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MSJ Staff

Gary Hill

Photo by Horatio Nicoara

Gary Hill has been publishing Music Street Journal ( since 1998. Since 2000 Hill has published MSJ simultaneously on-line and in book form. He also published all the archives in book form. In 2019 Hill began a series of books under the Music Street Journal banner focused on the Rockford, Illinois music scene titled, "Music Street Journal Local: Rockford Area Music Makers." In August of 2006 his first book The Strange Sound of Cthulhu: Music Inspired by the Writings of H.P. Lovecraft was published. Since then several other books (The Concert Photography of Gary Hill, the original edition of Strange Realities: Collected Short Stories and More by Gary Hill Expanded and Revised Edition, Poetry of the Air: A Collection of Love Letters from Musicians to Music and The Suite Music World of Gary Hill and a series of three books The Dark Starr Files) have been released. Wizard Song, his first book length science-fiction piece was released on March 31st, 2020. Hill has also written for cable television (Cops 2.0 on G4), All Music Guide, Demand Media Studios and more. He launched Tale of Wonder and Dread Publishing to release science fiction and horror books in 2018, but published a collection of those types of stories in 2017 titled "Dark Dreams and Worlds." Under the Tales of Wonder and Dread nameplate, Hill has published more than a dozen books including a series on Rockford Illinois cemeteries (Rockford's Final Resting Places), Spooky Rockford and Spooky Rockford Two and Spooky Berwyn. Hill launched Spooky Ventures in 2019 and has been doing video interviews, Spooky News segments and more for the Spooky Ventures YouTube Channel since then.

Kat Heitzman

Kathryn (Kat ) Heitzman lives in the Midwest and enjoys many activities including camping, fishing, hiking, canoeing, photography, painting, quilting and, of course. music.  Kat Heitzman has a passion for photography and enjoys being able to capture her favorite bands while they are performing. Her concert photos can be seen here at MSJ and in Wormwood Chronicles.  Kat is also an artist and has had several local gallery shows and has participated in many local festivals.

Mike Heitzman

Mike Heitzman hails from the Northern Illinois area with his wife and the two real loves of his life: his westies Jake and Roxy. Mike enjoys going to concerts and listening to death metal while putting out proverbial fires amidst the city’s business world to keep them safe from things as nasty as the internet plagues can get. In his free time he enjoys being outdoors, fishing, hunting and camping, the simple pleasures of life.

Diane Hill

Diane grew up with music. She started playing piano at age three when her mother found her playing "Old MacdDonald Had a Farm" after hearing it on TV. Her favorite artist to play on piano was Beethoven. Diane changed to guitar at age 12 and was heavily influenced by Jim Croce. She sang on an independent acapella CD and at various venues. She discovered rock and heavy metal at 15 has never looked back, much to the chagrin of her parents. Currently living in Northern Illinois, Diane still annoys her mother with her loud music.

Jason Hillenburg

Born and raised in Southern Indiana, a Black Sabbath album cover at a local 3D department store captivated Jason at the tender age of nine years old and nothing was ever the same again. That initial exposure to Sabbath kicked off a lifelong obsession with guitar-based music. His largest passion is for classic rock acts across many genres, particularly progressive or blues-based rock, but his field of interest extends to Delta and Chicago blues, folk, classic country, singer/songwriter, and doom metal. Jason has extensive writing experience, winning collegiate awards, writing for online publications, and conducting interviews with performers like former Black Sabbath lead singer Tony Martin, English hard rock legends UFO, and current Deep Purple lead singer Ian Gillan.

Jason is currently working towards receiving an English degree with a concentration in Creative Writing from Indiana University. His long range plans include receiving a MFA degree. He is married, has a daughter named Harper, and is expecting his second child.

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is an academic professor who has been teaching business courses at many online universities for over sixteen years. He grew up in the 1960s and ‘70s and was privileged to hear some of the world’s greatest rock and pop music. He has a pretty extensive record collection of his own. Mark has been writing music reviews for over five years for many online magazines that include: Music Street Journal, The Sonic Cathedral, The Progressive Aspect, and the Sea of Tranquility.

Mike Korn

Mr. Korn was born in 1963 in Winnebago County (IL) and has spent his whole life in the Northern Illinois area. Yes, that is his real name and not a goof on the Jonathan Davis-led band. Graduated from North Boone High School in the cornfields of Boone County and then from Rockford College. He has had a lifetime interest in heavy metal that began in 1974 and has mushroomed into an all-consuming obsession here in the year 2000. His favorite acts range from Kiss and Blue Oyster Cult to Dismember and Bathory, hitting all points in between. He also has an abiding interest in classic horror/science fiction movies and in fact, his alter ego "Dr. Abner Mality" is in the process of trying to host a TV horror show. As "Dr. Mality", he is also the editor of The Wormwood Chronicles (web version at, a journal dedicated to the stranger aspects of popular culture. He also has an interest in pro wrestling, cryptozoology, modern art and bashin' two bricks together!

Eric Meli

Eric has lived in northern Illinois his entire life. His passions include photography and going to Renaissance Faires. He has over 400 CDs in his music collections and enjoys all kinds of music. He particularly enjoys going to see bands live in bars.

Scott Montgomery

Scott Montgomery is a professor of Medieval and Renaissance Art History at the University of Denver, where he also teaches a course on the Art and Visual Culture of Rock and Roll.  Yes, he has a Ph.D. (Rutgers) and continues to pile it higher and deeper with published articles on the art of medieval pilgrimage and saint’s cults.  Two books are forthcoming in 2009 – a study of the Relics, Reliquaries and Visual Culture of St. Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins of Cologne (try saying that three times fast after a few shots!) and an account/analysis of his experience walking a 1,000-mile medieval pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, which he co-authored with his lovely wife Alice.  He has already begun his next bevy of projects – books on psychedelic poster artists Lee Conklin and Wes Wilson, and a larger study of the Visual Culture of Rock and Roll.  Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, he has lived, laughed, and enjoyed music in numerous states (solid, liquid, and ethereal) and countries in the course of his peregrinations - from Oregon to Italy, New Jersey to New Delhi, Texas to Germany.


Though rather musically omnivorous, his greatest aural loves are progressive tock, with a deep and unbridled love for both Italian symphonic prog (Banco, Le Orme, Locanda delle Fate) and the more delightfully challenging varieties (Magma, Univers Zero, Frank Zappa) and psychedelia, both older (Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane) and newish (Bevis Frond, Outskirts of Infinity).  He has a lot of music, but the most LPs/CDs in the collection are by J.S. Bach, Miles Davis, and Frank Zappa – ‘nuff said…  Like most “normal” people he has been passionately listening to music for many moons, though he has not mooned many musicians.  His first rock concert – The Tubes in 1975  - was a real mind-blower for a 12-year old boy in the third row.  Probably as a result of this brain-addling introduction to live music, he also writes songs and plays – badly….but says, ”it keeps me amused.”

Greg Olma

It was the year 1975 when Greg first discovered music. He took one look at Kiss Alive and said to himself, "these guys are awesome." From then on, music was all he thought about. But man does not live by Kiss alone, so he branched out into other music. He was still in grammar school when he discovered other bands like Aerosmith, Thin Lizzy, and Yes. His biggest learning experience was getting a job at a local used record store (Record Hunt) in 1979. He spent four years working there and will always remember them as fun and exciting times. Through the years, he's stayed in touch with the music scene, spending all of his available money on CDs and concert tickets. He's attended a little over 300 concerts ranging from REO Speedwagon to Cradle of Filth and continues to photograph his favorite bands.  He currently spends his days as a Manager of Sales and Marketing Operations at a consulting firm.

Lisa Palmeno

Lisa Palmeno is a music reviewer and entertainment writer for several publications. Besides writing for Music Street Journal for the past several years, she works at The Boone County Journal in Belvidere, Illinois, occasionally writes for The Crossroads Blues Society newsletter, and takes on private editing, writing and tutoring jobs. She is currently working on publishing her two books of poetry, which she hopes to make available online and on Kindle.

John Pierpoint

John grew up in Solihull, England in the 70s, happily listening to
Slade, Sweet, T Rex, The Osmonds and the rest on Top Of The Pops. At
school, he was convinced that ELO were the best group in the world.
He received true enlightenment at the age of 16 when introduced to the
real sounds of the 70s - Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin,
Yes, Lynyrd Skynyrd etc. - just as that decade ended and many of those
bands started to appear on the endangered species list. . .
A deep and abiding love of progressive rock began, which was kept alive
during the lean years of the 80s and 90s by searching out old Prog LPs.
His favourite band is undoubtedly Yes (first attended concert was on the
Drama tour in 1980), closely followed by other progressive big guns such
as Jethro Tull, Crimson, Genesis and Rush. While his tastes now also
extend into classical, folk, pop and jazz, his other long-term love is
heavy metal, and he has followed tragically-overlooked Birmingham
rockers Magnum for many years.

Despite getting his first bass guitar for his 18th birthday, it wasn't
until well into his 20s that he overcame his fear of crowds and began
playing bass in local bands, getting nowhere special but having lots of
fun in the process. His bass gods include Chris Squire, Geddy Lee, Mike
Rutherford and Tony Levin (a pantheon now joined by EST's Don Berglund).
He has since added guitar, mandolin, bouzouki and fretless guitar to his
musical tool-box, and is always on the lookout for more weird
instruments to try.

After several successful years on the Birmingham pub circuit with rock
outfit The Earthmovers and country rock trio Randolph Flagg ("which
became a progressive country rock trio once I was on board - much more
interesting!"), John returned to his prog-rock roots in the 21st Century
as bassist with 1912. He also plays bass, guitar and various other
instruments in the acclaimed industrial/space-rock virtual collective

John joined Music Street Journal as a reviewer after reading reviews of
the latest Omenopus and 1912 releases, and getting the "bug" to write
again. Previously, he wrote reviews of albums and concerts for local
music magazine Xposed and the online Solihull Gig Guide.
John also enjoys dabbling in art, web design, model-making, electronics
and guitar customisation. He writes short stories and poetry, and also
proofreads. His favourite reading matter is science fiction novels and
super-hero comics. He lives on the Lickey Hills, near Longbridge,
Birmingham, with his partner and their young son.

Scott Prinzing

When his album collection at age 10 included Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Elton John and Stevie Wonder, it was no surprise that when he finally got on his high school newspaper staff that Scott Prinzing started writing album reviews.  For the next three decades he has continued to freelance as a music journalist and concert photographer, more for the love of it than any financial reward.  Scott is a lover of many genres of music, but his hip-hop and punk collections are limited to American Indian and Montana musicians – areas of specialization.  He is the author of the Montana curriculum guide and compilation CD, American Indian music: More Than Just Flutes and Drums, and produced the public radio show, Montana Muse, for several years during his decade-long stint as a weekly newspaper columnist on the music scene in Billings, Montana.  He performs with his wife in the progressive folk duo, Earthshine, which is how he first learned of Music Street Journal (thanks, Larry!).  He and his wife also run MusEco Media & Education Project, a non-profit (very literally) that produces Green Smarts with the Green Man, PSAs on sustainable living in which he stars.  He is thrilled to have a new avenue to justify his need to listen to, and tell others about great music.

Bruce Stringer

Born in 1974, Bruce Stringer is an Australian guitarist who has played internationally and worked on various independent soundtracks and theme-scores. He is currently working on his third solo project, his second full CD.

He brings to MSJ a great sense of music and strong writing talents.

For more info on Bruce's music career (including some audio samples) follow this link

Larry Toering

Larry has been writing for various publications for years and when he’s not writing, he’s supporting artists in various ways from live event work to co-owning/operating an active distribution label. His music interests lie in record collecting, hard rock and metal bands like Deep Purple and all that it entails, as well as progressive rock, jazz/rock fusion, Motown, soul/funk and R&B.

Bruce Turner

Bruce Turner enjoys classic rock and other forms of old school music, be it blues, R&B or folk. At one point he gave up on new music, finding it to be lacking in talent, but lately has discovered some newer groups who produce well-constructed music. Among those newer bands, Mumford and Sons is a classic example as they've become one of his favorite musical act. Bruce lives in the Northern Illinois area with his wife and four children.

Josh Turner

Joshua “Prawg Dawg” Turner has had an on again, off again relationship with the genre of progressive rock over the past few decades. Growing up, all he knew of music was what he heard on the radio.  So that his favorites did not grow tiresome, he stepped away to pursue other interests. Early on he took to outdoorsy activities like sailing, camping, and looking for newfangled creatures under rocks in faraway forests on long walks. Like a moth to a flame, he would be drawn to music every now and then, but it never stuck… until one day when he met his best friend who was a Dream Theater fanatic.

In one summer, the two of them road-tripped to see the band in several locations and for the first time; he stood outside a record shop to purchase one of the coveted first copies of Falling into Infinity. Turner played that album until the edges of that disc started to degrade from overuse. He even learned the words to the songs by heart and sang them along with James Labrie while adjacent fans held lighters and did the same.

From there he began his foray into rock journalism when the opportunity presented itself to talk to his hero, Roine Stolt, which was his first of many interviews. This went on for a while, attending regional concerts and festivals across the country. Later, he would meet the legend in person, finally understanding what it meant to feel star struck.

Turner got to know many of the wonderful and talented people associated with the genre. Had he never taken this leap of faith, he would have never known true musicians like Andy Tillison, who he believes to be an artist in the truest sense. There was even a time when he rode roller coasters with Moon Safari, a band that’s only a couple degrees of separation from his origin story.

As history repeats itself, Turner took a hiatus to travel the world and obsess over fitness. As things settle down again, he is rediscovering the genre once more. In a series of coincidences, it so happens that he now works for a company that distributes music. Yet, with his last two double concept albums, “Similitude of a Dream” and “The Great Adventure,” Neal Morse may be the one most responsible for his musical resurrection.

From here, the “Prawg Dawg” plans to rip through what he missed over the past few years. Then again, it’s not a sprint, it’s mostly a marathon with him.