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Step2 Brand AmbassadorI love toys. It's a simple statement of fact - but my passion for plastic has certainly been fed by the fact that my wife and I are the parents of two little girls... little ones whose interests are broad and diverse. Kinda like that of their parents. When I launched this website (now in year five), I had every intention of covering the toy industry through news, reviews and features - but had no idea that I'd eventually wind-up cashing checks from some of our favorite toymakers. One of my longest-standing relationships has been with The Step2 Company, for whom I've served as a toy tester and paid Brand Ambassador for the past few years. Now, as I've reached the mid-way part of my third (and final) year in this position, the curtain has been pulled back on the future of the company and the exciting new product line-up for the rest of 2015 and well beyond. Along with my fellow Ambassadors, I recently returned to Ohio to provide feedback and consultation on upcoming offerings in meetings with the marketing and development staff, and sat down with new President and CEO Chris Quinn. Step2 is a company that I believe in, and my latest adventure proved that they have some BIG surprises yet to come...

It's official. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced the eight artists that will be inducted into the Hall of Fame for 2015, narrowed from a field of 15 nominees that were announced this past October. Making the cut this year are RINGO STARR, LOU REED, BILL WITHERS, THE '5' ROYALES, THE PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND, STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN and DOUBLE TROUBLE, and the one that makes me take note of getting older, GREEN DAY. Take a look at what the Rock Hall has to say about each of the eight inductees below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

Published in Music News

THE ROCK FATHER is a 2014 Step2 Brand AmbassadorI didn't realize it until recently, but in 2014, I have already logged more travel miles and visited more cool locales than in any other year in the 37-ish that I've been roaming the planet Earth. Thing is, I'm not done yet - and as I type these virtual words to appear on your computer/device screen, there's other adventures already on the books for the four months ahead. The most recent journey on my 2014 #RockFatherTour was a special one, and a trip that was a little bit different than most - an adventure back to Northeastern Ohio, staying in Cleveland and spending some time in the neighboring town of Streetsboro - home of The Step2 Company, who I've been working with for nearly two years - first as a "Test Driver," and most recently, as one of 10 paid Brand Ambassadors. Along with five fellow Ambassadors (a few couldn't make it this time around), this was our first time working with Step2 in-person, taking meetings and going hands-on with some of the latest products (for kids and grownups!) that are hitting the market now, and all the way into Fall of 2015. If you've ever wondered "Where the Toys Come From," I have your answer...

With all the coverage area I hit here on THE ROCK FATHER, there's times when the needle is so far over to the "family" side of things that I don't get to spend as much time over here in the "grownups" section as I'd like. That said, it's time to play a little bit of catch-up on some new releases from the metallic side of things, one of which hit the streets back in May - the latest album from MUSHROOMHEAD, THE RIGHTEOUS & THE BUTTERFLY.

Published in Music Reviews

I feel like I need to crowdfund something. Maybe it's just this week, but it seems like every other email I open has something to do with a band or brand using Kickstarter or IndieGoGo to raise some cash. The evolved new version of CHIMAIRA will be releasing their new album CROWN OF PHANTOMS this summer, and right now the band is looking for $30K (via IndieGoGo) for a "Fan Edition" CD/DVD Combo with a ton of multimedia content. The perks are good (you're not just throwing cash at the project, but getting something in return) and I'm confident that this goal will be acheived. Hell, they already have about a third of it in with 45 days to go. Check out frontman Mark Hunter in a pitch video below, along with details on what exactly this "Fan Edition" will include...

Published in Music for Grownups