Local folks get nationally recognized, folk icon remembered and cheap concert tickets

Mr. and Mrs. EQD Go to Washington.

First up, a big glass of congratulations to Akron pedal-effects maker EarthQuaker Devices for earning the National Small Business Exporter of the Year Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The first time I interviewed founder, president and lead designer Jamie Stillman, EQD was still a mom and pop shop dominating the basement of Stillman and his wife, CEO Julie Robbins, with a grand total of two employees.

Lo, these many years later, they have a cool, modern, pedal-making shop downtown with a gaggle of employees. And their products are on the pedal boards of many well-known and up-and-coming artists (and me, too), and they are a respected international manufacturer. And every product has a stamp that proudly touts its Akron roots.

 

John McCutcheon

On Saturday, the Kent Stage will play host to a concert commemorating the 100th birthday of folk icon and activist Pete Seeger featuring John McCutcheon.

Seeger, whose career began in the 1940s with the Weavers, became an icon of the folk scene and the protest movements of the 1960s. He wrote beloved and still-performed songs, including “Where Have All the Flowers Gone," “If I Had A Hammer” and “Turn, Turn, Turn."

Celebrating Seeger’s lasting social and musical impact will be singer, songwriter, storyteller and multi-instrumentalist McCutcheon, who released the tribute album “To Everyone in All the World: A Celebration of Pete Seeger" earlier this year.

It’s McCutcheon’s 40th album, so you know he’s been doing this music thing for a while. He has written songs for children as well as socially conscious tunes, and has co-signs from both Johnny Cash and Seeger himself.

 

Cheap seats

All right, potential concertgoers. The corporate concert behemoth Live Nation wants your discretionary income, and it has cooked up a decent deal to entice you to part with some of your presumably hard-earned dollars.

From now until Tuesday, you can buy tickets to one of more than 2,800 (national) shows for $20. There are more than 600 artists participating, but here are a few that are coming to a shed, arena or club near you: The Black Keys (Sept. 30 at the horribly renamed Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse), Dane Cook, who’s about due for a career reassessment and renaissance (Oct. 18 at the also recently renamed MGM Northfield Park) and veteran comedian Brian Regan (Dec. 12 at Masonic Cleveland Auditorium).

Also, nearly every show at Blossom this season is available, including geetar-picker extraordinaire Brad Paisley (Aug. 2), the reunited Hootie & the Blowfish (July 26), country heartthrob Dierks Bentley (July 25), Rascal Flatts (Sept. 20) and your final opportunity to see Peter Frampton Live! (Aug. 8).

If you haven’t bought your ticket to NKOTB’s Saturday night show (with Salt-N-Pepa, Naughty by Nature, Tiffany and Debbie Gibson) in Cleveland, then here’s your chance to relive the late '80s and early '90s for early-'90s ticket prices.

The show is at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. We have to find a collectively agreed-upon nickname for that place: The Rocket? The FieldHouse? Gilbert’s Playpen?

 

Reggae legend

Back in the '80s (and much too far into the '90s) when I was in college, Bob Marley’s compilation “Legend” was the one reggae album everyone seemed to own. It was the CD you had that allowed you to call yourself a reggae fan even if you couldn’t name three other actual reggae artists.

It wasn’t just my fellow students either. Nearly every bar and club in Atlanta that wanted to appear remotely hip would have “Legend” glued to their CD changers, and I recall a much-too-long evening at a Fat Tuesday’s (home of the alcohol-infused Slurpee) where they just had it on repeat for hours.

To this day, I can’t listen to those songs, all of which I love, in the “Legend” track order without having a flashback to that one time on Fat Tuesday when my drunk friend got hit by a MARTA train.

Anyway, “Legend” is the best-selling reggae album in music history with more than 15 million copies sold since its 1984 release, and it spent more than 500 nonconsecutive weeks on the Billboard 200 chart, bested only by Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.”

Interestingly, as of 2017, the surprisingly eclectic list of top sellers included Johnny Mathis’ “Johnny's Greatest Hits” (which spent 490 weeks on the chart), Journey’s “Greatest Hits” (also 490 weeks), the original cast recording of “My Fair Lady” (480 weeks), along with Metallica’s “Black Album” (461), Guns N’ Roses' “Greatest Hits” (423), Nirvana’s “Nevermind” (380), Eminem's “Curtain Call: The Hits” (371), and the youngest member of the group, Adele’s “21” (355).

As of this week, Metallica, Adele, Guns N’ Roses and Nirvana are still chugging away on the Billboard 200.

And that, dear readers, is your totally useless, fun music business fact for the week.

 

Malcolm X Abram can be reached at mabram@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3758. Like him on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1lNgxml, and follow him on Twitter @malcolmabramABJ.