Media Life: New Auburn YouTube moments feature Balloon Boy song, rockabilly vampire

Positive reviews for Devlin Murphy novelty number; Al Hendrix channels Dracula; Placer County’s rocky past revisited for TV show; Harpist Nancy Thym eyes State Theater show
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Former Auburnite Devlin Murphy is taking the whole “Balloon Boy” phenomenon to new musical heights. Murphy, a songwriter and Placer High grad now based out of North Hollywood, has posted his musical tribute to infamous “Balloon Boy” Falcon Heene on YouTube and it’s getting both views and positive reviews. As of late Thursday, his song about the 6-year-old and his wacky family has attracted nearly 15,000 visits and even made it onto a St. Louis TV station’s Video of the Day. Comments on his piano and vocals are way over on the plus side, which is all to the good for a talented artist trying to build an audience any way he can. THE BITE IS BACK YouTube has also attracted Auburn’s Lost Rocker, Al Hendrix. The Rockabilly Hall of Fame inductee had “Monkey Bite,” a surefire hit in the early 1960s taken off the air by nervous censors. Almost half a century later, he’s out for blood in a new video with a reworked version of “Monkey Bite” featuring some nifty retro guitar crunch by vintage rocker and producer Jimmi Accardi. Getting into the Halloween spirit, Hendrix is decked out in full Dracula costume. As one YouTube comment suggests, this could be the beginning of “Dracubilly.” ROCK-SOLID TV Sierra College is digging into the Placer County granite industry in a new TV production that premieres on Sacramento’s KVIE “Viewfinder” show next month. “Tales of the Sierra Nevada: Gold, Granite and Grit” will zero in on the granite industry in the town of Rocklin and surrounding foothills region. The 30-minute program will probe a bit deeper though to provide some science on the geological process that produces granite. If you miss it the first time, the show will be on Channel 6 again Nov. 12 and Nov. 14. “Gold, Granite and Grit” is produced by the Rocklin-based college’s Center for Sierra Nevada Studies, with writing and directing by history instructor Dan DeFoe. Other major players include presenter Karin DeFoe, editor Nate Rose and executive producer Gary Noy. THYM LIKES STATE The autumn winds regularly blow expatriate Auburnite Nancy Thym back to these parts and this year is no exception. A master of medieval and other ancient harps, Thym has lived in Germany since the 1970s. Her hometown visits in the past have also regularly included an Auburn concert. This year, with the exception of a noon-hour sampling of song at the Auburn library, Thym and violin player Thilo Viehrig have performances elsewhere. But Thym has also made a pilgrimage to Auburn’s State Theater and likes the look of that facility for a future performance when she returns. Media Life’s Gus Thomson can be reached at or 530-852-0232.