Lakewood Folk Musician Pre-Writes SB 5 History

The FlipSide (L-R): Bob "Gib" Gibbons, Beth "Flip" Hyland, B. Ryan B., Mark Ronan, Jack Mizenko. (Photo: Alyssa Clow)

American folk music often stirs citizens about current events, or preserves the memory of past ones. A recent song may be the first that preserves history yet to unfold.

John Lennon sang to "Give Peace a Chance." Gordon Lightfoot immortalized "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." Pete Seeger reminded those fighting for civil rights that "We Shall Overcome."

And Jack Mizenko chronicled the hypothetical reversal of S.B. 5 in "John Kasich."

"I was actually fooling around with the song 'John Henry' with some fifth-graders here in the spring, and the song 'John Kasich' sprung out of that," he recalled. A retired Cleveland teacher, and now a teaching artist with local arts organization Roots of American Music, Mizenko has spent as much time in the classroom as he has with The FlipSide, a folk rock band, in which he sings and writes folk songs, and plays a bevy of instruments.

His song predicts that "when the ballots were tallied, the people had spoken. Senate Bill 5 was no longer alive." It goes on to lament the eventual electoral loss of Ohio's current governor, the song's namesake, as fallout from the controversy. Those predictions have proven popular with some of the band's audience.

"More than any of our other original songs, this one has perked up our crowds this summer, and drawn some extra applause and fist-pumping," said B. Ryan B., The FlipSide's bass guitarist.

At a recent concert, Mizenko dedicated the song "to all of the public employees out there − state employees, county, city, suburbs." The band is currently making the song available free-of-charge to the organizations behind the State Issue 2 ballot referendum.

The FlipSide is a Cleveland-based folk rock band, founded in 2004, and currently touring the Midwest.


The FlipSide band's web site:
Mizenko's bio:

Brian Baddour

IT Project Manager for a national medical software company by day, musician and music scene analyst by night.

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:27 AM, 09.21.2011