Friday, June 26, 2009

Check These Out!

I recently wrote two feature articles for, one about my fellow Streetsboro High School teacher (and he is also a great singer/songwriter) Jim Boardwine; and one about long time Cleveland Guitar player extradonaire Jeff Nagel.

You can find the article about Jim Boardwine here:

And you can find the article about Jeff Nagel here:

Both guys are very talented, and also great people!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Most Southern Place on Earth

From June 15-20 I attended a National Endowment for the Humanities workshop at Delta State University titled "The Most Southern Place on Earth," studying the birth of the blues; the culture of the Mississippi Delta; and civil rights. It was an outstanding week, meeting teachers from all over the country and diving head first into all things dealing with the Delta. It was a week of food, music, history, laughs, somber moments, living history, and new insights and experiences.
Thanks again to Dr. Luther Brown and Lee Aylward and their staff for putting on such a great workshop! For more information about the work of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, visit

New Orleans June 12-15 2009

Before I went to my NEH workshop in Mississippi, I spent a couple of days with friends in New Orleans. The city has bounced back, and we had a great time. What a place!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ken Becka throws out the first pitch at the Indians game 9 June 2009

It was a galla event as Ken Becka got to throw out the first pitch before the Indians/Royals game on June 9. The event drew a large crowd of family, friends, and assorted knuckleheads as Kenny actually got the ball over the plate!

Marcia Ball @ the Beachland Ballroom 5 June 2009

Blues diva Marcia Ball and her band gave her legion of Northern Ohio fans another great show on her yearly visit to Cleveland. Last Friday's concert at the Beachland featured new songs off her "Peace, Love, and BBQ" album; more than a few past favorites including "La Ti Da" and "Crawfishin'"; as well as a couple of New Orleans standards. The full house in attendance loved every minute of it, whether it was sitting still listening to a beautiful ballad or up on their feet dancing to a boogie number.
Often praised for her piano playing, she is just as good of a singer, whether it’s a New Orleans dancing in the street number or a soulful version of Randy Newman's "Louisiana 1927." The new material sounded very good, especially "Party Town" that got everyone up and shouting, and three beautiful ballads, "Fallin' Back in Love with You," "Ride it Out," and "I Wish You Well."
She was backed by a four-piece band, including long time bass player Don Bennett, guitarist Andrew Nafzigel, drummer Corey Keller, and saxophonist Thad Scott.
Marcia Ball is one of the living legends of American roots music. She has won numerous Blues Music Awards, and is considered by many to be the finest piano player in the music industry. Northern Ohio fans will get a rare second chance this summer to see her as she will return on August 8 to be a part of "Ladies of the Blues" at Lock 3 in downtown Akron. For more information on Marcia Ball, her music and touring schedule, visit
As always there are so many good shows coming up at the Beachland. I'm really looking forward to the return of singer/songwriter Josh Ritter on July 5; a rare solo appearance of songwriter Jimmy Webb on July 10; and blues dynamo Candye Kane on August 5. Check out for all that is happening at that great club.
The photos were taken at Sokolowski's University Inn before the show, and shows the lovely Ms. Ball with her favorite Cleveland fan, as well as her favorite local chefs Mike and Bernie Sokolowski.