Friday, October 31, 2014


     Happy Halloween blues lovers! Today Mrs. Black-N-Gold brings you a special edition of Blues N'at. What better way to celebrate Halloween than to celebrate the life, times and music of one Chester Arthur Burnett, otherwise known to blues aficionados as Howlin' Wolf.

      Chester Arthur Burnett, named Chester Arthur after the 21st President of the United States, was born in White Station, MS on June 10, 1910. His prominent physical stature, 6' 3", 275 pounds, may have contributed to his earning the moniker, "Howlin' Wolf" at an early age.

      As a young man, Wolf learned guitar at the hands of Delta Blues great Charlie Patton. Wolf was also known for his growling-type singing as well as harmonica playing. Other influences included Blind Lemon Jefferson, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Jimmy Rodgers. While learning his craft, Wolf performed with the likes of Honeyboy Edwards, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Robert Jr. Lockwood.

     Wolf was inducted into the United States Army on April 9, 1941. He was promptly discharged on November 3, 1943. Once discharged, he went to live with family and work the farm in West Memphis, AR. In West Memphis, he continued to perform, including gigs for radio station KWEM in West Memphis and on KKFA in Helena, AR with Sonny Boy Williamson. He would use these programs to promote his appearances in the area. While in Memphis, in 1951, he recorded several songs for eventual Sun Records founder Sam Phillips.

      He ultimately signed with Chess Records and made the move north to Chicago. Many of his well-known hits, including "Back Door Man", "Wang Dang Doodle" and "Spoonful" were written by Chess Records' producer Willie Dixon.

      In the 1960s Wolf's career experienced a resurgence while touring the European blues festival circuit. He also met and performed with many British blues artists that were influenced by his sound such as the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood.

      During the 1970s, Wolf suffered from several health issues, passing away on January 10, 1976 at the age of 65 in Hines, IL. His legacy has continued to live on. He was elected to the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted him as an Early Influence in 1991. Wolf's 1956 Chess recording of "Smokestack Lightnin'" was named to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. His home state honored him by electing him to the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame in 2003. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame also listed three of his recordings, "Smokestack Lightnin'", "Spoonful" and "Red Rooster" to the "500 Songs That Shaped Rock & Roll".

     What better way to celebrate Halloween night than to hear Howlin' Wolf belting out some of his best tunes? Just listen to that distinctive howl barking at the moon. Until next time, boys and girls. Keep It Bluesy!

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Eddie spaghetti, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the defending Stanley Cup Champion-Los Angeles Kings tonight at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)LA is 1st in the NHL in goals against, giving up an average of just 1.7 goals per game. Meanwhile, the Pens are #1 in the league in scoring with a 4.1 goals per game average. Something's got to give. Crank up the Crue and the Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)The Kings are road weary as they're 0-0-2 on the road this season. Make road kill of the Kings! 3)Following Tuesday's 8-3 victory over New Jersey, the Pens have won 2 straight. #3 would be great! Let's Go Pens!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


     Sunday evening Heinz Field will be all abuzz with excitement. Yes, your Pittsburgh Steelers will be battling AFC North division rival the Baltimorons. No, the Steelers won't be sporting their bumble-bee uniforms. Sunday promises to be another historical day in a long line of momentous moments of this storied franchise. Sunday marks only the second time a Pittsburgh Steeler has his uniform number officially retired. Hall of Fame defensive tackle Ernie Stautner's #70 was the first. At half time on Sunday night, "Mean" Joe Greene, another Hall of Fame defensive tackle, #75 will be the second.

      It is only fitting that Greene's iconic jersey be retired. After all, Joe Greene was the first draft pick ever by a young, up-and-coming coach named Chuck Noll. Without Joe Greene, there would be no Steel Curtain defense, no 4 Super Bowl championships in 6 years, no Super Steelers dynasty.

      This is an honor that has been long overdue for #75. Mrs. Black-N-Gold can't help but wonder, had the Emperor not passed away this past June, would there even be a ceremony on Sunday? It's a shame to think that it took Chuck Noll's passing to goad the Rooneys into bestowing an honor that has long been ignored. But this is no time to think "coulda, shoulda, woulda".

       This is a time to honor a legend. It is time to thank "Mean" Joe and show him, once and for all, that without him, none of what's before us today would have come to pass. Thanksgiving is almost upon us. Let's give thanks to #75, "Mean" Joe Greene. And we will be secure in the knowledge that the Chief, the Emperor and Myron are all looking down that evening, raising an Iron and waving their Terrible Towels, too. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Get in the fastlane Grandma, the bingo game is ready roll 'cause it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins are back on the home ice of Consol Energy Center tonight as they faceoff against the New Jersey Devils. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)New Jersey is 4-1-0 on the road, with all of their wins coming away from the Garden State. Grind 'em into road kill! 2)The Pens have won 8 out of their last 10 at home vs NJ. There's no place like home! 3)The Devils won Saturday night, 3-2 in OT at Ottawa. The Pens also won Saturday, shutting out Nashville 3-0. Fire up the Motely Crue with some more Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Monday, October 27, 2014


     Put another one in the win column! Your Pittsburgh Steelers won a shootout yesterday at Heinz Field over the Indy Dolts. Mrs. Black-N-Gold brings you the Good, the Bad & the Ugly from yesterday's victory.

     The Good-The Steelers scored 51 points worth of good yesterday. There certainly were a lot of reasons for Steelers fans to be happy. The offensive line did a fantastic job of keeping the quarterback clean, allowing zero sacks. Both WR Antonio Brown and TE Heath Miller had over 100 receiving yards. AB caught 10 passes for 133 yards and 2 scores. Heeeath had 7 receptions for 112 yards and 1 touchdown. Rookie WR Martavis Bryant scored 2 TDs while Markus Wheaton caught 1. RB Le'Veon Bell rushed 24 times for 94 yards and caught 6 passes for 56 yards. The defense harassed Indy QB Andrew Luck all day with 2 sacks and 7 QB hits. CB William Gay snagged a pick-six. CB Antwon Blake came up with a big interception late in the game as Luck was going for the end zone. However, with apologizes to all of the Steelers that showed up big time for this game, the Good award goes to QB Ben Roethlisberger who had a record-setting day. Congratulations go to Big Ben for his many accomplishments yesterday. Ben became only the 4th QB in league history to win 100 games in his first 150 starts. He also became the only QB to ever have 2 500+ yard passing games with 522 in the win. He completed 40 of 49 and connected on 6 touchdown to finish with a 150.6 passer rating. Ben proved that he should not be left out of any conversations regarding elite quarterbacks or the Hall of Fame. It looks like the Steelers finally got the memo that the NFL is now a passing league. We need to see more of Ben being Ben.

     The Bad-It was good to see Blake come up big with that interception. Not only did it squash any chances Luck & Co. had at pulling off a comeback, it also meant that Cortez Allen was on the bench. Many times yesterday, Mrs. Black-N-Gold had to shake her head and say "Cortez, Cortez". Costly penalties helped lead to Indy touchdowns. And some of those touchdowns were the direct result of Allen getting burned like my morning toast. I know the Steelers didn't pay him big money to ride the pine but that seems to be the best place for him.

     The Ugly-Considering yesterday was throwback day, I thought about naming the Steelers bumblebee uniforms as the Ugly. But that's too easy. I could always bring up the tried and true penalty flag The Steeler committed 10 penalties for 59 yards yesterday. But I'll tell you what: I'm going to deem the refs as the Ugly. This is due to the fact that some of those penalties were downright ludicrous. Even CBS announcer Phil Simms made a comment to the effect that it's to the point that the officials throw a flag just for looking at the QB cross-eyed. Can we fans throw a flag for excessive penalty calling? Please?!

     And now we look at the standings in the AFC North. Cincy almost Bungled away a win but pulled one out over the Baltimorons. The Clowns were also victorious. It's a tight race as every team in the division is over. 500. Cincy sits at the top at 4-2-1. The Steelers and Baltimorons are tied at 5-3. The Clowns are not far behind at 4-3.

      Now it's time to gear up for a chance at payback against the Baltimorons. They come to our house next Sunday night as the Steelers celebrate the retiring of Mean Joe Greene's #75. Wouldn't it be fitting for the Steelers to lay the smack down on the Baltimorons on national tv as we all honor the Hall of Famer? Get ready for the Baltimorons. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Here we go, Steelers, here we go! Your Pittsburgh Steelers battle the Indianapolis Dolts this afternoon at Heinz Field. These are your keys to today's game. 1)The Dolts have won 5 straight. The Steelers go for 2 in a row. Grind the Dolts into horse meat! 2)Indy leads the NFL with 329.6 passing yards per game. During their winning streak, QB Andrew Luck has passed for 300+ yards in each game. Time to turn Andrew into BadLuck. Hit him early, hit him often, hit him HARD! 3)Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has a chance to make history in today's game. Ben can become just the 4th QB ever to win 100 games in his first 150 starts. Make some history today. Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Make me a milkshake Malkin, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins continue their road trip as they travel to Nashville tonight to take on former teammate James Neal and the Predators. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens are winless in 3 of their last 4 games and have dropped 2 in a row. Nashville has yet to lose in regulation this season. Strike the right cords in Music City with some Goals, Goals, Goals and a win! 2)The Pens have won 4 in a row versus Nashville. #5 would not be jive! 3)Pens C Sidney Crosby began the season with 4 goals and 4 assists in the first 4 games. He has been held pointless in the last two. Put it on the net and light the lamp! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, October 24, 2014


     Take cover, blues fans. There's going to be a showdown at Moondog's in Blawnox tomorrow night. A Guitar Showdown, that is. Jimmy Adler, Vince Agwada and Craig King will brandish their axes with some of the hottest licks this side of the Mississippi to aid Project Bundle Up. That's right, boys and girls. Three of Pittsburgh's best guitar-slingers are in action for your listening pleasure as they help raise money and awareness for a program that has been assisting needy children and seniors in the Pittsburgh area for almost 30 years.

      All three guitarists have been featured on the BSWPA's Blues from the 'Burgh CDs and are well-known to blues-fans all over the tri-state region and beyond. Jimmy Adler represented the BSWPA at the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. He has lit up stages from across the country and Europe with his super-charged fretwork, as well as bringing down the house at many Pittsburgh area gigs.

      Vince Agwada brings his high-powered blues to Pittsburgh by way of sweet home Chicago. After tearing up the scene in the Windy City for over 25 years, Vince decided to grace us with his hard-charging guitar style, blowing Pittsburgh audiences away every time he steps on the stage.

     Craig King is no stranger to Pittsburgh blues-lovers. He's been firing up blues fans for years with his fiery fretwork. Whether he's out front, leading his band or he's helping out other fellow musicians with a gig, Craig King amazes everyone with his astonishing guitar skills.

     Adler plus Agwada plus King equals out to three great guitarists and one fantastic, fun-filled evening of blues. And it's all for your listening pleasure tomorrow night at Moondog's. The doors open at 7 and the Showdown starts at 8. Come enjoy an evening of guitar-slinging blues and help support Project Bundle-Up, too. Until next time boys and girls. Keep It Bluesy!

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Shave my face with a rusty razor, it's a great day for hockey! There will be panic in Detroit tonight as your Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road to faceoff against the Red Wings. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens, who lost last night to Philly 5-3, have dropped 2 of their last 3 games. Get back in the win column tonight! 2)Detroit is 1 of 2 teams in the NHL that have not been scored upon on the power play. Make those special teams special. Pack up the Goals, Goals, Goals for the road trip! 3)The Red Wings lost in OT Tuesday, 2-1 at Montreal. Kick 'em while they're down. Clip the Wings! Let's Go Pens!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


We have a winner! That's right, your Pittsburgh Steelers came back from a 13-0 deficit on Monday Night Football to defeat the Houston Texans 30-23. Mrs. Black-N-Gold brings you the Good, the Bad & the Ugly from Monday night's win.

1)The Good-Oh there was a lot of good in the Steelers victory. The offense found the end zone! There were sacks and turnovers and trick plays. Oh my! What was really good is the fact that RB Le'Veon Bell rushed 12 times for 57 yards for a 4.8 yard average and caught 8 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. And WR Antonio Brown caught 9 passes for 90 yards and threw a touchdown pass. More and more these two are the premiere playmakers on the Steelers offense. Every time they touch the ball something big happens. They really are that good.

2)The Bad-I hate to be a wet blanket, but I just can't help myself. When the Steelers were down 13-0 was I the only one who figured to be in bed, fast asleep by 9:30? Yes the Steelers dug themselves out of a hole. No, they cannot afford to keep burying themselves like this. Come out ready, willing and able to play an entire 60 minute game, guys.

3)The Ugly-Yes, a win is a win. It was a fun game to watch after the 1st quarter. That being said, let us remember that is was the Houston Texans, the team that had the worst record in the NFL last year. Apart from DE JJ Watt, they don't have a lot. Their QB is Ryan Fitzpatrick, a guy who has bounced around this league trying to nail down a starting gig for many seasons. Punt returner Danieal Manning could not keep a handle on the football. Not to mention the fact that the Texans pulled a Steelers by penalizing themselves right out of the game. Yes, this win can be a building block to more wins and a confidence-builder. Just don't go dancing and jumping around just yet. Because.....

This Sunday the Steelers will have a better test of what they are. They play the AFC-South leading Indy Dolts, 5-2, led by QB Andrew Luck. This is a team that made the playoffs last season and will be a better barometer with which to take the Steelers temperature.

Meanwhile, enjoy the win as it moved the Steelers out of the AFC North basement. The standings are as follows: The Baltimorons won and sit in first place at 5-2. Cincy's loss drops them to 3-2-1 and second place. Your 4-3 Steelers are now #3 in the division. And bringing up the rear with their loss is the Clowns at 3-3. Can't wait to see the Steelers string together back-to-back wins. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!


Great balls of fire, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against cross-state rivals the Philly Cryers tonight at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)Philly comes into the game at #3 in the league averaging 3.4 goals per game. Guess who sits atop the league with an average of 4 goals per game? That's right, baby, the Pens. Rock the Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)Philly also thinks their special because they're second in the NHL on the power play at a 31.8% clip. Not so fast, Philly. The Pens are rated #1 on the PP with 47.1%. Take advantage of the man-advantage! 3)The one aspect where the Pens are sorely lacking is on the penalty-kill where they're ranked 27th in the league with 72.7%. Tighten up that D and send the Cryers crying all the way back to Philly! Let's Go Pens!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Play Ball! That cry will ring out tonight as the World Series gets under way. Yes, Mrs. Black-N-Gold is aware that her beloved Pittsburgh Pirates will not be participating in the Fall Classic (we'll get 'em next year!). However, she is going to attempt to scientifically predict the victor of the matchup between the San Fran Giants and the KC Royals. Prepare to be impressed.

Food-Here is some food for thought regarding the two World Series participants. San Francisco, of course, brought the world Rice-A-Roni, dubbed the San Francisco treat. Kansas City, meanwhile, is famous for it's barbeque. It is home to the world-famous Arthur Bryant's Barbeque. Let's see, rice or bbq? Point for KC.

Music-Mrs. Black-N-Gold is a big Grateful Dead fan. The Dead hailed from the Haight-Ashbury section of San Fran. San Francisco is was also made famous in songs by both Tony Bennett, who left his heart in San Francisco, and Scott McKenzie who wants you to know that if you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear flowers in your hair. San Fran is also home to '80s hit-makers Journey. We even caught a glimpse of former lead singer Steve Perry celebrating amongst the fans in the stands. The only musical contributions from Kansas City that I am aware of is the fact that some youngster named Lorde wrote a hit for herself called "Royals". Apparently, young Lorde was inspired by a picture she had seen of George Brett in National Geographic. And we can't forget the Leiber & Stoller R&B hit, "Kansas City" that was covered by both Little Richard and the Beatles. It's a close one, and I wanted to take points away from San Fran for Journey but the Grateful Dead win out. Point for San Fran.

Famous Fans-Upon his passing this past summer, there was mention of the fact that the late Robin Williams was a huge Giants fan. San Fran also hosted WWE star Daniel Bryan to pump up the crowd  before a playoff game. Word is that actor Paul Rudd is a KC fan. The Internet says that he was born in New Jersey but attended the University of Kansas. He even invited everyone to his mother's house after the Royals won the pennant. Then there is SungWoo Lee, the South Korean who suffered like the rest of the Royals fans lo these many years. Lee captured the attention of fellow Royals fans when it became known that he'd followed the team's exploits, while living in South Korea, since the 1990s. They even brought him over for his first visit this past summer. He's expected to make the trip again to see KC in the Series. I know, I know, Robin Williams was an Oscar-winning actor. Still, I like the story of the South Korean fan. Point for KC.

Legendary Players-San Fran has many. There are Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal. They also have some jagoff named Bonds who has yet to be voted into the Hall. KC has George Brett and.....that's about it. I still remember when Brett went ballistic in the Pine Tar Game. Sorry, George. That's not enough. Point San Fran.

Let's see. It's all tied up at 2-2. Whatever is Mrs. Black-N-Gold to do? Bottom line is San Fran knocked the Pirates out of the postseason with that 8-0 thumping in the Wild Card game. And, like Lorde, I like the Royals blue/white color scheme. I'm probably putting the jinx on but I'm sticking to my call. Let's Go KC!

Monday, October 20, 2014


Here we go Steelers, here we go! Your Pittsburgh Steelers return to Heinz Field tonight for Monday Night Football as they look to get back in the win column versus the Houston Texans. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Steelers are next to last in the league with a 36.8% red-zone touchdown percentage. The joke all week has been who will score the most points, the Steelers offense or Houston DE JJ Watt. The Steelers will never find the win column if they don't find the end-zone. Stop leaving points on the field. Score early, score often, score BIG! 2)The Steelers offensive line has given up 17 sacks, 2nd in the NFL. Expectations were high for this unit with the hiring of offensive line coach Mike Munchak. They'll have their hands full with Watt, a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year. QB Ben Roethlisberger will need to keep his head on a swivel and his feet moving to avoid the rush. The Steelers my also want to keep TE Heath Miller home to help keep Ben clean. Protect the QB and protect this house! 3)The Steelers defense has allowed pass plays of 30+ yards 10 times this season while also allowing runs of 20+ yards 6 times in 6 games. Unimpressive stats, to be sure. CB Cortez Allen will not start because of poor play. He'll be replaced by former Texan Brice McCain. Also, rookie DL Stephon Tuitt and Daniel McCullers are expected to see action for the defense. I hope these changes are the shot in the arm the Steelers defense so sorely needs. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014


     While watching a recent "Sex & the City" marathon, Mrs. Black-N-Gold got to wondering: What if she were Sarah Jessica Parker's character Carrier Bradshaw? And instead of "Sex & the City", she wrote a column called "Sports & the City". It could be based on the teams that she loves, instead of the men. The city, of course, would be the City of Champyinz, Pittsburgh, not NYC. Carrie can keep the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and Madison Square Garden. We've got PNC Park, Heinz Field and Consol Energy Center. I could trade cosmopolitans for Iron City and Manolo Blahniks for Black-N-Gold. Hmmm.

     Steelers-This is a rock-solid relationship that is, unfortunately, beginning to show cracks. Mrs. Black-N-Gold is feeling taken for granted as the Steelers have become undisciplined and unfocused through the years. Mrs. Black-N-Gold would never think of cheating on the Steelers, but feels that the relationship needs a bit of a change. The Steelers have tried to inject youth into the mix, it's just taking a little longer to gel than expected. Clearly, if Mrs. Black-N-Gold is going to receive a 7th ring from the Steelers, she will need to exhibit patience, and the Steelers will, obviously, need to re-commit to making this relationship work by focusing on the task at hand and raising the bar for the standard.

     Penguins-Mrs. Black-N-Gold keeps things on the back-burner when it comes to the Penguins. She knows that she shouldn't but can't help herself. Hockey season begins during the MLB postseason and when the NFL is under way. She usually holds out until the cold winter months hit and she's looking for companionship on a lonely, freezing evening. However, the spark has been re-ignited recently. There's a dashing new man behind the bench and the team has an exciting, revitalized mix of players. Mrs. Black-N-Gold would love to keep seeing the Penguins well into the summer, as long as Marc-Andre Fleury and the penalty-kill don't break her heart.

     Pirates-This is a romance that has spanned decades. It's been on-again, off-again. Ok, I'm in denial. It was mostly off-again for a little over twenty years. But lately, things are looking up. We've been seeing the Pirates late into the regular season, and have even made it to the postseason together the last two years. Is this a tease and will we end up with our hearts broken and a cubic zirconia? Or will Bob Nutting buy us that bobble at Tiffany's that we've so wanted for so long? A girl can dream, can't she?

     To paraphrase Carrie Bradshaw, the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with your sports teams. And if the teams you love, return that love in the form of championships, well, that's just fabulous! Lets Go Steelers!!!!!! Let's Go Pens!!! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Saturday, October 18, 2014


Look out, Loretta, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins look to get back in the win column tonight as they faceoff against the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Isles skate into Pittsburgh undefeated at 4-0-0. Give 'em the agony of defeat! 2)The Pens are 2nd in the NHL in goals per game, averaging 4.3. Who is #1? The Isles at 4.5. Rock the CEC with Motley Crue and Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)Pens lead the league on the power play at a 46.2% clip. The Isles are right behind them at 42.9%. Meanwhile, the Pens rank 30th in the league on the penalty kill, 60%. NY is #29 at 61.5%. Take advantage of the man-advantage and hold 'em on the PK! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, October 17, 2014


     The blues are coming back to River City Ale Works in Wheeling, WV. JP Soars and the Red Hots will be performing on Tuesday, October 21. If you haven't caught the red hot blues of JP and his band, you're sure missing out.

     JP Soars was born in Arkansas. He spent his teenage years in Southern Florida. Meeting BB King at the age of 18 sparked JP's interest in the blues. Although JP has a love of the blues, he has refused to be pigeon-holed. He also taken inspiration from jazz and metal music, naming Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, Slayer and Black Sabbath among his inspirations. He even recorded and toured with a metal band, Divine Empire, in his '20s.
     In 2008, he released his debut, "Back of My Mind" to much fanfare. From there, he's been burning up the scene ever since. In 2009, JP Soars and the Red Hots won the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. JP also took home the Albert King Award as most promising guitarist.

     With their 2011 set "More Bees with Honey" JP and the Red Hots continued to garner accolades for their particular brand of blues, earning JP a Blues Music Award nod for "Best Contemporary Male Artist of the Year". The CD was honored as "Best Blues CD" and "Album of the Year" by the Palm Beach Post.

      Also in 2011, JP formed Southern Hospitality along with  fellow singer/guitarist Damon Fowler and singer/keyboardist Victor Wainwright. Their 2013 release "Easy Livin'" received the Blues Blast Music Award as "Best New Artist Debut Release". Southern Hospitality continue to tour when the respective artist's schedules allow.

     In the meantime, you can check out the Cigar Box Guitar Hero, JP Soars, and his band the Red Hots in Wheeling this Tuesday. They are scorching! Until next time, boys and girls. Keep It Bluesy!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Call Arnold Slick from Turtle Crick, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins return to the ice tonight as they battle the Dallas Stars at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)A win tonight would make new Pens coach Mike Johnston just the second coach in team history to win his first three games. If it's three, it's for me! 2)Pens C Sidney Crosby is off to the best start of his career with 6 points in 2 games. Slap me silly, Sidney! 3)The Pens were 3 of 5 on the power play in Saturday's 5-2 win at Toronto. Take advantage of the man-advantage with Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


     Recently, Mrs. Black-N-Gold reached into her bag of tricks and pulled out some Grateful Dead to get her toes tapping. It got me to thinking about the Dead and blues music. "Now hold on a minute, Mrs. Black-N-Gold", I hear you saying, "The Grateful Dead and blues music? What have you been smoking?"  Although many associate the Dead with hippy-trippy, psychedelic kind of music, the relation with the Dead and the blues isn't all that off-the-wall. What many people fail to realize is that blues was part of the Grateful Dead vernacular from the very beginning.

     You see, way back in the sixties, Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh got together in the San Francisco area and started making music together. Eventually, they were joined by Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and original keyboardist, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (Mickey Hart would join further on up the road). The band started to take shape as they took on the name "Grateful Dead". They incorporated many different genres into their repertoire, country, bluegrass, psychedelic. But there was always the element of blues. Especially thanks to Pigpen. He was the one that sang many of the blues tunes in their early shows.

     Through the years, the Dead incorporated many blues classics into their sets, such as Willie Dixon's "Wang Dang Doodle" and "Little Red Rooster", Son House's "Walkin' Blues" and the Bobby "Blue" Bland hit, "Turn On Your Lovelight". By performing these and many other blues gems on their albums and in their live shows, the Dead introduced blues music to an audience that may not otherwise have been turned on to the blues.

     Even after Pigpen's departure from the band and this earth, the Grateful Dead continued to mine their blues roots. They would incorporate one of their patented jams into a blues song and paint their own masterpiece.

     When Jerry past on, going to play with Pigpen at the big jam in the sky, the other members of the Grateful Dead dispersed into various other incarnations. But the music never stops. Get some Grateful Dead, either studio or live recordings, and sure enough, they'll give you some blues that you can use. Until next time, boys and girls. Keep It Bluesy!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014


     Blues-rock vocalist/guitarist Robin Trower was born in Catford, South East London, England on March 9, 1945. Trower has sighted early James Brown as major influence. He formed the Parmounts with Gary Brooker in 1962. Trower eventually left the Parmounts to perform in a power trio called the Jam.

     In 1967, Brooker invited Trower to join him in Procul Harum following the release of their debut single "Whiter Shade of Pale". Trower would remain with the band through their first 5 albums, departing in 1971.

     In 1973, he formed the Robin Trower Band, another power trio. Trower's first three albums were produced by Matthew Fisher, formerly of Procul Harum. Trower's second album, "Bridge of Sighs", was his most well-received album, spawning the concert-staples "Day of the Eagle" and  "Too Rolling Stoned", as well as the title track.

     He has worked with Cream bassist Jack Bruce as well as Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry. King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp considers Trower a tremendous influence on his guitar playing technique.

     Early in his career, Trower was a disciple of Gibson's Les Paul models. However, while on a tour with Jethro Tull, he picked up a Fender and has been a Master of the Stratocaster, ever since.

     With over 40 albums/compilations under his belt, Trower continues to burn up the fretboard with tasty licks and cool blues. He brings the Robin Trower Band to the area on Friday, October 17 at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg for the "Bridge of Sighs Anniversary Tour". It's a chance to see blues/rock at it's finest on Friday. Until next time, boys and girls. Keep It Bluesy!


Monday, October 13, 2014


Ewww! What is that awful taste in Mrs. Black-N-Gold's mouth? It is the bitter taste of defeat at the hands of the Cleveland, we can call them Clowns no more, Browns. Yes, yesterday your Pittsburgh Steelers may have, finally, hit rock bottom after suffering a 31-10 loss. Mrs. Black-N-Gold washed down her blood pressure medicine with many IC Lights in order to bring you the Good, the Bad & the Ugly from yesterday's game.

1)The Good-The Big Bossman said it best: "There is no good from this game". And he's absolutely correct. When you lose to a team that has been your personal doormat for decades, a team that had been beaten 18 out of 19 times by QB Ben Roethlisberger, nothing good can come from it. Especially when you are now the cellar dweller in the AFC North and have 2 losses out of 2 games against division opponents. You can't make chicken salad out of chicken crap and the Steeler played like crap.

2)The Bad-This could take a while. Was it the special teams? After all, they flubbed a field goal in the second quarter that would have given the Steelers a 6-0 lead. It could also be considered the turning point of the game since Cleveland took over on downs and proceeded to march down field and took control of the game, going up 7-3 en route to a convincing win. Or it could be the complete ineptitude of the offense, especially in the red zone. Going into the game, the Steelers were ranked 26th in the league in red zone offense. After Sunday, I'm sure that ranking will plummet. Or maybe, it's the defense. They only recorded one sack. They did recover a fumble but Browns RB Isaiah Crowell seemed determined to turn the ball over to the Steelers on this day. No matter how you slice it, the Steelers were definitely one word today and that is BAD.

3)The Ugly-The coaching was not any better, both offensively and defensively. The entire coaching staff may want to update their resumes. Although, considering the Steeler-way, that may not be necessary. Look, I love the Black-N-Gold as much as you do, but something, anything has to be done to end this madness. Conventional wisdom says that IF the Rooneys make any significant changes, it won't be in season. My bold prediction is that ownership will let GM Kevin Colbert go in a power struggle at the end of the year. Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau will "retire" and the rest of the coaching staff, save for the Chosen One, Mike Tomlin, will all be shown the door. The Steelers will then continue to free-fall next season, Ben Roethlisberger's final year in Pittsburgh. The Steelers will then draft Ben's replacement with the #1 pick in the 2016 draft.

The Steelers upcoming schedule doesn't look any easier. They have an extra day to get ready for the Houston Texans at home next Monday night. Watch out for that defense. Meanwhile, the Steelers could have made some ground as Cincy tied. They continue to lead the division at 3-1-1. The Baltimorons are next at 4-2. Cleveland follows with a 3-2 mark. And, gulp, the Steelers bring up the rear with a 3-3 record. There is still time to turn this around. Unfortunately it's hard for even someone that bleeds black-n-gold to remain optimistic. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit, spit, spit! Your Pittsburgh Steelers take their show on the road to the Mistake by the Lake today as they battle the Cleveland Clowns. These are your keys to today's game. 1)For just the third time in the last 20 years, the Steelers will face the Clowns as the underdogs. There's no need to fear! 2)Cleveland has the 4th best rushing attack in the league. The Steelers defense looks to build on last week's performance where they allowed just 9 points to the Jagoffs. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! 3)The Clowns 2 losses this season have been by just a combined total of 5 points. Don't go sideways this week. Go forward, move ahead, it's not too late.  Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Shave my face with a rusty razor! It's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins go for 2 in a row as they take their show on the road to Toronto to faceoff against the Maple Leafs. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)With Thursday's 6-4 opening-night victory, the Pens can start the season 2-0-0 for the 4th time in a row. Break out the Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)Toronto will try to bounce back after suffering an opening-night loss to Montreal, 4-3. Blow the Leafs away! 3)The Leafs are 4-1-1 against the Pens in their last 6 home games. New season, new coach, new attitude! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, October 10, 2014


We have a winner! Your Pittsburgh Penguins put one in the win column last night to start the season off with a bang as they shot down the Anaheim Ducks 6-4. The Pens got on the board early thanks to newly-acquired forward Patric Hornqvist with an assist from Sidney Crosby. But neither Sid nor the Pens were done there. The Captain tapped one in shortly thereafter to give the Pens an early 2-0 lead. The Pens 3rd goal was courtesy of Pascal Dupuis, new knee and all. The knee must be holding up because Duper finished the evening with 1 goal and 3 assists.  The Pens put the Ducks in an early 3-0 hole but Anaheim fought back to tie it at 3. Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots but gave the Ducks some easy goals, as well. The Flower needs to stop straying too far from the net and let his defensemen take care of business. Speaking of defensemen, Olli Maatta, coming off shoulder surgery, chipped in last night with 3 assists. Sid put it on the net a total of 2 times last night while Blake Comeau and Brandon Sutter both lit the lamp once. The Pens did allow Anaheim to score on 3 of 6 power plays as the Pens only converted 1 of 4 with the man-advantage. Still it's good to get off the schneid early and pick up a win for new Pens coach Mike Johnston. Tomorrow night the Pens are on the road in Toronto. Make it 2 in a row. Let's Go Pens!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Get in the fast lane, Grandma, the bingo game is ready to roll! It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins return to the ice as they begin their Quest for the Cup tonight at Consol Energy Center against the Anaheim (Not So Mighty) Ducks. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The reigning Metropolitan champs look to come out swinging. Fire up the Motley Crue and the Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)MVP Sidney Crosby & Co. look to move past last spring's playoff ouster at the hands of the NY Strangers. Keep it in the rearview! 3)In 5 career starts at home vs. Anaheim, G Marc-Andre Fleury is 4-1-0 with a 2.00 GAA. Sink the Ducks! Let's Go Pens!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Blues, blues, blues! Oh what a wonderful time it is to be a blues lover in the 'Burgh. Between now and the end of the year, there will be blues music ringing in your ears. So many national acts are coming our way. Of course, we also have a plethora of regional blues talent from which to choose, too.

Names such as Robin Trower, Boz Scaggs, Chris Duarte, and Robert Randolph & the Family Band will be gracing our stages. And they will be all over the place. They'll be at the Palace Theater, the Carnegie Music Hall, Jergel's, Moondog's and several other venues. No matter where you live, there is sure to be someone laying down the blues in your neighborhood.

And if you can't get out to see the national acts, there is always the talented blues musicians who call Pittsburgh home. The Blues Society of Western Pennsylvania is  happy to sponsor some upcoming events that are sure to get your feet moving. There is the "Blues From The 'Burgh 4" CD release party, with appearances by many of the acts featured on the compilation CD (pick yourself up a copy, now!). And don't miss the Guitar Showdown, with some of the finest guitar slingers in the area in Jimmy Adler, Vince Agwada and Craig King. Don't forget the Blues Day Out with Jeff Jensen. Rounding out the year is the never-to-be-missed event of the blues season: the New Year's Eve Blues Bash. This year's acts will be Jill West and Blues Attack and the Lionel Young Band.

All of these happenings promise more bluesy fun for everyone! Can't attend every show? Try your best to get out and go! Until next time, boys and girls. Keep It Bluesy!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


On Thursday night, the puck drops here as your Pittsburgh Penguins begin the 2014-15 campaign against the Anaheim (Not So Mighty) Ducks. The Pens have many questions to be answered in the Quest for the Cup. Since the Pens are in the hunt for a 4th Cup, Mrs. Black-N-Gold takes a look at 4 Questions.

1)After another early exit from the playoffs last spring, Mario cleaned house by relieving both GM Ray Shero and Coach Dan Bylsma of their duties. The question is, how will the very experienced GM Jim Rutherford and the not-so experienced Mike Johnston, respectively, do in their places? Considering the advanced age of Rutherford, he seems like a short-term GM at best. What kind of continuity does that bring? And although Johnston has coaching experience, he's never been a head coach at the NHL level. Will worlds collide or will the two mesh well in bringing Lord Stanley's Cup back to the 'Burgh?

2)Are the Pens going to continue to be bitten by the injury bug? C Sidney Crosby is coming back from a wrist injury. C Evegeni Malkin hasn't played all preseason and may not be ready for the start of the regular season. D Kris Letang is recovering from a stroke. LW Pascal Dupuis looks to rebound from an ACL tear. D Olli Maatta is healing from a shoulder injury. Did I miss anyone? And that is just the tip of the Iceburgh (pun intended) when it comes to the injuries that marred this club last season. Sure, injuries are part of the game. The Baby Pens did a wonderful job of holding down the fort in the regular season. It all caught up to them in the postseason. Let's hope the Pens can remain healthy this year.

3)Will the changeover in roster be for the better? Word was that LW James Neal was bad for the locker room. Now that he's gone and some new blood has been brought in, how will the Penguins respond? You hate to see the Real Deal leave but now we'll have to see if the newbies are the real deal.

4)How is G Marc-Andre Fleury's head? No, Flower didn't suffer a head injury, at least not externally. I'm referring to the delicate Flower's ever-fragile psyche. It always seems like he's a goal away from a meltdown. If he can't get the Pens deep into the playoffs, could this be it for MAF?

These questions and many more will be answered by our Boys of Winter as the season progresses. Buckle up, baby! It's going to be a wild ride. Let's Go Pens!!!

Monday, October 6, 2014


Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Yes, it wasn't always pretty but your Pittsburgh Steelers got back in the win column yesterday with a 17-9 victory over the Jacksonville Jagoffs. Mrs. Black-N-Gold brings you the Good, the Bad & the Ugly from yesterday's win.

1)The Good-Did the Steelers win or did the Jagoffs lose? It still goes in the win column. Good thing for the Steelers that Jags' rookie QB Blake Bortles telegraphed his throw right into the arms of CB Brice McCain. With the Steelers clinging to a 10-9 lead, McCain took it to the house. Right place, right time for McCain. That's a good thing.

2)The Bad-The Jagoffs are now 0-5 and the Steelers faced a team with a rookie QB and 2 rookie WRs. Why did they escape with just a 17-9 win? Do the Steelers truly play down to their level of competition or are they just plain bad?

3)The Ugly-I hate to beat a dead horse so we'll lay off the 7 penalties for 50 yards and, instead, concentrate on one of the often penalized, S Troy Polamalu. For the second week in a row, Troy tried to time his jump with the opponent's snap and ended up taking a penalty. This week it came on a play where Jacksonville needed to spike the ball to stop the clock late in the first half. I worry that Troy is losing it. He never used to make miscues such as these and now he's done it 2 games in a row. He's a veteran on this team and needs to lead by example. Committing hare-brained penalties such as these is not the way to do it. Please Troy, don't make me reprimand you again.

The Steelers gained a little bit of ground in the standings as the Bungles lost but are still in first place at 3-1. The Steelers are tied with the Baltimorons at 3-2. Watch out for the Clowns, they won a close one and stand  2-2 as we go to the Mistake by the Lake next week.

Big division game coming up. The Steelers can't afford to let the Clowns slip from their grasp like they almost did in week 1. Enjoy the win and get back to work. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Here we go Steelers, here we go! Your Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Jacksonville as they try to get back in the win column today versus the Jagoffs. These are your keys to today's game. 1)So far this season, the Steelers have amassed 44 penalties for 387 yards, both second most in the league. Last year they had 80 penalty flags thrown at them all season. Mike Tomlin and his charges have vowed to end the parade of penalties. Will it start today? It better if they hope to get a W following last week's upset by Tampa Bay. Go about your business and act like you've been there before, guys! 2)The 0-4 Jagoffs look like an easy win. So did winless Tampa Bay. Don't play down to the level of competition and don't take this team too lightly. The Jagoffs will be led by rookie QB Blake Bortles. Hit him early, hit him often, hit him HARD! 3)The offense knew going into this season that they would have to carry a heavy load to make up for a much younger, inexperienced defense. Unfortunately, the offense hasn't always lived up to their end of the bargain. Settling for field goals and leaving points on the field does not lead to victory. Keep your foot on the gas and kick the opponent's......butts. Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014


Summer may be over but this is the time of year when the local music scene heats up. Mrs. Black-N-Gold and the Big Bossman are wrestling over where to enjoy some local sounds this evening. It's a good problem to have. Anymore it seems that bars and clubs in the area are turning to karaoke, disc jockeys, and open jukeboxes to entertain their clientele. It's a cost-cutting measure, to be sure. But somehow, it doesn't quite measure up to the feeling that you get when you shake your hips to live music. Remember the first concert you attended? Think back to how the hairs on your arms stood up and the music kept you on your feet from the first chords all the way through to the last encore. You can still get that feeling when you go see bands in your area. Even when we travel, the Big Bossman and I like to hit the local clubs to see and hear the scene in that area. Often times, there will be musicians performing that put to shame some of the drivel that radio stations cram down our throats. Especially when you see a band for the first time. It's like opening a new album (yes, Mrs. Black-N-Gold is dating herself by saying "album" but I don't care) and listening to it on your stereo, fresh out of the package. Many local bands perform not only some amazing interpretations of songs that you may have heard thousands of times before, they also feature original material that you may be hearing for the first time ever. Some of these bands are too good to be ignored and hope to make it to the next level. Others just enjoy the music and making our feet move. Whatever the genre and wherever the place, be it a smokey club, a dive bar or a house party, get out this weekend and shake your hips to some live local music. You'll be glad you did. Until next time, boys and girls. Support local music!

Friday, October 3, 2014


     Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, on October 15, a true blues legend, in every sense of the word, will grace the Pittsburgh area with his presence. Mr. B.B. King will perform at the Carnegie Music Hall in Homestead. It's an opportunity to see blues royalty in all its glory.

     The "King of the Blues" was born September 16, 1925 on a cotton plantation in Itta Bena, MS. He was born Riley B. King. When young Riley's father left home, his mother remarried and Riley was raised by his maternal grandmother. From there, he began singing in his local church choir. By age 12, he'd taken up playing guitar. Blind Lemon Jefferson and T-Bone Walker were among his influences.

      In the 1940's he left home to find work as a tractor driver and to hone his guitar skills in churches and on Greenwood, MS radio station WRGM. In 1946, Riley traveled to Memphis, TN with his mother's cousin, guitarist Bukka White. Riley stayed for less than a year, returning to Mississippi to refine his technique. He wound up in West Memphis, AR in 1948, performing on KWEM with Sonny Boy Williamson's show. Eventually, he landed back in Memphis on WDIA as a DJ/singer. It was at WDIA that he earned the moniker "Beale Street Blues Boy", or "B.B" for short.

     B.B.'s first record, "Miss Martha King" was recorded in 1949 for Nashville's Bullet Records. Also in 1949, Sun Records founder, Sam Phillips, produced B.B. for Los Angeles-based label RPM Records. From there, B.B. formed a band and began touring various dance halls and juke joints around the country, his beloved guitar "Lucille", a Gibson ES-355, in tow. In the 1950's B.B. began recording and touring with more regularity, releasing hits such as "3 O'clock Blues" and "Every Day I Have the Blues".

     B.B. opened for the Rolling Stones on their 1969 U.S. tour. By 1970, B.B won a Grammy for "The Thrill Is Gone". Rolling Stone magazine would name that song #183 on their list of "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone also ranked B.B. at #6 of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" in 2011. Gibson guitars named him to their list of "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time"  at #17.

     B.B. remains well respected and in demand, playing with the likes of Eric Clapton, Cyndi Lauper, and U2. He has also performed at festivals around the world such as the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the Chicago Blues Festival, Monterey Blues Festival and Bonnaroo.

     B.B. has the distinction of being inducted into both the Blues Hall of Fame, in 1980, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, in 1987. With over 50 albums to his name, B.B. continues to reign supreme as "King of the Blues".

     Until next time, boys and girls. Keep It Bluesy!

Thursday, October 2, 2014


     And so it goes, Buctober came in with a bang and went out with a whimper, just like that. Mrs. Black-N-Gold had hoped that your Pittsburgh Pirates would help us celebrate Buctober all they way into November, culminating with a celebration at the Point to raise both the Jolly Roger and the World Series trophy. Unfortunately, they ran into a roadblock called the San Francisco Giants. But hold your heads up Pirates fans. There was still much to celebrate during this glorious season. Now, as the leaves began to fall of the trees and we hunker down for a long winter's nap, the Pirates organization will have many questions to answer in anticipation of next season's campaign.

1)Will manager Clint Hurdle get his bad hip fixed? He had told the media that 72 hours after the season ends, he would go in for surgery. Get well soon, Skip!

2)Will the Pirates re-sign uber-catcher Russell Martin? I think it's no question that they need to make every effort, and then some, to bring back the glue that holds the  pitching staff together. Unfortunately, during the waning days of the season, the Buccos seemed to be preparing us for Super Russ' inevitable departure. If not Russ, then whom?

3)Will the Pirates continue to go with the Gaby Sanchez/Ike Davis platoon? With what little production this tandem produced, surely the Pirates can get more bang for their buck elsewhere. It's my guess that they will not re-tender either player. Which leads us to #4.

4)Will the Pirates bring back Pedro Alvarez? With Josh Harrison firmly ensconced at 3B, the Pirates may continue to try Pedro's hand at first. However, Alvarez has bristled regarding a permanent shift across the diamond. The Pirates are also hesitant to let Pedro go and risk another Jose Bautista, Brandon Moss-like situation where the power stroke comes shortly after departure from Pittsburgh.

5)What of the pitching staff? Both RH Edinson Volquez and LH Francisco Liriano are free agents and surely will command bigger paydays. The Pirates will also see RH Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery. The bullpen also needs reinforcements.

There you have it: 5 questions to match the Pirates 5 World Series trophies. I wish it could have been 6. The Pirates had a tremendous run the past 2 years. They need to keep pointing upward and moving forward. Time will tell if they will. Thank you for a wonderful, fun-filled season. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Play Ball! Happy Buctober, Happy Wildcard Wednesday! Your Pittsburgh Pirates are back in the postseason as they play host to the San Fran Giants tonight at PNC Park for the NL Wildcard. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)San Fran sends LH Madison Bumgarner, 18-10, 2.98 ERA to the mound. The Pirates will go with RH Edinson Volquez, 13-7, 3.04 ERA. Back in July, the Bucs shutout Bumgarner and San Fran, 5-0. Score early, score often, score BIG! Hit, Run, & Score! 2)Eddy has tossed 18 straight shutout innings and has the 4th best ERA in MLB since June 23, at 1.85. Eddy also has held opponents to a .225 batting average at PNC. There's no place like home! 3)The media seems to be leaning towards San Fran in this game, disrespecting our Bucs. They say that San Fran has more playoff experience. They say that San Fran has better pitching. They say that San Fran has the hitters. I say they're wrong. This is it. The first 162 games were the regular season, now the REAL season begins. It's go time, boys. Go hard or go home! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!