verge AUGUSTA & THE CSRA
FREE | FEBRUARY 16 2011 |VOL 3 ISSUE 15 | YOUR SOURCE FOR COMMUNIT Y DRIVEN NEWS
PEOPLE Meet the Appleby Twins + LOCAL Area Farmers Provide Fresh Options ART Ziv Koren + Tim Tate MUSIC Opera + Bluegrass + Country + Classical + Rock & Roll
publisher Matt Plocha editor Lara Plocha contributors Chris Selmek, Alison Richter, John Cannon, Dino Lull, Ben Casella, Kris Cook, Skyler Andrews, Charlotte Okie, Gabi Hutchison, Elizabeth Benson, Jennifer Maslyn, Holly Birdsong, Katie McGuire, Mariah Gardner, Susan Hutchison
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Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
Verge will now be even easier to find – newspaper boxes are spreading throughout the entire CSRA. You can find your community-driven newspaper in Evans, Martinez, North Augusta, Aiken and Augusta. We give a big thank you to everyone involved with this project – it was made possible by people like you!
International group strives to end use of children in war
Librarians invest more than just words into their patrons
After closing its doors, the Opera returns with a Passion
15 From Farm to Table 20 Trio of Rock Descends On Country Club Augusta Locally Grown connects farmer to consumer
Hinder, Kopek and Saving Abel share their journey to success
I gathered my thoughts and considered where my family and I live. We chose to reside in the heart of the entire community – downtown Augusta on Broad Street. Some call it the epicenter; some call it Augusta’s front porch. We believe downtown is the heart – the place where it all starts – and if the heart is healthy, the rest of the entire community will be healthy. This philosophy has proven true across the United States as more cities are turning their attention to revitalizing their downtown districts. The concept is working – consider the massive changes in Charleston, Savannah and Greenville. It was this belief that drove us to relocate to the downtown district three years ago with two teenagers and a toddler in tow. To date, it’s been a fantastic journey that has provided our family with more positive experiences than we could have ever imagined. Here are our top reasons we like our neighborhood – downtown Augusta: What do we like about our neighborhood? For starters, we like the variety of our neighbors. Being in a mostly urban environment, our neighbors are a bit different. Our neighbors are the business owners that line Broad Street, the employees at New Moon Café, the crew that gathers at the Metro Pub to swap talk, the UPS man and the Georgia Power meter reader. Our neighbors are the folks who choose to shop downtown often, the ones who choose to live here and the university students who escape to downtown to study and relax. We also love the convenience. Our home is just steps away from restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, theatres, music venues and shops. The arts culture thrives downtown and we are in the midst of it. In fact, we walk more than we drive our car. We go to a downtown church and our daughter attends a downtown school. Plus, we have a huge backyard to play in – the Augusta Common is our soccer field and the River Walk is our playground. The greatest blessing about living downtown is the relationships we are building. Being in the midst of people all day – and often the same people – we are able to connect. We hear their stories. We find out their dreams and visions for our communities. We share in their successes and grieve in their losses. Downtown has become our extended family. A day does not pass that we don’t see our neighbors. This is a community downtown that watches out for one another. These neighbors keep an eye on our daughters and mark our son’s milestones. We are a tight knit family that cares for, nurtures and believes in one another. This is what makes our community great. Every day I walk down the street I see our neighborhood bustling with our neighbors coming and going. It’s like “Busy Town” – too cool. So, that’s what we like about our neighborhood in which we live, work and play. We’ve found that what makes a neighborhood special is the connection to community. It’s the connections that causes roots to grow and gives us a strong sense of place. I’ll turn the question back to you. What do you like about your neighborhood? What is your neighborhood? Are you connecting? Are you getting out there and meeting your neighbors and truly getting to know them? Of course, we’d be happy for you to join us – there’s plenty of room in the heart! See you in our backyard or we may even see you out enjoying yours.
ON THE COVER Spring Rites by Jennifer Lewiston
the main feature
7 Viewpoint: Invisible Children 9 Front Porch: The Appleby Twins 13 The Augusta Opera Redux
Recently, my pastor asked “Why do you like the neighborhood that you live in? How do you interact with your community? What makes it special to you?” It was a question that called for contemplation.
you won’t want to miss a page
24 An Intimate Evening with John Corabi 27 Connecting Music to the Community Former lead for Motley Crue stages acoustic set
Juilliard in Aiken presents classical music in a accessible way
music | theatre | art | film 11 11 17 22 23 24 25 25
Art: Tim Tate, glass sculpture Art: Ziv Koren, photography Music: Cathie Ryan Film: The Film Reel Music: Taproot Music: Bang Tango Music: The Packway Handle Band Music: Blackberry Smoke
experience more 05 05 06 07 16 19 19 26 27 29 29 29
Get This: Antiques All Around Town New Business: Mike T. Cherry Buzz on Biz The Pipeline to Upcoming Events Chow Bella Fresh Food Bites Business: Sector 7G Changes Hands Ask Dr. Karp Sound Bites: Lokal Music Musings The Last Word Parting Shot
here’s what inspires us
“Virtue is a state of war, and to live in it we have always to combat with ourselves.” —Jean Jacques Rousseau
“Life must be understood backwards; but… it must be lived forward.” — Soren Kierkegaard
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4 February 16, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com
GET THIS: ANTIQUES
old things add new interest Table Lamp with Silk Shade
This mahogany table is a perfect fit for my guest bedroom. Simple, elegant and functional. ($85) Lofty Ideas 305 8th Street, downtown Augusta
ALL AROUND TOWN HONOR AN OUTSTANDING HIGH SCHOOL CHEMISTRY TEACHER
The Savannah River Section of the American Chemical Society is currently accepting nominations for the Denise L. Creech Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher Award. This award includes $500 monetary gift and a plaque to the winning teacher. The Award is named to in honor of Denise L. Creech, an outstanding South Carolina high school chemistry teacher, who has since moved on to a position at the American Chemical Society’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Nominees selected will be visited and interviewed in March or April. The awardee and school will be notified in early May 2011. Contact Glenn Fugate (glenn. firstname.lastname@example.org) for a nomination packet. Nominations will be accepted electronically or by mail and are due March 14th. ACS-SR.ORG
UNCHAINED MEMORIES FILM AT AUGUSTA MUSEUM OF HISTORY
Granitware Coffee Pot
A must have if we have another winter like this year’s! If the electricity goes out, you can still brew coffee on the gas grill. $45 Singing Hills Antiques 415 West Avenue, North Augusta
Celebrating Black History Month, the Augusta Museum of History presents Unchained Memories, Reading from the Slave Narratives. This amazing documentary brings the selected words of former slaves to life through the voices of celebrated African-American actors. Originally released in 2002, the film came out of the Federal Writers Project, a division of the New Deal’s Works Progress Association. Throughout the 1930s, journalists and writers accumulated stories and photographs from the last living generation of African-Americans born into slavery. The resultant work included over 2,300 first-person accounts of this period in American history. This documentary project contains 75 minutes of these histories read by prominent African-American actors such as Oprah Winfrey, Ossie Davis, Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Ruby Dee and Angela Bassett. The program also contains many of the archival photographs that were collected in the WPA project. The film screens daily at the Augusta Museum of History, open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. AUGUSTAMUSEUM.ORG
RHODES RELEASES NEW BOOK CELEBRATING GEORGIA Veterans of The Augusta Chronicle, Don Rhodes (publications editor) and Jeff Barnes (photographer) teamed up to create the new book, Georgia Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Peach State. In this veritable celebration of what makes the state of Georgia fascinating, Rhodes highlights 50 places, inventions, foods, buildings and institutions and reveals littleknown facts, longtime secrets and historical legends. Barnes adds eloquent photography to each page. From the Bird Girl in Savannah to Archie Butt’s Titanic Bridge, this book provides the inside story about the very things that make Georgia inimitably Georgia. Georgia Icons is available at The Book Tavern and The Morris Museum of Art Gift Shop ($16.95). MEET THE AUTHORS
Oak Cash & Receipts Drawer
The two drawers can hold all kinds of things, but I easily see “filing” all my photographs I never seem to find the time to put into books! ($225) Whitehouse Antiques | 1010 Broad Street, downtown Augusta
Aiken Library matches up readers with writers in their Meet the Authors program sponsored by the Aiken Friends of the Library: Diane Haslam on Saturday, February 19th at 2 p.m. and Ginetta Hamilton on Saturday, February 27th at 2:30 p.m. Diane Haslam’s new book The Heart of Singing urges readers to discover the power of the voice. As the founder of the Aiken Singers and a professional vocal teacher, Haslam crafts her life-learning into a guide for singers of all abilities to develop greater confidence and vocal potential. Native South Carolinian Ginetta Hamilton wrote Black History: Someone Forgot to Teach the Children out of a passion for building character in today’s youth and teaching children the strong, rich heritage of Black people in America. Connecting the past to the present in a meaningful way, Hamilton follows the key events in America’s Black history and urges readers to be enlightened, educated and involved. www.abbe-lib.org
MULTIPLICATION MEET PUSH-UPS
I won’t be molding sugar, but I will drop some interesting candles inside the molds and use this piece as a unique centerpiece on my buffet. ($24) The Marketplace Antiques | 1208 Broad Street, downtown Augusta discovered by SUSAN HUTCHISON photos by GABI HUTCHISON
Regular exercise improves the ability of overweight, previously inactive children to think, plan and even do math, Georgia Health Sciences University researchers report. “We hope the findings in 171 overweight 7- to 11-year-olds – all sedentary when the study started - gives educators the evidence they need to ensure that regular, vigorous physical activity is a part of every school day,” said Dr. Catherine Davis, corresponding author on the study in Health Psychology. “I hope these findings will help reestablish physical activity’s important place in the schools in helping kids stay physically well and mentally sharp,” she continued. “For children to reach their potential, they need to be active.”
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NEW BUSINESS: MIKE T. CHERRY PORTRAITS
Artist creates life-like pencil illustrations to immortalize the living
Mike T. Cherry claims to have been in the business forever, which is fitting considering that’s exactly what he’s offering. “I like to tell people I can make them immortal,” said Cherry. “In one hundred years, we’ll all be gone, but these portraits will still be hanging on a wall somewhere.” Cherry held the grand opening of his new physical studio space – Mike T. Cherry Portraits and Illustrations – at 206 Eighth Street on November 7th. The storefront gives him the space he needs to create black and white pencil drawings, which he had previously done out of his home. “In previous places that I’ve lived, word of mouth has always been enough to draw business for me. When I moved to Augusta about two years ago, I found it just wasn’t happening for me,” he said. “I decided I needed more exposure, plus it gives me space to display the previous work I’ve done.” Cherry first began drawing when he finished his service as a Navy hospital corpsman in 1988. One of his favorite subjects, a girl named Kendra who modeled for him in Italy, dominates one full wall of his shop with 25 pencil nudes and helped him become established as an artist. “Portraits make great gifts for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day and I’ve already done a couple families since I’ve been here,” he said. “One was a portrait of four grandchildren for the big boss of a company, and the other was a father and son which served as a nice Christmas gift for the mother.” Cherry’s general rule of thumb is that one 11 by 14 inch drawing of a single person costs $145, but the price may increase with size, number of individuals in the photo and overall complexity. Customers submit photos, select a size and place a 50% deposit with the placing of the order. Upon completion, the portrait is approved by the customer and the balance due is paid. If necessary, artwork can be shipped. “Business was pretty good leading up to the holidays,” he said, “but it’s been a little slow since then, and seems to go up and down with the seasons and how the economy is doing.” He also teaches art classes out of his studio. Currently, he is offering eight sessions on basic principles of sketching for $120 that meets Wednesday at 6 p.m. Mike T. Cherry Portraits and Illustrations is open 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Details are available by calling 706-830-0181 or visitng MIKETCHERRY.NET. article and photo by CHRISTOPHER SELMEK
6 February 16, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com
Changes, Celebrations and Growth Across the CSRA
Take Action to End Use of Children in War
“HEY HONEY, LET’S HIT THE OUTLET MALL IN GROVETOWN!”
This could happen. Developers and outlet mall experts look for key research when they plan their next project. Land? Check. Grovetown. Proximity to an interstate? Check. I-20. Growth in the area? Check. Columbia County is GOLD. Positive research? Check. 95% of the 4,000 people surveyed by the Columbia County Planning Department said “yes” to wanting an outlet mall in the county. “We use our research, demographics and numbers to try to encourage and motivate realtors and developers to look at us for an outlet mall,” said Columbia County Planning Director Nanya Mistry. About a year ago, she conducted another survey asking residents what stores and restaurants they would like to relocate here. Outlet malls came in fourth place. “We try to get the citizens what they ask for,” said Ms. Mistry.
Roses Are Red Violets Are Blue, We Opened JUST In The Nick of Time – WHEW! Talk about cutting it close before a big holiday, Tonya Jones, owner of Creations and Blessings, opened her flower and gift shop the Saturday before Valentine’s Day! She’s in a building on Walton Way near the Partridge Inn, formerly the home of DaVinci Bakery Shop.
Specialty Shoe Store to Close
Foot Solutions, an upscale, medically-focused shoe store, is offering a 50% discount as part of their Going Out Of Business sale in Mullins Crossing. They will accept cash and checks. The franchisee is known for painstakingly using their high-tech machines to measure foot sizes and determine stressors on clients’ knees, hips and back to find the right fit.
$300,000 Contract Goes to South Augusta Company
Acme Moving Systems, part of a major moving, storage, data and shredding group of companies, just won the bid to move out all of the judge’s chambers, offices, courtrooms and more from the Municipal Building to the new Augusta Richmond County Judicial Center. The company is headquartered on the Mike Padgett Highway and will send at least 20 employees to work on the move for a period of about 90 days. The Judicial Center is expected to open in downtown Augusta in May.
Happy Anniversary To A Niche Business On The Hill
“Tea With A Dutchess” made it a year on Monte Sano Avenue. That may not seem like a major accomplishment, but consider the economy and their specialty services: afternoon tea, dress-up parties, tea and crumpets, etc. Congratulations to Laura Simmons. Business is tough. Running a niche business is tougher.
He’ll “Pump You Up” for Nine More Years
Happy ninth anniversary for uber-certified fitness trainer Jay Garrison of OneonOne-fitness. com. He celebrated this month by launching his website and getting back into his studio on Shartom Drive behind Applebee’s on Washington Road. Garrison has helped train high school and college athletes, physical therapy out-patients and those just out of shape. His passion is training golfers to work-out lower scores on the course with his stretching and training help.
“Ivan The Terrible” Grows His Fitness Business
Ivan Trinidad, who has some healthy fish dishes named after him at Rhinehart’s Oyster Bar, is now helping some of the 1,300 employees at Doctor’s Hospital. He is leading spin classes for them at a new fitness area at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center. His existing business, The Spinning Gallery and Nutrition Center, continues to flourish at their flagship location on Old Petersburg and Baston Road.
All Of That Exercise Is Making Me Want A SWEET TREAT! Dunkin Donuts is getting ready to open a second location in Aiken on Whiskey Road next to Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Go ahead and treat yourself!
Neil Gordon owns Buzz on Biz, LLC, a company dedicated to highlighting business growth through Newspaper, Television, Radio, and Web content. Story idea? E-mail email@example.com
OVER 30,000 CHILDREN HAVE BEEN ABDUCTED IN THE UGANDA WAR
When three college students – Jason Russell, Laren Poole and Bobby Bailey – traveled to Africa in 2003 in search of a story to film; little did they know they would stumble into the war-torn country of Uganda. The Uganda war continues with child soldiers led by Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), raging through central Africa leaving behind devastation and ruin. The war started in 1986 in northern Uganda and, since then, there have been over 30,000 children abducted, over 100,000 civilians killed and another 1.8 million citizens have been displaced. Since 2006, the LRA has advanced towards the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Sudan. Jason, Laren and Bobby returned home with footage of these atrocities and started Invisible Children, Inc., a global movement that is changing lives. Invisible Children uses film, narration and social activism to raise awareness. Through this awareness they hope to help to end the war and restore the communities in Central Africa to peace and prosperity. Through creativity, Invisible Children has presented and accurately portrayed the tragic realities of the child soldiers with artistic quality. The non-profit raises awareness and propels the viewers and volunteers to participate and advocate against this war. Not only are they advocating against the war, they are also raising funds for rehabilitation in the communities. These programs are helping to rescue former child soldiers, raising the standard of education and offering counsel and support to the individuals that have been affected by the war. According to UNICEF, “A ‘child soldier’ is defined as any child – boy or girl – under 18 years of age, who is part of any kind of regular or irregular armed force or armed group in any capacity, including, but not limited to: cooks, porters, messengers, and anyone accompanying such groups other than family members. It includes girls and boys recruited for sexual purposes and/or forced marriage. The definition, therefore, does not only refer to a child who is carrying, or has carried weapons.” I have a passion to work for non-profit organizations and raise awareness in the community. I coordinated an event in December 2010 for Falling Whistles, an organization that advocates against the use of children as human shields in the war in Congo. I learned of Falling Whistles through my sister, when I asked her about the whistle on her keychain two years ago. After researching the organization, I was moved to become an active member in the society. I continued with my research and found Invisible Children and came in direct contact with them when they visited Augusta State University last year. I came to the realization that if someone could be driven towards helping a cause and a community after one conversation, then what could an event do if they reached more than one individual? Invisible Children is visiting Augusta State University once again on February 21, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. The event will be held at the D. Douglas Barnard Jr. Amphitheatre on the ASU campus. There will be a screening of their new film, Tony, and a discussion with the “roadies,” the energetic volunteers from Invisible Children, and Evelyn Adong, a mentor from northern Uganda. Come join us at the screening and help spread the word about the cause, and discover the tools to end this war. My mission is not only propelling myself to continue as a volunteer for bettering a global community, but to inspire others to become involved as well. There is a sense of fulfillment when one dedicates their time to a cause, to enhance an understanding and to contribute to the visual and social movement of mankind. EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information on Invisible Children, visit INVISIBLECHILDREN.COM. For more on Falling Whistles, visit FALLINGWHISTLES.COM.
A photography and psychology student at Augusta State University, Maleeha Ahmad hopes to use her photography to call viewers to action through art that empowers, inspires and provokes them to make a difference. She is passionate about traveling, family and friends, coffee and good food.
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8 February 16, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com
FRONT PORCH: APPLEBY LIBRARY
The Appleby Twins Make This Gem an Extension of Home
“Being at Appleby is more like being
- MYRA HAIG, APPLEBY VOLUNTEER
Myra Haig has been a volunteer at Appleby Library for more than 30 years. Quick-witted and still sharp at nearly 82, she readily explains that she has difficulty hearing. Why does she keep coming back? “I’ve just always been in libraries,” she says. Librarians Kathy Crosson, 63, and Betty Jenkins, 61, (the Appleby Library “twins”) see Myra as a fixture – an important one. They make it possible for her to come every week.
“He was an only child when he started coming, and he would only scribble, scribble, scribble in green. Then one day, he took his time, still using green, but he colored in the lines.” Now, he’s a teenager and, the ladies say, he’s gone on a first date.
story hours and craft workshops and execute outreach to local elementary schools and Mother’s Morning Out programs. They devote much of their time, when not helping patrons, to planning extensive story hours. And they frequently finish each other’s sentences.
Patrons to Appleby Library are very loyal. One woman, whose recently deceased mother frequented this branch, had all donations given to the library in honor of her mother. She’s using some of the money and her own time and energy to remodel the children’s books room. Betty and Kathy impress upon me that this just goes to show how good their patrons are. “That’s the kind of people who come here,” they say.
“We take turns going to get her from her apartment,” says Kathy, as Betty nods. “It’s her only outing.” While Myra and I talk, she gestures to Cynthia, the two-yearold I take care of, who is sitting on my lap. “My father used to bring me to the library (in Florida) when I was her age. Story times have been around a long time.” You can tell Myra loves children, although she has none of her own. She sits in the craft room adjacent to the large children’s story time room watching the five or so children there try their hands at gluing and coloring. She smiles happily at them. It seems to give her courage to be here. Kathy, Branch Manager, and Betty, Assistant Branch Manager, care about each of their patrons like they care for Myra and that’s what makes such a dedicated volunteer force. The two work together seamlessly, have done so for 23 years and they love it. “We’re going to retire together,” affirms Kathy. Betty adds, “Not that anyone wants us to retire! But we’re going to have a party.” She draws out the last word like she knows how to have one. The two ladies, along with their fellow librarian Susan Gray, run all of Appleby Library’s programs. They process books, govern Inter-Library Loan, help patrons find books and use the internet to look for jobs. In addition to that, they plan children’s
Generally, Kathy and Betty alternate months planning the children’s activities but, on a recent Wednesday morning, the two ladies worked together to bring down the house with reindeer-themed books, fingerplays (songs or chants with hand motions), a felt board story and a full-fledged puppet show. Some days, they break out an old reel-to-reel movie projector and show Mickey Mouse films. Their audience includes not only individual parents, caregivers and their children, but also several classes of students from a local daycare. This kind of interactive story hour, along with the craft workshops which the ladies plan, is “good experience” for when the children enter school. Kathy and Betty get a kick out of watching their patrons, both young and old, grow. Why do they put this much effort into it? “It’s the people,” says Betty. And there is no doubt about it. The ladies remember all their regular patrons, especially the children who used to come to story time who have since grown up and now have children of their own. “Do you remember the Marks’ boy?” Betty asks Kathy. They both erupt into laughter. They laugh constantly.
Kathy tells me she sees herself as a sort of literary bartender. People come into the library and they just want to talk. Maybe they live alone, or maybe they grew up coming to story time on Wednesdays. “The people who come in here don’t have an ‘upper class’ attitude. They’re just plain, ordinary people,” says Betty gratefully. Whoever the patrons are, they won’t be shushed. “This is not a quiet library. People should be comfortable,” says Kathy. “We let them know a community library is a two-way street.” Myra Haig puts it well: “Being at Appleby is more like being at home.” Appleby Library is located at 2260 Walton Way and is part of the East Central Georgia Regional Library System. Children’s Story Time is held every Wednesday at 10:05 a.m. for toddlers (18 months to 35 months old) and at 10:30 a.m. for preschoolers (ages 3 and up). 706.736.6244 or ECGRL.PUBLIC.LIB.GA.US
by CHARLOTTE OKIE photo by GABI HUTCHISON
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ART: ZIV KOREN and TIM TATE
Two Distinctly Different Artists Create Eloquent Stories
painstakingly marries Old World art with New Age technology in reliquaries filled with his own sculpted glass creations and a tiny video screen and player. The videos match the theme of the reliquary. In “Lust,” which is obviously inspired by the Fall of Eve, on-screen a belly dancer provocatively sways against the glass apple tree. Tate shoots all of the video as well. When not creating, Tate teaches at The Washington Glass School and Studio in Washington, D.C., which he also co-founded. Of himself, Tate says “Continuing to focus more and more on mixed media sculpture and new media forms frees me from the confines of a single medium driven exhibition. While the underlying foundations of healing and memory are still a part of the work, these pieces ask universal questions that apply to us all, while allowing each piece to stand strongly on its own.” Tate will discuss his creations during the first Terra Cognita lecture hosted by the Morris Museum of Art on Thursday, February 24th at 6 p.m. The event is free. TIMTATEGLASS.COM | THEMORRIS.ORG
ZIV KOREN, UNTITLED. COURTESY OF THE ARTIST.
leads a life on the edge – capturing the ongoing conflict in his homeland of Israel on film. He has served as a photographer for the Israeli army, the Prime Minister and an Israeli daily newspaper. In 1994, Koren’s image of a suicide bomb attack on a Tel Aviv bus, which left 23 dead, brought him national attention as the shot landed on the front page of the New York Times.
A few years later, Koren opted for the world of freelance and began focusing on photographing people to tell their story – such as the award-winning “Louai Mer’I, a Sergeant, is Going Home,” which follows an injured soldier’s painful rehabilitation. In a profile by Canon Ambassadors, Koren said, “I try to cover conflict, people, poverty, aid, immigration and war. I try to tell a story that can open up a view that people were not aware of previously.” Koren is now an international photojournalist and his work routinely appears in Time and Newsweek, among others “The sheer volatility of the region in which [Koren] lives and works, the rise of suicide bombers, and the ever changing face of Israeli politics made him (and still makes him) one of the chief documentors of a fascinating but bloodcurdling period in Israel’s history,” states the Canon review. Syd Padgett, owner of Oddfellows Art Gallery, took a long shot in mid-December and contacted Koren. Within a day, Koren personally and positively responded. Over the next month, through a flurry of emails, Koren and Padgett planned the Augusta exhibit. “I hope this exhibit gives the people of Augusta a wider view of the situation [in Israel]. The pictures of the soldiers with the children are especially eye-opening,” says Padgett. Poignant, gritty and heart-breaking at times, Koren’s photographs expose a reality with which most Americans have no connection – a country and a people torn by war. Koren’s exhibit will run through the end of April at Oddfellows Art Gallery, 301 8th Street in downtown Augusta. Find Oddfellows on Facebook. ZIVKOREN.COM
TIM TATE, LUST. COURTESY OF THE ARTIST.
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12 February 16, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com
MUSIC: THE AUGUSTA OPERA REDUX
After a Two Year Hiatus, the Opera Returns with a Passion The story unfolds in a convent in Siena, Italy during the latter part of the 17th century. Enter three nuns with three golden nights and three sinful desires. Add a poison drink, a suicide, a visit from the Virgin Mary and a miraculous reunion with a dead son. Sounds like premium prime time TV fare or a box office bestseller, right? Sultry, seductive and downright yummy. But, get this … it’s the opera! With its first performance in over two years, the Augusta Opera takes center stage this February at Sacred Heart Cultural Center. Presenting the divine music of worldrenowned operatic composer Giacomo Puccini and featuring the Crisantemi Quartet for Strings, The Passion of Puccini will surely seduce every palate – from firsttime patron to opera-sophisticate.
LEAD SOPRANO LINDSAY DAVIS
The Passion of Puccini tells the illustrious story of Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica), set in a convent. Love, loss, redemption and grace ensue as the story unfolds; releasing the drama and emotion that only opera can deliver. The cast is led by dramatic soprano and Augusta native Lindsay Davis, who will sing the title role. Mark Flint, another Augusta native and favorite, will serve as musical director and principal conductor. He will be accompanied by Carroll Freeman, Classical Singer Magazine’s 2010 Stage Director of the Year.
Puccini’s masterpiece is both musically and artistically enhanced in the Augusta Opera’s setting at Sacred Heart Cultural Center, as this idyllic backdrop conveys the culture of the convent and celebrates the triumphant acoustics. The setting also allows for the all-female cast to resonate impressively. In accompaniment will be the Augusta Children’s Chorale, the Augusta Opera Chorus and the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra. But Puccini isn’t the only one who’s got a story to tell… Where has the Augusta Opera been in recent years? Like many other entities, the Opera fell victim to a trying economy and was forced to close its doors in the fall of 2008. Today, following reorganization and downsizing, the Opera is an all-volunteer organization operating on a shoestring budget. In addition to this February’s performance, the Opera will host a “Night in Italy” at the Julian Smith Casino in May to generate financial support for its sustenance. Founded in 1967, the Augusta Opera is the oldest continually producing opera company in Georgia and South Carolina. Augusta is not just a town for opera stars to travel through on their way to other places. Here in Augusta, we birth and breed talent all our own – and we attract others to come to this place we call home. One such talent is the Opera’s Artistic Director, Ms. Tonya Currier, an accomplished concert, oratorio and chamber music performer who has appeared several times at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Currier’s brilliant voice and radiant stage presence have thrilled audiences in opera and concert halls across America. She received her degree from the Crane School of Music, earned her Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory and continued her studies at Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts. Under her direction, the Opera is slowly making a comeback and reestablishing itself as a vital part of the Augusta arts scene. by KRIS COOK
Plan to Go WHAT The Passion of Puccini WHERE Sacred Heart Cultural Center | 1301 Greene Street, Augusta WHEN Friday, February 25 and Saturday, February 26 at 8 pm | Sunday, February 27 at 3 pm TICKETS $20 to $35
BUY THEAUGUSTAOPERA.COM MORE | 706.364.9114
“An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I’ve left the opera house.” - MARIA CALLAS, AMERICAN SOPRANO
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14 February 16, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com
LOCAL: AUGUSTA LOCALLY GROWN
This Market Connects Farm to Table & Promotes Sustainable Living We drove up to the pavilion in Evans where Augusta Locally Grown meets. The tables were covered in plastic bags full of produce and other things. A few people were coming and going. I told the children I care for that we were going on an adventure to see a different kind of grocery store, where farmers bring fresh goods for their customers. Five-year-old Molly, upon seeing the pavilion, the bags and the people coming and going, said, “That is a little grocery store.” She’s right. Augusta Locally Grown is a small community of growers, farmers, bakers and artisans connecting directly to their customers, all of whom live and work in and around Augusta and are committed to sustainable living. Yet, this community thrives on being small. It is an online-based market whereby customers see what vendors have available each week, order a specific quantity of whatever they want, and then pick it up from a vendor drop-off location within a few days. They meet first at the Augusta Jewish Community Center in Evans, where the farmers drop off their goods and the first round of customers picks up on Tuesday afternoons. There are additional pick-up locations later that day at Fireside Outdoor Kitchens and Grills on Broad Street and at the Riverwood Plantation in Evans. Augusta Locally Grown is three years old and part of the Eric Wagoner’s Locally Grown Network whose original market is in Athens. According to their website, the purpose of the Locally Grown Network is “to find new and innovative ways to preserve greenspace, protect natural resources, support local economies, provide meaningful work and return to a more self-sufficient way of life.” Kim Hines, Augusta’s market owner and manager, was originally (and still is) a shiitake mushroom farmer who sold through Augusta Locally Grown. She took over from the founder and began hosting pick-ups and drop-offs at her home. Within a year, the market needed a more public location to accommodate the interest. “Once we were out in the public, we started running out of everything we were selling,” she says. Kim also had the community in mind when choosing her first location – the Augusta Jewish Community Center. “A place like Augusta Locally Grown belongs to the community,” she asserts. “People are committed to the idea that a community can feed itself,” says Kim. This is true of food, of course. But it also applies to the type of friendships that develop when a customer knows the person growing his food. Kim uses the recent ice storm as an example. Normally, we go to the grocery store and finding that there are no salad greens in stock, we leave empty-handed and frustrated. By contrast, when customers of Lazy Willow Farm heard that the ice had collapsed the LeGette family’s greenhouse, they understood why they had no greens. More than that, says Kim, “there was a shared sense of loss” about the family’s misfortune. Long-time customer Deborah Lewis says she buys from Augusta Locally Grown for three main reasons: the food is better, she is supporting local business and it’s good for the environment. Patricia Butler, who has been buying through the market for a month, says it’s always well-organized, the food is always fresh, and the price is right. She enthusiastically follows with “I haven’t found any bugs on anything!” “I hope you got my duck eggs!” exclaimed one customer on the Tuesday I visited, approaching Kim at the transaction table. A newer customer wondered aloud, “What do you do with duck eggs?” Immediately she was showered with suggestions. You can fry them like chicken eggs. They are great for baking because they are extra rich. Their chemical make-up makes them better for those who are allergic to chicken eggs. This week, a dozen basic chicken eggs was priced at $3.50. A pound of ground grass-fed beef was $5.00 and a pound of vine-ripened tomatoes was $3.00. A large loaf of artisan bread cost $6. The goods are a little more expensive than what you’d pay at a grocery store. The question is, are the prices worth it? “You are definitely making an investment in your local farmers,” agrees Kim. “We certainly attract people who can afford to invest, but we also have a number of middle-income people who just prioritize this kind of buying and eating.” Sustainability does seem to come with a price-tag, however, when you really look at what it means to live
TAKING FRESH MUFFINS HOME
“A place like Augusta Locally Grown belongs to the community. People are committed to the idea that a community can feed itself.” - KIM HINES, OWNER
a sustainable life – one that doesn’t have an expiration date and can be maintained easily over time when prioritized – it also seems like buying and eating local, all-natural, fresh foods is the obvious choice. There is a conception that this kind of organization caters to one type of person with a very specific political agenda and a narrow income range. Kim disagrees with this opinion. She says the main issues that drive people to purchase their food from local, sustainable farms are very non-political: personal health, concern over food safety and an interest in the community. Kim is also researching how to turn Augusta Locally Grown into a non-profit, which would allow it to reach out to would-be customers who can’t afford it. Non-profit status would also allow the market to expand into education, have organized internships for teens, participate with schools on community gardens and have cooking and grilling classes. Kim wants to raise up new generations of local, sustainable growers and artisans. Recently, the market had its most successful day yet, selling $3,200 worth of goods. 21 vendors participated, selling to 77 customers. Currently, there are 33 total vendors selling everything from soap to salad mix and about 300 people who receive weekly e-mails from Kim (though not everyone orders every week). According to Kim, the hardest part of her job is finding new vendors to meet the demand for goods. There are a lot of farmers, especially in south Augusta, but only a few have caught onto the idea of small, chemical-free operations. Kim wants to find farmers who are making cheeses, raising lambs and goats and a source for fresh South Carolina and Georgia seafood. The demand for new items grows every day. Augusta Locally Grown is creating a space where people learn to care for each other – and care about what they are putting in their stomach. I know something in me hungers for a connection with my food again, not only in cooking it well, but knowing where it came from and the person who nurtured and harvested it. This longing forces me to think about pollution and water supply – not as a problem that some massive, nameless farm in Iowa has to deal with – but as something the friend who grows chickens a couple of counties over worries about. They become my concern, too. The community who eats together, keeps together. | augusta.locallygrown.net by CHARLOTTE OKIE photos GABI HUTCHISON
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Your Pipeline to Upcoming Events
The Secret in Their Eyes
Monday, February 21 ASU University Hall, Room 170 | 7 pm | Free EDITOR’S NOTE: Free Monday night entertainment is still available and open to the public through March, courtesy of the ASU Spring Film Series. Unique cultural experiences await viewers of the series’ February 21st and 28th screenings.
Blue Man Group
Saturday, February 19 at 8 pm | Sunday, February 20 at 2 pm The Bell Auditorium | $55 to $65 Slathered in cobalt-blue greasepaint (which keeps their skulls glistening throughout each performance), Blue Man Group display their quirky, comic aesthetic with a combination of over-the-top theatrics, high-tech effects, lighting, loud rock-and-roll and comedic pratfalls. It’s a phenomenon that can’t really be described in words – especially as each show includes NO spoken language. The Chicago Reader touts the performances as conceptual theatre: “Blue Man Group offers a visceral education in the tenuous division between art and trash.” GEORGIALINATIX.COM
Sunday, February 20 Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers St. John United Methodist
This accomplished piano duo captured second prize in the Ellis Duo Piano Competition. Donations benefit Christ Community Health Center | 3 p.m.
February 21st brings an Argentinean drama awarded the prize for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2010 Oscars. EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS (The Secret in Their Eyes) finds a retired legal counselor (Ricardo Darin) recounting the events of a decadesold unresolved murder case while writing a novel based on the grizzly event. Reliving moments that resulted in an unfair lack of consequence for the killer also prompt him to deal with feelings of regret about an unrequited love for his superior. The film nearly swept Argentina’s version of the Academy Awards, earning top honors for acting, directing, writing, and 2009’s Best Film. It also won in two categories, including Best Spanish Language Foreign Film, at Spain’s Goya Awards. Juan Jose Campanella (Son of the Bride) directed this highly-acclaimed foreign drama.
Monday, February 21 Invisible Children
Augusta State University Amphitheater Join the efforts of Invisible Children to abolish the use of child soldiers in Africa. See Viewpoint on page 7 for more information. Free | 5:30 p.m. INVISIBLECHILDREN.COM
Monday, February 21 Wildtree Cooking Demo The Firehouse | Hammond’s Ferry
Learn how to prepare quick, healthy and flavorful meals with grapeseed oil. RSVP to Wendy: 804.613.1641. Free | 6:45 p.m.
Tuesday, February 22 Trio Intermezzo St. Paul’s Church
Ruth Berry on cello, Kelly Odell on oboe and Kevin Pollack on piano. Free | Noon
Friday, February 25 | 7:30 pm Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre (ASU) | $25 “Cohen’s shining violin playing had ideal counterparts in Ell’s elegance and Gutman’s vivid, nuanced pianism.” – CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER
Abounding with youthful energy and flawless technique, Trio Terzetto captured first prize at the prestigious 2010 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition for emerging professional chamber ensemble. Individually, the members of Trio Terzetto – violinist Diana Cohen, cellist Tanya Ell, pianist Renana Gutman – have performed worldwide as soloists, chamber musicians and orchestral players. Collectively, they shine with a natural musicality that enchants the ear. HJCMS.ORG
16 February 16, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com
Kings of Pastry
Monday, February 28 ASU University Hall, Room 170 | 7 pm | Free A different kind of drama greets series viewers on February 28th. KINGS OF PASTRY gives viewers an insider look at Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, a sort of three-day-long culinary Olympics held every four years in Lyon which makes reality shows like Top Chef look like child’s play. The winners among the creators of cakes, chocolates and intricate sugar sculptures are chosen by President Nicolas Sarkozy and awarded a prestigious red, white and blue collar. Grown men will cry over broken creations, but victory is sweet for those who succeed. This documentary from directors Chris Hedegus and D.A. Pennebaker marks the first time video cameras were allowed to film the competition. AUG.EDU | by MARIAH GARDNER
Art | Theatre | Music | Film | More
Wednesday, February 23 | 7:30 pm Fat Man’s Mill Cafe | $12 to $15 worlds in her art: the United States and Ireland. She overlays Irish jig music with Motown rhythms. She writes songs that view America through the lens of her Irish heritage. According to America’s former Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, Cathie sings “songs of place, songs of memory, poignant songs of the heart.” Cathie’s parents were first generation Irish immigrants
Opens Friday, February 25 | 7 pm Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre | $40 The timeless tale of boy-meets-girl and the complications which ensue intrigue every audience, and no musical puts it on stage better than Anything Goes – especially when it’s wrapped around one of Cole Porter’s magical scores. Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre masterfully tells the comical love jumble of Billy Crocker, an accidental stowaway on a transatlantic voyage, who is in love with heiress Hope Harcourt, who is engaged to marry Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, who is interested in Reno Sweeney, a sexy Enter Reno Sweeney – a sexy Evangelist turned nightclub singer – who has a yen for Billy. Mix in a few gangsters, some F.B.I. agents, and a few Chinese converts - it’s a wonder that all the romances are sorted out and disaster is averted aboard the magical ship where Anything Goes! Anything Goes features some of Porter’s most well-known songs, including “It’s De-Lovely” and “I Get A Kick Out Of You.” The show opens on February 25th and continues through March 12th. Dinner is served at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. For reservations, call 706.793.8552. FORTGORDON.COM
Traditional Irish musician Cathie Ryan bridges two
who presented their children Irish music as a joyous “soundtrack” to their hardscrabble life. The sounds of their new home in Detroit, Michigan soon bled into the ones of their homeland, as Cathie’s father introduced her to Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline. Cathie’s love of American music was born. When touring as the lead singer for Cherish the Ladies, an Irish female vocal group, Cathie first experienced the American South. “I fell in love with it,” she remembers. “There is a lusciousness about the landscape, and such generosity of spirit among the people. I find a link to Ireland in the way Southerners appreciate music.” Her sound is very diverse. She sings traditional Irish music, of course, but she also loves traditional music of all kinds. Cathie is a true folk artist, with a repertoire of American songs and African rhythms, as well as her original music. She’ll be coming to Augusta fresh from Savannah’s Irish Festival, with guitarist Patsy O’Brien and fiddler Matt Mancuso. Cathie has played near Augusta once before, at the Thomson Depot in 2005, where her audience was from all over the region and very enthusiastic. It’s looking like she’ll have a similar reception in 2011. Lillie Morris, the organizer for this month’s show, says she’s already sold many of the tickets. “[Cathie] has such a beautiful voice and such a varied program, anyone who appreciates good music will enjoy her show,” says Lillie. The Irish Times calls Cathie Ryan “...a songwriter of substance [whose] distinctive soprano has pushed hard at the boundaries of [the] Celtic...song tradition.... a formidable solo performer.” Nashville City Paper affirms that “any and everyone that enjoys a majestic performer should hear Ryan’s music.” Her music reflects the warmth, the generosity, the can-do spirit in the face of hard times that characterize both the Irish and the American South. Tickets may be purchased at Fat Man’s Mill Cafe or by calling 706.733.1740 or 706.267.5416. The Cafe is located in Enterprise Mill. | by CHARLOTTE OKIE
You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown
Opens Friday, February 25 | 8 pm Imperial Theatre | $15 to $41 “Happiness is morning and evening, daytime and nighttime, too.” Join the happiness – and innocent trials and tribulations – of America’s favorite Peanuts characters as they take the stage in the Augusta Player’s presentation of the Tony Award winning musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Based on the comic strip by Charles M. Schultz, the musical bounces tunefully through a day in the life of the inept but ever hopeful Charlie Brown and his gang. The lovable characters sing and dance their way through a series of vignettes that are both funny and thought provoking. (Who can forget the memorable scene of Snoopy, replete in his WWI flying ace uniform, defying the imaginary Red Baron fighter atop his doghouse?) The fresh face of Wes Hennings (Stevens Creek Community Church technical producer) makes the perfect Charlie Brown. He’s joined by other Augusta Player’s veterans Ryan Abel (Linus), Paul Jones (Schroeder), Pen Chance (Snoopy), Katie Reagan (Lucy) and Grace Bellmer (Sally). Additional performances are on Saturday, February 26th at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 27th at 3 p.m.
Third Annual Oscar Party Casa Blanca Café Sunday, February 27 | 6 pm | $20
One of the most anticipated nights each year – the Annual Academy Awards – is upon us. As celebrities wait anxiously for their name to be called, you can be walking the red carpet and have your own keepsake picture taken with a real Oscar at Casa Blanca Café. It’s a celebration of the movies people love to watch and discuss, complete with food inspirited by this year’s Academy Award nominees, such as Best Picture nominees Black Swan, Inception, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours and True Grit. There’s also a chance to win (no, not an Oscar) some great prizes. Pre-paid reservations only with limited seating. Get your tickets at Casa Blanca Café, located at 936 Broad Street in the White’s Building. CASABLANCATIME.COM
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18 February 16, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com
fresh food bites
Reviving the Chicken Burger
CHOW BELLA: A NEW DIRECTION
My Journey to Eating Healthier and Locally
Since 1826, when the term “hamburger” first appeared in print on a U.S. menu, Americans have enjoyed cookedup patties of ground beef on a bun. The combination of a burger, fries and shake eventually became such a part of ‘50s American pop culture that, at one point, it almost seemed un-American NOT to like hamburgers. Ironically, hamburgers are neither American in origin nor do they generally contain ham.
I am beginning a new year with new directions. Not the fictional high school glee club, but a fresh look at what is important to us. Regardless of past attempts and failures at living out our New Year’s resolutions (we will wipe those from memory), how can we make a change in our lives when it comes living better, creating better and, specifically, eating better?
Over the years, the word “burger” has become associated with many different types of sandwiches and most similar to the hamburger. However, most Americans seem to prefer the traditional American version made of red ground beef on a white sesame seed bun. This version not only sticks to your taste buds, but to your waist, hips, and “boo-tay!”
As a procrastinator and a lover of convenience, I will attest to a past of bad food choices. Quick and tasty, in most cases, means a bodily assault in the near and distant future. In 2010, my family and I finally had enough; not only did we have a desire to eat better but also hoped for other benefits that comes with a healthier organic diet.
While turkey burgers have grown more and more popular, burgers made with ground chicken have gotten a bad rap for tasting… well, a bit “fowl.” It seems these poultry patties always end up tasting like a rubber chicken – but, not anymore. Check out this take on a recipe my drummer’s wife makes for us on some practice days. It tastes so good we don’t even care that the burgers don’t leave greasy manbattle marks on our clothing.
Since we started to change our eating habits, I’ve been virtually migraine free. Previously, a rare week went by where I did not suffer from a seemingly endless, skull-splitting, nauseating headache. For the past three months, I’ve had only one, which has been a true godsend. I also have noticed a definite change in my mood – I’m happier and have less gloomy days.
Im-peck-able Chicken & Spinach Burgers
Based on our initial success, our family has been choosing local organic food to make this change, as we are able. Truthfully, it’s been a struggle. In order to eat locally grown, organic foods, you have be intentional. You have to make a schedule and stick to it; planning meals based on what is available locally that week. The changing availability makes it wonderful and varied, but can be exhausting in the planning. Then, converting the family to a natural diet is a difficult task. It’s hard to convince my husband and daughter to substitute (rather delicious and addictive) junk foods and sodas for healthier, but less exciting snacks. The price of local foods doesn’t always line up with our budget, so we buy locally when we can afford it. Surprisingly, the cost is not as high as I originally thought, if I plan ahead with food from local shares and co-ops. We use Augusta Locally Grown for a bulk of our groceries and purchase the rest at the grocery store.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 clove of garlic, crushed 1 red onion, chopped 1 10-ounce box of frozen spinach, defrosted 2 teaspoons dried oregano, lightly crushed 1/4 pound feta crumbles 1 1/3 pounds ground chicken or turkey breast, 1 tablespoon grill seasoning 1. Dry out defrosted spinach by twisting in clean kitchen towel over sink. 2. Separate spinach and add to bowl with onions, garlic and season plus 1 teaspoon of oregano. 3. Toss in feta crumbles then chicken or turkey, grill seasoning and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. 4. Mix well and form into 4 one-inch-thick patties. 5. Heat up a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add a little extra-virgin olive oil then add garlic and red onion and cook 5 minutes. 6. Place the onions and garlic to a bowl to cool and return pan to heat. 7. Raise heat on pan to medium-high. Add patties and cook 6 minutes on each side.
With an average count of 320 calories and hitting close to 30 grams of protein, these tasty burgers are not necessarily an alternative to a hamburger, but a healthy addition.
by JOHN “STONEY” CANNON John believes that anyone can learn to eat healthier - in small steps - taking one bite at a time.
Finally, you must be committed to cooking your purchased food. I have to plan ahead for meals and, although it is very rewarding, it is also time consuming. Sundays have become a “Plan and List” day for what we are eating the rest of the week. Sometimes, the amount of time all this planning, cooking and effort takes is cumbersome and unpleasant. When times like this occur, we just remember how we feel when we eat the junk food and that can motivate us to make a conscious decision more readily. We do have moments of weakness where we bend to the quick and easy, only to regret it later. More often, the change has been noticeable enough to keep us motivated.
I share of this to say that this column – Chow Bella – will begin to focus on the journey of eating at home; healthier, simpler, naturally, organically and locally. I won’t forget to include some natural, delicious desserts in the mix and occasionally mention local eateries that are doing it right. So, I am going to kick this column and its new direction off with a recipe for a simple, white bread you can make at home. I found the recipe in a book called the How to Cook Cookbook (which I recommend for people who want to learn the basics in a visually appealing manner). You won’t need a bread machine (I am not a fan of unitaskers), but you will need patience and a little resilience. At first (if you are like me) you will “totally bomb” the first round of bread. I equate my first attempt at bread to baked sadness, otherwise known as the “Loaf of Disappointment.” It turned out like a big, bready egg, hard shell on the outside, with a doughy soft center. I rolled up my sleeves and tackled another round. My second attempt was a much better result - delicious, warm bread. I even made french toast from it and that’s a plus for me. Hopefully, you will only need the one chance. Enjoy your home baked bread and a new year with new directions and unlimited possibilities. I will be learning along with you. article and photos by ELIZABETH BENSON
from chow bella’s kitchen: BASIC WHITE BREAD
Delicious home-baked bread that’s perfect for French Toast
INGREDIENTS: 4 cups white bread flour (plus extra for dusting) 1 tablespoon melted butter DIRECTIONS:
One packet of yeast 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
1. Mix the flour, salt and yeast together in a mixing bowl. 2. Add the melted butter and water and stir until the dough is soft. 3. Put the dough back in the mixing bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, let it rise for an hour. It should double in size. 4. After rising, knead the dough for 30 seconds again to make it smooth once more. 5. Shape the dough into a rectangle the length of the pan, and three times the width. Grease the pan, fold the dough lengthwise three times. Place in the pan with the fold facing downwards. 6. Cover and allow to rise for another 30 minutes. The dough should rise above the pan. 7. Preheat oven to 425 F. Bake the dough in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown in color. The bread should easily slide out of the pan. 8. Cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes, (I didn’t have a cooling rack so I cooled it on some towels I laid out on the dining room table) and then it is ready to eat. Enjoy!
vergelive.com | community driven news | February 16, 2011 19
LIVE MUSIC: HINDER + KOPEK + SAVING ABEL Saving Abel returns to Augusta on heels of success with chart-topping Miss America When Saving Abel perform
at the Country Club this month, it will be the Corinth, Mississippi, band’s third visit to Augusta. Their first concert took place in 2008 at Sky City. Two months later, they were on a sold-out, multi-band package at the James Brown Arena. They’re returning as part of a seemingly never-ending tour behind their successful second album, Miss America.
Saving Abel’s foundation is guitarist Jason Null and vocalist Jared Weeks. They began as an acoustic duo whose original material was strong enough to impress producer Skidd Mills, who agreed to take on the project and help hone it into a band. Under Mills’ guidance they added drummer Blake Dixon, then bassist Eric Taylor. Guitarist Scott Bartlett came in to do some session work on the recordings and Mills knew he’d found the missing member. When the band tracked their self-titled debut with Mills in Memphis [Note: The producer has since relocated to Nashville.], he recalls, “They all had jobs, lived in Corinth and had never been on an airplane.” Fast-forward to the making of Miss America and Mills notes, “Musically, there was a slight shift toward that mainstream rock thing. After two years of touring, they were pretty solid when they came back. They were tired, but really solid. Especially the rhythm section — you could just tell they had been playing together for two years, and that’s something you can’t create.” Jason Null and Scott Bartlett, Saving Abel’s guitar team, offered insight into the band’s sound, influences and how their own styles merge to create a unique rock/country/blues hybrid. SAVING ABEL by pamela litky
VERGE: In the six years that you’ve been together, how has your playing changed? NULL: I’d like to have time to practice and woodshed like I used to, because a lot of good things come out of that. I write more and that’s good for the band. If you listen to the first record, on “Beautiful Day” there’s a lot of different production to the drums. They catered to the song. This record is more cohesive. We kept the same guitars and amps and the same formula from the first to last song. BARTLETT: As far as playing and touring relentlessly, we all feel that our playing suffered, but our performances have gotten better. We know our parts; we can get in front of 60,000 people and not be nervous. There are only so many ways you can play those songs, versus being in Memphis and playing five genres of music at the same time and being well-rounded. [Note: Bartlett moved from Baltimore to Memphis at 18 and was in high demand for stage and session work when he joined Saving Abel.] You have to learn the tricks of the trade, modify, adapt and do what the fans expect you to do best, which is play your songs. Our sound has evolved because of our fans. “Addicted” was the last song we wrote for the first record, and it put us on the map and brought us tremendous success. We fell into that success and used it as a launching pad for the second record. VERGE: How are your styles different and similar? NULL: I came into my own as a guitar player listening to bands like Mr. Big, Warrant, Poison and Tora Tora. A lot of my style comes from that era. I married the old-style guitar riffs, like Blackfoot, into a pop sound over 1980s Bon Jovi and Poison. Scott has stuck to his roots, which are the Allman Brothers and Marshall Tucker. He is a much more skilled player, and when we get into the writing process, I come up with a riff and he comes up with harmonies and lead lines that make the riffs stand out. I can tell if it will be a Saving Abel song by what he plays behind it, whether
it’s something we want to proceed with. It’s give and take. If he comes up with a riff, we work differently. I marry his riff with something I have and he plays over what I have. BARTLETT: Jason, to me, is a very interesting guitar player. He exudes ideas, and thank God we roll tape, because he has a hard time playing the same thing twice. [Laughs.] I was a classical guitar major with my own feel and style, and a studio technician and I come at it like that. To a certain degree I always want to be perfect, but I got into playing guitar to express myself, not because of the science. Rock and roll is not supposed to be perfect. Jason comes up with rhythmic parts and I get to be me over that. I used to come at other guitar players … I wanted to write all the parts because I was enamored with the Allman Brothers, but you’ve got to let a guitarist be himself and not try to make him an extension of you. We work well together, but there is no exact science for why. VERGE: Since joining Saving Abel, what has changed and what has stayed the same? NULL: With the success we’ve had, it’s good to know that the hard work has paid off and I wasn’t wrong for quitting being a store manager at Kmart and making good money. For someone who never went to college, in our town I was one of the highest-paid citizens. I look back and see those late nights sitting up, trying to figure out how to design a website and put music out there and it has paid off. We get to do what we love. BARTLETT: We got famous, but it’s a team, not just the band. It’s label, management, everybody. We have the opportunity to tour for ten or eleven months a year, [then we] cross our fingers and hope it connects. It could happen to anybody, and somehow it happened to us. Everything was aligned perfectly. We’re not where we want to be yet, but we have definitely laid the foundation.
Hinder hits top charts in spite of critics predictions “Critics,” KISS front-man
Gene Simmons once noted, “are an unnecessary lifeform on the planet Earth, and here’s why: because it’s a job without credentials. You don’t have to go to school. …A critic has no credibility whatsoever. He doesn’t even need a license to be a critic. He just sort of says, ‘I’m a critic.’ And then you are.”
Alongside KISS, few bands know this better than Hinder. Vocalist Austin Winkler, bassist Mike Rodden, guitarists Joe Garvey and Mark King and drummer Cody Hanson had the distinction of watching their major label debut album, 2005’s Extreme Behavior, land on a “one of the year’s worst” lists, which didn’t, shall we say, hinder it from selling over 3 million copies. So much for those “unnecessary life forms.”
SAVING ABEL by pamela littky
In early December 2010, Hinder released their third album, All American Nightmare, co-produced by Hanson and Kevin Churko. (Take It To The Limit, Hinder’s sophomore disc, was released in 2008 and elevated the group to headline status.) AAN’s title
20 February 16, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com
by ALISON RICHTER
track and first single became most added at rock radio and their top debut on Active and Mainstream Rock formats. Nothing new for the hard rock band from Oklahoma, as they’ve enjoyed a string of Top 5 Rock singles and a multi-format No. 1 smash with “Lips Of An Angel.” Cody Hanson spoke to verge about the making of All American Nightmare.
VERGE: You did a lot of demoing and pre-production, with 70 songs going into the album. How hands-on was the band during the paring down process? HANSON: We wrote over 70 and demoed 50 of them. I was constantly grabbing band members to get their input, which they would give here and there, but for the most part, with that stuff I’m kind of a control freak. Nobody wants to be that guy in the back of the bus, working in the studio, but I enjoy it. The band has always been my life, and I have put every ounce of what I have into Hinder, so it’s really fun and rewarding for me to do. VERGE: Bass players and guitarists can sometimes practice on the road. What are your options in that capacity? HANSON: Actually, on the last tour there wasn’t any room for
LIVE MUSIC: HINDER + KOPEK + SAVING ABEL Kopek’s dreams of rising to the top come true Every new band
has a story, and in the case of Kopek, that story is filled with almost a decade’s worth of hard work, empty promises and false starts — until now. With their debut album, the hard-rocking White Collar Lies, scheduled for release on March 1, vocalist/guitarist Daniel Jordan, bassist Brad Kinsella and drummer Shane Cooney, hit the long-deserved jackpot when they landed the opening slot on the Hinder/Saving Abel tour. They are joined on the road by Nashville guitarist Luke Nyhus. Loud, gritty, blues-injected tracks like “Cocaine Chest Pains” and “Love Is Dead” have become radio and media favorites. From virtual unknowns to virtual pandemonium, Kopek are receiving a hero’s welcome at every stop. It is, says Cooney, “the culmination of lifelong dreams come true for a band that began as childhood friends and neighbors in Dublin.” KOPEK
VERGE: When did you join the tour and how are you adjusting? COONEY: This is our first major tour and with guys like Hinder, My Darkest Days [Note: MDD is on the tour through February 23rd] and Saving Abel, the support, the crowds and the response at shows and on Facebook, it’s been overwhelming. We’re trying to hang on for dear life and loving every minute of it! We really work hard on our music and love what we do. Having the chance to tour and having this reaction is absolutely unbelievable. VERGE: When did you find out you had the tour and when did it sink in that this was finally happening for you? COONEY: We found out in November  and we started working on the show and getting everything ready. We came to Nashville on January 15th for rehearsals and to get our equipment and get on the ball. We haven’t stopped since we heard the news. A lot of things have happened over the years, incredible things have happened and we’d take calls and they’d say something’s going to happen, then 60 percent of the time it doesn’t pan out. The budget gets cut; the dates get canceled. We’ve been in and out of these things for so long that we’re all used to it, as a band, to take a lesson, work hard and go for
“We’re trying to hang on for dear life and loving every minute of it! We really work hard on our music and love what we do.” - SHANE COONEY, KOPEK DRUMMER
it, and if it happens, great, and if not, that’s life. So really, we only believed it when we landed in Nashville and started getting ready. And then you just have to grab it with both hands. VERGE: Although it’s only been a few weeks, do you already see changes in your show? COONEY: Absolutely. Obviously, playing every night, we have seen improvements on every angle. We’d grown into being a three-piece and now we’re a four-piece. Luke helps us with background vocals and guitars. These guys, the shows they put on — they’ve been doing this for a long time. The smartest thing we can do is learn from them and improve every night from playing and watching them.
“The band has always been my life, and I have put every ounce of what I have into Hinder.” - CODY HANSON, HINDER DRUMMER
me. I had my Pro Tools rig in the back of the bus and I was working on that. Before that, I had an electronic kit on the road and I would sit in the back and practice as much as I could, [at least] three or four hours a day. I’m so much into recording now that I was more about doing that on the road. I do as much as I can of both when we’re touring. VERGE: How did you hone your production chops? HANSON: It happened by paying attention and working with a co-producer on our records. You learn as you go. We try to learn everything we can and we’re not proud people who think we know everything. You never stop learning and getting better and like anything else, it takes practice. VERGE: What got you started on drums? Was it a particular record or drummer? HANSON: I remember every time I’d go to a concert or watch a show, for some reason I was glued to the drummer. Even now, I play guitar and it seems to come naturally to me, but when I go to a show, I’m still glued to the drummer. It’s a very challenging, interesting instrument to me.
VERGE: Some people in the audience will see and hear you for the first time. What should they know about Kopek? COONEY: We’re a proper rock and roll band, and if you look at the reviews, you’ll see that we’re getting a great reaction on this tour. We love it when the people who don’t know us come up afterward and tell us that they loved the show. I’d say that if you’re looking for something out of the blue that will grab you musically, then get to the show early, get right in the front and get ready!
VERGE: What do you think is “with” all the drummer jokes? Don’t they realize that all you have to do is speed up a fraction of a beat and you can ruin the whole band? Drummers are the Rodney Dangerfields of rock and roll: they “don’t get no respect.”
by ALISON RICHTER
See The Show
HANSON: I will never understand that. If you’re going to make jokes about somebody, make them about the bass player! Everybody in the band can make mistakes all day long, but if the drummer makes one, it throws everybody off. We have a lot of pressure, I think. VERGE: All American Nightmare was advanced to media with a link to “Put That Record On,” a cool song with an equally cool and different video. What’s the story? HANSON: We were in Nashville, my favorite place — if I were ever to move, that’s where I’d go — and Austin had the first line about the Stones. He said, “What you think about this?” I said, “Cool.” We came up with a concept. It’s not original, it’s been done before, but to write a song about our favorite songs and our favorite bands and work in the titles and the lyrics — at last count I figured out 50 titles hidden within the lyrics — it’s pretty cool to do it and make it make sense. We sent a sample to a radio station and people were reacting to that song and loving it. It was the label’s idea to put a video together and send it out. It’s never a bad idea to get music out to people. by ALISON RICHTER
WHAT 95 Rock Presents Hinder + Saving Abel + Kopek WHERE The Country Club 2834 Washington Road | Augusta WHEN Thursday, February 24 at 8 pm TICKETS $22 | 21+
BUY ETIX.COM MORE | HINDERMUSIC.COM
vergelive.com | community driven news | February 16, 2011 21
THE FILM REEL
Cheese and Action February isn’t particularly known for debuting award-winning movies. With Valentine’s romantic comedies behind us, all the month has left to offer is a little action, a little horror and a big chunk of cheese. February 18th brings a paranormal teenage adventure and romance targeted at Twilight fans. I AM NUMBER FOUR was adapted from the recently-released novel written by James Frey and Jobie Hughes under the pen name Pittacus Lore. The story focuses on a group of nine teenagers who are the last survivors among a race of extraterrestrials called Loriens. They’re living separately on Earth to evade enemy aliens looking to end their race. As the story goes, a charm was placed upon the Loriens requiring them to be killed in succession. The first three have been killed. John Smith, our protagonist, is Number Four.
John and his handler, Henri (Timothy Olyphant, TV’s Justified), live a somewhat nomadic life. When they move to Paradise, Ohio, John goes to high school where he meets his first love (Glee star Dianna TENSION MOUNTS IN I AM NUMBER FOUR Agron), makes a real friend and learns he is developing superpowers. Enemies inevitably come after him and John decides to fight for the life he has come to enjoy. A fellow Lorien and gifted fighter, Number Six (Teresa Palmer), joins him in an effort to take down the bad guys and preserve their race. Up-and-coming British actor Alex Pettyfer plays John/Number Four. D.J. Caruso (Disturbia) directs this film from explosion-happy producer Michael Bay (Transformers), so expect a few fiery blasts. Liam Neeson has noticeably been one of Hollywood’s busiest veteran actors since the January 2009 release of his action film, Taken. This week Neeson plays Dr. Martin Harris, a man who gets into a car accident in Berlin, ends up in a coma for four days and wakes only to find another man (Aidan Quinn) has taken his identity – and his wife in UNKNOWN. Harris isn’t crazy, he’s part of an intricate conspiracy and he intends to get to the bottom of the deception no matter how many bad guys he has to take down. Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds) plays a taxi driver and Harris’ only ally. Frank Langella and CONSPIRACY OR LUNACY IN UNKNOWN? January Jones also star. Where Martin Lawrence is concerned, cheesy comedy is a gross understatement. Somebody must be laughing though, because a third installment of Lawrence’s Big Momma’s House comedies hits theatres on February 18th. In BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON, Lawrence resumes his role as FBI agent Malcolm Turner. He and his son (Brandon T. Jackson) are forced to go undercover, don fat suits and dress in drag to hide from a killer after they witness a murder. They hide out in an all-girls school, a setting ripe for comic relief through sexual tension. February 25th openers include Nicolas Cage playing a man who breaks out of hell to rescue his baby granddaughter from the cult that killed his daughter in DRIVE ANGRY 3D. Oh yeah, he’s being pursued by the devil’s right-hand man who wants to bring him back to hell, too. Other openers include Julianne Moore in the horror thriller SHELTER, in which she plays a psychologist whose patient (Jonathan RhysMeyers) exhibits multiple personalities, most of which are those of murder victims. HALL PASS stars Owen Wilson and SNL’s Jason Sudeikis as married men who take their wives for granted. Things get interesting when the ladies (Christina Applegate, Jenna Fischer) give them a week off from marriage to do whatever they like without consequence. This comedy comes from Peter and Bobby Farrelly, the creative brothers behind other immature male fantasy comedies like There’s Something About Mary, Shallow Hal and The Heartbreak Kid. Billy Burke as Jonah King in Drive Angry
by MARIAH GARDNER, MOVIE GURU
22 February 16, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com
LIVE MUSIC: TAPROOT COMES TO THE VUE
A Work Ethic Made of Metal Underlies Band’s Success
“We always keep
our heads up
and move forward, reassess and try to be stronger. Despite the ups and downs, we’re still together.” – PHILLIP LIPSCOMB
For over a decade, Taproot’s hard and heavy, blistering metal has remained a constant in the studio and on the road. Their latest release, Plead The Fifth, stays true to the sound that has developed a widespread, loyal fan base for drummer Nick Fredell, bassist Phillip Lipscomb, vocalist Stephen Richards and guitarist Michael DeWolf. The disc is their first for Victory Records, following three albums for Atlantic and one independently released project. While the music speaks for itself, and to millions, what enables the band to forge onward and upward, says Phillip Lipscomb, is Taproot’s work ethic. “It’s our biggest strength,” he says. “We always keep our heads up and move forward, reassess and try to be stronger. Despite the ups and downs, we’re still together.”
phases to this band: time off, time spent recording and time on the road playing the songs and having fun rocking out every night. In the studio, you focus on the creative aspect, and it’s really fun when it all comes together. This record came together quickly and there’s a sense of accomplishment in that. At the same time, there are strong relationships within the band. It would get old if we tried to write every day with the same guys, so it’s easier to be challenged when it’s time to come together with that desire to create.
VERGE: Five albums in since your label debut, where do you see the progression?
10 with those numbers [Note: Cake’s Showroom of Compassion sold 44,000 units its first week of release].
VERGE: Taproot is known for the energy of the live shows. How do you hold on to that in the studio?
LIPSCOMB: Each album is different from the one before, and we try to grow. The first one [Gift, 2000] is special because it’s everything we did before we were signed. We recorded what we had done with very few changes and by the release of the next album [Welcome, 2002], we had done two Ozzfests and it was the first real record we took time to write. Each one has progressed from there. Some were recorded in Michigan, some in L.A. and I know exactly where we were, what we were doing and what we felt at each time.
VERGE: So many bands don’t make it past the first or second year. Have there been times when Taproot was close to calling it a day? What has been the key to survival?
LIPSCOMB: It’s tough, honestly. This record is the closest we’ve come to capturing the rawness. How? I don’t know; we just try to keep it while we’re writing. Now that I think about it, maybe it’s because we had such a short time frame to write and record this album, versus months and months for others. The bass and drum tracks may have been the first few times we played them, because literally we had just written the songs, so it was a very organic process of rewriting in the studio with no time to hash it out. We were signed in November and the record came out in April. Usually we take that much time for the writing process, so we had to be energetic and spontaneous because that was all the time we had. It made for a kick-a** record.
VERGE: How did the deal with Victory Records come about and what made them the right label? LIPSCOMB: We enjoyed the freedom of being on our own, but we needed the push, connections and strength of a label to back us up. Victory has the best of both worlds: we can do things on our own and in conjunction with them. When I call them, I talk to somebody right away and decisions are made fairly quickly. With large labels, you have to jump through the hoops of all the departments just to get a “yes” answer. VERGE: The industry has changed so much, not only over the past decade, but also in the past two or three years. What’s good and bad about the state of the industry? Can you imagine being a new band and trying to make it today? LIPSCOMB: No! We’ve been able to have a fresh start and at the same time to do it with Victory, but we have a solid following and we never had to go back to square one. It’s difficult, it’s oversaturated, people are trying to find a formula to make things work again. They’re trying to get on track. Fans are starting to buy music again and support bands on the road; they buy tickets and merch. But Cake just had the number one record, and five years ago they wouldn’t have broken the Top
LIPSCOMB: Before we were signed, we would go to shows and hang out together. Now we have homes and families; we’re married and have kids and separate lives. We’re friends and we’re close, but we have no desire to see each other anymore off the road, because a month or two down the line we’re back together and we’re going to see each other every single day, so there’s no rush of “I’ve got to see him again soon!” [laughs] VERGE: How do you continue challenging each other? Are you still focusing on “the riff, the groove and the growl,” to quote from your bio, and how have those changed or grown over a decade of finessing them?
Taproot performs at The Vue on February 26. by ALISON RICHTER
LIPSCOMB: We all like music so much and there are three
See The Show WHO Taproot + Almost Kings + Me Talk Pretty + Sugar Bob WHERE The Vue | 469 Highland Avenue| Augusta WHEN Saturday, February 26 | 7 pm TICKETS TBA BUY 706.364.0786 WHY Taproot is “now a very bizarre yet beautiful band... one
moment like Alice In Chains, the next like Korn and the next like nothing you’ve ever heard.” - Sputnik Music
MORE | TAPROOTMUSIC.COM
vergelive.com | community driven news | February 16, 2011 23
Twice as Loud
Double Shot of Rock There was a time, many years ago, when my life revolved around the flash and fun of ‘80s hair metal. My record collection was my bible and MTV’s Head Banger’s Ball, my church. Every Saturday night at midnight, I would congregate with the rest of the faithful for a weekly service of bombastic rock and roll. While it’s true that I was baptized by the sounds of ‘70s bands such as Kiss and Ted Nugent, the ‘80s brought forth a revival that would take rock and metal to new heights. Even in a concert-starved city like Augusta, it was hard not to notice that there was more to the flash and glamour of Los Angeles California than just movies. Unfortunately, only a handful of these bands dared to venture into the “Garden City.” Over two decades later, long-time metal fan and Rock Bottom Music owner Jonathan Karow looks to rectify the past by bringing what’s left of the ‘80s hair metal alumni to town. Already hooking fans up with visits by L.A. Guns and Adler’s Appetite, Karow’s “Arena Rock Series” continues with a double dose of rock as former Scream/Motley Crue/ Ratt/Union guitarist/vocalist John Corabi takes over Metro a Coffee House & Pub on the 21st and dark groove hair rockers Bang Tango roll into Sky City on the 26th. The name John Corabi may sound familiar —think back to the cutout bin classic Motley Crue self-titled release in 1994. That’s right; Corabi is the guy who replaced Vince Neil in the Crue. Unfortunately for Corabi, despite being more talented musically and vocally than Neil, Crue fans weren’t about to accept anyone other than Neil as frontman. Fortunately for rock fans, Corabi chose not to throw in the towel. Corabi formed the band Union with former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick in the late 1990s, resulting in three great releases before becoming quite the post-millennium journeyman touring and/or recording with a myriad of bands, including ‘80s hair metal darlings Ratt. These days, Corabi fronts his own band, occasionally pulling out the acoustic guitar and running through songs from his musical past. Hollywood, California’s Bang Tango found itself lumped in with hair bands from the ‘80s despite riding a slightly funkier rock sound to success at the start of the 1990s. While the band released the self-produced EP Live Injection and its major label debut Psycho Café in 1989, it wasn’t until 1990 that Bang Tango landed firmly in the rock mainstream. The band followed up with the 1991 release Dancing on Coals and 1992’s Ain’t No Jive…Live! (their highest charting release) before parting ways with label MCA. Two more releases on two different independent labels came before the band split in the mid-nineties. The next decade saw a mix of live and greatest hits compilations before Perris Records released From the Hip in 2006. While it’s been over 20 years since John Corabi and Bang Tango broke out of the final strains of the L.A./Hollywood hair metal scene, it has also taken just as long for both to make it to the CSRA. Augusta, get your rocks off while you can! by JOHN “STONEY” CANNON
See the Show
See the Show
WH0 John Corabi - Acoustic WHERE Metro A Coffee House &
WH0 Bang Tango + Sylis + Dirty
Pub | 1054 Broad Street WHEN Monday, February 21 | 9 pm TIX $5 ADV & $7 DOOR| 21+ BUY At Rock Bottom Music MORE | Free All Ages Meet & Greet at Rock Bottom Music at 5:30 pm
Blue Dress + Nobody’s Fault WHERE Sky City | 1157 Broad St. WHEN Saturday, February 26 | 9 pm TIX $10 ADV & $15 DOOR | 21+ BUY Rock Bottom Music & ETIX.COM MORE | Free All Ages Meet & Greet at Rock Bottom Music at 5:30 pm
24 February 16, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com
BLUEWAVE NEWGRASS? SOUTHERN COUNTRY ROCK The Packway Handle Band
Blackberry Smoke introduced Augustans to their hard-driving mix of rock, country and Southern rock in late 2009, shortly after the release of their major label debut, Little Piece of Dixie. At that time, Brit Turner – drums, Charlie Starr – vocals/guitar/ pedal steel/banjo, Richard Turner – bass/vocals, Brit Turner – drums, Paul Jackson – guitar/vocals and Brandon Still – keyboards, were on the road with Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Southerners typically view Athens, Georgia, as the mecca of new, cutting edge music. While that is true, Athens also produces groups that have their roots deep in classic, traditional music. One such group is Packway Handle Band who will be playing at Stillwater Taproom on February 18th. While these full-time musicians are a part of the current bluegrass revival, they haven’t just jumped on the bandwagon. Packway Handle Band (PCB) started in 2001 and have released albums almost every other year since their inception, including Chaff Harvest in 2003, (Sinner) You Better Get Ready in 2005 and the Extreme Live EP in 2007. In 2008, they released a self-titled album and the most recent release is 2010’s What Are We Gonna Do Now? It is the title of this latest album that captures the spirit of Packway Handle Band and it begs the questions — what are these guys going to do next? Well, for starters, they won’t be sticking to the pattern Bill Monroe set up for bluegrass over 50 years ago. These guys aren’t afraid to experiment and stretch their legs a little. They don’t sit on their laurels or feel compelled to adhere to the social conventions of the current wave of retro, underground bluegrass. The quintet brings a variety of elements into their sound, keeping it very fresh and always new. “There’s a stigma that goes along with bluegrass,” Josh Erwin explains about the roots of the group. “We grew up together but none of us ever played bluegrass,” he goes on to say. Then, one weekend when Tom’s brother was in town back in 2001, the guys got together and began playing music together on a lark. From there, they took on the universal style of bluegrass, a limited genre that has never had any qualms about “stealing licks and developing your own style,” Erwin says. “We have two mikes on stage, dance around and poke each other in the eye.” “We make a living through constant touring,” continues Erwin, a singer and guitarist of PCB. The band easily plays over 200 shows a year, traveling to Alaska, the Burning Man in Nevada and New England. But, there is more to being in a successful band than the stage. Erwin explains that there must be an element of growth in a band as well. PCB must learn from its mistakes. “We’ll listen to a rough cut in the studio,” Josh says. From there, the band compares and contrasts the recording with their live playing. Using this method they are able to change and adapt the songs.
See the Show
The sound is constantly morphing, as their experimental bluegrass style truly takes form. Through playing live night after night, the band has learned how to tweak the old songs, keeping the sound inventive and new. Currently, the band is back in the studio - this time it’s in Andrew’s basement. They are tinkering around with an acoustic Devo album. Blue Wave New Grass may just be the next sound you hear coming from Packway Handle. by DINO LULL photos MARK ADAMS
WHO Packway Handle Band WHERE Stillwater Taproom | 974 Broad St WHEN Friday, February 18 | 10 pm TIX $4 at the door | 21+ MORE | PACKWAYHANDLEBAND.COM
This month, the Atlanta band returns to Augusta to headline a club date, one of many on a never-ending tour. Verge spoke with Brit Turner about the band’s history and the thrill of tracking with Dann Huff, one of the industry’s most revered guitarists and producers. VERGE: Let’s start at the beginning. How did you find Charlie and Paul? BRIT: My brother and I played in bands for years. We [found] Charlie, got a deal with Universal, went to record and had a horrible experience with the label. Our vocalist was a “yes” man, agreeing with everything they said, and we were, “No, no, no!” They spent $500,000 on the record and it sounded nothing like us. We left and started looking for a guitar player, with Charlie now singing and playing. Paul lived in LaGrange around Charlie at the time, and they knew each other from playing in clubs. VERGE: Did the experience with Universal sour you on the industry? BRIT: Absolutely. We were sort of soured going in, but the fact that a major label shows interest rekindles the dreams you had as a kid: “I’m going to get a deal! Explosions are going to go off and limos full of money will pull up!” You get in and find people working your record who are so afraid of losing their jobs that they’re never behind their desks. They’re constantly walking the halls, nothing gets done, or they try to apply old ideas to a new band in a new time.
VERGE: Dann Huff embraces the technology of DAW’s and plug-ins. How high tech did he get with you? BRIT: We tried to get Dann to play on the record because we wanted to sit back and watch him! He said, ”I don’t need to play on this record; that’s part of the point.” We said, “Make the point with someone else. We want to watch you!” It wasn’t high tech at all. A guy like Dann uses Pro Tools for the speed of it all because you’ve got to get it done and you can’t sit there and cut tape. The miking and the sounds are what get him the jobs. He’s so good at it that going to 2-inch tape couldn’t make it any better. by ALISON RICHTER
See the Show
VERGE: By the time you met [recording artist] Jesse Dupree in 2000 and went into the studio with him in 2004, the industry was changing. Was it open territory for an unsigned band? BRIT: Yes. We hit the road for 40 days with Jesse and that’s a hell of a tour for anybody, even in a bus. We were in a van, we weren’t paid for half the shows, but when we were done we knew it was exactly how we could do it. We gained fans and sold records out of our trunk. We spent all of our time that we weren’t playing onstage [going] online to promote. When people wanted to know about us, they would search for Blackberry Smoke or southern rock or bands we played with. It’s about putting yourself out there for people to see you and find information.
WH0 Blackberry Smoke WHERE Coyote’s Nightclub | 2512 Peach Orchard Road
WHEN Saturday, February 19 | 9 pm TIX $5 ADV | 21+ BUY At Coyote’s or Roadrunner Cafe MORE | BLACKBERRYSMOKE.COM
vergelive.com | community driven news | February 16, 2011 25
BUSINESS: SECTOR 7G
Teen Club Changes Hands
The first time I went into the old laundry building that sits on the corner of Ellis and Seventh Street, I was hanging out with a friend who was delivering t-shirts to a band. The inside of the place was large and open, yet filthy and littered with sofas and chairs. It was, at that time, a practice space with white-washed walls and, while a collection of musical instruments sat on the far side of the room, members of By the Sins Fell Angels and some other groups were sitting around reading magazines. A few months later that decrepit empty space became the number one all-ages music venue in town – Sector 7G, named for a reference to prime-time cartoon The Simpsons. The creation of the club couldn’t have happened at a better time. The other music venues that hosted underground shows had closed down not too long before and, with a new crop of kids popping up every five years to redefine music, it was the perfect time for Sector 7G to flourish. Emo, metal and hardcore were getting co-opted by the mainstream; while many think this is a bad thing, if you’re running a small club that caters to that crowd, it’s a dream come true. At first, Sector 7G was rough around the edges. The air conditioning worked sporadically, the stage was too small and the walls were still ugly. The shows only turned out a handful of kids. In time, the place grew and prospered under the careful guidance of owner Nick Laws. Nowadays, Sector 7G doesn’t even look the same, but that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s spacious, decorated and a wonderful venue, complete with a merchandise booth and concession stand. For the last ten years, Sector 7G has helped give underground music a place to be heard while at the same time putting Augusta back on the map as a place for touring bands to stop. With the club dropping into the hands of new owner Bryan Levy, the question on everyone’s mind is — who is Bryan Levy and what does he plan for the future of Sector 7G? Beginning in late summer of last year, Levy, who works at a sound and lighting company during the day, started helping Laws run sound so Laws could have a night off and not have to be at every show. Since then, Levy has become an integral part of Sector 7G. Now, with Laws moving on, Levy will be taking
over Sector 7G. He will officially begin running the club on March 1st. During the transition, Laws will continue to help with the website and booking, making sure everyone is on the same page. “It will be business as usual,” Levy says about the immediate future of the club. “I hope for Sector 7G to sustain itself.” But, he adds “I’m hoping to diversify.” As anyone who has been around the music scene for a considerable amount of time knows, there is generally a five year rule: music changes every five years as does the crowd that attends shows. Keeping this in mind, if a club doesn’t diversify their sound it almost guarantees the club will be pigeonholed with a musical style and eventually close its doors. Look around and see how many clubs that haven’t diversified are still around. The answer: none. “Sector 7G is here for anyone who wants to play their hearts out,” Levy says and it’s that attitude that keeps the club fun and current. Basically, Levy wants to keep the club alive and he’s got the “know how” to do it. The demand for fresh, live music is constantly growing and the kids are pouring in every weekend. Even with the plans expanding the sound system and diversifying the music, Sector 7G won’t be changing too far from the norm. In the end, after the lights are turned down and the doors are closed, the whole point of an allages club like Sector 7G is that it offers a place to go where people can listen to music, meet with friends and just have a great time without the restraints of age limits or a severe bite on their wallets. Upcoming shows include Full Blown Chaos on March 12th, Sausagefest on March 19th, and a Sector 7G benefit show on March 27th. SECTOR7GAUGUSTA.COM by DINO LULL
26 February 16, 2011 | community driven news| vergelive.com
ASK DR. KARP The Heart of Chocolate
MUSIC: JUILLIARD IN AIKEN
Connecting Community and Music
Sally in Grovetown asks…
“Is eating chocolate good for your heart?” Sally, this is a great question for February, since February is both “Heart Month” and “Nutrition Month.” Looking at the overall evidence, the notion that chocolate is a health food is ridiculous. This idea has been pushed by the chocolate industry, not by health professionals. Why Americans have fallen for such an obvious marketing ploy is a good question. Chocolate is a confection, not a food group or a drug. It is a fun and tasty candy to eat, not a supplement for heart health, mood elevation or to increase the anti-oxidant levels in your body. In an effort to push sales and make money, chocolate manufacturers, in conjunction with marketing firms, have picked and chosen factoids about chocolate and used these for major marketing campaigns. How smart are they and how gullible are we! Chocolate is a high calorie, high fat food and should be eaten in moderation, especially if you are overweight. The whole concept of “soothing” yourself with food, “adjusting your mood” with food, or using food as a drug to increase the health of your heart … these concepts are meant to encourage emotional eating of chocolate. This is very good for the confection business, but very bad for the consumer’s waistline. I always tell people to get your happiness and joy from jazz, from art, from playing sports, from the people around you, etc. … NOT from food. When you start linking food to happiness, major emotional problems arise. Food is to be enjoyed, it is to be shared, it is to be used to sustain. It is not to be used as a drug or as replacement for love, acceptance or happiness. Now, if you look at the typical American chocolate bar, it has approximately 230 calories per serving. 120 of those calories are from fat. That means the chocolate bar is over 52% fat. That also means, BEWARE! When you are eating foods containing more than 30% fat, you can eat these foods occasionally (better to eat them rarely), not every day as a mood enhancer or heart attack preventer. In addition, one candy bar has 9 grams of saturated fat, about 45% of all the saturated fat you should eat each day. Each serving of a chocolate bar has 22 grams of sugar. Do all these facts make a chocolate a health food? Now it is true that chocolate does contain steraric acid and some chocolate (usually not the type you buy in supermarkets) even contains antioxidants. What is not true is the expectation that somehow eating chocolate will make you healthier. It will not. Am I being the “chocolate grinch?” Absolutely not. We eat chocolate, now and then, in our house. But, we eat it for enjoyment, not to get healthy. We approach chocolate with the idea of “moderation.” By the way, moderation does not mean a small piece of chocolate everyday. It means chocolate once-in-a-while, like for Valentine’s Day. What did I give my wife for Valentine’s Day? I went and hand-selected a very few pieces of fantastic chocolate from our local La Bonbonniere on Fury Ferry Road. (WOW, talk about delicious handmade Belgian chocolate. Also, the two ladies who run the place are so nice. Go in there just to say, “hello.” That will elevate your mood!) Next, I presented these hand-picked pieces of chocolate (wrapped in a beautiful container) to my wife, along with two tickets to the Augusta Player’s “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” (which runs February 25th to 27th), two roses (with stems intertwined) and a personal visit from the Garden City Barbershop Valentine’s Quartet. What could be more romantic? Certainly NOT a huge box of chocolate to help your true love gain weight. by DR. WARREN KARP Ask Dr. Karp focuses on food, diet and nutrition. Dr. Warren Karp is Professor Emeritus at The Medical College of Georgia. If you have a question you would like answered in this column, email him at DrKarp@vergelive.com or visit either his Facebook page:
I’m sitting in the front room at the Willcox Hotel in Aiken. Chamber music swells, filling the room. I have never witnessed classically-trained musicians who play with such energy. The quartet – piano, violin, cello and clarinet – command the small, intimate space. This is chamber music as it was meant to be. The music of composers Poulenc and Schoenberg shine because of love with which these musicians play.
“The goal is to be artist citizens; it’s beyond performance, but about making connections with all the members of the community.” –ELIZABETH JOY ROE (PIANIST)
The quartet is Elizabeth Joy Roe (piano), Claire Bryant (cello), Owen Dalby (violin) and Carol McGonnell (clarinet). They are all alumni of The Academy: A Program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute which is a two-year fellowship program focused on performance, teaching and community engagement. These four artists were recently in Aiken for a two-day Artist Residency in partnership with the Joye Cottage Foundation and USC-Aiken, including workshops at USCA, a free performance at the Willcox and a special show at an assisted living facility in Aiken. It was one of four Juilliard Artist Residencies in 2010-2011, all of which lead up to this year’s Julliard in Aiken 3rd Annual Performing Arts Festival, March 5th through 11th. There is a mutual love for this festival in both the musicians and the “Aikenites” who bring them here. “I can wholeheartedly attest to the wonderful vibe you have here,” glows Roe. “The goal is to be artist citizens; it’s beyond performance, but about making connections with all the members of the community.” Juilliard in Aiken President Sandra Field agrees, “It is truly a gift to our community.” The schedule for the March festival is packed with talent, from a Sunday piano duo concert with Anderson and Roe at the Etherredge Center, to a Thursday night Juilliard Jazz Artist After Hours free show at the Willcox Hotel. The performers love their music and they love their audiences; listeners from all degrees of music appreciation will gain something brilliant by sitting in the same room with them. For a full schedule of events, tickets and more details: JUILLIARDINAIKEN.COM. by CHARLOTTE OKIE photos courtesy of JUILLIARD IN AIKEN
facebook.com/AskDrKarpor website at sites.google.com/site/drkarpverge/.
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Lokal Music Musings Unless you just despise cold weather or were born on the last day of the month on a leap year, February can be one of the most rocking months of the year. Sure, it may fall short compared to a few months. But, what’s wrong with hitting it hard and getting the heck out of dodge a little early? Speaking of hitting hard, newcomers LAKES OF TITAN make their live stage debut on February 26th at the Playground as they split the night with THE GOOD END. If you’re on the fence about whether to get out and see this – as of yet – unproven new Augusta rock force, just know this: Lakes of Titan are outfitted with former components of recent Augusta bands 48Volt and Joe Graves & the Dirty Left Hand. The result is bound to be shocking AND dirty. I caught the official grand opening of ODDFELLOWS ART GALLERY earlier this month which featured a cool unplugged performance by ANGIE APARO. I have to say, Syd Padgett’s Oddfellows may be on to something. The mixture of art and extreme intimacy between performer and audience made for an incredible experience that begs to be duplicated. Luckily the wait won’t be long as Forrest T. Odom, Lori Newman, and Mike Palmer will triple-team Oddfellows for a musical performance during March’s First Friday. Whispers out on the street say that the hot spot for intimate music in the area lies in the basement of a house in North Augusta. Conveniently called DOWNSTAIRS LIVE, this hidden gem of a listening room has been hosting shows since 2004 and boasts a hot list of past performers which includes regional favorites such as Matthew Kahler, Brian Vander Ark, Bain Maddox, Angie Aparo, Ari Hest, Tim Brantley and many more. Tickets are purchased online at the venue’s website downstairslive.com and sell out quickly, often months in advance. But those unfortunate enough to miss out on tickets can get on the live stream list and catch shows as they happen in the comfort of their own home. (Editors Note: All shows listed on the site at press time were sold out.) If you like your concerts a bit more loud and electric, catch BANG TANGO on February 26th as part of the ongoing ARENA ROCK SERIES. If this show is anything like previous shows featuring L.A. Guns and Adler’s Appetite, expect lots of denim, leather, lace, peroxide, hairspray and eyeliner. Maybe someone will film Heavy Meal Parking Lot II behind Sky City or get Butch Walker (à la Marvelous 3/solo fame) to reunite with his old hair Atlanta hair band SOUTHGANG. Now THAT would arena rock! Well, kiddies, it’s time to close up shop on another edition of the ol’ music column so, until next time, get an earful of what’s happening in Augusta music on CONfederation of LOUDness which can be found ironically enough at www.confederationofloudness.com and of course as always… Make it LOKAL, Keep it Loud, by JOHN “STONEY” CANNON To keep up with what’s going down in Augusta music, check out Stoney’s long-running website LOKALLOUDNESS.COM.
Look out for the next issue of VERGE hitting the newstands on
MARCH 2 Find Your Copy At Publix | EarthFare | Mellow Mushroom New Moon Cafe | Sunrise Grill
THE LAST WORD: HIGH TECH SWEAT
Is My Workout Real or Just Virtual?
In today’s webified world of “virtual” reality, I can’t help but wonder if we’re all becoming “virtually” dead inside? Allow me to offer an example. In a recent attempt to affirm my New Year’s Resolution (and also to take advantage of a killer four hour sale they were having on gym memberships), I strolled on over to the good ol’ fashioned YMCA. Funny thing was – there was nothing “ol’ fashioned” about this place. Not a one. Upon entering, it was immediately clear that even “ye ol’ faithful” has transformed from shabby to chic. Despite our complaints about the intrusiveness of technology and being over-connected and over-stimulated, we humans apparently insist on being inter-webbed every second of the day? As a result, the YMCA (like everywhere else now), answers the call and the entire place touts technology up the ying yang. For better or worse, gone are the pools of sweat, grunts & groans, tawdry, basic dumbbells and rustic water fountains. Such rudiments have been replaced with hand sanitizers and towel service, sophisticated and colorful weight equipment and gadgetry, and vending machines (if not full scale concession stands or coffee bars), brimming with bottled water, energy bars, power drinks, espresso and other fine treats. Don’t get me wrong, these gizmos are fine and dandy (and, in some cases, fun), but when did we acquire and require the need for so much “stuff ” to conduct an activity as
intrinsic and innate as exercise? And do these luxuries (i.e., distractions) make the minutes or the pounds peel away any faster? Do they somehow ease the discomfort of exercise itself? Whatever happened to calisthenics, jumping jacks, the 50-yard dash and an honest game of kickball or the fun of playing “tag” in the backyard? Where’s Marco Polo? Still swimming, I suppose. One “exercise” that kept me busy for quite a while was counting the number of high-tech instruments assigned to each cardiovascular machine. Honestly, I felt like I was in Best Buy (or the now defunct Circuit City). Each apparatus hosted a “Cardio Theater,” which is just a fancy name for a full screen console that spews all types of data points on exercise and workout performance. There are so many options, facts, figures and blinking lights that “TMI” (too much information) is apt to aggravate rather than motivate you! Worse still, newer versions actually set you against a virtual competitor – you either win or lose against your imaginary foe. Is it just me or does it seem weird or even a little unfair to leave the gym a loser when you’re the only real person there? So much for peace and relaxation! by KRIS COOK Kris Cook is a freelance writer who speaks from the heart and shoots from the hip. Clearly, she spends way too much time pondering the peculiarities of everyday life. firstname.lastname@example.org
North Augusta Merges History and Art
The North Augusta Arts and Heritage Center will be opening a new permanent historical exhibit in March, featuring history of the North Augusta area. The Center inherited all of the exhibits from the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor Region 3 Discovery Center (such as the statue of a Civil War soldier to the right). The exhibits will augment the current art exhibits and gift shop that carries the products of 70 local artisans and vendors. Find out more of the story in the March 2nd edition of verge. ARTSANDHERITAGECENTER.COM
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