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As much as I love jazz, I grew up with a lot of great classic rock, Motown, pop, and rhythm and blues. It seems like everyone, even people in their 20’s, will admit that they get a thrill when they hear some of the classic tunes from that era. That’s why I joined a great pop/classic rock group here in New England called The Decades. 

The Decades is a high energy dance band that performs all your favorite cover tunes from the 50’s through today. Styles include pop, classic rock, as well as rhythm and blues. The members include myself and Casey Mancuso on vocals, as well as John Shaw on piano, Mark Clark on guitar, Peter LaFlamme on bass and Billie Crosby on drums. All members are seasoned musicians from the New Hampshire seacoast area. Please check out our video link below and consider our group for your venue or when planning your next event!

The Decades


My Shetland Sheepdog, Todd 



Todd is the second Shetland Sheepdog I’ve owned (actually the second dog I’ve owned, period.  And I don’t need to explain that Shelties actually “own” the whole house, right?) He’s so different from my first Sheltie.     

Todd is 10 years old now, and thankfully is still in good shape.  He does, however, have a lot of sound sensitivity issues (ever since he was a pup) that blow me away. These are especially interesting for a jazz singer!  Here are 8 sounds/actions that will make him whine, bark and zoom until I stop:


  1. Emptying the dishwasher (especially when I put the silverware away). Of course, filling the dishwasher is never an issue, because he keeps himself busy by sniffing and tasting any leftover food he finds on the plates;
  2. Raising the mini-blinds on my front picture window. It’s a soft sound, but there must be something about the pitch or the timbre;
  3. Using a nail clipper. I could be in the bathroom with the door closed, and the minute I start to clip my fingernails, I’ll hear him run to the bathroom door spinning around and whining;
  4. Turning on the vacuum cleaner (okay, so I can understand this one);
  5. Pulling a full trash bag out of the kitchen waste basket and taking it to the outside trash container. He’ll spin and bark until I’m back inside the house;
  6. Fluffing out a fresh kitchen waste basket bag as I prepare to place it in the kitchen waste basket—he spins and barks in anticipation of taking it out later;
  7. Spraying hair spray in my hair or using a blow dryer;
  8. Picking up a hand mirror, he knows it will generate a reflection and he has to find the reflection and “kill” it;

There are other sounds that trigger a reaction from him, but you get the idea. I love Todd and hope to learn a little from his super sensitive ears!

What are some of the things that your dogs do?