Blues Notes

By Jeffrey Crowder

Last month I mentioned that the KYANA Blues Society was one of the main factors contributing to the resurrection of blues music in the Louisville area. With the opening of several outlets for concerts, shows and benefits, it appears that the blues are growing at a break-neck speed. The latest addition to the blues bar roster is Players, now booking blues bands on Wednesday and Friday nights.

The Blues Society is in position to become one of the largest music-oriented organizations in the state, with the capability to handle concert production and promotions on almost any scale. For instance, the Homefront / KYANA Blues concert at Bellarmine was sold out and Scott Mullins reported that at least fifty people were turned away. That same night, there was a packed house at the Cherokee for Doug Wright and the Nomads and Curtis and the Kicks.

The Blues Society next event is on Wednesday, March 7, when Rounder Recording artist Big Shoulders will be appearing at the Cherokee Blues Club. Tickets are only $5. Big Shoulders, a Chicago-based group, boasts a line-up of ex-members of such notable bands as those backing Johnny Winter, Lonnie Brooks, Hubert Sumlin, and Vanessa Davis. Their debut album Big Shoulders is getting rave reviews from critics and they're being hailed as one of the most significant rising artists, capable of receiving the proverbial 'torch.'

In a recent review, Don McLeese of the Chicago-Sun Times said that the band reflects an absence of any jam-band excess; it functions as a true ensemble rather than as a bunch of soloists. He further said that there is a melting-pot flavor of several different artists, such as Aaron Copland's classicism, Clifton Chenier's zydeco, Muddy Waters' Chicago blues and rockers the Allman Brothers and Little Feat. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. with local slide-blues master Curtis Marlatt opening.

On March 21 and 22, the First Annual KYANA Blues Society Fund Raiser will be held at the Cherokee Blues Club. For a $5 donation to the Blues Society, blues fans will have the chance to experience two nights of blues, featuring seven of Louisville's top blues bands. Scheduled to appear are Lamont Gillispie and the Homewreckers, da Mudcats, Curtis and the Kicks, Mark Stein and the Steamrollers, and Doug Wright and the Nomads. On Wednesday night there will be a Louisville All-Stars Blues Jam. The $5 admission is good for both nights and all proceeds go to the KYANA Blues Society.

If you're interested in becoming a Blues Society member, check this publication for an application form, or you can sign up at either the Cherokee Blues Club or Ear X-tacy Records. The yearly dues of $5 entitle you to record, tape and CD discounts at Ear X-tacy and discounts at almost every blues concert and special event.

If you have any blue-related questions, comments or information, please write to: Blues Notes, 1384 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40204, or call 456-9140.