Short Stories & Ogi Sez

Food For Thought

This year’s Greensboro Food Truck Festival might just be the best thing since sliced bread — and so much more. Make your way downtown from 3–9 p.m. on August 28 to enjoy the festive celebration of all the revolutionary (and delicious) traveling food mobiles that 336 has to offer. From Queso Monster’s Mexican munchies to Smokiin Mac’s Southern fusion of Mac ‘N’ Cheese, stuff your face with local and international cuisine from over 50 different food trucks. After getting your sugar fix with personalized funnel cakes from Cherry on Top or the queen of ice cream sammiches from Ice Queen Parlor, dance away those calories — not that anyone’s counting —  while checking out the venue’s live music and craft vendors. Before the kiddos come crashing down from that sugar high, let them jump up and get down in bounce houses, or burn out on the festival’s fire truck rides. We know you have a lot on your plate this summer, so indulge in some food therapy sprinkled along Washington and Greene streets, as well as Federal Place. Info:

Wandering Eye

O.Henry’s very own contributing writer, Billy [Eye] Ingram, has recently gone to print with his book, Eye on GSO. The book’s collected essays engage readers in the historical happenings of our beloved city. Writing under the familiar sobriquet of “Wandering Billy,” Ingram reveals what lies beyond the naked eye. Dating back to 2016, Billy’s pieces have informed readers on everything from the epicenter of Greensboro’s underground music and skateboard scene, to the not so innocent happenings of State Street’s sin-ema. Flipping through the pages of Eye on GSO feels more like a comically vulnerable conversation between the past and present than your typical guide to all things Greensboro. Available anywhere books are sold.

Musical Madrigal 

After seeing Disney’s latest breakout musical motion picture Encanto, we can’t stop talking about Bruno! The Family Madrigal might just be the songbirds of the new generation, delivering record-breaking hits and a beloved soundtrack we’ve been belting out since last November. Give your kids the chance to finally channel their inner musical prodigy at the Encanto Sing-Along Film Concert at 7:30 p.m. on August 13. Who needs fancy surround sound equipment when you have a live band leading the crowd in a performance synced with the showing of the film on the big screen? Audience participation is inevitable and highly encouraged, so fill the White Oak Amphitheatre with the sounds of joyous voices, whether on key or not — we’re not judging you on your perfectly imperfect pitch. Info:

Bringing the MCU to U

M’Baku certainly stays busy as one of the greatest warriors in Wakanda, but, lucky for us, he’s using one of his nine lives to visit the Triad for UNCG’s Concert and Lecture Series. Winston Duke kickstarts UNCG’s annual celebration of the arts at 8 p.m. on August 26 as the first of many renowned performers and guest speakers. The longest running series of its kind in North Carolina, its 110th season treats you to the sounds of talented musicians such as Joshua Bell and the Indigo Girls. Put on your dancing shoes and join the Urban Bush Women as they bust onto the contemporary dance scene. Music to our ears! Info:

No ifs, ands or Putts

Bad at golf? Join the club. T.E.A. (Turning Everything Around) Time’s first Annual Charity Golf Tournament encourages all players with a love for the game and a heart for service to support the Serving Seniors Housing Initiative as they hit the Gillespie Golf Course on August 13, beginning at 9 a.m. All proceeds from the event will seek to repair the homes owned or occupied by senior citizens. Put your friend-chips to the test and register as a team of four for $200. Tackle the course solo for $65. The registration fee earns you an un-fore-getabble golfing experience followed by a lunch, plus the opportunity to bring back more than a nice tan in the form of bragging rights with awards and prizes. Sound like your cup of tee? Info:

Ogi Sez

Ogi Overman

I don’t know if the fish are jumpin’ or if the cotton balls are high, but I dang sure know it’s summertime. Our air conditioner’s been on the fritz for a month, and the livin’ sure ain’t been easy. My salvation, however, is the hundred or so music venues within driving distance, all air-conditioned. And that’s plenty for me.

• August 5, Greensboro Coliseum: When ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill passed away last year, I, like everyone else, wondered if they would be able to carry on. Turns out, he and guitarist Billy Gibbons had prearranged for longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis to take his place. Somehow, that seems comforting.

• August 5, The Crown: Before COVID, I was the band-booker for Lucky 32’s “Music from a Southern Kitchen” series. Our most popular band, by far, was Graymatter. They had the SRO crowds singing along, standing on the seats and clapping in unison to “Peace Train.” If you’re of a certain age, you’ll love every single tune they play, guaranteed.

August 17, Ziggy’s.Space: If Michael Franti could make time among his dozens of musical, poetic, documentary and social-justice projects, I swear I’d vote for him for President. But, like most idealists, he’d never run. His endless variety of compositions, styles and genres have one thing in common: They leave you wide-eyed with wonderment at both his talent and brilliance.

August 20, Tanger Center: After, lo, these many years, the true legend that is Smokey Robinson is still touring, still has that unmistakable tenor and falsetto, and is still bringing crowds to their feet with both his rapport and repertoire. No wonder people say he’s the life of the party.

• August 21 & 22, Haw River Ballroom: For those of you who missed her opening for Bonnie Raitt at the Tanger, you have two chances this month to see the undisputed Queen of Americana, Lucinda Williams, as headliner. Her epic Car Wheels on a Gravel Road is considered one of the most perfectly constructed albums of all time. It’s still on constant rotation in my car, a quarter century later.

Short Stories & Ogi Sez

Bruce Shores, Audrey Putting on Her Shoes, 1989, oil on canvas, 48 x 66 inches

An Exhibit After Your Own Art

Kickstart your day with a trip down to GreenHill’s latest exhibit, PRESENCE: A Figurative Art Survey (“Figurative” is academic speak for Modern art that retains references to the real world).  Leading N.C. artists invite you to explore the human condition through their survey of sculpture, paintings, fiber art and works on paper. Immerse yourself in a space committed to making the mundane of everyday beautiful, such as the simple task of lacing up your shoes. A culmination of realistic and symbolic works contribute to a distinctly Carolinian feel sure to pull at your art-strings. The only thing better than the chance to explore the minds of talented artists through their work is the chance to do so for free! This exhibit can be easel-y accessed just inside the front doors of the Greensboro Cultural Center, and will be open for viewing July 23 through November 5. We’re counting on you to Gogh! Info:


Courtesy of Greensboro Parks & Recreation

Fav School Subject: Recess

“This used to be your sprayground, this used to be your childhood dream . . .” And for one night only it can be all yours again. In honor of National Park & Recreation Month, Greensboro Parks & Recreation invites you and all your besties 21 and over to act like kids again at Adult Recess at the Barber Park Sprayground from 6–9 p.m. on Friday, July 8. Miss Mary Mack will be there with all of your other favorite nostalgic childhood playground games. Plus, bring back moves like “the sprinkler” — did it ever leave? — as you groove to classic jams and soak in full access to the sprayground. Admission is free, but bring cash for the food and beverage vendors that’ll be on site, dishing up meals much better than your lukewarm school lunches of yore. Info: (click on “events”). To subscribe to receive weekly happenings in the O.Hey voice, visit


Living in Harmony

Throughout the entire month of July, beat the heat with the Eastern Music Festival, Greensboro’s premiere classical music festival and summer educational program. EMF is instrumental in the lives of over 265 young students, teaching and encouraging them far beyond bass-ic skills. Catch these budding artists — plus faculty players and maestros — showing off their talent and learned skills in orchestra, opera, chamber, piano, brass and percussion. Over the course of the festival, more than 30 ticketed concerts and several free events are available to the public, hosted at Guilford College, UNCG and other local venues. Info:


Pass the Popcorn

Stay cool this month with a favorite outdoor activity: going back inside where there’s air-conditioning. At 7 p.m. on July 11, The Carolina Theatre kicks off its month-long Summer Film Fest. Each week, the schedule is filled with nostalgic blockbuster hits that take you back. On Mondays, you’ll find Hitchcock classics like The Man Who Knew Too Much and Strangers on a Train. Tuesdays are perfect for date night, featuring rom-coms such as Dirty Dancing and When Harry Met Sally. Wednesdays honor banned books with classics like The Great Gatsby and From Here to Eternity. Lastly, Thursdays are reserved for summer hits: Think Grease and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off . . .  “bow bow, oh yeah,  chicka chicka chicka”. Plus, don’t miss the Carolina Kids Club movies in July and August. Info:


Cruise in for a Brews-ing

Too hot? Just grin and beer it. On Saturday, July 16, the Summertime Brews Festival hops into the Greensboro Coliseum, serving up samples of over 150 craft brews. What’s the buzz? This party is packed with cornhole, food truck grub and live music. With general admission, doors open at 2 p.m., but get yourself a VIP — Very Important Pubgoer — pass and crack open the floodgates at noon. Ale, yeah! Closing time: 6 p.m. This event is for the 21-and-over crowd only. Please catch a ride and drink responsibly. Info:



Ogi Sez

Ogi Overman

I’ve reached the stage of life where I don’t take anything for granted, where I try to find enjoyment in each day, where I try to celebrate the beauty around me. And July is one of those months with plenty to celebrate. Besides the Fourth, there are festivals galore — street, bluegrass, beach, neighborhood, Sunday afternoon, lakeside, etc. Plus, the ’Hoppers have 15 home games, including fireworks on the Fourth, and multiple venues have live music every night of the week.

• July 7, Tanger Center: I’ve been blessed to interview the Gill-Grant family five times (Vince twice, Amy thrice). They’re my favorite musical couple on Earth. Touring separately, this month it’s Vince’s turn. His sweet, mellifluous tenor, heartfelt lyrical delivery, and stylish, perfectly placed guitar work put him in a class by himself.

• July 8, The Crown: I’ve said it a million times: How lucky Greensboro is to have a genuine blues legend like Bob Margolin in our midst who gives back to the community every chance he gets. With this show he is not only supporting The Crown, but also the Fiddle & Bow Society. So get there early and support him in return.

• July 8, Ziggy’s.Space: A savvy friend traveled a state away to see Cracker recently. He told me flat-out that it was the best live show he’s ever seen. They debuted in 1992 with “Teen Angst,” which went to No. 1 on the Modern Rock chart, and, 30 years later, haven’t slowed down a lick.

• July 22, Ramkat: There was an internet (where else?) rumor going around that a member of Los Lobos had died and the band was going on hiatus. While it is true that founding member Francisco Gonzalez died at 68 on March 31, he left the band long before — in 1976. So, yes, the beloved band that made Tex-Mex and Chicano rock a thing will be at the Ramkat this month, and so should you

• July 29, High Point Theatre: I almost never hype tribute bands. The one exception is Beatles tribute acts, and then only rarely. There are a handful of them on tour at any given time, but the one (aside from Rain) that stands out is Yesterday. I’ve seen them twice and, trust me: You will not be disappointed.

Short Stories & Ogi Sez

Short Stories


Last year, Juneteenth became a national holiday, commemorating June 19, 1865, when Blacks in Galveston, Texas were liberated from the institution of slavery. To highlight the resilience, solidarity and culture of Juneteenth specifically and Black heritage in general, Greensboro is hosting a three-day celebration. Kick things off at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 16, when Sistars of Juneteenth fill the stage with Black female artistry in multiple forms, from live-painting to hip-hop dance and poetry. Move over Cinderella — at 8 p.m., Friday, June 17, ditch those glass slippers and don your fanciest kicks plus your best black-tie affair attire for the Uptown FRESH Sneakerball. Also on Friday, from 7:30–9 p.m., the Arts Legacy Awards honor the impact Black artists have had in Greensboro. On Sunday, June 19, festivities continue with loads of park-hopping fun. From 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Douglas Park comes alive with Family Day, filled with activities for the whole crew. Hit Barber Park from 2:30–5:30 p.m. for an interfaith Gospel Superfest. And finally, end Juneteenth full of joy — and delicious eats — at a Black Food Truck Fest, featuring sweet and savory bites, a DJ and an open mic from 6–8 p.m. at LeBauer Park. Info:


Run Hard, Speakeasy

If your favorite things to pound are pours and pavement, lace up your sneakers and put on your jazziest glow gear. At 8:30 p.m., Saturday, June 11, the Greensboro Distilling Speakeasy 5K takes off for an after-dark, out-and-back run through downtown — with a finish line conveniently located at Fainting Goat Spirits. Once you’ve completed the course, enjoy live jazz music and sip artisanal grain-to-glass cocktails that pair well with salty perspiration. Who knew running could be such whiskey business? Race ya to the bar! Use code ohey15 to receive a %15 registration discount. Info:; to subscribe to receive weekly happenings in the O.Hey voice, visit


All the Porch is a Stage

If this porch is rocking, you’d better come a’knockin’! Actually, no need to announce your entry. Just pull up a blanket or chair on one of many concert meadows — aka front lawns — during Dunleath Porchfest from noon until 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 11. During this free, family-friendly event, porches transform into stages for local musicians sharing their talents. Stroll from one historic bungalow to the next, taking in the fiddling, guitar-picking and soulful harmonizing of performers such as the Headless Chickens, The Alley Rabbits and the Goodbye Horses, plus 46 others that may or may not charm children with animals in their names. End the day with a final performance at Sternberger Park. Attendees are encouraged to show their community spirit by bringing nonperishable food items for the Triad Health Project food pantry. Info:


Are You Ready for Some Hank Williams Jr.?

Beginning his musical career at the age of 8 by singing his father’s songs in a Swainsboro, Georgia show, Hank Williams Jr. has proven over his seven decades of performing that a country boy can indeed survive. Since his young, young debut, Williams has earned himself a place in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, won Emmy and Grammy awards, and has been named Entertainer of the year multiple times by the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. He’s not only survived — he’s thrived. At 8 p.m on Friday, June 24, round up all your rowdy friends for a night of honky-tonk at the Greensboro Coliseum as only Hank Williams Jr. can deliver. Info:


Do You Believe in Magic?

Calling all mythical and magical beings, woodland witches and wannabe wizards! Sprinkle yourself with fairy dust, twinkle your nose and flit over to Lindley Park for the Greensboro Summer Solstice Festival from 2–10 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. No wings? No problem. Behold vendors peddling everything you need to nourish (and become) your most mystical self. Throughout the day (and it is the longest in 364 days), two stages come alive with musicians, dancers and enchantresses. An hour-long participatory drum circle resounds to the heartbeat of the diverse community the festival honors. And finally, at 9 p.m., pull up a toadstool and watch as the night ends with a blazing finale, glowing with LED hoopers and fire spinners. Welcome the season of the sun by celebrating its many gifts. Info:


Ogi Sez

You can look at June one of two ways. Either the bugs and snakes are out, the lawn needs mowing, the heat and humidity are dreadful, and football season is still four months away. Or, the pollen is mercifully gone, the flowers are blooming, the evenings are perfect and it’s baseball season. All the above are true, so you decide whether to whine or celebrate. I’d wager, though, that almost all music lovers fall in the celebratory category. Further, that if the whiners listened to more music and went to more live shows, many would ease on over to the bright side. Just as June, the tunes are bustin’ out all over, so what better time to start?

• June 4, Ramkat (W-S): My dear departed friend, John Stephenson, owner of School Kids Records, befriended Robert Earl Keen before anyone knew who he was. During John’s last days, Robert Earl gave him and his wife Diane a closed-door show with an audience of two before his gig that night at Ziggy’s. Aside from his boundless talent and song craftsmanship, you need to know what kind of man he is.

• June 8, Tanger Center: I started to say there’s no royalty like Sir Elton John on the bill at Tanger this month, but then I realized that, title or not, Bonnie Raitt is pure royalty. Both her voice and slide wizardry are instantly recognizable; there’s simply no one like her.

• June 9, Carolina Theatre: I must admit, I was late to the party for JJ Grey & Mofro. But I am definitely making up for lost time. His chill-bump-inducing voice does the impossible, going from a Rod Stewart rasp to an upper-register Adele warble — in the same song. Plus, Mofro includes a horn section, two killer harmony vocalists and a Hammond B3, as well as Grey’s sweet guitar work.

• June 11, Greensboro Coliseum: I can’t prove it, but it seems plausible that the genre “Urban Contemporary” was invented for Keith Sweat. There’s not much he hasn’t done as a performer, producer, songwriter, radio show host and mentor to aspiring talent. He has released 15 albums and was given the Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, which speaks volumes.

• June 25, Ziggy’s.Space (HP): I was initially intrigued by Flatland Cavalry because of their looks. They remind me of, say, Goose Creek Symphony and New Riders of the Purple Sage, two of my favs from the hippie days. And their sound is not unlike that bevy of country rock bands of the era. Plus, it didn’t hurt a bit that they’re from Buddy Holly’s hometown of Lubbock, Texas. All that aside, there is nothing derivative about them; they stand on their own.

Short Stories & Ogi Sez

Intentional Eating

At O.Hey, our diet is omnivorous and philanthropic. If eating our way through a cross-section of Greensboro’s culinary offerings is what it takes to support the N.C. Folk Fest, we will do what needs to be done. From 6–8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11, at Elm & Bain, stuff yourself silly with a diverse array of savory delights from 13 of Greensboro’s eateries while mingling with the Triad’s talented chefs. Anyone know how many empanadas can fit in a pair of carpenter joggers? Asking for a friend. Info:; to subscribe to receive weekly happenings in the O.Hey voice, visit


Over and Dunleath

They’re not old — they’re gracefully aged. Throughout the month of May, Preservation Greensboro’s Twelfth Annual Tour of Historic Homes & Gardens will focus on the architecture, gardens and history of one of Greensboro’s oldest neighborhoods. Dunleath, home to World War Memorial Stadium and the Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market, features a range of traditional vintage American homes built in the 19th and early 20th century by middle- and upper-class residents — from sprawling Victorians to modest Craftsman bungalows. It is also known for its eclectic mix of creative residents as well its annual Porchfest, scheduled for June. This year, the tour — Preservation Greensboro’s flagship fundraiser — will include both in-person and virtual elements so you can visit while either strolling or scrolling. Info:


Ain’t No Cure

Forget about the summertime blues. The Piedmont Blues Preservation Society’s Carolina Blues Festival returns this spring for its 36th year with Young, Black & Blues, a celebration of young Black musicians. This year, the longest-running blues festival in the Southeastern United States delivers a full lineup of seven talented acts, including storytelling through smooth instrumentals and lyrics.  Follow the sounds of soulful vocals and riveting guitar riffs to LeBauer Park from 3–11 p.m. on Saturday, May 21. Info:


In His Jeans

The Cone family was not one to just mill about. The iconic dynasty, known for its entrepreneurship and contributions to Greensboro’s economy and civic life, made it big in the textile industry in the late 1800s. The Denim King: The Moses Cone Story, based in part on the book A Mansion in the Mountains by Phil Noblitt, weaves a spirited musical tale — with little fabrication — of Moses and Ceasar Cone while giving a peek inside life at their family residence, Flat Top Manor in Blowing Rock. The show runs May 12–16 at the Virginia Somerville Sutton Theatre at Well·Spring. Info:


Ogi Sez

Ogi Overman

May might be one of two months, weatherwise, that needs no hype. (October being the other.) It’s like Little Red Riding Hood’s bowl of porridge: Not too hot, not too cold, but just right. The outdoor concerts and festivals are cranking up, the big bands are touring, al fresco dining is in, the flowers are blooming. Oh, I could go on, but my favorite juke joints await, and it’s time to let the fish fry proceed.

• May 15, Ziggy’s Space: If you regularly peruse these ramblings, you know I’m a big fan of Americana music. And there is no more talented Americana artist than Darrell Scott. Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/storyteller, he does it all and does it better than most.

May 20, Tanger Center: Exactly 50 years ago — I don’t think it was the Fourth of July — a carload of us traveled to Charlotte to see Chicago. The band was great, the acoustics were horrible. Thanks to Cliff Miller and SE Systems’ sound, and the Tanger designers, we won’t have to worry about that this time.

• May 21, Truist Field (Winston-Salem): Just as May needs no hype, neither does Paul McCartney. This is a major coup for us and the Triad, as the legend of legends only scheduled 13 stops, and we “Got Back” to where we once belonged.

May 22, Doodad Farm: Each spring, my heroes, Dean and Laurel Driver, host a tribute/fundraiser for a local nonprofit. This year they appropriately chose the New Arrivals Institute, which serves as a bridge for local refugees and immigrants getting acclimated to a new culture. The all-day show is titled Legends of NC and features no fewer than 18 of our finest: Sam Frazier, Laurelyn Dossett, Graymatter, Jon Shain, Abigail Dowd … you get the picture.

• May 25, White Oak Amphitheatre: Nineties icons Smashing Pumpkins officially broke up in 2000, but eventually regrouped — with Billy Corgan still fronting — and put out a killer double album in 2020. After COVID interruptions (including a show here), they’re touring relentlessly again, “like a rat in a cage.”

Ogi Sez

Ogi Sez

While our “Winter of Discontent” has lasted eight full seasons, I truly believe that hope is on the horizon. I’m sensing a rebirth, a renewal, a reawakening that goes beyond seasonal. Yet, what better time than April being a transition month is there to shake off the shackles, divest the doldrums and breathe in the beauty? So, let’s go dancing in the moonlight, singing in the sunshine and letting the music keep our spirits high.

• April 7, Haw River Ballroom: Not long after “Americana” became au courant (circa ’95), Todd Snider ambled onto the scene to perfectly define the idiom as a nonmainstream mixture of folk, alt-country, blues, acoustic funk and all things East Nashville. He immediately became the Americana poster boy and remains so today. To say he is a revered figure would not be a stretch.

• April 8, Ziggy’s: Back when the original Ziggy’s was packin’ them in nightly, one of the prime packers was guitar whiz Keller Williams. And it does my heart good to see that both are still alive and kickin’. Yes, the reborn Ziggy’s is now in High Point, but all that means is a shorter drive from G-boro to see Keller kill it.

• April 14, The ArtsCenter (Carrboro): Apologies for sending you down the road, but when the show is James McMurtry, I trust you’ll forgive me. Few singer-songwriters dare be mentioned in the same breath as Guy Clark or Townes Van Zandt, but McMurtry has earned the comparisons. The son of famed novelist Larry McMurtry, he comes by it honest.

• April 19, Greensboro Coliseum: Where do you start in describing the career of Sir Elton John? It literally gives me chill bumps thinking of the impact he has had, not only on pop music, but on the music industry as a whole. But, yes, after 50 years, he really is saying goodbye to Yellow Brick Road and snuffing out the candle in the wind, but not before a Greensboro appearance.

• April 22-23, The Crown: This show originally was scheduled for last October but, well, you know, that thing that refused to go away . . . I feared that it would not be rescheduled, but the gods of music have smiled down on us. Bus Stop (Evan Olson, Britt “Snuzz” Uzzell, Chuck Folds, Eddie Walker) was H-U-G-E throughout the ’90s, arguably the biggest band ever to come out of Greensboro. The Crown was wise to schedule two nights for the reunion.