Sunday, October 10, 1999

Here's buzz on Souls singer




BY JIM KNIPPENBERG
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Whoa, look at Eliot Sloan He's the Blessid Union of Soulslead singer who has worn shoulder-length dreadlocks for 100 years — since he was singing at Jeff Ruby's Waterfront.

        He's bald now.

        Yep, Blessid did Donny & Marie recently, singing “Hey, Leonardo” and “Standing at the Edge of the Earth.” The show airs here at 2 a.m. so most people set VCRs.

        Anyway, Sloan is shorn. Everything. Did it without telling anyone, his friend Maurice Harris says, the day after Boomer Esiason's cystic fibrosis benefit at Ruby's new downtown steakhouse.

        That's not all: Bassist Tony Clark's long blond hair is buzzed. Drummer Eddie Hedges is, well, shorter but not shocking.

        It all looks fine, but for we who taped and watched at 8 a.m., well, shorn shocks.

        COOKING UP MURDER: Well for goodness sakes, look who's cooking up chili with Sue Grafton and Tony Hillerman. It's Cincinnatians John and Cathie Celestri.

        Actually it's their creation, Kate Cavanaugh.

        Remember? She's heroine of The Journals of Kate Cavanaugh, the mystery series (Add One Dead Critic, Beat a Rotten Egg to the Punch, Carve a Witness to Shreds) by the Loveland authors writing as Cathie John.

        In the series, Cavanaugh is a caterer, amateur detective and heir to a Cincinnati chili fortune (take a guess).

        That's why the Celestris decided to do Cincinnati chili in A Taste of Murder (Dell; $12.95), a compilation of recipes from 120 mystery writers, including the aforesaid Grafton and Hillerman.

        “It's Cincinnati-style, but I don't know how close it is to Skyline,” John Celestri said.

        “Ours is thicker, but it tastes mighty good. There are also two pages of serving suggestions” — pasta, onions, cheese, hot dogs, you know the drill.

        The Celestris, meanwhile, are about to launch a promotional campaign for Carve (CC Publishing; $12.95).

        Like all their murder mysteries, it's set here and peopled with stuff you'll recognize: Bill Cunningham of WLW is Dick Rottingham of WOW; Indian Hill is Clairmont, but you recognize it from street names; restaurants and businesses turn up under their own names.

        IN THE NEWS, I: We're beginning to think Teen People is stalking Cincinnati. The city was in October's Trendspotting section on what's cool in different cities.

        It's there again in the November book. Often.

        • First off, there's Cincinnatian Drew Lachey celebrating his 23rd with 98` band mates Jeff Timmons, brother Nick Lachey and Justin Jeffre. There's another section where online readers named the group No. 6 in trendsetters they admire most. And still another section, a two-page ad, where Candies (fragrance makers) offers dinner with the group as first prize in its 98` Sweepstakes.

        • Second off, there's Cool School of the Month, a two-page spread on Zoo Academy, the division of Cincinnati Public Schools dedicated to high school kids looking for careers as zoologists, zookeepers, vets and botanists.

        The article talks about graduation — My-Thai the elephant hands out diplomas — animal-handling courses, academics (advanced biology and calculus are required), and how 80 percent of grads go to college.

        There are also 10 pictures of students at work, some with animals, some with plants, one with student Jovan Moore and a bowl of really gross penguin food.

        Knip's Eye View appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Have an item to report? Call Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.