Crimson Blues


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The United States has no professional government bureaucracy, as Japan does and as this country does in the field of foreign service. Americans just don't think of government as a profession.

Crimson Blues | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson

If you want to be a doctor or a lawyer, you have to pass a test and get a license. Or if you dream of becoming secretary of the Treasury, start writing checks to the Republican National Committee. Nye ingeniously addressed that problem by making the Kennedy School less American. He boosted the proportion of foreign students to nearly 43 percent, the highest of any Harvard school.

The United States may not care about training the people who run its government, but other countries do.

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Even so, K-School students are constantly reminded that they labor against a tide of skepticism. The problem isn't just psychological; it's economic. As doctors and lawyers can happily attest, the earning potential of any profession hinges on its ability to raise barriers to entry. To practice law or medicine, you need a license. Public service has no such roadblocks, which means K-School grads will never pull down the hefty salaries that alumni of Harvard's professional schools do.

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Still, they need the money to pay off their loans as badly as any other former students. Because its alumni are relatively poor, they can't give much back, and so the Kennedy School is also poor. At Harvard, that's chump change. For an institution that considers itself at least as valuable to society as the business school, this is an embarrassing state of affairs. Ask a K-School student what he thinks of his B-School counterparts across the Charles and you'll likely get an unflattering answer coated with a patina of envy.

Ask a business school student what he thinks of the Kennedy School, however, and he'll tell you that he rarely thinks about it. To shore up the school's finances, Nye raised money diligently and by all accounts did well. But he spent a lot, too, hiring faculty and staff, taking professors on an annual retreat, and expanding the Loan Repayment Assistance Program, also known as LRAP. It took some time, but Nye yanked his school back into the black. He cut 76 jobs and the faculty retreat and reduced LRAP although, after the protests, he reverted to the original guarantees for students already enrolled.

Still, signs of the school's cash crunch abound. Students complain about heavy fees for everything from course packets to gym membership. And to boost revenue, Nye increased enrollment from a recent low of in to last year. Many classes are so crowded, students have to sit in the aisles. Now the funding problem falls into Ellwood's lap.

It's another Tuesday night in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, the school's central gathering place. Tonight's guest speaker is Ken Mehlman, campaign manager for George W. The student jokes that he asked Mehlman for career advice, and Mehlman told him to go to the law school. Only a few people chuckle.

The joke hits a little too close to home. Other demonstrators pop up. Someone else bids ten. He's probably right.


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Most Kennedy School students are too polite to engage in such political theater, but Mehlman was unquestionably on hostile turf. You can't walk down a hallway without bumping into someone who did time in Washington during the s. Last year, as a prank, comedian Al Franken used Harvard stationery to write John Ashcroft, asking the attorney general to recount memories of times he almost lost his virginity. Ashcroft was displeased, but K-School officials didn't seem particularly upset.

Conservative students at the Kennedy School consider themselves a besieged minority. Certainly they lack faculty role models. Bonnie Newman, who worked for George H. Bush; and David Gergen, not exactly a flaming conservative. They're what you might call cappuccino Republicans. The real conservatives are down in Washington, and, without intending to, the ideologues in the current administration have provided the best rationale for the Kennedy School by landing the country in a foreign policy bramble of immense complexity.

Sanctified Boogie Blues. Revelation City. Gotta Serve Somebody. Child of the King. One Way Ticket. Went Down to the Crossroad. Sliding Grace. Shelter from the Storm. This Little Light. Downloads are available as MP files. Album Notes.

Live and Kickin'

In the summer of , drummer Bill Mallare sent a text message to guitarist, singer and all-around blues junkie Mark Jeghers. Mark was on vacation, and didn't expect to hear from anyone, let alone Bill. The text message said, "Wanna start a gospel blues band? But Mark and Bill discovered they had common ground: their Christian faith and love of blues music.

"Shelter from the Storm" Crimson Blues Band @ Cross M/C National Event 2013

Then Mark's guitar buddy Brad Marsh sat in with them while playing at an outdoor block party. Realizing there were a lot of church-going neighbors there, the three of them decided to be politically incorrect and do one of Mark's favorite slow-blues gospel songs. Right in the middle of ultra-materialistic Silicon Valley, they dared to sing a song about Jesus! It was fun, to say the least. It was a few weeks later, while Mark was on vacation watching seagulls fight over carcasses and garbage, that the text message came.

What followed was a long phone call, and after that, the beginning of an adventure. Mark offered first dibs to Brad Marsh to play lead guitar; Brad took about a fraction of a second to say yes. Since then, Crimson Blues has been playing high-octane Christian Blues, with all the passion and energy of rocked-up Blues, and with the message of a Risen King.

Their music style spans many variations that all orbit around the universe of blues: swinging Chicago Blues, scorching hot Delta Blues, hard driving Blues-Rock, Southen Rock, and a little bit of funk for good measure. Though writing songs since age 15, frontman Mark Jeghers has not experienced such a prolific songwriting period in a long time.

They also think that blues and the New Testament gospel message go together remarkably well.


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  4. That's because they both dig deep into the human condition and all the struggles that come with the package. They both touch on lostness and redemption in a primal and profound way. And they both have a way of healing the soul well, Jesus moreso than blues, but, you get the idea Harp player Rich Greenwood says this about playing with Crimson: "I started playing harp in I've jammed with bands from Tuscany to Times Square -- but have never been in a band like Crimson Blues before.

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