Jordan DePaul says goodbye before heading to Nashville

Jordan DePaul will graduate from Youngstown State University on Dec. 16.

His future will begin the very next day.

DePaul, a singer-songwriter-band leader in this area since before he could drive, will leave for Nashville on Dec. 17 to take a shot at a songwriting career.

He’ll take one last look back Friday when he does a farewell show at Cedars. Then he’s headed south.

It will be his first time away from home, but it’s the right thing to do. If you have the talent, you still have to go where you can get the most out of it.

The 2008 Poland High graduate became known when he started Jordan DePaul and the Reputations. That’s when his songwriting gift first became obvious.

The band has long since broken up but will reunite for a few songs at Friday’s show at Cedars. Opening act will be the Pittsburgh folk-country duo Harmon Creek — friends of DePaul’s who will be joining him in moving to Nashville. The show starts at 9 p.m.

DePaul and the Reps also reunited in recent years for one-shot shows as openers for the Goo Goo Dolls at Covelli Centre and Eve 6 at Westminster College.

DePaul’s style has always been smooth, Southwestern folky rock, which will make for an easy transition into the Music City sound. He’s also been getting into old-school country lately — Hank Cochran, George Jones — and is starting to like it.

Although his goal is to become a songwriter, with a backup plan of putting his marketing degree to use in the music business, DePaul also is still interested in performing. He and his friends plan to hit open-mic nights at Nashville music bars— including the Blue Bird Cafe, which is gaining fame nationwide thanks to the new ABC drama “Nashville.”


The Struthers school board is pondering its options as to the future of its radio station, WKTL-FM 90.7.

But there is another side to the story: What about the thousands of people in the Mahoning Valley who are fans of the status quo?

The school directors are mulling three competing plans:

Sell the license to the highest bidder.

Hang on to the license and let the station become an all-local community-service station.

Keep it basically as it is, by letting modern-rock radio station WAPS of Akron lease the license and continue to control programming (WAPS would keep the popular Saturday ethnic shows).

I strongly favor the third plan. WAPS — which calls itself The Summit — is already a gem of the Mahoning Valley, and one of the best radio stations in the country. It is an irreplaceable source of the best in new music. There are so few stations like it; many cities much bigger than Youngstown would be lucky to have it.


Braeden Lemasters, a 16-year-old Howland native, will appear on the new TBS comedy “Wedding Band” at 10 p.m. Saturday. Lemasters, who now lives in California, will play a boy-band leader. Lemasters also plays the lead role of Ralphie in the recently released film “A Christmas Story 2,” the sequel to the perennially popular holiday movie.


Youngstown will welcome the Christmas season Saturday with its annual holiday parade and festival downtown.

The event will run from 1 to 7 p.m. inside the 20 Federal Place concourse, where there will be art activities for kids, train rides, a Santa’s workshop for child shoppers and food and other holiday vendors. Santa will drop by at 3 p.m. as part of the parade on Federal Street. The city’s massive Christmas tree on Central Square will be lighted after the parade.


Ohio-based rock band — and Youngstown favorites — Red Wanting Blue will give a New Year’s Eve show at Kent Stage, 175 E. Main St., Kent, beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $26 and are available at Opening act is We Are Public Radio. The ticket includes party favors and a champagne toast at midnight.


The Simply Slavic Festival is half way to its annual June event in downtown Youngstown. To acknowledge that fact, it will host a Halfway to Simply Slavic party from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday at Shotz Bar, 3713 Oakwood Ave., Austintown.

The officers of the newly formed YSU Slavic Student Association will be introduced, and there will be a special “hunkie menu” available. Polka DJs Larry and Diana Walk will get the party started, and the Chardon Polka Band — which might be the only polka-rock duo in the world — takes the stage at 7 p.m.

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