My next book

I have an ambitious project for my next book. In my blog, Rhetta’s Family History, I collect some of the amazing history of my family. Now I want to go to the UK, investigate and take pictures myself. I;ve never been yo Europe and I’m broke,but I plan to make tgi happen. I am designing a Kickstarter project now.

Here is where my family on the Martin side spent a couple of centuries:

Athelhampton House


Sometimes people read what I write!

When I was writing that review of Bobby Messano at Darwin’s, I found this review, which quotes me. I never aw it before, and I was pleased, because sometimes I forget that people actually read my Blogcritics stuff: Of course, he found it on my older WOrd Press blog, and I really didn’t think anyone read that one!

And I quote, John Vermilyea:

Before starting this review, I read a review of Bobby Messano’s “That’s Why I Don’t Sing The Blues” by Rhetta Akamatsu . The first paragraph of that review instantly caught my attention, and I quote, ” This is, quite simply, the best blues-rock CD I’ve heard this year, and can stand up well with any CD of the genre I’ve ever heard, including the Allman Brothers, Derek Trucks, or any of the other Southern blues-rock greats. Not bad for a guy from Wisconsin!”. That statement caught my attention, simply because, that is pretty well exactly how I felt while listening to and after listening to the album myself.

“That’s Why I Don’t Sing The Blues”, was my first introduction to the music of Bobby Messano and boy what an introduction it was, one in which I was not surprised at all to see that he was on the first round ballot for this years Grammy’s in the categories of ” Best Blues Album”, Album of The Year”, “Song of The Year”, and “Record of The Year”.

Well, I love knowing I got Bobby some extra attention there…

Blues doesn’t need major labels

I get a lot of music to review from small record companies, especially those with blues artists, because I write a blues column (Atlanta blues at and wrote a blues book (T’an’t Nobody’s Business If I Do) amd while I write all sorts of music reviews from The Beastie Boys to Flogging Molly, The Grateful Dead and more, blues has my heart.

A lot of the CDs I get are from artists I have never heard of and sometimes it takes me months to get around to them, but when I do, I often discover that I really love these artists. I am so happy to have the opportunity to hear people who don’t necessarily fit the commercial mold, and who often seem to be having more fun and expressing themselves more honestly than most artists on the radio.

Some of the people I’ve really loved lately have been Rev. Jimmie Bratcher, Brad Vickers and His Vestapolitans, Tommmy McCoy, and Doug McLeod. Locally here in Atlanta, I’ve loved The Breeze Kings’ latest CD, Little  G Weevil’s The Teaser, and Brandon Reeves’ A Decent Melody.

I haven’t gotten reviews for all of these written. I did do the local ones over at but I am going to try to at least find time to give all the ones I’ve named and the others I have yet to hear reviews at if not at Blogcritics, which has more rules and therefore takes more time. In the meantime, you should check some of the ones I mentioned out!

Another paranormal article: To Serve and Protect

To Serve and Protect: Why It Is So Important to Acknowledge the Existence of the Paranormal

Thanks in part to the proliferation of television program and books about scientific investigation of the paranormal, no matter how flawed they may or may not be, and the burgeoning number of paranormal investigation groups, belief in those things that fit outside the norm is losing some of its stigma.

But this is not happening fast enough, particularly in the case of people who are, or believe they are, suffering a haunting.

In the Certified Paranormal Investigation course offered on the ParaNexus site, Doug Kelley talks about the power of belief. In some cases, people who believe that they are being haunted may be suffering from a pyschological problem, and in some cases, they may be actually experiencing a paranormal event. In the long run, which one of these is true may not make a lot of difference if the person is so afraid of being ridiculed or thought to be crazy that they don’t seek help, or if they are not taken seriously when they do seek help.

In May of 2008, there was an article by Hamilah Abdullah in the Kansas City Star about Sgt.
Brian Rand. The article stated:

“Until the day he died, Sgt. Brian Rand believed he was being haunted by the ghost of the Iraqi man he killed.

The ghost choked Rand while he slept in his bunk, forcing him to wake up gasping for air and clawing at his throat.

He whispered that Rand was a vampire and looked on as the soldier stabbed another member of Fort Campbell’s 96th Aviation Support Battalion in the neck with a fork in the mess hall.

Eventually, the ghost told Rand he needed to kill himself.”

So, Sgt. Rand smoked a cigarette, wrote a note, went to the park where he and his wife married, and shot himself.

“My brother was afraid to ask for help,” said April Somdahl. “And when he finally did ask for help the military let him down.”

Yes, the military did let him down, but I feel that society let him down as well. Because people who claim to be haunted or who profess to believe in ghosts may still be scoffed at, especially tough military men. No one investigated this case, to see if there was evidence that Sgt. Rand really was being haunted by a real vengeful ghost. No one helped him figure out what was going on outside his head and then deal with what was going on on the inside.

If he had felt free to contact a paranormal investigation group, and was lucky enough to get one that would not only seek to capture a ghost but would seek to help, what difference might it have made to him? If he could have been in contact with a parapyschologist, who could have helped him deal with his guilt and pain and deal with this haunting, whether it was external or internal, what difference would it have made?

Even if he had gotten military help to seek normal psychiatric treatment, if the person treating him did not take the possibility of a real haunting seriously, and this was a real ghost, would it have helped?

How many people are suffering unnecessarily because they don’t know who to turn to, or are ashamed to turn to anyone, or are too afraid that they are losing their minds to dare ask for the help they need?

Imagine living every day in a house where unexplainable things happen all the time, and being afraid to tell anyone. What if your parents, your school, or your church are telling you that to believe in these things is wrong, but they’re happening right in front of your eyes? How is that going to make you feel?

What relief would it be to find someone who actually believed you, listened, and tried to help in a concrete fashion?

That is why we need to keep on getting out there and gathering the evidence and talking about what we do. We need to keep responsible, serious paranormal investigation in the public eye, so that if a person has had an experience they can’t explain and can’t handle alone, whether it is a ghost, a UFO encounter, or an encounter with some unknown creature, that person will know where to go for help and will not be shamed or scared out of doing so.

Paranormal articles

I wrote an article about The Nephilim, which is one of my all-time favorites, Here is how it begins:

The Nephilim: Fallen Angels or Alien Beings?

(This article appeared, in modified form, in the Journal of Anomalous Sciences, which you can read for free at

Whatever one’s beliefs about the Bible as a religious book, it certainly must be acknowledged as a great source for the early belief systems of our ancient ancestors, and through it’s telling of both Hebrew mythology and its re-telling of even earlier stories, it can provide some insight into the possible history of our evolution.

An interesting part of the earliest stories recounted in the Bible, those immediately following the Creation story, involves creatures referred to in the Bible as the Nephilim.

Here is the Biblical passage that refers to the Nephilim first:
“Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose… The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.-“Genesis 6:1-4

There is a great deal of controversy over who these ‘Sons of God’ were who appear to have been the fathers of the Nephilim, giants and mighty men. Most theologians and authors have claimed that they were fallen angels, who broke God’s rule by coming to earth and having sexual relations with humans. Others have claimed that they were a particularly pure race of humans called the Sethites…

If you’re interested, the whole article is at