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Jonathan Edwards, McGuffey Lane, Grassinine

Connect Ohio presents its annual CABI Fund benefit concert, featuring Jonathan Edwards, McGuffey Lane, and Grassinine at Stuart's Opera House on Saturday, October 11, 2014, (OSU bye weekend) for a community fundraiser. The performers all have ties and commitment to helping Appalachian Ohioans, and are teaming up to host a benefit concert to support the CABI Fund. All proceeds benefit the Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative Fund and will provide computers and technology connectivity to low-income Appalachian Ohio areas in need. Find out more about the CABI Fund at

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!  Floor Seats: $50 adv • $55 door | Balcony: $35 adv • $40 door | THIS EVENT IS A RENTAL

Warm as summer sunshine, real as the truth, intimate as a long overdue visit between old friends … such is a Jonathan Edwards concert. Four decades into a stellar career of uncompromising musical integrity, the man simply delivers, night after night – songs of passion, songs of insight, songs of humor, all rendered in that pure and powerful tenor which, like fine wine, has only grown sweeter with age. This is one veteran performer who is neither grizzled nor nostalgic. These days Jonathan Edwards, a vital and relevant artist in today’s folk and Americana scenes, is much more likely to be found looking forward rather than back. Still, the journey that has brought him to towns and theaters all over the globe -- perhaps one near you tonight – is well worth revisiting.

Eventually the draw of the music proved stronger than establishment expectations, and Jonathan left college in 1968 to pursue the dream. Selling the car his father had loaned him for school, he bought a van to accommodate his band and headed east to Boston and its happening folk music scene. Jonathan and his fellow band mates quickly immersed themselves in that scene, playing over 100 grueling 6/40 gigs per year – six forty-minute sets per night – all over New England. Jonathan’s initiative and dedication soon paid off, and he found himself opening for national acts, including the Allman Brothers Band and B. B. King. This exposure attracted the attention of Capricorn Records, and he was placed under contract with them. Like most of the songs on the eponymously titled album Jonathan Edwards(1971), “Sunshine” was written shortly after Jonathan left the band. “I felt really fresh, really liberated,” he remembers. “I just went out in the woods every day with my bottle of wine and guitar, sat by a lake near Boston and wrote down all those tunes, day after day.”

A fierce proclamation of protest and independence set to deceptively upbeat music, “Sunshine” resonated with the thousands and thousands of frustrated and angry young men and women of the day. It got its start on a Boston radio station and quickly made its way to the top five on the national charts, earning him a gold record in 1971. These days Jonathan is likely to be found on the road with his longtime accompanist Stuart Schulman on bass, piano, fiddle, and vocals and Taylor Armerding, formerly of Northern Lights, on mandolin and high-tenor vocals. “I’ve been … doing what I do best, which is playing live in front of people. I’ve been concentrating on that and loving it,” he says. On the verge of his fifth decade in the music business, Jonathan Edwards shows no sign of turning into a “Sit Down Rock and Roll Man.” Upcoming plans include new markets, new audiences, new songs, and a new studio recording. As this barefoot troubadour prepares for the next stage of his journey, you are more than welcome to join him for an evening or two as he continues to make good on that promise he made all the way back in 1971: “Sunshine, come on back another day … I promise you I’ll still be singing.”

McGuffey Lane is a country rock band from central Ohio. In 1972 founding members Steve George Reis (bass/ vocals) and Terry Efaw (steel guitar/ gut string guitar/ electric guitar) were a duo called "Scotch and Soda". When they added Bobby Gene McNelley (vocalist/ guitarist) they renamed themselves McGuffey Lane after the street of Steve's Athens Ohio home. As their popularity grew they added Dick Smith (drums/ vocals) and Stephen "Tebes" Douglass (keyboards/ harmonica/ vocals). In 1977 McGuffey Lane started playing at Zachariah's Red Eye Saloon and soon became the house band. At that point they added John Schwab (vocalist/ guitarist) who was opening for them as the sixth and final member of the original McGuffey Lane.

McGuffey Lane played at Zachariah's through 1980. In August of 1980 they released their first self-titled album on Paradise Island Records selling 40,000 in the first three months. The album reached #1 in Columbus during the fall of 1980 which gained the attention of Atlantic Records. Atlantic released the album nationally on it's Atco Label with sales of 175,000. During the early 1980's McGuffey Lane was a national act touring with Charlie Daniels, the Allman Brothers, The Judds and Marshall Tucker Band. In 1981 they released their second album "Aqua Dreams" followed by their third album "Let the Hard Times Roll" released in 1982. In early 1984 Tebes Douglass was killed in an automobile accident returning home from a show in Dayton. They released their fourth and final album for Atlantic "Day by Day" and dedicated it to Tebes. After the release of "Day by Day", Bobby Gene McNelley left the band to pursue a solo song writing career.

In 1985 McGuffey Lane went back to their Ohio roots playing clubs, concert halls, fairs and festivals. In 1986 they released "A McGuffey Lane Christmas", a fundraiser for the Central Ohio Lung Association. In 1990 McGuffey Lane disbanded after a tour through the state and a last night at the Newport Music Hall. In 1993 they did a "one time show" at the Newport and in 1995 they released "Greatest Hits Live and More". At that point McGuffey Lane regrouped featuring John Schwab, Terry Efaw and Casey McGowan from the 1980's line up. They were joined by veteran Columbus area musicians including Molly Pauken (mandolin, acoustic guitar, vocals). In 1998 they released "Call Me Lucky" . It was during 1998 that current McGuffey Lane members joined the band. Randy Huff (drums/ vocals) joined in the summer of 1998, Jerry Cummings (keyboards/ vocals) in October 1998 and Kevin Reed (harmonica/ vocals) at the end of 1998.

In 2001 McGuffey Lane organized the First Annual Zachariah's Red Eye Saloon Reunion featuring themselves and other acts that performed during the Zach's days. In 2002 they released all acoustic CD "Wood" which included popular concerts songs from the late 1970's but never previously released. In 2003 the Zachariah's Red Eye Saloon Reunion moved to Promo West Pavilion and has been held there (now the Lifestyles Communities Pavilion ) every year since. Finally in 2006 after years of fighting with Atlantic over the rights to their first four albums recorded in the mid 1980's, Rhino Records released them in 2 albums sets. The first self-titled album and "Aqua Dreams" in one set and "Let the Hard Times Roll" and "Day by Day" in the second set.

In 2010 McGuffey Lane released their 10th and latest CD "10" on Lick Records which was co-founded by John Schwab. In 2011 "Bartender" from the "10" CD was released as a single. It reached #50 on the national country charts (Music Row Magazine). The 2013 Zachariah's Reunion was held Saturday January 26th to another sold out crowd. McGuffey Lane's history mirrors one of the songs from their 2002 "Wood" album. "I've been up and down and all around my head in the clouds and my feet on the ground. Don't you worry baby don't you worry about me. Cause I've survived everything that comes and goes. I still know which way that old north wind blows. After all these years I'm "Runnin' Wild and Free". McGuffey Lane is still going strong with the three original surviving members (Steve George Reis, Terry Efaw and John Schwab) in the band. McGuffey Lane still performs 30+ concerts annually. The Journey Continues and "It's A Good Day".

Take equal parts rock, blues and bluegrass, throw in a healthy serving of fun, and you get the “mountain rock” that will have you dancing. This impromptu band formed after a neighborhood jam session and includes such instruments as banjo, washboard, the spoons and a stringed "gut-bucket" in addition to more traditional instruments. Performing a wide array of original songs and covers of tunes by performers that include Journey, Ozzy Osbourne and Queen, Grassinine is thigh-slapping, toe-tapping fun!