Nightlife

Two Foxes mixologist Hilary Packard in the mix for whiskey cocktail honors

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Hilary Packard worked her way through Southern Illinois University Carbondale as bartender. Once she graduated with a degree in math and physics she thought she’d work in an office or a lab putting her knowledge to use. Instead she found, she drawn back to bartending. So now Packard puts her calculating abilities to work as a mixologist. She’s the general manager of Two Foxes, a gastropub in downtown Bowling Green. She’s been concocting seasonal cocktails for the bar since early June. “I’m still using the same skill set,” she said, “logic and problem solving and critical thinking.” Now she’s decided to put her skills to the test against some of her peers from top markets in the country. On Monday she’ll travel to Columbus to take part in the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience. She’s one of 10 mixologists from the region selected to compete. At stake for the regional winners is an “immersive three-day experience” to the Woodford distillery in Versailles, Kentucky, and beyond that a trip to New York to compete with about 40 other winning mixologists from the United States and Canada. And, of course, there’s the “street cred” that comes with matching her skills with large market mixologists. Packard learned about the event through liquor.com. “It seemed like a really good opportunity to showcase my skills with whiskey,” she said. She had to submit her recipes for her ideal version of the classic Manhattan and a cocktail of her own creation. Each had to use a Woodford bourbon, at least one, the basic Woodford Reserve. Packard used that in the Manhattan. For her custom drink, she used Woodford Reserve Double Oaked. This was not a matter of just pulling stuff off the shelves and mixing it.  One of the advantages mixologists in cities have is greater access to ingredients. In creating these blends, Packard made her own ingredients from scratch. That meant for her The Tokyo Throwback Manhattan blending her own vermouth. The drink is a tribute to Japan and more broadly Asia. While the increase in consumption of whiskey has been modest in the States, about 2 to 3 percent, the demand in Japan has skyrocketed. This has meant growth in the amount distilled. So all whiskey aficionados like herself benefit. So for her vermouth, she started with plum wine. Then she infused the wine with wormwood, lavender, cardamom, and…


CD relives memorable night that bluesman Luther Allison put Howard’s on the map

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Back before Howard’s was Howard’s Club H. Back when it was on the west side of North Main Street. Back when it served liquor, beer, wine, and sandwiches prepared upstairs, and it also served a lot of colorful characters, some of whom lived in the rooms out back. What it didn’t offer was live music. That is except for when a college professor assembled friends and guitars for an impromptu hootenanny singing folk songs, some with decidedly blue lyrics. When the Wood County District Public Library bought the property in the late 1960s as a site for its new facility, the bar was displaced across the street to the former Modern Heating storefront, and then to the room next door. For Charlie Davis the long-time manager this was an opportunity. Yes, the place that opened Feb. 14, 1973, was nicer. The floors were level for one thing. “It was supposed to be more of a club atmosphere instead of just a watering hole,” remembers Tom Lambert, who had worked at the bar since returning home from the Army. It also had room for live music. Davis had been wanting to host bands, especially blues bands, for a while, and now he had his chance. He started booking acts including J.B. Hutto, Willie Dixon, and Jimmy Dawkins, as well as locals including Diamond Reo (not the 1980s national act with a slightly different spelling). The music drew decent crowds until about 18 months later when Chicago bluesman Luther Allison came to town for a September weekend in 1974. Lambert was manning the sound booth. He brought along his reel-to-reel tape recorder and jerry-rigged a connection. He caught local history on tape. The first night’s crowd was modest, Lambert remembers. Allison came to party, and the room could hardly contain his energy. Davis remembers Allison getting up on the bar and walking down in true blues fashion, jangling the lights as he went. When he got to the end he didn’t stop. Trailing a long cord to keep his guitar plugged in, Allison headed out the door and ended up playing in the middle of Main Street. A night to remember. Lambert said that once word got out about Friday’s show, the bar was packed the next night. In the early morning hours of Sunday, Lambert played the tapes from the shows back to Allison and…


Eddie Shaw, favorite of BG blues fans, dies at 80

Bluesman Eddie Shaw, who made frequent appearances in Bowling Green, died Monday (Jan. 29, 2018). His passing was confirmed by his booking agent Jay Reil. Shaw, vocalist, saxophonist, and band leader, played many shows over the past several decades in Bowling Green. Those included shows at Howard’s Cub H, and later Grounds for Thought, and the Black Swamp Arts Festival. Grounds proprietor Kelly Wicks, who booked him in his shop and at the festival, said Shaw was like Bowling Green’s resident bluesman. The feeling was mutual. Before a 2013 at Grounds, Shaw said Bowling Green was like a home away from home for him. He had a lot of friends in the area, he said. Shaw, 80, started playing the blues as a teenager in Mississippi. In 1972 he joined blues legend Howlin’ Wolf’s band, the Wolf Pack, and when the leader died in 1976, Shaw took the helm and continued to lead the group until his death. Shaw most recently performed in Bowling Green as the closing act of the 2014 Black Swamp Arts Festival.


Divas dive into downtown scene to bring opera & art song to new listeners

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News An ensemble of young vocalists wants listeners to belly up to the bar and drink in the beauty of song. The Black Swamp Opera Ensemble will perform Cocktails & Cadenzas, a variety of operatic arias, art songs, and musical theater pieces, on Friday, January 12, at 9 p.m. at Two Foxes Gastropub. All six singers recently earned Masters of Music in vocal performance from Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts. Now on the cusp of careers, they are taking their art to the places they like to hang out, according to sopranos Kate Pomrenke and Kyle Schreiber. Pomrenke said she got the idea for the ensemble after performing at Toledo on Tap, an event celebrating beer brewing. “Why can’t we do something like that here? There are so many singers here that have graduated,” she said. “We’re all young singers looking for whatever opportunities we can to perform, and this is a good way bring our art to the community.” “We’re just a group of friends,” Schreiber said. “We graduated, and we’re all in the area.” Other members are Jarrod Davis, tenor, John Mink, baritone, Savanah Stricklin, soprano, and Brett Pond, baritone. They are accompanied by a pianist. Schreiber said that while they were still in school, they talked about doing a Halloween show. So the ensemble made its debut in October with a Halloween performance, complete with costumes, at Grounds for Thought. They followed that up with a Christmas concert, also at Grounds, mixing carols in with their usual repertoire. “It’s very casual,” Schreiber said. “We don’t want it to be super fancy. We want to go to bars and coffee shops. We want it to be accessible.” That means singing for the folks who come specifically to listen to them as well as entertaining those who just happen to be in the venue. People can listen to a song or two, or the whole concert, Pomrenke said. The performances are presented round-robin style. Each singer will perform one piece, and then the next singer will perform. Each performs five or six pieces. The program is not firmly set. Every performer has a number of pieces prepared, and what actually is presented depends on what the others sing and the performers’ sense of what the audience may appreciate. Pomrenke said they’d like to perform monthly, in coffee shops, bars, libraries or…


Guitarist Mike Bryce grooves in many styles on new album

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Mike Bryce graduated from Bowling Green State University he already had experience producing two albums. Bryce, a jazz guitar performance major, had founded the Roots Music Club on campus, and took the lead in producing the club’s annual compilations. Now he’s releasing his own CD, “Eclectic Guitar,” featuring 10 originals that cover the gamut of styles he’s explored over the years. Bryce will celebrate the new album with a show Saturday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green. More information is available at www.mikebrycemusic.com. While some of the tunes date back to his senior recital, Bryce said he didn’t really get started in earnest on the project until the beginning of this year. Part of the delay was working it in with his teaching schedule. He has about 40 private students at his own studio, Studio Connection, and in Bluffton. True to the title, “Eclectic Guitar” reflects a variety of styles. Those styles are in part driven by the singers and instrumentalists Bryce recruited to join him. At the core is the rhythm section of Devonte Stovall, on bass, electric bass, and cello, and JP Stebal on drums. He’s worked with them dating back to his time at BGSU, and in the band The Barncats. “It’s comfortable,” he said of collaborating with his bandmates. They are joined by vocalists and violinists on the rest of the tracks, some are folks he knew from the Roots Music Club, or jazz classes, or are friends. He said he tailored the songs to fit the approaches of the various singers. “A lot of it is not jazz,” he said. He said there’s a spontaneity to how he composes. Beau Hamann sings both on the rocking opener, “Barn Fire” and the swing ballad “First Love.” Amy Hewitt is an old friend, who works construction, with a fine singing voice, reminiscent of Nora Jones. She’s featured on “Good Enough” and “Promise,” both have a folk meets jazz feel. Flannery Murnen comes from the Roots Music Club. She adds just the right amount of grit for “Middle-Class Moonshiner,” a reflection of post-college years with its uncertainties and college debt. She returns later for the reflective “Staring at the Sun.” Jared Lucas steps in to sing the country-tinged “Only for You” and Emily Hunt performs the atmospheric “Blue Mist.” Adding color and solos…


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 of Marion, Indiana, and seek to include a variety of creative expression at their shows (including visual arts, performance art, poetry, fire-spinning and flow arts). “These guys know how to lay it down! Bring some ear plugs and prepare to rock out!”, raves The Dayton Music Insider.


Justin Payne brings his music home for album release party

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News No sooner had Justin Payne released his second recording, he headed out of town. This fall, the Bowling Green-based singer songwriter embarked on a five-week solo with company tour that took him to points west and east including his first show in New York City. Accompanying him on the tour was fellow singer-songwriter Zach Wilson. They played solo and accompanied each other for a few numbers. The two singer-songwriters will present a double CD release party Friday, Nov. 24, at Howard’s Club H. The 8 p.m. show will feature sets by each of them, then a set by Corduroy Road, culminating in some “beer-brined” jamming at the end. Wilson, who plays bass with the Justin Payne and Co. band on “High Water,” will mark the release of “Send Scenery.” The show reunites Payne with the quartet that played on “High Water,” which also includes guitarist Calvin Cordy, who also engineered the recording, and drummer Adam Rice. The session was collaborative and inclusive. “Most of the stuff I like about the project was brought by my collaborators,” Payne said. The recording was also inspired by the space in which it was made. Payne said he spent the summer cleaning out his late mother-in-law’s barn. When the hay loft was finally empty he realized that “it’s a picture perfect recording environment. If you’re going for a rootsy sound that’s the room you want to use.” Payne grew up in Newark. His grandparents encouraged him to play violin when he was about 4, though his parents were not as enamored of those early screeches. He went on to play in his school orchestra as well as acting in musical theater. He came to Bowling Green to study violin and composition at the College of Musical Arts. He played in the Bowling Green Philharmonia for a couple years and gigged with civic orchestras in the area. He grew disillusioned with the life of an orchestral violinist, and didn’t see much future in it. Payne ended up getting degrees in History and Philosophy. While his violin took a back seat, his guitar came to the fore. He got his first electric guitar when he was 12. He was enamored of heavy metal and hardcore punk. Now his parents had to contend with “distorted raunchy trash coming from my bedroom.” Payne said that early experience still makes itself felt in…


Drag takes the stage as local LBGTQ claims a club night for their own

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News With the band’s sound check completed, Howard’s co-owner Tony Zmarzly was on the stage at the club making sure the gear was pushed to the edges of the stage. He taped down a section of the carpet and checked for errant microphone cords. The crowd cleared the dance floor in front of the stage, and waited. Then Rosie D. Riveter appeared, all glitter and bitchy attitude. Drag was on stage at Howard’s Club, and it found a willing audience. The Rosie and Viv Show last Sunday was the first of three Queer Night drag and variety performances scheduled for the club. Organizer Gary Strain, a.k.a. Rosie, hopes this will continue and maybe even expand in 2018. The other shows are set for Nov. 26 and Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. she and Vivian Vendetta Sinclaire also will be part of the line up Saturday, Nov. 19, for the Leelah Alcorn Memorial Scholarship Benefit Show to raise scholarship money for transgender students at Bowling Green State University. The benefit starts at 3 p.m. and runs until closing time. The show Sunday marked a promising launch as Rosie and her co-hostess Vivian Vendetta Sinclaire commanded the stage with raucous, off-color humor and word play. They pulled the audience in. They even had a couple women come up to guess their bras sizes, to no avail. Then Nikki Cordy, the club’s barkeep, left her station, to nail it. Strain said when he’d approached Cordy about staging the drag show at the club, her response was “hell yeah.” So Rosie and Ms. Sinclaire and their special guests Rikki Sins and Deja D. Dellataro walked the walk to the sounds of Beyonce, Spice Girls, Lizzo, Stevie Nicks, Alanis Morisette, The Pointer Sisters, and Kelly Clarkson. The dance floor became a runway and as they strutted by on their way to the packed picnic tables in the rear, customers proffered dollar bills. One customer apologized to Rosie saying she’d forgotten to bring bills. “Oh, just give me your credit card.” Strain said that the idea for the queer night at Howard’s sprang from discussions among those in the LBGTQ+ community on campus. There’s already drag at Ziggy’s on Tuesday nights, but people were looking for something different. “Something edgy, something a little underground, something a little punk,” Strain said. That includes having a local band – American Spirits filled the bill…


Transient Canvas takes contemporary music to unexpected places

Transient Canvas should feel right at home when the contemporary music duo shows up in Bowling Green to play a show at the Clazel Monday, Nov. 20. Amy Advocat on bass clarinet and Matt Sharrock on marimba have played all manner of venues, including being featured on a series of concerts at microbreweries in their home-base Boston where brewers concocted a special beer to serve with the music. “One of the things we love about this group is so we’re so mobile,” Advocat said in a recent telephone interview. “We want to reach people in unexpected places.” Transient Canvas will perform at 8 p.m. Nov. 20 in a free Music at the Forefront concert presented by the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music at Bowling Green State University. On Sunday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m., the duo will perform in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Great Gallery. Advocat said the programs for the two shows are tailored for the different venues. The museum concert will featured “a thoughtful program, more classically oriented.” On the program “Looking Forward, Looking Back,” the program notes state: “The composers featured … have created something new and fresh by evoking the past, acknowledging their influences without directly emulating them.” At the Clazel, Transient Canvas will turn up the volume, and play a set of electro-acoustic works, that draw on a range of influences including pop and acid rock. All the pieces on both programs have been written expressly for Transient Canvas. Advocat and Sharrock first got together to play a piece he had performed at conservatory. They also read through other pieces, hardly a handful, written for clarinet and marimba. They liked the sound and working together. “We found the bass clarinet has just a remarkable blend and balance with the marimba, so recently we’ve been sticking with that,” Advocat said. “If it work, it works.” Sharrock said that having two instruments in the same range makes the partnership a more equal one. Whenever Advocat would play a higher pitched horn, it would always feel like he was the accompanist and she the soloist. Having the lowest octave on his five-octave marimba also adds more heft to the sound. They approached their composer friends to write pieces, and have since extended their circle of collaborators. In the past six years, Transient Canvas, which made its concert debut in April, 2012, has commissioned more than 75 compositions….


The music plays on at the Clazel

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The new operators of the 91-year-old Clazel in downtown in Bowling Green are not looking to teach the old venue new tricks. This summer Darrin and Cierra Karcher, of Findlay, purchased the Clazel business from Ammar Mufleh, who retains ownership of the building and property. The vision for the venue spelled out by John Carroll, the general manager, follows along the lines of what Mufleh did from the time he purchased the old theater in mid-2008. He ran the club nights on Fridays and Saturdays until last December when he stopped them out of concern for the wear-and-tear on the theater and his staff. Now the late night lights and DJs are back. Carroll worked security and on other projects for the Clazel since 2011. “I have a lot of respect for the building and definitely want to make sure it’s taken care of.” The Karchers, Carroll said, who own several bars in Findlay and Upper Sandusky, were interested in branching out. This will be the first night club the couple will operate. The Clazel continues to be available for weddings, corporate meetings and parties, and fundraisers.  “The big one being Fire and Ice,” a February benefit for the American Red Cross, Carroll said. Working with A.L. Entertainment, the owners are also bringing back regular live music to the Clazel. Carroll said that the Columbus-based jam band ekoostik hookah was interested in hosting a holiday show at the venue. That show will be Friday, Dec. 8 and also feature Tropidelic, Rustik Waters, and Tree No Leaves. Leading up to the December show, the club is hosting a series of concerts featuring bands who play “in a similar vein” to ekoostik hookah. Some of these bands, Carroll said, have opened for ekoostik hookah or worked with them in other places. The next show will be Thursday, Nov. 2, featuring Vibe and Direct, followed by a Nov. 16 concert by Funk Factory. The idea is to give a platform for local and regional band, and put a spark back into Bowling Green’s local music scene, Carroll said. “The ultimate goal is to make the Clazel a destination for regional music,” Carroll said. He sees the venue’s efforts as complementary to what’s happening at Howard’s a block away. Together they can offer a full weekend of music. So far the reception has been good with performers expressing…