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Published: Saturday, 9/30/2006

Poe juggles classroom with stage

Toledo native Michelle Poe has had her fair share of big gigs in her life. She has played bass guitar for Steve Holy and Dierks Bentley, plus she's had solo success with an album release through DreamWorks Records.

Even though that record deal eventually fizzled, Poe still had an admirer from afar: Hank Williams, Jr.

"Hank was making some changes in his band and remembered me from when I played bass guitar for Dierks Bentley. I heard that he asked his tour manager to 'Call that blonde girl the one that used to play for Dierks, see if she's available.'" Poe said earlier this week after returning home from a weekend of shows.

So now Poe spends most of her Fridays and Saturdays playing bass for one of country music's legends, and she says that her respect for him has only grown.

"I was already a fan before I had the opportunity to work with him, and now my appreciation for him is over the top," she said.

Recognizing her vocal talents, Williams features Poe during his shows on his new single, "That's How We Do It in Dixie," letting her sing Gretchen Wilson's lines.

When she's not on the road, Poe has been settling into her home in the Nashville area with her boyfriend and his four kids. Suddenly becoming a "mom" to a houseful of kids has changed her perspective on the music business and thoughts about pursuing another record deal.

"I love music, yet at the same time, I'm not sure that I still have the same desire to do all that it takes to succeed in this business," she says.

A substitute teacher in kindergarten through fourth grade, Poe jokes at the vast differences in the careers.

"I may be a rock star on the weekends, but during the week, I am Miss Poe, giver of timeouts and homework collector."

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Former Toledoan Len Snow, Jr., who has moved to Nashville to pursue a music career, is coming back home tonight for a benefit concert in Wood County. Snow will be headlining the Seth Davis Medical Fund Benefit at the intersection of Pargillis and King roads in Perrysburg Township. Snow's performance begins at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20, and proceeds will go toward paying medical bills for Davis, a 6-year-old from Grand Rapids who is battling cystic fibrosis. Although Snow performs at 9, entertainment begins at 4, and the admission ticket includes all the food you can eat.

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It has been a while since Bootleggers' managers have been able to work out the logistics of bringing a show to town, but they announced this week that Poe's former boss, Steve Holy, will be in concert on Nov. 15 in the South Byrne Road club. Tickets, $20, go on sale today at Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 419-474-1333, or at the SeaGate Centre box office. They will be $25 the night of the show.

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Congratulations to J.J. O'Shea and Jim Van Deilen. The hosts of The Sunday Afternoon Ramble on WCWA-AM (1230) will be airing their 200th show at 7 p.m. Oct. 22. And on Oct. 15, the fourth season of the Ramble Jam gets under way at 4 p.m. at El Camino Real. Jams are open to all bluegrass, folk, and traditional country musicians.



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