Wednesday, May 26, 2021


“The sky is crying; look at the tears run down the street...”-Elmore James


“...You know the sun gonna shine in my backdoor someday,” countless blues songs

    For much of the past three weeks in the Philadelphia area we have been witness to a series of absolutely stunning and amazing daylight skies. It has been very clear most days, so we have been able to see all the different forms and styles of clouds: puffy ones, streaming ones, stark and elongated ones, and ones in which the sun is streaming through as if announcing the arrival of a Supreme Being. I am outside at different times of the day, so I have seen the reddish skies of an early morning sunrise, the slow and glorious changes that can mark an evolving sunset, and everything in between. There have been times these past few weeks when it has been so clear and so brilliant up there that looking up at the sky has simply erased any and all negative thoughts that were in my head at the time. The sky literally took me out of myself and I was placed somewhere else.  

   I am thinking and writing about those days now because since  last night and also tonight there have been some special things happening up above us. There was a near full moon last night, and I was able to watch it out in my garden and later from a window in my study. It was quietly spectacular, appearing bigger than usual and It was wonderfully peaceful. There was also a lunar eclipse early this morning, visible from the western United States. We couldn’t see the eclipse, but tonight we should be able to see The Super Flower Blood Moon that will mark the true Full Moon. It is is called a “Super Moon” because it is happening when the moon is closest to the earth, so it appears bigger and brighter. It is also called a “Flower Moon” or “Corn Planting Moon, because it happens in May, at time when traditional Native American cultures planted flowers and corn. It makes for a special viewing, and all I have to do is stop and look up after the sun sets.  

   I love watching the sky, and I have been very fortunate to have had many amazing sky experiences throughout my life. As a bird watcher and camper, I am looking up and am usually spending some time away from cities and light pollution. So I have seen spectacular meteor showers, clear, stunningly bright constellations, amazing sunrises, and breathtaking midday skies in many different places and at many different times. Penny and i were tent campers, so the sky was with us and very present on all of our trips. After we retired back in 2015 we were able to travel during times we couldn’t when we were working, and it was a real treat. Having the time to be looking up at spring or fall skies was something we both relished. I regularly do it now, and it always brings me great joy. It can slow me down, change my mood, amaze me, makes me laugh out loud and smile, and almost always produce wonder and amazement.  

  Looking at the sky was not always a regular part of my life, however. As a kid I would notice the full moon and make the usual jokes about crazy people coming out when a full moon arose. I was also interested in words, so I treasured the fact that the word, "lunatic” has its root in, “lunar”-moon. Aside from that and from rainstorms or snowstorms, I really did not think much about what was above me. It was not until high school while visiting the Phila. Museum of Art with some friends that I became truly fascinated with the sky. We were in a first floor gallery, and there was a painting that just stopped me in my tracks. The name of the painting was, “The Highway of Combs-le-Ville" by Giovanni Boldini, and this painting changed my life. The great expanse of sky in the painting; the different shadings of blue; the incredible variety in the way the clouds are pictured; the seemingly endlessness to the painting; the majesty of the sky; it all just blew me away.  And from then on, whenever I want to the museum, I had to spend at least a little time in front of that painting. When they took it down for a few years I was devastated, and when it was displayed again I cried as I stood in front of it.  From the moment of seeing that painting I started looking up and really looking at the sky.  I’m 70 now, And I haven’t stopped yet. 

 Looking at the sky; it such a small thing, really. Just -physically tilt the head back, look up and scan what is above me. But, Oh the joy it can produce! I owe all of that joy to Giovanni Boldini and that highway. Art can definitely change human behavior! I do hope you all can find time to look up tonight and maybe even start doing it regularly. It is definitely worth it. Do have a Happy Full Moon night! 

(Here are links to the Boldini painting and info about tonight’s full moon. 


 1) The Dukes of Destiny at Drexel Lodge Park; Saturday, June 12th: 4PM-6PM 4104 West Chester Pike; Newtown Square, PA 

   The Dukes first live gig of 2021 is in lovely Drexel Lodge Park, a large park with a gazebo, Railroad Museum, and playground. It is a family affair, so bring the kids, lawn chairs and a friend or two, It is our first time at this space, and we are happy to be in front of a real live audience. So come on out and welcome the Dukes back at their first live gig of 2021! The event is rain or shine. CDC and Public Health guidelines will be followed.

2) The Dukes at Kahn Park Summer Series; Wednesday, July 28 (raindate July 29); 12th & Pine Sts; Philadelphia; 7:30-9PM 

     We are so happy to be back at this charming Center City Park with great plantings and flowers in a great neighborhood and with food trucks. Places to sit, dance, and welcome the sunset and evening. We have not played in Center City in a few years, so please come on down and help welcome us back.

 3) Food Trucks and Dancing in the Street: Downtown Swedesboro, NJ; Thursday, August 26; 7:15-9:30PM Swedesboro, NJ; 856-467-0202 

     We are back in the great village of Swedesboro, NJ-one of my favorite Jersey towns. I love walking the downtown main drag and noting some of the historical sites in the town. This is a great event witha variety of food trucks, a street set off for dancing and for sitting, and a wonderful family vibe with activities for kids. So come on out and welcome us back to this great town and this wonderful gig. Activities start at 6;30PM and the Dukes play from 7:15-9:30PM

THE TWO JOHNS GIGS-Johnny Never, guitar and John Colgan-Davis, harp; acoustic country blues stylings

 1) The Two Johns: Hummingbird to Mars; Friday, June 4th; 9PM-12AM: 1-302-652-2255; 1616 Delaware Ave, Trolley Square, Wilmington, DE,(go to entrance around back  on West Street & knock on the door; take stairway to the top floor;)   A 1930’s Speakeasy themed bar, we have played here several times over the last two years, and we flat out love this place. Great design, good food, wonderful bartenders, and a great vibe. Numbers are limited, so reservations are necessary.

2) Sunday, June 13 :The Blue Crab  322 Suburban Dr, 
Newark, DE 19711; 2-4 PM (302) 737-1100 https://www.bluecrabgril 

Great to be back at this great seafood restaurant with great food and a wonderful staff. We played here before the pandemic, and are glad to be back. A nice way to do Sunday brunch-brunching with the blues and some great seafood. Hope to see you.

3)  Buck’s County Summer Blues Party: Saturday, July 17; 12:PM-6PM; Tow Johns from 1PM-1:40: Terchon VFW Grounds; 1315 Hardy Rd; Edgely, PA; $32(Includes picnic food, bottled water); limit 250 people 

   The Bucks County Blues Society has been putting on great shows since 1977, and this is another one featuring national acts Billy Price and Regina Bonelli and local acts Tom Craig, and of course, The Two Johns. For info and tickets, 


 The Dukes on YouTube 
Here are two videos of the Dukes at The Kennett Flash and World CafĂ© from a few years ago;  

 Temptation- Dukes of Destiny- World Cafe Live Philadelphia