Tag Archive for Music

20-plus years too long between Mass shows

My sister, Michelle, introduced me to Mass, a band from Revere, Mass., back in the mid- to late-1980s. I immediately like their melodic rock sound.

The rock group Mass performs in Malden, Mass.

The rock group Mass performs in Malden, Mass.

At the time, I was living in Daytona Beach, Fla. I believe at the time, I owned the vinyl record of the band’s “New Birth” album. I gave it to a friend in Daytona, who was also from Massachusetts. I never saw the album again.

I ended up finding a cassette version of “New Birth.” While home in Revere one year, I was able to pick up the EP “Take You Home” and the full-length CD, “Voices in the Night.” Then, after that, I did not hear much from the band.

On one of my trips home, I caught the band in concert at a small club in Rowley, Mass. The lead singer, Louis St. August, seemed almost apologetic the band was not playing larger venues.

Still, I did not care. I got to hear one of my favorite bands in a small, intimate setting, an environment I much prefer.

I don’t know exactly when the concert was, but it had to be sometime before the summer of 1993, when I moved to Cincinnati.

That was the last time I saw the band perform live until this trip. Every time I came to Massachusetts, I always wanted to know if Mass was playing somewhere. Usually, I would get into town a couple of weeks after they performed or a few weeks beforehand.

But, that changed. In January, I requested my vacation for the week of May 31-June 6, not knowing Mass would be performing on May 30, 2015. My wife, Wendi and I flew into Boston on Saturday morning, and Saturday night we were listening to Mass. Not bad.

I hope it is not another 20 years before I see Mass again.

Here is the setlist from the concert (Mass played two covers, Kashmir and Baba O’Riley, the original songs by the original artists are included in the set list):

#004 The Shelmar Opry Podcast

Dan Starcher, a staff photographer for The Daily Record in Wooster, Ohio, is always messing around with the cameras, video cameras and audio equipment. He loves gadgets. Dan’s latest adventure is recording audio.

Dan Starcher serves as guest host of the Zest for Life Podcast and interviews Bobby Warren.

Dan Starcher serves as guest host of the Zest for Life Podcast and interviews Bobby Warren. Photo by Steven F. Huszai

Dan purchased an Olympus PCM Linear recorder, which is designed to capture live music. While he will be sharing live music in the future, we decided we would do a podcast.

I had just written a story about a group of musicians who assemble every Thursday in the Shelmar Mobile Home Park in Wooster and jam, opry style. In fact, someone made Virgil Briggs a sign that reads: The Shelmar Opry.

While I was shooting video, taking photographs and working on the story, Virgil made it known I played bass guitar. So, Beverly Carathers, the group’s bassist, asked me to play on a couple of songs.

I had a fun time at The Shelmar Opry (you can see the videos I shot here), and I had fun being interviewed by Dan. Normally, I serve as host of The Zest for Life podcast, but this week I took a back seat to Dan, who ran the show.

Give it a listen below. (If you are reading this post from The Z Section homepage, you will need to view the individual post to listen to the podcast, you can click on the title above or click here.)

Norwayne Students Hit All The Right Notes With ‘Music Man’

My wife, Wendi, and I had the opportunity to see Norwayne High School drama and music students perform Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” on opening night Friday. We were joined by her parents, Bud and Dolores Breese, and her sister, Randi Breese. What a treat it was.

Music Man

Katie Moore, one of the girls with whom we go to Parkview Christian Church with (you can see her on the left side in the blue dress), was in the production. It featured Alex Miller as Prof. Harold Hill, a spellbinding con man looking to swindle the people of River City, Iowa, out of their money by selling the hopes and dreams of putting together a band (which means buying instruments, instruction manuals and uniforms), and Katie Rickey as Marian Paroo, the librarian and music teacher in town who Prof. Hill has to convince the band thing is legitimate.

My wife and I own the movie version with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones; we have seen the Matthew Broderick remake; we have seen the Broadway Series touring show; we have seen community theater productions; and my wife was in a dinner theater production of the musical.

One of the problems with putting on “The Music Man” is that Robert Preston owns the part. Everyone who takes on the challenge of bringing Prof. Harold Hill to live yet again will always be compared, unfairly, to what Preston did with the part. He played the role on Broadway and in the movie. It is tough to follow in his steps.

However, Miller did an admirable job with his performance, and he’s only in high school. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and gave the Norwayne Players and stood to applaud their efforts at the end of the performance.

“It was entertaining,” Wendi said. “I enjoyed all the students’ acting. The time and effort they put in practicing showed; they kept the audience engaged.”

There are still two performances, but I am not sure if there are tickets left. There is a 7:30 p.m. performance tonight and a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. Tickets are $5 for children and students and $7 for adults.

If you cannot see the show, then have a look at the opening number:

Jim McComas leaving “Thrill on the Hill” for national position with Free Will Baptists

Pastor Jim McComas, who has been part of the Canaan Free Will Baptist Church (aka the Thrill on the Hill) for the past 25 years, will step down as senior minister at the end of February as he transitions into his new role as director of church revitalization for the National Association of Free Will Baptists in Nashville.

JimMcComas

I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with him for a story that appeared on The Daily Record’s Religion page Feb. 21, 2014 (read the story here). I shot video of our conversation and much of what McComas had to say appears in the story.

Some of the things that did not make it into the story concern his calling to the ministry and his favorite themes on which to preach.

McComas accepted the Lord as his savior when he was six years old during Vacation Bible School at Grace Brethren Church. By the time he was in third grade, he knew God was calling him into the ministry. He said he would preach into a tape recorder because “who wanted to hear a nine-year-old preach.”

When I asked McComas about what themes he liked to preach on, he said he could come up with a list of a hundred sins and start preaching on them. However, “If I can get them to fall in love with Jesus,” that will take care of a lot of stuff, he said.

When Doug Hunter was doing his Wayne County 365 project, McComas was one of his subjects. In Hunter’s piece, which you can read here, McComas talked about how he wanted to be known as more than just a guy in a suit to the students in the Norwayne school district. McComas touches upon that and more in our video conversation.

Check it out:

Now ‘The Ex Factor,’ Fox cancels show that put @JoshKrajcik on map

To hear Fox has canceled its singing competition show, “The X Factor,” after its third season comes as no surprise. After the first season, the Simon Cowell-led show lost its mojo. Actually, after Season 1 there was no Josh Krajcik.

Josh Krajcik and band in Orrville

Krajcik’s gruff look, his years of struggling to make it and trying to support himself slinging burritos provided a gripping and compelling back story. When he auditioned and Cowell heard him blast out Etta James’ “At Last,” there was this interesting juxtapositioning of this guy who looked like he came from the wrong side of the tracks with an incredible voice.

The same thing happened with Susan Boyle. The exterior just did not seem to match the voice within.

Can you name anyone who performed in seasons 2 or 3? Can you name the winners of seasons 2 and 3?

There were also signs not everything was going as smoothly as it should be for the show. What’s Season 1 winner Melanie Amaro up to? Has she even released a record? What about Chris Rene? See what I mean.

Krajcik was ready to go into the studio soon after finishing as the runner-up on “The X Factor.” However, it took forever for him to sign a deal. Why, who knows. Whenever The Daily Record‘s Lydia Gehring interviewed him, he never wanted to complain about how slow things were going and would only say it was the business side of it.

Further indication things might not be going as well as they could be for the show was when Krajcik’s album was finally released, it was with BMG and not L.A. Reid’s Epic Records.

No use crying over spilled milk. Season 1 introduced Krajcik to the world, and it was his version of “At Last” that captured everyone’s attention. The show served its purpose.

Here is Josh Krajcik, along with Eric French (guitar), Mitch Pinkston (bass) and Corey Gillen (drums), performing “At Last” at the Orrville Rib & Music Fest this past August.

Oldie But Goodie: @JoshKrajcik Connects with Fan in Deeply Personal Way

Editor’s note: I was reviewing the Top 10 most popular posts on The Z Section, and this one is the No. 1 blog post of all-time here. When I looked at this again, I saw the photo of Josh with Ali and immediately knew I wanted to highlight this one again. Enjoy this blast from the past.

The photo below tells me everything I need to know about Josh Krajcik, a singer-songwriter originally from Wooster, Ohio, who gained national attention with his rendition of Etta James’ “At Last” at an audition for “The X Factor.”

Krajcik

Josh Krajcik speaking with Ali Booth at the Best Buy on the Strip in Canton.

I was in Canton on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, to shoot video for Krajcik’s performance and CD signing at the Best Buy on the Strip in Canton. I was part of The Daily Record team there to cover the event. Living Editor Lydia Gehring was there to interview Krajcik and do a story; Dan Starcher was there taking photographs; and I was shooting video.

Krajcik had just finished his acoustic set and stepped outside for a little break before signing autographs for his fans. On his way back in, he stopped to talk to Ali Booth, who works as a cashier at the Best Buy. The two met earlier in the green room.

What impressed me, and why I wanted to take the photograph, was how Krajcik treated Booth with dignity. He got down on her level so the two would be eye-to-eye when they talked. He could have easily just stood there, towering above Booth, and made some idle chatter before excusing himself. But that is not what he did.

Jane Carmichael is a long-time friend of Krajcik’s mom, Lisa Pim. Earlier in the day, we spoke about Krajcik, the album and how he knows what he wants and is working toward that goal.

Despite the success on The X Factor (he was runner-up) and the record contract, Carmichael confidently proclaimed, “He will never change. Josh will never change.” The context was that fame is not going to change the humble Krajcik.

To see something as captured in the photo above, it makes you think Carmichael is onto something.

Updated info:

The videos below are from The Daily Record’s YouTube Channel, check out the 23 Krajcik videos there. You can check out Gehring’s story, along with photos from Starcher, here. To see another post on The Z Section regarding Krajcik, click here.

Here is a slideshow from the Canton event and videos follow.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Enjoy Krajcik performing “Lost at Sea”:

Gehring’s interview with Krajcik, along with him performing his new single, “Back Where We Belong.”

Or, listen to Krajcik’s album on Spotify:

Never-before-seen footage of Josh Krajcik from House of Blues

Before Josh Krajcik stepped onto the stage of the House of Blues Cleveland Aug. 1, 2012, he sat down with The Daily Record’s Lydia Gehring to talk about a variety of subjects: The concert, the then-upcoming record, the recording sessions in Los Angeles and his backing band.

Josh Krajcik sits down with The Daily Record's Lydia Gehring.

Josh Krajcik sits down with The Daily Record’s Lydia Gehring.

Much of the video footage shot that night has not seen the light of day. With today being Josh Krajcik’s birthday, what better time to give his fans a glimpse behind-the-scenes.

Most of the video footage has never been seen before. Some of it appeared with a video that accompanied Gehring’s original story, which you can read here. Here is how she opened her story:

CLEVELAND — Before walking onto the stage at the House of Blues on Wednesday, “The X Factor” runner-up, Josh Krajcik, was “feeling good,” staying cool, calm and collected.

Just before playing in front of a packed venue of his fans who came to see him in only his second local performance since the show wrapped up in late December, the Wooster native and Triway graduate was doing some pre-concert relaxing in his dressing room with close friends and family. He had just had some snacks and completed a sound check.

“I’m the same guy, the same performer, I’ve always been,” Krajcik said of his post-“The X Factor” profession. “I just have better opportunities and more open doors. There are so many more things I can do now that I wasn’t able to do before.”

Today might be Josh’s birthday, but his fans are receiving this gift. Listen to the interview and tell me what you think about what the singer had to say nearly a year-and-a-half ago.

Update: This blog post was revised to include the opening paragraphs to Lydia’s story to give you a flavor of that night.

Blast from Past: Grandmother treks cross-country for @JoshKrajcik

The first time Josh Krajcik performed at McGaw Chapel on the campus of the College of Wooster September 2012, Ida Mae Lasick was there. She traveled from California to Northeast Ohio to see her favorite singer.

Uvs140119-001 Lydia Gehring, editor of The Daily Record’s Living section, documented the 68–year-old grandmother’s cross-country trek in a story. She wrote at the time:

Ida Mae Lasick traveled more than 2,450 miles to hear Josh Krajcik sing live at McGaw Chapel on Friday. The 68-year-old Penryn, Calif., resident had a crush on Elvis, but never wrote him fan mail or flew across the country to meet him. Lasick did both of those for her favorite musician — and more.

Ida Mae had contacted the newspaper wanting to know if she could hire someone on staff to record video of her trip. As much as I would have liked to earn a little extra money, the newspaper was already paying me to be there. Ida Mae wrote me a letter, and we exchanged some messages on Facebook. I kept asking her to give some time, I would get to it and do something with the video. I never did. Until today. Cherish the memories, Ida Mae, and enjoy Josh Krajcik singing your favorite song. The video is done, at last.

Are You Headed in the Right Direction

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

Proverbs 14:12, NIV

image

 

I love the Tom Cochrane song, “Life is a Highway.” It is a fun, upbeat tune. I admit, I am one who does not get caught up in lyrics, unless it is a Christian song. So, don’t ask me what the song by Cochrane really means, but I will tell you want it means to me:

Life is an open book, and we can take ours wherever we want to.

We have the opportunity to strive for greatness or wallow in complacency. We can choose to do good or no good at all. It is up to us.

As for where we find direction, there is no lack of influences: Parents, preachers, friends, teachers, book, movies and bands. All of these can be positive influences, but not necessarily. People, even those with the best intentions, can fail and fall.

As it says in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Not everything is as it seems. We need to be careful and cautious.

For me, I have strayed off the straight and narrow, but a good guide for me has been God’s Word, the Bible. It helps me to stay on track. It has a lot of wonderful advice in it, and it leads us to heaven.

We’ll explore more tomorrow, but for now, enjoy Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway” on Spotify:

Or, on YouTube

Josh Krajcik Connects with Fan in a Deeply Personal Way (Updated)

The photo below tells me everything I need to know about Josh Krajcik, a singer-songwriter originally from Wooster, Ohio, who gained national attention with his rendition of Etta James’ “At Last” at an audition for “The X Factor.”

Krajcik

Josh Krajcik speaking with Ali Booth at the Best Buy on the Strip in Canton.

I was in Canton on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, to shoot video for Krajcik’s performance and CD signing at the Best Buy on the Strip in Canton. I was part of The Daily Record team there to cover the event. Living Editor Lydia Gehring was there to interview Krajcik and do a story; Dan Starcher was there taking photographs; and I was shooting video.

Krajcik had just finished his acoustic set and stepped outside for a little break before signing autographs for his fans. On his way back in, he stopped to talk to Ali Booth, who works as a cashier at the Best Buy. The two met earlier in the green room.

What impressed me, and why I wanted to take the photograph, was how Krajcik treated Booth with dignity. He got down on her level so the two would be eye-to-eye when they talked. He could have easily just stood there, towering above Booth, and made some idle chatter before excusing himself. But that is not what he did.

Jane Carmichael is a long-time friend of Krajcik’s mom, Lisa Pim. Earlier in the day, we spoke about Krajcik, the album and how he knows what he wants and is working toward that goal.

Despite the success on The X Factor (he was runner-up) and the record contract, Carmichael confidently proclaimed, “He will never change. Josh will never change.” The context was that fame is not going to change the humble Krajcik.

To see something as captured in the photo above, it makes you think Carmichael is onto something.

Updated info:

The videos below are from The Daily Record’s YouTube Channel, check out the 23 Krajcik videos there. You can check out Gehring’s story, along with photos from Starcher, here. To see another post on The Z Section regarding Krajcik, click here.

Here is a slideshow from the Canton event and videos follow.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Enjoy Krajcik performing “Lost at Sea”:

Gehring’s interview with Krajcik, along with him performing his new single, “Back Where We Belong.”

Or, listen to Krajcik’s album on Spotify:

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