Nightlife

Eric Steckel puts the pedal to the metal when he plays the blues

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News If you’re a fan of bluesman Eric Steckel, you can thank his Uncle Dave. Steckel, who grew up in Pennsylvania, didn’t have instruments around this house. He did hear the soundtrack of his parents’ vinyl collection. His mother and father bonded over their taste for Deep Purple and the Allman Brothers. Then on a trip to visit his uncle and aunt in Stowe, Vermont, the family visited music store. Young Steckel lit up. “I completely changed. I was at home,” the now 28-year-old said in a telephone interview this week. So his uncle suggested he and Steckel’s dad split the cost of a Stratocaster for the youngster, a guitar he’s only recently retired. Three years later Speckel recorded his first blues record, music influenced by the records his parents spun around the house. Steckel hasn’t stopped playing or developing since then. He now calls his style blues metal, a term coined in jest, that has stuck, became a hashtag, and serves as an apt description for what listeners hear in his performances. Steckel will appear tonight (Friday, Sept. 14) at 9:30 p.m. Howard’s Club H. Cover is $5. He explained blues metal as a style derived from “my heroes,” the Kings of the blues — Albert, Freddie, and B.B. — with “a big massive sound, almost a heavy metal sonically.” He said it took him years and years of playing to find his own voice within the tradition. “It’s this natural beautiful thing that happens. Every night you’re developing.” Everyone he encounters, everything he hears, everything that comes out of his guitar “comes  together into this big pot stew, and that becomes your recipe.” He said as a young musician he got a lot advice from people who wanted him to stay true to the traditional blues sound. “I had this sound, this vision, in my head that wasn’t translating. At a certain point, I said I was going to throw out the rule book and find what I heard in my head. It took a  lot of trial and error, and I found it.” That was about six years ago. Steckel is buoyed by the sales of his most recent album “Polyphonic Prayer,” which is outpacing any of his previous recordings. Like his other recordings, he financed this one himself. He’s rejected deals from record companies including Universal’s European wing. They offer “360”…


Kofi Baker to bring Cream Experience to Howard’s Club H

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Kofi Baker doesn’t play the music of Cream as a tribute to the 1960s super group. And he doesn’t play it because that’s what his father, Ginger Baker, the drummer with Cream and later Blind Faith, played it Baker, who’s been a drummer longer than he can remember, performs the music associated with Cream and Blind Faith because that’s the style that allows him to express who he is as a musician, freewheeling and genre defying. “The Cream stuff is all improvised,” Baker said in a recent telephone interview. “That’s why I like playing it.” Baker will bring his Cream Experience featuring guitarist Chris Shutters and bassist Frankie May to Howard’s Club H Friday, Aug. 24. The band starts a little after 9 p.m. “The music I play has nothing to do with my dad,” he said. “It’s a style I was brought up in, and I really like it.” (This interview was conducted in December before a Howard’s show that was cancelled.) The trio is not a “cover band” that listens to the records and tries to replicate them. They play the melodies of the songs, flipping their grooves as the mood suits them and then launch into their own exploration. “It’s been a challenge my whole life to play in a project that allows me the freedom to play differently every night.” Baker said. This band allows him to do just that. He launched the Cream Experience after hearing his father, Eric Clapton, and Jack Bruce, who died in 2014, during their 2005 reunion tour. This was the sound imbedded in his soul since infancy. His father was his primary teacher. Baker realized this was the sound that gave him the freedom he desired. “That’s why this is kind of the perfect thing. Why I’ve fallen into it and really enjoy it,” he said. “Every night it’s a completely different ball of wax. … It’s always different every night because we come to it with a different attitude.” Audience interaction can help shape those improvisations. If the band hits a groove, quotes the melody from another song, and the crowd cheers “then we may move into different things. It really depends on the vibe that night, how the stars align.” The guitar, bass, and drums trio provides the right balance, leaving plenty of room to roam. “When you start bringing more members…


Firefly Nights announces a Halloween-themed encore festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Even after a wet start to the evening, the more than 200 people who were around at the end for Friday’s Firefly Night festival, still wanted more music from the closing act Freight Street. So the local folk-rock quintet, fronted by Boo Lee Crosser with singer Flannery Murnen, drummer JP Stebal, bassist Devonte Stovall, and violinist Kathleen Schnerer, obliged. This was to have been end of the three-event community festivals for the season. But organizers also have an encore planned. The businesswomen who spearheaded and organized Firefly Nights in downtown Bowling Green announced at the end of the night that there will be one more festival this year on Oct. 19. The October event will feature the same mix of music, food, kid activities, and shopping, only with a Halloween theme. Working with Downtown Bowling Green, the Firefly Night fest will take the place of downtown treat or treating. Mary Hinkelman, director of Downtown BG, said that the festival was a way to continue the trick or treating while adding more activities both for youngsters and the whole family. Kati Thompson, one of the Firefly founders, said the idea came up through discussions by the organizers. Hinkelman responded favorably to the possibility, and suggested using it to replace downtown trick or treating. With about 2,000 kids taking part last year, the event is becoming unmanageable, she said, with kids having to wait in long lines to get their treats. They then approached the city about the possibilities of staging another festival, which requires closing Main Street in downtown off to traffic. City officials approved. In announcing the event, Thompson said: “Don’t worry we’ll still have plenty of treats for the children, but we’ll combine that with fun for the entire community.” What Halloween activities will be offered and how the treat or treating will be handled is still being discussed. Possibilities include hayrides, a kiddie parade, Halloween and fall themed activities, doughnuts and cider, and even a costume contest for children and adults. Thompson said details will be forthcoming. The Oct. 19 Firefly Nights festival will be held 6-10 p.m., same as the summer events. Friday’s event got off to a soggy start with a downpour shortly after it began. Festivalgoers sought shelter under awnings, and in shops and restaurants. Laura Wicks and Gayle Walterbach, two of the founders, said they expected restaurants did…


‘Clue’ murder mystery night to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House

From RED SHOE SOCIETY BG AND BEYOND Become a detective for the night as a mystery unfolds at the Wood County Historical Museum. A Murder Mystery fundraising event for the Ronald McDonald House of Northwest Ohio makes you a detective in this live game of “Clue” at the ultimate setting of the museum. You will enjoy an evening of mystery, culinary delights and a chance to win prizes. The Red Shoe Society BG and Beyond, the group organizing the fundraiser, has collaborated with many talented people to present their first ever Murder Mystery. The script is an original piece written by Tyler Severino, a Bowling Green aspiring playwright. Jo Beth Gonzales, BGHS drama teacher is helping to incorporate the drama students as suspects in the mystery. The whole idea of kids helping kids was the intent and was certainly achieved. The event date is Saturday, Sept. 22, 7-9 pm at the WC Historical Museum at 13660 County Home Road, Bowling Green, OH 43402. Tickets for the event are $40 and will include heavy hors d’oeuvres, participation in the event as a detective (costumes optional, but highly encouraged) and the chance for your team to win prizes for solving the mystery. Ticket sales are limited, so be sure to purchase yours early online at squareup.com/store/RSSofNWO/ or at J & M Carryout, 10015 S Dixie Hwy., Portage, OH. Any questions you have can be directed to the Red Shoe Society BG and Beyond by calling 567-694-5172. The Ronald McDonald House, Toledo’s home-away-from-home, offers families who travel to Toledo for their children’s specialized medical care a warm, safe, clean, and friendly environment. The newly constructed Ronald McDonald House has 22 private bedrooms and bathrooms, a spacious kitchen with well-stocked pantries, family-friendly dining and living rooms, children’s play area, laundry facilities, playground, and secure parking. We serve over 500 families each year, with the average length of stay being eight days. The Ronald McDonald House represents our community’s concern for those among us who battle the devastating effects of a child’s serious illness or injury. We have over 200 regular volunteers that help us help others. For more information about this incredible charity, visit https://rmhctoledo.org/



Firefly Night ready to take flight on Friday

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Let the dancing in the streets in downtown Bowling Green begin. After months of planning, the Firefly Nights street festivals are ready to make their debut Friday, June 15, from 6 to 10 p.m. on Main Street. The initiative’s first official event was a 5K run and walk in May to help raise funds for the festivals. Friday Main Street will be closed with stages for music on either ends, a beer garden, vendors and food trucks, kid’s activities, and downtown businesses ready for customers. This will be the first of three one-night festivals planned for the summer. Firefly Nights was the brainchild of a group of downtown women business owners – Stacie Banfield owner of Mode Elle, Kati Thompson of Eden Fashion Boutique, Gayle Walterbach of Coyote Beads, and Laura Wicks of Grounds for Thought. They’ve been joined by others including Amy Craft-Ahrens, who used her expertise from years with the Black Swamp Arts Festival to help with vendors, and Michelle Elson, who booked the bands. Now the effort is ready to go, abetted by a favorable weather forecast. “I am very excited and a little bit nervous,” said Wicks, “but mostly I am really looking forward to celebrating summer with everyone in downtown BG. I think it is going to be a wonderful party!” Earlier this year when the event was announced Thompson stated the goal: “We want to foster a diverse, neighborly and lively atmosphere in downtown BG. That’s the intent and sole focus.” Main Street will be blocked at the intersection of Court Street to the intersection of Washington. East-west traffic will continue to flow along Wooster Street. Bandstands will be located on either end with altering acts. Performers booked for Friday are, in order of appearance: Boo Lee Crosser, Sam Dell, Chris & Shellby, and Amelia Airharts. Downtown shops are staying open until 10 p.m. Sam B’s, Flatlands, and Qdoba will be serving patrons on the sidewalk and others are encouraging take-out orders. Several food trucks will also be on hand: Eric’s Ice Cream; Poppin George’s Kettle Corn; Roe’s Concessions; and Weenie Dogs Vendors signed up are: All Things Beautiful Bath & Body; Black Sheep Shack; Blanquility; Charming Oak; Exhale and Create; Happy Place Felt Boutique; Gilead Candle Company; Jamber’s House of Color; Krueger Sew Crafty; Michelle Adler; Portrait Art; PreshGoods/WoodStout; Staeble Studio A Photography; The Upstitch; and The…


The Iguanas deeply rooted music connects with pro-migrant cause

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When it comes to music, the fundamental things still apply. “The thing that’s always compelling is bands playing music together,” said Rene Coman, of the New Orleans-based roots band The Iguanas. “That’s the human part. That’s the exciting part that’s not dictated by a machine.” The Iguanas, who played the Black Swamp Arts Festival back in 2001, will play a benefit show for La Conexion de Wood County, Monday, June 18, at 7 p.m., at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green. Suggested donation is $10. The cause of supporting immigrants is one the band can get behind, Coman said.  The band’s lead singers, Joe Cabral and Rod Hodges, have grandparents who came to the United States from Mexico. “We definitely see ourselves as kindred spirits in that line of migration,” he said. “People are trying to improve their lives and find opportunities for their children. How can you fault anyone for that?” That’s not surprising for a band that embraces its American roots including those that extend south of the border or into the Louisiana swamp homes of the French Arcadians. “One of the things that makes the band work and that contributes to our longevity is we’re all into different kinds of music with a lot of intersections,” Coman said in a recent telephone interview. Cabral, saxophone and bajo sexton, and Hodges, guitar and accordion, were drawn to New Orleans by the city’s tradition of rock ‘n’ roll. That’s where they formed The Iguanas in 1989. Early on they had a shifting team of rhythm players. Coman joined on bass and keyboards in 1990. A year later he enlisted Doug Harrison, a former bandmate with Alex Chilton’s group, to take over the drum chair. The band has been a quintet at times, with another horn, but they’ve settle in as a quartet. “We’re perfectly comfortable swimming in that big open space.” Coman, who is from New Orleans, said the city sees itself linked culturally to the Caribbean. That musical tradition resonates throughout the sounds that took shape in the Big Easy. So much of it has “that rolling clave feel,” he said. “At the same time we’re all fans of country music, and of course, rock ‘n’ roll. We’re huge fans of all these different touchstones that we’re able to draw from and comingle into a true American music.” The…


Elder Mountain man Corky Laing at a new stage in long career

Last December 23 music fans at Howard’s Club H helped Corky Laing celebrate his 70th birthday. What they were also witnessing, the veteran rock drummer said, was something more. “Basically I was born again.’ Magic happened on that stage. Laing was playing the music made famous by his former band Mountain. He was playing with a couple new musical collaborators, Chris Shutters on guitar and flute, and Mark Mikel, a multi-instrumentalist playing bass, on a stage that evokes everything a rock club should be. Laing felt revitalized. Corky Laing Plays Mountain returns to Howard’s Club H in downtown Bowling Green tonight (Saturday, June 9) at 9 p.m. The show comes as Laing is pulling together touring for 2018 through 2019 for the trio, which he said doesn’t really have a name yet. Corky Laing Plays Mountain is a place holder moniker. The trio has also kicked around the idea of calling itself Pompeii. That name is pulled from a little known release that Laing and singer Ian Hunter from Mott the Hoople recorded back in 1976-1978 with a rotating all-star cast. The recording was little known, subtitled “The Secret Sessions,” but when it was released on vinyl by Rouge Records it sold out both pressings. Even though harking back to the old days, Laing wanted it to reflect the present. So the vinyl included a computer card that allowed the purchaser to download four songs by Laing’s Toledo band, including the original “Knock Me Over.”. The trio started when Corky Laing needed a guitar player for a tour. Fellow drummer Kofi Baker recommended Shutters. Laing who has played with “the best of the best” – Eric Clapton and Dickey Betts appear on “Pompeii” – heard a “first division” musician in Shutters. Last year Shutters invited Laing to come visit him in Toledo, and Laing loved what he discovered – a vibrant music scene that had clubs rocking with music. Laing felt he needed a new bass player, so Shutters introduced him to the multitalented Mikel, formerly of the Pillbugs. The drummer was “blown away” by Mikel’s playing. Laing had his trio, and they made their debut in December at Howard’s. But that’s not all that’s occupying the veteran. He’s working with his manager Toija Takala on a memoir, He already has one book out, “Stick It” that chronicles the raucous and raunchy back stage stories fans love. He referred to…


Area musical acts set the stage for Firefly Nights

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Michelle Elson won’t play favorites. When asked if she’s particularly excited about any of the action is booked for Firefly Nights, she says, “I’m truly stoked about everyone I could get into the lineup.” The lineups for the three summer street festivals on Main Street Bowling Green nave been announced. Firefly Nights runs 6-10 p.m. the third Friday of June, July and August with music, food, a farmers market, kids activities, and arts and craft vendors. Main Street will be closed from Court to Washington, with east-west traffic still able to cross at Four Corners. Stages will be set up on each end with performers alternating sets. Acts booked to perform in order of appearance. June 15 Boo Lee Crosser Sam Dell Chris & Shellby Amelia Airharts July 20 Vester Frey Dooley Wilson Ryan Roth & The Sideshow Minglewood Labor Camp August 17 A.S. Coomer Craig James Groove Canoe Freight Street Elson got involved when the organizers started asking around for support. She was enthusiastic about the idea and offered to help. She took on booking the music. That assignment was a natural. Elson operates Twin Owls Photography, specializing in photographing bands. She’s started branching out into promotion and booking. And she’s married to a musician. So she has a lot of connections on the scene. “Many of my friends are musicians in the 419,” Elson said. As soon as she started asking around for bands wanting to play Firefly Nights, she got an immediate response. “Everyone was very excited.” She said a lot of regional performers are interested in breaking into the Bowling Green scene. Elson wanted a variety of performers and leaned toward acts that performed at least some original material. “When someone does their own songs the art is coming from their soul,” she said. She’s passionate about music, and to see that same passion expressed by performers “is a great thing.” The June 15 lineup illustrates her pursuit of variety. It opens with Bowling Green singer-songwriter Boo Lee Crosser, who Elson described as “an up and coming musician.” He composes all his own material and has a distinctive delivery to match his original music. Next up will Sam Dell from Bryan. He will play a solo set. Elson described him as a “good old country singer” who will mix a few covers in with his original songs. The duo of…


Firefly Nights set to begin a summer of fun in downtown BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Firefly Nights, a new series of street festivals in downtown Bowling Green, got off to a running start Friday night. About 200 runners and walkers toed the starting line on North Church Street near the library and at the signal marked what organizers hope will be a summer of fun in the business district. The 5K race and one mile walk started at 9 p.m. The participants in fluorescent shirts and glow bracelets. The evening start was meant to set it apart from all the other charity runs, said Stacie Banfield, one the organizers. “We wanted to make it a fun event for kids.” The after-dark start was also fitting given it promoted and raised funds for evening events Banfield, owner of Mode Elle, was one of a quartet of women business proprietors – Kati Thompson, of Eden Fashion Boutique, Gayle Walterbach of Coyote Beads, and Laura Wicks, of Grounds for Thought – who organized Firefly Nights. Thompson said to get 200 registrants for a first time race was a great response. “A hundred is considered a success.” Banfield said it was exciting to watch the registrations increased as race time approached, Banfield said. That included folks who signed up on Friday night. She and Thompson are optimistic that this is a sign of the enthusiasm for the three scheduled street festivals. The race will help fund three nights of downtown activities set for the third Friday of each month – June 15, July 20, and Aug. 17 – from 6 to 10 p.m. Main Street will be blocked off from the intersection of Court Street to the intersection of Washington with music stages at each end. Four bands will play alternating sets each night. All the bands have been booked, Banfield said. The lineup of talent from Northwest Ohio will be announced on June 1. Thompson said that 30 downtown businesses have signed up to participate and be sponsors. They will have sidewalk sales, a farmers market, and artisans will sell their wares. They are still talking with restaurants about how they will take part. Several will set tables out on the sidewalk. Mary Hinkelman, director of Downtown Bowling Green, was on hand as a participant in the walk. She’s excited by the prospects for Firefly Nights and sees it as a part of a growing interest in downtown activities. The farmers market,…


Rock show at Alehouse to benefit The Cocoon

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Debbie De Steno never met Cat Lambert face to face. They were Facebook friends who shared an interest in the local music scene. Then Cat was off social media, and Steno learned just a few days after they’d last been in contact that Lambert had been beaten to death by her husband. De Steno and others on the music scene wanted to do something. So De Steno pulled a benefit together at the Alehouse in the Woodland Mall. Music Against Domestic Violence was born with the proceeds going to help Lambert’s family. De Steno decided to make the benefit an annual affair.  So this Saturday (April 21) the fourth benefit will be held at the Alehouse from noon to midnight. The proceeds now benefit The Cocoon Shelter. The benefit is also to raise awareness about domestic violence, an issue people hesitate to talk about. For De Steno seeing the movie “The Burning Bed” was her first exposure to the physical and emotional realities of domestic abuse. The benefit will include a raffle and 50/50 drawing   with kids karaoke from noon to 2 p.m. The kids will turn the mic over to a lineup of local bands. Starting with Bliss at 2, each band will play about a 90-minute set. Other bands in order of appearance will be: Blue Ticks; 16-year-old guitar phenom Brad Tober and the Outsiders; BG high rockers Mindless Matters; Midnight Moses; and closers, AmpWagon. The first year De Steno played with the band Second Wynd, but she finds it too much to run the show and also be part of it. Still her love of music is at the heart of the event. As a kid growing up in New Jersey she picked up the guitar her older sister abandoned. She dreamed of being the next Pat Benatar. She’s been playing music ever since. Just picking up her guitar and picking a few notes helps her recharge. Music takes you away from everyday troubles, she said. “It gives you hope.” And that’s why it so fitting as a way to raise money so “The Cocoon can get resources to help people.”  


Firefly Nights to light up downtown BG this summer (updated)

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A group of businesswomen want to light up downtown Bowling Green this summer. After conversations of what can be done to bring visitors to the downtown during the summer doldrums, Laura Wicks, of Grounds for Thought, Stacie Banfield, of Mode Elle Boutique, Kati Thompson, Eden Fashion Boutique, and Gayle Walterbach, of Coyote Beads, banded together to launch Firefly Nights. The summer time series will get off to a running start with a run/walk through downtown on May 18 at 9 p.m. Firefly Nights will continue with evenings full of music, food, shopping and kids activities on the third Friday of each summer month – June 15, July 20, and Aug. 17 – from 6 to 10 p.m. “We want to foster a diverse, neighborly and lively atmosphere in downtown BG,” Thompson said. “That’s the intent and sole focus.” Main Street will be blocked off from the intersection of Court Street to the intersection of Washington. There’ll be music stages at each end featuring area music acts. Banfield said they plan to feature four to six acts each night. The organizers hope to attract some craft booths, and possibly a farmers market. Downtown stores would remain open and could have sidewalk sales. “We’re hoping to get restaurants to provide some kind of dining experience,” Banfield said. “We’re coming off the success of the Chocolate Crawl,” Thompson said. “So many people said they loved being downtown at night and experiencing so many places they didn’t know were here.” That event held in conjunction with Winterfest to benefit United Way of Wood County sold 400 tickets. People cruised through 18 stops to sample sweet goodies. Walterbach said they hope to attract two to three times that many people. “People who are always looking for fun things to do in the summer, so we’re hoping it attracts people not just from Bowling Green but from surrounding communities,” Thompson said. So far the response from downtown merchants has been good, as had the response from the city and Downtown Bowling Green. The Black Swamp Arts Festival has pioneered the way for such events, Walterbach said. The organizers are still looking for sponsors, with sponsorships ranging from $500 to $5000 for a presenting sponsor. Registration for the Firefly run/walk has begun. Click to register . Firefly Nights also needs volunteers. Email fireflynightsbg@gmail.com to volunteer. With the event still taking shape,…


Arts beat: A night of song benefits La Conexion

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When singer-songwriter Richard Shindell moved to Argentina, his wife’s homeland, he did what you’d expect a singer-songwriter to do: he wrote a song about it … in Spanish. That was one of the songs he sang Monday night at a house concert hosted by Greg and Linda Rich as a benefit for La Conexion. He acknowledged that “Que Hago Ahora” was written in elementary Spanish to an audience that included a number of native Spanish speakers, such as Beatriz Maya, a native of Argentina and executive director of La Conexion. Shindell said he realized just how elementary his Spanish was as he penned the song, so he wove his deficiencies in grammar into the lyrics, one of the few songs ever written that refers to the subjunctive case. It seemed appropriate to have an American living abroad help raise money for La Conexion, which helps immigrants to this area. That coincidence was not the reason he was there. He was there because he’s an expert enough to write a song, in a language foreign to him, and refer to the subjective case. He’s a strong enough writer to pick up an image of a bird flying off in the horizon while a wave crushes a sand castle and turn it into a ballad. He’s a strong enough musician to back his voice with atmospheric strings that provide fills, strums, bell-like resonances, and percussive accents. And Shindell is a good enough storyteller to weave these pieces together into an engaging evening of entertainment When his host Greg Rich, himself a songwriter, referenced the country song “Good Year for the Roses” in one of the three songs in his introductory set,  Shindell opened his set with the song itself. Rich’s song was about how he had mistakenly included this classic breakup tune in the playlist for his and Linda’s wedding reception. “Good Year for the Roses” was playing as they entered. Shindell quipped looking at his own setlist that the theme could very well be songs inappropriate for wedding receptions. He didn’t stint on the heartbreak. Not with “Are You Happy Now?” set on Halloween, when his lover has abandoned him for another man taking the trick-or-treat candy with her. The heartbreak wasn’t only about romantic love. “All Wide Open” tells of a drug addict daughter showing up at her father’s house before Thanksgiving, wanting another…


Luck of the Irish won’t help drunk drivers

From SAFE COMMUNITIES OF WOOD COUNTY St. Patrick’s Day has become one of the nation’s most popular times to celebrate and party. Unfortunately, too many people are taking to the roads after drinking alcohol, making this holiday also one of the most dangerous. In fact, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest holidays on the road our nation’s roads. During the 2012-2016 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18), 269 lives were lost due in drunk- driving crashes. In 2016, drunk driving killed more than 10,000 people in our country, and every single one of those deaths was preventable. To keep the roads safer, Wood County Safe Communities is reaching out with an important life-saving message and warning: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. If you plan to celebrate with alcohol this St. Patrick’s Day, follow these tips to stay safer:  Before celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, decide whether you’ll drink or you’ll drive. You can’t do both.  If you’re planning on driving, commit to staying sober. If you’ve been out drinking and then get behind the wheel, you run the risk of causing a crash or getting arrested for a DUI.  Help those around you be responsible, too. Walking while intoxicated can be deadly, as lack of attention could put you at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.  If someone you know is drinking, do not let him or her get behind the wheel.  If you see someone who appears to be driving drunk, pull over to a safe location and call the police. Your actions could help save a life. Remember this St. Patrick’s Day: Plan Before You Party! Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.


Comedian Krish Mohan aims to pop the bubbles that divide us

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Standup comedian Krish Mohan wants people break out of their bubbles. That means leaving his own bubble, and venturing far into the countryside. Mohan travels 40 weeks a year to deliver his laughter- inducing message. That meant that Saturday night, he joined a small audience in The Summit Shack, an unheated garage on the east side of Bowling Green.  That the venue was unheated was acknowledged by just about everyone except the young woman dressed in a short, tight black dress to work the late shift as a bartender in a downtown establishment. Despite the concern for her comfort expressed by others, she insisted she was fine despite a considerable amount of exposed flesh. Mohan, for his part, bundled up in a coat and gloves for his set. This was comedy at its most basic. A stage, and a mic, and a few listeners with fellow comedians to serve as warm up acts. So before he hit the stage, Ryan Chernock held forth with a set that concluded with a story about pancakes and blasphemy on the streets on Bowling Green. Mark Philipp spun wild tales, including creating a sordid back story for a guy who tried to pay for a three-pack of beer with a credit card that had his daughter’s photo on it. The card was rejected. Philipp took the tale from there. Michael Cohen, who’s been traveling with Mohan, told wild confessional tales of life on the road, including getting a ride from a surprisingly hospitable crackhead. Mohan has been practicing his craft since he was 16 and his mother would drive him to a suburban venue outside of Pittsburgh so he could do a 10-minute set at an open mic. He continued doing standup throughout his college years at La Roche College in Pennsylvania, opening for his friends’ bands as well as performing at open mics. When he graduated he knew what he wanted to do. So he hit the road. Terrible gigs, he said. A few people, and fewer dollars, and a long ride home so he could get up and get to work the next morning. Mohan, 29, trained as a graphic designer, but he grew disenchanted with that. After those first couple years in comedy he decided the more DYI scene, shows in backrooms, homes, and, well, unheated garages, was the avenue to success. “There’s a sense…