Jeffrey Lee Puckett

Speaks to Membership

By Diana Black

Jeffrey Lee Puckett, staff columnist for the Courier-Journal whose column, "NIGHTLIFE" appears each Saturday in the Scene, took the night of June 3 off from his usual listening to and writing about the local music scene. That evening found him speaking to a roomful of LASC members at the Rudyard Kipling, sharing his views and opinions on what's happening musically in the Louisville area.

"A little luck." That's what got Jeffrey this job he loves so much: going around to all the various clubs and listening rooms in Derby City; reviewing concerts; new music releases ... all the music he could ever want to hear, and then some. Not bad for someone who began as a ... sport swriter!

At the time Ronni Lundy was the music columnist for the Courier, she would occasionally let Jeffrey cover local acts or concerts. Apparently he soon discovered he was more interested in writing about who was playing music than who was playing sports.

The truth may never be known whether Ronni decided eight years was long enough to cover the local music scene or if Jeffrey's subtle hints that she should retire and turn over the "NIGHTLIFE" column to him led her to do just that. Anyway... that was two years ago and in that time Jeffrey has heard a whole lotta' music.

Jeffrey explained since there are only seven nights between issues of the Scene, he chooses the bands/artists he will cover in his weekly column by "spreading around"; trying to cover a "good cross section" of the various genres of music.

With such an eclectic approach, Jeffrey was asked what bands and listening rooms are his personal favorites. Joe's Report and Love Jones are a couple bands he's pretty hot on right now; Uncle Pleasant's provides the best listening, in his opinion, though he admits to stuffing his ears when the music gets too loud or asking the band to cut back the sound a little. The best songwriter going? Richard Thompson.

Speaking of going ... concern for where the local music scene is going was reflected in many questions asked of Jeffrey. He made mention that there is an obvious lack of support from the majority of local radio stations which negatively impacts the growth of local music.

Another insightful comment pertained to the fact no college or university in this area has a radio station that broadcasts beyond campus.

Without the public's ability to hear local music via the airwaves, it is extremely difficult to get people to go out and listen to up-and-coming artists. A perfect example of the unfortunate results of this is the sad condition that exists with the auditorium at Louisville Gardens. Crowds have been almost non-existent. The future of this facility is in question.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel; there are positive steps being taken. For example, Louisville's own WFPL already supports local music through various programs and is receptive to the idea of more involvement. WTMT is currently working with LASC to promote daily airplay of locally written songs in the near future.

AND (though he never alluded to this fact, we have Jeffrey to thank) the promise of more articles like the two-page spread which recently appeared in the Saturday Scene reviewing music releases by local artists.

Now if we're lucky, Jeffrey Lee Puckett will continue every week, with pen in hand, to cover the music in our own back yard; giving as much ink as space permits to local bands, performers and writers.

Thanks, Jeffrey.