Connect with us


Guardian Angels

The Haynes Boys didn’t want to dig. In conversation a few years back, bassist Aaron Rice, guitarist Phillip Park, and drummer Jovan Karcic thought it might be a good idea to resurrect the band’s one and only album, but wondered what it would look like logistically. Would anyone care? Was time kind to the record? [...]
Kevin J. Elliott



The Haynes Boys didn’t want to dig. In conversation a few years back, bassist Aaron Rice, guitarist Phillip Park, and drummer Jovan Karcic thought it might be a good idea to resurrect the band’s one and only album, but wondered what it would look like logistically. Would anyone care? Was time kind to the record? Would everyone, including songwriter and relentless troubadour Tim Easton, be on board when it came time to reintroduce it to the world?

“It was then that I had a change in my attitude for the record. I sort of warmed up to it,” says Rice from his home in a small village south of Canterbury, England. “It hadn’t occurred to me, outside of our little group, that the record would have had any impact. I was touched. I thought it would be cool for selfish, record-collector reasons to have it on vinyl.”

Eventually all doubts were erased, and Joe Carver, owner of Re-Vinyl, a label specializing in reissuing albums the CD age forgot, swooped in as a “guardian angel” and requested to release the self-titled record in its proper form with the originally intended artwork and mastering in place. The vinyl comes out this month, and the original lineup will round the bases with a slew of homecoming shows, including a slot at ComFest.

Twenty years later, the album holds up quite well and serves a twofold purpose in the history of Columbus music. On one hand, the sessions from the band’s sojourn to Nashville form a classic document of the then-nascent alt-country scene. The second purpose was the “otherness” a group of young Columbus misfits could provide for that sound. Though the Haynes Boys would support touring acts of that ilk, including Son Volt and the Jayhawks, and songs like “Jackie” and “Hell on Earth” were blueprints for Easton’s folk-inflected solo career, they were also playing in the same circles as the titans of the weirdo High Street underground thriving in 1996.

“Given perspective, I think it was a lot heavier than we first thought,” says Rice. “Phillip’s guitar was actually grungy, and his parts are my favorite noises on the record. We had our feet in  both camps. We used to play punk rock softball. We hung out with the—what Bela [Koe-Krompecher] may have called—“gunk” punks. I’m not sure if we fit in, but I don’t think we were especially popular with either.”

With the initial release of the album, the Haynes Boys original label, Slab, certainly had a niche market to push the record toward, but in retrospect, the debut had a grimier, rawer veneer that was emblematic of the intramural character of the city that birthed them. To wit, Park was soon recruited to play in Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, and Karcic was already a member of Gaunt—which was just about to be signed to Warner Brothers.

Listening again, songs like “Anybody” and “Maryhaven Family” are equally as Columbus “pop” or “punk” as Gaunt’s best moments—just bit with a smidgen of the country bug—a coed’s (or recently ex-coed’s) obsession with the Basement Tapes. Or as Easton described the record, “basically Blind Lemon Jefferson rewritten with some Midwestern-styled rock and roll dirt.”

“The term Americana wasn’t even being thrown around by that point yet,” remembers Park. “I’m proud of the record because I think it’s a really good example of that approach, but it was also punk rock. We were pushing out from that type of record.”

Soon though, the record and band didn’t match expectations and life happened. Rice moved away, Karcic was replaced with another drummer after needing to be with Gaunt fulltime, and Easton went his separate way. Still, the Haynes Boys lived on aesthetically with the P.J. Olsen-fronted Burn Barrel and begat a healthy string of twang and Western bands in Columbus including Big Back 40 and the Bush League All-Stars.

“We had a very diverse record collection between us—from Doc Watson to Gram Parsons, the Stones, Velvet Underground, and Prince,” concludes Easton. “It’s all in our sound. Playing together again is not about nostalgia for me. I get to play music again with my friends. I may talk a tough game now and then, but I’m not really tough. I like to jam with my buddies and talk music.”

The Haynes Boys will reunite for two shows this month, including Friday, June 26, at Ace of Cups and Sunday, June 28, at ComFest.

Continue Reading


Music industry designates Blackout Tuesday as time of pause




To honor the memory of George Floyd and fix the injustices surrounding his death, the music industry has designated Tuesday as a time of pause to collaborate on ways to better support the black community.

Businesses and organizations within the music industry have been asked to pause regular work to reflect on how they can better serve the black community, according to a report from Variety. In general, businesses and organizations across the board have been asked to use Tuesday as a way to focus on the effort.

The message that circulated around social media quickly on Monday stated that “Blackout Tuesday” is being used as “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” and “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change.”

The movement has been gaining momentum under the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused. Major labels such as Capitol Music Group and Warner Music Group announced their alignment with the “Blackout Tuesday” cause. 

Companies have also announced practices such as pausing social media activity throughout the whole day.

Spotify and ViacomCBS have already announced an 8 minute and 46-second moment of silence for Tuesday. The time reflects how long the Minnesota police officer dug his knee into the kneck of Floyd.

Continue Reading


Curbside Concerts brings live music, hope to those in need




Can’tStopColumbus took a quick pause when the pandemic shut down the world and asked two questions:

  1. Are we sure we're solving the needs of everyone in our community during this time? 
  2. Are we not just coming up with ideas based on our own experiences?

Our elder community was one of the major demographics to have stricter socially distancing guidelines suggested to them. Holidays and birthdays went by without hugs from grandpa or grandma’s cookies.

Out of the need to fill that missing love in the life of American seniors, the idea of Curbside Concerts was born. Anyone is able to jump on the Curbside Concerts signup page and request a concert for an elder, sick people not able to leave the house, or a simple celebration.

Sending a concert telegram is free, and you can also leave a message for a loved one and suggest what type of tunes the organization-selected Columbus-area musician.

So far, the feedback has been inspiring. 

“People cried. I cried. We cried. It was beautiful,” said Zach Friedman, one of the service’s founders and creators. “We had a powerful idea on our hands, and the amazing power of the #Can'tStopColumbus community to scale it and bring it to life.”

To date, Curbside Concerts has had over 50 volunteers. Their job is to drive around a Columbus musician and their equipment with trucks provided by Ricart Automotive. It’s a road trip around the Columbus area, delivering concerts to those who may just need their spirits lifted. It’s like a non-depressing version of Inside Llewyn Davis.

Support has come from all ends of the Columbus creative community, including The Columbus Foundation, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Streetlight Guild, and What? Productions. Through these organizations, musicians are able to be paid for a route that usually lasts five to six hours. 100 percent of the donations they receive on their route also goes to the musicians.

Friedman is asking people to keep requests to older audiences.

“Working with local musicians to perform curbside at people's homes is the vehicle or medium, but the real thing we are doing here is connecting those to older people they love, with an authentic and emotional experience to send love over,” Friedman said.

We found out pretty quickly how much as a collective that we take live music for granted. Live streams have been a temporary, dulled-down replacement. You realize how long people have been robbed of the experience when you see a musician pull up in a pickup truck, set up in five minutes, and serenade neighborhoods with songs like “Lean on Me” and “What A Wonderful World.” It starts off with a message to one house and then resonates down the street, like the citizens of Gas Town rushing to The People Eater for even a drop of water.

Photos by Zak Kolesar

For most people, it was their first taste of live music since mid-March. While we may want concerts to return as soon as possible, its productions like Curbside Concerts that display the emotional power of music.

To request to send someone a concert, follow the link here:

To volunteer for Curbside Concerts, follow the link here:

Continue Reading

Arts & Culture

Live music allowed again in restaurants and bars: how will these establishments respond?




A major step forward in the return of live music in Ohio took place over the weekend. The Ohio coronavirus guidelines were updated to reflect the new COVID-19 Dine Safe Ohio Order.

The order outlining the guidelines on live music in restaurant and bars is as follows:

Musicians and bands may perform in restaurants and bars as long as the individuals who are performing maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from all other people including, but not limited to, fellow performers and restaurant and bar patrons and staff.

DJ's are included along with musicians and bands in the order.

Something that was on the mind of a lot of musicians with the reopening of restaurants and the indefinite closing of large venues was how restaurants and bars were going to respond to the immediate venue demand. Places like Woodlands Tavern that already have an infrastructure for live music will have no problem complying with the updated order, but will restaurants and bars that depended on jukeboxes before pivot to a live music model?

With a lot more space available in restaurants due to capacity cuts, does this leave more room for a live music set up? Or will restaurants have to get rid of even more tables if they want to make room for a performer?

The thought of live music in a venue setting is alone enough to get excited about. How these places that now have the ability to host live music execute freeing up space for a band to set up or a DJ to bring his rig in while practicing social distancing is what makes this situation a tricky one.

Not being able to get down in a MojoFlo Soul Train line will be pretty tough, but it’s a tradeoff we’ll have to accept for the return of live music.

Continue Reading