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Author Archives: Bob Rhubart

In Space, No One Can Hear You Snore

What if aliens turn out to be boring? Read More »

Howard Stern in the Land of No Bleep

How will Howard Stern and crew fare in a medium where the bleep is an endangered species? Read More »

Folk School: Carrying on the Tradition

In a tiny classroom in the Kent State Student Center, an impromptu four-piece combo fronted by two virtuoso steel guitar players rolls through a series of classic western swing and country tunes while the rapt, standing-room-only crowd of perhaps three dozen whoops in appreciation. In between tunes, the steel players answer questions from the crowd about their instruments and technique. ... Read More »

Profile: Folk Alley’s Jim Blum

Jim Blum has witnessed the graying of the local folk audience and the emergence of a new generation of gifted young musicians in the 25 years he has been been a folk music host on Kent State’s WKSU. These days he is busy with preparations for the 39th annual Kent State Folk Festival, Nov. 11-19. Headliners for the 2005 series ... Read More »

Bill Kirchen @ Black Swamp

When he took the stage on Saturday at the Black Swamp Arts Festival in Bowling Green, Ohio, staring into a blazing late afternoon sun, Bill Kirchen looked like just another guy with a Telecaster. Wrong. Bill Kirchen Kirchen is the guy with a Telecaster. From the wood to the wires, he owns that instrument. His hour-plus set ripped open a ... Read More »

The Derailers @ Black Swamp

The Derailers return to the Black Swamp Arts Festival (they first played the festival in 2003) introduced a new line-up to the Black Swamp audience. The new line-up brings brilliant guitarist and band co-founder Brian Hofeldt to the frontman role, and includes the addition of Sweet Basil McJagger on keyboards. Noticeably absent is co-founder and former frontman Tony Villanueva, who ... Read More »

Austin Lounge Lizards @ Black Swamp

The Austin Lounge Lizards Friday-night set at the Black Swamp Arts Festival was the perfect antidote to a week of depressing news about how Katrina turned New Orleans into Bagdad. Introduced as the second-funniest thing to come out of Texas, the five-piece quasi-bluegrass band ran through an energetic and engaging set of original satirical songs funny enough to make your ... Read More »

Sleepy LaBeef @ Black Swamp

A $50 guitar tuner would have made an enormous difference in rockabilly legend Sleepy LaBeef‘s Friday night performance at the Black Swamp Arts Festival. LaBeef’s set consisted of an extended (and when I say extended, I mean extended), extemporaneous medley of rootsy rock-and-roll and country classics. LaBeef performed the first half of the set on an a red Gibson guitar ... Read More »

Preview: Black Swamp Arts Festival

This weekend the city of Bowling, Green, Ohio again plays host to the annual Black Swamp Arts Festival. While the festival press release focuses on the visual arts, the real action happens on the main stage in the big parking lot behind the stores lining the east side of South Main St. For the past twelve years the Black Swamp ... Read More »

With Friends Like These…

In all the accusations of PBS’s liberal bias and the right-wing criticism of Bill Moyers, I never heard any mention of “Washington’s Other Scandal,” a 1998 Frontline episode, hosted by Moyers, that presented compelling and shocking evidence of campaign finance abuses in both parties, with a particularly sharp focus on Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign. The PBS synopsis of the ... Read More »