By Ruth Ellen Gruber
I've been on the road on a very busy trip through central Europe and have had little time to post. But I did get to meet up with my Polish country singer/songwriter friend, Michael Lonstar, in Warsaw.
Lonstar and I met originally nearly 30 (yikes!) years ago, when I was a correspondent in Warsaw for United Press International -- he remembers us sitting at a party and talking about the Texas swing group Asleep at the Wheel (the Wheel's frontman Ray Benson is an old friend of mine).
In Warsaw, the weather was lovely and we sat outside at one of the city's plethora of sidewalk cafes and restaurants. He told me about some of the conflicts in the Polish country music world (rivalries, rival festivals, etc).
And he gave me a copy of his new CD, which was recorded in Nashville. It's called Michael Lonstar & (the Duets) and features traditional country-style duets with various other artists, such as the American Billy Yates and German Mandy Strobel.