
"Where the Lion's Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies!"
1/15/2019 UPDATE: Below is the review of "Greater Tuna" from NOLA.com!
By Theodore P. Mahne, NOLA.com
"Greater Tuna" has been a popular property on local stages for nearly 25 years. Along with shows like "Nunsense," while the humor of "Tuna" is basically a one-note affair, it has resulted in repeated productions, as well as several sequels, all of which draw reliable audiences.
In fact, the show was the first piece of theater staged in the metropolitan area after Hurricane Katrina. Sean Patterson and Gary Rucker starred in it then, and have now returned to the roles with a revival on the mainstage at the Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts.
By now, many of the laughs of "Greater Tuna" are familiar, if not always riotously so. As one of the best comic partnerships in local theater, Rucker and Patterson play off of one another so well that the quirky characters generally are in good hands.
For those unfamiliar with it, the comedy by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard is set in the tiny fictional town of Tuna, Texas. The eccentric, inept citizenry we encounter range from a pair of good ol' boy radio disc jockeys and a dopey Humane Society worker to a drunken UFOlogist and family of utter bumpkins. The trick is that all 20 characters - men, women and dog - are played by Patterson and Rucker through a series of quick changes between scenes.
Among the funniest moments are the scenes in which Rucker and Patterson directly interact with one another. Opening as a pair of down-home, laid-back DJs who would make Garrison Keillor seem like a shock jock, they establish the aw-shucks tone of much of the comedy.
Other comic highlights include Rucker as the pitifully compassionate but dumb Humane Society employee Petey Fisk, and as Vera Carp, the town snob and leader of the anti-pornography organization, the Smut Snatchers. Patterson shows off his comic chops most effectively as Pearl Burras, an old biddy whose hobby is poisoning local dogs, and as the crusading Rev. Spikes.
The redneck humor with some of the characters hasn't aged well. At points, it seems unclear if the audience is laughing at these small-minded figures or cheering them on.
Kate Jensen's appropriately fuddy-duddy costumes help establish the varied characters of the town. Eric Porter's simple set provides ample playing space for the performers.
The onstage band, Squirrel Crossing, provided the pre-show music and pleasing, Patsy Cline-inspired interludes between scenes. Perched overhead and upstage, the band is comprised of Chris Finney, Scott Frilot, Sherri Montz, and Ted Torres.
The Petrified Christ and Scenes from the Blanket will be available soon in the New Orleans French Quarter at select locations! Check back for a list of participating shops and signing events. At last, the first two books of The Blanket Trilogy find a home in the neighborhood that inspired them ... and don’t forget, the never-before-published third book will be available in 2019!
This Sunday night I'll be talking to Czar, Mayday and Ali about Book II of "The Blanket Trilogy," Scenes from the Blanket, and hopefully building up anticipation for Book III, Darker Prometheus. Kim will be joining me on the show, so trust me, it's in your best interest to call in. Big announcement as well with regard to my music half, which (SPOILER ALERT) has now become even less than one eighth.
Here it is, the cover reveal for Book III of "The Blanket Trilogy," Darker Prometheus. And I couldn't think of a better day to release this image officially. What can I say, aside from her being my mother, Mom was my biggest fan.
Incredible amounts of thanks here goes to Gary Duplessis for providing such an amazing and thought-provoking image, to Sally Asher for taking such a flattering and legitimate author photo that I've stamped on all three books from the beginning, and of course, to Scott Frilot, who's been instrumental in bringing all of these visual elements together effortlessly for the duration of the project.
I'm working currently on the proof of this long-awaited, new third novel, and it should be available in both paperback and Kindle editions in 2019. To say that I'm excited about this is an understatement, because this book is the reason why "The Blanket Trilogy" exists, why the first two books were turned into Special Collector's Editions, re-edited and enhanced with bonus material and married into this one, bringing characters from The Petrified Christ and Scenes from the Blanket together for one last journey under the Blanket of the New Orleans night.
We're getting close to the release of the second book in the new Blanket Trilogy, Scenes from the Blanket: Special Collector's Edition. This one holds a special place in my heart, as it was the first novel that I ever decided to undertake, having to break off from the project to try something else, which eventually became the novel, The Petrified Christ.
But I did return to this piece, and I was madly in love with the characters and the story at the time, and of course, the setting that was my hometown of New Orleans. Well, I've since rekindled that relationship with this particular book, and I couldn't be happier with this cleaned-up, and in some places, extended edition. We're in the final stages of the edit of this Special Collector's Edition, and the book, while having a publication date of September 30, 2017 will be made available for purchase in 2018.
The first book of "The Blanket Trilogy" has been integrated fully onto Amazon, and the second book is in the works.
News to me!
Proud to announce that the new edition of The Petrified Christ has been turned loose on the world today. Unfortunately it's coinciding with the death of my brother in arts, Dave Rosser of the Afghan Whigs, who passed away tonight at the age of 50 from inoperable colon cancer. This man taught me to make the myths, and right now that's all I'm prepared to say, as myself and all of our friends who knew him mourn today in our own way.
With that fitting acknowledgment out of the way, I'd like to report that the book is available right now on TedTorres.com exclusively through Createspace, the Amazon company who I will be working with throughout the duration of the publication of "The Blanket Trilogy" through December of 2017.
Slowly the book will be integrated onto the Amazon.com site, which right now it is proving to be a complicated transition as links to the title continue to go to the previous editions, both paperback and Kindle, the latter of which is a version of this new edition that doesn't exist yet.
Accept no substitutes!
I'd like to announce that the new edition of The Petrified Christ has been pushed back from its originally intended June 13th release date to sometime later in the month to accommodate another round of proofing. It's amazing what one can see when they get an actual copy of their book sent to them, with the words all formatted and naked and vulnerable. Know that we will launch in June, rest assured, but it's unlikely that we'll make it to Amazon.com by the 13th.
Check back in for updates.