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verge / april 2010 / 3
The Journey to Find One’s Place
Melissa Konomos shares the search for her birth parents
Stroll Down Rock & Roll Memory Lane
Seeking for the Roots of Memory
Lost Wax Casting Takes on New Life
Love Without Walls Breaks Barriers
Play Through Downtown Returns
Soy Noodle House Opens on Broad
The Annual Downtown Dining Guide
Randy Houser Delivers Gritty Country
Trio of Brothers Follow Their Dreams
Lighting Project To Kick Off in June
Rock Bottom Music’s music memorabilia now on display
Dr. Tsien of MCG is finding breakthrough discoveries
Under the masterful hands of Evelyn Davis
This ministry’s passion is to serve the poor
Annual Masters week game promises great rewards
New restaurant serves up a variety of Asian cuisine
A tour of downtown’s restaurants
He’s part of this year’s A Day in the Country
Sons of Sylvia join Carrie Underwood’s Tour on May 2
Broad Street will get new street lamps and traffic lights
5 7 13 17 19 19 24 27 27 31 33 39 41 41 42 43 45
volume three issue two
smatterings discover downtown & meet your d(a)2 community : the young professionals of augusta the arts : jessye norman school of the arts fresh food : saturday market on the river prime time : shag city television dance show pipeline : april’s highlights chefspeak : manuel verney-carron beers locals like : dogfish head craft brewery uptown : augusta & columbia county across the river : north augusta & aiken on the flip side : False Flag and NoStar cut the fat : part nine sports : international mountain biking conference past times : the monuments of greene street in progress : the emporium part II the last word
on the cover: nacho mama’s cityscape by carrie brooks
4 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 5
verge publisher Matt Plocha editor Lara Plocha
smatterings / notes from the publisher “The American city should be a collection of communities where every member has a right to belong. It should be a place where every man feels safe on his streets and in the house of his friends. It should be a place where each individual’s dignity and self-respect is strengthened by the respect and affection of his neighbors. It should be a place where each of us can find the satisfaction and warmth which comes from being a member of the community of man. This is what man sought at the dawn of civilization. It is what we seek today.” - LYNDON B. JOHNSON
pipeline editors Claire Riche
President Lyndon B. Johnson’s words bespoke an absolute thought process for an entire generation mere decades ago and we believe that these fundamental truths still hold true today.
web guy Mr. Verge
The underlying importance of community which instill a sense of being and belonging is part of the strong foundation in this country. It is that community immigrants sought over two hundred years ago and still do today. America provided that safe haven; it provided belonging and promise. We live in a country where citizens’ dreams and visions should not be suppressed, but welcomed and encouraged.
photographers Katie McGuire Chris Selmek Editorial content of verge is the opinion of each contributing writer and is not necessarily the opinion of verge, its staff or its advertisers. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.
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The “main stream” and “not so main stream” media try to portray the millions of Americans today as divided. But, it is our belief that, fundamentally, America’s citizens still hold to the value and basic principal of belonging to community. We are a country that is in the process of re-building and re-defining itself again after a few decades of slumber. We are a country people still believe in dreams and where dreams can be made reality. We are a country where vision is not merely a power point presentation, but actual working projects that can and will define this generation. The greatest class of citizens, the middle class, is awakening to a sense of empowerment. Citizens are beginning to come together for the good and needs of its community. We can learn from the philosophy of past generations by meeting our community’s basic principal needs and by acting with integrity, dignity, respect and appreciation. We can shape our community where each citizen feels safe and an integral part of the whole. We at verge hold dear that vision. We hope to have encouraged you in the past and look forward to showing our appreciation, now and in the future. We have challenged, and, we hope, motivated you to become a more active part of your community.
of belonging to everyone in the Augusta area. No matter what your ethnic background or your economic status might be, we are all an important piece of this fabric we call home. Each of us has a role to play and none more important than another. Some may be architects. Some may be construction workers, while others finance the projects. All together, we are moving our community forward and becoming a place where each of its members is equally important. So we ask: What is your place in our community? What section of the fabric are you? Remember – none is any more important than another. We are all citizens of this community Augusta, citizens of Georgia and citizens of the greatest country the world has ever seen. America. How are you helping our community? We invite you to see your community in action this month. There are a lot of great events for you to experience in the days ahead. There are also many ways for you to get more involved. There are more ways for you to see what part of the “fabric” you are. Grab your neighbor and visit a few events. Sit down with family and friends and discuss what is important to you, your family and your neighborhood. Then find ways to connect with others that share that same vision. Help strengthen our community one person at a time. Fiber by fiber and strand by strand, we are woven together, strengthening and expanding the fabric of the Augusta community. Here are a few of the ways you can get involved in April: • Meet Melissa (pg. 9) • Experience the rock & roll history at Rock Bottom Music (pg. 11) • Volunteer your time at Love Without Walls (pg. 17) • Become a Young Professional (pg. 13) • Play Through Downtown (pg. 21) While you’re out and about in your community, have an ice cream, see a play, read a book or watch some live music. The choices this month are incredible in our community. Go and be a part! We hope to see you out and about this month building up our community with Integrity, Dignity and Respect. In the coming days, weeks and months try to make a difference and be a part of the “Great Awakening.” See you downtown! Matt
The task does not end here; it begins. We are not a nation divided rather a nation on the brink of greatness. We stand united and on the verge of a defining moment in history. If we base our decisions on the fundamental truths set forth by our forefathers, history has shown that we will be bound together as a country, community by community. It is a monumental task and one that we will be proud of many years from now when our children’s children look back and define this generation as the “Great Awakening”. That awakening is already happening here in Augusta. Several community-oriented building projects are already in motion. These projects are designed to unite our community and provide a sense
got news? we want to hear it Whether it’s a new product line or an addition to your menu, a new employee or a new title, an addition to the family or a request for help, verge wants to hear from you. Send your “quick clips” to email@example.com by the 20th of each month for inclusion in the next issue. cover artist: carrie brooks “One
of my earliest childhood memories is watching my Mom make dolls. She was as generous with her art supplies as I was curious, so I had a lot of freedom to be creative at an early age. Ultimately, it was at Lakeside High School that my art teacher, Mrs. Lewis, inspired me to want to share my passion for art with others. I graduated from the University of Georgia with a BFA in Art and Art Education and have been teaching for eight years, the last seven at Greenbrier High School teaching ceramics, photography, and graphic design. It was during graduate school that I started making my own art again after taking several years off to focus on my career. I began the Augusta Cityscapes Series while running and training for distance races in and around the streets of Augusta. Each time I ran past my favorite coffee shop or building façade, I noticed something new that would make me smile. I wanted others to see Augusta as I saw it, so I was inspired to capture my favorite Augusta spots in my artwork.
advertiser index 12 38 36 46 28 26 38 42 47 10 32 4 4 20 20 8 34 14 40 22 44 32 34 44 16 10 8 10 28 42 2 8 14 28 32 18 4 6 4 14 22 40 48 22
1102 Bar & Grill 1102 Back Bar Events 8th Street Tobacco/HD Lounge A.B. Beverage - Budweiser Augusta Canal Augusta Players Bell Auditorium - Styx Blue Sky Kitchen Boll Weevil Cafe The Book Tavern Brigan’s Casella Eye Center Downtown Dental DuJuor Fine Foods Edge Salon Elduets Treasures of the World Global Spectrum Halo Salon & Spa Health Central Indian Wolves Illustration James Brown Arena - Mo’Nique LeChat Noir The Loft Lokal Loudness Manuel’s Bread Cafe Nacho Mamas New Moon Café PeachMac Perry & Company PowerServe Rock Bottom Music Rock Bottom Music Rock Bottom Music Rock Bottom Music Rock Bottom Music Sacred Heart Sanford, Bruker & Banks Soy Asian Noodle House Stella Stillwater Taproom Vintage Ooollee The Well Windsor Jewelers Zimmerman Gallery
6 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 7
discover downtown dine
Blue Sky Kitchen
Augusta Museum of History
Church of the Most Holy Trinity
Ooollee Bricker’s vintage clothing store affords customers “a piece of history everywhere you look.” She says, “People come in here if they’re going to theme parties, or if they simply love vintage clothing like myself, or if they like to mix the old with the new for a fresh look.” But what she enjoys the most are the grandmother-granddaughter pairs who come in to look for the same types of clothing. Bricker has on display a wide variety of dresses dating from the 1880s to the 1980s, shoes, purses and over 200 hats. For those who want a closer look, Vintage Ooollee will be putting on a fashion show April 7, 7:30 p.m. at the Augusta Common along with Modish Salon during Augusta’s Par 3 Party. Tickets can be purchased for $8 in advance or $10 at the gate. Regular store hours are Tuesday through Friday, noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. For private
Blue Sky Kitchen may be one of the finest international dining establishments along Broad Street. Owned by Barry Blackston, who also owns the popular Nacho Mamas, Blue Sky boasts a most eclectic menu including Cuban, Korean and American favorites. Though the dinner menu includes a few more entrees than the lunch menu, including steak and seafood, Blackston says the lunch favorites are always available. Bulgogi, Korean style beef served with grilled vegetables over rice with a chicken and spinach eggroll, is good any time of the day. As warmer, longer days approach, the outside dining tables are the place to see and be seen downtown. Blue Sky is open for lunch Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. For a closer look at the menu, visit BLUESKYAUGUSTA.COM
The Augusta Museum of History has several surprises in store for Masters Week. The first is the new golf exhibition, which includes memorabilia from Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus, plus six full-scale bronze statues of famous golfers on loan from Golf Hall of Fame. Sightseers won’t need to worry about choosing the right day, either, because the museum will be open every day during the tournament, from Monday April 5 to Sunday April 11. In addition to the special exhibits, the Augusta Story downstairs includes many interesting relics including a steam locomotive, a trolley car and a fire engine. Normal museum hours are Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m, to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: $4 for adults, $3 for seniors or veterans, $2 for children, and all children under 6 are free. AUGUSTAMUSEUM.ORG
In 1810, the parishes of Immaculate Conception, Sacred Heart and Holy Trinity united into the Most Holy Trinity parish. This year, the Church of the Most Holy Trinity is celebrating their bicentennial anniversary by touching up their grounds with new signposts and gardening. In addition, the parish invites the community to come out for a Church and Garden tour on April 24 at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and on April 25 at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. The tour will include much of the art and history in the 153 year old building, including the crypts eight priests and one bishop are buried in beneath the church. Mass is observed daily during the week at 12:15 p.m. and on Saturday at 10 a.m. Sunday services are at 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
1121 Broad Street
990 Broad Street
560 Reynolds Street
appointments, call 706.724.4508.
811 Telfair Street
THEMOSTHOLYTRINITY.ORG article and photos by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK
kate lee / meet your d(a)² board The Downtown Augusta Alliance is a member-based non-profit group of downtown business owners and residents joining together to promote downtown Augusta as a destination and neighborhood. Over the next several months, verge will introduce you to each of the 2010 Board of Directors. This is Kate Lee’s second term as a Director. Name: Kate Lee Position: Board Member Day job: owner of Garden City Organics How long have you lived in Augusta? We’re just going on two years here in Augusta. My fiancée Brian Gandy and I actually live in North Augusta now, but we lived downtown for the first year we were here, and started Oasis Gardens within six months of moving here. What does the Downtown Augusta Alliance mean to you? I’ve seen the Alliance host wonderful, fun events that are attracting people downtown and helping create awareness that there are locations of interest and fun reasons to come downtown. Why did you decide to become a member? I was approached, and being new to the Augusta area and new to the business community I thought it would be a good way to meet my neighbors and have an input in community events. What do you see as your role on the board? I’m on the events committee, and I think that we host a lot of fun events downtown. Discover Downtown and Play Through Downtown are some of my favorites that we’ve had so far. I like to help with distributions and make sure that all the businesses have everything they need when we host an event. I’m sort of a logistics person. What do you have planned for April? Play Through Downtown is our big event for April. This is the third year we’ve done it; it’s a
kind of guessing game where each one of 18 businesses count as a hole, and the goal is to guess the number of items in a jar. You have all week during Masters week to fill out your scorecards and turn them in to any one of the participating businesses, and there will be a prize for the closest guess for each and for the closest guesser overall. It’s so fun, everybody has a great time, and it’s fun for me too because I know how many seeds I put in the jar and I get to watch everybody make guesses. What is your favorite thing about the downtown area? I love the walkability of it and the wideness of the sidewalks. It’s really a very friendly community, and if you work down here you get to know almost everyone and you have friends all around. I also like that all the business owners want each other to do well, we all root for each other and patronize each other’s businesses. It makes things very friendly with the other members of the board. What are some of your favorite places in downtown Augusta? The Rooster’s Beak is a restaurant around the corner that is really great, you just have to try it. I go about four times a week, but the Book Tavern, New Moon and Art on Broad are my other regular spots. The restaurant that’s coming next door also looks like it’s going to be very good, though it hasn’t opened yet. It’s going to be called the Soy Noodle House and looks like an Asian style udon-noodle place. I’m excited to see how we’re all going to welcome it into our community. For more information on how to get involved in the Downtown Augusta Alliance, visit dasquared.com or catch Kate downtown. interview and photo by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK
8 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 9
front porch / a journey of names
melissa konomos’ seven year search for her beginning Augusta resident Melissa Konomos was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1975. A naval officer and his wife, based in Japan, adopted her at the age of six months. They started the adoption process because of their desire to have a daughter. Melissa said “they did the paperwork, gave references, made the trip to Korea and showed up at the agency thinking they would start looking at photos, start discussing and see what they were interested in.” To their astonishment, they were told, “Mr. and Mrs. Chatham, we have the perfect child for you. We have her picked out … go to lunch and, when you come back, we’ll have your daughter for you.” At age seven, Melissa was given a children’s book about adoption that had an illustration of a vending machine. When questioned by friends about why she didn’t look like the rest of her family, she would answer, “I fell from the sky,” or “I am like Annie.” At age 15, she started asking questions and asked to see the adoption file. “It was a very, very tense and awkward moment with my parents,” she said.
ABOVE: Melissa with husband Michael in Seoul, South Korea, June 2009 BELOW LEFT: Melissa’s American family on her father’s 75th birthday, October 2009 BELOW RIGHT: Melissa
with her Omma (R) and her Imo (L), September 2009
Melissa had hoped for less restricted information. “With Korean culture and law, trying to search for your biological family is difficult, because of poor record keeping, and that at the time [of her adoption] one could not allow a child to be adopted if their parents were still alive. Korean law does not allow adoption of a child that is not technically an orphan. Even if you were not abandoned, they had to write down abandoned,” she said, “for a woman pregnant out of wedlock, it was a catch-22. There were no social services for a single mother. A woman would be disowned. No man would marry a woman who had had a child by another man.” “Those seven years were very emotional,” she said, “at times I wanted to give up ... At one point, the agency sent telegrams to 10 different women with the same name that could possibly be my mother … I really got my hopes up.” None of the women responded and she considered “hiring a private investigator in Korea because the adoption agency’s hands were tied, by law.” Her persistence worked. On December 22, 2008, while driving to Atlanta for a flight, she noticed that a sapphire stone was missing from her wedding band. She searched the car frantically, to the surprise of her husband, Michael Konomos, who knew her to be a more composed person. She explained that she felt it was significant, and, perhaps, a sign, but didn’t know why she felt that way. When they returned home, the stone was found on the kitchen counter where she never left her rings. On January 7, 2009, while driving home from the jewelry store with a repaired ring, she received a call from Dillon International and
The file contained scant information: “Child’s Name: Yoon, Mi Ra. Found Abandoned. 6/05/1975: The baby was deserted by her mother after she was born at Shin, Young Soon Clinic and later Dr. Shin Young Soon found her. 6/10/1975: Was referred by Dr. Shin, Young Soon to David Livingstone Adoption Programme.” After reading the file, Melissa tried to push the subject out of her mind, because there was no record of her birth parents. But in early 2002, a
friend who worked for an adoption agency encouraged Melissa to search. The friend did some initial legwork and, through Dillon International, obtained a number for Melissa to call for information. Melissa was then introduced to the harsh reality of administrative procedure. She was given a case number and had to fill out paper work. Her basic right to know her biological parents was stamped, dated, signed and passed around, no doubt visiting various desks and file cabinets. The seven-year wait had begun. The first information she received was that her “birth mother had actually met with the social worker and planned [her] adoption.” Melissa also received a name for her mother, but the name could not be verified due to a lack of legal documentation. She learned that her birth father and mother had lived together, unwed, against the opposition of their families.
“I love Melissa. I love Michael. I will never forget you. I want you to be happy. Goodbye.” - MELISSA’S APPA
pulled over. “I wanted to let you know that we found your biological mother and your biological father,” the social worker told her. Melissa reacted with joy. They wanted to meet her. The first contact the agency had had with her parents was the day the stone was lost. Melissa later learned that a retired police officer had been contacted to aid the search for her parents. He found old addresses and old numbers for birth mothers with the same name and the social worker started calling the women. One claimed to be the “Omma” (Korean for mother). Her “Appa” (Korean for father) was walking down a sidewalk one day in Seoul, when Melissa’s uncle saw him and asked him if the memory was true. It was. He was the man remembered. He was her Appa. DNA testing later confirmed that the two were Melissa’s biological parents. Melissa got the details then. Her Omma had run away from the family to live with her Appa. Later, he was not able to be there for the birth and Melissa was given up for adoption without his knowledge. When he was able to, he searched for the mother and child, but they had disappeared. Pressured by family and cultural expectations, her Omma had given the child up for adoption. On June 26, 2009, Melissa met her biological parents for the first time, separately because
her Appa wanted nothing to do with her Omma. Accompanied by a translator, she met her in the afternoon and him that night. “It was very emotional. It wasn’t quite as awkward as I thought it would be,” Melissa said of the afternoon meeting, “[my Omma] reacted so unguarded … the moment I entered the room she wrapped her arms around me … and she kept saying ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I miss you. I love you over and over again.’” The conversation, via a translator, was frustrating because the more intricate things said were jumbled in translation; and to Melissa’s disappointment, her Omma did not want to talk about the past because it was too painful. The night meeting with her Appa, a businessman, was not quite as emotional. He was more reserved, but very understanding. She said, “I walked in the door and he immediately came up and embraced me,” and said, “’Miss you, love you, forgive me’ … and he seemed very much in tune with my pain.” He added “I can only imagine how much pain you’ve experienced over the years. I know that you probably have wounds that will never heal, but I am your father and I feel that it is my obligation to do whatever I can to help those wounds heal.” She learned that her Appa did not find out she was adopted until three years had passed and that then he had searched the adoption agencies for her.
When Melissa was heading for the airport to leave South Korea a second time, her Appa followed alongside in a jeep and held up sign after sign: “I love Melissa. I love Michael. I will never forget you. Always have a dream. I want you to be happy. Goodbye.” Melissa said she decided to share her story because she has had difficulty explaining to people why she wanted to know. She has been asked why she isn’t “grateful” for her family here. She said that she is grateful; and even though the search strained her relationship with her parents, it has also fostered a more open, close, and honest relationship. She added, “there are a lot of misconceptions and presumptions that surround adoption … people don’t realize that the reason you had to be adopted was because you lost your first family … and in my case, I lost a language and culture.” “In Korea, when people get married, they don’t change their last name,” she said, “the woman keeps her last name and the children take on the name of the husband.” Her first name was Mi Ra Yoon (a partly fictitious name given to the agency). Her second name was Melissa Ann Chatham. She now goes by Melissa Ann Konomos (a Greek name from her husband) and is trying to learn Korean. She is also, slowly, acquiring a taste for Korean cuisine, such as fermented cabbage, a staple in her birthplace. Melissa has visited Korea twice and continues to meet relatives of her Omma. She is still a secret to the family of her Appa. To learn more, you can visit Melissa’s blog: YOONSBLUR.BLOGSPOT.COM.
by PM ROGERS photos courtesy of MELISSA KONOMOS
10 / april 2010 / verge
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verge / april 2010 / 11
a little bit rock & roll / rock bottom music
a trip to this music store is a journey through rock & roll history “It’s a music square downtown,” Jonathan Karow, owner of Rock Bottom Music says about the area that encompasses the James Brown Arena and Statue, the Imperial Theatre, the Augusta Commons, PVC Record Shop, Joe’s Underground, Pyramid Music, The Bell Auditorium and Rock Bottom Music itself. His own employees encompass that square: most have been in major bands, playing gigs with the likes of James Brown, Stevie Wonder, and Steve Morse of The Dixie Dregs. Rock Bottom Music is more than a music store; it is a repository of music knowledge. “Recognizable musicians work here,” Karow says. Even the home Rock Bottom Music resides in firmly makes up the square: the one-hundred-year-old Johnson Building. And Karow wants to firmly plant Rock Bottom Music in Augusta’s rock and roll history. His vision for the store is much more; creating “a Hard Rock Café that sells musical instruments at a rock bottom price.” “I wanted Rock Bottom to be a legendary music store like Manny’s in New York or Gruhn Guitars in Nashville. Augusta is a music city and it deserves a historic music store as such,” Karow continues. Duff McKagan from Guns ‘N’ Roses has played an acoustic set in the store (he’s also a customer), as has the band Sevendust. People from France, Canada, and all over the world come to Rock Bottom Music; what many people consider to be one of the top music stores in the world, ranking right up there with shops in New York and Los Angeles. Major television crews who come into town during Masters and other events “always end up in our store,” Karow says. Fender, ESP, Takamine and Pearl, some of the leading guitar and drum makers respectively, are proud to call Rock Bottom their premiere dealer in the area. With more than 10,000 music stores in the world, half of them in the United States, Karow thinks of their internationally recognized success as a “dream come true.” Rock Bottom exudes rock and roll from the moment you pull up to the corner. But its much more than simply a place to buy a guitar. Karow’s extensive collection of music memorabilia is on display throughout the store. Many of the pieces have a personal history with Karow and Augusta, as well. There is the 1960’s Royal Artist organ from Bloomingdale’s in New York, formerly owned by James Brown, original autographs from Elvis Presley and the Blue Moon Boys band, and RIAA gold and platinum record awards from such bands as Nirvana, Marshall Tucker Band, and the Doors (the last is signed by Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek). One of the rare pieces fans can see in Rock Bottom is a lithograph of the Beatles from their Greaser Cavern Club days signed by original drummer Pete Best. The walls are littered with Hootie and the Blowfish autographs; not to mention the signed guitars: a John Fogerty guitar, and an Eddie Van Halen guitar pickup and a George Lynch of Dokken hand painted ESP guitar. One of Karow’s favorites is a rare Gibson Custom-Shop Purple Burst Thunderbird bass owned by Scott Jones from Caroline’s Spine, whose album Monsoon went gold and who also toured with Kiss. One of Karow’s most precious possessions is a Stuart Spector bass guitar made especially for Karow, that he calls his “Jurassic Bass.” Made of over five-hundred-yearold water-cured redwood with ebony wood, brass, 24kt gold, mother of pearl and quarter-sawn maple, the bass was built for Jonathan in honor of the tenth anniversary of Rock Bottom Music. It was the 555th bass made by Spector. It’s construction was begun on Karow’s birthday and finished on Spector’s birthday. There are only about ten instruments made by Spector from this rare redwood. One is owned by Nickelback. There are original snare drums by Kiss, Sevendust, and Poison. Guitars by Zakk Wylde of the Ozzy Osbourne band, Duff McKagan, Buck Cherry, and two guitars by Kiss member Paul Stanley, including one he smashed on the 1983 Lick It Up Tour at the Augusta Richmond County Civic Center (now the James Brown Arena). Turn the corner and you’ll spy a Washburn Augusta model
guitar signed by the James Brown band, Slipknot drum heads and the 1980 Kramer AXE bass designed by Gene Simmons of Kiss that is pictured on a well known Rick James album cover. A Takamine guitar, with a mother of pearl logo by country star Toby Keith, is on display as is a Blackstone Cherry signed Gretsch, and an autographed Duff McKagan Fender signature model bass. Other items include an embroidered jacket from the road crew for the Aerosmith/Kiss tour which Karow worked on and a drumstick holder owned by John Bonham from Led Zeppelin. Drum heads used by members of bands such as Cinderella, Ratt, Poison, Shinedown, Reba McEntire, James Brown, Buck Cherry, Skid Row, Saving Abel, and regular customers such as Rehab, Mother’s Finest, Saving Able and Avenged Sevenfold, who come to Rock Bottom and shop when they play in town are also there for customers to enjoy. “This historic building has also been visited by such legends as Brenda Lee, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson,” says Karow.
a piece of local art
“Augusta is a music city and it deserves a historic music store as such.” - JONATHAN KAROW
Karow has a collection of thousands of original records, backstage passes, and artist-used drum-sticks and guitar picks dating to the 1960’s. He is still adding to that collection. “I will always play music and collect pieces of music history. I enjoy giving back for music history preservation and education,” Karow explains with sincerity. Other than music legends, Rock Bottom has signed Fred Gretsch drums and guitars, a well known pioneer in musical instrument manufacturing from the Georgia/ South Carolina area for over 125 years. There is musicrelated art by locals Henry Wynn, Troy Campbell, and Chris Murray. Two of the Rock Bottom Music outdoor signs are giant guitars made by local metal sculptor Daniel Forman. “I was about four years old when I got into Kiss, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath,” owner Karow says. His father constantly played a montage of Classical, Jazz, Opera, Motown, Blues, Rock and Zydeco music. From that time, Jonathan has been a passionate music lover, immersing himself in the culture. “Two of my dearest personal items are my first birthday gift ever. It is a red and silver drum piggy bank which I still have and the last thing my father gave me before passing away was an African talking drum.” Karow says.
signed by Black Stone Cherry
some of the Kiss collection
from Zakk Wylde of Ozzy Osbourne
signed by James Brown’s Band
“I took positive experiences from other music stores I’ve been to around the world,” Karow continues, who has never worked in a music store but knows how he wants to be treated when he shops. “This is what I do,” Karow says. “I grew up wanting more bang for my buck,” he says, “a good value for my customers.” But when it comes down to it, Karow’s music store, with over 400 guitars and drums for sale, is a little bit shop and a little bit museum, and it has plenty more secrets and stories for fans interested in the history behind the music. Rock Bottom Music is located at 758 Broad Street and open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. ROCKBOTTOMMUSIC.COM article by D.H.L. photos by CHRIS SELMEK
12 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 13
today’s future / the young professionals of augusta passionate about developing tomorrow’s leaders
The motto of the Young Professionals of Augusta (YPA) “Networking for a Better Tomorrow” – may seem simple, but the phrase actually sums up what drives the organization. Begun in 2007 by Jonathan English, the YPA focuses on a multipronged platform with Augusta’s betterment at the heart. “Developing future leaders,” Sean Frantom says is one of the primary reasons the YPA exists. Eight months ago, Frantom became the new president of the YPA. It was time for the Young Professionals to change direction and Frantom had some ideas he was ready to put into play. At the time, the organization consisted of 90 members. Now the group has roughly 215 members that range in age from twenty-one to forty – a considerable growth in a short amount of time. With the change of leadership, the Young Professionals began playing a more active role, working closely with Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, focusing on the Kroc Center and participating in a successful toy drive for the Boys and Girls Club. But, this is the tip of the iceberg for the Young Professionals. Frantom says members of the YPA have “the energy to make a difference;” it’s at the core of their drive. The YPA is comprised of young professionals from all walks of life, backgrounds and workforces, regardless of gender or color. As a group, the YPA wants to develop better leaders while encouraging each member to grow individually. The group refuses to become stale. The flow of people and ideas that runs through the YPA keeps it alive and active. The group is passionate about change. “We support downtown as much as possible,” Frantom says, but is quick to clarify that the YPA is concerned with all aspects of Augusta, not just the downtown area. But the group realizes there is a stigma to downtown and working with the government in Augusta, and they want to help overcome these negative perceptions. They want citizens to be proud of and actively
the 2010 Young Professionals of Augusta Board of Directors
“There is a young generation coming downtown who wants to know what we can do.” - SEAN FRANTOM, PRESIDENT OF the YPA
involved in their hometown. The YPA’s diversity creates an atmosphere where anyone can relate and get involved – as long as they’re willing to work. “This is not a social club,” Frantom says. They don’t just meet to drink together; they get together to make things happen. “There is a young generation coming downtown who wants to know what we can do,” Frantom says. In order for things to “work in Augusta, people need to quit talking,” Frantom continues. “Action is needed.” His personal involvement in the YPA spurred Frantom to run for District 10 Commissioner –
taking an active role in local politics “We’re passionate about this city,” Frantom says. “We want to make it safe; we want to make it better.” As for the future, the YPA will be attending the economic summit in the summer where locals will get to know more about the major industries around the city. “Augusta needs new blood,” he says. As the organization grows, it seems the time is ripe for the YPA and, as Frampton reminds, “anybody can find something in the Young Professionals of Augusta.” YPAAUGUSTA.ORG by D.H.L. photo KATIE MCGUIRE
remembering yesterday /uncovering the mystery of memory
mcg’s dr. tsien delves into the brain’s capacity
What is memory? This question forms the basic building blocks of the memory research being conducted at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) under the leadership of neuroscientist Dr. Joe Tsien. Tsien first took a steady interest in studying the brain, and hence memory, as a sophomore in college. “I was looking for direction,” Tsien explains, when he found himself in an electrophysiology lab. “I heard a neuron spike coming over the speaker,” he says. Actually hearing the function of the brain was the “defining moment” for Tsien. He came to the United States and studied molecular biology, eventually starting his own lab at Princeton. Now Dr. Tsien is co-director of MCG’s Brain and Behavior Discovery Institute. Studying the brain and memory formation has led Tsien and the other researchers into some breakthrough discoveries; including the much applauded studies into the way memory-forming brain cells communicate with one another when in the process of creating a memory. The studies seemed rather simple – using pavlovian conditioning and associative memory tests. Lab rats were given a small shock and their behavior observed. When the rodents recognized the area where they received the shock, the researchers knew the rats remembered where they had been shocked. The rats associated, or remembered, the shock
with a particular area, much in the way people associate a name with a face. The brains of the rats did not respond the same when they approached a place where the rodents had not been before. While this may seem like simple understanding of behavior, this is the beginning of the research into memory formation.
“I’m curious how the brain works. It’s my passion.” - DR. JOE TSIEN
The MCG study focuses on memory, including the genes and proteins involved in memory. During the first ten years of the study, Doctor Tsien studied the molecular basis of memory. But the more recent research has shifted focus to genetically enhancing, impairing, and erasing memory in the hopes of answering the question: What is memory? “Using pavlovian conditioning,” Tsien explains, the researchers can more accurately study how “the memory center responds during memory.” Tsien looks into memory and the data that is at the core of memory. The doctors look at patterns that form in the brain of the animals, such as the rats, during recall of the
shocks. Using mathematics, the researchers were able to point out emerging patterns consistent with memory. This meant that when the pattern surfaced along with a particular behavior, like hesitating in the area where the shock was, the rats were obviously remembering what happened to them before. For the doctors working with memory, defining memory is still elusive, but the basic ingredients involve inducing learning and then the ability to recall what has been learned previously. If this can be proven to have occurred, it is considered to be memory. But, there must also be a way to measure memory, and this is where Tsien’s research comes in. The relationship with patterns the doctors study is connected to the animal with the greatest number of memory traces. What this means is that the scores of the tests and the patterns of the brain are studied and then the brain is “manipulated with a protein or a gene,” Tsien says, allowing the doctors to study varying effects on memory. Patterns change but remain recognizable as the original memory. The next step, as Tsien goes on to explain, is to record the data of the genetically
Dr. Joe Tsien in the laboratory
modified animals, everything from “how they are impaired and enhanced,” which leads to an understanding of memory. This research is very important in studying diseases at various stages. In the hopes of pinning down steps of diseases, this will help doctors develop new therapeutic strategies and diagnoses. For now, there are “a lot of questions,” Tsien admits. “Memory is not singular,” Tsien says. “Different parts of the brain come together,” including perception, imagination, and consciousness. Measuring memory traces will open up doors into understanding what goes into creating memory. “I’m curious how the brain works,” Tsien says. “It’s my passion.” by D.H.L. photo PHIL JONES/MCG
14 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 15
art / the exquisite detail of lost wax casting
comes to life in the hands of sculptor evelyn davis
Well-known sculptor Evelyn Davis moved to Augusta a year ago. On First Friday, April 2nd, she will be displaying her work at Zimmerman Gallery on Broad Street and giving a tutorial on the “lost wax” process of making bronze sculpture. In a recent verge interview, Evelyn gave us an eloquent portrait of herself, her art, and her history. PM: How did you begin your career as an artist? DAVIS: I have always been an artist since my childhood. It gradually evolved. In my early career, I did a lot of pet portraits in oil paints. I also taught drawing and painting. PM: Did you feel like you were different from other people, as a child, and do you feel the same now? DAVIS: No, as a child I didn’t know that my relationship with the woods and wildlife was unique. It was my escape from life in a foster home. Now I know that every person is unique. I used to think I had to justify my life choices to anyone who questioned them. As a mature adult though, I’m very relaxed on my path and I hope my personal energy radiates peace to others. PM: Why did you transition from two-dimensional to threedimensional work? DAVIS: It had a lot to do with the wildlife I handled. In my work as a wildlife rehabilitator, I held wild animals in my hands. I ran my fingers through their feathers and fur, examining them and searching for injuries to their flesh and breaks in their bones. I most often did this with my eyes closed, seeing with my fingers. I have a strong tactile memory of talons, claws, eyes, paws, wings, beaks, teeth, and inner musculature. When I mold clay, I use the same finger and hand gestures and I rarely use sculpting tools. It’s similar with horses. I’ve owned several horses of different breeds throughout my adult life. I know what a hoof, a pastern, or a wither looks and feels like. I’ve seen horses from above, below and every possible angle. In sculpture, one must be able to mold a horse’s inner thigh as well as the throatlatch or the poll. Every facet of the sculpture must be correct from every angle. PM: Did working in a wildlife rehabilitation facility influence the way you sculpted animals? DAVIS: I can’t say enough how honored I was to be entrusted with the care of bobcats, eagles, hawks, owls, songbirds, fox, etc. They’re forever imprinted in my heart and hands. I witnessed their pain, fear, strength, courage and eventual freedom (or death) at a very personal level. The purpose of the rehabilitation was to return the injured or orphaned animal back to the wild. This was one of the greatest privileges of my life. Having intimate access to their world undoubtedly had an impact on my art. PM: In art, the initial concept is often augmented before a piece is finished. Sculpture, because the hands are used, must take the artist through several different formations before a piece is finished. Has this been your experience? DAVIS: No, it happens for me without much effort and I never lose my gratitude for that. Completing a piece brings me a sense of fulfillment and self-worth. I love to teach and share the experience because I believe art can heal the world. We are all creators and that is expressed individually in our daily lives. Some express it in negative ways, even through crime. Could it be because many people don’t remember how, or were never
given the permission or the encouragement to build houses out of sticks and stones or draw pictures with crayons, write, dance or play-act as children or adolescents? PM: Your “Flora” and “Fauna” pieces, on display at the Zimmerman Gallery now, are the busts of children with a green patina. One appears to have budding antlers, the other antlers or branches that have been cut off. Are both representations of males, and does it matter? What was your inspiration for these pieces? DAVIS: They are androgynous. They grew spontaneously from my psyche as I was working on other, commissioned pieces. I kept returning to the creation that was dominating my worktable: first Fauna, with the tear on “her” cheek, and then Flora with the impish smile. I did not have a model for either. Their expressions changed frequently and sometimes, especially Flora, seemed to morph magically. Eventually I needed the workspace, so I had a choice: recycle the clay, or have them molded and cast in bronze. Since I already had an image of a third nymph circling my psyche (Delmarva, the sea imp), I decided to give them perpetuity. Because of my recent cross-country move, Delmarva hasn’t had the chance to emerge yet; but will eventually. PM: The “lost wax” process you will be demonstrating this First Friday, when did you discover it? Did someone teach it to you, or did you teach yourself? Why is it your preferred method? DAVIS: I am self-taught; however, I’ve accomplished this at times by putting myself in a position where I was able to learn from observation or by assisting the experts. In the beginning, I allowed the foundry to pour my waxes and make my molds. After a while, I assisted in some university moldmaking classes and I also bartered my mold making and wax “chasing” assistance at the art foundry in trade for casting. It’s my preferred method because it’s tried and true from ancient history. I believe we’ll appreciate and value traditional arts and skills more as they become threatened by computerized and modernized ways. Also, as with most things, the art bronze industry is challenged and infiltrated by cheap imitations that will not be able to stand up to the test of time. PM: After reading your description of the “lost wax” process, I felt a little tired. How long does the “lost wax” process take, for an average piece, including drying time? DAVIS: Funny. From the beginning? Starting with the clay sculpting? Six months to a year. A rubber mold takes a few days, at least, depending on how many “parts” it has. A wax pour can be done in a day. The final ceramic mold takes several days, the bronze pour and cool-off another day or so, the welding (if it’s cast in parts) takes another day or more, and the patina and final wax application, another. It’s extremely dusty, sticky, cumbersome, and meticulous work requiring much equipment, space and ventilation. The actual clay sculpting takes the longest, but is the fun part. I use non-toxic plasticine clay. PM: Do you see yourself working with different materials or mediums in the future?
“I love the permanency of the bronze. And this, perhaps, is because life as a human being is so transient.” -EVELYN DAVIS, SCULPTOR
DAVIS: I’ve experimented with different mediums, but it’s usually a temporary distraction when I choose to break from the intensity of sculpture. I do some palette knife painting when I really need to let off some creative steam. I can weld metal art, and I’ve done some paper art, stained glass, photography, fabric art, watercolors, acrylics, oils, plein-air painting, etc, etc. But, there’s something about simple graphite drawing and clay molding, both, seem entirely pure to me. I love the expression of these mediums. Of the two, I love the permanency of the bronze. And this, perhaps, is because life as a human being is so transient. PM: If you could only sculpt the image of one animal, which would you choose? DAVIS: A hawk. No … a horse. Okay, a hawk. by PM ROGERS photos courtesy of JEFF BIRCHILL
plan to go date FRIDAY APRIL 2 venue ZIMMERMAN GALLERY 1006 BROAD STREET the event EVELYN DAVIS: Opening Reception time 5 to 9 PM more 706.774.1006
16 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 17
community / love without walls
breaking down barriers for the poor and needy among us “And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” - ISAIAH 58:10
In the heart of Harrisburg stands the Harrisburg Family Life Center. Across the street is a community church, the Bible Deliverance Temple. When passing these two buildings, one might not suspect that within these structures also lies a group that is trying to help the community; one family or one person at a time. It’s an ambitious effort, backed by Pastor Dr. Kelly McKnight that could knock out walls. So fitting, then, is the name, Love without Walls. “Love Without Walls” is a nonprofit organization that provides basic needs and services to aid the financially challenged population, regardless of age, gender, race or ethnicity, willing to commit to improving their lifestyle; to assist those individuals or families willing to work, within their capabilities, to reach a goal of independent living; to provide opportunity and encouragement for growth of the whole person: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, to assist children with their education, development of social skills, proper nutrition, adequate housing; and to cooperate with the government, private sector agencies, and the religious community in the fulfillment of this vision.”
Originally, Love without Walls was the name of a children’s ministry formed by the Bible Deliverance Temple in Harrisburg and housed across the street in the Harrisburg Family Life Center. When the organization wanted to expand the mission of their charity work, McKnight felt that adopting the name “Love without Walls” would be more descriptive for the message and mission they hoped to convey. And because charities rely on outside help so much, they felt the name was more marketable. It also didn’t attach a religious affiliation to the non-profit. Even though the program works in conjunction with the Bible Deliverance Temple, McKnight doesn’t want to imply that it is simply an avenue to endorse their personal religious mission. The overall purpose of Love without Walls is to help the coordination of other non-profits and charities to combine their efforts, and they want to be able to do this without the hesitation of conflicting religious affiliation. It is, simply, a better way to help those in need. In the beginning, the program served as a children’s ministry, and still does. Once a month, they hold a youth rally that involves a night of dancing, dinner or movies. Charlotte McGeeGinn, vice president of Love Without Walls, explains that it is a night of fun and fellowship for the community and they try their best to offer activities the kids will like, even if that means playing censored rap music. Last Christmas, with the help of Toys for Tots and two private benefactors, the ministry gave away $65,000 worth of toys to children. 750 children, all from within the area, were allowed to go “shopping” at the Family Life Center. In instances when financial help is given, Love Without Walls works with a clearinghouse that checks to make sure families that are given help aren’t cheating the system and going elsewhere also. By checking the background of charitable help to the families, the charities are able to prioritize whom they help. In addition to the children’s ministry, Dr. Kelly McKnight and the Bible Deliverance temple started Another Chance Ministry two years ago. With the help of United Way, their primary focus is to take care of needs of the whole person and/or the whole family, spiritually and financially if possible.
from left to right: Charlotte Ginn, Chastity and Dr. Kelly McKnight
Before combining all their charitable efforts under the umbrella of Love Without Walls, Another Chance was the main non-profit that primarily helped families in need. These are families that have lost their homes or businesses due to unforeseen circumstances or downturns in the economy. Families in need receive assistance with housing, utilities payments and food. Currently McKnight and his partners have placed 8 families in individual homes in Harrisburg, and helped 23 other people this past year with housing. As for how they find out about these families, it is typically through their Sunday worship services. They are more often asked to provide help than go out looking for those in need. It should be noted that the organization doesn’t lend assistance to violent offenders or sex offenders. Love Without Walls and the Bible Deliverance Temple have created a name for themselves in the community and it is obvious when McKnight states, “People approach us more than we find them. People find us through friends or through the 8:30 services every Sunday morning.” At the Another Chance Café services, a full breakfast is offered, cooked to order along with a substantial buffet, live music and speakers to provide relevant messages to sympathize with those attending. Surveys are also administered during these services to better understand and assist the community. Business owners that could possibly offer employment are invited. Educational leaders and medical specialists come in to provide services. McKnight urges, “We don’t give out money. If anyone needs a place to stay and we can’t help, we’ll pay for a night at a local shelter.” Aside from having founded several great charitable originations, McKnight and the Bible Deliverance Temple, with the aid of the Salvation Army, The Augusta Rescue Mission, and Golden Harvest Food Bank, are responsible for providing 15,000 meals last year. It’s this sort of cooperation that McKnight is hoping to achieve with Love without Walls. Their mission is to help others and to help others efficiently. Among other things, this means having like-minded charities in the area to work together and provide help more effectively. For example, McKnight points out that “Several charities could gain more by applying for grants and funding
“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.” - ISAIAH 25:4
together, rather than separately competing for the same funds.” They recently had a meeting where 117 members of regional and local non-profits met to discuss ways to thoroughly combine their efforts. 60% of those in attendance were charitable organizations from the CSRA. On the horizon, Love without Walls hopes to help assist with a possible day shelter downtown and are in negotiations to start an educational program that would create a school for 18-23 years looking to earn their GED. McKnight wants to remind readers that, “Just being poor does not mean you are criminal.” They are often criticized as being enablers to the local indigent population but the reality of the situation, as McKnight points out, is that many of these families never expected to be in the predicaments they are now and anybody with a steady job and income has the potential to be struck down and placed in the same dreaded position. Bible Deliverance Temple, he says, had their most successful year last year because of their community outreach and believes this is a direct result of taking care of those in need. McKnight says, “Our mission is to help and if we don’t, we fail … the poor will always be with us.” Find more information about Love Without Walls through the Bible Deliverance Temple located at 1857 Fenwick Street or call 706.736.1600. BIBLEDELIVERANCETEMPLE.COM article and photo by KATIE MCGUIRE
18 / april 2010 / verge
the arts / jessye norman school of the arts Jessye Norman School of the Arts (JNSA) is an innovative leader in the development of Augusta’s youth. The community can experience this innovation during a showcase of student work on May 6th at the school, consisting of several performances and visual exhibits. Michael Ray, director of JNSA, said the “drama students will perform monologues and present a film project they have been working on. Visual art students will present their work in our art gallery. The dance department will present a group of assorted dances, ranging from ballet to jazz. The music students will perform choral music and our new guitar class will display what they have learned. The creative writing class will also display their writings in the gallery.” As with previous performances, “the students are directly involved in planning for the showcase. Teachers provide ideas and guidance, along with professional instruction,” said Ray. In many cases the students are also involved in the development of the performances. “For instance,” said Ray “Gary Dennis, JNSA’s drama instructor, allows his students to write and perform their own plays under his guidance. Each play has a different student director, giving the students an opportunity to lead and to gain new perspectives on acting.” This hands-on participation gives the students a sense of ownership and community. Perhaps this is why the after school program has been so successful. “Through a research study we recently completed, it was shown that JNSA students achieve significantly better scores in academics when compared to their peers. These kids are making a choice every day to be a part of our program; something that the faculty and I are confident will leave a positive impact on their lives,” said Ray. “It has been an amazing experience watching the kids honing in on their skills and becoming better artists,” Ray said, adding that JNSA is “providing an after school program that educates and enlightens our students, and keeps them off the streets in the early evening hours. The faculty and I are constantly working to help these kids succeed not only in the arts, but also in their personal and professional lives.” JNSA has made great strides thus far, and has been a positive influence on the community. Last year, a building was donated to the school. “The upstairs area of the building has been a wonderful improvement to the overall quality of education at JSNA. Having a place that we can call ‘ours’ is a huge part of the formula. The upstairs houses all five art areas,” he said “highlighted by a beautiful dance room.” However, the downstairs of the building lacks basic amenities and is in major need of renovation before the school can increase the number of students it assists. The school is currently searching for the funding to make the necessary improvements, possibly through grants. Ray said, “The mission of JNSA is to provide talented and interested youth, who may be economically disadvantaged, with a broad-ranged, professional quality fine arts education. It is the goal of the JNSA to nurture and develop young citizens to respect and appreciate art in its myriad forms, to recognize the role and value of the arts in their own lives, and in society. We hope to provide this quality education to a broader range of students in Richmond County by completing the renovations.” If you agree with JNSA’s goals and are willing to play a role in the growth and impact of the school, you can make a donation through their website, or even volunteer your time. The school is continuously looking for guest artists “to talk to the kids and offer guidance and inspiration.”
plan to go date THURSDAY, MAY 6 venue JESSYE NORMAN SCHOOL OF THE ARTS the event STUDENT SHOWCASE time 5 PM
more 706.828.7768 JESSYENORMANSCHOOL.ORG
You can witness the talent of JSNA students at any one of several upcoming events., including the May 6th showcase. It is advised to reserve a ticket by calling the JNSA office because the show has a history of being sold out. There will be a visual art exhibition at the Morris Museum of Art, opening May 10th at 4 p.m. that will be on display through the summer; and the Performance Team will be performing “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” in June. by PM ROGERS photos by KATIE MCGUIRE
verge / april 2010 / 19
fresh food / saturday market opens on april 17
new organizer brooke buxton adds to the market’s scope
For Augusta locals, the name Saturday Market evokes images of local fresh tomatoes and strawberries in vendor lined avenues. With new direction and vision, this year’s Saturday Market on the River continues that tradition, but expands it into brilliant, colorful and new territory. Since the Market’s inception eight years ago, its location has been somewhat transient. This year’s Market will continue at the Eighth Street Plaza on the Riverwalk – offering a breathtaking view of the Savannah River. The easy access to electricity and water, combined with the traffic free plaza, makes it a much more enjoyable location for shoppers and their children. a The vision behind this year’s market belongs to new organizer, Brooke Buxton. “I lived in the French Quarter for several years,” Buxton says. Now back in her native Augusta, Buxton, a private partner with the DDA and in charge of the Market, wants to bring the spirit of New Orleans to the Garden City, including all the things the French Quarter is known for, such as food, arts, and crafts. “We’ve got a Riverwalk,” she continues, explaining how it is the perfect venue for developing a market that will be just “one spoke in the wheel” of the downtown Augusta experience. Since DDA executive director Margaret Woodard put her in charge and has been showing Buxton the ropes, the new organizer has a mission to “see all of downtown prosper,” starting with the Saturday Market, which will be just one of the events coordinated with local businesses. “She is a relationship builder,” Margaret Woodward says of Buxton, “and has established relationships not only with vendors but community partners as well.” “Why reinvent the wheel?” Buxton asks. She doesn’t want to change the Saturday Market so much as add to what it has already achieved in Augusta. “We can send Saturday Market patrons from the surrounding community over to Broad Street,” Buxton says. “It’s not either the Saturday Market or Broad Street,” Brooke Buxton goes on to say. She wants people to feel both options are open and tied in together for a larger picture of downtown Augusta. “Most of our vendors are not at First Friday,” Buxton says. There is a deep originality to the Saturday Market and a very unique atmosphere. For vendors, the prices have been lowered and the season extended. Long time vendors have expressed their excitement to see the changes while new vendors are interested in trying out the Saturday Market. Buxton has also met with the original founders of the Saturday Market in order to build bridges between all those involved. Vendors will still sell fresh locally-grown produce while others will cook up some regional flavor. DiChickO’s will sell their peri-peri sauce and have samples for people to taste while Hot Foods of the CSRA will serve a Mediterranean breakfast including hummus. The Saturday Market also hopes to have fresh shrimp brought up from the Gulf before the end of the season. In addition to good eats, there will be face painting and other activities for the kids. Casa Blanca will be supporting the Saturday Market with entertainment that will include local musicians and a poetry reading each Saturday when the market closes at 2 p.m. These will be just a few of the market sponsored events. At the moment, the Saturday Market on the River is “a lot of time and energy,” Buxton says, who is also a vendor in addition to being in charge of organizing the weekly event. But, by next year,
Buxton wants to bring the spirit of New Orleans to the Garden City. Buxton hopes to have a committee dedicated to the ongoing market, complete with leaders and more sponsors. Some of the biggest sponsors this year include E-Z Go, SRP, and Garden City Organics located on Broad Street. Kate Lee, of Garden City Organics, has expressed her belief that the Market has gone through a “natural progression” to become what it is now and “Brooke Buxton did an outstanding job” working on the new feel of the Saturday Market. date EVERY SATURDAY The Saturday Market on the River runs April 17 thru October 30 every Saturday from April 17 to October 30 venue 8TH STREET PLAZA from 8 am to 2 pm and will include a special Halloween event and a Christmas market on the event SATURDAY MARKET December 4. Interested vendors can easily ON THE RIVER apply online at www.theaugustamarket. com or contact Brooke Buxton via e-mail at time 8 AM to 2 PM firstname.lastname@example.org.
plan to go
prime time / let’s shag with johnny fresh dance show hits the airwaves on april 15
Fifty years ago, Johnny Hensley and the Red Hots became Augusta’s first working rock n’ roll band. Today, Hensley hopes to bring Shag back to Augusta in a big way by creating the only dance show in America devoted exclusively to shag music. Johnny Hensley’s Shag City Television Dance Show will hit the airwaves April 15 at 8 p.m., and will be available on Comcast channel 103, Knology channel 96 and Charter Cable channel 96. The first two shows have already been recorded at Malibu Jack’s Surf Grill, and have been so successful that every Tuesday night at the bar and restaurant is now “Shag Night.” “We’re taping four more shows on the 17th of April, the Saturday after this thing first hits the air,” said Hensley. “Of the next four shows we have planned, at least three of them will be at out-of-town clubs, and if there’s people in other markets who want us to come to them, we would love to do that.” Hensley has also enlisted the aid of over 600
members of the CSRA Shag Club, which he considers the show’s “home club,” and has plans for the 150 other shag clubs in eastern Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. “We hope that we’re on to something here that will appeal to an older audience,” said Hensley. “Baby boomers, the over 50 crowd, are a force to be reckoned with, and they’re the ones with the means, money and motivation to go out and do things.” Hensley is still actively seeking sponsors for the show, and calls the boomers an especially loyal crowd to target. He has already drawn significant interest from the shag dancing community by offering a Jamaican cruise for two every six months, courtesy of Trip Quest Travel Services, as the grand prize for his shows weekly dance contest. According to Hensley, the biggest thing that surprised him upon taking on this endeavor was the actual expense of producing a television show, including hiring Mass Media Marketing to do the editing, camera crews and equipment.
Not to mention the toll it takes on him personally. “When I do the MC work on this there isn’t a lot of time to put down the microphone and do any dancing myself, but I enjoy it when I can,” he said. “When you do two or four shows in one afternoon, it really is pretty draining.” Hensley is still looking into other channels, including the Aiken market, and hopes to eventually be picked up by a national network once the show gets going locally. But he has even bigger dreams than that, which includes changing the face of downtown Augusta once shag fever takes over. “Right now Shag City is a TV show, but I envision that maybe within a year we will have our own nightclub, preferably in downtown Augusta, that we can host the show in,” he said. In the meantime, Hensley believes he has a format that will work into the foreseeable
future, after which he is prepared “to let God’s will take over,” though he is always learning and always tweaking the final product. “Shows three through six will probably be even a third sharper than the first two because of the things we’ve learned while doing them,” said Hensley. “We’re always thinking of ways to make the shots sharper, slicker or to raise the level of excitement.” For more information about where Johnny Hensley’s Shag City Television Dance Show will be filming, or how to join a shag club in the CSRA, contact the shows executive producer, Lynda Williamson, at 706-836-9192. by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK
20 / april 2010 / verge
this just in: davidson makes much ado about nothing
Maybe they are starcrossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet, but William Shakespeare’s Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing do not have the same words of love that the Bard’s most famous couple do. Benedick speaks: “God keep your ladyship still in that mind! so some gentleman or other shall ‘scape a predestinate scratched face.” Answers Beatrice: “Scratching could not make it worse, an ‘twere such a face as yours were.” One more volley and they might start making ‘yo momma’ jokes. I stand behind the bickering duo up on the stairs. I play Beatrice’s uncle, Antonio. My motivation in this scene is to find what the two say funny and laugh. It is not really that hard to pull off, as I crack up at most anything they say anyway. Many people find Shakespeare’s works elitist. Few realize that Shakespeare wrote as much for the peasants who sat on the ground at the Globe as he did for the royal patrons in the high boxes. One could argue that Shakespeare wrote some of the most high-brow sex jokes in history. Just think on the name ‘Benedick’ for a while. All innuendo aside, Much Ado has been considered one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies and with reason. Few of his plays explore the nuances of true love in a deeper and funnier manner than this one. There is a rich blend of diverse and developed characters, each making their own jokes on the subject of love and also realizing its power over them. There are threats of duel, bumbling constables, scandalous accusations, passionate kisses, marriage proposals, evil halfbrothers, eavesdropping, and a lot of high-concept pranks. Most important to me, though, is that the play is true to its name. The characters freak out over little things and far-fetched rumors. In an age of high stress, our modern society has become good at making ‘much ado about nothing’. We forget to let go of our preconceptions and meticulously structured lives in order to just enjoy the ride. As Benedick puts it, “Man is a giddy thing.” This is why I, the writer, decided to stick my neck out for once and audition for this play. It is one thing to simply appreciate the language of the greats; a far more rewarding thing to help bring it to life. I play just a small supporting role, of course, but I play that role for one of the most inclusive and inviting authors of all time.
In conclusion, I say come see our show. Laugh, cringe, be moved and let the exciting words of the pre-eminent English author wash over you. If you come with a giddy heart you’ll leave with just that, I promise you. And remember: All the world’s a stage. The play’s the thing. All’s well that ends well. Et cetera. See Much Ado About Nothing at Davidson Fine Arts School on April 22nd at 7 p.m. and April 23rd at 3:45 and 7 p.m. Tickets range from $4 to $6. DAVIDSONFINEARTS.ORG. by MARCUS PLUMLEE
verge / april 2010 / 21
explore / downtown tees off play through downtown
fun guessing game showcases downtown’s unique array of shops
“Whether you’ve got a big handicap or a small one, join us downtown for our local spin on this revered tradition.”
the 2010 course
- KATE LEE, GARDEN CITY ORGANICS
As Augusta turns its attention to golf, downtown businesses are joining in the festivities with the third annual “Play Through Downtown,” which begins on First Friday, April 2nd, and runs through Friday, April 9th. Winners will be announced at the Official Jacketing Ceremony on Saturday, April 10th at 4 pm at The White’s Building lobby (936 Broad Street). The Downtown Augusta Alliance [d(a)²] presents the game each year as a way to interactively encourage visitors and locals to discover (or re-discover) downtown Augusta. Playing off of the Masters’ Golf Tournament theme, the “Play Through Downtown” game combines the excitement of a scavenger hunt and the thrill of golf. David Hutchison, owner of The Book Tavern and one of the original creators says, “d(a)² wanted to provide fun and excitement for Augustans who don’t go out of town during the Masters Tournament and allow visitors to the Masters to experience the best of what Augusta offers!” On First Friday, downtown turns into one giant golf course, with eighteen holes (a.k.a. shops and restaurants) of golf to play through and win. The concept is simple: pick up a scorecard and map at any participating business or at the First Friday tent. Walk the course by visiting each hole listed and look for the glass tee. Swing for par (or make a hole in one) by guessing the number of items in each glass tee. Record your scores. Turn in your scorecard for the opportunity to win one of nineteen prizes. You must hit at least nine holes to be eligible to win. Prizes will be awarded to the persons who get closest to par (by having the closest guess) at each hole. A grand prize, the coveted white jacket, will be awarded to the person who has the most overall accurate guesses. Play Through Downtown began in 2008 and resulted in an increase in overall downtown traffic during the week of Masters. Taking the successes of the past two years and feedback from players and participants, d(a)² has once again improved upon the idea for this year’s game. The design team KRUHU designed a new map - making it easier for participants to find their way through “the course” and individual store hours are listed as well. “Whether you’ve got a big handicap or a small one, we hope you join us downtown for our local spin on this revered tradition,” says Kate Lee, owner of Garden City Organics. There is no cost to play and the game can be played over several days, encouraging participants to return several times during the week to downtown Augusta. Play Through Downtown is an initiative of the Downtown Augusta Alliance and sponsored in part by International Uniform, Westobou Festival, The Book Tavern, Vintage Ooollee and Kruhu. compiled from DA2 PRESS
plan to play the game date FRIDAY, APRIL 2 THROUGH FRIDAY, APRIL 9 venue SEE ABOVE MAP the event PLAY THROUGH DOWNTOWN 2010 more DASQUARED.COM
the fun continues throughout master’s week monday, april 5 THE MAYOR’S MASTERS RECEPTION Augusta Common | 5:30 pm | $1 This beloved annual event combines two of Augusta’s favorite pastimes: golf and eating. Over forty local restaurants offer samples of their fare. Then the Mayor presents a key to the City of Augusta to a worthy golf professional. This year’s honoree is Billy Casper. who won 27 PGA tournaments in six years – one of the most prolific winners in golf history. AUGUSTAGA.GOV
wednesday, april 7
THE OFFICIAL PAR 3 PARTY Augusta Common | 6 pm
It’s official - Par 3 celebrations are moving downtown this year with The Greater Augusta Arts Council’s Official Par 3 Party for Augusta. With irresistable beach music by The Embers and a Shag dance contest, the evening promises to be one of the best dance parties of the year. Vintage Ooollee and Modish Salon and Spa present a unique vintage fashion show. Food and beer availalbe for purchase inside the gates. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Gates open at 6 p.m. AUGUSTAARTS.COM
from April 2 through April 9 BOOK TAVERN LAUNCHES NEW FUDGES AND HOSTS AUTHORS The Book Tavern is literally buzzing with interesting activities during Masters Week – and launching two new lines of fudge. You’ll want to swing by just to pop a Salty Tiger Fudge Ball in your mouth or experience a Daly Drop Shot. These one-of-a-kind fudges are the creation of Sweet Surrender Fudge. Owner Paul Stieffel will be on hand to make your experience top-notch. On First Friday, April 2nd, the Fox and Hedgehog will be printing and selling shirts in front of the store. The company prints all of their shirts by hand, along with creating unique, literature-based t-shirts, using a photosynthetic silk-screen process. They will be giving demonstrations on the screening process as well as mini-tutorials on the creation of individual screens. On Tuesday, April 6th, meet Bill Baab, the author of Remembering George W. Perry from 6 to 8 p.m. Come back the next night (Wednesday, April 7th) and shake hands with Stan Byrdy and pick up these must have golfing tomes: Augusta and Aiken in Golf ’s Golden Age AND his rare out of print book The Augusta National Golf Club: Alister MacKenzie’s Masterpiece. Don’t miss Thursday night, from 6 to 8 p.m., Molly Brodak, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, will be present to sign copies of her first release A Little Middle of the Night. Then, bringing it home for par on Friday night is Don Rhodes, author of Mysteries and Legends of Georgia and Say It Loud: My Memories of James Brown, Soul Brother. Basically, just plan to swing by the Book Tavern every night on your way to dinner. We’re considering putting in a cot – see you there at 1026 Broad Street. BOOKTAVERN.COM
22 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 23
good chow / broad street gets first authentic noodle house sae and mia shin bring their asian background to soy — opening this month
For over a month, the windows of 1032 Broad Street have been masked in thick plastic, the inner workings of the space kept secret from the street-side eye. This April, the plastic comes down and downtown welcomes its newest hot-spot for the food lover: Soy Noodle House. “My wife Mia and I were visiting downtown Asheville, North Carolina,” says Sae Shin, “and we went to a few Thai and noodle restaurants. I said to her, ‘Augusta needs something like this.’ Downtown has a lot of potential, a lot of culture. No one has laid it out in a restaurant yet. So we combined our skills and made this restaurant.” Sae gestures around the restaurant, still a work in progress. Yet there is promise in the progress: bright, red walls and lacquered hardwood floors make a simultaneously intimate yet impersonal setting. Past the new tabletops and stools, Shin is eager to show off the kitchen. A bouquet of paper lanterns blooms above the wrap counter. Stacks of small bowls sit on their shelf, anxiously waiting to be filled with savory broths. Two enormous woks perch above a blue flame; rice cookers anticipate their inaugural use. “We grew up in Asian families, and that’s inspired our everyday cooking.” With a blend of Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisine, Soy Noodle House promises to proffer only the best of the best. Shin says, “We’ll offer noodles, rice dishes, soups and specialties to start with. Once we see how people respond to the simpler Chow Mein and Pad Thai, we’ll add more elaborate things.” While he wants Augusta to get a taste of his culture, Soy Noodle House’s first menu will tone the spice down for the palate. “Some people will see the names of herbs and spices they don’t recognize and automatically discredit it,” Shin comments when talking about the flavor. “But we’ve got the spices! We’ll make spicy. If you want it, we’ll make it.” In combination with offering delicious noodles and original sauces, Soy Noodle House will offer a variety of beers, wines, specialty teas and unique drinks including soybean juice, lemongrass juice and coconut milk. While Mr. Shin is the face of the restaurant, he accredits all culinary decisions to his wife, Mia. “She is a master cook,” he says with a modest grin. “She cooks everything for me at home.” Now, Mia will take her home-cooking to the restaurant. Besides setting the menu and training the wait-staff and chefs, Mia created all the Noodle House’s recipes from scratch. Particularly impressive, the restaurant boycotts pre-made sauce. From the specialty blends to the soy and duck sauce, Mia has handcrafted each and every flavor. “I’m her handyman and taste-tester,” Sae chuckles. “Mia has done all the work.” Soy Noodle House is truly for everyone. Shin wants all to feel welcome in the eatery and is sure to succeed. Be on your toes as downtown waits for the soft opening of the restaurant. “We might just open the door one day,” Shin says. Soy Noodle House celebrates its soft opening in this month. The restaurant is open every day from 11 am to 10 pm and is located at 1032 Broad Street next to Garden City Organics.
by ASHLEY PLOCHA photo KATIE MCGUIRE
“Augusta needs something like this. Downtown has a lot of potential, a lot of culture. So we combined our skills and made this restaurant.” -SAE SHIN
sweet treat / we scream for rooster’s beak ice cream Once JD Wier received his culinary degree, he decided that “anyone who is a chef should learn both sides of the trade.” He went back to school for a pastry degree and began to fall in love with creating and making desserts. Working as a chef in Charleston, he learned more recipes and expanded his creativity in the niche of sweets. Upon returning to Augusta, JD met Jonathan Marks, who was then formulating the restaurant Rooster’s Beak. “Jonathan and I have similar goals: to make good food.” And Wier makes good food, but he definitely makes great ice cream. Rooster’s Beak now offers some of the most delicious, intuitive flavors of the treat. All ice cream is made fresh at the restaurant – so this is no prepackaged tubs of vanilla and chocolate. Wier churns out about a quart a day and changes flavors regularly. “I’m constantly thinking up new combinations,” he says. “I’ll see a flavor I think sounds interesting, and try and put a new spin on it.” From pomegranatechocolate to Nutella and Twix, Rooster’s Beak flavors never cease to amaze the taste buds. They also tender some typical flavors (the Mexican Sundae comes with a scoop of butter pecan), but Wier prefers the more unexpected.
“I like to mix strange ingredients. My favorite flavor I make is malta lime toffee. Malta is a cereal beverage from Latin America, and it’s disgusting on its own,” he laughs. “But when it’s frozen, it has this great caramel flavor. It’s perfect for ice cream.” “I want to surprise people and satisfy them at the same time.” Wier certainly succeeds in bringing a new definition to everyone’s idea of ice cream. Rooster’s Beak is located at 215 Tenth Street. Call them at 706.364.2280 for the ice cream flavors of the day. Open most every afternoon. by ASHLEY PLOCHA photos KATIE MCGUIRE
24 / april 2010 / verge
highlights from the pipeline
friday april 2 • casa blanca café • 6 pm
Swider: Down by the Chicken Coop
Staci Swider presents a collection of mixed media collage paintings. Each work features floral arrangements inspired by the women in her life and incorporate a variety of materials such as vintage wallpaper, fabrics, found papers, paint, and illustration techniques. The final result is a richly textured and layered image that blends reality and illusion. The exhibit will hang at Casa Blanca throughout April with the artist’s reception on First Friday, April 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. STACISWIDER.COM
The Trials & Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife opens april 9• le chat noir theatre 8 pm • $25
“Del Shores has crafted a superb play grounded in his Southern Baptist background. While his unerring ear for the sounds, the life, the joys and strains of a hard scrabble Texas existence bring laughter and tears, his research on domestic violence brings horror. This is not theater for the faint of heart.” – Karen Weinstein Southern hometown boy Del Shores has written some outlandish, broad comedies like Sordid Lives (which Le Chat presented last season). The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife is potentially Shores’ finest work. In utter juxtaposition to its name, the play delves deep into the hidden emotions, shame, and secrecy of battered women. Fortunately, for the audience, the play also offers hope, healing and truth. A delicate blend of frightened humor and pain, the three act play delves right into the heart of abuse. From hysterical highs to the depths of tragic lows, the play sweeps the emotional spectrum. Shores draws the audience into the fire, allowing them to experience the emotion from all sides… the abuser, the abused, and the powerless bystander. Le Chat Noir Theatre presents The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife on April 9 & 10, 16 & 17 and 22 to 24. All shows are 8 p.m. and tickets are $25 each. LCNAUGUSTA.COM
Celebrating a Grand Tradition, the Sport of Golf ongoing • augusta museum of history • $2 to $4
Whether you are a serious golf devotee or a one-week-out-of-the-year spectator (read – Masters’ spectator), you will be enthralled with the Augusta Museum of History’s newest exhibit dedicated to golf history: Celebrating a Grand Tradition, the Sport of Golf. Experience the technological evolution of the sport’s equipment from clubs to balls to accessories. Learn about the area’s rich golf heritage and the people and personalities who played the game in Augusta. See special memorabilia from Bobby Jones, Patty Berg, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. The Museum is typically open Thursday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. During Masters’ Week, stop by Monday through Wednesday as well from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. AUGUSTAMUSEUM.ORG
A Day At The Imperial and New Logo Unveiling april 17 • imperial theatre
The Imperial Theatre, which has long been a staple of downtown Augusta, is getting ready for an “Imperial Change.” Three new logos for the theater, each designed by local artists, will appear in commercial spots on News Channel Six WJBF from March 22 through April 9. People can select their favorite by going to WJBF.COM and typing in the keyword “logo,” then following the onscreen instructions to register and vote, which they can do as much as once per day for the duration of the contest. “We’re moving into the future and the thought was to do something to produce some interest in the theater,” said Imperial executive director Charles Scavullo. “The Board of Directors decided to run this logo contest as one method of generating a lot of buzz.” “We could have simply generated a new logo ourselves by contacting the printer and making new letterhead,” he continued, “but what we’ve managed to do through the contest is to get the community involved, as well as generate some free publicity from WJBF and the Augusta Chronicle.” The process will culminate at the “A Day at the Imperial” festivities on April 17, following WJBF’s tallying of the votes. Events for that day include a showing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at 10 a.m. and Charlie Chaplin in City Lights at 2 p.m. The new logo will be announced during the concert portion of the event at 6 p.m., a performance by local bands Larry Jon Wilson, Bayou Bleu, The Endalls, and Ronny Hill and The Willing. According to Scavullo, this is the first fundraiser set up by the Imperial in some time, and revenue from the day’s events will go toward theater operation and renovation expenses. “The primary way the Imperial presents itself to the community is as a venue for groups to rent the theater,” he said. “From time to time we self-present, and there may be more opportunities to do so in the future, but we do prefer to and enjoy working with local groups and giving them an opportunity to showcase their talent for the community.” Tickets are on sale now at the Imperial box office: 706.722.8341 and online IMPERIALTHEATRE.COM by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK
verge / april 2010 / 25
more to see more to hear more to do
Sacred Heart Garden Festival friday april 23 through sunday april 25 sacred heart cultural center • $10 to $25
Sacred Heart’s Great Hall blooms into a gardener’s paradise during its annual Garden Festival. Featuring the finest in classic southern gardening, the Hall is awash in garden, floral and landscape displays. Festival-goers will have the opportunity to purchase unique plants, shop at the garden marketplace, learn from gardening experts and enjoy special entertainment. The experience can be enhanced with the garden tour which includes six exceptional private gardens. The Speakers’ Series includes June Mays of Birmingham’s Garden Design and hummingbird enthusiast Robin Storey. The Garden Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m/ on Sunday. Festival tickets are $10; add the Garden Tour for $15 more. Children under 12, free. Complete details: SACREDHEARTGARDENFESTIVAL.COM
Undercover Artist Show april 29 • Walton Rehab Lawn 7 pm• $50
Would a Picasso be quite as revered if no one knew it was a Picasso? That’s the intriguing premise behind the Fourth Annual Undercover Artists Show, a benefit for Walton Rehab’s camp for children with traumatic brain injuries. The catch? During the event, guests will have an opportunity to bid on art created especially for the show. Artists names are not revealed until the bidding is finished. Food provided by Manuel’s Bread Café, with music by Daddy Grace and by the Henrys. Details: 706.823.8584 WRH.ORG/EVENTS.CFM
Family Engineering Day
tuesday april 27 • fort discovery • 6 pm • free Explore engineering at Fort Discovery in a evening designed primarily for children (K to 5th grade) and their parents. The demand for scientists and engineers is rapidly growing. The concept for Family Engineering grew out of the increasing demand for scientists and engineers. The goal of the program is to bring awareness to careers in engineeringand to give parents activities that stimulate and encourage engineering. Fort Discovery has been chosen as one of eight sites to field test these activities. So, in summation, you get (for free) two hours of fun games, family together time, snacks AND you get to be a cool lab rat – what more could you want? Pre-registration is required by April 20th: email@example.com NSCDISCOVERY.ORG
The Out of The Closet Fashion Show
saturday, april 24 • 1102 Bar & Grill 8 pm • $15 to $40 • 21 and up Fashionistas, beware – Augusta is getting ready to experience a fashion runway show unlike anything seen before in the CSRA. Insiders say The Out of the Closet Fashion Show is more like a stage play, complete with its own 30 character cast. Before the fashion hits the stage, experience the “Taste in Fashion” pre-party to set the mood – then choose to mingle in the general admission crowd OR get your own reserved seat close to the main runway with a VIP “Full Monty” pass. Director Elle Shepard deadpanned: “Get out of the closet with a taste of fashion!” The show is a fundraiser for the upcoming Augusta Pride celebration in June 2010. PRIDEAUGUSTA.ORG
by John Buckley
The Ampersand Release friday april 30• book tavern 6 to 8 pm • free
Annie The Musical
april 30 & may 1 at 8 pm • may 2 at 3 pm imperial theatre • $15 to $40 Leapin’ Lizards! America’s most beloved musical, Annie, is back on the Imperial stage! The story about a spunky little orphan who never gives up hope seems just as poignant today – it’s a feel good story for tough times. With irresistible music (who doesn’t know the words to “Tomorrow?”), Annie squirms her way into your heart and won’t let go. This year, it’s Lily Swanson as Annie, an 11 year old veteran of the Augusta Players, who’ll be winning our hearts over. Audiences won’t need sunshine now to turn their skies to blue – just a dose of Annie coming April 30 and May 1 at 8 pm and May 2 at 3 pm. AUGUSTAPLAYERS.ORG
Celebrate the sixth year of the Ampersand, Davidson Fine Art’s annual literary journal. Since January, students in Davidson’s Writer’s Workshop classes have been creating, selecting and editing hundreds of submissions from the entire high school student body. Several award-winning poems, short stories and non-fiction works will be printed in the book from Davidson’s finest writers, as well as submissions from up-and-coming students. Pared to 60 pages of writing and art, this year’s Ampersand is “sure to be the best,” says student editor and contributor Jeffrey Cunningham. This year’s issue definitely stands above the rest: it includes a full-color cover and center spread. The publication will also have its first reception at The Book Tavern on April 30th with a chance to meet and greet the authors and purchase a copy of the magazine ($5). BOOKTAVERN.COM
get the complete pipeline of april’s downtown events
26 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 27
chefspeak / meet manuel
the vision behind manuel’s bread café
beers locals like
I enter Manuel’s Bread Café for the first time on a sunny March day; the rustic reds, browns and yellows of the restaurant glowing in the late morning sun. Placed in the quiet Hammond’s Ferry community, the cozy café exudes a blatant, yet perfect, French aura. Chef and owner Manuel Verney-Carron returns from a quick trip to the store as I finish my salmon burger. The room fills with his bright smile, greeting his chefs and wait-staff with warm hellos. He shakes my hand and apologizes for his tardiness: “We were here until 2 am yesterday. You know Air Supply? They came here after their show last night.”
April is here at last! I regretfully state that my previous month’s prediction of spring was painfully untrue for a few weeks. However, the past few have once again tantalized our farmer’s tans with a few days worthy of escaping to The Common with a book during lunch. I remain cautiously optimistic about a near perfect spring and have detailed a few brews to have in the sun (or at the 19th hole). All are products of the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, which may be the most exciting thing out of Delaware – ever! (If any readers are Doverians, I offer my profound apologies).
Verney-Carron grew up in Lyons, France; a mecca for French cuisine. “I come from a family where we always cook. Every family gathering is centered around food. I grew up around fresh vegetables, cooking with the season.” He received his masters in hotel restaurant management in France and owned hotels, bars and a restaurant in Lyons before relocating to America. His first job was in Aiken, working as a chef at the prestigious Wilcox hotel. He traveled up and down the east coast, from New York to the Miami Keys, until settling in Augusta to work at La Maison on Telfair. There, he received his “classical training” in the culinary arts from Chef Heinz, now his father-in-law.
dogfish head craft brewery
APRIHOP | This brew is an India Pale Ale
(I.P.A.) by definition with just enough apricot brewed in to give it a real Dogfish bite. The combination of apricot bitterness and hoppy pinch in this ale honestly makes it more userfriendly than most I.P.A.’s. There’s not too terribly much to the nose, but the taste is robust and full – with enough linger to make you want another sip, but not enough to annoy. The pales are not usually found in my fridge. However, I am definitely going to buy a sixer of Aprihop the next time I’m in Eighth Street Tobacco. I recommend it with fried catfish in the late afternoon to early evening.
RAISON D’TRE | This may be my favorite Dogfish Head product. It’s dark, a bit sweet, chocolatey, but light enough to have more than one without having to sit down for the evening. The brewing includes raisins, sugar, choice barley, and a lot of care in this superb beer. The nose hints at coffee and cane sugar, but the taste allows those qualities to weave seamlessly with a full, sweet, chocolatey savor that makes this brew a perfect way to transition from late winter to early spring. If you haven’t yet given Dogfish Head a chance, Raison D’Etre would serve as a great diplomat for this dedicated domestic brewery. PALO SANTO MARRON | This brown ale is made with the choicest of ingredients and aged in Palo Santo wood vessels to give it the all-too-uncommon enigma of unfiltered refinement. The nose and taste do more than hint at caramel and malt, and these qualities combine to interact symbiotically, both with each other, as well as with the taste buds. The wood polishes off the taste with an almost sour linger (almost) on the front of the tongue, but the complexity of this brew does not allow any one aspect to overshadow the others at any point. In other words, from nose to tummy, it’s perfect harmony (a rare quality in a brown ale that’s 12% alcohol by volume). These and more brews to get your mind on the warmer months can always be found at Eighth Street Tobacco. by BEN CASELLA Ben Casella has never been to Delaware. To the best of his knowledge, he has never even been close. In fact, he’s not sure if he even knows anyone who HAS been there. If you are from or have been to Delaware, he’d like to speak with you to confirm its existence.
During his nine year tenure at La Maison, Verney-Carron built a brick oven and began baking and delivering fresh, handmade bread to local restaurants. It was at this time that he truly began to consider opening a restaurant of his own. “I always wanted to open on Broad Street, but never had the right space. I knew that Augusta needed a place like this,” he says, gesturing around the restaurant. “A developer from Hammond’s Ferry approached me; he needed something for this corner, something to make the community a little town. It was the perfect spot for me.” Hammond’s Ferry has proved to be a wonderful location for Manuel’s. In June, Verney-Carron purchased Blue Clay Farms, the community garden, and is very passionate about his fresh produce. “Everything here is fresh from the farm,” he avers. “The farm is an idea most American restaurateurs don’t utilize, despite it being a standard for many European chefs.” Manuel states: “People in my profession buy pre-prepared food. They
buy frozen French fries instead of getting potatoes and making their own.” Besides using Blue Clay produce, the cafe relies heavily on local cheeses, meats and seafood. “Starting in April, I’ll be taking a trip every other week to Beaufort for shrimp and Mahi,” Manuel says. “I cook what I remember growing up. I’ve got a good memory for flavor. Everything at the café is very simple and based on fresh ingredients so the taste of the produce stands on its own.” Manuel’s Bread Cafe is located at 505 Railroad Avenue in North Augusta and is open Mon, Wed and Thu from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Tue, Fri and Sat from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sun from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 803.380.1323 by ASHLEY PLOCHA photo KATIE MCGUIRE
THINGS IN THE KITCHEN MANUEL CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT:
MY SABATIER KNIFE They make the knife in my hometown, so I’m a bit biased. I use this knife 99% A CHAR BROILER It gives great flavor to fish and steak by searing it and giving it that nice crust. 100 QUART BREAD MIXER It holds up to fifty pounds of flour and has a specialized arm to replicate the movement of kneading by hand. THE BREAD OVEN It has a steam injector that makes the perfect crust. THE GARDEN It’s very therapeutic; I and all my chefs use it daily.
of the time I’m cooking.
from manuel’s kitchen : BEEF BURGUNDY Manuel recommends pairing with Moillard Les Violettes Cotes Du Rhone ‘07 Serves six.
INGREDIENTS: 2 lbs. beef, cut into 1” cubes 2 onions, halved and finely sliced 1 cup demi glace or beef stock 6 carrots, quartered and sliced into 1” pieces 1/4 cup olive oil 2 garlic cloves 2 cups red burgundy Herb de Provence 4 bay leaves Salt and pepper 2 tbsp. all purpose flour Chopped flat leaf parsley DIRECTIONS: 1. Season the beef with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, and sear the meat in batches, so as to not cool off the pan. Allow the meat to achieve a nice brown color, then set to the side. 2. In the same pan, cook the onions for 4-5 minutes, add the flour, scraping the bottom of the pan. 3. Once the onions are evenly coated (another 4-5 min.), add the wine, continually stirring and scraping. 4. Once the wine has come to a boil, remove from heat and pour contents into a heavy bottomed pot. 5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, along with a good sprinkling of the herb de provence, and enough water to cover meat by 1/3. 6. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, and allow to cook for 2-3 hours, or until meat is fork tender. Garnish with parsley and serve.
28 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 29
good chow 2010 / downtown fare expands local restaurants give augusta its flavor
Charming, locally owned restaurants dot the landscape of downtown Augusta and truly connect our community. Once again, we’ve pulled our local fare into one guide to help you explore all the flavors downtown offers. Whether you’re a local, a visitor, or somewhere in between, the next time you go out to eat, choose one of these instead of a cookie cutter corporate franchise. You’ll be quite pleased by the good food, the interesting people you meet, and the joy of finding a new place to share with family and friends.
CUBAN / KOREAN
BLUE SKY KITCHEN
855 Broad Street | 706.821.3988 | blueskyaugusta.com M T W R F S 11:30a : 2:30p | T W R F S 6p : 10p SIGNATURE DISH: Classic Cuban WHY THE LOCALS GO: The sidewalk tables give the perfect opportunity to see and be seen. COFFEEHOUSE & CAFE
CASA BLANCA CAFE
936 Broad Street | 706.504.3431 | casablancatime.com T W R F S 11a : 2p | W R 5p : 9p | F S 5p : 10p SIGNATURE DISH: Curry Chicken Sandwich WHY THE LOCALS GO: This Moroccan themed cafe offers up cool atmosphere and tapas in the evening. COFFEEHOUSE & CAFE
NEW MOON CAFE
1002 Broad Street | 706.823.2008 M T W R F 7a : 6p | S 8a to 6p | SU 9a : 3p SIGNATURE DISH: Crab Bisque WHY THE LOCALS GO: The place to connect (in person and online) with locally roasted coffee (made the right way). COFFEEHOUSE & CAFE
753 Broad Street | 706.823.0501 M T W R F 7:30a : 2:30p SIGNATURE DISH: Green Onion Pasta WHY THE LOCALS GO: Nestled at the base of the Lamar Building, it’s perfect for a quick bite.
du jour fine foods AMERICAN
BOLL WEEVIL CAFE & SWEETERY
10 Ninth Street | 706.722.7772 | thebollweevil.com M T W R 11a : 10p | F S 11a : 11p | SU noon : 10p SIGNATURE DISH: Perfect Chocolate Cake WHY THE LOCALS GO: A mouth-watering selection of desserts that literally drape off the plate. AMERICAN
THE COTTON PATCH
816 Cotton Lane | 706.724.4511 | eatdrinkbehappy.com M T W R F S 11a : until | SU noon : ‘til SIGNATURE DISH: Charleston Chicken WHY THE LOCALS GO: Popular watering hole, cozy patio seating and live music. Good food, too. AMERICAN GRILL
1102 DOWNTOWN BAR & GRILL
1102 Broad Street | 706.364.4075 | 1102augusta.com M T W R F 11a : until late | S SU 12p : until late SIGNATURE DISH: Cajun Chicken Pasta WHY THE LOCALS GO: One of the few remaining smoke & dine places with really good fare. ASIAN AMERICAN
855 Broad Street | 706.722.1800 M T W R F 8a : 4:30p SIGNATURE DISH: Chicken Teriyaki WHY THE LOCALS GO: Quick, large, filling portions .
la maison on telfair’s tiramisu DELI
1209 Broad Street | 706.724.2302 M T W R F S 8:30a : 3:30p SIGNATURE DISH: The Daily Double WHY THE LOCALS GO: Hearty soups and thick sandwiches make this a staple stop for lunch. DINER
1054 Broad Street | 706.722.6438 M T W R F 10a : 3a | S 12p : 2a SIGNATURE DISH: Chillin’ with Rico WHY THE LOCALS GO: The strong coffee and great company chases the blues away.
METRO A COFFEE HOUSE
SIXTH AT WATKINS
559 Watkins Street | 706.722.8877 M T W R F 11a : 2:30p SIGNATURE DISH: Chicken Ribier WHY THE LOCALS GO: This 1896 warehouse exudes casual elegance perfect for lunch meetings. DELI
DU JOUR FINE FOODS
1028 Broad Street | 706.945.0489 | dujourfinefoods.com M T W R F 8a : 8p | S 11a : 7p SIGNATURE DISH: Broad Street Melt WHY THE LOCALS GO: Uber-fresh, hand-stacked Brooklyn Style deli sandwiches that melt in the mouth. DELI
HILDEBRANDT’S FOOD STORE
226 Sixth Street | 706.722.7756 M T R F 9a : 6p | W 9a : 1p | S 9a : 3p SIGNATURE DISH: Stacked Reuben WHY THE LOCALS GO: A blast from the past serving up hand stacked sandwiches for 129 years.
302 Tenth Street | 706.823.6237 M T W R F 7a : 2:30p SIGNATURE DISH: Salisbury Steak WHY THE LOCALS GO: Breakfast or lunch, this place is always hopping. The pimento cheese is tops.
WHISTLE STOP CAFE
573 Greene Street | 706.724.8224 M T W R F 6:30a : 3p | S 7a : 1p SIGNATURE DISH: Buttermilk Pancakes WHY THE LOCALS GO: To watch the short order cook flip homemade pancakes and fluffy biscuits. FRENCH COMFORT FOOD
MANUEL’S BREAD CAFE
505 Railroad Avenue (NA) | 803.380.1323 manuelsbreadcafe.com M W R 11a to 10p | T F S 9a to 10p | SU 11:30a : 3p SIGNATURE DISH: Steak Frites WHY THE LOCALS GO: Homemade artisan bread is just the beginning of the edible delights inside. FRENCH/EXOTIC
LA MAISON ON TELFAIR & VERITAS
404 Telfair Street | 706.722.4805 | lamaisontelfair.com M T W R F S 5p : ‘til SIGNATURE DISH: Smoked Ostrich Carpaccio WHY THE LOCALS GO: Elegant evenings out. Plus where else can you get ostrich, buffalo and antelope? INTERNATIONAL / TAPAS
THE BEE’S KNEES
211 Tenth Street |706.828.3600 | beeskneestapas.com T W R 5p : 11p | F S SU 5p : 12a SIGNATURE DISH: Tuna Carpaccio WHY THE LOCALS GO: Tapas style dining in sultry jazz surroundings make this the cat’s meow.
SOY NOODLE HOUSE
1032 Broad Street | 706.364.8116 Everyday 11a : 10p SIGNATURE DISH: So far, The Korean Beef wins WHY THE LOCALS GO: This new addition to downtown adds a wide variety of Asian flavors from Vietnamese to Thai.
GREEK / ITALIAN
590 Broad Street |706.722.4056 | luigisinc.com F 11:30a : 2p | M T W R F S 5p : 10p SIGNATURE DISH: Greek Pork Chops WHY THE LOCALS GO: Stepping in, you feel as though you’re part of the family. Traditional Italian and Greek dishes, atmosphere and family.
873 Broad Street | 706.814.7841 M T W R F S 11a : 3p | M T W R F S 5p : 10p | SU 11a : 5p SIGNATURE DISH: Oxtail Platter WHY THE LOCALS GO: Authentic Island fare homecooked and ever so tasty. Don’t forget the $2 flaky beef patty.
TURN THE PAGE FOR MORE TASTY OPTIONS
the bee’s knees tuna carpaccio
30 / april 2010 / verge
good chow guide / downtown fare with flair
local restaurants give augusta its flavor
REGGIE’S HOT DOGS
FATMAN’S RIVERFRONT CAFE
144 Eighth Street | 706.724.9457 M T W R F 11:30a : 3a | S 5p : 2a SIGNATURE DISH: Joe’s Kitchen Sink Sub
640 Broad Street | 706.722.5541 M T W R F 6a : 2p SIGNATURE DISH: Chicken & Dumplings WHY THE LOCALS GO: The Southern style buffet lunch reminds us of Grandma’s Sunday dinners.
902 Reynolds Street | 706.432.0994 M T W R F 11a : 4p | SU noon : 6p SIGNATURE DISH: The All Fixin’s Dog WHY THE LOCALS GO: Fastest all American lunch around: two hotdogs, chips and a soda. ITALIAN
AUGUSTINO’S ITALIAN EATERY
Two Tenth Street | 706.823.6521 | augustinos.net everyday 6a : 10p SIGNATURE DISH: Filet Mignon WHY THE LOCALS GO: The place for a quiet upscale business luncheon. But it’s the Sunday brunch that’s tops. JAPANESE / SUSHI
1048 Broad Street | 706.823.0555 T W R 11:30a : 2:30p | T W R F S 5:30p : 10p SIGNATURE DISH: The Volcano Roll WHY THE LOCALS GO: The owners are straight from Japan and so is the cuisine. Authentic.
1245 Broad Street | 706.774.0037 thepizzajoint.net Everyday 11a to midnight SIGNATURE DISH: The Big One WHY THE LOCALS GO: Hand tossed pizza, but it’s the stromboli that keeps us coming back.
JOE’S UNDERGROUND CAFE
WHY THE LOCALS GO: “I goes to Joe’s” for the cool factor. It’s underground, reminiscent of Cheers and the potato skins make a great afternoon snack.
One Seventh Street | 706.733.1740 M T W R F S 10:30a : 5p SIGNATURE DISH: Squash Casserole WHY THE LOCALS GO: Good food, great prices and a wide variety to choose from. The only place to get a hand dipped ice cream cone downtown.
BJ’S ON BROAD / RAMADA
1149 Broad Street | not available M T W R F 11a : 3p | R F S 9p : ‘til SIGNATURE DISH: Feta Cheese Fries WHY THE LOCALS GO: Tasty wings and cheese fries for late night hunger pangs fits the bill. PUB FARE
THE SPORTS CENTER
594 Broad Street | 706.724.9307 M T W R F S 11a : 11p SIGNATURE DISH: The Perfect Thick Hamburger WHY THE LOCALS GO: Hamburgers made to order, cold draft beer to wash it down. SEAFOOD
BEAMIE’S AT THE RIVER
865 Reynolds Street | 706.724.6593 M T W R 11a : 10p | F S 11a : 11p | SU 11a : 10p SIGNATURE DISH: Shrimp Basket WHY THE LOCALS GO: Dig into the best fried shrimp and oysters in town on the covered outdoor patio. SEAFOOD / LOW COUNTRY
SWEET LOU’S CRAB SHACK jonathan of rooster’s beak MEXICAN TAQUERIA
215 Tenth Street | 706.364.2260 | on facebook M T W R F S 11a : 10p SIGNATURE DISH: The Innovative Daily Desserts WHY THE LOCALS GO: Categories don’t do justice to the ever-changing fare (try a Roasted Duck Taco) or their incredibly daring desserts (Avocado Ice Cream, anyone?). Or the great service. A new favorite.
1293 Broad Street |706.922.1699 M T W 10a : 9p | R F S 10a : 10p SIGNATURE DISH: Bucket of Crab Legs WHY THE LOCALS GO: Each time this quirky little place reinvents itself, it gets better and better. SOUL FOOD
209 MUSIC LOUNGE & RESTAURANT
4 Eighth Street | 706.722.9692 M T W R 11a : 4p | F 11a : 2a | S 5 : 2a SIGNATURE DISH: Cassandra’s Fried Chicken WHY THE LOCALS GO: When Cassandra starts cooking, the incredible aromas stop folks in their tracks.
976 Broad Street | 706.724.0501 nachomamasaugusta.com M T W R F S 11:30a : 10p SIGNATURE DISH: “The Bomb” Burrito WHY THE LOCALS GO: They really do roll them “this big.” Try the peanut butter pie for a delicious ending.
visiting for the masters?
getting downtown is a breeze Downtown Augusta is just a hop, skip and jump from The Augusta National Golf Club. In less than ten minutes and three and a half miles, you can be right in the heart of our beautiful city. DIRECTIONS: Take Washington Road to the
South (away from 1–20). Keep straight as Washington Road turns into JC Calhoun Expressway, which then turns into Greene Street. Take any left off Greene Street and head over to Broad Street (one full block). There you are, in the heart of downtown Augusta. MAP IT: www.augustaga.org
go to VERGELIVE.COM
2 Eighth Street | not available miranchomexicanrestaurants.com
for menus and more
Check out vergelive.com and see the full menu for many of downtown’s restaurants. Plus you can look in past issues for reviews and more information. Or give us a shout for personal recommendations: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1167 Broad Street | 706.828.5578 mellowmushroom.com M T W R 11a : 10p | F S 11a : 11p | SU 11a : 10p SIGNATURE DISH: Kosmic Karma Pizza WHY THE LOCALS GO: Unusual topping choices make for fun pizza eating, as does the psychedelic decor.
sweet lou’s crab shack
verge / april 2010 / 31
uptown : augusta & columbia county APRIL 6 : FIRST TEE OF AUGUSTA
live music / will mcranie opens rock fore! dough
The world of rock and roll has long been filled with good guys; those artists that fans just love to get behind in their quest for success, artists who possess a rare blend of talent, determination, great work ethic and drive. One such music artist is Augusta native turned New York resident Will McCranie who returns home on April 6th to represent Augusta with best friend and fellow Augusta solo artist Jacob Beltz at this year’s Rock Fore! Dough concert.
Since arriving on the scene in 2002, McCranie has been a workhorse churning out one release after another including From The Loudhouse (2003), A Caffeinated Fiasco (2004), GREENEYESPEAKTRUTHiNLiES (2008), and North/South (2009), taking only a short breather to lend his guitar prowess to a 2005 release by Augusta band Pedestrian and to pick up Choice Awards for favorite solo artist in 2006 and 2008. While one would think this amount of output would allow an artist a well deserved break, McCranie chose instead to undertake his greatest challenge yet – releasing a new song online for 52 consecutive weeks
APRIL 16 : MAXWELL PERFORMING ARTS
music / pacifica quartet
while still taking on a performance schedule that would make lesser artists dash for an early retirement.
“The 52/52 Project is keeping me busy to no end,” says McCranie. “It’s really rewarding, but coming up with a song worth releasing every single week is a daunting task. Even though it’s free to the public, I still have to give them reason to check [5252project.com] out and keep coming back.” Despite such a hectic schedule, McCranie didn’t blink an eye when offered the chance to return home to perform on a huge show in front of a hometown audience. “It’s a mixed bag of nerves and excitement,” said McCranie. “This will be hands down the biggest show I’ve done and it’s pretty incredible to be able to do it back home. I’ve always been on the other side of the stage at shows of this size. I can only imagine that it’s got to be a surreal experience to play to a sea of folks.” McCranie is used to taking on big challenges and surely warming up the stage for the likes of international recording artists such as the Goo Goo Dolls and Colbie Caillat in front of a huge crowd is a big one. But McCranie, who will also take on the challenging institution known as marriage this year, has other equally important reasons to come to Augusta in April.
folks I’ve grown up knowing that would not very likely go to a bar to catch a show. It’s a great cause and should be a great night.” Keep up with McCranie’s 52/52 Project at 5252PROJECT. COM and for more info on this year’s Rock Fore! Dough concert check out ROCKFOREDOUGH.COM
“I’m really looking forward to seeing a ton of friends and
by JOHN CANNON photo ARTIST
plan to go date TUESDAY APRIL 6
venue FIRST TEE OF AUGUSTA
event ROCK FORE DOUGH VI: GOO GOO DOLLS + COLBIE CAILLAT + OCCASIONAL
“Luscious edge-of-your-seat music-making that was nothing short of brilliant.” — PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE
Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often daring repertory choices, the Pacifia Quartet has carved out a compelling musical path. The Sunday Times (London) said of a recent performance: “They play with stupendous, breathtaking virtuosity. This was an evening of intellectual fire.” As the quartet-in-residence at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Pacifica Quartet has awed audiences with its daring take on contemporary works, especially those of American composer Elliott Carter. The Pacifica Quartet plans to awe Augusta with its upcoming April 16th performance at Augusta State University as part of the Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society 2009-2010 season. With awards too numerous to list and residencies compounding daily, the young quartet has firmly positioned themselves in the world of chamber music as a bridge between the traditional symphony-goer and a younger generation. They recently won the 2009 Grammy Award for “Best Chamber Music Performance” for the recording of Elliott Carter’s String Quartets Nos. 1 & 5 – the first of a two-CD set of Carter’s complete quartets date FRIDAY APRIL 16 released in celebration venue MAXWELL PERFORMING of the composer’s 100th birthday. ARTS THEATRE
plan to go
event THE PACIFICA QUARTET time 8 PM
cost $7 to $25
tickets TICKETS.AUG.EDU more PACIFICAQUARTET.COM
The Pacifica Quartet is (in above photo, left to right): Simin Ganatra, violin; Sibbi Bernhardsson, violin; Masumi Rostad, viola; and Brandon Vamos, cello.
MILKSHAKE + WILL MCRANIE
gates open 4:00 PM
cost $25 ADV and $30 DOS more ROCKFOREDOUGH.COM
fool for christ / the dorothy day story
one-woman play at st. mary’s on april 17
“When Catholic college students are so often offered models of sanctity that are two dimensional, irrelevant, or boring, Sarah Melici’s vivid and engaging presentation of Dorothy Day as a woman of humor, intelligence, passion, and conviction is a welcome alternative - and an energizing one. Sarah Melici’s creative and compelling evocation of the personality and life experience of Dorothy Day deserves to be seen and enjoyed by students on college campuses across the country - perhaps now more than ever.”
- JOHN MCDARGH, PH.D. DEPARTMENT OF THEOLOGY, BOSTON COLLEGE
The incredible story of Dorothy Day, the Catholic saint who said “We can only talk about voluntary poverty because we believe Christians must be fools for Christ,” comes to St. Mary’s on the Hill on April 17 at 7:30 p.m. For someone who’s been sainted by the Pope, Dorothy Day possessed quite a checkered past. As a young writer in the Roaring Twenties, Day lived a racy bohemian lifestyle. She lived in Spanish Camp, a seaside summer retreat, with her common-law husband and child, Tamar. It was during the birth of her child that Day begin to feel
the calling of God – it separated her from her lover, but united her to the Catholic Church. She devoted the rest of her life to serving the poor and the homeless. In one fell swoop, Day went from cutting religion out of her life to making religion the core of her life. Her legacy lives on in over 180 Catholic Worker Houses of Hospitality around the world protesting injustice and violence in all forms. Dorothy Day’s story inspired actress Sarah Melici to write a one-woman play, Fool for Christ, the Story of Dorothy Day. Melici’s acting resume is prolific - but she turned her back on the theatre; since 1998, Melici has chosen to perform exclusively in Fool for Christ. She, like Day, is a dedicated Catholic – dedicated to sharing this story of inspiration and Christ’s love across the country. But Fool for Christ is not just for Catholics. Day was a friend and helper to people of all faiths or no faith. It is a play about the redeeming love of Christ – and the power that has to change a person’s life for the betterment of all. The April 17th performance is free – a love offering will be taken. Proceeds will benefit Haiti (CRS), Least of These Ministries ad St. Vincent de Paul Health Center. For more information call St. Mary’s on the Hill (1420 Monte Sano Avenue) 706.733.6627 or visit STMARYONTHEHILL.ORG
32 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 33
across the river : north augusta & aiken fresh / blue clay farms music / skillet comes to aiken APRIL 24 : AIKEN CONVOCATION CENTER
a new take on community gardening
Manuel Verney-Carron walks briskly through the furrows of Blue Clay Farm, located in Hammond’s Ferry, North Augusta. “The plot is about an acre,” he explains, “and the fence we put up – because the deer were terrible.” Originally from Lyon, France, Manuel took over the farm in July of last year, a year after he started Manuel’s Bread Café.
Grammy- and Dove-nominated Christian hard rock band Skillet are on tour to promote their latest release, Awake. After spending the first part of this year on the road with Shinedown, the band will bring their Awake & Alive tour to Aiken, S.C., on April 24. Awake reached the No. 1 spot on the iTunes Store’s Top Albums chart within 24 hours of its release last summer. The album also debuted at No. 2 on the SoundScan/Billboard 200 and remains in the Top 100. Skillet is John Cooper – lead vocals/bass, Korey Cooper – guitar/keyboard/vocals, Ben Kasica – lead guitar and Jen Ledger – drums. Over the course of 13 years and eight albums, they have received two Grammy nominations, charted three Top 40 singles on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock charts and earned two BMI Songwriting Awards. In addition to Shinedown, the band has toured with Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Seether and Flyleaf, followed by a solo headlining ranking within Pollstar’s Concert Pulse Top 50 Tours for 2008. The success of the band’s breakthrough album, 2006’s Comatose, factored into the making of Awake, which was produced by Howard Benson. “We found Comatose scoring the most acceptance in terms of album sales, ticket sales and radio airplay out of any of our albums so far, so there’s certainly a continuation of that direction,” says John Cooper. “But we never want to make the same record twice and that’s why Awake keeps it fresh and surprising. We’ve built off several of the epic elements, orchestration, piano parts and male/female vocal trade offs on several songs, but there’s also a balance of straight-up rock stuff and tunes that are a little bit stripped down in comparison.” by ALISON RICHTER photo SKILLET
plan to go date SATURDAY, APRIL 24
time DOORS at 6 PM SHOW at 7 PM
venue USC AIKEN CONVOCATION CENTER event SKILLET + RED + THE LETTER BLACK tickets $26 GENERAL upgrade to $57 VIP INCLUDES: a pre-show meet and greet with the band, a copy of the new CD and premium seating or early access into the venue buy tickets GEORGIALINATIX.COM or 877.722.8877
He ticks off the growing produce: “Strawberries, onions, irises, tulips, garlic, beets.” There are two other men present, tilling plots with a motorized tiller. “We are preparing for planting,” he explains. “There is usually one more frost just before Master’s Week.” “Raspberries, blackberries, grapevines to cover the fence,” he walks again; passing rows of leafy greens that survived the winter, “lettuce, cabbage, spinach.” Behind the garden there are five beehives. “One of those is empty because the hive got too big and the bees left,” he says. “We keep them for pollination and for a bee learning center where people can come and observe them and gather honey. They are tame.” He points down the power lines that hang above the garden to a patch of land, “We hope to have an orchard growing there in the future – peaches, figs, cherries, apples.” “Watermelons, cantaloupe,” he says waving his hand at a large patch of untilled ground paces away; and pointing to where the man is resting his elbows on the tiller, “Corn and green beans to grow up the cornstalk with squash underneath – all those plants grow in symbiosis. Beans, cucumber vines for the other side of the fence.” Walking towards the chicken coop he says, “If the city allows me, 12 chickens for eggs.” Then raising his arm toward the near edge of the wood line, he says there are coyotes in the woods. Gesturing with his hands a mound and trough, he explains the need for raised beds for better drainage because of the high clay content of the soil, and pointing with his finger, “Radishes.” While walking the ground from the garden to the greenhouse, he says that the café chefs come to the garden every morning to gather produce for
Dovetailing with April’s emphasis on golf across the CSRA, the Aiken Community Playhouse presents the comedic play “The Foursome.” Written by Norm Foster, Canada’s most popular playwright, the play tells the comic story of four college chums who, after losing touch for 15 years, reconnect over a found of golf. Set on the eighteen tees of a golf course, the four men jest, trick and share secrets with one another - each with their own unique characters and flaws. Rick is a schemer, Ted a conservative, while Cameron is a consummate worries and Donnie the typical nerdy family guy. Their common bond – failure to develop significant relationships. Through the punchy one-liners and witty banter, a darker vein of personal struggle begins to emerge.
their dishe. The goal is to have the farm provide for all the needs of the café. On the broadside of the greenhouse, there is an herb garden walled with bricks. In front of the greenhouse, there is sugarcane, three feet high. Just inside the door is an experimental patch with a log embedded in halfway. “This log,” he explains, “has shitake mushroom spores plugged into it; and these here,” indicating the rest of the experiment, “pineapples, nasturtiums which are edible flowers, and other things.” At the back of the greenhouse, there are two young women pushing seeds into soft loam. He says “the café employees help with the garden,” and handling a packet of seeds, “we use organic seeds, but not all our farming techniques are organic.” A shed near the greenhouse contains a vegetable cooler and hides the compost piles in the back. “Well ventilated,” he assures, so that there is not a fire hazard. “All the organic waste from the restaurant is brought here. It goes back into and nourishes the garden, eventually.” Manuel plans to share the bounty of Blue Clay Farm - he’s planning a farmer’s market on Friday nights, starting at 4:30 p.m., in front of the café. For more details: 803.380.1323 or MANUELSBREADCAFE.COM. by PM ROGERS photos KATIE MCGUIRE
plan to go dates APRIL 2 & 3, 6 thru 9 venue AIKEN COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE event THE FOURSOME time 8 PM cost $10 to $12 more AIKENCOMMUNITYPLAYHOUSE.ORG
34 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 35
MAY 2: A DAY IN THE COUNTRY
randy houser / anything goes on the path to fame
up and coming singer wants to bring country - real country - back
By the time singer/songwriter Randy Houser moved to Nashville, he had paid more than his share of dues on the club circuit in his home state of Mississippi. Houser was taking his hardcore brand of country music — the kind that’s created for the workingman and performed at maximum volume with loud guitars — to the beer drinkers and hell raisers who became the foundation of his fan base. He left Mississippi for Tennessee with little more than an old car, plenty of songs and a lot of conviction. “I took what I had left, came here and it was make or break,” he says. “I knew where I had to go to make it a career.” He quickly landed gigs cutting demos, placed cuts on other artists’ albums, and soon recorded his own album, Anything Goes. Both the title track and “Boots On” became hits, and on tour with Jamey Johnson it became obvious to both men that an entire segment of country music fans thrive on this no-holds-barred approach to real-world songwriting. Randy Houser spoke to verge about his hard road to not yet making it, honesty in craft, and the void he hopes to fill with his music. VERGE: To someone who hasn’t done their homework, it sounds like a “rags to riches” story. How long on were you on the Ramen Noodle diet? RANDY: A long time! If I had $300 or $400 I wouldn’t go out and spend it; I’d buy myself a Wal-Mart
gift card so that I could hold on to it. It was not the best experience. I had no money. I was lucky to sing demos, and it was amazing to me how quickly I started to make money, but a lot of people have been here longer than I have and they still haven’t made money. I encourage people to follow their dreams, but it’s not easy. I got extremely lucky; the time I spent starving, I did it in Mississippi. Nashville is a hard town. Anybody who tells you that it’s easy to make it here is lying. I still haven’t made it. It could all fall apart tomorrow. I’m not fooling myself.
VERGE: How many people said, “Don’t do it! Your chances are one in a million!”? RANDY: My family was scared, but nobody told me not to go. For the most part, people at home
tried to push me to do it. I had a strong support system asking, “Why aren’t you in Nashville playing and singing?” Because, right, it’s so easy! It took a long time to get to where I felt I could, and the reason I finally did it was because I could either do it or let it pass me by. I was 26 or 27
I’ll Sleep My daddy used to sing about a preacher man who lost his wife; she was his whole life. He kissed me, then he’d tuck me in with his old guitar. Man, that second verse, I hung on every word. I’d drift off and get lost in between a melody and a dream and he’d sing: “Please come back to me, we’re gonna build this spring and start a family Please just one more day, so much to say, don’t leave this way.” Lives on in my fondest memories. He’d sing and I’d sleep. Well, I grew up like a weed through my teenage years. Oh, Daddy tried, but I’d barely say goodnight. I’m sure he thought my mind was on girls and school But I was just way too cool to say I love you. But he didn’t know that when I closed my eyes and turned out the lights, I’d hear: “Please come back to me, we’re gonna build this spring and start a family Please just one more day, so much to say, don’t leave this way.” Lives on in my fondest memories. He’d sing and I’d sleep. And after all those nights and all these years, here we are and here he is taking his last breath And I’m man enough to cry and he’s too young to say goodbye and he is all but lived and, man, I’m scared to death. Please come back to me. Right now I need you more than anything. Please just one more day, so much to say, wish you could stay and he squeezed my hand and kissed me on the check and said, “You sing and I’ll sleep.” Lyrics to “I’ll Sleep” from Anything Goes by Randy Houser
when I moved here. At 18 or 19, Nashville eats people for lunch, and it would have eaten me, too. If I had gotten here at 19, where would I be now? Probably in a ditch or in a grave. A lot of people come here too early and aren’t experienced enough to go to work. I had been entertaining and recording for so long that when I got here and had my first chance at doing a demo, I knew how the studio worked and I wasn’t half-assed. If you come here and you’re not ready and you try to do the work, you won’t get called again. They’ll call the guy who is ready, so you’ve got to be careful not to come too soon. I also got here thinking my songs were good, and then I heard some real songwriters and ohhhh, no! But some people don’t realize their songs aren’t good and they keep spinning their wheels. A lot of songs I listen to every day blow my songs away, but at least I know it. So, first of all, when you get here, you’ve got to realize that you are not the best. VERGE: The common complaint, which of course no one ever does anything about, is that country music is too watered down. The second complaint is that male artists spew out mostly bad love songs. Then here comes Houser and the crowds go wild. What’s changed? The audiences? Radio? Everything? Nothing? RANDY: I’ll say this. I had a Top 20 with “Anything Goes,” which was my first hit, Jamey had a Top 10 with “In Color,” I went Top 5 with “Boots On,” and since then neither of us has had a hit on radio, but we’re a hit with the fans every night. A different set of fans come to the show than listen to country radio. We have to, so to speak, give radio what they want if we want to be played. We’re not stupid; we know you’ve got to be on radio to continue. So we record country-radio-friendly songs to win more fans. It’s the only medium to reach more fans. At the shows, it’s the guy who’s been listening to the same Molly Hatchet tape in his cassette deck for 25 years! It’s bikers and truckers. [Toby Keith’s] “I Love This Bar” reminds me of our audience. It’s real people who want real country music, people who work their asses off every day, no silver spoons, and they’re not the same demographic that listens to the more poppy things. It’s mechanics, farmers, the workers who listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Merle Haggard relentlessly. They’re looking for new music that sounds like what they grew up with, and they won’t listen to anything else. It’s hard now; even on country radio you hear rock and roll, pop and very little country. VERGE: Your album closes with a heartbreaking ballad, “I’ll Sleep.” Can you talk about it, or is it too
RANDY: I’ve probably played that song live in a songwriter setting four times. I don’t like to listen
to it or play it much. It’s a beautiful song and close to home. For a time after my daddy died it was hard for me to play music, because it’s something I really learned to do with him. He was my support system, and after he was gone, it was a letdown to play and not have him around. One day I realized that he hears me every time I play a note. That song is a straight-up story about how it was when I was a kid: he’d sit on my bed and teach me a chord and we’d swap licks. For all those years, instead of a bedtime story, I wanted to hear him play guitar and sing, and he loved to do it. “I’ll Sleep” is a true story about how he passed on. There’s a bond between father and son that goes beyond words. It’s a spiritual thing. Randy Houser comes to Augusta on Sunday, May 2, as part of the annual Kicks 99 A Day in the Country. The event also features Erich Church, Colt Ford, Easton Corbin and more. The gates to the Augusta Riverfront Marina will open at 11 a.m., tickets are $25 in advance and $30 day of show. A Day in the Country benefits the Augusta Sertoma Club. Get more information and driving directions at TIXONLINE.COM/ ADAYINTHECOUNTRY. by ALISON RICHTER photo THE FACTORY PHOTOGRAPHY
plan to go date SUNDAY, MAY 2 venue RIVERFRONT MARINA the show A DAY IN THE COUNTRY showtime 11 AM to 7 PM tickets $25 ADV and $30 DOS buy tickets TIXONLINE.COM
36 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 37
MAY 2: JAMES BROWN ARENA
sons of sylvia / country boys taking a leap of faith
this trio of brothers debuts album while on tour with carrie underwood
Adam, Ashley and Austin Clark are three of 11 siblings who grew up with instruments in their hands. Amongst just these three brothers, better known as Sons of Sylvia, they play guitar, mandolin, fiddle, Dobro, lap steel, pedal steel, banjo, cello, bass and keyboards, and we’re probably omitting a few. The trio grew up in Rocky Mountain, Va., where their father, an evangelical preacher, taught them how to play. Eventually, the brothers relocated to Nashville and finally decided to make a go of it together as The Clark Brothers. Under that name they auditioned for Fox television’s The Next Great American Band, made the cut and ultimately won the competition. Sons of Sylvia will release their debut album, Revelation, on April 27. They’re on tour with Carrie Underwood this spring, which brings them to Augusta on May 2 at the James Brown Arena. Austin Clark — he’s the one on guitar, Dobro and lap steel, when he’s not on all the other instruments — spoke with verge about making music, sibling rivalry and, just like that classic song, growing up the “son of a preacher man.”
“The way our parents are
defined and shaped us as
a band and as people. There are a lot of
temptations, but when your head is on your shoulders correctly, you can make it through. If I can, anyone can.” - AUSTIN CLARK
VERGE: Eleven siblings who all play a variety of instruments — that really raises the bar if you want to stand out. Are all of you still in music? AUSTIN: The rest of the family is so spread out all over the
VERGE: How much original material do you have on the album? AUSTIN: There are 10 tracks, all new songs, and we were
fortunate to co-write them with great songwriters. It’s been a learning process, putting different sounds together, lyrically and musically expressing the things we’ve been feeling over the past months. We recorded a few tracks in Los Angeles, some in Nashville and even some in Canada. We wrote a couple hundred songs, just exploring and getting things on paper. After that, we began narrowing down and came up with the ones that everyone collectively loved.
VERGE: How did you keep the continuity when you moved around so much and worked with different producers? AUSTIN: We worked according to their schedules, but the tracks
are still similar because we were co-writing them. We’re on the same page; we’re three brothers who have been playing together all of our lives, so we’re in the same musical world. We know what to expect from each other. VERGE: Was it hard to bring a fourth party into the trio? AUSTIN: The most important thing is to have fun. When you meet someone, in that first brief moment you’re figuring out personalities and trying to click. When it does, you know it’s right. Our label put us with amazing people, so it was a breeze because they’re geniuses that have been doing it for a long time. It wasn’t hard at all. Actually, it was a blast, and an honor to work with them.
country, and they smartened up years ago and got real jobs! We’re the delusional ones who would not let the dream go, and it’s finally coming to fruition. We have a great family and it’s been a fun ride getting to this point for the three of us. It made us want to be the best, not in a bad way but in a personal way of wanting to do better. Dad plays everything with strings, so he was a good teacher and gave us the foundation. Once it got in our hands, we helped each other out and jammed every day. We put so many hours into it, and it does make you better. Healthy competition is a good thing. It makes you want to be the best.
VERGE: Did your parents’ values and ground rules help you
survive in what can be a very questionable and tempting industry?
AUSTIN: Absolutely. Without those morals, I’d be dead.
Obviously, all young people go through wild phases, but I wouldn’t trade the way we were raised for the world. The way our parents are defined and shaped us as a band and as people. There are a lot of temptations, but when your head is on your shoulders correctly, you can make it through. If I can, anyone can.
VERGE: Did you all move to Nashville together? AUSTIN: We all moved within
a year or two of each other and started getting gigs with other bands and studio work here and there. But we missed playing together, and we decided that it would be cool to do that for real. That’s when we auditioned for the show. It all started there.
VERGE: Despite appearances, this hasn’t been an easy road.
Did having each other give you strength in numbers? AUSTIN: That’s a loaded question! Obviously, there are pros
and cons to everything, but what’s good about the way we did it is that we get to be with family. Everybody has bad days, but at the end of the day, we’re all blood and it’s so much easier to walk out of a room for an hour and come back and everything is fine than to be with someone who permanently hates you. We’re used to beating each other up! Actually, we just give each other cold, dark stares. There aren’t a lot of fists flying around here.
VERGE: The show was a great opportunity and it paid off well, but why would this level of talent need a television competition in order to be discovered? AUSTIN: We were working in Nashville with other people; we
had our own lives and jobs and we were holding our own, but it took that show for us to come up with the concept of doing it as the three of us instead of being in the background of a band somewhere. I don’t complain about anything; that’s the way I was raised. I’m happy to put food on the table making music. But the show was a bigger idea of what we could be. We took a leap of faith and went for it. It took years and years of not having a life, and of just staying home and playing music, to be able to pull it off. by ALISON RICHTER photo SONS OF SYLVIA
plan to go date SUNDAY MAY 2 venue JAMES BROWN ARENA the show CARRIE UNDERWOOD + CRAIG MORGAN + SONS OF SYLVIA showtime 7:30 PM tickets $35 to $55 buy tickets JAMESBROWNARENA.COM more SONSOFSYLVIA.COM
38 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 39
on the flip side / False Flag and NoStar John “Stoney” Canon and Jacob Beltz delve into the Augusta music scene, taking a look at two musicians virtually “on the flipside” of the musical spectrum. In their own words, artist share their personal musical make-up and thoughts on the other’s different style – exposing the similarities as well. In this third segment are a pair of leading musicians – bassist/vocalist Terrell Lewis of hard rockers False Flag and guitarist/vocalist Carey Murdock of alternative rock trio NoStar.
GUITARIST + LEAD VOCALS | NOSTAR
BASSIST + LEAD VOCALS | FALSE FLAG
Alternative rock trio NoStar began 2009 with a brand new self-titled release and ended the year with dates in cities across most states in the eastern half of the U.S. under their belts. Not ones to simply rest on their laurels, the band took a short Christmas break before hitting the road once again even stopping along the way to record a track with Augusta native Will McCranie in Brooklyn, New York. With a drive and work ethic that far exceeds their short time together, NoStar have already begun working on a second release and at the time of this article are set to hit the road once again.
Formed out of the ashes of edgy rock band Signal 18 in 2009, False Flag stormed onto the Augusta music landscape with such impact that, in just a few short months, the band found themselves picking up several nominations for the Lokal Loudness Choice Awards, including one for Favorite New Band of 2009. Within the first year of the band’s existence, they have played just as many shows, if not more, than any band in the area, spending nearly just as much time out of town as they do in Augusta. 2010 found the band finishing up tracks at The Batcave Studios and now with a handful of recorded tunes, False Flag looks to take things up a notch or two.
Guitarist/Vocalist Carey Murdock is without a doubt the driving force behind the band No Star. While NoStar itself is relatively new to the area, Murdock himself has been around performing as a solo artist by himself and occasionally with a backing band. His vocal style treads a fine line between soulful and angstfilled desperation providing an emotional connection between the music and the listener.
Bassist/Vocalist Terrell Lewis was one of the driving forces behind former band Signal 18 and his attention to detail along with a vocal style that veers from melodic to downright aggressive is a key compenent in the sound of False Flag. STONEY: What made you decide you wanted
to be in False Flag?
TERRELL: Cliche answer: I Love Music..... but this is true. Originally, I didn’t really decide to be in False Flag, it was more of a forced name change from Signal 18 to False Flag. We wanted to have a completely different sound than our old band Signal 18, so we changed the sound and the name. Now that False Flag has found its sound, I love singing our music. I can really get into the songs, which apparantely comes out in weird facial expressions while I sing. Since I am stuck in one spot on stage because of playing the bass and singing lead, I have to contribute some animation in what I do, since Nate and Jake are able to jump around. STONEY: What do you feel you contribute most as a member of the band? TERRELL: Besides the lead vocals & bass, I do a lot of the PR work & a good bit of the booking. I also designed our Myspace page. Between Guapo (keyboardist Chris Anderson) and me, we pretty much manage the band. STONEY: What do you feel sets False Flag apart from other local bands? TERRELL: We have a cohesive sound, but none of our songs sound alike. Our members range from 21 to 35 years old, so everybody has different influences, which definitely shows in our music. We have a song that sounds Tool-esque, a song that has a washboard in it, and songs that sound punkish. We are not breaking any new music barriers with our songs, but we put on a good show, get along with everybody and support every other band we perform with. I feel like, all of this put together, makes for a good vibe on- and off-stage and that appeals to most audiences, venue owners and booking agents. We get out of town more than most other new Augusta bands that play a good deal of original music. STONEY: What about NoStar do you feel would be attractive to the fans of False Flag? TERRELL: They have an early 90s sound that meshes well with what we do. They are a little more mellow
than we are, but they also have a cohesive sound between all of their songs. They sound very tight and together, like they have played together in a band for a while even though they are a newer band. From their music, they sound like they would be easy to get along with and every bit of that shows when you are on stage as well.
JACOB: What made you decide you wanted to be in NoStar?
Terrell Lewis (left) and Carey Murdock (right)
CAREY: The songs and the band came up around me. It was all publicly nonexistent until I picked up a guitar. I also thought I could help other local bands look more serious by appearing in Katie’s verge pictures. I do what I can. STONEY: What do you feel you contribute
most as a member of NoStar?
TODD: NoStar is the full band incarnation of whatever I am writing at the time. I’m the only original member of a group whose lineup has changed fairly often, although staying within a trio format. I’ve written all the songs and I sing and perform them live on guitar and keyboards. The 150+ shows that NoStar has played within the last year are all ones that I have booked. My contribution is a skeleton, a backbone, a foundation, and the other musicians flesh it out and add strength and color. STONEY: What do you feel sets NoStar apart from other local bands? TODD: Since the release of our debut album last year, NoStar has toured the country non-stop, from Denver to Boston, Miami, and back, on our own dollar -- money that I saved when I was working as a janitor or, now, cutting grass and busking. What sets NoStar apart from all the other Augusta bands is that, with the exception of Veara, there isn’t another band that works this hard in getting their art and music to people. I love the music that’s coming out of Augusta right now, but it just seems that no one’s taking it anywhere. I want that to change though. (*If you haven’t seen NoStar yet, download the FREE live album at www.nostarband.com and get eight reasons why you should not miss their next (free!) Augusta show: April 10 @ the Playground - 9pm; 978 Broad Street!*). STONEY: What about False Flag do you feel would be attractive to the fans of NoStar? TODD: The thing I dig most about False Flag is that their songs are truckin’, and NoStar has some songs like that - maybe it’s the Husker Du in us both - but we definitely share fans in that respect.
get more NoStar
get more False Flag
listen online NOSTARBAND.COM or REVERBNATION.COM
listen online MYSPACE.COM/FALSEFLAG2009
see them live THE PLAYGROUND BAR date SATURDAY APRIL 10
see them live THE PLAYGROUND BAR date FRIDAY APRIL 23
by JACOB LYNDON BELTZ and JOHN ‘STONEY’ CANON photo KATIE MCGUIRE
40 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 41
cut the fat /i’m a loser baby part XI battle of the bulge
sports / mountain biking
the imba comes to downtown
“To be the man, you gotta beat the man.” – RIC FLAIR (16-time World Heavyweight wrestling champion)
I’ve spent a lifetime rooting for the underdog. There’s just something about an individual rising up against the greatest of odds to achieve the seemingly impossible that appeals to my nature. Whether it’s the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team’s “Miracle on Ice” Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger working his way onto the Notre Dame football team despite his size or wrestler Ric Flair overcoming a plane crash that broke his back in three places to become the greatest wrestler of all time, there’s just something about man’s ability to take on adversity that gets me pumped up and, at times, choked up. Such individuals not only give each of us a hero to root for, but also the reality that inside each and every person lies the ability to achieve great things. But such accomplishments don’t come easy, without the willingness to act goals remain nothing more than hopes and dreams. Perhaps the greatest obstacle my entire life has been motivation. Growing up, I constantly found myself falling short time after time when the task at hand became difficult. Quite honestly, for the longest time, following through was far from my strongest point. Watching others move forward while standing still was not only frustrating, it became down right demoralizing. When I decided to jump into Health Central’s Biggest Loser contest last year it was constantly in the back of my mind if this challenge would turn into yet another failure. I just couldn’t break free of it. But something strange happened along the way. This nagging fear in the back of my head turned into this desire to prove the doubting voice in my head wrong. Well, that and the fear of falling flat on my face while people were following my progress each month. Once, the simplest obstacles would have provided me with an excuse to quit. I now found myself caring about being slowed down by even the things that were out of my control such as a leg infection that limited me to only pool activity for weeks. In the past, I would have just packed up the sweats and headed for the safety and comfort of the couch and a big bag of buttered down popcorn. So now, I find myself in the mostly unlikely of situations - getting ready for my second weight loss contest with a proverbial championship belt from my first one. Since winning last year I have struggled to find that groove that moved me to lose 130 pounds; even gaining and then re-losing weight on the way. For me, this challenge is just as much motivation for me to lose weight as it is a challenge for others to lose weight. I have this desire to see other individuals rise up and achieve what seems impossible. I welcome anyone to take this challenge but it comes with this warning – I have no plans on laying down for anyone. Quite simply, to be the man (or woman), you gotta beat the man.
do you have what it takes to challenge the champ? Stoney lost 51 pounds in the last Health Central Biggest Loser Round. Now, take the challenge and join him now for the Champs Challenge.
Original Weight: 405 End of First Biggest Loser Round: 354 Weigh in on March 26: 328 for Health Central Info:
Miriam Murrell at email@example.com
for Biggest Winner Contest Info:
Michael Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org by JOHN CANNON photos KATIE MCGUIRE
“Our city continues to grow in its reputation as a bicycling destination, and this event will showcase our region to a worldwide audience of trail enthusiasts.” — THE HONORABLE DEKE COPENHAVER, MAYOR OF AUGUSTA
The International Mountain Bicycling Association 2010 World Summit is coming to Augusta, May 5 — 8, bringing in close to 700 people from all over the world for a week of events and seminars. The event will center on the downtown Mariott, which will be the hub for informative seminars, rides and transport to other events such as a catered tour of the renowned Forks Area Trail System. “It is truly an honor to host the IMBA gathering in Augusta,” said Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver. “Our city continues to grow in its reputation as a bicycling destination, and this event will showcase our region to a worldwide audience of trail enthusiasts.” Opening ceremonies will be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday May 5th, for registered guests. The following three days will consist of seminars on topics including urban trail networks, land conservation and youth outreach. “The Augusta summit will serve as an essential clearinghouse to advance information on everything to do with mountain biking and trailbased recreation,” said IMBA Executive Director Mike Van Abel. “We will bring leaders in trail design together with land managers, the bicycle industry and IMBA’s thriving grassroots clubs. These are the key influencers that shape the sport, and only an IMBA summit can connect them all in the same place, at the same time.” On Thursday night the Imperial Theater will host a Bike Movie Night for registered guests of the summit. Friday the IMBA will host a party for the pump track in North Augusta, as well as a Critical Mass ride through downtown Augusta starting at 7:30 p.m. In addition, the summit plans to have an outdoor
bike expo on Thursday and Friday which will include demos and information from the bicycle manufactures in the lot behind Boll Weevil’s across from the Mariott, and will be available to First Friday attendees. “When we began setting up for the event, we intentionally wanted it to coincide with the monthly First Friday festivities in downtown Augusta,” said Randy DuTeau, event manager for the Augusta Sports Council. “That way the public gets a chance to see what great things biking has in store for them, and the summit guests get a chance to see the fun side of Augusta.” Because this is planned to be the largest event the IMBA has ever hosted, there is a great demand for volunteers to hand out materials and manage event sign-ups. To get involved, either as a volunteer or a guest of the convention, register at IMBA.COM, or through the Augusta Sports Council. “This is a great opportunity for Augusta, and a potential for a lot of money coming in,” said Drew Jordan, of Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Warehouse. “The Southeast has been kind of untapped by the bicycle industry, but with the number of parts and body manufacturers coming in for the event they may discover there’s a whole new market to open up in Augusta. It’s going to be really nice to see people from all over the world coming in and enjoying what Augusta has to offer.” For more information, contact the International Mountain Biking Association at IMBA.COM or swing by and visit with Andy or Drew Jordan at Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Warehouse located at 527 13th Street. by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK photo 2008 IMBA CONFERENCE
42 / april 2010 / verge
the monumental history of greene street / 14
4th Infantry (IVY) Division Marker
/ 900 Block of Greene Street date dedicated / October 4, 1980 erected by / The Raymond O Barton Chapter National 4th Infantry, Ivy Division Association location
Located near the intersection of Greene Street and Ninth Street (James Brown Boulevard), the 4th Infantry (IVY) Division Marker is a large rectangular granite marker dedicated to members of the 4th Infantry who fought in combat in such locales as France, Belgium, Germany, Luxemburg & Vietnam. The East face of the monument recognizes the Infantry’s first troops to be assigned for training at Fort Gordon for combat training from December 1, 1941 until April 1943. Those troops were not only the first U.S. troops to land on Utah Beach in Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944, but were also the first troops to break through enemy lines at St. Lo in Paris. The 4th Infantry were also front and center in the bloodiest battle of the European War – the Hurtgen Forest Battle, and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. As is engraved on the West face of the monument, the 4th Infantry (IVY) Division Marker was dedicated in memory of late Major General Raymond O. Barton, Jr., who served as Commanding General from July 1, 1942 to December 26, 1944, and to all Ivymen and women both living and deceased. by JOHN CANNON rendering ALEX McCAIN, III editor’s note: This is the 14th installment of a the history of the monuments that line Greene Street.
verge / april 2010 / 43
in progress / demolition begins on the emporium
plans are to reuse much of what is being torn out measurements needed for their construction the process is expected to take another three or four months. In the meantime, removing the outdated elevator from the building will require calling in the elevator company to move it from the third to the first floor. This, of course, is in addition to the walls that need to be put up or torn down, and the ordering of steel for reinforcement elsewhere in the building. “It really takes some vision and farsightedness to get everything scheduled and all the parts ordered,” said McLeod. “With so much happening at once, if you miss even one little thing it can shut down your entire process of getting things done.” McLeod says that one of the most difficult parts of the process is simply getting everybody on the project working from one set of plans.
Though a high wooden wall now separates The Emporium from passersby on Broad Street, hard work continues inside. Among other significant advances made this month, work crews have demolished the floor and removed the ceiling tile over the space meant for the building’s indoor garage. Building owner Natalie McLeod says the plan is to eventually excavate beneath the current level so that they can make use of that space.
“We’ve had so many different plans, from the electrical engineers plans to the plumber’s plans to the architect’s plans, and we need to get together and have everybody work from one set,” she said. “Then we need to get the final plan approved by the local building inspectors, who we needed to give us the building permit, but the plans keep changing and they need to review everything as its being done.”
All floor joists removed will eventually be reused, either in this building or some other, according to McLeod. The same is true of the tin ceiling panels, and the “mountain of flooring” accumulating in front of the stairs.
Though the local inspectors could potentially walk through the building at any time, they have been understanding so far of the complicated process of historical rehabilitation. McLeod herself prefers to look at the building every two or three days.
“Because they’re trying to move quickly, they’re doing a bunch of different things all at the same time,” she said. “I believe they have four different crews working inside the building at the moment, and I think they might be bringing in more labor once it’s time to knock down the façade on the second floor.”
“I really don’t want to be in the way, because every time I come onsite someone has to stop what they’re doing to explain it all to me,” she said. “I communicate by e-mail with the general contractor and the project manager every day, so I’m always up to date on what’s going on.”
The two new elevators that will eventually operate within the building have also been ordered, but because of the highly specific
McLeod says she has been very satisfied with the construction process overall, and enjoys seeing each stage of the project take form.
“It seems to be moving fairly rapidly, but the contractor keeps saying we’re about to get going faster. I have great confidence in everybody on the work crew and I feel like they really do know what they’re doing.” article and photos by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK
in progress / lighting up broad street
long awaited street lamp project begins in june “The lights are priority because Broad Street is the face of downtown.”
“We got interested,” Margaret Woodard, director of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), says about the newest project that will move downtown Augusta into the future. From those three simple words, the DDA began working with the City of Augusta. The result? The new lighting project for Broad Street.
Originally an older SPLOST idea, the lighting project will add new street lights from 13th Street to 5th Street, including new lamps to help light the sidewalks and the replacement of old, outdated traffic lights. In addition, lighting will be added to the sunken parking wells in the middle of Broad Street. The project’s main purpose is to provide extra lighting and safety to Broad Street. Many residents have the perception that Broad Street is dark and the infrastructure is old. New double armed street lanterns will shine light down on the sidewalk, illuminating sections of Broad Street that in the past may have been cast in shadow more than other areas of town. The new lamps are both modern and aesthetically pleasing, creating an updated feel to Broad Street with decorative fixtures that mesh into the historic environment of downtown. The DDA will continue to work throughout the construction with Steve Cassell, the primary traffic engineer in charge of the project for the City of Augusta who is working from the original idea. In the coming months, the DDA and the City of Augusta will prepare for the project to begin in late June or early July; the work proposed to last roughly eight months. There will be minimal sidewalk damage to the curbs, but possibly some lane closings. “I can’t foresee the sidewalk being totally closed,” city engineer Steve Cassell says. “There should be minimal disruption.” The process will include punching a hole and placing the base of the lamps in the sidewalk; but should not block the pedestrian traffic nor impede vehicular flow. The temporary
— STEVE CASSELL, TRAFFIC ENGINEER
construction should be a minor inconvenience compared to the overall long-term positive effect of new, improved lighting for downtown Augusta. Every street light will be improved, which the outspoken public has desired for quite some time. “This has been in the works for years,” Steve Cassell says, admitting there is a “big demand about improving the traffic lights.” The idea, partly funded by the Special Purpose Local Option Tax, has been around since 2001. But now by combining the SPLOST funds with an Economic Stimulus grant and the assistance of the DDA, Broad Street will have a bright future ahead. The infrastructure of the Broad Street lights has needed a major upgrade for the last ten to fifteen years. “The lights are a priority,” Steve Cassell says, “because Broad Street is the face of downtown.” There will be a public meeting prior to construction, the DDA assures the people of Augusta. “The lighting project has been approved by the voters,” DDA director Woodard says. “It’s important to the entire district,” Woodard goes on to explain, so “the DDA felt it was important.” And while Woodard understands that Augusta is a nice place to live, extra lighting will make a “significant difference” to downtown. Everyone wants assurance that they will be safe at night while enjoying the nightlife of downtown Augusta. “It’s not just better roadway lighting, but also better pedestrian lighting,” Cassell says. As for lighting upgrades for other streets in the downtown area, while there is no time frame at the moment, many hope to see all of downtown well lit and beautiful in the coming years. For now, the focus is on getting Broad Street where it needs to be, and simply, as Cassell says, to “keep it moving forward.” by D.H.L. plans courtesy of GA DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION
44 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 45
the last word on the horizon / the loft tour sound bites / lokal music by stoney
Well, folks, looks like the sun may finally be out for good and nowhere is it shining more brightly than on the Augusta music community. Things have been heating up for a while now and, as the world gets ready to chase that little white dimpled ball around just up the road, downtown keeps its own ball rolling with an ever-growing mix of art, food and, of course, music. All we’re really missing is the sight of JEMANI’S JASON GUY sporting some plaid pants, an Alice Cooper t-shirt, and a set of putt putt golf clubs. Speaking of keeping the ball rolling, last month I mentioned Augusta road dogs VEARA and, in less than two weeks time, it was announced that everyone’s fave emo-pop-punksters inked a fresh recording deal with long-running punk label Epitaph Records. The label, launched in the mid-80s by guitarist Brett Gurewitz of the legendary band Bad Brains, has released some very important albums in the punk genre including breakthrough releases by NOFX, Rancid, and The Offspring and is currently home for such popular bands as Alkaline trio, Story of the Year, and New Found Glory. Not sure how Veara’s more bubblegum punk style will end up standing up along side some of the more raw punk offerings in the nearly 25-year-old Epitaph catalog but it’s sure gonna be fun watching how it all unfolds. Keep up with Veara’s progress at MYSPACE.COM/VEARA. Can I get a “whoah-oh-oh” please? Speaking of hot bands, there once was a time in Augusta music lore that rockers 420 OUTBACK ruled the roost, packing venues all across the area; at one point even pretty much walking away with half the Lexie’s Plexis at the 2002 Choice Awards. But, oddly enough, just as the band was set to take a stab at totally owning Augusta, they pulled an Eddie Wilson a lá Eddie and The Cruisers and disappeared. Less than a handful of 420 Outback sightings have been reported since. Well, doggone it, Eddie Wilson came back and now, just when it appeared that all hope for a 420 Outback reunion was gone, Augusta’s favorite trippy rockers return for a show April 24th with JEMANI and HAPPY BONES in support of Joe Duris, Jr., a recovering Leukemia patient with mounting medical bills. Time and time again, the Augusta music community gathers to support each other and the 420 family invite you in for a fun night of music and love. Go to MYSPACE.COM/FOUR20OUTBACK and rediscover your love for the music of the band. Speaking of helping people with the awesome power of rock and roll, I am more pleased than Rock Bottom Music’s Jonathan Karow at a Kiss convention to announce that the great Augusta music institution known as 12 BANDS OF CHRISTMAS will be not only be returning this year with a new CD of fresh Christmas ditties featuring Augusta artists but also rocking live in December at the event’s only home: the Imperial Theatre. The Best of 12 Bands of Christmas, which was released last year, was a nice holdover, but now it’s time to get back to business with all new tunes, bands, and more! Area artists can get a drop on the official announcement by sending submissions to: 12 Bands of Christmas P.O. Box 12623 Augusta, GA 30914. Deadline for submissions is May 15th and more info will be made available soon at 12BANDS.ORG.
coming may 7 and 8 to downtown
The first weekend in May is one of our favorite times in downtown Augusta – the days are longer, the air is warm, we celebrate the Godfather of Soul’s Birthday and we get to peek inside the homes and lives of folks who live the urban lifestyle. That’s right, on May 7 and 8, Historic Augusta presents its sixth annual Downtown Loft Tour. A selection of trendy living and working spaces will be open to the public during First Friday between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and again on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Historic Augusta’s Julia Jackson says, “The purpose of the tour, held during National Historic Preservation Month, is to encourage interest in the preservation and use of historic buildings in the Augusta Downtown Historic District by providing the public with an intimate look at their interiors. The tour contains buildings of various sizes and styles, each with distinctive architectural features and design.” verge believes that the tour also gives people the opportunity to see that downtown living is feasible, fun and safe. The Parsonage at Union Baptist Church will be a stop on this year’s tour. It’s been recently restored and turned into a private residence (the Church rents it out to provide needed income). verge will have a complete rundown of the tour in the May issue. Tickets for the loft tour can be purchased for $15 in advance or for $20 during the tour. You can get advance tickets at 706.724.0436 or visit HISTORICAUGUSTA.ORG. photo CHRISTOPHER SELMEK
and one last shot
alonzo king’s LINES ballet comes may 7
Make sure you check out the Pipeline each month online at VERGELIVE. COM for great live shows. Get out, get an earful and support what’s happening in Augusta music. Stop by and listen to me rant with my good buddy Brian “Stak” Allen each week on CONfederation of LOUDness, which can be found ironically enough at CONFEDERATIONOFLOUDNESS.COM. Past guests have included 48Volt, Allison Foster, Backwater Traffic, and Carey Murdock of NoStar popping by to talk and perform. Man, we have some cool guests planned for April! Til next time… Make it LOKAL, Keep it Loud, by JOHN “STONEY” CANNON To keep up with what’s going down in Augusta music, check out Stoney long-running website LOKALLOUDNESS.COM.
baseball for books! The Friends of the Library are raising funds to support our new downtown library with America’s favorite pastime – baseball. They’re selling tickets to the May 7th Augusta Green Jackets game. For $10 you get a ticket, free parking, a program AND a Green Jackets baseball hat. You can purchase tickets at the Main Library at 902 Greene Street or swing by Central Avenue at Kings Way on First Thursday (that’s April 1st) and buy them directly from Auggie, the Green Jackets mascot. Help make this fundraiser a homerun for our library.
get details and tickets AUGUSTABALLET.ORG
46 / april 2010 / verge
verge / april 2010 / 47
verge - augusta events, places and people