Chalk Goblin Scares up Artistic Fun at Gahanna Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival

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Chalk-dragonsNew this year at Visit Gahanna’s 19th annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival (June 16-18) is the Buskers’ Bayou area (presented by Gahanna Rotary) featuring magicians, painters and chalk artist Chris Fry, the “Chalk Goblin.” We wondered …  how does one build a career creating temporary chalk masterpieces on pavement? So we caught up with Chris for a little one-on-one:

When did you start doing chalk art? 
I’ve drawn with chalk and pastels for years, but I first started drawing on the ground around 13 years ago.

What inspires your work? 
Mostly my own imagination — my head has always been full of trolls, dragons, and other weird creatures.  My daughters give me a lot of inspiration as well — I try to create images that they’ll think are fun and cool.

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How long does it take (on average) to create one of your works? 
Depends on the size of the piece… On average, it takes 3 to 4 hours to get it to the point where I can call it finished.  If time (and weather!) allows, I’ll keep adding on until it becomes something more than I first pictured, which is when it gets to be fun.

Where have you created your works? (ie. Festivals/ events/ etc.) 
I’ve done chalk festivals like Via Colori in Columbus, Chalk About It in Dayton, the Columbus Arts Festival, and Chalk the Block at Easton every fall.  I’ve done chalking at other art or community events all across Ohio, from a food truck rally in Kenton to the Fourth of July celebration in Hudson to the Sternwheeler Festival in Pomeroy.  Last year, I did two nights of chalk art for Highball Halloween, which was a lot of fun.  I also do a lot of promotional and advertising chalk art for local concerts and events around Cleveland and Columbus. 

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Which of your designs has garnered the most attention? 
My first year of the Easton Chalk the Block event, I did a large, bright red phoenix being ridden by three colorful explorers (my three daughters); to this day, people still recognize me for that piece, which makes me smile.  However, I once drew a concert promo featuring the logo for the band Journey, which they then shared on their Facebook page, earning me 12,000 likes, which was also pretty cool.  🙂

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What are your favorite subjects? 
I like drawing dragons and other fantastical creatures.  Subjects like that allow you to have fun with color and composition without having to worry about it looking “realistic” enough.  I try to steer away from things that are too serious when drawing on the ground.

What can visitors expect to see from you on Saturday during the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival? 
 Something fanciful and maybe just a little bit off-beat.  Something that will hopefully fit the mood of the music.

Any tips for folks who might want to try their hand at chalk art? 
Just go out and do it.  Don’t be afraid to not have a plan, and don’t be intimidated by the size of the space.  Just start drawing and coloring, and go with what feels right.  If it doesn’t turn out, no big deal; it’ll wash away soon and you can try again.

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Do you have a favorite design that you created? 
Each time I finish a piece, that tends to be my favorite, until the next one.

Does the fact that your art is temporary ever prove discouraging? 
Only if the rain comes and it starts disappearing before I’m done (which has happened more than once).  Once I’ve finished, I just want it to stick around long enough for folks to enjoy it.  After that, I’m ready to move on to the next one.

Where can you be found on social media?
http://www.chalkgoblin.com   /  Facebook.com/chalkgoblin
Twitter @chalkgoblin.  I sometimes post to Instagram using @chalkgoblin, but I hate hashtags, so no one can ever find my stuff there.  🙂

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See Chris work his artistic Chalk Magic in Buskers Bayou (located at South Mill & Granville St.) from 5-8 pm Saturday, June 17 at the Gahanna, Ohio Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival (117 Mill St.)  For tickets and a full 3-day event schedule, go to www.CreeksideBluesandJazz.com

 

Vettes, Rods & Classics Take Over Gahanna August 6

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 The streets of Creekside Gahanna (OH) will be filled with nostalgia on Saturday, August 6 when Vettes, Rods & Classics Car Show @, Creekside Gahanna comes to town!  We met up with show director Mark Thomas to learn more about this “classic” event. 

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Capital City Corvette Club Vettes, Rods and Classics at Creekside Gahanna, Ohio

When and where will the Vettes, Rods & Classics Car Show be held? 
The show is Saturday, August 6 from 12-9 pm. at Creekside in Gahanna. The rain date is Sunday, August 7 with the same times.

How many years has the show existed? 
This is our 15th year for the show, however only the last three have been held at Creekside.

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Why Gahanna? 
I’m a lifelong resident of Gahanna.  I love our community and the City of Gahanna has gone out of their way to help support our car show.  Plus, Creekside is a great location for a car show.

What can visitors expect to find/see/ do there? 
Visitors can expect first class customer service and beautiful cars on display. The band Nightfall will perform at 5 pm.  There are about a dozen restaurants at Creekside, and there will be some vendors, as well.

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Capital City Corvette Club Vettes, Rods and Classics at Creekside Gahanna, Ohio

How many people do you expect? Where do most of your visitors/ entries come from? 
Weather permitting, we expect to have 275 cars on display. We will have cars from all over Ohio and even surrounding states.

What makes this show unique? 
This show is known for our awards, door prizes and the quality of vehicles on display.  Everyone comments on what a beautiful setting we have for our car show.

What is one thing that most people might be surprised to learn about the show?
100% of the money raised is for the children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

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Capital City Corvette Club Vettes, Rods and Classics at Creekside Gahanna, OH

Is there a cost to attend? 
There is no charge for spectators.  The cost to enter a vehicle into the show is $15.  ALL MAKES AND MODELS ARE WELCOME.

Where can people go to learn more?
People can visit capcitycorvette.com or contact Mark Thomas at 614.329.1717

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Visitors will find Gahanna hotels located just 5 minutes from Creekside Gahanna. Call the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau at 614/418-9114 for package information or go HERE to book your hotel now. 

 

20 Best Free & Cheap Things to Do in Gahanna, Ohio

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Summer is the BEST time to discover all the FREE and Cheap things to do in Gahanna, Ohio! From free concerts and cheap eats, to dozens of reasons to take in the City’s 770 acres of parkland and trails, it’s challenging to make a short list!  But we’re giving it a shot. Here are 20 of our favorite ways to discover all the unique (free and cheap) treasures in Gahanna, Ohio. To learn more, check out VisitGahanna.com … the official website of the Gahanna Ohio Convention & Visitors Bureau!  And tell us YOUR favorites!
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1)      Creekside District.  (117 Mill St.) Gahanna’s crowning jewel is the breathtaking Creekside District. This serene oasis sits just a mile or so away from several interstate highways, making it well worth a trip off the beaten path. Walk the trails and discover the nearby herb gardens. Fish near a waterfall. Ride a paddleboat ($5/half hour rental).  Enjoy one of the Creekside LIVE! Concerts – held the second and fourth Fridays during the summer months.

2)      $2 Taco Tuesday!  (101 Mill St) Local Cantina offers craft eats, craft beers and a selection of mouth watering Margaritas.  It’s hard to beat the Taco Tuesday deal, especially when you throw in free chips & salsa and those patio views!

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3)      Kayaking/Canoeing! Take in the scenery paddling along the Big Walnut Creek. Launch at Woodside Green Park (213 Camrose Court). (See Map.)

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4)      Swisher Creek Farm. (3515 Babbitt Rd, Blacklick) Visit this hidden gem, owned and operated by Pete and Judy Klein, and meet their beautiful herd of Alpaca during your FREE educational tour of the farm (by appointment). Shop the gift shop that features both handmade items and a full line of alpaca products made in Peru. A delightful and enchanting experience for visitors of ALL ages!  Call 614/939-1872 to schedule a tour.

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5)      Ohio Herb Center. (110 Mill St.) Treat your senses to a visit to the Ohio Herb Center! In addition to offering a variety of great classes and workshops, the Center is located in the historic Nafzger-Miller house and is home to a gift shop filled with herb-inspired products, books and a drying shed—with history of its own!
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6)      Arepazo.  (93 N. High St.) Weekday Happy Hour  (5-7pm) features select $5 Tapas and $5 cocktails, including sangria (Red and White) by the glass, Classic Margaritas, Caipirinhas (Classic and Guava), Mojitos (Classic, Pineapple, Blackberry, And Strawberry), Martini (Tropical, Pineapple, and Mango), and $1 off all draft beers.

7)      Visit Geroux Gardens. (206 S. Hamilton Rd.) Named for Jane “Bunnie” Geroux, the driving force behind Gahanna’s Herb Capital of Ohio (1972) status, Geroux Gardens offer a Culinary Garden, Scented Garden, Shade Garden, Rock/Biblical Garden, Pond Garden and Medicinal Garden. 

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8)      The Story Trail. (150 Oklahoma Ave) Incorporate a family walk with reading at Gahanna’s Story Trail (Friendship Park).   Gahanna Parks & Recreation presents the fifth Story Trail Story, “Going on a Nature Walk,” in collaboration with the Columbus Metropolitan Library and Art Garden Studios. Continue on down the trail to the confluence of the two creeks where water levels are shallow and do some old fashioned “wading.”

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9)      Explore Gahanna’s Sweet Tooth Trail! Cookies and milkshakes and cupcakes … OH MY! Check out the list of SWEET options!

10)   Enjoy a family picnic at Hannah Park, (6547 Clark State Rd ) where you’ll find a lovely stone covered picnic shelter, tennis courts, a playground, a catch-and-release fishing pond, and a 1-mile trail to bike or hike.

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11)   Shepherds Corner (987 N. Waggoner Rd.) A 160 -acre ecological refuge offering a haven for wildlife and spiritual refreshment for guests. Operated by the Dominican Sisters of Peace, visitors can meet the resident Llama and sheep, learn about permaculture from the Farmer, walk the meditation trails or labyrinth, and shop for maple syrup, soap and other goods made on site.

12)   Signatures Mill Stone Tavern (94 Mill St.)  is a Gahanna classic. Enjoy $1.25 mini-burgers on Tuesdays and a $3.99 Wing Wednesday deal (for 8 wings) with purchase of a drink. Specials good all day; dine in only.

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13)  Griffin Art Gallery.  (77 Mill St.) This gallery showcases a fantastic collection of work by locally and nationally recognized artists. Many works highlight Ohio’s rich artistic history and the artists it produces. Located in the Creekside District, adjacent to many great restaurants with patio dining.

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14)   Cycle the Big Walnut Bike TrailGahanna has some amazing bike and multi-use trails. Download the Bike Trail Map provided by Gahanna Parks & Recreation Department.

15)   Barrel & Boar. (121 Mill St.) Amazing BBQ awaits you at Barrel & Boar Creekside. Enjoy the beautiful patio views over lunch, dinner or come on Sunday for a great brunch or “Buck-a-Bone” deals ALL DAY LONG!
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16)   Kindred Artisan Ales.  (505 Morrison Rd.) This Gahanna-based brewery uses new and old world brewing techniques to create brews worth the trip.  Small (cheap) samples or full pints are available to enjoy in the tasting room (not to mention creative cocktails).  Ever-changing cheap eats are available from visiting food trucks (see schedule on website). You can even enjoy a game of cornhole!

17)   Old Bag of Nails Gahanna. (63 Mill St.)  Enjoy free kids meals (one with purchase of adult entrée) and “Happy Hour 2 You” $2 deals (2-7 pm Mon-Friday)!

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18)   Mi Tradicion. (111 N. Stygler Rd.) One of our fav local eateries features a menu with lots of variety, great chips and salsa and a weekday Happy Hour (3-7 pm) with discounted house Margaritas and beer. Check their website for live music nights.

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19)   Wyandotte Winery. (4640 Wyandotte Dr.) Wednesdays (5-8 pm) bring Hump Day Happy Hour, with $2 off wine-by-the-glass and ½ price menu items.  Visitors can enjoy FREE winery tours on Saturday (12:30 pm and 3:30 pm. Reservations required.)

20)   Splash Pad fun at Easton. (160 Easton Town Center)  Called the “Rodeo Drive of the Midwest,” it’s hard to beat shopping and dining at Easton Town Center. But little ones (and moms needing some rest) will love the free splash pad!

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For more info about Gahanna, check out Visitgahanna.com or call the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau at 614/418-9114.

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Biking, Beauty Contests and Free Family Fun – Gahanna Style!

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Imagine riding your bike along scenic paths, finding your way back to a time when beauty contests were held at a local Gahanna, Ohio park, an ancestor to two US Presidents made his home nearby and an ancient Indian mound was created.

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During the inaugural Gahanna History Bike Tour, presented at 1 pm Sunday, July 17 by the Gahanna Bicycle and Trail Advisory Committee and the Gahanna Historical Society, bikers (and hikers) of all ages and levels can explore Gahanna’s natural beauty and history while enjoying a free family outing.

The idea originated with Tricia Kovacs, with the Gahanna Bicycle and Trail Advisory Committee. “Our goal is to showcase how bikeable Gahanna is with our Big Walnut Trail, our Safe Routes to School projects and our on-street signed bike routes,” she said.

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The event will kick off at Gahanna Veterans Memorial Park (73 W. Johnstown Rd.) promptly at 1 pm with a safety talk. Free helmets will be available to children while supplies last. Participants will receive a “cue sheet,” describing some local historic sites. Bikers can ride with the group or at their own pace.  For non-bikers, copies of the Gahanna Historical Society’s walking tour will be available.

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Stops along the bike route will include several historical places in Gahanna, such as the John Clark House and Shull Log House, which will be open to visitors during the afternoon.

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Riders can choose route distances of 5 miles (trail ride), 10 miles (trail and street bike routes) or 25 miles (additional miles on scenic byways of Jefferson Township). Walkers are welcome to participate to enjoy the Historic Walking Tour of Gahanna.

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The ride is free of charge; voluntary donations to the Gahanna Historical Society will be accepted. To learn more, visit https://sites.google.com/site/gahannabac or contact Tricia Kovacs at pkovacs@att.net  (614/476-9093).

To learn more about visiting Gahanna, Ohio, go to: www.VisitGahanna.com

8 Things You Should Know Before Attending the Gahanna Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival

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The streets of Gahanna’s beautiful Creekside District are about to be filled with the sounds and smells of the city’s largest signature event AND Ohio’s BEST Blues & Jazz!  June 17-19 marks the 18th annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival, presented by the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau. The event (located at 117 Mill St.) draws thousands of people from across the region with its 5 stages, 48 bands, 90 hours of non-stop jams, Family Fun Zone, food and retail vendors AND memorable experiences. The Festival runs Friday 5-11 pm; Saturday 11 am-11 pm; and Sunday 12-6 pm. There are some NEW additions this year, some changes and a few other general tips to keep in mind when visiting #2016CBJF:

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1) NEW Stage Locations. Growing attendance over the past several years has led to some exciting new changes to the event layout. New seating areas will ease congestion and offer improved  sound quality.

With the new layout, shuttle drop-offs will be conveniently located along Walnut and North Streets.  Guests will still have five different ways to enter the festival. (Download the Festival Map for specifics.)
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2) FREE Park & Ride Shuttles. While there is limited free parking within walking distance of the Festival, the smarter option is to take advantage of one of the 4 Park & Ride shuttles that run continuously during the Festival. Locations:

  • Giant Eagle (1250 North Hamilton Rd.) At Morse Rd and Hamilton Road intersection
  • Stygler Road and Route 62 Shuttle (101 S. Stygler Rd.), courtesy of Ohio AAA.
  • Gahanna Lincoln High School (140 S. Hamilton Road), courtesy of Meijer.
  • Clark Hall, (380 Granville Street) Provided courtesy of Hollywood Casino.

Accessible shuttles are available at the Clark Hall/380 Granville St. location. Additionally, handicap parking  is available in Creekside Parking Garage, 151 Mill St. (rate of $5.00 per car). The Creekside parking garage will be open throughout the festival weekend, with an entrance near the intersection of Mill and North Streets; accessible only by traveling south on Mill Street.  Event parking rate is $5 per car, collected at entrance to garage.  Festival Admission also will be collected for all cars parking in garage. Cash only accepted at garage entrance.

3) General admission is as follows:
$7          Friday, June 17  & Sunday, June 19
$7          Saturday, June 18 (until 5 pm)
$10        Saturday, June 18 (After 5 pm)
FREE      Children under 12 and Military w/ ID (and immediate family)
FREE      Sunday 11:30 am-12:30 pm with the donation of one non-perishable food item per person to benefit Gahanna Residents in Need (GRIN).

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4) Cocktail Tastings
Some of the most popular events within the Festival are the Tastings. These often sell out, so reserve your tickets early by calling 614/418-9114.

Cocktail Tastings w/ Watershed Distillery (Fri. 6-10 pm) Meet the owners of Watershed Distillery and share 4 new cocktails inspired by the Festival. 45-minute seatings start at 6 pm under the pergolas at Creekside Plaza.  4 tastings /$15.  Limited seating.

Craft Beer Tastings. (Sat, 2-5 pm) Explore the world of craft beers enjoying samples with local experts, including Gahanna’s own Pigskin Brewing Company, Kindred Artisan Ales, Columbus Brewing Company, Four Strings, New Belgium and Southern Tier.  In addition, 101 Beer Kitchen will be offering appetizer pairings. Reps from each of the breweries will be on hand to chat about their brews. 6 tastings/$12.

Ohio Wine Tastings. (Sun, 1:30-4 pm)  Sample a variety of Ohio-made wines from Buckeye state wineries including Wyandotte Winery (Gahanna) and Good Vibes Winery (Westerville),  6 tastings/$12.
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5) VIP Experiences
With amazing headliners slated to appear at #2016CBJF like Marion Meadows with Urban Jazz Coalition on the Heartland Band Jazz Stage (Sat) and Sonny Landreth on the Benchmark Bank Blues Stage (Sat), plan on some packed houses.  For the best views of the stages, treat yourself to a VIP experience. Book a reserved seat or table in the Club Blues or All that Jazz VIP sections and come-and-go as you please. Enjoy VIP parking and shuttle, swag bags, refreshments are more. Just a few seats remain in both sections. Book online now or call 614/418-9114.

6) Family Fun Zone & NEW Little Kid Zone
Families can enjoy free hands-on activities, crafts, face painting, sports demos and more on Saturday and Sunday afternoons in the Giant Eagle Family Fun Zone at Veteran’s Memorial Park (73 W Johnstown Rd.) Play with band instruments in the Musical Discovery Zone (presented by the Rotary Club of Gahanna). There is no charge to enter this area of the Festival.  You will need to buy wristbands (or individual tickets) to ride the Amusement Rides or bounce in the “Little Kids Zone.” Check out the hours, ride pricing and a full schedule of events.

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7) Come Hungry! Whatcha hungry for? We got that. With more than 30 food and beverage vendors and another 12 restaurants located in or near the Festival footprint, #2016CBJF offers plenty of chow options for ALL tastes. Check out the list of vendors here.

8) GO Green! BIKE PARKING – YAY VALET! Yay Valet! is a valet parking service that will be offering free, secure bicycle parking to everyone who rides to the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival on Saturday or Sunday. The valet will be located near the High Street Entrance Gate at the Olde Gahanna Sanctuary (82 N. High St.).

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For a full musical lineup, artist bios, a complete schedule of events and much more, check out www.CreeksideBluesandJazz.com.  Also, follow @CreeksideBlues on Facebook and Twitter, and @VisitGahanna on Instagram for frequent updates throughout the event.

 

 

Austin ‘Walkin’ Cane Brings “Fine Blues” to Gahanna, Ohio

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Austin Walkin’ Cane is a blues singer, songwriter and slide guitarist who performs acoustic solo, duo & electric band sets. He has toured Australia, Nepal, Colombia, France, Germany, England, Wales, and the US, from New Orleans, Louisiana to Juneau, Alaska with only a guitar & suitcase in hand. Austin walked for 10 years with a cane due to an arterial venous malformation at birth. While performing on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, a homeless man called out “Hey Walkin’ Cane got some spare change for a brother?!” Austin took the jibe as his nickname. In 1996, after years of battling the inevitable, his left leg was amputated below the knee. A year after the surgery, he returned to the music scene stronger and without need of a cane. Austin brings his own brand of ‘Damn Fine Blues’ to the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival at 5:45 pm Saturday, June 18 on the Electric Blues Stage (presented by Benchmark Bank).

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When did you discover your passion for music? (And when did you start expressing yourself through music?
I discovered my passion for music around the age of five. I used to hang with the older neighborhood kids and they would turn me onto different rock bands like the Beatles, Stones, The Who, Hendrix, etc. On Christmas Eve ’84, I bought my first guitar, a Gibson SG, at Sam’s Music & Golf on Prospect Ave. in Downtown Cleveland from a cool guy named Maceo. On New Years Eve ’84, the power trio was born when a couple of my best friends bought their instruments. Musical expression began at that moment.

What influenced you in the beginning?
I was influenced by the radio, neighborhood kids and a strange obsession with slide guitar. The intro to Led Zeppelin’s version of In My Time of Dying was the first slide song I learned note for note.

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Who inspires you now?
I listen to all kinds of music but the blues is my deepest inspiration. People like Blind Willie Johnson, The Kings (Albert, B.B., Freddie), Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Professor Longhair, Snooks Eaglin, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Robert Johnson, Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy, Leadbelly, Robert Pete Williams, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Big Mama Thornton, Sonny Boy Williamson, Willie Dixon, Bo Diddley…

How would you describe your music?
DAMN FINE BLUES!

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What’s your greatest achievement to date?
My album ONE HEART WALKIN’  was nominated “BEST NEW ARTIST ALBUM” by the 2015 BLUES MUSIC AWARDS (formerly the W.C. Handy Awards) in Memphis. I didn’t win but I was honored to perform on the main stage. It was an amazing feeling to perform in front of musicians who I’ve listened to their albums for years. There were some funny bits.

Bobby Rush – “Looking good! Sounding good Young blood! Keep it up.”

Keb Mo – “I dig what you do.”

Elvin Bishop – I was backstage and I shook Elvin’s hand after my performance. He said with a smile, “I watched you. Who the hell are you?!” That made my day. Ha!

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What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened during a performance?
There have been numerous weird stories over 31 yrs. of playing music. A lot of them I can’t or won’t tell you about today. Here are some of the weirdness from the early years…

Age 16 – We played a party in the basement of St. Patrick’s Church and a fight broke out. Some guy’s eye was lying on the floor surrounded by blood.

Age 17. I played a biker pig roast. When the food was done, some guy carved it with a chainsaw. There was pig all over that guy!

Too many too tell!

If you had to pick a personal theme song, what would it be?
Taj Mahal’s version of the Fishin’ Blues has been a part of my show since I was sixteen. I still enjoy it!

The Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival draws blues and jazz fans from throughout the region. What are you most looking forward to that weekend?
I’m looking forward to playing with harmonica master, Dave Morrison and reconnecting with some Columbus friends I haven’t seen in some time.

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What do you hope fans “take away” from your performance?
I hope they take away a CD! $10

Where can fans find you online – to learn more about your background and music?  www.walkincane.com

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Check out the entire 2016 Creekside Blues & Jazz Schedule, and learn about other activities for all ages at: www.CreeksideBluesandJazz.com or the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau (presenters of the CBJF) at 614/418-9114.  $15 Weekend wristbands for the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival are available online only, prior to the event.

 

Cocktails, Beer & Wine, Oh My!

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Guest Post by Betsy A Decillis, Owner/Marketing Consultant with BAD Consulting, LLC and Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival devotee.  The 2016 Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival will be presented Fri, June 17-Sunday, June 19 in Gahanna Ohio’s Creekside District, 117 Mill St.

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TastingsMy husband and I have developed an addiction: We’re addicted to learning about the craft that goes into craft beer, cocktails and wine. That addiction has led us to go on countless tours of breweries, distilleries and any other location that promises to tell us about the drinks we were drinking. We have been lost in a mess of rich history, carefully picked ingredients and pure love for the past few years.

But we soon discovered a problem.

As our knowledge grew and we felt more confident, we slowly became those annoying people that have a million questions on our tours. We were just that addicted to finding out more about the process. Well, nine times out of ten, we would be talking to a salesperson who did not know much about the actual process, and we would leave disappointed.

Enter the Gahanna, Ohio Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival.

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My husband came home one day, practically bouncing. “The Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival is having tastings this year! We’re going.” I just nodded. The next day, “I signed us up for the cocktail tasting!” I tweeted something along the lines of, “We’re going to the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival cocktail tasting. Anybody want to come?” I instantly got an email from him saying, “I don’t know what retweeting is, but I just did it to your tweet.” He was really excited.

The day of the cocktail tasting arrived, and it was packed. If you plan on joining Watershed Distillery for this on Friday night, make sure you sign up ahead of time or else you may be out of luck. We took the last two seats in our tasting group and realized quickly that we were not talking to just some random salesperson. We were talking to the owners, the people that started this company and have poured their love into their products.

The Watershed owners took us through each cocktail, but as they did, they also took the time to go through the thought process that went into each one of the spirits they brought with them. And as a bonus, they made sure that each cocktail they created for the event could easily be replicated at home. So not only did we leave with the story of their spirits, we left with some great summertime cocktail ideas.

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Since the cocktail tasting was such a success, my husband quickly decided that we needed to do the wine tasting as well. But then he lost all self-control and signed us up for the beer tasting too.

The beer tasting was with the owners of Pigskin Brewery and we ended up sitting with the parents of one of the owners. His parents beamed with pride as we lobbed questions and they handled them with ease. They then thanked us for supporting their son. This is not the kind of thing that happens on a regular day at the brewery.

Next, we spent time with Wyandotte Winery. Our taste buds were stretched as we tasted wines we wouldn’t normally pick ourselves and explained each one to us perfectly. And you know what? We found a new favorite wine that we actually agreed on. That never happens.

This year, we were excited to find out that the tastings are making a comeback! Like I said, Friday night is cocktail tastings and you will want to call ahead. But the beer and wine tastings are getting just a bit more exciting.

Saturday is the beer tasting with more breweries participating. In addition to Pigskin, you’ll find Kindred Artisan Ales, Columbus Brewing Company, as well as other breweries on the plaza. That means you will purchase tickets and visit the beer tables at your leisure. Sunday’s wine tasting will work in much the same way, but you will also have the option to try appetizer pairings from 101 Beer Kitchen (our favorite local restaurant!).

We plan on checking out all three days and trying a little of everything. Will we see you there?
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For a full schedule of events, plus parking, ticket and tasting info– visit CreeksideBluesandJazz.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Help spread the word about the Festival by using the #2016CBJF hashtag and you could win a Jambassador Tshirt!