“Hopeful Now”  by William Cass

I was nearing the end of my last year in college and could be described at the time as deeply passionate, obsessed even, about my music.  I spent more time in the practice rooms in the basement of the performance…

“A Band Named JimmyBob” by Jeffrey Warzecha

No corncob pipe or timothy hay sprig stuck in his kisser, but the lead singer is wearing a chambray shirt, felt hat, and a crying, slung twelve string. Insert a weathered clawhammer banjo in the background, and frayed jeans cut-off…

“At Seventeen” by Karla Linn Merrifield

Who was that cute boy, brother as clean-cut teen, with a folk guitar, beardless chin to the mic in the Franklin gym? Who was my brother then, senior year, with Gene in the middle, full-throated, and Pete, nonchalant on his…

“Soundtrack for Growing Up” by Rebecca Hart Olander

A one-winged dove ooh, ooing as dusk settled and the car barreled toward home. The plea of I don’t wanna do your dirty work twisting around the pipes below a sink full of dishes piled high. The way every girl…

“The “Dean from Hell” Guitar, on its Role in Pantera’s “Cowboys from Hell” by Daniel M. Shapiro

The bristly drawl waits inside me, warms my mahogany neck, courses through the smoothest rosewood. If you have tattoos, you know what it’s like to be told, Careful: It’s permanent. The ink that labeled me from hell isn’t going anywhere….

“The Wanting” by Ralph Greco, Jr.

In mere minutes the cherry-red curtains would part, Duane would strum that power chord, the hot spotlight would smack Tony in the face, he’d grab the mike and open his mouth; it would all happen. But beyond the fear of…

“The Hacking Cough Intro in “Sweet Leaf” by Jeffrey Warzecha

Ozzy bit a bat’s head off, headed for rabies shots, proved checked-in cough was habitual from joints with Iommi by calling from the hospital phone a friend who played the intro to “Sweet Leaf” on repeat for the ER doctor….

“Theremin” by Robert Beveridge

The core of any computer is the motherboard. Cops, priests, the Medicis, Lehman Brothers, all must bow to circuitry named for the woman who bore us all. We warm our hands over resistors, capacitors, parts none of us have names…

“Listening to L. Cohen, I paint a forest primeval in the backyard of my brain” by Karla Linn Merrifield

surrounding cerebellum’s irregular gray folds, seeding violet lilacs of language with the yellow pine of pleasure, red oaks to ward off fear, blue spruce among an evergreen assortment to warrant your great attention. In my mind’s eye some saplings mature…

“This Girl” by Michael Cowgill

Joy feels no joy here in the cramped backstage area. She holds her guitar neck with her left hand, adjusts her Beatles’ wig with her right, ignores the chatter of her bandmates, her sisters in music, who more and more…