MARQUETTE - Here are some updates on stories that have appeared as Weekend pieces in The Mining Journal in the last few months:
Scotty Alan's disc nears release
"Wreck and the Mess," the new CD by Upper Peninsula singer-songwriter Scotty Alan is being released Oct. 4.
Below: Singer-songwriter Adam Whittington poses with dancers Whitney Wirkula of Marquette, left, and Stephanie Jenkins of Palm Springs, Calif., at a red carpet event in Hollywood, Calif., recently.
Here’s an update on an artist we featured in Weekend a year ago. Ishpeming drummer Wayne Oien, who placed third at the DCA International Rudimental Snare competition in 2010, returned to take first prize in the 2011 edition of the drumming contest in Rochester, NY, last weekend.
Drumming has been a big part of Oien's life for many years. He started playing at age 9 and has been involved in music ever since. Now, at age 57, he’s beaten other drummers from around the country to become one of oldest people to win the first place prize.
You can see a video of his prizewinning routine at: www.youtube.com/watch?v= EuGKVEvqnb0
The performances are evaluated for originality, execution, showmanship, content and dynamics by an experienced panel of judges.
Oien said he’s already gettting prepared to defend his title next year.
In addition to Alan, the other talent associated with the disc is impressive.
The album was mixed by Niko Bolas at "The Surf Shack" in Capitol Records, Los Angeles. Bolas has worked with Fiona Apple, Neil Young, Keith Richards, James Taylor, Warren Zevon and many other renowned artists.
Richard Dodd from Nashville mastered the album. Dodd has won Grammys for his work with Tom Petty and The Dixie Chicks and has also worked with Green Day, Steve Earle, Wilco, Kings of Leon and other artists.
It's been produced by Bernie Larsen in Los Angeles.
Alan's song "Says Lately" is currently featured on all Delta Airlines in-flight radio for the months of September and October.
"Mom and grandma just heard it coming home from Alaska," Alan said. "They were so proud."
Alan is still working on arrangements for the sale of the CD locally and online.
For more information, visit www.scottyalan.com.
Test film online
"American Anthem," a fictional movie about a speedskater training at the United States Olympic Training Center, is moving along toward possible filming.
John Carr, the Minneapolis-based writer who created the project, reports a remastered test film can now be watched on Amazon Studio's website: studios.amazon.com/movies/9305.
The band Rose of Jericho has a music video for the song "Midnight Eyes" that's featured in this film. It can be seen at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bUyB2_-EeE.
Carr reports two of the contributing bands, Perfect Hero and Rose of Jericho, also have music from the soundtrack available for play out on the Rock Band Network for Rock Band 3.
The plot of "American Anthem" is that a brash speedskater is challenged by returning to competition if he trains a high-functioning autistic struggling to get into a speedskating program at the United States Olympic Education Center.
The test film was made as part of a program through Warner Brothers in which a winning test film will receive the funding to be produced.
Whittington completes tour
Ishpeming singer-songwriter Adam Whittington recently completed participation in the West Coast leg of the "No Bully Tour," which made stops in Colorado, Arizona, California and other states.
"It was an honor to travel with such talented artists. I've made some amazing friends and am looking forward to touring with them again in the future," Whittington said.
"I had two talented dancers with me on tour. Whitney Wirkula from Marquette and Stephanie Jenkins. It was awesome having a 'Yooper' here with me."
The message of the tour was that bullying behavior has sometimes deadly consequences and must be ended.
"If you're being bullied make sure you tell a parent, teacher, or someone you can trust," Whittington said. "Bullying is a serious problem affecting many kids, teens, and even adults. I hope we were able to help people and bring notice to this problem."
Adam's mother Teresa reports Whittington's new music video, "Make The World Love Again," is available for viewing.
The video, which was filmed in the Marquette area and directed by Jeffrey Geniesse with choreography by local resident Jeanette Katona, features many local youth and adults. To view the video: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=uS0xF0SyDjY.
"Adam will be performing at the ASPCA Los Angeles Benefit-Red Carpet event on Oct. 2," Teresa reports. "One hundred percent of the evening's net proceeds will benefit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. And he will be performing in the Los Angeles and Hollywood area throughout the next few months."
For more on Whittington, visit his website: www.adamwhittington.com.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is email@example.com.