Albums, touring will keep Strickland scurrying in ’15

Published in the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, Dec. 26, 2014
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Lyal Strickland. Photo credit: Jim Mayfield

Lyal Strickland. Photo credit: Jim Mayfield

Some of the songs on “Balanced on Barbed Wire” address the social and economic aspects of contemporary rural life. He updated those observations in a recent interview, noting mixed results recently for farmers, small towns and poor communities.

“I feel that segments of our society are doing really well, and, because of that, there’s not as much attention drawn to the plights of other people,” he said. “I still see the encroachment on small-town traditions and just the neighborly aspect of the Ozarks.”

In any case, he said he’s looking forward to playing on First Night, and he welcomes the casual, drop-in atmosphere.

“I’m still going to be stepping into the world of my songs,” he said. “If you can catch someone’s ear, then it’s up to the song to draw them in for a few minutes or an hour.”

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Randle Chowning: ‘I am a hillbilly!’

Published in the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, Dec. 19, 2014
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… Chowning envisions an acoustic-folk album of mostly originals with contemporary themes. At the same time, he plans to take on a character known as Ozark Joe as a way of signaling a return to his roots. …

“I’m trying to reinvent myself as a performer and a writer,” he said. “It gives me a lot of freedom to go into this character — and it’s not necessarily an act, because I am a hillbilly!” …

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Local luminaries unite to play folk songs with drums

Published in the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, Dec. 12, 2014
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The Hurricanes (from left): Jody Bilyeu, Brandon Moore, Barak Hill and Dallas Jones. Photo credit: Ed Peaco

… Jody Bilyeu, who will play keys, is enjoying his return to performing after a post-Big Smith hiatus. When the iconic Ozarks roots band disbanded in 2012, Bilyeu decided that his life in music was over. “I grandiosely called it Act 3. Big Smith presumably was Act 2, and I was going to do this new thing, whatever it happened to be.”

However, Act 3 stalled. “I got really sad, and I wasn’t sure why. I finally figured out it was because I wasn’t playing music.” He now plays in small groups, often at Enoch’s BBQ. …

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Downtown Springfield Christmas parade: Tradition with a few new wrinkles

Published in the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, Dec. 11, 2014
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Floating toilet… The floating toilet

Darran Campbell of BWI Sanitation, a local purveyor of portable-toilet rentals, came up with the idea of entering one of his units in the parade as a way to bring attention to the business during its first year or operation.

The float, presented with a clean sense of humor, is a tool for presenting the bright side of a business that has distasteful connotations for some people, he said.

Of course, the portable toilet had be modified to become mobile. How it works is something that Campbell hesitates to reveal.

“That is something that we try to keep a secret,” he said. “There are a lot of myths out there of how it operates, which brings a whole other element into the picture. Very few people know.” …

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Loud lineup for toy drive

Published in the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, Dec. 5, 2014
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… Ram may be one of the younger bands in town, but the musicians have been together for about three years, and they practice the virtue of simplicity as they play their loud and bold rock ‘n’ roll. …

Jacob Conti … said he’s learned a lot from working with his bandmates and cultivating fans. His outlook:

“Keep a positive attitude. Not everything is going to go the way you plan it. … You have to keep in mind that, although you’ve always got to aspire to be better and better, when you’re on stage, you have to live in the moment. You gotta be happy with what you’re doing.”

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A cappella masters to bring seasonal tidings to WinterFest

Published in the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, Dec. 4, 2014
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Sweet Honey in the Rock: Standing, from left: Louise Robinson, Nitanju Bolade Casel and Carol Maillard. Seated, from left: Shirley Childress Saxton and Aisha Kahlil. Photo credit: dwightcarter.com

Sweet Honey in the Rock pulls from the performers’ African-American heritage of spirituals, blues, folk, gospel and jazz, as well as world music. Their songs are full of rich, five-part harmonies and driving interlocking rhythms. A sixth performer serves as a sign-language interpreter. …

Across the four decades, 24 women have cycled through the group, each bringing something new to the ensemble, said Carol Maillard, a founding member of the group.

“We never try to replace a voice or a particular energy that a person brought in,” she said. “It’s like making a stew with cinnamon, and then this person says, ‘Why don’t you try allspice?’ And this person over here says, ‘But I’m into cayenne.’ You just keep mixing and doing.”

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Psychopathy, Antisocial Personality & Sociopathy: The Basics — A History Review

Published in The Forensic Examiner, December 2014
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Editing job:

By Paula M. MacKenzie
Psy.D in clinical & forensic psychology

… The terms psychopathy, antisocial personality, and sociopathy have periodically been used interchangeably, which has resulted in a degree of conceptual difficulty. This review reveals that psychopathy is a specific type of personality and behavioral phenomena that by its nature has been classified as toxic, parasitic, predatory, destructive, etc., to others. This review also reveals that psychopathy, even while in the midst of conceptual difficulty, has been largely distinguished from personality traits and/orbehaviors that have been associated with mental illness or some other type of psychosis related conditions. …

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Caught On Video — Cameras, Computers, and Control: Convenience or Conspiracy?

Published in The Forensic Examiner, December 2014
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Editing job:

By Edward J. Primeau
Primeau Productions Inc.

… It is likely, however, that within five years every major city across America will have a surveillance system similar to Denver’s in place, as well as surveillance systems that will require video forensic consultants involved in litigation to help courts understand the evidence being presented. Further, general surveillance for after-the-fact (forensic) investigations will continue to play a major role in litigation, and the ability to monitor activity for security and non-security purposes will save institutions substantial amounts of money annually. …

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RH Silverwood plans for intimate evening

Published in the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, Nov. 28, 2014
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RH Silverwood (from left): Randy Clair, Robin Hoover, Randy Hoover and Angelia King. Photo credit: Sharon Holmes

… One member of RH Silverwood, Angelia King, is familiar with the SCT stage. She played Billie Holiday in SCT’s “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.” Her total Holiday immersion was eye-opening yet constraining.

King said she’s looking forward to revisiting the theater and a couple of those songs — which she’ll sing in her own voice. The likely feeling: “Exhilarating! I’ll be able to say I broke out of the shell and was able to do it Angelia King’s way.” …

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Stellar athletes to invade JQH Arena for cosmic collisions

Published in the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, Nov. 27, 2014
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Stardust likes to talk about himself in the third person. Photo credit: Per Bernal/WWE

Stardust, the bizarre intergalactic punisher, will fall to Earth on Sunday at JQH Arena, probably on top of a body-slammed heap of inert meat.

He and his brother, Goldust, comprise a tag team that will grapple with identical twins, The Usos, in a tag-team championship match as part of the World Wrestling Entertainment event. …

Stardust is a recent phenomenon, having exploded out of the vacuum of deep space to assume mass less than a year ago. Within six months on the tour, he won a tag-team title with Goldust, his brother who is 338.7 parsecs older, Stardust said, encouraging others to perform the conversion to Earth time units.

A quick check of online sources indicates a parsec is an astronomical measure of distance and angle, but who’s going to argue with a 6-2, 220-pound guy wearing black lipstick?

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