Interesting Links


Chinatown Kitchen was the first Chinese restaurant we went to when we moved to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
chinatown kitchen
 Although there are other excellent Chinese restaurants in and near Gettysburg, Chinatown Kitchen remains our favorite. The first time we went there, we requested a vegetarian dish that was not on their menu. They readily agreed, and we sat down to wait. Moments later, a young boy dashed out of the kitchen and ran outside. Soon after, he returned, a large bag of string beans in his hand. We had requested Szechuan String Beans. They arrived at our table, piping hot and delicious, ten minutes later. The family that runs Chinatown Kitchen is one of the nicest families, and their restaurant reflects both their excellent culinary skills and their commitment to offering the best customer service around.


Trekking in the Himalayas – whether you can actually go or not, this is a very cool website to explore!
“Our clients enjoy a unique, friendly, flexible and ethical service – with a personal touch. At Mongoose Travel, we believe an experience in the Himalayas should be more than just walking from point A to point B with your eyes on your boots, and we aim to deliver something special. We care about giving something back to Nepal, so many of our trips involve doing something positive for the country.”


Kevin Burke

Irish Fiddler, formerly with the Bothy Band - One of the most brilliant fiddlers on Earth.

Kevin Burke's Open House Live at Port Townsend, with Kevin on fiddle, Mark Graham on harmonica, Sandy Silva, step dancing, and Paul Kotapish on mandolin (YouTube)

Kevin Burke & Micheal O'Domhnaill, 1980 - The Daisy Field/The Abbey Reel (YouTube)


Karen Ashbrook

Karen is a master musician, specializing in hammer dulcimer, Irish flute and tin whistle. She's both a brilliant musician and a brilliant human being.

"Karen has long been something of a heroine to me... Her style is at times traditional, then moves surprisingly at a tangent, making it more interesting in an unexpected way. And her whistle playing is excellent."
—Irish Edition, Philadelphia

Karen Ashbrook with Myron Bretholz Catskills Irish Arts Week, 2011 (YouTube)

Karen and her husband, Paul Oorts, a wonderful musician in his own right, have teamed together to create numerous incredible performances (that's a Sedgwick harp guitar!):
Karen Ashbrook and Paul Oorts
Annual Harp Guitar Gathering, October, 2007 (YouTube)

Karen (on flute), Paul, and Brenda Hunter, fiddle, Steve Schneider, accordion, and Mick Doherty, hammer dulcimer. The Amber Waltz by Mick Doherty (YouTube)

Karen and Paul at a January Contra Dance in St. Michaels, Maryland. (YouTube)


Pilatzke Brothers

Amazing Dancers! I first saw them at The Kennedy Center when they were touring with The Chieftains a few years ago. They are both amazing and delightful!

Nathan and Jon Pilatzke on their own, and with The Chieftains (YouTube)


Jilaine Tarisa

Author of "A Moment of Time" - This beautiful website is about “A Moment of Time” but it also has other interesting information and writings from Jilaine Tarisa.

Jilaine Tarisa says — “My debut novel, A Moment of Time, is a must-read for anyone interested in learning about a new paradigm for the new millennium! Touching on topics as diverse as energy medicine and the early history of Christianity, this heroine’s journey is as enlightening as it is entertaining.”


Elizabeth Marcus Wolfe

Author of "Memories of Glory" - This is Elizabeth’s blog, with information on her excellent novel and other writings including some lovely poetry.

Memories of Glory, inside jacket: “She once imagined herself to be a great queen. But it couldn’t last. Because even queens have to watch their heads. Savages await...A coming of age tale of a teenage girl who doesn't understand why her sister won't talk to her and even Mother Nature seems out to get her. "There are savages all around, even within me." She cries out to the gods for help. But nobody sees, no one is paying attention.”


Blue Highway with Ernie Hunt

Blue Highway is one of the most innovative bands around. They're amazing!

Image at left - Blue Highway with Ernie Hunt, a family friend who played music with Rob when he was a kid and "taught him a lot". Shawn Lane, Tim Stafford, Ernie Hunt, Jason Burleson, and Wayne Taylor... No Rob (he was taking the photo)

Blue Highway
Image above: Rob Ickes, Jason, Tim, Shawn, and Wayne

Their first appearance on The Grand Ole Opry (no date available, but probably early- to mid-1990s) "I'd Rather Be A Lonesome Pine" at the Grand Ole Opry with Ricky Skaggs, who joins them on "I'm Going Back to Old Kentucky" (YouTube)

Their highly acclaimed a capella "Some Day" at the 2008 Joe Val Bluegrass Festival (YouTube)

"Monrobro" Long's Park, Lancaster, PA, 2008 (YouTube)

"West Virginia's Last Hand Loader" at the Wenatchee River Bluegrass Festival, 2010 (YouTube)


Greg Levin

Author of "Notes On An Orange Burial" - This link is to Greg’s blog and he writes some of the most off-the-
wall stuff.

Here is an example of his writing -- a rejection letter received by the hero of Greg's novel, Jona Gold, who is desperately trying to publish his poetry book, also entitled “Notes on an Orange Burial” —

Dear Mr. Gold:

Thank you very much for the recent submission of your poetry chapbook, Notes on an Orange Burial. While we appreciate the effort that went into your work, we will not be able to accept it for publication at this time. Please do not be overly discouraged by this news, as we are a rather unimportant publishing company that more often than not is unable to distinguish between an inspired piece of verse and a bar-room limerick featuring scatological leitmotifs. I cannot over-emphasize enough the insignificance of our opinion, and hope you realize how talented you truly are.

We at BlackStone recommend that you do not rip up this rejection letter in anger. We feel it would be much wiser for you to wait until you are deservedly offered the post of U.S. Poet Laureate some day in the not too distant future, and to then urinate directly on this letter in front of close friends and family at your acceptance celebration. Once again, thank you for thinking of BlackStone Publishers. And remember, our entire editorial staff is inbred.

Robert Gluck
Senior Editor


Tom Adams, Earth

Bluegrass musician - Tom Adams performed bluegrass banjo professionally from age ten until a few years ago when he developed Focal Hand Dystonia, which brought his banjo performances to a halt. Tom still teaches banjo, writes a column for Banjo Newsletter, and recently began posting instruction clips on YouTube under BanjoThink.

(Cool tidbit -- the photo of Tom was taken by Terry Farrell, who played Judzia Dax on Star Trek Deep Space Nine.) Judzia Dax, Deep Space Nine

If you are interested in bluegrass banjo at its finest, check out Tom’s recordings, or find him on YouTube playing Shenandoah Breakdown.

With Blue Highway, 1998, in Trnava, Slovakia, In The Gravel Yard (YouTube)

With The Johnson Mountain Boys, 1988, in Lucketts, Virginia,
Five Speed (YouTube)

In addition to a lengthy career performing on banjo, Tom is a brilliant guitar player and singer. Here's "Leaving Town" and "Hello City Limits" with Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper at Lake Havasu City, Arizona, 2010 (YouTube).

And here's a song Tom wrote....and forgot the words!
"Monster Truck" Shelton, Washington, 2010. Great save!


Mike Auldridge (left) Rob Ickes (right)

Bluegrass and Jazz Resophonic Guitar (Dobro) - Rob is one of the most versatile and brilliant musicians around.

Image at left: Mike Auldridge and Rob, Gettysburg, 2002

Listen to this clip with guitar guru, Tim Stafford: Pretty Boy Floyd

And jamming with Andy Leftwich and Dave Pomeroy

And a cool demo


Tim Stafford and Cheick Hamala Diabate

Bluegrass guitarist, composer and author -

Image at left: Tim Stafford and Cheick Hamala Diabate of Mali at a MerleFest 2008 guitar workshop. (Photo credit: Jon Rucker)

One of my favorites of Tim’s, Rider On An Endless Line

And check out his brilliant biography of guitar legend Tony Rice,
Still Inside: The Tony Rice Story


Myron Bretholz

Myron Bretholz, a Baltimore/D.C. native, has been delighting audiences for decades with his unique and magnificent bodhran (Irish drum). A percussionist through and through, Myron is equally up to the task on bones when the need arises.

Myron with master Irish fiddler, Brendan Mulvihill, Philadelphia Irish Festival, September, 2008 (YouTube)

Myron with Tony Demarco, Ivan Goff, Paul deGrae and Felix Dolan at the 2011 Catskills Irish Arts Week (YouTube)

Myron with Dave Abe (fiddle) and Irish legends, Altan at the Birchmere, Alexandria, Virginia, February, 2011 (YouTube)

Myron on bones with The Hedge Band, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, October, 2008 (YouTube)

More links on the way!