Winter's upon us here in the far-flung northern fringes of the South, but the music's hot as ever . . .
It's time to add yet another name to the list of "real" songwriters from Louisville, i.e., songwriters in line for royalty checks from ASCAP or BMI - Robin Rose gets the kudos as co-writer on the Travis Tritt tune Country Club, which recently climbed the country charts to number nine. Congrats, Robin.
Caught a glimpse of New Horizon's Steve Cooley on CNN Headline News the other evening. Seems there was a piece on the Dillards, who are making a ninety-minute video and there in the background was the bearded Mr. Cooley. Gosh, and to think he even sat in my kitchen once.
Cooley is not the only New Horizon member making the news. Mandolinist Mike Schroeder, who is also the driving force behind the Louisville Mandolin Orchestra, reported the the Classical Mandolin Society of America has picked Louisville for its November 8-11 convention. Schroeder is busily arranging for some sort of performance at the Macauley. Additional details to be forthcoming . . . .
On a visit to the Convention Bureau's Visitor Center to leave a few copies of LMN to be given away, who should appear behind the counter but Quenton Sharpenstein, back from his European trip. Upon being pressured for a story about his trip to Eastern Europe during the Recent Upheavals, or at least a tale or two, Quenton allowed that he had taken a few pictures, planning to illustrate a short piece, perhaps suitable for publication. Unfortunately, while Eastern Europe was liberating itself from forty years of Communist rule, someone liberated Quenton's camera . . .
Kentucky music is a Kentucky craft suitable for export, I heard someone say . . . Marvin Maxwell has exported the licks of the Shufflin' Granddads, and to California, yet. A video project being developed on the West Coast, called The Platinum Rainbow, will feature the sounds of the Grandpappies themselves, recorded right here in Derby City. The project involves a series of interviews with various successful individuals in the music biz, talking about how they did it. Shipping date is soon . . .
Speaking of shuffling granddads, Wayne Young is taking a turn at the presidency of the Musician's Emergency Relief Fund this year. (Just kidding, Wayne. We know you add those gray hairs to your beard just so you can get a little respect . . . )
Have you noticed that the Cherokee Pub is now the Cherokee Blues Club? With an all-blues format, of course. Jeff Crowder and his spouse Carolyn are taking a serious stab at this format, so you blues freaks should make a b(for blues)-line for Bardstown Road and give them a little support. I expect to see Steve (Mr. Blues) Imhoff with his very own barstool . . .
Now for more blues news - well, blues rumors. I've heard this one twice, so, golly, it must be true. Word is that blues guitar wizard Duke Robillard is considering moving to Derby City from Providence, R. I. Besides our wonderful climate, Louisville is the home of Robillard POSSLQ Susan Burgard. 'Nuff reason, seems to me. I'll keep you posted.
Springfield's Charlie Walls said one of the "people" associated with a very well-known country group stopped in a while back to visit and left with a demo tape of fourteen tunes. Of course, somebody was borrowing jewelry for Joan Rivers the other day, too, only it turned out that Joan didn't know about it. Did you ask for ID, Charlie?
While chatting with Nancy Barker, coordinator of the Kentucky Music Weekend, she commented that a certain "Champagne of Bourbons," goes down a little too easily, even for a teetotaler like herself. She bought a bottle for guitarist Duck Baker's recent visit, thinking it would last the whole week . . . By nine p.m. of the first Saturday, the bottle was empty and Nancy and Duck decided, wisely, not to try to drive to Louisville to tour some clubs. She swears she's swearing off for good. Anyway, plans for the fifteenth annual KMW are well under way and looking good.
Louisvillians continue to do well in the music industry nationwide. Word is that Larnelle Harris has been nominated for "Best Performance - Gospel Male" by the Grammy people for "I Can Begin Again." Larnelle is going to have to add a room onto his house for the trophies . . . .
Prince Phillip Mitchell was scheduled to play at the famous Apollo nightclub in New York city on the twenty-second of January when a severe attack of asthma put him in the hospital and forced the cancellation of the gig. No word on a possible re-schedule.