Stormin' Bob Swanson

Blogging Bob

Now That’s What I Call Folk Music! (Vol. 1)

The best folk music is about folks, so you can imagine my surprise and delight to find myself a “folk” subject of a folk song. A little backstory . . . . Students in my physical science classes are required to complete a “Smarter Every Week” group project. Presentations typically occur on Fridays and focus […]

Read More

Just under the surface

Each summer I try to offer a slightly different show to go along with the summer reading program theme of the year. For example, in 2018 I played my “Music & Meteorology” program to go along with the “Libraries Rock!” summer reading theme. In 2019, I presented an “Out of this World” astronomy show to […]

Read More

The student becomes the teacher

emerson family school

Several months ago, fresh from recovering from a “breakthrough case” of COVID, I lamented a bit about the relative unimportance (in the grand scheme of things) of what I do — whether as a teacher, musician or children’s entertainer. This week I was reminded, on a couple of occasions, that I have made favorable impressions […]

Read More

The Other Fab Four — Next Generation

I started playing music a little later than the average bear. Apart from singing in church and two years of trumpet during my 5th and 6th grade years, I never really had much in the way of music instruction or inspiration during my childhood. It wasn’t until college that I got more involved in the […]

Read More

Telling tales out of school

While my summer tour is still a few months away, I’m knocking the dust off my instruments and demonstrations with a couple of local events. Yesterday, I played at Henderson Ward Stewart Elementary’s after-school science club. After my program, the kids had a bunch of questions for me. One that stuck out was, “Why did […]

Read More

Bob the Builder’s Christmas

I go by many names — Stormin’ Bob Swanson (The Singing Weatherman), StarMan Bob Swanson (The Singing Astronomer), and Bob the Builder. The last of these I picked up while living in Tupelo — a neighbor of mine, Peggy Hurley, would patrol the neighborhood in her pickup truck (sometimes walking her dog by holding the […]

Read More

The Not-so-little Drummer Boy

Ever wonder what this “singing weatherman” does when I’m not doing Summer Reading Program performances? I teach — in fact, I just wrapped up my fall semester which included teaching a synchronous online Physical Science II course (conceptual chemistry, with a smidge of geology, meteorology and astronomy mixed in) and two online sections of Descriptive […]

Read More

It’s all greek to me

sirius in stellarium

Fun fact #1 — Phoenicians sailed across the seas and taught the Greeks their ABCs Fun fact #2 — I often refer to fun fact #1 (that the Greek alphabet is derived from the Phoenician civilization) when explaining what inspires me to write songs about science. When I was in 8th grade (nearly 40 years […]

Read More

Taking the stage by storm

Krista Vowell as "June Sanders," Bob Swanson as "Mervin Oglethorpe" in "Smoke on the Mountain"

Long-time fans may remember that my 2018 Summer Tour was entitled “Taking the State by Storm.” It made sense at the time because my “Singing Weatherman” schtick seemed to tie in nicely with the Summer Reading Program theme of “Libraries Rock.” This Fall I am taking the stage by storm, acting for the first time […]

Read More

Imposter syndrome

My musical and professional careers have taken many unexpected turns. Sometimes the winding road has left me feeling, if not lost, at least out of place. As a teacher, I’m a meteorologist (my MS is in meteorology from Penn State University) in a physics and astronomy department. As a musician, I only picked up a […]

Read More