By day, Rob Eldridge adopts the mantle of teacher and boys varsity soccer coach at South Fayette High School. By night, he morphs into a musician for Steelesque, which will release its latest CD, Toro Toro, at a bash set for 8 p.m. June 23 at Cefalos Banquet & Event Center in Carnegie.
Im absolutely a goal-oriented person, whether its developing a strong soccer program that is competing for WPIAL or state titles, or leading a group of musicians in creating art and producing a finished product that we can be proud of, Eldridge said.
As a songwriter, Rob Eldridge is no Bob Dylan, but he advises budding bards to put the ROLL in their rock. The South Fayette resident recommends reading, observing, living and learning to aspiring lyricists
An avid reader, Eldgridge enjoys historical fiction to fantasy. No one particular genre of literature, he said. He likes the classics. His favorite authors include Stephen King, Michael Crichton and Ayn Rand while his best book is The Fountainhead.
Ill read anything placed in front of me. If I get through the first couple of chapters, Ill pretty much read the whole thing.
A lot of my songs are from personal experiences and some are based on stories that I have read, he continued. Living every day also inspires me to be creative.
I like books and observing people. Going into the city and visiting museums and seeing the art, he added.
Hanging out with the master for a day also helped Eldridge. In 1994, he spent 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. with Dylan as his runner when the Nobel Prize winner appeared in Burlington, Vt.
It was surreal, Eldridge said of the experience. Of Dylan, he added, He was a kind man, small in stature but he had an aura that filled an arena.
While Eldridge hopes to fill Cefalos Banquet and Event Center in Carnegie on Jun 23 with fans to hear the release of his CD Toro Toro, he knows songwriting is no easy task.
There is no set recipe or ingredients, he said. Its about expression and interpretation. Writing on you own is a process that is lonely. You spend many hours and days with your song. Sometimes it talks back to you and tells you where it wants to go and other times it remains a puzzle unwilling to be solved.
Yet Eldridge is happy to be able to help solve issues for others and fuel their creative juices. As a teacher, who also happens to coach soccer, in a school district that appreciates the arts, he is grateful to work in a supportive environment.
Sports are important but the arts are too, he said. Our superintendent (Bille Rondinelli) champions the arts, and we are fortunate here at South Fayette that she is behind them and that we have her guidance and leadership to make sure that the arts are an important part of the education and that they dont go away like whats been happening at other places.
I have no illusions of being on a tour bus with U2, he added. Im happy to be an inspiration to young men and women at school and on the soccer field, and to be creative with my band and writing songs.
By Eleanor Bailey
I have a strong competitive spirit, and sometimes that needs to be calmed, he added. I do that by reading, songwriting and through my music. For me, its the yin and yang of life. It works well together.
Throughout his life, Eldridge weaved sports and music together successfully. A Vermont native, he started skiing at age 5. He began playing soccer at 7 and evolved into an All-American while excelling on the Johnson State College team that competed in national championships. While earning his masters degree in education, Eldridge helped coach the James Madison University mens soccer team.
At that Harrisonburg, Va., school, he met his wife, Kim. When she took the lacrosse coaching gig at Duquesne University, the Eldridge family moved to Pittsburgh, where Rob took the assistant coaching job with the Dukes mens soccer squad in 1996.
In addition, he joined the Beadling Soccer Club as a head coach, directing teams to multiple state championships and one regional title. From 2002-07, he served as Peters Township head coach, guiding the Indians to three section banners, one WPIAL championship and two district runner-up titles.
Since 2007, he has been at South Fayette, claiming several Coach of the Year laurels in consistently guiding the Lions to the district and state playoffs. The Lions won a WPIAL title in 2015.
Music has been with Eldridge every step of the way. Raised in a classical formal tradition, as his maternal grandparents, Elizabeth and Herbet Kenyon, were a concert pianist and opera singer, respectively, Eldridge taught himself how to play various instruments, including piano, bass and electric guitar, which he plays on stage. Never took formal lessons, he said.
Eldridge said he started playing because he had written songs he has more than 100 published pieces so he decided to learn the instruments to be in a position to write better what I wanted to sing.
While his mother, Roxy, is a classical vocalist, his father, Bob, introduced him to the sound he prefers and performs.
He exposed me to all the 60s, 70s and 80s music, Eldridge said. I caught the rock n roll bug from him. Hes an artist, painter and illustrator. He designed the cover for the release.
Toro Toro features six songs written by Eldridge. The CD was recorded by Mike Ofca from Innovation Studio in Steubenville, Ohio, and Eldridge at his in-home studio, dubbed Sonic Planet Studios.
Eldridge is the lead vocalist. He plays guitar, keys and banjo. His next-door-neighbor, Sam Baldigowski, excels on the mandolin and lap steel. Ron Castelluci (percussion and noise makers), Jerry Courtney (bass guitar and backing vocals), Eric Drake (lead guitar and back vocals) and Bruce Virtue (drums) complete the band, which Eldridge started three years ago in Pittsburgh.
Weve had a couple of different lineups, but its mostly made up of professionals and buddies, all accomplished musicians. I know they were auditioning me as much as I was auditioning them, Eldridge said of the players, most of whom hail from Weirton, W.Va.
Featuring a blend of genres, Eldridge described the CD as rock n roll with blues elements. The six-piece ensemble delivers the swagger of bands from days gone by while echoing its own influences. If it has a sound similar to British blues and the Rolling Stones, there is good reason: Mick Jagger and the boys are Eldridges favorite.
I only wish I could perform like Mick, he laughed. Usually I have a guitar around my shoulder, so I am unable to move around the way he does.
During his youth, Eldridge moved around a bit. He started with The Warehouse Band playing music from a range of bands like the Hollies, Stones, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Led Zeppelin, The Cult and Tom Petty. He moved on to the Voodoo Dolls, which included one member that currently plays bass for the Jersey Boys production in Las Vegas. The Voodoo Dolls covered more recent bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Janes Addiction and supported national acts like Govt Mule, the Jayhawks, Blue Rodeo and Edgar Winter. One of his biggest groups was the Spring Heeled Jacks.
Eldridges experiences have included encounters with Mick Taylor, who replaced founder Brian Jones in the Rolling Stones after he mysteriously drowned, along with Bob Dylan, Frankie Vallie and Govt Mule frontman Warren Haynes, who also played with the Allman Brothers and Phil Lesh and Friends.
I met a lot of awesome musicians, said Eldridge, and its been wonderful, but not my real desire.
As he aged, Eldridge said his goals changed. While he has released a solo record on vinyl that can be heard on Pandora and Spotify, written background music for independent films and documentaries, and provided soundtracks for a local outdoor adventure show produced by Joe Rossi of Peters Township, Eldridges main focus is his family.
He is a father to three sons. His eldest, Ray, plays football. Heading into his senior season, he already has 15 Division I scholarship offers.
Hes a self-made kid, good student, hard worker, said Eldridge. He did all the right things and followed Joe Rossis ground rules, and that had a big payoff.
Eldridges two other boys Gavin, a sophomore, and Chad, a freshman have followed in their fathers footsteps and play soccer.
I have been driven by raising my sons, Eldridge said.
Through his music, he is driven to expose others to the art of writing songs and performing. Eldridge says that there are other things he wants to do, but sharing is foremost on his list. While hes excited about his CD release and calls it a celebration and culmination of the process, he is pushing for other endeavors.
I have an opportunity to help other artists, he said. You know, it only takes one song.
- Ayn Rand | Biography, Books, & Facts | Britannica - February 24th, 2020
- Ayn Rand - - Biography - February 24th, 2020
- Who Is Ayn Rand? - The Objective Standard - February 24th, 2020
- Clinical psychologist explains how Ayn Rand helped turn the US into a selfish and greedy nation - Raw Story - February 24th, 2020
- Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words - Arkansas Online - February 24th, 2020
- A World to Win - The New Republic - February 24th, 2020
- A counter-revolution is brewing in the U.K. and Europe - The Advocate - February 24th, 2020
- Trump Pardons Every Criminal He Knows, Which Is A Lot Of Criminals - Wonkette - February 24th, 2020
- OPINION: Hateful, and then some | Cit - Independent Tribune - January 7th, 2020
- Bike about Vice City in GTA V with this mod - Rock Paper Shotgun - January 7th, 2020
- EDITORIAL: What next? - Washington Times - January 7th, 2020
- The notion of victory and other reasons people (politicians) tell lies | By Godwin Uche Uwadilachi - Qwenu! - January 7th, 2020
- Understanding Ayn Rand's Rejection of Faith - November 21st, 2019
- Gordon Sondland: 5 things to know - Fox News - November 21st, 2019
- Why Selfishness is Necessary - Thrive Global - November 21st, 2019
- Gordon Sondland's Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know - Heavy.com - November 21st, 2019
- What Is the Root of Cronyism? - New Ideal - October 1st, 2019
- Marine Serre, Telfar, Draw Inspiration From the Apocalypse - Papermag - October 1st, 2019
- Joker is a film of our time, but not the film we need - Fabius Maximus website - October 1st, 2019
- Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead" Shows Us That There's More to ... - May 11th, 2019
- News - Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead" Shows Us That ... - May 11th, 2019
- Ayn Rand | Biography, Books, & Facts | Britannica.com - April 29th, 2019
- Inspirational Ayn Rand quotes On Life and Capitalism - April 29th, 2019
- Ayn Rand's life & ideas | Ayn Rand, Objectivism | The Atlas ... - April 20th, 2019
- Ayn Rand Quotes (Author of Atlas Shrugged) - Goodreads - April 20th, 2019
- Scientific & Technological Progress | The Ayn Rand Institute - March 25th, 2019
- Ayn Rand - Philosopher, Writer - Biography - March 25th, 2019
- Atlas Shrugged: (Centennial Edition) by Ayn Rand, Paperback ... - March 25th, 2019
- Ayn Rand - The New York Times - March 25th, 2019
- Column: This is what happens when you take Ayn Rand seriously ... - February 16th, 2019
- President Obama Jabs At Ayn Rand, Knocks Himself Out - December 9th, 2018
- Ayn Rand raged against government benefits but grabbed ... - November 29th, 2018
- Is There a Proof of Ayn Rand's Ethics? - November 27th, 2018
- Here's how Ayn Rand helped turn the US into a selfish and ... - November 27th, 2018
- Ayn Rand, Objectivism - The Atlas Society - November 23rd, 2018
- Ayn Rand Institute eStore - September 6th, 2018
- In Defense of Ayn Rand, Monster Under the Progressive Bed - July 21st, 2018
- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, Paperback | Barnes & Noble - July 16th, 2018
- Ayn Rand's Ideas - An Overview | AynRand.org - June 23rd, 2018
- How Hillary Clinton Is Like Ayn Rand | The Weekly Standard - March 16th, 2018
- Why Mark Cuban and Kevin O'Leary read Ayn Rand - January 29th, 2018
- Movie Review: In Pattinson, 'Twilight' sidles up to Ratso Rizzo - The Providence Journal - August 25th, 2017
- Why Stephen K. Bannon was such a failure - The Washington Post - Washington Post - August 25th, 2017
- What's Wrong With America? - Falls Church News Press - August 25th, 2017
- Anthem Essay Contest Ayn Rand Education - August 24th, 2017
- 30 important life lessons Dirty Dancing taught us - EW.com - August 24th, 2017
- Ayn Rand - Salon.com - August 24th, 2017
- Is There Really an 'Insidious Libertarian-To-Alt-Right Pipeline'? - Reason (blog) - August 24th, 2017
- BOB BARR: Violent tribalism on display in Charlottesville - MDJOnline.com - August 24th, 2017
- Takers and Fakers - New York Times (blog) - July 14th, 2017
- Republican states raising taxes, not lowering them | The Seattle Times - The Seattle Times - July 3rd, 2017
- J. Talbot Manvel: Declaration of Independence joined morality and law - CapitalGazette.com - July 2nd, 2017
- I watched the sun set on my Sunset Boulevard romance - Los Angeles Times - July 2nd, 2017
- Letter: Things aren't going so well under President Trump - Detroit Lakes Online - July 2nd, 2017
- Why can't self-satisfied liberals admit that conservatives care about people, too? - The Week Magazine - June 30th, 2017
- The least of these - Ashland Daily Press - June 30th, 2017
- The Continuing Scourge of Tenant Harassment: If You Don't Like It, Move. - The Nonprofit Quarterly (registration) - June 27th, 2017
- This Classic Colonial Revival in Westchester Has Impressive Literary Ties - Mansion Global - June 26th, 2017
- Lowell Thomas, the Original 'Voice of America' - The Weekly Standard - June 26th, 2017
- BOB BARR: Goodbye reason, Hello violence - MDJOnline.com - June 26th, 2017
- Paul Ryan conflicted by Jesus Christ and Ayn Rand -- Norman Jensen - Madison.com - June 24th, 2017
- London Theater Review: Topical Drama 'Terror' - Variety - June 23rd, 2017
- Travis Kalanick may have resigned as Uber's CEO but he isn't going away - Washington Post - June 22nd, 2017
- 'Fargo' Season 3 finale recap: A mostly satisfying, but ambiguous ending - Baltimore Sun - June 22nd, 2017
- Ayn Rand | American author | Britannica.com - June 21st, 2017
- Working toward graduation: 50 SPS students participate in credit recovery program - Stillwater News Press - June 21st, 2017
- If You Saw Uber's CEO Testify Before the DC Council, His Downfall May Come as No Surprise - HuffPost - June 21st, 2017
- Selfie by Will Storr review are the young really so self-obsessed? - The Guardian - June 21st, 2017
- Goodbye Reason, Hello Violence - Townhall - June 21st, 2017
- Wayne LaPierre, Tomi Lahren, and a Rally Cry From Young Conservative Women - D Magazine - June 20th, 2017
- Both parties responsible for economic failings - Alpena News - June 18th, 2017
- NY Times, After 'Corrections,' Still Has Palin-Giffords 'Targeting' Myth in Scalise Shooting Editorial - NewsBusters (press release) (blog) - June 17th, 2017
- The Fountainhead: American Eclectic - Patheos (blog) - June 17th, 2017
- Tech Talk: Israel's Fortune 500 companies - The Jerusalem Post - June 16th, 2017
- PBS Is Airing Right-Wing-Sponsored School Privatization Propaganda - The National Memo (blog) - June 16th, 2017
- Shall we all hang separately? - Nevada Appeal - June 14th, 2017
- Trump & Ryan's (Tryan's) Co-Conspiracy in Moral Bankruptcy - The Good Men Project (blog) - June 12th, 2017
- Trump's Credibility Problem - National Review - June 12th, 2017
- How the Dark Web's Dread Pirate Roberts Went Down - New York Times - June 12th, 2017
- Letter: Deregulation is not always best - Aiken Standard - June 11th, 2017