On Saturday night, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead closed out their two-night run at Boston’s House Of Blues, marking the group’s final performances of 2017. Characteristic of the innovative Grateful Dead-inspired act, the final Boston show saw the group in proper form, offering up an energized mix of Dead tunes and other choice covers along with countless teases of other artists ranging across Michael Jackson (“Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”), Herbie Hancock (“Tell Me A Bedtime Story”), Steve Miller (“Fly Like An Eagle”), Rod Stewart (“Do You Think I’m Sexy”), Suzanne Vega (“Tom’s Diner”), John Coltrane (“Love Supreme”), Bobby Brown (“My Prerogative”), and more.Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Shares Full Audio Of LOCKN’ Set Featuring Bob Weir [Stream]Obviously a huge night for the band considering its placement as the group’s last shows of the year, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead managed to mix in a number of special songs into the setlist among tunes that more frequently see rotation during performances. After a show-opening cover of Chuck Berry’s “Promised Land”, the group hit a rousing rendition of “Shakedown Street” ahead of a jam built around John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”. During this first set, the band also performed Jerry Garcia’s “Cats Under The Stars” for the third time ever and allowed Marco Benevento and Dave Dreiwitz to team up for an extended duo section during “Viola Lee’s Blues”.During the second set of the night, the band offered up the majority of its high-profile and sometimes hilarious teases. From the set-opening slinky rendition of “Feel Like A Stranger”, the band worked in tastes of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” and Suzanne Vega’s “Tom Diner” as well as a more traditional “Slipknot!” tease. From there, the band was off and sprinting toward the finish, with the second set also seeing a “flipped” version of “Eyes of the World”—the band started with the song’s ’73 ending played in the key of the song before it, “Dancing In The Streets”—as well as a rendition of “Standing On The Moon”, marking the first time the band has the 1989 Grateful Dead tune since October 2nd, 2015 at Brooklyn Bowl in New York City.“Viola Lee Blues” > “Cats Under The Stars”[Video: Brosef Wilson]“Standing On The Moon” > “Truckin’”[Video: monihampton]“Feel Like A Stranger”[Video: Jamey Klein]“Franklin’s Tower”[Video: Jamey Klein]You can check out the setlist for yourself below, plus stay tuned for announcements about Joe Russo’s Almost Dead’s highly anticipated performances in 2018!Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead | House Of Blues | Boston, MA | 12/9/2017Set One: Promised Land > Shakedown Street @ -> Jam # -> The Other One $ > Viola Lee Blues % > Cats Under The Stars ^, One More Saturday NightSet Two: Feel Like A Stranger & -> Franklin’s Tower > Dancing In The Streets * > Eyes Of The World + -> Jam @@ -> Let It Grow ## > Standing On The Moon $$> Truckin’ -> Music Never Stopped Jam -> Truckin’ Reprise -> Born Cross Eyed JamEncore: GDTRFB %% > WBYGN (Instrumental)@ – Unfinished# – With a “Love Supreme” (John Coltrane) Tease (TH or SM)$ – With a Playin Tease (Band)% – With a Throwin Stones Tease (Band), a China Cat Tease (TH), a DD/MB Duo Jam, with TH on Drums, & a “Shortnin’ Bread” (James Whitcomb Riley) Tease (MB)^ – With a “Walk Like An Egyptian” (The Bangles) tease (MB), a China Cat Tease (SM), a “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” (Michael Jackson) Tease (SM) & a “St. Thomas” (Sonny Rollins) Tease (SM)& – With an Immigrant Song” (Led Zeppelin) Tease, a “Tom’s Diner” (Suzanne Vega) Tease (SM) and a Slipknot! Tease (Band)* – With a DD Bass Solo, “Tell Me A Bedtime Story” (Herbie Hancock) Jam (MB) & Eyes Teases (Band)+ – “Flipped” Version – Started with the “’73 Ending” Changes played in the key of Dancin’, and a DD Bass [email protected]@ – With a “Fly Like An Eagle” (Steve Miller) Tease (MB)## – With an “Amazing Grace” (Traditional) Tease (TH), an “If You Think I’m Sexy” (Rod Stewart) // “My Prerogative” (Bobby Brown) Jam that included audience vocals, and a Slipknot! Tease (Band)$$ – Not played since Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY, 2015-10-2, a gap of 88 shows%% – With a Not Fade Away Tease (Band)[Photo: Rob Chapman]
Three new wheat varieties released this year by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ wheat breeding program are the product of more than a dozen years of work by breeders on the UGA Griffin campus.When it comes to cultivating new varieties of wheat, patience is key, as it takes an average of 10 to 14 years to breed a new variety of the grain that has been around as long as mankind. Researchers put in many years of work to see the fruits of their labor, and this year Mohamed Mergoum, the Georgia Seed Development-UGA Foundation Professor in Wheat Breeding and Genetics at the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, and his research team are seeing the results of work begun in 2005 by wheat breeder and Professor Emeritus Jerry Johnson.The three varieties being released this year — known as ’17E8′, ’17E11′ and ’17LE16′ — are all soft, red winter wheat and will be used to make flour for crackers and cookies. To determine what each wheat variety is best used for, researchers test the flour by making baked goods such as cookies or bread during the breeding process. This also allows for the product to be better marketed to both the farmers who grow the wheat and the milling and baking companies that purchase it.All three new varieties released this year have been licensed — ’17E8′ to Harvey’s Fertilizer and Gas via JoMar, ’17E11′ to Ag. South Genetics, and ’17LE16′ to Progeny (Erwin-Keith) companies. These companies will commercialize the wheat varieties and pay royalties to UGA for each bushel sold. Once these new cultivars of wheat reach the consumer, they will have a lifespan of roughly three to five years. After that period, new disease resistance is often required or farmers seek new varieties to grow.While all three new UGA wheat cultivars are high yielding and well adapted to Georgia and the Southeast, each cultivar has unique traits:’17E8′, which will be marketed by Harvey’s Fertilizer and Gas as ‘AP 1983′, has good resistance in Georgia and the Southeast to races of leaf rust and stripe rust and to powdery mildew and improved resistance to Fusarium head blight (scab) disease. It also has medium resistance to wheat soilborne mosaic virus.’17E11’, which will be marketed by Ag. South Genetics as ‘AGS 2021′, has good resistance to races of leaf rust and stripe rust and powdery mildew, and slightly improved resistance to Fusarium head blight (scab) disease. It is also resistant to barley yellow dwarf virus and wheat soilborne mosaic viruses.’17LE16’, which will be marketed by Progeny (Erwin-Keith) as ‘PGX 20-15’, has good resistance to races of leaf rust and stripe rust and to powdery mildew, and much improved resistance to Fusarium head blight (scab) disease.Johnson made the first crosses that led to the new varieties in 2005 and 2006, when he was head of the wheat breeding program at UGA-Griffin. Johnson was instrumental in recruiting Mergoum to the Griffin campus in 2015, and Mergoum now leads the program. Although he is retired, Johnson’s work continues through the research that continues at UGA-Griffin and through these new varieties.“Breeding wheat is long-term and continuous work,” said Mergoum. “No one knows what the future holds and there are a lot of predictions made to imagine what challenges there may be in the future and what consumers’ preferences for wheat products are.”When breeding a new variety, three different criteria form the wheat classes: hardness/softness of the kernel color (red or white) and growth habit (winter or spring). Each class has different traits and properties. For example, hard red spring wheat is good for making products that require a strong, high-gluten dough, such as pizza crust, but would not be good for cookies, which are typically made with soft red winter wheat flour, Mergoum explains. Because different varieties are suited to different growing regions and climates, the type of wheat grown in the central and northern states will be different from the type that is grown in Georgia in particular and the Southeast in general.Creating varieties versatile enough to grow in several different regions is a benefit to breeders because farmers in more areas can grow them on a large scale.“Many of our varieties are grown all over the Southeast, which is good for us because farmers often replace acres deemed for wheat with other crops such as corn and soybeans, which are grown in the same season,” Mergoum said. Among the wheat breeding programs at institutions in more traditional wheat-growing regions of the U.S., the UGA program is historically regarded as a well-established and successful program in the U.S. and the region, having released 10 new varieties since.One of the critical factors that goes into wheat breeding is disease and pest resistance in the plants. Plants are susceptible to diseases and pests including rusts, blights, viruses and insects such as the Hessian fly. Researchers spend years trying to make varieties more disease resistant, but often new diseases or pests will emerge that necessitate continuous research and work on new varieties.“It is a constant battle against the changes of the disease. You constantly have to look for new genes,” said Mergoum. “Stacking ‘good’ genes is one of the most important jobs for a breeder. The more you stack in one variety, the more you increase its adaptation, including disease and pest resistance.”There are many collaborators at UGA, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and the regional breeding programs in the Southeast region that contributed directly or indirectly to the development of these cultivars, Mergoum said.At UGA, faculty collaborators include plant pathologists James Buck and Alfredo Martinez, entomologist David Buntin and research professionals Ben Lopez, Dan Bland and Steve Sutton. Regionally, the UGA wheat-breeding program worked closely with many USDA-ARS centers in Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Washington, Minnesota and Idaho.The UGA wheat-breeding program is also a founding member of the Southeastern University Small Grains Breeding Programs, known as SunGrains, that was formed in 2003 and includes small grains programs at universities including Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana State, North Carolina State, Texas A&M, UGA and Clemson.SunGrains breeders work together to maximize funding and research opportunities by sharing resources and royalties. “In addition, there is a free exchange of germplasm among the SunGrains group, therefore, any released variety from each of these programs is an effort of all the breeding programs of the group,” said Mergoum. “Hence, royalties generated by all releases of the SunGrains group are also shared. All UGA releases have been tested prior to their release by SunGrains group and provide data that helps us to determine the geographical areas of adaptation of our varieties. The program is very important to our work to release new small grains cultivars.” To learn more about about UGA’s Griffin campus, visit griffin.uga.edu. For information about the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, see plantbreeding.caes.uga.edu.
The Ghana Rugby Football Union elected Mr. Herbert Mensah, former Chairman of Kumasi Asante Kotoko FC, as its new and second President at its national congress held at the Media Centre of the Accra Sports Stadium.Herbert Mensah takes over the reigns of Ghana Rugby from the founder and first President of Ghana Rugby, Mrs. Gifty E. Annan-Myers, who did not contest for the position of President. The other nominee for President, Mr. Ernest Hanson, who withdrew from the race, was appointed as Vice-President pending the nomination of a Vice President at a yet-to-be-announced special meeting of delegates.Other elected officials to the Board of the GRFU were:Executive Members: Mr. Abdul Aziz Issah (Secretary Greater Accra Region) and Mr. Bismark Amponsah (Executive Member Western Region) were elected unopposed.Technical Director: After a hot contest, Mr. George Nana Kodwo Kumah (Founder Western & Central Rugby Academy –Regional Association) was elected to the position of Technical Director.Treasurer: Mr. James Nunoo (Executive Member Western & Central Regions) got the nod for the position of Treasurer. Regional Representative: Mr. Minta Nyarko (President Western & Central Rugby Academy – Regional Association) was elected as Regional Representative.Officials from the National Sports Council were delighted with the appointment of Mr. Herbert Mensah whom they said have changed the face of football and indeed sports administration in Ghana during his tenure as Chairman of Kotoko.In an interview Mr. Herbert Mensah praised the founder and outgoing President of Ghana Rugby, Mrs. Gifty Annan-Myers, for her many years of selfless service to rugby and indeed to sports development in Ghana.“What Gifty achieved can only be applauded and the new Executive Council is grateful for the solid foundation she and many other selfless people have laid,” Herbert said.According to Mr. Herbert Mensah, the new Executive and indeed all officials in the country who are so passionately involved in rugby have a daunting task ahead to revise the medium to long-term strategy for Ghana Rugby and to build the necessary structures and resources to make Ghana a force in world rugby. Mr. Herbert Mensah further stated, “If a country like Swaziland with 1.9 million people could manage to become a full member of the International Rugby Board (IRB), there is no reason why Ghana with more than 25 million people cannot in the foreseeable future take part in ranking tournaments.”“One of the major challenges Ghana Rugby will have to face is the funding of the required activities and programmes. In this regard we would like to heartily thank both the National Sports Council as well as our past and current sponsors such as GGT, DHL, Beaufort, Nurevas, PriceWaterhouse, SG-SSB and many others for their support in the past. The challenge going forward will require their continued and hopefully increased support,” Mr. Mensah said.