Saturday, November 29, 2014


We're from the town with the great football team! Your Pittsburgh Steelers return to action this afternoon at Heinz Field against the team tied for first in the NFC South, the New Orleans Saints. These are your keys to today's game. 1)The Steelers are 4-1 at home. The Saints are 1-4 on the road while losing 3 in a row. Give them more with loss #4! 2)New Orleans offense, ranked #3 in the league, has turned the ball over 11 times on the road. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! 3)The Steelers offense is #6. The Saints defense is ranked 24th. Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!


Lookout Loretta, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins finish up their home-and-home set tonight as they travel to Carolina to faceoff against the Hurricanes. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens look to get back in the win column following last night's lackluster loss, 4-2. Pack up the Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)The Pens are 8-2-1 on the road and have won their last 3 in Carolina. A Black-N-Gold home invasion! 3)Did the Pens suffer a tryptophan overload on Thanksgiving, 'cause they sure played like turkeys last night. Blow away the Hurricanes! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, November 28, 2014


Get in the fast lane Grandma, the bingo game is ready to roll 'cause it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins return to the ice tonight at Consol Energy Center as they faceoff against the Carolina Hurricanes. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Penguins are 7-2-1 on home ice. Carolina is the worst road team in the league at 2-9-2. There's no place like home! 2)Carolina has dropped 3 straight. The Pens go for 3 in a row. If it's 3, it's for me! 3)Carolina is among the worst in the league with 2.3 goals per game, good for 26th. The Pens continue to lead the NHL with 3.5 goals per game. Nothin' could be fina than a win over Carolina with Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014


     It's that time of year. You know what I mean, when all your relatives get together, drink too much, eat too much, sit around watching football and fall into a food coma. Seriously, let us not forget that the time is for getting together and enjoying each other's company and be thankful for our blessings. From Mrs. Black-N-Gold & the Big Bossman, Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. Be safe and have fun. Now, without further adieu, the things I am most thankful for this year.

     The Penguins-I am thankful that Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle decided it was time for some new blood in the organization (sorry Ray Shero and Disco Dan). I am thankful that we have the best player in the NHL in Sidney Crosby. I am thankful that G Marc-Andre Fleury recently recorded his 300th (and counting) career win and got a nice, new contract extension not too long ago. I am also thankful for my man, C Evgeni Malkin. Love ya, Geno! Let's Go Pens!!!

     The Pirates-I am thankful for trips to the postseason 2 years in a row. I am thankful for Manager Clint Hurdle and all that he has done to revitalize Pittsburgh's love affair with the Pirates. I am happy for the best player (IMHO) in the NL, CF Andrew McCutchen. I am thankful that we found out that 3B Josh Harrison, JHay, can go all day. I am also thankful for the Homeboy, 2B Neil Walker! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

     The Steelers-I am thankful that we have some tremendous playmakers on offense, namely QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown, and RB Le'Veon Bell. I am thankful for offensive line coach Mike Munchak and all his efforts to try and stablize that unit. I am thankful that DE Brett Keisel and LB James Harrison still have something left in the tank. I am thankful that the Steelers are getting healthy in time for a playoff run. I am also thankful for TE Heath Miller, the Champagne of Tight Ends. #83 is #1! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

      I am thankful for the gift of music, especially the blues. Music has helped get Mrs. Black-N-Gold through some tough times. I am thankful that music makes me laugh and cry and feel a thousand other emotions. I am thankful for all the great shows and musicians that we enjoyed this year. Let the good times roll! Keep It Bluesy!

       Most of all, I'm thankful for the wonderful family and friends that have blessed my life. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Shave my face with a rusty razor, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Consol Energy Center tonight. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens have beaten Toronto 4 in a row. #5 would not be jive, trounce these turkeys! 2)The Leafs are 7th in the league on the penalty kill at 84.9%. The Pens are tops in the NHL on the power play at a 33.3% clip. Take advantage of the man-advantage! 3)The Leafs are 3rd in the NHL with a 3.2 goals per game average. The Pens are #1 at 3.5 goals per game. Blow the Leafs away with some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


     Your Pittsburgh Steelers are back in action this week as they battle the New Orleans Saints on the home turf of Heinz Field. The Steelers are in a dogfight in the AFC North as all the teams are within 1 game of each other. Cincy leads the division at 7-3-1. The Steelers, Clowns & Baltimorons are in a 3-way tie at 7-4. With 5 games left in the regular season, the Steelers control their own destiny.

     New Orleans may be tied for the lead in the NFC South but at 4-7, they're hardly dominating as in years past. As a dome-stadium team, they're also vulnerable to playing in the elements. Here's hoping for winter-like conditions this Sunday. The Steelers then travel to Cincy for their first meeting of the season with the Bungles. Here is where the Steelers can take control of the division and fight for a home playoff game. After that, the Steelers continue on the road to Atlanta, another weak NFC South team that can be ripe for the picking. The Steelers then travel back home to face the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that is also fighting for playoff position in the AFC. The Steelers close out their schedule at home versus Cincy. This game could come down to the division title.

       The Steelers appear to be getting healthy at the right time, too as safeties Troy Polamalu and Sharmarko Thomas, LB Ryan Shazier and CB Ike Taylor all returned to practice yesterday after missing time with various injuries. LB Jarvis Jones was activated from the injured reserve/designated to return list. This is certainly good news as the Steelers lack of depth on defense has been a glaring deficiency that they've been struggling to overcome in recent weeks.

      The Steelers have proven that they can run the ball, they can pass the ball. They just need to do both on a consist, week-in, week-out, 60-minute basis. Give QB Ben Roethlisberger time to put the ball in the hands of his playmakers, WR Antonio Brown and RB Le'Veon Bell, and watch them go to work.

     No one likes scoreboard-watching. The Steelers are in the driver's seat, they just have to drive it all the way to the playoffs and a 7th Super Bowl Championship. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014


I'll be cow-kicked it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road to Boston to battle the Bruins. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens have lost 2 straight and have dropped their last 4 in Boston. Batter the Bruins & get back in the win column! 3)The Pens are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Islanders Saturday night. Boston was shutout 2-0 by Montreal on Saturday. Pack up the Motley Crue & the Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)In their last 6 games, the Pens power play is 1 for 10. Take advantage of the man-advantage! Let's Go Pens!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014


    We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming due to this week's Steelers bye. Normally in this space on a Sunday morning Mrs. Black-N-Gold would present to you the keys for the day's Steelers game . The NFL schedule makers have given our favorite football team the week off. But Mrs. Black-N-Gold never rests. Please allow me to take this opportunity to remind you of
"The Importance of Being Black-N-Gold".

     The Big Bossman and I have traveled all over this great country (and outside of it, too), and I always manage to sniff out the Steelers bars in the area. You know the type of establishment, there's usually a Terrible Towel hanging and if you're there during football season, you may fancy a cold Iron City or IC Light. These taverns are usually the home for the Pens and Pirates, too. You also almost always run into someone from the area be it Beaver County, Mt. Washington, or Upper St. Clair. You usually spot like minded people by the garb they wear, a Pirates hat, a Penguins t-shirt or a Steelers jacket.

     Face it, Black-N-Gold Nation is everywhere. It's now gone global. What other fan base can boast of all the greats who have worn Black-N-Gold? From Mario Lemieux to Sidney Crosby, Terry Bradshaw to Ben Roethlisberger, Roberto Clemente to Andrew McCutchen. And, oh those championships. Hall of Famers and record-breakers and championship trophies. Oh My!

       So wear your heart on your sleeve, fans of the Black-N-Gold. And on your chest, on your head, and anywhere else you want to display your love of the Black-N-Gold. We may come from all walks of life but we all wear the same colors. Black-N-Gold, baby! Let's Go Bucs!!!!! Let's Go Pens!!! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Call Arnold Slick from Turtle Crick, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins take their  show on the road as they continue their home-and-home set tonight against the New York Islanders. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens look to re-group and get back in the win column following last night's shootout loss. Fire up the Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)The Pens are 7-1-1 on the road while the Isles are 5-2-0 on home ice. It's a Black-N-Gold home invasion! 3)Pens C Sidney Crosby was held scoreless in last night's tilt. Slap me silly & put it on the net, Sid! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, November 21, 2014


Great balls of fire, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins are back on the home ice of Consol Energy Center tonight as they play the first game in a home-and-home series against the New York Islanders. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens are 9-1-0 in their last 10 games, coming off a 4-0 shutout of Montreal on Tuesday night. Yes, the Pens have been flying high but received some bad news recently. It was announced that LW Pascal Dupuis would be out for at least 6 months with a blood clot on his lung. The Pens will not only miss Pascal on the ice but off it, as his presence has always been felt throughout the Pens locker room. It would be super to win it for Duper! 2)The Isles are 7-4-0 on the road. The Pens are 6-2-0 on their home ice. There's no place like home! 3)It will be a battle of high-powered offenses as the Isles are 3rd in the league with 3.1 goals per game. The Pens continue to lead the NHL at a 3.6 goals per game clip. Rock the Motley Crue with the Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014


     Christmas is coming and the Blues Society of Western Pennsylvania has the perfect gift for the blues-lover in your life. "Blues From The Burgh 4" is their latest compilation CD.  It's a chance to hear the latest and greatest from the many talented blues artists Pittsburgh has to offer.

     There are many familiar names to blues fans in the Pittsburgh area such as Jill West and Blues Attack, The Rhythm Aces, and Billy the Kid and the Regulators. There are also some artists that are new to the "Blues From The Burgh" series such as Vince Agwada, Stevie Pete and Ruby Red and the Dirty Devils.

     No matter your taste in blues, this set has something for everyone, from scorching blues-rock to  slower, country-tinged blues and everything in between. There's fiery fretwork from some of the best guitarists around such as Billy the Kid, Vince Agwada, Gregg Krupa (Jill West and Blues Attack), Jimmy Adler and Cheryl Rinovato (Bottom Shelf Blues Band).

    Mrs. Black-N-Gold loves the entire collection but there are certain songs that stick with her. Vince Agawada's "Blindsided" attacks the senses with it's funk-rock-blues explosion. The pulse-pounding guitar keeps the heart rate up. Jimmy Adler Band's "Wild Imagination" evokes images of rockbilly-swing and makes you want to cut a rug. "Gypsy Blues" by Ruby Red and the Dirty Devils is a tune that Mrs. Black-N-Gold can't get out of her head, especially the catchy chorus. The closing number, "This Whiskey" by Leigh-Anne Yost is one of two "whiskey"-inflicted songs. It's a straight shot of the blues for you.

     It doesn't matter if you've been naughty or nice. If you're a fan of the Pittsburgh blues scene or  you want to introduce yourself or your loved ones to what's going down in western PA blues, the "Blues From The Burgh 4" CD is for you. Until next time, boys and girls. Keep It Bluesy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


     Put another one in the win column for the Steelers. As has been the norm during much of the Tomlin-era, it wasn't pretty but it was a win. Now that Mrs. Black-N-Gold has gotten a good night's sleep, she brings you the Good, the Bad & the Ugly from Monday's 27-24 victory over Tennessee.

Good-It looked good when the Steelers jumped out to an early 10-0 lead. Mrs. Black-N-Gold was starting to believe that the Steelers were awakening from the slumber of last week's loss to the Jets. Alas, it wasn't meant to be, not immediately, anyway. The Steelers allowed themselves to be outplayed by Titans rookie QB Zach Mettenberger for much of the game, going down 24-13 to start the 4th quarter. Thanks for RB Le'Veon Bell's beastly performance, 204 yards on 33 carries with 1 touchdown, the Steelers were able to pull off the win. Kudos to the offensive line, too. Although they allowed the Tennesse D to sack Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger 5 times and batter him most of the evening, they did pave the way for Bell's breakout performance, clearing holes so Bell could pick up at least 10 yards 8 times, and average 6 yards per carry. Yes, game ball goes to Le'Veon Bell and the O-Line and offensive line coach Mike Munchak. Give an honorable mention to Da Beard, DE Brett Keisel. During his sabbatical from the Steelers #99 found the fountain of youth. He's helped keep the defense going when the youngsters seem to peter out. Keisel had 2 pass deflections and a QB hit. Keeping it old school!

Bad-When you're down by 11 to a 2-7 team and their rookie QB, I don't care if you do win the game, there is definitely some bad going on, too. As good as the offensive line was in the running game, they were just as bad on passing downs, giving up 8 QB hits to go with the 5 sacks. And apart from WR Antonio Brown and TE Heath Miller, the receivers pretty much disappeared. Rookie WR Martavis Bryant, a touchdown machine since his insertion into the lineup, proved why he sat out the early part of the season, allowing 2 touchdown passes to slip through his hands. Ben didn't help matters when he threw an interception in the endzone towards the end of the 1st half. That pick setup the 80 yard touchdown pass from Mettenberger to former Steelers WR Nate Washington that put the Titans up 17-13 at the half. The defense let Mettenberger pick them apart for most of the game. Give the D credit though. They held up when they had to late in the game to help secure the win.

Ugly-This portion was going to be a tossup. RB LeGarrette Blount's unprofessional behavior of Monday night was extremely ugly. Pouting and leaving the field before the end of a game is not a good example of a model teammate. If you're not a team player, you don't belong on the team. Obviously, Coach Tomlin and the Steelers felt the same way as they sent the disgruntled Blount packing yesterday afternoon. Now this week's "Ugly" award goes to Dri Archer. Ok, maybe it's not the rookie's fault. Let's fault whoever the genius was that stretched to draft this kid. Was it GM Kevin Colbert? Tomlin? OC Todd Haley? Did we learn nothing from the Chris Rainey Experience of a few seasons ago? If the Steelers really think Archer can turn into an exceptional ballplayer, why not try hiding him on the practice squad where he can get some seasoning? Sorry, Archer looks like a wasted draft pick and a waste of time. Better do something about that and soon.

     The schedule makers have given the Steelers a bye this week as they get ready for a visit from the New Orleans Saints on November 30. Time to rest up, heal up and find some depth at running back. The Steelers did fill Blount's roster spot by signing rookie RB Josh Harris from the practice squad. They may not be done making moves before their next game.

     Meanwhile, let's look at the standings in the AFC North. Cincy is on top at 6-3-1 following their win over NOLA. The Steelers are on their heels with a 7-4 mark. The Baltimorons won and Cleveland lost, putting them both at 6-4.

     There's more work to be done and 2 weeks to get ready. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Scratch my back with a hacksaw, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road to Montreal as they faceoff against the Canadiens. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)Montreal has won 6 straight. The Pens have won 2 in a row. If it's 3, it's for me! 2)Montreal is on top of the Atlantic division in the Eastern Conference with 29 points. The Pens sit atop the Metropolitan division with 25 points. Fire up some Motley Crue and the Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)During Montreal's winning streak, they've given up just 1 goal or less 5 times. They'll have their hands full with the Pens who lead the league in goals per game at 3.6. Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Pens!!!

Monday, November 17, 2014


Are you ready for some football? Your Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Nashville tonight to do battle with the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Steelers have fallen behind in the 1st quarter in 8 of their last 9 games. Coach Tomlin needs to quit acting like Wil E. Coyote and stop trying to outsmart the opponent. Every time he does that it blows up in the Steelers' faces. Put the ball in Ben's hands and get it to your playmakers. Dare the Titans to stop the high-powered offense of a few weeks ago. Move the ball downfield, not sideways. Score early, score often, score BIG! 2)Tennessee will start rookie Zach Mettenberger at quarterback. Since Dick LeBeau's return as defensive coordinator in 2004, the Steelers are 18-2 versus rookie QBs. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! 3)The Steelers have a chance to move up in the AFC North. Although Cincy won yesterday, the Baltimorons had a bye and Cleveland lost. A win going into the bye would be music to my ears. Hit the right notes in the Music City! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2014


     The Dark Knight Returns......Batman is coming back to the 'Burgh. No, Christian Bale and company aren't filming another Batman flick in the Steel City. So why all the hoopla? It's because your Pittsburgh Pirates have inked RH AJ Burnett to a 1-year deal for $8.5 million. Can you say "Never say never"? AJ is ready to finish his career with one last hurrah with the Pirates. Bad move or good move? Mrs. Black-N-Gold takes a look....

     Bad move-Well, of course, there is the age thing. AJ isn't getting any younger. He will be 38 years old on Opening Day. AJ's record of 8-18 gave him the most losses in the Majors last season. His 4.59 ERA and 1.41 WHIP were contributing factors in all those losses. He also led MLB with 96 walks issued, averaging 4 BB/9.

      Good move-Well for starters, in 2013 AJ became the first Pirates righthander to record over 200 strikeouts in a season with 209. In 2012 he became the first Pirates pitcher since Todd Ritchie in 1999 to win at least 15 games, going 16-10. In 2012 and 2013 AJ finished with an ERA under 4. He hadn't gone a season under that mark since 2007. At age 37, AJ was still able to log 200+ innings for Philly last year. With a hernia. He's since undergone surgery and is expected to receive a clean bill of health when the Pirates' doctors give him his physical. He's also a fiery competitor that was well-liked in the Pirates clubhouse. Oh, and one more thing....He turned down a $12.75 million option with Philly to have his manager negotiate exclusively with the Pirates. How often do you hear that in the world of sports?

       How does Mrs. Black-N-Gold feel about the move. I guess, "cautiously optimistic" would be the best term. There are still too many unanswered questions: Is it safe to assume that AJ and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle have mended fences since AJ's blowup for not pitching Game 5 of the NLDS in 2013? Was AJ's record last year more of a product of the band box that is Citizen's Bank Park and the fact that Philly played dreadful baseball last year? With AJ's signing and the trade of LH Justin Wilson to the Yanks for C Francisco Cervelli, are the Pirates done for the offseason? They still need a #2 starter (sorry, AJ, that's just not you anymore) and bullpen help. They also have to find depth on the bench and an everyday first baseman. If AJ could talk LH Francisco Liriano and C Russell Martin into coming back, the band would be back together again. Otherwise, continue to work those phones, GM Neal Huntington.

      Some consider AJ's signing a bone thrown to the fans by the Pirates organization to placate fandom's disapproval when Russell Martin signs elsewhere. If you're a glass half-full kind of person, it could be interpreted as the Pirates trying to bring a World Championship back to Pittsburgh. Only time will tell. 140 days until Opening Day. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Saturday, November 15, 2014


How much fried chicken can you eat? It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins return home to the friendly confines of Consol Energy Center tonight as they faceoff against the New York Strangers. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens are looking to exact some revenge on the Strangers. Not only did New York knock the Pens out of the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring, they also shutout the Pens on Tuesday, 5-0. Revenge is a dish best served cold! 2)The Pens, 11-3-1, have won 8 of their last 9 and are 5-2-0 at home. There's no place like home! 3)The Strangers are 1-2-1 in their last 4 games after losing on Thursday to Colorado 4-3. The Pens bounced back from Tuesday's loss to defeat Toronto last night, 2-1. Crank up the Crue and the Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, November 14, 2014


Donna wants a donut, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins wrap up their road trip as they faceoff against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)Following a 7-game winning streak, the Pens look to recover from Tuesday's 5-0 loss to the NY Strangers. Toronto won 6-1 over Boston on Wednesday and have won 3 straight. Shut the front door on #4! 2)The Pens sit atop the Metropolitan division with 21 points. The Leafs are tied for 3rd in the Atlantic with 20 points. Blow the Leafs away! 3)The Pens remain the #1 team in the NHL in goals per game with a 3.9 average. The Leafs are ranked 3rd at 3.3. Break out the Goals, Goals, Goals, baby! Let's Go Pens!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Lots of questions surrounding every one's favorite Pittsburgh sports teams. Mrs. Black-N-Gold looks at a few queries regarding the Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers. So, without further adieu, she brings you the latest episode of "As the Black-N-Gold Turns".

1)The Pens not only lost to the New York Strangers on Tuesday, they were shutout 5-0 and looked horrible in the process. Keep in mind, it was the Strangers that came back to knock the Pens out of the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring. Are Pens fans pushing the panic button as this loss follows a 7-game winning streak? How will the Pens and rookie Coach Mike Johnston respond to such a defeat? Will they bounce back on Friday against Torono and exact some revenge versus the Strangers on Saturday?

2)To know one's surprise both C Russell Martin and LH Francisco Liriano rejected the Pirates qualifying offers (as did every other player in MLB that was given said offer). It seems to be a forgone conclusion that Martin is moving on to greener (and richer) pastures. But what of Liriano? Can the Pirates come up with an offer to Frankie's liking? What will the Pirates do with all that revenue money burning a hole in owner Bob Nutting's pocket? Do they have a replacement option at catcher besides Chris Stewart? Also, per CF Andrew McCutchen's request, can we please get an everyday first baseman?

3)Another road game against a downtrodden team, another loss for the Steelers. This week is no better as they travel to Tennessee to do battle with the 2-7 Titans. Will the Steelers ever learn to beat the NFL's bottom-feeders? Or will they, themselves, become one? How about the finger-pointing this week? QB Ben Roethlisberger said that LB James Harrison was not supposed to be on the field for that dreadful goal-line series against the Jets. Harrison said that's not so. S Mike Mitchell said that Coach Mike Tomlin wanted him to jump the victory formation-snap, ala Troy Polamalu. Coach Wil E Coyote said Mitchell's actions were "unproffessional". What goes on here?

Mrs. Black-N-Gold wishes she had the answers to these and many other questions. For instance, "What are tonight's winning lottery numbers?" or "Where do all the missing socks go in the dryer?". All she can do is, like you, watch the games and cheer on her favorite sports teams. Because if there's one thing I do know it's that I bleed Black-N-Gold, baby! Let's Go Bucs!!!!! Let's Go Pens!!! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


     There's more hot blues coming to the Pittsburgh area this week. The Chris Duarte Group will be at Moondog's in Blawnox, PA this Saturday, November 15 to celebrate the release of their latest CD "Lucky 13".

     Singer, songwriter, guitarist extraordinaire, that is Chris Duarte. The San Antonio, TX native was born on February 16, 1963. After seeing "Fiddler On The Roaf" on television at the tender age of 8, Chris became interested in music. He started out playing his brother's guitar until he purchased his own electric guitar at 14. At 16, upon moving to Austin, TX, Chris paid $500 for his first Fender Stratocaster and began absorbing the music of such jazz greats as Miles Davis and John Coltrane as well as the Austin blues scene. Jazz is one of many genres that continue to influence his music today. Other influences include Jimi Hendrix, Howlin' Wolf and Bob Dylan.

      Chris' guitar playing is a style all his own, mixing elements of blues, rock, jazz, psychedelic and anything else he cares to throw at the audience. His style of play is so well received, in 1995 he was voted "Best New Talent" by the readers of Guitar Player magazine. Chris and his group are coming to Pittsburgh for their CD release party along with Mulebone. It promises to be a scorching night of funky, fire-breathing blues. Get there early for the 8:30 show. You'll be glad you did. Until next time, boys and girls. Keep It Bluesy!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Slap me silly, Sidney, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins look to take a bite out of the Big Apple as they travel to New York to faceoff against the Strangers. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Penguins have won 7 straight. #8 would be great! 2)The Strangers have the 24th ranked power play in the league at 13.5%. Meanwhile, the Pens penalty kill is #3 at 88.5%. A little Metallica is in order: Kill 'em all! 3)The Strangers are #24 in the NHL in goals against at 3.2. The Pens lead the league with 4.2 goals per game. Crank up the Crue with some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Monday, November 10, 2014


   Your Pittsburgh Steelers came crashing back to earth today, looking butt-ugly in the process, losing to the New York Jets, 20-13. Now that the empty beer bottles have been removed from the grasp of Mrs. Black-N-Gold, I bring you the Good (?), the Bad & the Ugly from yesterday's fiasco.

The Good-Mrs. Black-N-Gold is looking through her notes for something good. Looking, looking, looking. The Steelers did manage to sack Jets QB Michael Vick 4 times but more often than not, they were on the losing end of a foot race with the NY backup quarterback. Rookie WR Martavis Bryant finished the day with 4 receptions for 143 yards and a 4th quarter, 80-yard TD reception to make it 20-13. Alas, a failed onside kick made it too little, too late. K Shaun Suisham converted on a career-best 53 yard field goal to end the first half and put the Steelers on the scoreboard, 17-3. Unfortunately, he also shanked a 23-yarder in the 4th quarter that would have made it 20-10. Yes, as is typical in a typical loss such as this to a losing team, the only thing "Good" about it is that it's over.

The Bad-You knew it was going to be a bad day when the Jets ran all over the Steelers on the opening drive. The D was able to hold them to a field goal. Then it went from "Bad" to worse. The Steelers were forced to punt on their first drive. When the Jets go the ball back, they aired it out with Vick hitting WR T.J. Graham for a 67 yard TD to go up 10-0. From there, it continued to get worse. 4 turnovers worth of worse. The offensive line couldn't hold a candle to the way they performed during the 3-game winning streak. The Jets sacked QB Ben Roethlisberger twice, hit him 7 other times, had 7 TFLs and held the Steelers to 36 yards rushing. The defense was no better, letting Vick torch them for 2 TD passes and giving up 150 yards on the ground. Put a the Steelers team picture on the side of a milk carton because they were totally missing this week. Which bring us to......

The Ugly-Time and time again, Mike Tomlin's teams look unfocused, unprepared, or unwilling (maybe it's all three) when playing sub-.500 teams. They continue to lack consistency, falling to teams they're supposed to beat. Wait a minute. Check that. Mrs. Black-N-Gold is wrong. The Steelers are consistent because it seems like they ALWAYS lose to teams with losing records. During the Tomlin-era, the Steelers are 1-8 on the road versus teams that are under-.200. They are also only 8-10 the last three seasons against teams with losing records at that point. This comes on the heals of Tomlin declaring during the week that this game would truly "define" the Steelers. He's right. It certainly did define them. The Steelers will NEVER be a playoff team again until they learn to beat the teams they're supposed to beat. They feel disrespected when they're not mentioned as an elite team? A Super Bowl contender? Get used to it if you continue to lay an egg against sub-par opponents because it is an "Ugly" fact.

    And now for some more bad news....Hell is definitely freezing over because the Cleveland (Don't Call Us The Clowns) Browns are in first place in the AFC North. Their win over Cincy on Thursday puts them all alone atop the leader board at 6-3. Cincy's loss puts their 5-3-1 mark in second place. Rounding out the division are the Baltimorons and your Pittsburgh Steelers at 6-4.

     And even more bad news.....The Steelers travel to Tennessee for MNF next week against the 2-7 Titans. That's right, another road game against a team with a losing record. You know what that means. Better get back to the drawing board. You get an extra day to prepare. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014


We're from the town with the great football team! Your Pittsburgh Steelers take their show on the road to the Meadowlands where they'll battle the New York Jets this afternoon. These are your keys to today's game. 1)The Steelers roll into town riding a 3-game winning streak. New York has dropped 8 straight. #9 would be fine! 2)The Steelers have put up 30 points or more in 5 games this season. Score early, score often, score BIG! 3)With Cleveland's win over the Bungles on Thursday, a win today would give the Steelers sole possession of first place in the AFC North. Don't play down to the level of competition. Keep flying high. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Scratch my back with a hacksaw, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins continue their road trip as they shuffle off to Buffalo to shutout, er, I mean, faceoff against the Sabres. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)It's firepower versus no power. The Pens are still #1 in the NHL with an average of 4 goals per game. Meanwhile the Sabres are toothless at #30, 1.1 goals per game. It's all about the Goals, Goals, Goals, baby! 2)The Pens also continue to boast the #1 power play in the league at 37.3%. Buff isn't so tough, ranking 30th at 4.3%. Man-up, Penguins! 3)The Pens go into Buffalo riding high on a 6-game winning streak. #7 would be heaven! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, November 7, 2014


     When Johnny Winter passed away while on tour back on July 16, he was awaiting the release of his latest offering, "Step Back" on Megaforce Records. Unfortunately, Johnny did not live to see the album hit the streets and debut at #1 on Billboard's Blues Charts. Johnny's final album is mostly a collection of blues classics with some upper-class musicians joining the fray.

        The opening number, "Unchain My Heart", is a familiar song that's been around for ages. Johnny's version has some brass in the form of the Blues Brothers Horns. Johnny's guitar and vocals blend perfectly with the horns and the backing singers to unchain the blues right off the bat. Ben Harper pitches in on "Can't Hold Out(Talk To Me Baby)". Johnny and Ben trade vocals as well as leads. Johnny lets fly with some awesome slide work. "Don't Want No Woman" has Johnny matching licks with Eric Clapton, a dream matchup come true. This track is one of Mrs. Black-N-Gold's favorites. Next up is Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor". Love the beat on this tune. Johnny and Paul Nelson, also the album's producer, tear up the fretboards on this one. Frank "KingBee" Latore provides some killer harp work on this. Next, Johnny breaths new life into an old favorite, "Who Do You Love". He and Nelson continue to out duel each other in this number. Johnny will get your foot stomping on the instrumental track, "Okie Dokie Stomp" with former Stray Cat Brian Setzer stomping right along. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top lends a guitar hand to "Where Can You Be". It has a decidedly ZZ-type feel.
          Things slow down and get down and dirty with Joe Bomanassa on "Sweet Sixteen". It makes you want to do a slow grind out on the dance floor. The Blues Brothers Horns are back to lend a hand on this one. It's just Johnny and his steel guitar on Son House's "Death Letter". Classic Winter. Johnny and Jason Ricci on harp blow some life into "My Babe". Johnny proves that he still knows how to rock & roll with the Little Richard hit, "Long Tall Sally" featuring excellent guitar work by both Johnny and Leslie West. When Johnny sings "gonna have some fun tonight" you're having fun right along with him. "Mojo Hand" has Aeorsmith's Joe Perry playing alongside Johnny. Enjoy the ride as they take you to Louisana in search of the ever-elusive "mojo hand". The final track has Dr. John tickling the ivories to "Blue Monday". The Blues Brothers Horns are back for one last hurrah.

         It makes me blue that this album is over and that Johnny Winter isn't around to enjoy the fruits of his labor. "Step Back" sounds like it definitely was a labor of love for Johnny and it's certainly a fitting tribute to a man who wore the blues on his sleeve the way that Johnny Winter did. Until next time, boys and girls. Keep It Bluesy!

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Shave my face with a rusty razor, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins continue their road trip tonight in Winnipeg as they look to ground the Jets. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens go into Winnipeg riding a 5 game-winning streak. Winnipeg has won 3 straight. Shut the door on #4! 2)During the Pens streak, they've outscored opponents 23-4. Break out the Motley Crue for some Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)Pens G Marc-Andre Fleury has blanked opponents in back-to-back games. He can celebrate his new contract with another shutout tonight. Toss those goose eggs! Let's Go Pens!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


     Christmas is just around the corner and Mrs. Black-N-Gold has to stop being naughty and start being nice. You see, she knows what she wants to put atop her list to Santa. The Blues Hall of Fame Tour is coming to the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh for 2 shows on Saturday, May 2. Sure May is a far way off but no time like the present to ask Saint Nick for a pair o' tix. The show promises to blow fans away with James Cotton, John Hammond and Charlie Musselwhite.

      James Cotton, the Cotton Mouth Man, actually started out as a drummer but quickly found that his forte was the harp. He mentored with Sonny Boy Williamson II and began his career as the harp player in Howlin' Wolf's band. He was also a member of Muddy Waters' band, performing on Muddy's 1977 Grammy-winning album, "Hard Again". Through the years, James has worked with such notables as Otis Spann, Johnny Winters, Greg Allman, and Delbert McClinton. He's been nominated for Grammy awards many times over, winning one himself in 1996 for Best Traditional Blues Album, "Deep In The Blues". The 2006 Blues Hall of Fame inductee has been wowing audiences for over 70 years and will surely blow the roof off the 'Burgh.

      John Hammond is the son of legendary record producer, John H. Hammond. While still in high school, young John was inspired by the album "Jimmy Reed At Carnegie Hall" to take up the guitar. John is also a proficient harp player in his own right. By the mid-1960s he was touring the country and soaking up the scene in Greenwich Village, befriending the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman and Dr. John. He has performed with luminaries such as John Lee Hooker, Mike Bloomfield, Muddy Waters, and Howlin' Wolf. John has been nominated for Grammys on multiple occasions, winning in 1985 for his performance on the "Blues Explosion" compilation. He was a Blues Music Award winner in 2011 for Acoustic Artist of the Year. John was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011 and the New York Blues Hall of Fame in 2012.

       Charlie Musselwhite was elected to the Blues Hall of Fame in 2010. The 7 time Grammy nominee won Best Blues Album Grammy, along with Ben Harper, in 2014 for "Get Up!". He was winner of the 2014 Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist-Harmonicist. As a young man, Charlie traveled to Chicago to learn at the hands of Junior Wells, Little Walter, and Big Walter Horton. He has also had the distinction of playing with artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits, and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

        Don't forget to mark the date of May 2 on your calendar. Make no mistake, when the Blues Hall of Fame Tour hits the 'Burgh in May, they're going to blow your mind. Until next time, boys and girls. Keep It Bluesy!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Micheal, Micheal motorcycle, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road as they faceoff against the Minnesota Wild tonight in the Land of Lakes. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens are 2-0-1 on the road. The Wild are wild about their home ice, going 5-0-0 at home. Tame the Wild! 2)The Pens have 26 straight penalty kills. Kill the Wild! 3)The Wild have won 3 in a row. The Pens have won 4 straight. #5 would be great with some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!! 


    Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Your Pittsburgh Steelers feasted on Joe Flacco and the Baltimorons on Sunday Night Football with a commanding 43-23 victory. Mrs. Black-N-Gold is proud to bring to you the Good, the Bad & the Ugly from Sunday night's big win.

    1)The Good-Oh, where do I begin? I love it when there is so much good to discuss. First off, congratulations to QB Ben Roethlisberger on another record-breaking performance. Ben was 25 of 37 for 340 yards, 6 touchdowns, no picks and a 136.3 rating. That's 12 TDs in the last 2 games, if you're keep score at home. No other QB in NFL history, not Manning, not Brady, not Brees, not Rodgers, or any of the other QB-du-jours have done that. Way to play big, Ben! All of the Steelers scoring also came after one series in the 2nd quarter where Ben was sacked on 3 straight plays. Their wasn't much of a running game on Sunday but the passing game more than made up for it. And how about those receivers? Rookie Martavis Bryant with 2 touchdowns and 2nd year man Markus Wheaton, 1 TD, are really coming into their own. And Antonio Brown with 11 receptions for 144 yards and a TD continues to play at an All-World level. Remember how Brown and some guys named Wallace and Sanders used to refer to themselves as "Young Money"? One was "Easy Money", another was "Fast Money" and the other one was "New Money"? Well, this group of receivers has been "On The Money" during the Steelers 3-game winning streak. Oh my goodness! Mrs.Black-N-Gold is so busy gushing about the offense, she hasn't had time to mention the defense. LB James Harrison and company paid tribute to the great "Mean" Joe Greene in their own way Sunday night, holding the Baltimorons to 16 points. Harrison led the way with 2 sacks, 2 TFLS and 4 QB hits. LBs Lawrence Timmons and Arthur Moats also contributed sacks as the defense tormented Joe Flacco all night long. And that wasn't all. LB Jason Worilds had an interception and Moats forced a fumble that was recovered by CB Brice McCain. Sacks and pressures and turnovers, a return to "Steeler Football", indeed. All of the aforementioned players were Good but this week's award goes to LB James Harrison. Retired? Not anymore. Washed up? I don't think so. The man they call "Silverback" is definitely back!

    2)The Bad-You'd think with all that Good, Mrs. Black-N-Gold would have a hard time finding the "Bad". Not so fast. Special teams was very not-so-special. There was the flubbed extra point attempt that, luckily, P Brad Wing and TE Matt Spaeth, were able to turn into a 2-point conversion. And there was no covering up the fact that in the 4th quarter, after the Steelers scored a touchdown to take a 29-10 lead, the special teams allowed Jacoby Jones to take a 108-yard return to the house and put the Baltimorons back in it, 29-17. You can't gloss over a mistake like that. Fix it!

     3)The Ugly-Should I say it's Baltimoron's LB Terrell Suggs or they way in which he and his co-conspirators played? Cheap shots to Ben, RB LeGarrette Blount and anyone else they could get their hands on showed what a classless bunch this is. It only reinforces the fact that Mrs. Black-N-Gold christened this team and their low life fans, "Baltimorons".

     Now that we've all enjoyed another Steelers victory, let's look at the AFC North standings. Cincy won so they're still on top at 5-2-1. The Steelers are on their heals at 6-3. Cleveland won, too, putting them at 5-3. And the Baltimorons are in the basement at 5-4.

      The Steelers are on the road next week as they look to ground the 1-8 New York Jets. Beware the trap game as the Steelers like to play down to their level of competition. Keep flying high against the Jets. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2014


    Play Ball! Those words won't ring out across Major League ballparks for quite a few more months but it is time for general managers to step up to the plate and play ball with impending free agents. Yes, now that the confetti has all been swept from the San Fran Giants victory parade, it's hot stove season.

     Your Pittsburgh Pirates have some important decisions to make this offseason, beginning as soon as today. Today is the last day teams can make qualifying offers to free-agents-to-be. Word is that the Pirates are expected to make that $15.3 million, 1 year offer to C Russell Martin. Still no official word that it has been made, though. If they fail to do so with their backstop of the past two seasons, they may also consider doing so with LH Francisco Liriano and/or RH Edinson Volquez.

      Don't forget, too, that the Pirates will have to dole out raises to some arbitration-eligible players, chief among them, 2B Neil Walker, 3B Josh Harrison, OF Travis Snider, and Ps Mark Melancon, Jared Hughes, Tony Watson and Vance Worley. The jury is still out on the 1B platoon of Gaby Sanchez and Ike Davis. There's also still the mess that is Pedro Alvarez. C Chris Stewart would surely be offered arbitration, especially if the Pirates whiff on the Martin QO.

     Bob Nutting needs to loosen the purse strings this season and go all in. That includes paying Martin. The bottom-dollar Bucs will never get over the hump that is the St Louie Cardinals in the NL Central if they keep pinching pennies. Also, the NL Central is stacked with quality catching. St Louie has perennial MVP candidate Yadier Molina, Cincy and Milwaukee both had All-Star backstops in 2014 with Devin Mesoraco and Jonathan Lucroy and the Scrubs have a good up-and-comer in Wellington Castillo.

     Also, look at the resurgences the aforementioned Liriano, Volquez and Worley have all enjoyed during their time in Pittsburgh. True, a lot of that success is attributed to the tutelage of pitching coach Ray Searage and special assistant Jim Benedict. But some of that success also has to go to Martin's phenomenal game-calling and pitch-framing. It also doesn't hurt a pitcher to have a catcher with a cannon for an arm behind the plate. And you can't throw out (yes, I'm being punny) Martin's offensive production of the last 2 years, especially with runners on base.

      The Pirates also can't be afraid to take chances. Look at the KC Royals success. They weren't afraid to trade future Rookie of the Year Wil Myers to get P James Shields to upgrade their rotation. Pirates GM Neal Huntington is always afraid he will mortgage away the future. Not if you make solid baseball decisions, Neal. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Bob Nutting, are you paying (punny again, I know) attention?

     Maybe the Pirates need to think outside of the (batter's) box for a change. Now is the time. Go all in or go home, Nutting. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014


Here we go Steelers, here we go! Your Pittsburgh Steelers go for 3 in a row as they battle the Baltimorons on Sunday Night Football at Heinz Field. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)In their last meeting with the Baltimorons, the Steelers were held out of the end zone, losing 26-6. Find the end zone and find a win! 2)The Steelers are 9th in the NFL with 127.1 yards rushing per game. The Baltimorons D is 7th in the league, surrendering just 90.4 yards rushing. Meanwhile, the Baltimorons passing defense is 22nd overall, giving up an average of 256 yards per game. They will also be without their #1 cornerback, Jimmy Smith. Take it to the air. Score early, score often, score BIG! 3)The Steelers D needs to pressure oppossing QBs into mistakes. The D needs to channel its inner-Steel Curtain and "Mean" Joe Greene, and sacko Flacco. Hit him early, hit him often, hit him HARD! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Buy Sam and drink and get his dog one, too, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins continue their homestand at Consol Energy Center tonight as they battle the Buffalo Sabres. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)Buffalo is 2-7-1 in their last 10 games. The Pens are 6-2-1 in their last 10 and have won 3 straight. #4 would be great! 2)The Pens lead the league on the power play at a 39.5% clip. The Sabres are ranked 29th at 2.9% Power up the Motley Crue with some Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)The Pens are also 1st in the league in goals per game at 4.0. Buffalo is at the very bottom, averaging 1.1 goals per game. Sink the Sabres! Let's Go Pens!!!