The CD was the brainchild of Art Dudgeon, a Columbus man and Ohio State graduate. He has spent the last 23 years selling licensed university merchandise and felt a rock CD of Ohio State-themed songs might be a good product.
"The inspiration was something I have thought of the last two or three years," Dudgeon said. "I had heard different CDs where musicians do different recognizable songs on the piano or the guitar with special arrangements. I wondered what some recognizable Buckeye songs would be if we did them that way."
Dudgeon took his idea to local guitarist Craig Goodwin, who plays with Phil Dirt and the Dozers, a local rock band that plays clubs and parties in the area.
"I presented the idea to Craig and a year went by," Dudgeon said. "I saw him last year at holiday time and we decided to do it. We started in February. It was an idea to take some of the recognizable songs and make them more party-oriented, tailgate-oriented and rock-oriented. We wanted to use an assortment of rock and roll musicians and instruments and do a more eclectic version of some of these songs.
"In the course of doing it, we also wrote five new songs."
Goodwin brought in his Phil Dirt band mate Mark Frye, who is a songwriter, producer and keyboardist. They formed a new band they called The Artinis – in honor of Dudgeon – and they went to work writing and recording the 10 tracks on the Buckeye Rock CD.
Dudgeon said he enjoyed his role in bringing the CD to life and he hopes to duplicate this format by making CDs of music at other major universities.
"I have been involved making licensed products for over 23 years," he said. "Since 1992, I have predominantly been involved with Ohio State. I live in Columbus and I am an Ohio State graduate. I am a manufacturer's rep. I represent probably 10 to 14 companies that have licenses with Ohio State. They make anything from apparel to tailgate tables to coolers.
"Because we already had the distribution network set up, we felt if we could come up with a quality product the retailers I work with would be responsive.
"This is a CD that you need to listen to a few times. People tell me they hear something different they didn't hear the first time on some of the tracks. The musicians on this project are so talented. If you start listening for the guitar or the drums or the keyboards, it catches on the more you hear it. There are a lot of neat little things that make it a musically sound CD as opposed to just being lyrically clever."
As noted, the Buckeye Rock CD is now available in the online Bucknuts store. Click here for the link to the store:
The CD will also be available at most of the leading stores that sell OSU fan material, virtually all of the specialty sports stores, every concession stand at Ohio Stadium, Buckeye Hall of Fame Café, the OSU Medical Center gift stores and the OSU team shop at the Schottenstein Center.
The CD: Song By Song
Here is a song-by-song look at the Buckeye Rock CD with comments from Dudgeon (Click the song title for an audio sample of the song):
* Track 1: OSU I'm A Buckeye Fan -- "That is more of a hardcore rock and roll song, kind of like the Rolling Stones maybe. We wanted to come up with an original song. When you go to a game, you hear songs that are classic Ohio State songs that have been played for 30 years. Who is writing the songs that will be considered the classic Ohio State songs 30 years from now.
"My motivation was to create some new songs and hopefully one or two of them will catch on and be the classics for tomorrow."
* Track 2: Tailgatin' -- "Tailgatin' is a bluesy song. It kind of captures the mind-set of those of pretty much through the fall. You reserve Saturdays in the fall for Ohio State football. I think the lyrics portray that. They say, ‘Tailgatin', Saturday morning, it's a Buckeye day.' "
* Track 3: Hang On Sloopy -- "With Hang On Sloopy, the first two-thirds are pretty much a remake of the McCoy's version. We have added our own guitar style maybe a little bit. For the last verse, we added the Ohio State version with the ‘O-H-I-O' chant that has become popular."
* Track 4: Buckeye Battle Cry -- "With Buckeye Battle Cry, we have a little tease at the beginning with the percussion cadence. (OSU band director Jon) Woods said we could have that in there. We have a little six-second cadence. It sounds like it would be recognizable, but then it goes into kind of a Hank Williams Jr. style. That is one of my favorites because we've taken that song and given it a totally different style. There is great instrumentation in it. It's a neat arrangement."
* Track 5: Rock ‘N Roll, Part 2 (The Hey Song) -- "Rock ‘N Roll, Part 2, that is clearly all instrumental. That's just good rock and roll music and we arranged it for the Artinis."
* Track 6: Ohio Is My Home -- "With Ohio Is My Home, we do get the comment after people have heard it that it was one of their favorites. It doesn't mention anything about Ohio State. We came up with the subject that it might be a good homecoming song for the alums and the people who come back to the university to think about Ohio. Everybody who hears it talks about how it evokes pride for being from Ohio."
* Track 7: The Buckeye Romp -- "The Buckeye Romp is a rockabilly style. The genesis of that idea was the Neutron Man passed away a few years ago. We thought it might be nice to make an arrangement that the band might like to do and create a routine that someone could do with it. We wrote it with that idea in mind.
"The lyrics are, ‘Get out on the floor and watch Brutus do the Buckeye stomp.' "
* Track 8: Across The Field -- "We did Across The Field in a Chuck Berry style. There is a lot of guitar. There is a single vocalist. It might be in more of a country style as well. There is a great guitar sequence in that song."
* Track 9: Woody's Song -- "With Woody's song, the lyrics go, ‘They don't make ‘em like Woody no more.' A lot of people consider that to be one of the neatest songs on the CD. It's a tribute to Woody Hayes and we did get permission from his family to mention him in that way."
* Track 10: Carmen Ohio -- "With Carmen Ohio, we did not want to mess with the real tradition of the song. It is, after all, the alma mater. We pretty well kept the tempo and we kept the reverence of the alma mater in there. The first verse is totally instrumental with an acoustic guitar. The second verse, we used some beautiful violins. The third verse, we used a cappella voices. It is a pretty stirring rendition."