I'm heading up to Whitehall, Wisconsin, tonight to hear Carey Ott at the Alternative Ground.
Now this is a pretty big deal because a) Carey is an actual recording artist from Nashville; b) Whitehall (pop. 1,560) hasn't had a show worth talking about since the Probes were playing upstairs at City Hall in 1969; and C) plenty of family will be there.
I'm not altogether sure about b). There probably have been a few talented stragglers come through the Hub in the past 40 years that I missed because I was out fighting in the Great Newspaper Wars. But the truth is, my old hometown has never had a venue that might attract a real talent. Unless, of course, you consider the beer tent at the annual Beef & Dairy Days celebration to be a star magnet. The Alternative Ground is at least a coffee shop, and a damn fine one at that. Songwriters love coffee shops.
And Carey Ott is a very talented songwriter and musician. I've known this for some time, but haven't mentioned it before because, well, he happens to be my niece's boyfriend. And there used to be a tenet known as journalistic integrity which, among other things, prevented a writer from covering events or subjects for which he had a rooting interest. And I'm definitely rooting for Carey Ott.
And now that we've dispensed with that formality, it should be safe to promise one of the best shows that Whitehall has seen since my brother-in-law Mike was playing bass guitar in the Probes.
I hope everybody can make it. If you can't, check out Carey's myspace page at: