Short Stories

We Want the Fairytale

Seeing Julia Roberts and Richard Gere on the big screen was enough to leave our hopelessly romantic hearts swooning for years. The thought of seeing their characters’ story take the stage accompanied by an original score of painfully tragic yet blissfully sweet music . . . well, we’re with Vivian — so good, we almost peed our pants! The Tanger Center is kicking off its 2022-23 Broadway season on Tuesday, October 25, with Pretty Woman: The Musical, one of the most beloved romantic stories of all time. Missing it would be a big mistake. Big. Huge! If after the curtain closes you’ve decided your heart belongs to the theater, treat yourself to season seats and enjoy the theatrics all year long with equally show-stopping performances of Cats, Beetlejuice, Disney’s FROZEN and other shows you’ll like better than The Pirates of Penzance. Info:

A Rebellious Act

The curtain is ready to open again: Triad Stage is back in the spotlight with a bang! Greensboro’s got more history than those on-again-off-again high school sweethearts we know all too well, and the world premier production of Rebellious is setting that scene October 4–23. This tale of four Bennett Belles navigates the complexities of friendship, brutal racism and oppression during the sit-in movement, pulling the curtain back to reveal how the Gate City suddenly found itself on the world stage in the ’60s. Will the young women take a stand and be “rebellious,” or will conformity win out over justice? Don’t wait in the wings — get your tickets or season passes now to find out. Info:


Shake and Bake

Ladies, loosen up those apron strings and pass the butane torch to the man of the house. The Women’s Resource Center’s beloved fundraising event, Men Can Cook, is back and tastier than ever. Endless sampling, live entertainment and a silent auction are on the plat du jour, all catering to the desires of food connoisseurs and local baking legends alike at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, October 22. After the famous-in-their-own-kitchen chefs dazzle you with their culinary craft, it’s only a batter of time before you’ll be craving a savory sip to wash it all down. An array of small-batch crafted libations will raise spirits and shake ‘em up. We’re no Gordon Ramsay but if you’re in need of a taste test, we’ve mastered the art of chowing down. Info:


Sad Girl Autumn

We might have those post-summer blues, but we’re embracing our feelings this year and tapping into our outlet of perfectly curated sad girl (or guy) anthems instead — deflection at its finest! Two-time Tony-nominated and Grammy-winning Eva Noblezada is entering the Greensboro Cultural Center’s Van Dyke Performance Space with plenty of beautifully-soul-shattering songs to add to the queue. With a set list she’s referred to as her personal “Rainy Day Playlist,” she stands not only as the figurehead for us melancholic-music indulgers, but an inspiration to creative performers everywhere as she shares the Broadway tunes that started it all. Grab some tissues, pause the 10-hour loop of wallowing tunes on Spotify and bless your ears with the raw emotion that exudes from Ms. Noblezada at 8 p.m., Saturday, October 15. Info:


Pretty Woman from Ukraine

In a heart-breaking tale of love and lust, money and class that inspired such films as Pretty Woman and Moulin Rouge, Ukrainian Diva Yulia Lysenko will sing the title role of Violetta in one of the world’s most beloved operas, Verdi’s La Traviata. Lysenko, a powerful soprano who recently emigrated to the United States from Ukraine after beginning her career at the Lviv National Opera, plays a courtesan, famous in Parisian high society. The bourgeois Alfredo, a romantic poet played by Orson Van Gay II who falls hopelessly in love with Violetta, is willing to sacrifice family and fortune for true love. Can two people from opposite ends of the social spectrum make it work? No matter what happens, it’s worth your time to just take in the “vivid and effortless” singing of Lysenko in a Piedmont Opera presentation. But bring plenty of Kleenexes. Catch La Traviata October 21, 23 and 25 at Stevens Center of UNCSA. Info:


Calling All O.Henry Essayists

Several years ago, we introduced a personal essay contest that was a big hit with readers and creative writers of the Triad. It was called “My Life in a Thousand Words.” More than a hundred essays were submitted. And we’re no mathematicians, but that seems to add up to over 100,000 words read. The stories both delighted and sweetly tortured our staff as we tried to settle on a dozen or so entries that captured our hearts. Though there were ultimately first-, second- and third-place winners designated, all of the finalists saw their works printed in our pages.

Having rested our eyes a bit, brandy glass in hand, we’re ready give it another go.

The theme of this year’s “My Life in a Thousand Words” contest is The Year That Changed Everything.

Was it the unforgettable year you got married (or divorced), went to college (or dropped out), saw the light, kissed the blarney stone, joined the army, ran for president, met Mick Jagger, had a baby, ran away with the circus, spiritually awakened — or, like many of us, just survived?

Only you can tell the story. And we’d love to read it. 

Same modest guidelines apply: Deadline is December 24, 2022. Submit no more than 1,000 words in conventional printed form. Shameless bribes and free (expensive) gifts welcome. Flattery also works.

Send to:


Ogi Sez

Ogi Overman

Well, brothers and sisters, I’ve got good news and bad news — and good news again. First, it’s October, which is always good. Need I enumerate the myriad wonders of the month? Nope, just walk out your front door and B-R-E-A-T-H-E.

On the bad side, after this installment, Ogi Sez will ride off into the sunset. After a fun eight-year run, it’s time to put me out to pasture.

But, hold on there, Bucko, the pasture can wait. The powers that be of this fine publication have decided that my talents can best be utilized elsewhere. Henceforth, my byline will appear often as a feature writer, specializing in music — but not exclusively. There are hidden gems all over this borough and we aim to continue ferreting them out.

Now, on to the business at hand.

• October 1, Ramkat: If you’re looking for the perfect blend of bluegrass, Americana and stage presence out the ying-yang, Scythian is your band. I make a point to see them every year at MerleFest, and they never disappoint.

• October 7, Doodad Farm: Generally, Doodad owners Dean and Laurel Driver lean toward local and regional acts. But several years ago they befriended Driftwood, a stellar Americana band from upstate New York. Since then the group has made a point to route its tours through here. These four will knock you out.

• October 8, High Point Theatre: When thinking of Scottish music, two names come to mind: the Tannahill Weavers and Dougie MacLean (who used to play with them). The Weavers, named after poet Robert Tannahill, aka “the Weaver Poet,” took Scottish music worldwide six decades ago and 18 albums later are still going strong.

• October 16, Tanger Center: The female face (and voice) of jazz piano has got to be Diana Krall. Her cosmic contralto and lilting licks have earned her two Grammys and eight albums that have debuted atop the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. That Elvis Costello is one lucky dog.

• October 20, Carolina Theatre: If music soothes the savage beast (which it does), then pianist-songwriter-author-storyteller Jim Brickman is the Beastmaster. Sit back and relax as his “Brickman Across America” tour comes to town. You’ll feel better coming out than you did going in.

Short Stories


Taco ‘Bout a Good Time

If you don’t like tacos, we’re nacho type! All roads lead to margaritas with a celebration of everyone’s favorite — if a little salty — duo since chips and salsa. At the Greensboro Taco and Margarita Festival, set out to find the taco with the perfect ratio of crunch to ooey-gooey deliciousness as you peruse the vendors lined up to serve you Saturday, September 24, at White Oak Amphitheatre. After you’ve wrestled with your hunger, get rowdy alongside pro-wrestlers — let’s hope they didn’t eat as much as we did before entering the ring. The fun starts early, with VIP doors opening at 11 a.m., and general admission at noon, but we all know it’s five o’clock somewhere. VIP/$49; GA/$15. Info:



Dance Like Everyone is Watching (They Are)

We’ve gotten our fair share of dancing experience through shaking our groove thang to the Just Dance! choreography of J.Lo’s “On the Floor,” but maybe it’s time we move it, move it to the beat of another drum. Greensboro’s National Dance Day speaks the international language of thrusting hips, twinkle toes and emotive facial expressions as it honors the timeless pastime of humans everywhere: dancing! Take notes as professional dancers grace  — or tear up — the stage. Let the rhythm move you on over to an array of food trucks and vendors as you fuel up for the next hour or two of straight up boogying! Essentially the Coachella of the East Coast, dance the day away from 1–9 p.m., Saturday, September 17.  Info:


A PLAY on Words

We may be entering pumpkin spice season, but dreams of midsummer gardens and fireflies still dance around our pretty heads as Theseus and Hippolyta are married in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Venture deep into the enchanted forest with fairy and human friends alike as UNCG’s School of Theatre students honor the renowned playwright’s comedic portrayal of love, marriage and beguiling games of fantasy. With mischief-maker Puck on the loose, we advise holding on to your purses, car keys and loved ones while finding your seat in the Taylor Theatre Friday, September 30, at 7:30 p.m. Miss opening night? No worries! October welcomes the start of spooky season and the spirit of Shakespeare with performances all month long. Info:


Change Your Tune

For most of us, our experiences on American Idol are limited to our imaginary shower auditions, which always end with a golden ticket. Singer-songwriter Mandisa has taken that stage and those beyond with a voice that’s transcendent. As a Grammy-award winner and chart-topper, she has undoubtedly experienced great success in her career. Yet it’s her willingness to speak on the dark sides of her struggle with mental illness and journey of faith that offer a true measure of difference. A Night of Restoration, an annual fundraising gala hosted by Restoration Place Counseling, welcomes this powerhouse to share the ways in which she has discovered peace through her suffering and a restored sense of hope, a gift that she bares elegantly in her music. Join her for a night of intimate storytelling and live performance at 8 p.m. Friday, September 23, at the Carolina Theatre. Info:

Ogi Sez

Ogi Overman

Yes, I know that school is back in session, football season has started, and the Halloween bric-a-brac is already on the shelves — but it’s still summer. Nonetheless, post-Labor Day is a beautiful time of year for many reasons, one of which is that live music is being played both indoors and outdoors, with festival season in high gear. In addition to our own beloved Folk Festival, check out these goings-on.

• September 3-4, Oak Hollow Festival Park: Now in its 11th year, the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival has truly become one of central North Carolina’s signature events. With Patti LaBelle headlining a power-packed global lineup, this year’s event is not only for the jazz lover, but is the music lover’s dream come true

• September 2-4, Camp Springs Bluegrass Park: Oh, the stories I could tell about Camp Springs back in the day now that the statute of limitations has run out. After going dark for many years, it has sprung back to life, and the lineup is comparable to the New Grass Revival-Country Gentlemen days. Among the 15 acts, the one that jumps off the page for me is IIIrd Tyme Out, playing twice with both the current lineup and the original, with arguably the finest bluegrass vocalist alive, Russell Moore, in both incarnations.

• September 11, Haw River Ballroom: I’ve been a fan of Western swing since the first time I heard Bob Wills holler, “Ah, come in, Johnny Gimble.” So, it would come as no surprise that my heroes are the finest living purveyors of the idiom, Asleep at the Wheel, with “Brother” Ray Benson at the helm. I’d waltz across Texas to see them, but will only have to go as far as Haw River.

• September 14, Ziggy’s.Space: In the mid-’90s, Reckless Kelly ventured from its native Idaho to test the waters of the musical Mecca of Austin. Ten studio albums and two live ones later, the band must’ve found them to their liking. Americana was just coming into being as a genre, and with the group’s blend of country and rock, they were — and are — a perfect fit.

• September 17, Greensboro Coliseum: To list her numerous awards, accolades and record sales tells only the stage and public part of the Mary J. Blige story. Her real-life story includes childhood abuse, alcoholism and addiction, and a battle with breast cancer. Through it all, she remains the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul and one of the most revered artists of our time.

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.”

Short Stories

Short Stories

Ready, Set, Play

They are at it again. On March 26, Nido and Mariana Qubein hosted the grand opening of their much-anticipated children’s museum in downtown High Point. The four-acre site at 200 Quebin Ave. welcomes children and families to explore 75,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits and programming.

Attractions include Kids Point, a kid-size town modeled after High Point where children explore working at a veterinary clinic, a restaurant, a furniture design studio and more. Mars Academy invites children to travel through space to start their own Mars colony and explore the red planet’s terrain. The Hall of Mysteries is an eclectic home and laboratory offering clues to multiple mysteries visitors solve. There’s also a Big Kid’s Arcade, a STEAM Lab (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math), a vertical climber, an outdoor adventure area, a theater and a double-decker carousel.

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, with admission $10. The facility also offers annual memberships, gift cards, birthday parties, programs, field trips and professional development for educators. Info:

Hello, Hamilton

It might be quiet uptown, but downtown is thrumming with the sounds of history being retold through hip-hop. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s award-winning show, Hamilton, hits the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts April 6–24. Don’t miss your shot or you’ll be crying in your tea, which you hurl in the sea. Info:

Makin’ Waves

Two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen, with the covalent bond being artists concerned about the planet — and its reliance on water.H2O is GreenHill’s newest exhibit where you can check out Bryant Holsenbeck’s mammoth waterfall, made up of disposable water bottles, or his meandering stream of plastic culled from the ocean, then catch his comments on Wednesday April 13, at 5:30 p.m. Later in the month, at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, Will Warasila will discuss his photographs of people living in the shadow of Duke Energy’s Belews Creek Steam Station, where 12 million tons of coal ash are being cleaned up. And every Tuesday from 1–2 p.m. at LeBauer Park, GreenHill artists/instructors will host water-inspired art activities for children and their families. Water you waiting for?

Kudos to . . .

Our friends at Machete, at 600-C Battleground Ave., have been named semifinalists for a 2022 America’s Classic Award for Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation. Any wonder? We don’t think so. With an exquisite plate selection from beef tartar to whole fish to heirloom carrots (to die for) in a chill atmosphere, the restaurant’s creative cuisine is as cool as its vibe.

Stars on Ice

There are a lot of things we like on ice, like scotch — and world-class figure skaters. The 2022 Stars on Ice tour glides into the Greensboro Coliseum at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 20. Catch recent Olympic gold-medalist Nathan Chen with a skate squad of skill as they salchow, axel, lutz, loop and flip — things we can’t even do on dry land — their way across the arena. Info:


Short Stories

Load of Bull

It’s true: Those born under the earth sign Taurus are fixed in their ways. But if you think that makes them boring, consider that the Bull is ruled by Venus (goddess of love, beauty and money). In other words, they’re hypnotic. Magic Mike’s Channing Tatum could only be a Taurus. Ditto David Beckham, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and pop icon Janet Jackson. And heaven knows HM Queen Elizabeth II is no dullard. If you know and love a Taurus, consider yourself lucky. You could be stuck with them forevermore.

Jazz It Up

We see trim of green. Stone pillars, too. And on Saturday, May 15, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., step inside the Historic Magnolia House at 442 Gorrell Street for an exclusive glimpse of its past and future. In the mid-20th century, the Magnolia House was a favorite stop for Black performers on the legendary R&B Chitlin’ Circuit, including the likes of James Brown, Ray Charles, Ike and Tina Turner, Joe Tex, Jackie Robinson and Louis Armstrong. Now, funds are being raised for this historic inn to once again host overnight guests. Repairs are in the works. And just wait until you see how VIVID Interiors is reimagining the home’s four original bedrooms. Let’s just say the future Magnolia House Boutique Hotel is looking bright. Jazz Up the Magnolia tickets are $25. Info: (Click on “Magnolia Events.”)

7 Minutes in Heaven

Preservation Greensboro will host its 11th Annual Tour of Historic Homes & Gardens from Saturday, May 15, through Monday, May 31. And it’s all virtual, baby. This year’s tour features seven-minute videos detailing six homes in one of Greensboro’s oldest neighborhoods — College Hill. Explore the interiors of centuries-old “Grand Dames” and quirky brick loft spaces while soaking up the history and architectural specifics that make College Hill such a treasure trove. Free tour. Donations benefit Preservation Greensboro.  Info: (336) 272-5003 or

We’re Moving!

Martha Graham called dance the “hidden language of the soul.” Perhaps you know this to be true. On Saturday, May 22, from 5–7:30 p.m., Dance Project is putting on Move Together Mini Marathon, a fundraiser to support dance in Greensboro and across the state. This evening of interactive dance classes and performances also includes “moving stories” about the transformative powers of the soul’s “hidden language.” Donations support emerging artists, help bring dance into low-income schools and fund scholarships for students who otherwise could not afford dance. Join virtually through Facebook Live, YouTube or the Dance Project website. Info:

The Giving Tree

His phone rang the day the giant fell.

People knew that Mike Haggas, a custom furniture maker, was always on the lookout for good wood. Surely, he’d be interested in the massive red oak that had crashed on the grounds of Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem.

Haggas, who does business as Roots Originals, drove out to see the tree.

He was awestruck.

Visible from the driveway, the behemoth lay on her side. She — Haggas refers to the tree with female pronouns — was about 70 feet tall. Her rounded canopy, under which her progeny had once sheltered, was half as wide.

Haggas noted that she had toppled into a clearing, away from her offspring, as if to say, “OK, you kids get growing.”

He felt an emotional tug.

Later, a cross section of the grand dame’s 40-inch trunk revealed that she’d extended a pale green root from a cracked acorn at the dawn of the 20th century.

She bore no sign of disease, pest or lightning strike. She had gracefully died of old age.

Her torso — an arrow-straight 32 feet from base to branches — was woodworker’s gold.

Haggas, whose day job is in the administration at Wake Forest University, was intoxicated and intimidated at once. The cost of moving and milling that much wood would be exorbitant.

He went home sad.

His phone rang again. It was Stephan Dragisic, director of advancement at Reynolda House, calling. He and Jon Roethling, head of the adjacent Reynolda Gardens, wondered if Haggas might use the wood to make benches as a fundraiser for the gardens.

Intended for indoor use, the benches would be replicas of garden seating drawn by landscape architect Thomas Sears, who shaped Reynolda’s grounds for tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds and his wife, Katharine.

Inspired by the back story, Haggas visited the tree with a millwright who concluded that, yes, he could plane the lumber on site.

A few weeks after the titan fell — on May 1, 2020 — 3,000 board feet of wood was stacked in Haggas’ basement, where it seasons.

Already he has made two benches — one for display in the museum, one for a buyer.

The seats, crafted with mortise-and-tenon joinery, come in three sizes, costing from $2,000 to $4,000.

Proceeds will go to Reynolda Gardens, which is free and open to the public. Attendance has exploded during COVID, but the outfit’s operating budget has wilted because of the popular plant shop’s closure.

So even in death, mama tree sustains.

“She deserves a next life,” Haggas says.

Learn more about the benches at 

– Maria Johnson

Short Stories & Doodad

Swing Time

Baseball season’s officially shelved and football season hangs in the balance, but in spite of the pandemic, the Royal and Ancient Game continues to thrive. If you’d like the chance to drive for show and putt for dough, then sign up for the inaugural Captain’s Choice tournament, Golfing for the Gals. Held September 13 at The Champions Course at Bryan Park (6275 Bryan Park Road, Browns Summit), the tourney benefits research and care for something even deadlier than coronavirus (yes, Virginia, there is such a thing): uterine cancer. Sure, you’ll have to practice the usual distancing protocols on the links but the reward is knowing the contest’s profits will go directly toward UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, deemed one of the most exceptional by National Cancer Institute. Can’t make the 9 o’clock shotgun start? Then consider making donation either online or via snail mail. For information and registration:

Light in August

We’re holding our breaths and keeping our fingers crossed that the cautious optimism of Reynolda House Museum of American Art (2250 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem) bears fruit on August 15 with the postponed opening of the much-anticipated exhibition Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light. As detailed in the April issue of this magazine, the show, now scheduled to run through November 29, emphasizes Louis Comfort Tiffany’s painterly eye through a series of lamps illuminating the museum gallery. Complementing the exhibit is Katharine Smith Reynolds’ collection of Tiffany blown-glass vases on view throughout the bungalow-style house. Whether stained glass or blown, Tiffany’s handiwork will shine all the brighter, as the switch is flipped on the pandemic and we move from darkness to light. Tickets: (888) 663-1149 or

Down the Garden Path

We never tire of one of the Triad’s loveliest gems, Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden (215 South Main Street, Kernersville), which brings joy year round. If you’re as grateful as we are for this gift that keeps on giving, enjoy the last gasp of the season, a twilight walking tour of the garden’s summer annuals at their peak. Led by Adrienne Roethling, PJCBG’s director of curation and mission delivery, the tour, which includes light snacks and refreshment, starts on August 20 at 6 p.m. so that each glorious bloom is highlighted by the setting sun. There’s a limit of 25 people, so register sooner rather than later by calling (336) 996-7888 or visit

Mane Attraction: The Astrological Outlook for Feline Fine

Here, Kitty, Kitty! If anyone deserves — or demands — a place in the sun, it’s Leo. After all, the sun does govern the bold, creative and — let’s be honest — over-the-top lion, who awakened late last month from a Neptune-induced stupor. You’ll find prides of Leos in the performing arts (Alfred Hitchcock, Tony Bennett, Mick Jagger, JLo, Whitney Houston, Daniel Radcliffe, Anna Kendrick.) Is it any wonder cineastes have been greeted by the MGM king of beasts for more than a century? And as king, Leo is also the sign of royalty and rulers, such as Roman emperor Claudius. At their best, they are warm-hearted, passionate, generous and protective souls. At their worst, they are insufferable megalomaniacs. (Paging Napoleon Bonaparte!) But boy, do they ever like to have fun and entertain. Just ask lioness Martha Stewart. If the sign had a mantra, it would likely be: “I vant to play!” Too bad most of this year has had the zodiac’s feline on the literal and figurative treadmill, with buzzkills Saturn and Pluto, along with expansive Jupiter touring Capricorn, tagging the lion’s sixth house of work, health and daily routines. But with all these big boys retrograding for a bit, a wave of eclipses fading in the rearview mirror, Mercury direct and riding shotgun with El Sol, and turbo-charged Mars hangin’ at home in fellow fire sign Aries, August just might shift from boring to roaring. So toss that mane, Leo, open wide and cut loose!

And the (Art)beat Goes On

Four Gate City organizations receive much-needed lifeline

No need to worry about the art and soul of Greensboro: With $200,000 in grant awards from the National Endowment for the Arts through the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, four Gate City stalwarts will be able to thrive.

Among some 855 organizations, Dance Project, North Carolina Folk Festival, Triad Stage and ArtsGreensboro will each receive $50,000 to cover expenses. Under normal circumstances (whatever that is or used to be), the arts enrich and educate our citizenry, whether from advocacy of artists, agencies and teachers courtesy of ArtsGreensboro; the training, performances and collaboration (think: Dance Marathon) of Dance Project; live theater at Triad Stage; or the numerous musical stages, craft demos and freewheeling fun of the N.C. Folk Festival.

During the pandemic, the arts have saved us, serving as sources of comfort and distraction. Thanks to online galleries, plus virtual concerts, performances and tutorials, many of us who were sheltering in place without a full day’s work found solace and inspiration through new avenues of imagination and expression. And though our local arts organizations worked hard to feed our souls, who has been feeding them during this bizarre era of cancellations and shuttered doors?

With aid from NEA through CARES, the organizations’ cares are assuaged for the time being, and ever the cockeyed optimists, we know that in time, there will be dancing in the streets at Folk Fest and modern moves at Van Dyke Performance Space. Players will once again strut and fret upon the boards at the Pyrle downtown, and galleries and classrooms will flourish and throughout the city, as ArtsGreensboro continues to nourish them.

And a shoutout to the other 22 fellow grant recipients across North Carolina, such as Winston-Salem’s RiverRun International Film Festival, Blue Ridge Music Center and North Carolina Black Repertory Company, the Charlotte Ballet and Mint Museum, Wake County’s United Arts, Wilmington’s Cameron Art Museum and the Penland School of Crafts. From where we stand, the state of the state’s arts looks mighty fine.  OH
— Nancy Oakley

Short Stories

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

With one exception: Haydn’s “Farewell” Symphony! A musical joke so typical of the maestro, Symphony No. 45, as it’s also known, was composed as a plea among the musicians in the retinue of Niklaus 1, the Hungarian Prince of Esterházy, to end their unusually long stay at his summer palace and return home to their wives. Greensboro Symphony Orchestra will perform the piece on February 20 and 22 at 8 p.m. at Dana Auditorium (5800 W. Friendly Avenue). Before saying good-bye, they’ll entrance you with Puccini’s Capriccio Sinfonico for orchestra and Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Guitar concerto, with guest Artyom Dervoed strumming guitar. Tickets: (336) 335-5456 ext. 224 or

Puff Piece

Which is not to imply the lack of substance of a lecture/workshop at Paul J. Ciener Botantical Garden (215 South Main Street, Kernersville). On February 20 at 10 a.m., Nicolas Askew will present “From Farm to Charm,” a discussion of his life on he family farm and the business of harvesting and storing cotton and creating cotton wreaths. In addition to learning how to use one, and you’ll take home with you an 18-inch wreath, which you can use year round. Cost for the workshop is $80 per person. Space is limited. To register: (336) 996-7888 or

Coup de Gras

What’s it gonna be? Étouffé and a filet gumbo? Beignets? King cake? Find out at 6 p.m. by signing up for “Welcome to New Orleans,” at Reto’s Kitchen, (600 South Elam Avenue). The class takes you on a tour of NOLA cuisine as a nod to Fat Tuesday, but what we’ll call Thick Thursday, February 27— before you relinquish any culinary indulgences for Lent. For now: Don a mask, and some purple-green-and-gold Mardi Gras beads, and laissez les bons temps rouler! Tickets:

With a Song In Your Heart

And on the lips of a tuxedoed quartet of gents from the Greensboro Tarheel Chorus! Time’s a-wastin’, but if you hurry, you might have a chance to send that special someone a singing Valentine on February 12, 13 or 14, courtesy of a genuine barbershop quartet, belting out classics, such as “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” in four-part harmony. Music, after all, is the food of love. To schedule, go to   

Net Worth

Weatherspoon’s got game this month with the opening of To the Hoop: Basketball and Contemporary Art (February 1–June 7). This intersection of art and sport explores themes ripe for visual interpretation: urban versus rural settings, fashion and merchandising, race, gender, economics — not to mention the balletic grace of athletes. But then, we’ve always known Michael Jordan was poetry in motion. Info:

Bodies Electric

That would be the acrobats, flying through the air with the greatest of ease, twirling aerialists that make your head spin and the pretzel-like twists of contortionists performing in Cirque Diabolo. With added panache of colorful costumes, music sound and light effects, the spectacle, which comes to Carolina Theatre (310 South Greene Street on February 13 at 7:30 p.m., is sure to enthrall. Tickets: (336) 333-2605 or


One of the world’s greatest love stories is Americans’ passion and devotion to their cars. Express your, uh, auto erotica by admiring the souped-up, tricked out, fancified wheels on display at the Shriners’ Drag Racing & Hot Rod Expo on February 14 and 15, (5:30 p.m. and 9 a.m., respectively) at Greensboro Coliseum’s Special Event Center (1921 West Gate City Boulevard). Admission is available at the door.

Royal Flush

Don your black tie — or not — and bet big on a guaranteed winner: the arts. From 7 to 10 p.m. on February 8, High Point Arts Council is bringing back its fundraiser, Casino d’Arts 2020 at High Point Country Club Emerywood (800 Country Club Drive), featuring casino games, heavy hors d’oeuvre, a cash bar and entertainment. Cash in your chips at the end of the evening for the chance to win a door prize, or bid in a silent auction on furniture, jewelry, vacation trips and more. Aces! To reserve: (336) 889-2787

Ogi Sez

Ogi Overman

Well, now that I’ve broken all those well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions, it’s time to make a new list of more reasonable, doable ones. Ergo, be it resolved that I, Ogi Overman, will attend live music shows and support live music in general more than ever before. Hey, I can do that even though I’m still overweight, haven’t finished my book, haven’t landscaped the backyard, and will never learn to play the accordion.

• February 9, Durham Performing Arts Center: In this month’s installment of “Hurry Up, Tanger!” I present to you the one and only Tony Bennett at DPAC.  Mercifully, in a few months we can eliminate those jaunts down I-40 East to see top-level talent. Of course, I’d travel farther than that to see the greatest living crooner.

• February 11, Cone Denim Entertainment Center: Although there have been a couple dozen Wailers since Bob Marley’s death in 1981, the continuity remains intact with guitarist Donald Kinsey, who performed with Marley and Peter Tosh, as well as such notables as Albert King. They still claim the biggest-selling reggae album of all time and continue to be the most popular international touring act of the genre.

• February 20, Ramkat: As anyone who saw him at the recent N.C. Folk Festival will attest, Booker T. Jones easily lives up to his Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Yes, he plays all the hits — “Green Onions,” “Time Is Tight” and the rest — but his show is a litany of all the hits on which he has played along with fellow legends with whom he has collaborated. And with apologies to Steve Cropper, son Ted Jones is a bona fide monster.

• February 21, Upstage Cabaret: While he is not as well-known as Jerry Douglas or the late Mike Auldridge, it is Dobroist (yes, it’s capitalized) Rob Ickes who is the most awarded instrumentalist in the history of the International Bluegrass Music Association. His current touring and recording partner, Trey Hensley, has a voice made for bluegrass. The duo was nominated for a Grammy in 2016. BTW, the venue is the third floor of Triad Stage.

• February 23, Carolina Theatre: OK, after two rescheduled shows, this is the last time I’ll send folks to see Gordon Lightfoot. Still, if you could read my mind, you’d know I’ll be there by sundown. Again.