After 12 years covering local music and musicians in the Santa Clarita Valley for The Signal, KHTS, SCVTV and SCVNews.com, I’m unplugging my axe from the SCV Rock Beat.
Time for someone else – maybe even a fellow musician! – to plug in, crank it to 11, and keep local music coverage alive.
The weekly SCV Entertainment ReportàSCV Rock Beat reports for SCVTV, SCVNews.com and KHTS’s Hometownstation.com have literally been a labor of love. I’ve produced them gratis since their launch in 2010 (including on the air at SCVTV ’til 2015) as my contribution to supporting the music scene and musicians in the Santa Clarita Valley.
They’re the most recent iteration in a nearly unbroken series of regular music columns I’ve written since 1975. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these features and posts and watching the TV shows as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them.
If the SCV Rock Beat reports have done anything to ignite one reader/viewer’s passion for music – and especially for our long-under-promoted and exploited local musical talent – my mission would be fulfilled.
I’m on another mission now: cavorting with the creatures soon to be unveiled at the PetMeHappy Gifts & Treats online boutique. I’m a Proud Pet Grandparent.
But in the tradition of Steely Dan’s “Deacon Blues,” I’ll still plug back in to the SCV Rock Beat when I feel it, with music-related blog posts at stephenkpeeples.com and more exclusive video interviews on my YouTube channel. So stay tuned.
Meanwhile, you can watch my chats right now with legendary recording pioneer Les Paul and his son Rusty Paul; Beatles expert-biographer Mark Lewisohn; triple-threat Texas fiddlers The Quebe Sisters; the Grammy-winning-est producer-engineer Al Schmitt; renowned Criteria Studios Miami producers-engineers Ron & Howard Albert; jazz aficionado and Playboy Jazz Festival founder Hugh Hefner; Nazareth guitarist and metal hero Manny Charlton and many more.
Peeples with SCVTV production maven Megan Perez.
I have so many fine colleagues, collaborators, moral supporters to thank, there’s no way I can name them all.
But the list would have to start with SCVTV’s CEO Leon Worden, former Production Director Megan Mann (Perez), former producer Austin Dave, and sound ace Mike Mazzetti; Tyler Kulesz, who rocked the sound as a volunteer the last couple of seasons; KHTS owners Jeri and Carl Goldman and website chief Andrew Delgado; former Signal editor Michele Buttelman; and my most excellent associate producer and collaborator of six-plus years, Paige Hagen.
Special shout-outs go to SCV concert promoter Bret Lieberman and Grammy-winning producer-bandleader Gary McGrath, who helped me book the first shows in 2010, and in Gary’s case provided the “House Blend” theme music – a previously unreleased instrumental track he’d recorded with members of Santana’s band, no less.
I bow deeply, from the waist, to each and every musician in every band who appeared on one or more of the 69 “House Blend” shows – without compensation other than the pure love of the music and the medium, the sheer joy of performing, and OK, the chance to score a little wider exposure.
To all the mostly young SCVTV crewmembers – lights, sound, cameras, directors, co-producers, post-production editors – who volunteered to give up entire Saturdays and did such a terrific job just for the love of the music and the show (plus pizza, on-screen credits and college credits), please accept my eternal gratitude.
Based on the positive comments I still get from viewers I encounter around town, more than a year after the series wrapped production, I’d say we created a body of work each of us can be proud to bear our fingerprints.
My favorite “House Blend” episode remains the May 2011 show with Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen, which was nominated for a WAVE award, the public TV equivalent to Emmy.
All episodes and a dozen best-of compilation shows are still airing on SCVTV and are available for on-demand viewing at http://www.scvhouseblend.com.
With that, I’ll close with a few favorite exit lines, just for grins, starting with my closing tag from the show: “That’s a wrap! With a face perfect for radio, I’m your ‘House Blend’ host Stephen K. Peeples, and until next time, happy trails.”
[SFX bed – guitar amp feedback – from “Live Peace in Toronto”]
“That’s what’s thumpin’ this week on the SCV Rock Beat.” – SKP
“Have I played the part well? Then applaud as I exit!” – Caesar Augustus
“The beat goes on.” – Sonny Bono
“That’s all, folks!” – Porky Pig
“Onward, through the fog.” – Oat Willie
“S’cuse me while I kiss the sky.” – Jimi Hendrix
“Shecky, get the jet – I’m outta here!” – Frazer Smith
“The motel of lost companions… waits with heated pool and bar.” – Neil Young
“SAFE!” – Mel Brooks, sliding into first base in Sid Caesar’s writing room
[SFX – bring up LOUD: feedback and guitar cord unplugging]
Santa Clarita journalist and Grammy nominee Stephen K. Peeples is an entertainment reporter for SCVTV and SCVNews.com, as well as KHTS Radio News and the station’s website at HometownStation.com. Peeples also hosted and co-produced SCVTV’s WAVE-nominated “House Blend”program from 2011-2015, and posts more entertainment news and reviews on his own site at http://www.stephenkpeeples.com.