5 Regional Acts to Catch in the New YearCris Jacobs, Baltimore, Md.Back in the fall this Baltimore singer-songwriter and former member of popular regional jam band the Bridge unveiled one of last year’s most satisfying Americana statements with his second solo album, Dust to Gold. On the new effort Jacobs, a skilled guitarist and introspective lyricist, moves through a seamless blend of rootsy styles, from the dusty highway cruiser “Kind Woman” to the aggressive blues-rock charge of “Bone Digger.” It’s all delivered with a veteran troubadour’s command through a smooth, soulful voice similar to that of Lyle Lovett. Jacobs has already opened for Steve Winwood and Sturgill Simpson and with this batch of songs in his arsenal he’s primed for even bigger stages. He’s also planning to release a collaborative record with New Orleans musical ace Ivan Neville later this year.The Wooks, Lexington, Ky.New faces in the progressive bluegrass world, the Wooks earned widespread attention last summer when the nimble-fingered quintet took first place at the prestigious band contest at Colorado’s Rockygrass Festival. The band exhibits reverence for the traditional sounds of its home state but also branches out to include rock edge and modern singer-songwriter aesthetic.“We try to use our music to reflect the sights and sounds of the creeks, farms, horses, and people of the inner bluegrass region of Kentucky which we call home,” says mandolin player Galen Green. “We’re lucky to have five guys from five completely diverse musical backgrounds in this group, and we come together with a common goal to make good music with the traditional bluegrass instrumentation that we use, regardless of what genre that happens to fall in.”The band rips through bluegrass standards and a range of additional covers, including a great take on Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.” It’s also building a stable of originals, heard on the impressive debut album, Little Circles, that was released last fall and produced by banjo great Alison Brown.Jon Stickley Trio, Asheville, N.C.Asheville-based flatpicking wizard Jon Stickley first surfaced in the jamgrass world, playing in the short-lived Broke Mountain Bluegrass Band with Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon, Travis Book of the Infamous Stringdusters, and Anders Beck of Greensky Bluegrass. These days he leads his own trio, an experimental outfit that takes acoustic string sounds to the outer limits through dynamic instrumental compositions. Stickley’s fast fingers are the centerpiece, but he’s well supported with inventive violin work from Lyndsay Pruett and driving drum beats by Patrick Armitage. The band’s last full-length album, 2015’s Lost At Last, was produced by drummer Dave King of jazz trio the Bad Plus, and King is back at the helm on a follow-up, due this spring.The Southern Belles, Richmond, Va.Versatile groove quartet the Southern Belles finds a sweet spot between tuneful rock song craft and psychedelic exploration. The band has spent the last five years hosting jam throw downs at many of Richmond’s small rock rooms, but recently the group has been embarking on regional tours and earning slots at big bashes, including the Lockn’ Music Festival. Led by the fluid guitar work of Adrian Ciucci, the band has the chops to incorporate bits and pieces of various genres including jazz, funk, and blues. “Jungle,” from the band’s latest release, Close to Sunrise, is a standout shape-shifter that blends soulful Floydian space and head-spinning prog freakouts.Mothers, Athens, Ga.Fans of Bjork and more recent success Angel Olsen need to check out Kristine Leschper, who fronts indie rock up and comers Mothers. Leschper has a voice that pierces the senses with pure emotional rawness, often undulating in pitch as it shivers softly or soars intensely. Leschper was first found singing around Athens by herself with just a mandolin, but a few years ago she added a backing band, which gives her confessional lyrics a boost of garage rock grit. The group’s debut album, last year’s When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired, was produced by Drew Vandenberg, whose resume includes work with Of Montreal and Deerhunter. It’s a primitive first effort that documents a new band finding its footing, but throughout Leschper’s singing is hauntingly powerful; just as much in the skeletal ballad “Too Small for Eyes” as it is in the fuzzy stomper “It Hurts Until It Doesn’t.”Related:
Anthony Patrick is still at Waterhouse despite being relieved as head coach of the struggling Premier League team. He remains at the club as assistant coach and is also in charge of the youth programme. Patrick returned to Waterhouse as interim coach of the Red Stripe Premier League outfit following the resignation of Calvert Fitzgerald, who started the season in charge. Poor results led to Fitzgerald stepping aside. Patrick took over. However, the team continued to struggle. It was rumoured that Paul Young would have taken over some two months ago, but the deal was finalised last week and Young took charge on Friday. When contacted yesterday, Patrick explained his role at the club. “I was playing an interim role until Paul Young came in. Now he is at the club, so I am his assistant and also in charge of the youth programme,” Patrick told The Gleaner. Young, who also had a stint at Waterhouse in 2009, a 2-2 draw against Tivoli Gardens last Sunday at Waterhouse Stadium. Although Waterhouse are at the foot of the table, on 14 points from 17 games, Patrick remains hopeful they will start winning soon. “It will take self-discipline from players. He (Young) is stressing on that, as it is important in moving forward. “We are trying to get the players to concentrate for the entire game. We have to be hopeful that the team can start winning. With five games remaining in the second round, the aim is to win those games then enter the third and final preliminary round in an improved position and take it from there. “We still have a chance of making the last four for the championship play-off,” Patrick said. Waterhouse next play Cavalier SC at Stadium East this Sunday, starting at 5 p.m.
Danny Simpson has admitted he was shocked by QPR’s decision to sell him to Leicester City.The right-back played a key role for Harry Redknapp’s Rangers side as they won promotion from the Championship last season.But he has moved on after only a year at Loftus Road, signing a three-year deal with the Foxes after they had an offer for him accepted.Simpson told Talksport: “I was quite surprised when Harry Redknapp pulled me into his office, said Leicester had made an enquiry, how do I feel and that he was happy to let me go.“I had enjoyed a good pre-season and was ready to hit the ground running in the Premier League, so it was a little bit of a shock after the year I’d had.“I thought about what he said and decided I wanted to play for Leicester City and improve my opportunity for first-team football.”See also:QPR fans on Twitter react to Simpson’s title triumphFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
What is the greenest way to build a deck? Is it okay to use pressure-treated lumber? What is the best way to attach it to the house? What kind of decking is the most sustainable, and what is the best method for attaching the deck boards to the framing? Should the surfaces be finished? With what product? These are just some of the questions I hear about creating outdoor living space.My answer is always that the greenest deck is a patio. Sure, wooden decks or balconies are usually the only options if they have to be significantly above ground level, although there are masonry- and petroleum-based products that can work in those applications.Outdoor living space is a great way to expand our living area without increasing the amount of conditioned space: it gets us out into the open air, into the nature we’re trying to preserve with the green building movement. But asking any “green” material to stand up to the environmental exposure a deck is subjected to is asking a lot. When the outdoor living space is going to be at or near grade, a patio—the masonry equivalent to a deck—can be a greener choice.If the word “patio” conjures images of dirty concrete with weeds growing up through cracks, there are other options. Harvesting “urbanite” for reuse by breaking up the old concrete into manageable pieces is one example; overlaying a drainage layer and topping it with permeable surface paving is another. On a recent project, we used granite stones salvaged from a crumbling foundation, which our skilled mason assembled into the intricate, recessed patio shown in the photo above.Commercially available, cement-based, interlocking modular paving blocks can be an affordable choice, although I am partial to square concrete pavers set in a bed of crushed stone for a more formal look, or flagstones (flat, natural “cleft” surface fieldstone) for a rustic feeling. An artist I know built a very interesting patio using a mix of broken stone countertops, tiles, and glass. Slate roofing could be recycled into patio paving, but, like tile, the small, thin pieces would not be stable underfoot unless set into a bed of mortar. Stacked closely together on edge, though, the thin edges would create a unique, usable surface.Brick, a classic patio surface, is hard to beat for its combination of warm color and texture. Bricks can be locally produced in most parts of the country or recycled from old buildings. Durability can be an issue in areas that freeze, though; look for “hard” bricks, tempered for use as paving, or be prepared for them to disintegrate over time into their original form of clay particles.Drainage options will vary depending on several factors. If the patio sits on a well-draining site, it will be best and easiest to use a permeable base layer such as crushed stone and leave gaps in the paving material to allow stormwater to drain through. The gaps can be filled with the same material, or planted with moss (if it’s shady) or thyme (if it’s sunny). Weeds can be easily killed with a 50% solution of vinegar, or scraped out with a brush designed for the purpose. Personally, I would not use a chemical such as Round-Up or burn the weeds with a flame, but those are other options, probably no more harmful than standard deck maintenance techniques. If the site does not drain well, start with a well-compacted base of gravel with graduated particle size so that the particles lock together. On top of that, build a drainage layer using crushed stone, with a drain tile (4-in. perforated pipe works well) to direct water to another part of the site if necessary.Keep the size to roomlike dimensions, and when in doubt, make the length 1.6 times the width for a pleasing proportion. Patios need a sense of enclosure to feel inviting; masonry walls or shrubs and plantings create a feeling of containment. When a tall wall looms over an abutting patio, bring the scale down with a trellis or pergola, or pull the patio away from the house a bit and plant a tall shrub or small tree between it and the house. Full sun can make a patio (or deck) uncomfortably hot; a patio umbrella or a trellis covered with vines provides respite.Consider low-level lighting and a source for cooking fuel—wood or gas—in the planning stages. Outdoor cooking appliances keep heat out of the house (look for Energy Star models) and can be connected to natural gas or large propane tanks, if available on site. Or, build a fire pit or an outdoor barbecue. The kitchen has taken over the indoors as the heart of the home, the primary gathering spot; duplicating kitchen functions outdoors will ensure that the patio is well-used.
Daniel Nestor of Canada and Kristina Mladenovic of France combined to win the Australian Open mixed doubles title with a 6-3, 6-2 win Sunday over sixth-seeded Sania Mirza of India and Horia Tecau of Romania.Horia Tecau of Romania and Sania Mirza.Nestor and Mladenovic, who won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title last year, fended off all five break points they faced and broke the Mirza-Tecau combination four times in the 58-minute match.”Kiki, she’s the best mixed doubles player. She really helps me out on court,” the 41-year-old Nestor said. “I actually have to cover less of the court, which is perfect for me, because I’m so old. “Daniel Nestor of Canada and Kristina Mladenovic of FranceNestor has won all four majors in men’s doubles. This was his second Australian Open mixed doubles title his victory at Melbourne Park in 2007.
The 2006 NSW vs QLD State of Origin Series is set to commence on the 4 August at the home of the Brisbane Metropolitan Touch, Whites Hill. The first games will start at 1.30pm with the first round of the Men’s Opens set down for a 2.30pm start.The full draw and all of the results from the series can be viewed at the State of Origin website.
Last season was among the zaniest in NHL history. An expansion team came within three games of winning the Stanley Cup. A New Jersey Devil won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP. The Washington Capitals didn’t lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the playoffs — and went on to lift Lord Stanley’s shiny silver salad bowl for the first time in franchise history. As the NHL’s 2018-19 campaign is set to begin, we shouldn’t expect a repeat of last season, but what can we expect? Let’s have a look.Could Vegas somehow be better than it was in year one?The Vegas Golden Knights entered the 2017-18 NHL season without much in the way of expectations. Their roster was the best assembled by an expansion franchise in league history, but even that didn’t seem to matter — it just meant the Knights would be relatively bad, instead of embarrassingly bad, right?Oh what a difference the best expansion season in sports history can make.The Knights enter this season with the same Stanley Cup odds as the defending champion Capitals (14-to-1),1All odds in this article are as of Oct. 1. and they seem less like a glitzy desert novelty and more like a team built to make a deep playoff run. Vegas would have challenged for Western Conference pre-eminence even if they had made exactly zero roster moves during the summer. But the Knights added depth on the offensive side of the bench, signing veteran center Paul Stastny and trading for sharp-shooting left winger Max Pacioretty. Stastny makes the Knights a better possession team: His abilities at the dot (his career faceoff win percentage is 53.9) should bolster a troupe of centermen who tied for the eighth-worst faceoff win percentage in the league last season. Pacioretty makes up for the goals Vegas lost when James Neal signed with the Calgary Flames: Pacioretty has scored 30 or more goals each season in which he’s played more than 70 games.Vegas returns four players who scored at least 55 points and at least 20 goals — and while it’s probably too soon to ordain William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault as superstars, each played as such last season.So the team shouldn’t struggle to score. And if goalie Marc-Andre Fleury finds the same form he showed off during the playoffs last season — when he was a beast — the Knights also won’t have much trouble preventing other teams from scoring goals.Can Canada win its first Cup since the early 1990s?The last Canadian team to win the Cup was the Montreal Canadiens, all the way back in 1993. This season, two of the three teams with the shortest odds to win it all hail from the Great White North: the Winnipeg Jets and the Toronto Maple Leafs.The Jets return seven skaters who scored 43 or more points last season, each of whom is at least 6 feet tall. The Jets are big and fast and scary, and they’re nearly as good at protecting their own net as they are shelling the net of their opponents: Winnipeg scored the second-highest number of goals in the NHL last season and conceded the fifth-fewest. If goalie Connor Hellebuyck plays as well as he did last season, the Jets might do what seemingly everyone thought they were going to do last spring: win the Cup.Like their Canadian neighbors to the west, the Leafs look to be devastating in the offensive zone. Last season, they notched 270 goals, tied for third in the league. And their power play, which ranked second in 2017-18, will be even better with the addition of longtime Islander John Tavares — 213 of his 621 career points have come with the man advantage. Having to choose between Tavares and Auston Matthews to center the top power play unit is a dilemma that Leafs coach Mike Babcock will no doubt be happy to have.Canadians like hockey a lot more than Americans do, so it feels a bit cruel that they haven’t been able to celebrate a Stanley Cup title in nearly three decades. If the Jets and the Leafs can manage to pick up where they left off last season and continue to pour goals in with apparent ease, all that might finally change in 2019.Will another new name be etched on the Cup?Last season, the Caps ended 42 seasons of Cupless hockey in Washington, while two other teams to have never won it — Winnipeg and Vegas — reached the semifinals or beyond. This season, there are two franchises that have been knocking on the door for years that hope to end their own long Cupless streaks.We already know why the San Jose Sharks are contenders: Their rearguard is lousy with winners of the Norris Trophy (given to the league’s top defenseman) who are in the habit of putting up massive point totals. Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson, whom the Sharks traded for this summer, won’t be paired together at even strength, but they’ll hurt teams on the power play, along with Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Evander Kane.Speaking of Thornton: There are a lot of miles on those legs (and lots of debris in that beard, shorter though it may be), and he’s no longer the player he was when he was 30. But he says he feels rested and healthy as he heads into his 21st season playing in the NHL. And there are precious few playmakers you’d rather have centering a line with goalscorers like Pavelski and Kane patrolling the half boards than a rested and healthy Joe Thornton. Thornton also appears to be happy about the Karlsson trade.If the Nashville Predators don’t strike soon, they’ll be in danger of joining San Jose’s ranks as perennial bridesmaids. Last season, the Preds finished the regular season with the most points in the league but underperformed in the playoffs.2They lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Jets in a weird series that was defined by blowouts despite going seven games. While Nashville doesn’t have a true offensive superstar, they’re stacked at the back: P.K. Subban, who won a Norris Trophy in 2013, and Roman Josi are among the best 10 defensemen on the planet, and Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm aren’t bad either. That group of four, along with goalie Pekka Rinne, are the reason the Preds conceded the second-fewest goals in the league last season.Or will the postseason mainstays add to their trophy case?Deference must be given to the Capitals: They enter as the defending champions, and their roster is filled with many of the players who’ve made the team so consistently good for the past decade. It remains to be seen how much the post-celebration hangover — especially Alexander Ovechkin’s — will affect Washington’s play early on, but the Caps should be taken seriously as a repeat threat.Also in the mix should be two frequent contenders: the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins. Both clubs will rely on high-scoring top lines and lethal power plays, which were crucial ingredients to their relative successes last season (they each made it to the second round of the playoffs). Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby is still one of the two best players in the world,3The top distinction belongs to Connor McDavid these days. Sorry, Sid. and all he’s ever done in Pittsburgh is win. And if Boston’s temperamental talisman Brad Marchand can stop licking — and elbowing — people’s faces and instead focus on scoring goals, he could be a candidate to win the Art Ross Trophy, given to the league’s top point-getter. That’s a big if, though: He’s been suspended six times since 2011, and nothing in his past suggests that he’s learned his lesson. Boston fans will be forced to hold their collective breath every time Marchand takes the ice and to hope that he does something like this instead of something like this.If there’s a sleeper in the league, it might be the Los Angeles Kings, who have won two Stanley Cup titles this decade but were swept away by Vegas in the first round of the playoffs last season. They gave up the fewest goals in 2017-18 and boasted the league’s stingiest penalty kill. But while they were effective at keeping goals out of their own net, they were mediocre at putting them into the nets of their opponents: The Kings were in the middle of the pack in goals scored and power play percentage. The signing of Ilya Kovalchuk may change that. Kovalchuk is 35 years old and hasn’t played in an NHL game since 2013, but the Kings are hoping he can find some of the magic that allowed him to score 816 points in 816 career games. Whether or not the Russian still has some goals in his locker may determine if the Kings are first-round doormats or a team built for a Stanley Cup run.And let’s not forget about the Tampa Bay Lightning, who will be out to avenge their Eastern Conference finals loss to the Capitals. They’re the only team in the NHL that can match the blueline depth of the Preds, and their forward group isn’t half-bad either: They got 186 points from just Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov last season. Then there’s Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is one of the best goalies in the league — his quality starts percentage of .706 in the playoffs was far greater than his career regular-season mark of .517. And if we’ve learned anything, it’s that a hot goalie is crucial to success in the postseason.
OSU junior forward Alexa Hart (22) and redshirt junior guard Kianna Holland (right) cheer a teammates’ basket on March 3 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports Director