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Get the Picture

People

A former photojournalist, who now works in the corporate world, is having his first show since his recent return to photography.

For some people, the commute to and from work is a daily grind to be completed as quickly as possible. Then there is photographer Patrick Krohn. He manages to turn his 5-mile commute into a 30-minute trek every morning and afternoon.

“My commute takes longer because I stop and take pictures all the time,” he says. “I’m always looking around and seeing how I could make a photo from a scene.”

Krohn, who spent more than 10 years as a photojournalist and now works as a price analyst in the corporate world, recently returned to his first love of photography after almost 15 years. He primarily photographs landscapes and nature.

“It’s easier to do on my schedule,” he says. “The landscape is always there. It’s on its own time. It doesn’t require planning.”

Krohn will share his work with a photographic show, “Some Eclectic Musings of a One-Eyed Dog,” at 4P Studios in Martinez from March 31 – May 2. The photographs will include landscapes that he passes going to and from work each day as well as scenes from recent trips to the Pacific Northwest and to the Lake District in England. All his original works will be available for purchase.

With his journalistic background, Krohn takes a documentary approach to his photography. Resisting preconceived notions before he ventures out into the world with his camera, he just gets excited about photographing what is presented in front of him.

“I’m not changing anything around me,” Krohn says. “I find things and explore them as I would as a journalist. I find nature as it is and see it the way it is. I enjoy discovering something and then composing it in a nice way. I have always been fairly creative, but photography just clicked with me. I enjoy the creativity of being out and about – even in the pouring rain.”

Carolina Bay Nature Preserve in Aiken is one of his favorite places to take photographs. Unlike typical bays, Carolina Bays are oval or roughly circular depressions that are common in the lower elevations of the Carolinas. They tend to collect water and often develop communities of plants and animals that are unusual in the surrounding area.

“There are no vistas in this area, but there’s a lot of great nature if you just look at it,” Krohn says. “There’s nature all around us. I keep going back to the same places at different times of the day.”

Krohn, whose photography business is called One-Eyed Dog Studios after his one-eyed rescue terrier, Rogue, also teaches photography workshops at 4P Studios and at Art & Soul in Aiken.

“I enjoy putting classes together,” he says. “I like letting people know there’s so much you can do with photography. There’s no failure, just figuring out if you’re doing things right or not.”

If You Go:
What: “Some Eclectic Musings of a One-Eyed Dog,” a photography exhibition by Patrick Krohn

When: Tuesday-Friday 1-5 p.m. and Saturday 1-4 p.m. March 31 through May 2, or by appointment; free artist reception 4-6 p.m. Sunday, April 19

Where: 4P Studios, 3927 Roberts Road, Martinez

How Much: Free

More Info: (706) 267-6724

By and By — Caamp

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Music that is made to last has become a rare commodity these days. The ability to plug, play, package and recycle has been the pioneering landscape of modern airwaves that provides a “hear today, gone today” convenience. It’s a refreshing and welcoming ring when a flourishing workingman’s band claims new territory with the intentions of establishing a lasting impression. This spirit can be found and experienced through the sophomore release from Ohio’s own Caamp.

Caamp quietly joined the caravan of Americana troubadours with a self-titled release in 2016, but has built a mighty campfire with their latest, By and By — pun intended. By and By is a complex, low-fi treasure that assembles a wagon full of delight and surprise with every track. The clean distortion of a Rickenbacker, plinks and strums of a banjo and soft-brushed percussion set a marvelous tone and step to the journey. Whether it’s the enduring and intentional lyric-laden “Moonsmoke” or the cool, crisp melodic dew of “Peach Fuzz,” Caamp brings a canteen of ice cold and refreshing awesome for all.

As we set our gaze on longer days and warmer nights, we all need a Caamp-fueled soundtrack to the season. As the chorus of “Wunderbar” hooks perfectly, “Love and grace is what we need.” FILE UNDER: Ear Glamping.

– Chris Rucker

New Park

Buzz

Gateway Park, located across from Columbia County Exhibition Center, recently opened in Grovetown, providing new opportunities for outdoor recreation.

The park’s signature feature is a large splash pad that includes dozens of water elements including one called “The Massive Splash.”

The recreational facility also includes a playground, a large covered pavilion and a 150,000-square-foot meadow surrounded by a concrete walking path.

About a dozen events already have been booked at the park, says John Luton, director of Community & Leisure Services, and the county hopes to add additional pavilions in the future.

 

High on the Hog

Buzz

For Ted Philbin, it pays to eat at Shane’s Rib Shack in Grovetown.

Philbin recently won $10,000 in the restaurant’s annual Wait & Win contest, held at all franchise locations in the country. Two grand prize winners were chosen randomly by computer, and Grovetown staff members were delighted that Philbin was one of them.

“Ted has been a regular at the Grovetown Shane’s since the doors were opened, and by regular, we mean multiple visits a week,” says Sally Lambert, Shane’s director of media and marketing. “He eats with us a lot and orders the same things on the menu: smoked wings with double green beans, a burger with green beans. It’s always green beans. We could not be prouder that Ted is our winner!”

 

The Last Stand of Payne Stewart by Kevin Robbins

Literary Loop

Forever remembered as one of the most dramatic storylines in the history of golf, Payne Stewart’s legendary career was bookended by a dramatic comeback and a shocking, tragic end.

In The Last Stand of Payne Stewart, award-winning sportswriter Kevin Robbins brings Stewart’s story vividly to life. The book, which won the USGA 2019 Herbert Warren Wind Book Award, focuses of Stewart’s last year on the PGA Tour in 1999.

Written off as a pompous showman past his prime, Stewart emerged from a long slump during that unforgettable season. He captured the U.S. Open at Pinehurst in June and played on the victorious U.S. Ryder Cup team. That summer he appeared to be a new man – wiser, deeper and on the verge of a new level of greatness.

However, his journey to redemption ended tragically and unexpectedly in October, when his chartered Learjet flew aimlessly for more than 1,000 miles, ran out of fuel and fell to Earth in a South Dakota prairie.

His death marked the end of an era, one made up of “shot makers” who played the game with artistry, guile, finesse and heart.

With exclusive access to Stewart’s friends, family, and onetime colleagues, Robbins provides a long-overdue portrait of one of golf’s greats in one of golf’s greatest seasons.

Juice Jacking

Buzz

If your phone battery is running low when you’re traveling, think twice before plugging it into a USB charging station at a public place.

Otherwise, you could fall victim to a new cyber theft tactic called “juice jacking,” warns local BBB president and CEO Kelvin Collins.

These stations are a way for scammers to download malware to your phone. If you notice changes in your phone’s speed, data usage or battery life after using a public USB charger, then you may have malware running in the background.

To safely charge your phone when you’re on the road, use an AC power outlet or car charger instead of a USB station, or invest in a portable charger or external battery.

A Matter of Course

Buzz

Classes have been proposed for the Columbia County School District’s upcoming Learning Innovation Campus.

Columbia County School District administrators recently proposed a number courses that could be offered at its Learning Innovation Campus, a centrally located high school campus that is coming to the county.

Pending approval by the school board, the curriculum could include classes in advanced manufacturing and logistics, architecture and construction, engineering, cyber, performing arts, and teaching and education.

Up to 1,000 students from all five of the school system’s high schools will be able to take three courses at the L.IN.C., and they will attend morning or afternoon sessions.

Construction of the new school, which will be located on the former Evans Elementary School site on Gibbs Road, will begin this summer. The school should open in 2022.

“This campus will allow us to offer students pathways that are not currently offered in their home schools, while allowing them to remain students at their home schools.,” says Dr. Sandra Carraway, superintendent of schools.

School administrators also recommended moving the district-wide International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme from Lakeside High School to the L.IN.C.

Safety in Numbers

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Grovetown residents have good reason to feel secure. At number seven, the city once again ranks in the top 10 on the list of Georgia’s safest cities.

The rankings are based on the most recent FBI data for cities with a population of more than 5,000. According to HomeSnacks, which analyzes data to rate the best and worst places to live in America, Grovetown had 96 violent crimes per 100,000 residents and 1,278 property crimes per 100,000 residents.

The city moved up one spot since last year, when it was ranked eighth on the list.

 

 

Happy Homecoming

People

Columbia County native Josh Kelley is heading home for his first public performance in the area in 10 years.

For his upcoming album, slated for release in June, Columbia County native Josh Kelley taps into the family life he shares with his wife, Katherine Heigl, and their three children.

On March 20, however, the Lakeside High School grad might turn back the clock. That night the singer/songwriter will perform at The Country Club Dancehall & Saloon as part of a spring tour in support of the single and video, “Busy Making Memories,” that he released last fall.

“It’s a solo acoustic tour. The show has a lot of heart and a lot of comedy. It’s almost like a variety show,” says Kelley. “It’s my favorite way to perform. It’s the way that I express myself best. I can get back to my roots and the way that I got here.”

During the performance, Kelley will tell stories and play original songs as well as some of his favorite covers.

“I try to bring the feeling that we’re all sitting in a living room together,” he says. “I love bringing in every aspect of entertaining that I love.”

All of the venues on his spring tour have a seating capacity of 200-500 people. However, Kelley plans to offer a little something extra to the local audience, where he expects to see plenty of fellow Lakeside alumni and friends.

“It will be an unofficial Lakeside High School reunion – with a few surprises,” he says. “I’ll come up with material a couple of days before or on the spot. It’s just a fun, goofy show.”

Kelley added comedy to his shows several years ago when he decided that he didn’t want to hold himself back in his performances. “My wife says she married me because I’m funny, but I’m a much better singer than comedian,” he says.

Whether he is telling jokes or singing songs, however, he feels at ease on stage. And he hopes to convey that same sense of joy to his fans.

“I want them to leave fully entertained,” Kelley says. “I want it to be an experience.”

Admittedly, he used to feel added pressure when he performed before hometown crowds. That feeling has waned through the years, though.

“Over time, you change a little. Each time I come back, they see that change,” says Kelley. “About four years ago, I stopped caring about what other people think. I try to be authentic. I don’t write songs that I don’t relate to because I don’t believe them either.”

For instance, “Busy Making Memories,” is about family memories and adventures that were inspired by his kids on New Year’s Day 2019 on the Kelley family ranch. Making the video was a true family affair, as Kelley and his wife collaborated on its concepts, editing and directing. Kelley also produced and engineered the single himself in his-barn-turned-studio where he creates most of his music.

“I wrote that song as a reminder that I’m not so busy in my career that I’m not making memories with my family,” Kelley says. “It’s not just a glimpse into my life. It’s relatable, so it’s a glimpse into anyone’s life. Being relatable is always my goal.”

In addition to “Busy Making Memories,” his show will include his latest single, “Love Her Boy,” which was released in February. “I think it’s the best song I’ve made since my first song, ‘Amazing,’” Kelley says.

Kelley, who plays 14 instruments and started recording music on a “little tape machine” when he was 10 years old, will have a busy summer. In addition to the release of his currently untitled album, his first since 2016, he will perform in a supporting slot on “a big tour for a big artist” in July. Sorry, he can’t divulge any more details yet.

In the meantime, though, he just keeps perfecting his craft.

“Over the years, I always try to keep getting better,” Kelley says. “I try to be a better singer, lyricist and musician.”

If You Go:
What: Josh Kelley
When: 9:30 p.m. Friday, March 20
Where: The Country Club Dancehall & Saloon
How Much: $15 in advance, $75 VIP, plus handling fees
More Info: @joshbkelley, joshkelley.com, countryclubaugusta.com

Special Reserve — Gaelic Storm

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As we enter into the remnants of winter, we catch a whiff of greener days ahead. The month of March is a calm before the storm around here, and there is nothing finer than kicking off the Rites of Spring with some Irish tradition.

Take a deep dive into the barrels of blarney goodness with Gaelic Storm, a five-piece Irish folk-jig band that has been stirring the pot of sonic gold for nearly 24 years and has at least 24 more to go.

With 13 albums under the kilt, The Storm has clogged its way into the soul of traditional pub goers and rainbow chasers. Thanks to fiery fiddles and quick-wit sea chanties, Gaelic Storm wafts strong camaraderie and mug-raising cheer with each release.

Most notably, their 2003 release, Special Reserve, is a compilation of hits that encapsulate the raw energy and feverish melodies that hook and swirl with locked-arm induced table dancing appeal. The album is just the tip of the iceberg in The Storm’s sea of walloping good times, and to add a bit of trivia, Gaelic Storm also is the steerage band featured in the 1997 blockbuster, Titanic.

Along with the finest green threads, a bar of Irish Spring and a frosty mug, make sure your March essentials kit comes fully stocked with the proper sounds of the season. Katy bar the door — there’s a Gaelic Storm coming!

– Chris Rucker

A Guitar, a Voice and a Barstool

People

Country star Jake Owen is bringing his first-ever acoustic tour to the area

A lot has changed for multi-platinum entertainer Jake Owen since his college days when he first perched himself on barstools to play country covers live on his guitar. He has spent the last 10 years traveling with his band to entertain massive audiences in NFL stadiums.

However, Owen is returning to his roots with his first-ever acoustic headlining tour, Down to the Tiki Tonk, and the penultimate stop will be at Miller Theater’s Brian J. Marks Hall on Saturday, March 14.

He will perform intimate and acoustic interpretations of songs on his most recent, highly-acclaimed album, Greetings From…Jake, including the single “Homemade,” number one smash “I Was Jack (You Were Diane)” and ACM-nominated hit “Down To The Honkytonk.”

“I’ve been looking forward to the acoustic tour since the days I used to play acoustics on a barstool in college,” says Jake. “There’s something so satisfying about pushing away the smoke and mirrors and lights to entertain people with nothing more than an acoustic song and a voice.”

Greetings From…Jake, which debuted with more than 154,000 album equivalents to date, has yielded Owen’s seventh number one hit.

In addition, “Entertainment Tonight” recently premiered the long-form extended video of “Homemade,” which tells the real-life, 1940s-era love story of his 95-year-old grandparents, Bryan Yancey Owen and Jean Martin.

Owen stars in the video as his grandfather’s younger self, and his grandparents narrate it. (Spoiler alert: His grandfather first spotted his future bride walking down the street in Munfordville, Kentucky when he was hitchhiking through town and waiting to catch his next ride. There’s much more to the story, though. Think a camera, a coin flip and a call to duty.)

Owen says Greetings From…Jake illustrates his evolution as an artist since his first number one hit, “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” was released in 2011. In the refrain of the song about youthful exploits, he sings, “Never gonna grow up. Never gonna slow down.”

Of his latest album, Owen, the father of two daughters, says, “It’s got a lot of different examples of how I’ve grown. I’ve always enjoyed songs about life. I am definitely growing up, and I am definitely slowing down. I have different priorities in my life now. The music I make now has to correlate to them. It has to be authentic.”

Owen taught himself to play guitar after an injury and reconstructive surgery derailed his dreams of a professional golf career. Ultimately, he started writing his own material and moved to Nashville.

“I loved the feeling of playing songs for my buddies around a campfire or on a couch, and I thought maybe I could do this in front of people,” says Owen. “I’ve always liked telling stories. I like putting ideas to melodies. Everybody is a songwriter at heart. You just need to put it together with an instrument.”

He loves being on stage, but the experience is humbling for him as well.

“It feels amazing. It’s a feeling of being elated, but there is also a big fear to play music live for people,” Owen says. “I’m just scared enough to be inspired to be better. I don’t want to let people down. There are so many emotions you can have at once on stage, but it’s the best feeling to have the ability to make someone feel good.”

The acoustic performance, which also features singers/songwriters Larry Fleet and Scott Emerick, will not be Owen’s first visit to the area. He has performed here many times, including shows at James Brown Arena and the inaugural concert at the Augusta GreenJackets’ SRP Park. “I like going back to places that have been great to me,” Owen says.

He hopes to return the favor to his fans.

“I want to give people the show they came for, whether they want to escape or smile or laugh,” Owen says. “But I’ll have a few surprises for them, too.”

If You Go:
What: Jake Owen: Down to the Tiki Tonk Acoustic Tour
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 14
Where: Miller Theater Brian J. Marks Hall
How Much: $39 – $150, plus handling fees
More Info: millertheateraugusta.com or jakeowen.net

Beatles Tunes, Latin Rhythms and Beethoven

Buzz

Augusta Symphony brings “Revolution” and “Passion” to the stage

The versatility of Augusta Symphony will be on full display this month with a pair of concerts that entertain with both fresh energy and respectful tradition.

On Thursday, March 12, the symphony will present “Revolution: The Music of the Beatles.” The concert will take the audience on a musical journey as top vocalists and musicians and the symphony perform favorites such as “Ticket to Ride,” “Penny Lane,” “Hey Jude” and more. The Beatles will come to life with music arrangements transcribed from the original master recordings at Abbey Road.

On Saturday, March 28, violinist Guillermo Figueroa will appear with the symphony in its “Passion” concert. Also renowned as a conductor, violist and concertmaster, Figueroa is the principal conductor of Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus.

The concert will include Águila’s Violin Concerto and Salon Buenos Aires. This year the symphony is performing premiere recordings of four of Águila’s works, which are full of Latin rhythms, beautiful melodies and raw power. The symphony also will perform Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and Bizet’s Suite from Carmen.

Both concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. at Miller Theater. Tickets are $38 – $100 for “Revolution” and $22 – $69 for “Passion.” For more information, visit augustasymphony.com.

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

Literary Loop

From New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende comes this epic historical fiction novel that spans decades and crosses continents, following two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.

In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires.

Together with two thousand other refugees, they embark on the SS Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda, to Chile: “the long petal of sea and wine and snow.” Starting over on a new continent, their trials are just beginning, and over the course of their lives, they will face many more. But they will also find joy as they patiently await the day when they will be exiles no more.

Through it all, their hope of returning to Spain keeps them going. Destined to witness the battle between freedom and repression as it plays out across the world, Roser and Victor will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along.

Cast Your Ballot

Buzz

Photos courtesy of the Georgia Secretary of State office

New voting machines statewide and new precincts for some Columbia County voters will go into effect with the March 24 presidential primary and TSPLOST election

New voting machines will be in use statewide, including Columbia County’s 47 precincts, for the March 24 Presidential Preference Primary and Special Election, and Nancy Gay, Columbia County Board of Elections executive director, has some advice for voters.

“Have patience. This is a brand new system,” she says. However, she adds, “The voting process is still the same. From a voter’s standpoint, it’s not that much different.”

When voters arrive at their precinct, they will present their identification to a poll worker, who will scan it into an iPad. Voters then will sign the iPad with a stylus pen to verify their information and receive a card from the poll worker to take to a voting booth.

Voting booths now will include a touch-screen monitor and a printer. After inserting the card into the voting machine and casting their ballots on the touch screen, voters can review their selections on the screen before printing their ballots.

Voters should review their printed ballot and then put it into the scanner to be counted. “Do not leave with the paper,” Gay says. “A ballot isn’t cast until it is put in the scanner.”

Any voter who sees a mistake on the printed ballot should take it to a poll manager.

For voters who would like to see the new voting machines before the primary, Gay says, “We have a unit set up in our conference room where people can test it out.”

Along with primary presidential candidates, the ballot includes the 2023-2033 TSPLOST referendum that would secure funding for transportation projects in the CSRA.

Upcoming Columbia County road projects would include the widening of Hereford Farm and Hardy McManus roads and construction of a roundabout on Stevens Creek Road. In addition, Scott Johnson, Columbia County manager, says, “We have a lot of resurfacing projects all over the county.”

Some voters also will cast their ballots in new locations as the county made several precinct changes last year. The March primary will be the first election in which the new precincts will be in operation. Voters affected by the changes were notified by mail and sent new precinct cards.

To confirm their voter registration information and precinct, and to see a sample ballot, voters can visit mvp.sos.ga.gov.

By Todd Beck

 

 

True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter — Harry Connick Jr.

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During this season of love, there is no better garnish to the vibe than a great soundtrack to set the mood.

The Cinderella effect of sultry big band jazz and buttery pipes can turn a card-table-paper-plate dinner for two into a romantic five-star-seven-course experience — just remember to light the candles.

The crooners of yesteryear are always the perfect go-to in painting the Valentine’s Day landscape, but thanks to Harry Connick Jr., a modern day, perfectly aged love-trap is right here, right now.

His latest release, True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter, is a baker’s dozen bouquet of pure sonic chocolate. Connick draws inspiration and showcases his wide and ever-evolving range from the late Porter’s big Hollywood and Broadway fare by writing and orchestrating all of the arrangements.

His knack for theatrical complexity and sophisticated wit create intimacy with elegance and class, and his craftsmanship, though often underrated, is more apparent on this release than any other.

As you prep for this special season, make sure you are equipped with the finest essentials. True Love is a must-have in your arsenal.

To keep the mood going, be sure to secure your seats as Harry Connick Jr. is bringing his True Love: An Intimate Performance to our very own Bell Auditorium on March 14. Your valentine will thank you.

 

– Chris Rucker