Monday, July 8, 2019

Mississippi John Hurt - Country Blues Artist With an Enduring Legacy

Antique Guitar
With a home base in San Diego, Brian Borg is a hiking and nature enthusiast who has explored many of America’s national parks. Another of Brian Borg’s passions in San Diego is music. He particularly enjoys pre-war blues artists such as Son House, Robert Johnson, and Mississippi John Hurt.

The latter artist was known for his subtle fingerpicking style forged in rural Mississippi of the early 20th century. Self-taught, Hurt started playing guitar at age nine on an instrument called Black Annie, and he paired up with fiddle player Willie Narmour on a series of seminal Okeh Records sessions in the late 1920s. 

Following three decades of relative obscurity, Hurt’s unique blend of blues and gospel was reintroduced to the public in 1952 with inclusion of “Spike Driver Blues” and “Frankie” on the Anthology of American Folk Music by Harry Smith. With a new generation of finger style guitar enthusiasts taking notes, Hurt was finally brought to the live stage through early 1960s appearances at the Philadelphia and Newport Folk Festivals. 

This led to an extended residency on MacDougal Street at Greenwich Village’s fabled Gaslight Cafe. At the epicenter of a growing folk music movement, Hurt hung out with and influenced artists as diverse as Buffy Saint Marie, John Sebastian, Dave Van Ronk, and Pete Seeger. This in turn influenced the course of rock, folk, and blues music throughout the 1960s and beyond.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Pinnacles - A Unique Californian Granitic and Volcanic Formation

Based in San Diego, Brian Borg maintains a strong focus on family and parenting in his daily life. With a love of the outdoors, Brian Borg has visited natural areas in San Diego and across the state, including Yosemite National Park and Pinnacles National Monument.

Situated in Central California to the west of the Santa Lucia mountains, Pinnacles forms a distinct geological boundary at an active fault line. West of the fault is a granitic basement rock that formed gradually as huge masses of molten lava gradually rose through the Earth’s crust and cooled and solidified about 80 to 100 million years ago. 

East of the fault is a volcanic formation, with rhyolitic magma extruded and deposited 23 million years ago on top of the original granitic basement. Over the millennia, fracturing, faulting, and wind and water-caused erosion have resulted in vertically sculpted rock layers that form cliffs, spires, and pinnacles that can reach hundreds of feet in elevation.

The unique breccias or layered rocks that form the Pinnacles are also found in one other spot, 195 miles to the southeast. This represents a long-term displacement by the San Andreas Fault, which is bringing the Pinnacles north at a rate of 0.59 inches each year.

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