Stormin' Bob Swanson

Category: Blog Posts

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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StarMan Bob — In a reflective mood

telescope

Today I completed my 51st trip around the Sun. Even if I manage to stay healthy, I only have a couple of decades left, which, on an astronomical time-scale (make sure to check out my YouTube playlist of astronomy-themed songs), is vanishingly small. But I’m fine with that — I’m one extremely lucky dude. I […]

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Non-essential existential blues

Henry and I finally free from COVID-quarantine

There’s nothing like a breakthrough case of COVID, a week of isolation, and couple of weeks of quarantine to give this philosophy major/songwriter plenty of grist for the mental mill. I have to give a lot of credit where it is due — the scientists who developed the vaccine, and the nurse practitioner who prescribed […]

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