Hole-y Cow

singin-in-the-rain-diWay back when, when actors were still called entertainers, Hollywood stars were multi-talented individuals who sang, danced, and acted well – your Shirley Temples, Judy Garlands, Gene Kellys, and so many more. Studios knew they could not only rake in money off the films, but a Christmas album was a sure winner, and possibly even a touring performance.

Today, most actors are carefully pigeon-holed into one role, and there are very few “entertainers” who can successfully cross bridges in the industry. Some actors are talented musicians – Hugh Laurie plays a mean jazz piano, and Charo – yes, Charo the cuchi cuchi girl – was, at least at one point, one of the top three flamenco guitarists in the world. You have to see it to believe it:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmNPXqG6ovg.  Some comedians are excellent dramatists – Robin Williams for one.  But some agents push actors with no talent into music, with embarrassing results. Ever listen to Clint Eastwood sing? Or William Shatner? Save yourself, and don’t Google Hulk Hogan singing.

But every now and then you hit the jackpot, and Kiefer Sutherland is one of them. Yes, That Kiefer Sutherland, whether killing as a vampire or saving people in under 24 hours, the Kiefer Sutherland whose father runs Pan Em and praises orange juice, second-generation Hollywood. The man can Sing.

Sutherland’s debut album is called Down in a Hole, and although it’s labeled country (and the steel guitars on a few tracks clinch it), the album is the closest thing I’ve heard in ages that resembles good old-fashioned rock and roll, the kind you can’t find on the kiefer-sutherlandradio anymore. Do NOT disregard the album because you don’t like country – it is well worth a listen. Sutherland has a rough and ready voice, Joe Cocker after four packs of unfiltered Camels – no polished music-school certificates here.

My favorite, I think, is “Going Home,” which has that glorious old rock feel. “Shirley Jean” is a tear-jerker, but almost more folk than country, not out of place in a Pete Seeger repertoire. “Not Enough Whiskey” isn’t my favorite, but it has a sweet rolling beat that just won’t let go. “I’ll Do Anything” is probably the most “country” song, steel strings twanging and pearl snaps shining. “All She Wrote” sounds like it was a track that didn’t make the final cut of a Sons of Anarchy album – you can almost hear the leather creaking.

Not too many singers/bands are successful at crossing the country/ rock line – The Eagles are probably the best example, maybe the Allman Brothers, with some singers – Dolly Parton (9 to 5), Kenny Rogers (The Gambler), Glen Campbell (Southern Nights, Rhinestone Cowboy), and Shania 4873bwTwain kicking occasional songs onto both country and pop charts at once. Kiefer Sutherland is another to watch – and the fact he has a severe hearing loss makes it all the more amazing. This is his debut album, and I cannot wait for the next one.

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in January…


Happy New Year! January is shaping up to be a busy month at CPL – here’s what’s happening:

January Movie Matinees

Tuesdays at 1:00pm

January 7 : Lion In Winter 

January 14 : Flags of Our Fathers

January 21 :Suspicion

Cheshire Cats Classics Club

Wednesday, January 15, 7:00pm.
  This month we are discussing one of the great classics of the English language, Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Set near the end of the 14th century, 29 travelers from vastly differing backgrounds set out one April for Canterbury on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Thomas Beckett. Travel is arduous and wearing, so to maintain their spirits this band of pilgrims entertains each other with a series of tall tales that span the spectrum of literary genres. Five hundred years later people are still reading The Canterbury Tales.This month’s book is available to check out at the library. Please join us!   To register, please visit our website.

Powerful Positive Thinking

Thursday January 16  7:00pm

1061 Speaker Diane Frankel-Gramelis is director of Community Education at Milford Hospital and a Health & Wellness Educator at Yale New Haven Hospital and other institutions. She has been designing and implementing health and wellness programs for over 25 years. Diane has a dynamic and varied background in childbirth, parenting counseling, stress management and health promotion; she is an empowering wellness speaker, bringing warmth, wisdom and real-life solutions to her audience.   To register, please visit our website.

Guitar and Mandolin featured in January Sunday Showcase

Sunday, January 26, 4:00pm

   Husband and wife duo Judy Handler and Mark Levesque blend Brazilian, Latin American, swing, gypsy, classical and folk music influences to create their sophisticated and expressive arrangements. Audiences respond with great enthusiasm to their extraordinary sound and the uplifting spirit of their music. They have performed over 1,500 concerts together throughout the Northeast and Midwest.   All ages welcome – no registration required.

Free Video Production  Training and Facilities at Cox Communications – Tuesday January 28, 7:00 pm.
   Cheshire Library will present David Smith, Cox Communications Cheshire Public Access, on Tuesday January 28 at 7:00pm. Mr. Smith will discuss the video production training and equipment that Cox Communications offers free of charge to residents of Cheshire, Southington and Meriden. This includes the use of field equipment, studio production and video editing.  Mr. Smith will also answer any questions participants may have about Cox’s local facility. To register, please visit our website.

 Chocolate for Valentine’s Day! 

Thursday, January 30, 7:00pm

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many of us wonder what kind of goodies we can easily make as gifts for family and friends. Think chocolate!   Long time chef and chocolate expert Maria Brandriff will demonstrate both some decadent truffles and some healthier chocolate treats in a program entitled Chocolate for the Holidays.  Recipes and ample samples will be available.  Space is limited.  To register, please visit our website.

Children’s Programs

Monday/Tuesday Storytime

Mondays-January 6, 13, 27, February 3, 10

Register for Mondays.

Tuesdays- January 7, 14, 21, 28, February 4, 11

Register for Tuesdays.

10:00 – 10:30 AM

Stories, songs, rhymes and a craft.Enhances children’s literacy and social skills. Children may stay with the librarian without parent or caregiver to create a sense of independence.

For ages 3-kindergarten

Mother Goose Time

Wednesdays-January 8, 15, 22, 29, February 5, 12

Session 1-9:30-9:55 AM (for children ages birth to 24 months) 

Register for Session 1

Session 2-10:00-10:25 AM (for children ages 2-3)

Register for Session 2

Stories, songs and fingerplays that help develop speech and social skills. Children attend with a parent/caregiver.

Family Time 

Thursdays-January 9, 16, 23, 30, February 6, 13.

10:00 – 10:55 AM

Age-appropriate toys, craft activity, games and books.  Provides opportunities for socialization and development of fine and gross motor skills.  For children ages 1-3 with parent/caregiver.  Register.

Gizmos, Gadgets and Goo: Mad Scientists’ Club

Thursdays, 3:45-4:45 PMThis hands-on, one-hour science program offers children a chance to see just how cool science can be! For grades 3-6.
Select  Track A or B (the programs will be duplicated).

Register for Track A (January 9, 23)
Register for Track B (January  16,30)

The following programs do not require registration:

Builders’ Brigade

Wednesday January 8, 22, 4:00-5 PM. For all ages.

If you love to create masterpieces with LEGO® bricks or MEGA BLOKS®, then this program is perfect for you! This program is geared toward kids ages 7 and up, but younger builders are also welcome!

Bookmarks Book Club 

Tuesday January 21, 4:00 PM  Grades 1-3

Tween Book Club

Tuesday January 28, 4:00 PM  Gradeimages 4-6.

Fab Film Saturday 

“Turbo” Saturday, January 11, 2:00 PM.  All ages.

Schedule subject to change
See our
calendar for more information or check the KIDS’ PAGE on the library website!

Just For Teens                                                       

 Please join us for the following teen programs:
Cheshire Anime Club Friday, January 17, 3:00 pm
Anime Club Xtra Tuesday, January 7, 6:00 pm
Teen games, drop-in Fridays, January 3, 10, 24 at 2:30 pm
Yu-Gi-Oh: It’s Time to Duel   Friday, January 31, 2:30 pm
See the library’s teen page or the calendar for  more information!

Local Newspapers Available on Library Website

Want to check up on a news event from yesterday, last year, or even as far back as 25 years ago?

Then Cheshire Library has an online resource for you.

Cheshire residents have access to articles from the following Cheshire-area newspapers: Cheshire Herald 2007 to present; Meriden-Record Journal 12/7/1997 to present; New Haven Register 1988 to present.  This Newsbank database is indexed and searchable, and provides full-text articles from electronic editions.

To access Cheshire-area newspaper archives, online:

  • Go to the Cheshire Library homepage: www.cheshirelibrary.org
  • Mouse over the Research tab
  • Click on Newspapers and Magazines
  • Select the title you wish to search
  • Enter your Cheshire Library card number

If you have any questions, call the library’s Reference Department at 203-272-2245, ext. 4.

Federal and Connecticut State Tax Forms Available

Federal and State tax forms and instruction booklets will be available in the Reference Department located on the Library’s lower level. Forms will be delivered to the library throughout the month of January, but please note that the library does not receive all forms and cannot guarantee when forms will be available. Please call (203-272-2245, ext 4) to determine if a particular form or booklet is in stock.Federal forms may be downloaded at http://www.irs.gov/Forms-&-Pubs.Connecticut state tax forms may be downloaded at http://www.ct.gov/drs/cwp/view.asp?a=1509&q=443200

 From the Director’s Desk:  

Technology Survey on Library Website

CaptureWe are writing our first Technology Plan and need your help to determine the best technology services for our library. The Impact Survey, developed by staff of the University of Washington Information School, ask how you use or would use various library technology services such as public computers, wireless networks, online resources, digital literacy training, etc. The survey will take about ten minutes to complete.  Thank you in advance for your time!

Technology Survey

Zinio Downloadable Magazines


I am completely hooked on Zinio, the library’s downloadable magazine service and want to tell everyone how terrific it is! Haven’t tried it?

Just go to Zinio on the library’s website and sign up with your Cheshire library card.  Over 60 popular magazines are available.  Need some help getting started?  Check out the library’s “Downloadables” page.

Ramona Burkey
Cheshire Public Library

New Music Highlight: These Wilder Things by Ruth Moody

            [Cover]I cut my teeth listening to Joan Baez and Pete Seeger, and knew all the words to at least a half-dozen Woody Guthrie songs before I went to school, so when folk music comes across my desk and it’s not of old-school character,   I tend to shy away.  However, I found Ruth Moody’s new album, These Wilder Things, to be an interesting  mix of old and newer pop  styles, with quite a bit of character.

             Moody, an award-winning folk singer from Winnipeg, has a lovely voice that changes with each type of song.  She can sound remarkably like Loreena McKennitt, then switch to Edie Brickell, then switch up again to sound like Natalie Imbruglia.  Her rendition of Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” is catchy, but at the same time strange in that it incorporates different rhythms, pauses, and instruments than the listener is used to – it turns out what I thought was a ukulele is actually a mandolin, and mandolin is not what I normally think of when I think of Springsteen.  

            While some of the tracks can have that old-school flair of guitar and banjo, the songs never lapse into the deep-country twanginess that scares many people away from folk music. Most of the music is quite mainstream, a blend of soft pop that would be totally at home on WRCH or any soft-music station.

            My favorite track is perhaps the first one, “Trouble and Woe,” because I like the light touch of banjo that to me signifies folk music. Not enough to make you break out reruns of Hee Haw, but a gentle touch to give depth to the guitar work.  “Trees for Skies” is pretty, and of course “Dancing in the Dark” will stick in your head, a new twist on an old favorite – and this time you can understand all the words!