December 10th, 2023

owen tyme books spotlightELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


Many books see their release every day and recently, a local author got to join those ranks. 

Liberal author Owen Tyme recently announced the release of two books in a series he is currently working on. As Tyme tells it, the process started a couple years ago. 

“It was around Thanksgiving 2021 when I started on 'Troll Song,' which is the first book in my new 'The Wizard's Scion' series, and I finished it in about three months, and it was Nov. 13 when the next book in that series, 'Forgotten Legends' was released,” Tyme said. “In 'Troll Song,' Lyra, a teenage troll, makes telepathic contact with a dwarf and learns that life doesn't have to be full of abuse. Turning on her evil family, she seeks to protect the world from the troll menace, only to gain the ire of her older sister, Nicole, an incredibly tenacious and deadly swordswoman. Lyra freezes the trolls in ice and a teen wizard, Levi Jacobs, inadvertently releases Nicole, thousands of years later. Lyra teams up with Levi, his family and friends to end the troll threat, once and for all. Then, in 'Forgotten Legends,' a group of ancient and forgotten gods and monsters begin a war with humanity and Levi's family is unknowingly caught in the middle, with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse standing in the way of peace. Levi is forced to confront the monster from under the bed that tormented him as a child, who he reluctantly accepts as an ally, bonding as wizard and familiar to stop the unjust war. It's really great seeing physical copies out and in the world, it makes me really happy, especially with the one that just released Monday.”

john depew spotlight pageMusician John Depew shares a song during a concert at the SCCC library Tuesday morning. L&T photo/Elly GrimmELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


The Liberal community was treated to some Americana music from John Depew in the Seward County Community College library Tuesday, and during that time, Depew shared not only his music, but also some stories about his life and career. 

As Depew tells it, music has been part of his life for as long as he can remember. 

“I grew up just outside Hutchinson in a rather musical household, my father played the mandolin, which isn't very common in modern music, but it's one I grew up hearing quite a bit. I started playing the mandolin when I was around 4 years old and then moved up to the guitar when I was about 11,” Depew said. “My dad taught me all of that and also taught me how to sing harmonies, and it was about first grade or second grade when I started singing harmony parts on songs he knew. I grew up listening to a lot of bluegrass gospel music, so Doyle Lawson and Ricky Skaggs were a big influence on me, and then when I got older I listened to a lot of hard rock. Music was something I always felt I was good at, and that's as much a reason as anything why I'm now a full-time musician, because there weren't really a lot of things early in life I felt I was really good at. So I kept at it and honed my instrumentalist skills throughout the years. When I got into high school, I didn't have very many friends, and I lived out in the country where I couldn't just walk to someone's house if I wanted to hang out, so I stayed home for the most part and played a lot of music. We had a small recording studio my father had built in the basement and at that time, there were some of these brand-new technologies and digital standalone recording machines where you could record different layers of songs, which was a revelation at the time and now can be done on your computer or even on your phone. I learned a lot about sound and recording and playing/arranging songs and all of that.”

rolling stones hackney diamondsELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


As I’ve mentioned on here before, one of my favorite things to do is look for music to listen to while I work on projects here at the office and recently, I found an album from the Rolling Stones that will probably become a semi-regular listen for me on Spotify. 

To start off, I will admit the Rolling Stones isn’t a group I typically think of when I look for music to listen to – I’ve heard a handful of the group’s songs on the radio, and here were even a couple songs that were part of my marching band music when I was in high school, but when looking for music, my mind doesn’t automatically go to the Rolling Stones. However, their new album, “Hackney Diamonds” might have changed my mind, because I ultimately ended up having fun listening to it.

The album starts off with “Angry,” which is a somewhat funny song about being sexually frustrated – it’s more about the subtext, but for those who get it, it’s actually a rather amusing song. The instrumentals are also super strong and show how the band hasn’t missed a beat, and I also thought leading man Mick Jagger’s vocals were also pretty strong and sounds like he’s having a good time. Overall, it’s a great album opener. The next song, “Get Close,” is also another solid song, with more driving vocals and instrumentals throughout. The next song, “Depending On You,” is also a solid song and is a decent breakup song that captures that feeling of “I thought we’d be stay together, but I guess not.” The song also captures the initial anger after the end of a relationship without being super melodramatic, and the instrumentals are closer to blues/R&B rather than straight up rock, but it works well.