Big L’s 2017 year in review!!

Reba Meyers of Grammy nominated Code Orange at House of Blues in Cleveland opening for Hatebreed. Photo take by Larry Ritter/

I have had the privilege of representing The Rust Belt Chronicles for the past four years. Over that duration each journalist closed out the year by posting articles naming our top-five shows that we had covered during the year.

It has become progressively harder to whittle that list down for me every year. So with that said, I’m going to simply put my spin on what we have been able to accomplish over the past 12 months.

Among the top stories to me is the positive growth of our staff. When I first started with Jim Carver (founder and CEO) it was mainly he and I doing the writing, photography as well as our first Rock Lines video. Amanda Snider later joined to handle most of the interviews but it was still a lot of work for the three of us. Amanda had to take some time off for personal reasons but once again rejoined us this year.

Although she has been listed as a member of the team for some time, Jennifer Dix became more of integral part with her interview finesse. Jennifer has also branched out to do more writing.

Speaking of writing, Mandy Edmondson, Shannon ‘Hammy’ Hamilton and Allen Heimberger have all steadily increased their written contributions. Meanwhile, their abilities to capture those special moments with their photography skills, has truly been a delight to witness.

Matheson Kamin is a writing machine and done an outstanding job of covering the Cleveland area as well as doing CD reviews. His writing skills are off the chart and are greatly appreciated.

Jaime Courtney, K.C. Donahue Gillen and Wendy Roberts all were brought into the mix but really didn’t get the opportunity to shine. I look for big things from these young ladies in 2018.

I’d be remiss in not giving major kudos to a very important piece to what we are able to do from a video aspect. Nita Rindengan of JNRvision is an amazing videographer and her contributions have been immeasurable.

Finally, I can’t thank Jim Carver enough for the opportunity he has afforded me. I get to do something I absolutely love to do. Not only does he have my gratitude, he also has earned my respect and admiration. Despite going through some medical issues, he remained at the top of his game as far as writing and photography goes.

Rock on the Range, Ink in the Clink, Make America Rock Again (98.9 The Bear Birthday Bash) and Louder Than Life 2017. All photos taken by Larry Ritter/

From the coverage end of things, I have a long list that I couldn’t begin to put a number on as far as favorites. Among those would be festivals such as Ink in the Clink, Louder Than Life, Make America Rock Again and of course Rock on the Range with Metallica headlining.

As far as single show events go there were many but among my most memorable were Art of Anarchy at Diesel’s in Michigan, Hatebreed at House of Blues in Cleveland and any show that included Bobaflex or Texas Hippie Coalition. My trip along with Jim to Blossom Music Center for a lineup of Deep Purple, Alice Cooper and Edgar Winter Band was great as well. It was actually the first time that the two of us traveled to a show to cover together.

Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Edgar Winter Band, Art of Anarchy, Texas Hippie Coalition, Bobaflex, Hatebreed. All photos taken by Larry Ritter/

And then there were the local show which is the backbone of what we do. Start The Conversation/Rachael’s Ride at Venue 18 in Fostoria would definitely rank right up at the top. Not only was it a great show for the entertainment that was provided by Silence the Echoes, Bones of Giants, Autumn Burning and Grind but also because it of the cause, raising awareness and fighting heroin addiction.

Start The Conversation/Rachael's Ride. All photos taken by Larry Ritter/

Of course as any company, we had some ups and downs this year but I prefer not to lament on those. Instead I would prefer to focus on our future and look forward to what is sure to be an exciting 2018.

I certainly hope that you’ve found our coverage informative and enjoyable. We look forward to continuous growth and expanding our coverage area.

On behalf of our entire staff, I want to wish each and every one of you a Very Happy New Year!!!!

Until next time, this is Big L saying ‘keep those horns up and rock on’!! \m/ \m/




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Larry Ritter About Larry Ritter

Hello my name is Larry Ritter, or “Big L” to most of my friends. I’m a production supervisor for a major manufacturer of auto parts here in northwest Ohio. I received an Associate’s degree from Owen’s Community College where I graduated cum laude honors. I have a true passion for music, sports, photography and riding motorcycles. My love for these things are surpassed by just one thing, family, which includes two sons, a daughter and eight grandchildren.

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