7 Questions with Marlana VanHoose

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by Ryan Meehan

American singer Marlana VanHoose was born with Cytomeglo Virus (CMV), and by the time she was a few weeks old it was discovered that she was blind. Her optic nerve never formed, and she was not expected to live past one year. But God knew better, as he had special plans for Marlana. After she turned a year old her body healed from the virus and that is when it all began. Marlana was humming “Jesus loves me” before she talked and by the time she was two years old she taught herself to play the piano. Marlana is a member of the Artist Music Guild where she was the 2012 recipient for New Artist of the Year and Young Artist of the Year, and she also was a 2013 nominee for Artist of the Year. Marlana sung the National Anthem at a University of Kentucky Women’s Basketball game in 2012. This was placed on YouTube and the video went viral. Since then, CBS evening news aired her story, she has sung at a NASCAR Sprint Series Cup Race, NCAA women’s basketball tournament and a NBA basketball game for the Brooklyn Nets. ESPN recently aired a story about Marlana and UK women’s basketball. Marlana appeared on the Atlanta Live Gospel Show and Babbie’s House, a gospel show in Atlanta, GA. Marlana has been commissioned a Kentucky Colonel.  Marlana has invited Jesus into her heart and has been baptized. She loves God very much and says she has no need to see here on earth. She knows that when she gets to Heaven, Jesus will be the first face she’ll see and inspiration such as that is the very reason I am honored to have her as my guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading

7 Questions with Eddie Clark

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by Ryan Meehan

In November of 1979 Eddie Clark and a friend walked into the Original Improvisation Comedy Club in New York City to audition for a regular spot at the club. Eddie got a chance to show the owner what he could do and despite his lack of experience, he thrilled everyone in the club that night…. Everyone… except the owner. The club’s policy was that if the owner liked you she would talk to you. If she didn’t, the performer was to just walk by her without saying a word. As Eddie left the stage the owner looked away. Eddie walked outside with his friend and then suddenly turned around walked back into the club and whispered in the startled owner’s ear, “ Thanks for the opportunity to show the “PEOPLE” what I can do.” He has lived by that motto ever since. Eddie then left the club and never looked back. The New York Improv closed a few years later, but Eddie is still going strong.  Old enough to remember the sixties yet young enough to enjoy the new millennium, Eddie Clark is still one of the hardest working comics on the circuit today. Eddie was born in Jamaica… QUEENS, NY and raised in the city of Mount Vernon, NY, where he developed his ability to induce laughter from total strangers. Eddie’s humor is a blend of personal experiences and everyday life. Eddie’s stand up has made him a favorite on morning radio shows around the country and has opened opportunities for him to help raise money and awareness for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure. Eddie appeared on Law & Order S.V.U. , the films “Blood Night” and “CAMP”( Currently available on HBO ), “Salted Nuts” (featured at the 2006 “Sundance Film Festival” ) , ” The Flying Scissors.” , “and the Law & Order made for TV movie “Exiled” as well as several commercials & promo’s including, “TV Land Prime Movies, The Washington Post, OPTIMUM ONLINE, Major League Baseball, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Comcast Cable, Monster.Com, Nick Jr. , National Geographic Channel, ADVANTA, Care One Credit, Quicken Loans, A&E “Cold Case Files,” Gothic Cabinet Craft, Red Lobster, Cablevision, Fox Sports and WCBS (New York channel 2). In 2003 Eddie appeared nationally on ESPN 2’s “Cold Pizza” (which became the hugely successful morning show First Take) and hosted two online shows at the U.S. Tennis Open for the U.S.T.A. and America Online. In 2004 Eddie Appeared on C.M.T. (Country Music Television). The show (40 Greatest Done Me Wrong Songs) was one of the Top 5 Highest Rated Specials for C.M.T. in 2004, and he then went on to do two more specials for the network in 2005. Eddie just finished working on a new project touting the advantages of natural gas which will be on your TV soon! Eddie has expanded his comedy to radio as a former co-host WPYX (Clear Channel) on RACEDAY on the Foxsports radio network & Sirus.  You can now see Eddie on “Person of Interest” (CBS) “House of Cards” (NetFlix) and “VEEP” (HBO)  When describing Eddie’s style of entertainment one can only come to this conclusion…. It’s just Eddie being Eddie, and I have Eddie as my guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading

7 Questions with Kenny Roby of 6 String Drag

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by Ryan Meehan

After 16 years in hibernation, 6 String Drag is back to remind us a few things about real rock ‘n’ roll. In the late ‘90s, the Carolina quartet stood out as pioneers of the nascent alt-country movement. Their Steve Earle-produced LP, High Hat remains an undisputed classic of its era. (the band was also on Earle’s E-Squared Records)  Now battle-scarred and road-wizened, today’s 6 String Drag is the sound of four kindred souls reunited, letting their own histories as human beings mingle freely around their shared love of classic, bygone sounds. Their exhilarating new recording, Roots Rock ‘N’ Roll, welds Kenny Roby and Rob Keller’s trademark harmonies to surging rhythms. Cut mostly live to tape, the effort is equal parts slap-back swagger and openhearted honesty – a triumphant return that celebrates rock’s first golden age by virtue of the grace, wit and insight found in Roby’s songwriting.  “I was banging out these rock ‘n’ roll songs about being teenagers, about hanging out and passing time in small towns,” says Roby. “When it was time to record, we showed up on Thursday and left on Monday. I didn’t know if we’d be able to cut four songs in four days, let alone capture the 11 tracks that became the album.”   That knife’s edge intensity is matched by a wooly, woody sound: Instruments bleed into vocal mics, bonding the sonority. Imperfection is celebrated, rather than painstakingly avoided. Ray Duffey’s swinging drums and Keller’s upright bass are the foundation, embroidered by Roby’s rhythm guitar and guitarist Scott Miller’s pointed leads—then thickened by an old-school horn section. The immediacy translates beautifully to record, elevating everything from the plaintive desperation of “Hard Times, High Times” to the self-effacing word play rave-up “Kingdom of Gettin’ It Wrong” to the rousing slide guitar snarl of “Sylvia.”  “I’ve played with so many different people over the last 16 years,” Roby says. “But being back with these guys sure felt like being home again. Back in the day, Rob, Scott, Ray, and I were never at a loss for ideas, and it was deeply satisfying to find that’s still the same. When we undertook this record, we all hoped there would be chemistry. It turned out that there was way more than any of us expected.”  Kenny Roby of 6 String Drag is my guest today in 7 questions.   Continue reading

The Deep Six:  The Icarus Syndrome – Metal Edition

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by guest contributor Blade Mancano with Ryan Meehan

The Icarus Syndrome is defined as “a terrible virus that infects music, tainting it to the point of being unlistenable”. Icarus is a fitting metaphor in that the music comes close to passable, similar to the winged demigod’s fruitless voyage to the sun.  I can’t stand a bad album as much as the next guy.  I hate actually buying something – Yes, I do buy most of my music – be it a pre-order or a “long awaited return-to-form” comeback album that sucks the living shit right through your ears while you find yourself praying to locate the stop button.  However, this sad and brief moment in time has an easy fix:  Throw it away or sell it, get it out of here – problem solved.  Unfortunately there is a far worse fate for music fans: listening to a release that is almost good, hence torturing the listener who is simultaneously “kinda” enjoying it. Similar to putting on a fresh pair of wet socks to go with your dry-cleaned suit for a day at the office, it drives the listener to a crazy level of auditory irritation. A shady, shaky grey limbo of notes accompanied by either word salads or sub-par productions, the results are the same.  Purgatory…On…Earth.  The world of heavy metal is littered with such releases but here is my personal list of disdain, complete with Meehan’s snarky commentary to boot.  This is The Deep Six:  The Icarus Syndrome – Metal Edition.   Continue reading

7 Questions with Rob DaRocha

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by Ryan Meehan

Rob was born in New Orleans, and was raised by a single mom in Los Angeles. Contrary to popular belief and unfounded assumptions, he is NOT white. He is actually half El Salvadorian and half Brazilian.  Rob is bi-lingual which means that Spanish is his first language and English isn’t. He didn’t know a word of English until he got to the second grade and from watching countless hours of Saturday Morning Cartoons with Wile E. Coyote being one of his favorites.  Soon after, Rob graduated from Saturday-Morning-Cartoon-Watching to a full-fledged high school student at Notre Dame Private School. Shortly after, he went to San Francisco State University to study film.  While taking acting classes in the evening and auditioning during the day, he become a substitute teacher for 2 years and then taught Special Ed for 3 yrs.  He grew up watching Saturday Night Live and the stand-up comedy show Comic Strip Live. Although, his favorite comedic actor is Steve Martin, the following comedians have influenced Rob immensely: Brian Regan, Richard Jeni, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld and George Lopez.  He began his stand-up comedy career in his hometown of Los Angeles and has emerged as a favorite at the Ice House in Pasadena, Laugh Factory both in Los Angeles and in Long Beach, and at the Improv in Los Angeles.  He was selected to be part of the 2007 Latino Laugh Festival’s Diamonds in the Rough Show featuring top headliner comics such as Carlos Mencia and Johnny Sanchez.  Rob has a very strong stage presence and great comedic timing.  He performs all over the Los Angeles and the Orange County area and currently has two national commercials running, so you may have seen him on TV. He recently performed on Stand-up and Deliver on NUVO TV, and if that weren’t enough he’s also our guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading