By Mike Ritchie
Publishers Note: Due to Holiday Deadlines this article was published late: Original Date for Publishing was 12/20/2015
On Saturday December 13th The Old Crow Bar in Middletown hosted a special benefit for two families of the Heavy Metal Church of Christ in need over the holiday season. All bands, contributors and supporters volunteered their time and talents (many driving a distance) to help out making sure the families had necessities and the combined seven children, infant to mid-teen, had goodies and toys from Santa under the tree. The Skull Dollz also made an appearance for photo ops and other assorted good natured skullduggery. A donation bin was also previously set up to collect items all of which along with show proceeds will be given to the family on the 23rd.
The owners and staff of the Old Crow were generous with the event, assisting organizer Teri Spence with the offered buffet and setup. Spence also expressed sincere gratitude to Steven Van Skoyck and Tiffany Zulock Van Skoyck, Jessica Tinch, Allen Phyllis, Ann Mason, Ericka McGowan and Michael Anspach along with Rachel Smith, Chrystal Kay, Angie Johnson Castle and Samantha Noble Baumgartner from the Dollz for their hard work and assistance. Tim Guilfoyle from Queen City Drums and Wildman Walker were also in attendance to help support.
Raffled items included numerous gift cards from PF Chang’s, First Watch Restaurant, Frickers, Godfathers Pizza, Chipotle, Rose Retro Rock Shop, assorted metal CD’s, jewelry custom made by Spence and stem wear from BJ’s Brewhouse. The two most popular items of the night were autographed memorabilia/merch personally donated from Straight Line Stitch and Jerry Only of The Misfits.
Cody Ridenour opened with a one man acoustic jam, sharing the spotlight with his lovely wife Chelsea a few songs in. Almost all originals from the Germantown by way of St. Petersburg Florida solo guitarist. Starting with original “Today We Pray” followed by “How Long”, he played and sang with passion pulling unexpected power out of the ‘unplugged’ strings. Thinking ahead he one-upped the crowd and played some Skynyrd with the “Simple Man”. He finished with the impassioned “Cyanide” (You’ve Wrecked Me) ending with a co-written duet with his wife on “Broken Hearted.”
Casey and the Nobodies were next, as the one man jam trend continued. Known for acoustic blues, rock and classic country Casey took over the stage starting with original “Knock on My Door” followed by Alice’s sweet song of war and the “Rooster”. Another of Casey’s originals said “Gotta Get Out” and Chris Isaak said it was a “Wicked Game” to play, to make the video feel that way. The king of pop comes clean about “Billie Jean” sort of, she’s just a girl, alas we’ll never know if he’s the father. The Black Crows still talk to angels and Neil Young is ageless and timeless rocking his crazy horse in the free world.
All the Children made the 3 ½ hour drive from Morehead KY to help the cause. Playing a set of original alternative rock with a few covers they jammed out “Free Slave”. Alex Clare got a shout out on “Too Close” then made a statement with “We Are One”, the first tune played off their demo. There’s a “Man Overboard” as water engulfs the lungs played with early Nirvana attitude, before the baby went swimming. EP opener “Battle Cry” was next followed by the catchy bounce of “Prepare for War”. Alternative Aussies Silver Chair got some rare love on the lesser known “Pure Massacre” off Frogstomp. They finished with the honkey-tonked electric sound of “Airlock” with a touch of a space odyssey.
Cincinnati’s Shadow of Shepherd is a three brother alternative rock trio. Opening with a one-two “alt” punch they decided to “Send the Pain Below” with Chevelle and Wonder What’s Next opener “Family System”. They switched genre’s slightly with “Somewhere in the Sky” by Kutless. They played original “Fight” then switched feet with Switchfoot on “Meant to Live”. They let their light “Shine” down with some Collective Soul finishing with original “I am Alive”.
All right ladies pay attention and guys, listen up - Rock Candy was here and they took all the good little boys to school. The all- female trio from Cincinnati kicked out some sweet tunes starting right up your alley with one of the classiest lady rebels of early 80’s rock and 2015 RNR Hall of Fame Inductee Miss Joan Jett. Yeah, we’ve all been there cause I “Hate Myself for Loving You”.
They pulled out a youthful Sammy Hagar and some of his “Rock Candy”, not in a three lock box. They went old 80’s LA back to the Hollywood Sunset with a young, hungry Crue that’s “Too Fast for Love.” He toured with them in ’83 but for tonight Ozzy’s riding solo on the “Crazy Train”. They got humble playing the “Fool for a Pretty Face”, we’ve all been hurt by love. They finished with an all-girl original “Calling all Girls”.
Coming from Milford Ohio, Dear Agony “smoked” the stage playing a set of originals and covers. Only being together as a band for a couple months they played with experience from their previous stint as Arcadia Backfire. They were kinda like “Whatever” with Godsmack, shared their “Epiphany” with Staind and staged an electric sit down “to get to know everyone’ like “Nothing Else Matters” according to Hetfield. Two of the five originals played included the smooth rocking “Face the Day” and the more emotionally charged “Survive”.
Dayton’s new and improved for the next generation ClockWork Soul was next with the killer eyes and growl of Mystie Rose. One could and probably would think to see them all on stage that they’re a bit “Out There”. Rose speaks the voice of experience about bad relationships.
Make sure the person shares the same feelings you do or you’re living in a “Masquerade”. They play with the BulletBoys and declare, they’ll come back to you “When Pigs Fly”.
Pink Velvet Krush is a modern day throwback to the decadent 80’s glam and sleaze under the blazing LA sunset. Reminiscent of Faster Pussycat and LA Guns, with former members of Bullet Boys, Pretty Boy Floyd, Britney Fox, Steelheart, Dust N’ Bones and Vaudeville, it’s a mass super-group of hair-sprayed experience still swimming in the Aqua Net. They can talk about the Head Bangers Ball days because they lived it, bringing an 80’s arena show style and delivery to the club stage in the vein of Motley Crue with guitar mannerisms of Tipton and Downing.
Doug Savage keeps the frontman flame alive with everything we fondly remember from the days of decadence with a finger point or raised fist. The Krush started with “Nothin’ to Lose”. Metallica said “Misery Loves Company” on the black album but PVK’s saying it now. They slowed it down a little bringing the symbolic lighters up feeding their lonesome, twisted “Obsession”.
The dirty blues blasted rocker “F.S.O.A” (Fifty Shades of Anything) chugged along, accompanied by the more serious, life on the road retro feel of “You Take My Life”.
Ladies, Savage and the boys wanna make you “Scream”!
That good ole’ damn “Ball and Chain” came out swinging, kicking out the blues and they got two bullets, “One Shot” left to shoot to thrill. They ended the originals with EP title track “Break These Chains”, then asked if anybody was in the mood for some classic ‘hair’ metal.
They decided to break all the rules at the Girlschool with Britney Fox, and then got Smooth Up in ya with the BulletBoys because there were no Congo drums for St. Christopher. They finished with that lovely lady who just can’t go living after midnight as she cries “Somebody Save Me”.
Those still interested in donating to the families may contact Teri Spence at email@example.com , Happy Holidays everyone!
All images by Mike Ritchie
Read more from the pit articles and reviews by Mike Ritchie on his web site www.coveringthescene.com