stark-raven-pcnThe PopCulteer
August 11 , 2017

I’m always going to have a warm spot in my heart for legendary Charleston band, Stark Raven. The last time I saw the band perform live, January 19, 1990, was the night I met Melanie Larch, who many, many years later became my wife (we’d been together since 1990, but we didn’t actually get married until a little less than three years ago).

Stark Raven was Ron Sowell, Julie Adams, Bob Webb, Ammed Solomon, John Kessler and Deni Bonet, and together they were an unstoppable combination of virtuosity and sheer fun, the happiest maestros on the planet. Whenever I can, I drop vintage Stark Raven tracks into Radio Free Charleston.

Thursday night Stark Raven reunited and performed together for the first time in 26 years. It was a magic night. There was no perceivable rustiness. To be honest, while they were performing the band didn’t seem like they had aged any in the last 26 years.  I was thrilled to be among the audience, sitting on the big stage at the Meier Performance Hall at the Clay Center, watching the band perform on a smaller stage.

The reason I’m mentioning this is that they are doing this one more time, Friday Evening at Live On The Levee. You can see a band that left a major mark on Charleston’s music scene for free, and you should do it. There’s no telling when or if this will happen again. Ron, Julie and Ammed are all still local and can be heard as part of the Mountain Stage band, but Bob is in Oregon, John’s in Seattle, and Deni is based in New York but winds up all over the world.

I’m not even going to try to objectively review the show. I’m too emotionally invested. It was just spectacular. If you saw Stark Raven back in the day, you’ll want to relive the glory, because they certainly live up to it. If you never had the chance to see them live, you will absolutely regret missing them.

Meanwhile, Back In Louisville…

Last weekend your PopCulteer shuffled down to Louisville for the Fourth Annual Kentuckiana GI Joe EXPO, and I posted a video last Sunday. However, I promised photos, and here’s the first batch, presented without many captions because our blogging interface is still infested with gremlins.



Just part of what Cotswold Collectibles had. I always leave a lot of money with them.


That guy in plaid, that’s Mark Otnes, who covers the waterfront of the world of GI Joe in The Joe Report


Chuck Van Voorhis, of Sgt. Van’s Fantasy and Custom Boxes. The man does incredible work and I have several of his boxes in my collection.


This year Coil Con joined up with the Kentuckiana GI Joe EXPO, and they even created a 12″ con exclusive figure. Yeah, I got one.


Just part of the booth for My Vintage Toys & Trains, which is EXPO organizer, Steve Stovall’s company.









That’s the PopCulteer for this week. Check back for our regular features, including a very special Sunday Evening Video devoted to Johnny Rock and Go Van Gogh. We’ll also have at least one more photo essay from the Kentuckiana GI Joe EXPO.