Plow on Boy

My writing career was less than six months old in 1995 and things were not going well.

I’d botched an interview with Jim Carroll. I’d choked a brief encounter with Hunter S. Thompson. I quit my job at Cincinnati CityBeat, a local weekly where I was writing news. Instead, I wanted to write features. I wanted to tell stories.

So I did. Quitting that job made all the difference in my life. But one of the luckiest finds was a local Cincinnati band, Plow on Boy.

As it happened, I worked with the lead singer, Niki Buehrig (she’s Niki Dakota now), at the York Street Cafe in Covington. This was beneficial for two reasons:

  • She’s one of two songwriters in my life who have moved me; and
  • Her band was voted Band of the Year in 1995.

Since I worked with her, she asked the other weekly in town — Everybody’s News — to let me write their profile.  I still have it…down in Texas. But that’s not important now.

What’s important is this. Her song, “Pastoral,” has haunted me since the first time I heard it 15 years ago. How haunted? When I lost the only version I had in 2000, I freaked out and tracked down her old bassist Mike when I was in Cincinnati and had him burn me several copies of their old work.

I’ve lost touch with the group – Niki, Chris, Mike and Toby, mostly. I do catch up with them every once in awhile. But Niki’s words, the band’s melodies, and “Pastoral” follow me.

Now, hopefully, it will follow you. With an extra bonus track, “O.K. Then,” just for you.

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8 comments

  • Tigressreow November 30, 2010   Reply →

    It’s healthy to look back. Seeing how far we’ve come, how far we have yet to go. Understanding what we could have done differently, choices not made. All that escaped us back then. Looking back so we can move forward with our new found wisdom, fond memories, dreams and courage to plow on.

    It’s times like those, I wonder if I did my best. IF I’ve found my best and the courage to keep looking. I somehow find the courage to plow on. It’s an upward spiral, a counterpoint to the downward swirl I feel tickling my feet.

    All in all, nostalgia ain’t all it’s cracked up to be when it fills you with regrets and stifles your LIVING. It can cheat you out of your life unfolding “according to plan”. What plan? Hell, I’m not living in your spirit. Go find out. You choose the WHAT. WHERE. HOW. WHY. WHEN of it. It’s your most important job!

  • Nathan Horne February 10, 2011   Reply →

    hey Brad…you might not remember me, but I used to work at York Street with you (and Niki) back in the day…I was mostly a daytime cook and a bit of a hippie at the time. I remember you used to go and see that band New Bedlam and your drink was Jameson… 🙂 anyhow… I came across your site while searching for Plow on Boy music, as I too have long since lost my copy of what I have always regarded as the best album to ever have come out of Cinci and certainly on par with some of the best music I have ever heard. Thank you for posting these tunes! They literally made my day… I hope all is good with you in your world.

    Be well,
    Nathan Horne

    • Joesmalljr August 22, 2011   Reply →

      You would have to be talking about Broken, right?  There is a copy of broken on Ebay right now.  Kind of happy to see that it is commanding $29.00.  That make me feel good about the signed copy I have stashed away.  My name is Joe and I spent my fair share of time at York Street International Cafe  in the day.  I grew up with Mark Shell, brother of Greg.  I also know Todd Kirby formerly with O.T.R. Missy Stegman is a childhood friend and former bartendress from Y.S.I.C.

      • Brad_King August 24, 2011   Reply →

        I was part of the first staff there. I have stopped in from time to time, but the world is quite different now. It’s all grown up. I liked the dirty old days. This is the curse of getting old.

    • Brad_King August 24, 2011   Reply →

      Hey Nathan:

      I do have odd recollections of passing by. I mostly worked at night, and as you correctly recall, I did that while drunk. Funny that POB was one of the first articles I wrote as a freelance writer. (Band of the Year for “Everybody’s News.”) 

      I’m glad they brought a smile to your face. That band was, without hyperbole, one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to see.

  • Sarah April 4, 2012   Reply →

    Oh my, this is awesome, I had a copy of this but alas I lost it in a “move” Had the pleasure to meet Niki and she performed at a Cafe I owned in Ky. One of the best singers I’ve had the pleasure to know,thanks for sharing this, I have not heard that beautiful voice in ages it is still one of my favorites. Best of luck to you Niki, keep on singing……………..

  • Leigh October 11, 2012   Reply →

    Brad King, Leigh Melander here – a voice from many moons ago in early York Street days, wishing along with you and the rest of the York Street crew speed to the Plow…

    Was wandering the interwebs tonight wondering if I might find any mention of friends of that era and was delighted to find this post and then a little bit about your world.

    Total treat to hear NIki’s voice and that amazing Plow on Boy sound.

    Are you in touch with Greg Shell at all? Have wondered what happened to he and Jenny.

    In any case, best to you. Would love to catch up more at some point…

    • Brad_King October 12, 2012   Reply →

      HELLO Leigh 🙂

      Strangely enough, Plow on Boy played one of the closing shows for the Southgate House just a few months ago (around Christmas) and many of the York Street folks were there. I don’t keep up with as many of them I used to, but we’re never quite that far away.

      🙂

      And yes, I would love to hear what strange adventures you guys are on these days.

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