Friday, April 2, 2010


I recently took a drive to Brookside, the little town where I grew up. In 2003 the town was devastated by a major flood; most people sold their houses to FEMA and moved away.

The town has a fascinating history. Around the turn of the century, Brookside rivaled the wildest of Wild West towns. There were SEVEN saloons on Main Street, and disputes were more often than not settled with the pull of a trigger.

After coal was discovered in the surrounding hills, a flood of Eastern European immigrants arrived in Brookside to work the mines. Little by little, Brookside was transformed from a Wild West town to something resembling an East European village.

My grandfather Dulin, who was Ukranian, arrived at Ellis Island with his mother in 1904, when he was 6 years old. After a short time in Pennsylvania, they came to Brookside.

When I was growing up, the old world culture was still strong. I vividly remember All Saints' Day in Brookside, with the priest swinging a censer full of strong incense, followed by church members holding banners aloft, as they all marched up Tiger Hill to the only Russian Orthodox cemetery in all of Alabama. As night fell, the cemetery was magically lit with hundreds of candles, one marking every grave.

Our family celebrated an old-style Christmas Eve on January 6th every year, with carolers going from house to house, coming in to sing a few Russian songs and being rewarded with delicious Russian food and wine.

I have been told that my forbears in the old country were very musical, that they played all sorts of instruments by ear. I am proud to continue that tradition.

The onion dome, St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church

A headstone in the Russian Orthodox Cemetery

The Russian Orthodox cross

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Welcome to my News Page. This is where you will find up to the minute information about recording projects, new releases, upcoming performances and more. You will want to visit every week because each FridayI will be offering a new original song for you to! In addition, from time to time I will be sharing studio happenings, what I am listening to, favorite books, and glimpses into my personal life. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions on what you would like to know about me and my music.


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