Downtown Bowling Green

Baby, it’s cold outside, so why not celebrate?

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News During a season when the temptation is stay bundled up at home, Bowling Green’s Winterfest BG Chillabration gives folks a reason to brave the cold. On Saturday afternoon, visitors could alternate between experiencing the chill as they strolled through the ice sculpture garden or ride around the downtown in an open horse-drawn trolley. They could warm up in the heated Chillabration tent where bands had started performing mid-afternoon, or view high school art work on display in the Four Corners Center. Another option was to stop for a bite to eat at a local restaurant or do some shopping. Aaron and Molli Blachuta had done a bit of all of that. The event gave the couple and their 19-month-old son Blaiden “a change to get out of the house and give the little man a walk,” the dad said. Molli Blachuta had seen an announcement on Facebook. “It’s always nice to find something we can take him to.” That’s harder to do in the winter. They also ate lunch at Sam B’s before taking the carriage ride. They were going to stop into Ben Franklin before heading home. Jayan Karunarathna, a doctoral student in photochemical sciences from Sri Lanka, said he likes coming downtown for any of the events, whether Winterfest or Black Swamp Arts Festival. Winter events are especially appreciated. He checked out the ice sculptures created to advertise local businesses and services. He said he was going to go back to campus and bring friends down to hear more of the music in the Chillabration tent. “I think it’s good to have things like this … so people can hang around and meet new people,” he said. Earlier in the day the tent had featured about 10 vendor tables. The fair was an innovation in Winterfest’s 10th year. By 4 p.m. it had been transformed into a music venue with Ginger and the Snaps the opening act for a lineup that would run until 11. Up front, beer and wine were being…

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Rocker Corky Laing taps into fountain of youth at Howard’s show

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Rock drummer Corky Laing says he’s a “22 year old with 50 years of experience.” Celebrating his 70th birthday at Howard’s Club H Saturday night, he demonstrated the truth in the quip. Appearing with the new edition of Corky Laing Plays Mountain, the veteran drummer performed with the energy of the musician who joined Mountain 50 years ago. And his drumming had the verve, precision and a way of shaping the music that’s honed over decades behind a drum set. Yes, the music is 50 years old, but Saturday night it had the freshness and power of newly minted hits. For the older fans in the mixed aged group, they could have stepped back to the time when that record one fan carried to get autographed were brand new. Laing was joined on stage by two stalwarts of the Toledo rock scene, Mark Mikel, on bass, and Chris Shutters, on guitar and flute. All three took turns singing. They provided an additional jolt of energy earning the applause of the audience and the praise of the leader. More than praise really. He said he wants this to be his last band. Working with him reminds him of those days when he first joined Mountain. Toledo is going to become his second home, he promised. The trio commanded the stage like a working unit, with tightly executed riffs, and driving groove. Shutters’ solos were blistering, and exploratory. The band delivered the promised Mountain hits – “Mississippi Queen,” “For Yasgur’s Farm.” Traveling in the Dark,” “Sitting on a Rainbow” and more. After pounding out the opening numbers, Laing announced he’d be telling some stories. It was his birthday so he could do what he wanted. Not that anyone minded. He’s a skilled raconteur whether talking about the teenage lust that inspired the hit ”Mississippi Queen” or the story behind “Nantucket Sleighride,” not a seasonal song. Both are rooted in his time on Nantucket. He remembered being inspired during a power outage at a club to keep…


Toledo rockers helping Corky Laing move the Mountain

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Corky Laing will celebrate his birthday at Howard’s Club H Saturday night. The rock drummer known for his decades with Mountain, is turning turn 70.  That’s not how he looks at it though. “I’m 22 with 50 years of experience,” Laing said a few days before the gig. The show starts Saturday at 9 p.m. at the club at 210 N. Main St. That youthful feeling has much to do with his current bandmates, guitarist and vocalist Chris Shutters and multi-instrumentalist and producer Mark Mikel, on bass. They’ve convened at the un-rock hour of 10 a.m. at Mikel’s Maumee studio to put some work in on the Mountain songs as well as a couple originals they’re writing together. This is more than a one-off pick up band. The trio plans to head out on the road in 2018. The Howard’s show will be recorded for a CD and DVD release. Though booked as Corky Laing Plays Mountain, the veteran drummer sees this as a new beginning, maybe even with a new band name. “This is the genesis,” he said. This new venture is rooted in Toledo, where Mikel and Shutters cut their teeth and are still based. Laing likened his time in Mikel’s studio with how he felt when he first joined Mountain back in 1969. “I’m getting a lot of flashbacks.” Shutters is his link to Toledo. Laing heard the guitarist playing in New York with fellow drummer Kofi Baker’s Cream Experience band. “I was blown away by Chris’ playing and his voice,” Laing said. He offered him a job on his tour of Canada and the United States early last year. It was 25 shows in 30 days. Shutters proved his mettle on the grueling run. The repertoire is very guitar-centered, Laing said, and Shutters excelled. “I thought maybe we should take it somewhere else,” Laing said. “Let’s move it along.” Shutters recommended Mikel to fill out the group. Later this year, Laing decided he wanted to visit the guitarist’s neighborhood. They…


Classic Rock Christmas continues at Howard’s

From HOWARD’S CLUB H Howard’s Club H at 210 N. Main St. in Bowling Green is bringing some of classic rock’s greatest touring bands to NW Ohio in the coming year, and they are kicking off their renewed commitment to the “best in live music” with a new Classic Rock Christmas Series, December 8-23. December 8 and 9 saw Detroit native and international blues guitarist Michael Katon on stage for two shows, with Toledo’s own Shakin’ Shivers as the opening act. December 16, Local guitar virtuoso Chris Shutters headlines with the Chris Shutters Band. The group recorded their own special “Live at Howard’s” disc in the last month and will be playing a mix of original and popular rock and blues staples. And December 23, NW Ohio music fans can be part of music history when Corky Laing Plays Mountain, with Shutters and local music icon Mark Mikel, take the stage for a very special performance. Laing, the writer of the iconic 70’s hit Mississippi Queen, is the subject of a new documentary film, and the film crew will be at Howard’s to shoot footage. Plus, Gonzo Records will be recording a live album with Laing, Shutters, and Mikel at the December 23 performance, which is the “warm up” event for their 2018 World Tour. Corky Laing will also be celebrating his, “70 th year of having a pulse,” that night as well. “There is a great deal to promote, including a limited vinyl record release [on Rouge Records, a subsidiary of Jack White’s Third Man Records] in April, the LIVE CD and DVD, and my book release in March,” said Laing of his very busy upcoming year. Mikel and Shutters are included in the 2018 touring lineup. Steve Feehan and Tony Zmarzly bought Howard’s Club H, a landmark in the college town 30 minutes south of Toledo, two years ago, and have perfectly transitioned the Bowling Green staple into a live music mecca. Feehan and Zmarzly are both musicians and have updated everything from the sound production, with state…


Glostik Willy to headline triple bill at Clazel, Nov. 30

Submitted by GLOSTIK WILLY Glostik Willy, a three-piece power trio from Indiana, will perform Thursday, Nov. 30, for a party at Clazel Entertainment, Bowling Green. Listeners are told to: “Expect heavy-hitting drums that will make you move and groove, with progressive thundering bass lines and guitar that sizzles and crackles all the way through your brain and explodes out into the galaxy. This is ‘Hippy Metal’ for those who like their jambands with a dose of head-banging and horn-checks!” Also on the bill will be  PeanutButter Williams and Get Right Band. The band was formed in early 2008 by Jameson “Jay Moe” Bradford (guitar), his brother Ralf Mowf (drums) and childhood best friend Buddha Aguilar (bass). At the time, they were already five year veterans of the Midwest music scene, having started their first band together at age 12.  Since then, Glostik Willy has grown to be a driving force in the National Jamband scene, bridging the gap between rock and jam and forming their own genre of music that can only be described as “Hippy Metal.. To date, Glostik Willy has logged more than 600 performances in more than 25 states and two countries. The band has hosted eight Midwest music and arts festivals, including their signature Willy Fest (headlined this past year by Molly Hatchet), and performed sets at over 70 festivals around the country. In Spring of 2017, the band completed their first National Tour playing 23 shows from Florida to Califiornia. “This band is a good old, down and dirty rock and roll machine. These guys blew me away…!” exclaims Buckeye Music Magazine. “An insanely manic band!” writes MusicFestNews. Glostik Willy’s mission is to create an experience that will change the world by entertaining all walks of life, bringing fans, friends, and family together to enjoy and value art, love and music. To that end, they have pioneered a fan-centric method of touring in which they regularly ride along with van-loads of followers, have dedicated time and effort to supporting notable social causes in their hometown…


Downtown BG invites community to Shop the Block, Dec. 1

From DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN Shopping is what everyone is doing these days as the holiday is sneaking up on us in less than one month.  Downtown Bowling Green is decorated for the holidays; beautiful lit poles and snowflakes, winter floral and beautifully decorated windows.  Shopping takes on a whole new dimension as you stroll down the blocks of Main Street.  As deemed by the Downtown Merchants “We are Lively, Diverse and Neighborly” and by Ohio Magazine “Best Hometown” This experience will be enhanced even more December 1st as beautiful luminaries line Main Street in the Downtown for evening shopping.  Participating merchants will extend their hours until 9 pm.  Special offers and a remarkable shopping experience should make it a reason for you to shop local and support those that keep our local economy strong. You can find a list of the participating merchants on our website at: DowntownBGOhio.org  as well as some of the other activities we have going on like our Downtown Dollar Give Away, Merchant Window Decorating Contest and our next visit from Santa.


Bowling Green celebrates national Shop Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25

Submitted by DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN In recognition of the national event of Shop Small Business Saturday, Bowling Green’s, Mayor Richard Edwards has proclaimed November 25, 2017 Small Business Saturday in the city. The proclamation was presented by Mayor Edwards at the City Council Meeting on November 6, to Mary Hinkelman, Managing Director for Downtown Bowling Green. This proclamation reminds our community of their need to support our local small businesses. “The investment each of these small businesses makes to our city when they set up shop here is huge. On Saturday, invite your friends to Shop Small and show support for all your favorite places and visit one new business you’ve been meaning to check out. When small businesses succeed, the entire community is impacted.” said Hinkelman when asked about this national event. Of every dollar spent locally, 68 cents stays local through jobs that are created, tax revenue that is generated and reinvestment. When that same dollar spent online, the impact diminishes for our local economy. In the United States there are over 28.8 million small businesses that employ over 48 percent of the working population and create more than 66 percent of the new jobs. Downtown Bowling Green works with the merchants to promote shopping local year round, but especially on this dedicated day of support. Special offers and hours are great reason to make a stop downtown and this year’s Downtown Dollars Give Away makes even more exciting with $500 in prizes. Enter where you shop and when you vote on a decorated merchant’s window downtown. We also will have a drawing for kids 12 and under when they stop in to see Santa. The Four Corners Center at 130 S. Main St. will be open 11 – 1 pm Saturday for the Santa visits, Julie’s Dance Studio’s sneak peak at the Nutcracker Production and a few seasonal crafts for the children. Additional information about these events and participating merchants can be found on our website at DowntownBGOhio.org.