Empire Drift song approved by city council; other contest entries used in All-America City competitionWritten by Allison Wingate | | email@example.com
Empire Drift was presented with an official Toledo City Council resolution on May 27, declaring “A Good Place to Call Home” the official song of Toledo for one year.
The band was present during the voting of the resolution and gave the city council a rare in-chamber acoustic performance.
“Everyone really seemed to like it. The only way to describe it is that everyone was really positive and supporting and it was a relaxing atmosphere,” said guitarist Rick Shugarman. “It was an honor to play in front of our local representatives.”
The Toledo Free Press/FOX Toledo “Song of Toledo” contest winner was named May 20.
On May 21, Empire Drift played its winning song for Rep. Marcy Kaptur and Barack Obama’s “Auto Czar,” Ed Montgomery.
Upon hearing the song, with its shout-out to her, Kaptur said, “I’ve listened to the song twice and now I’m singing along with Empire Drift. I’m honored to be included in their bouncy score, which aptly describes our community as a wonderful place to live. Again, the arts lift us and speak for us.”
The group will perform its Toledo anthem for the Lucas County Commissioners on June 2 and will be awarded a proclamation. Empire Drift will celebrate its win with a performance on June 5 at The Blarney Irish Pub.
“A Good Place To Call Home” can be heard here.
Other “Song of Toledo” contest entries are receiving exposure for their work.
Contest contender and former “American Idol” semifinalist Candice Coleman has received national attention since the contest due to her participation in the 2009 All-America City Awards.
Coleman will travel to the conference in Tampa, Fla., on June 17, along with city representatives to take part in the official presentation on behalf of Toledo.
The Idol alum is scheduled to perform the “Song of Toledo” contest submission “Black Swamp Heartland” during the presentation, with fellow local musician Matt “Dirt” Sayers, who wrote the song, according to presentation co-director Robert Russ.
Coleman will bring the presentation to life, Russ said, highlighting key city programs with an aim of “trying to make our hometown of Toledo a better place.”
Coleman said she is honored by her participation in the program.
“Toledo should be very proud that we’re being nominated because it really is prestigious,” she said, “I’m really proud to be a part of it.”
“The presentation covers our Neighborhood Block Watch, Toledo GROWs, and CAPA City, a program that is federally, locally and privately funded, which is basically an anti-drug coalition.”
The contest participation is at no cost to the city and has been paid for through fundraising, Russ said.
2009 will mark the 60th anniversary of the All-America City Awards, presented by the National Civic League. Only cities that have won the All American City Award in the past are allowed to enter the contest in 2009 — a total of 32 cities are participating this year.
The winners will be announced on June 20.
Russ plans to bring Coleman’s performance to the Toledo stage after the conference.
“I’d like to make a special presentation at One SeaGate for those who helped,” he said.
Copies of a compilation 45-song, two-CD set, compiled by Toledo Free Press, are available for check out at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.
In addition to the five finalists — Empire Drift, Highbinders, Purpose, Wanna Bees and Kyle White — and People’s Choice winner Buck69, this compilation includes recordings by local artists, such as Coleman, Eddie Boggs and Ragtime Rick.
For information, call the library at (419) 259-5285.