Lonesome Pine Specials

By Paul Moffett

Even before the publicity made it to the media, tickets to theEmmylou Harris show were sold out, thanks to the advance notice that previous subscribers got. At the same time, the producers of the shows have stretched themselves to the breaking point, trying to cover the holes left by the reduced funding brought on by the recession.

Of course, accommodating wild divergences is the trademark of the Lonesome Pine Specials and this year they are again around the globe with their choices. Because of this taste for the cutting edge, these nationally famous specials are now available to 85% of the households in the United States, as well as internationally.

For those of us in Louisville fortunate enough to get tickets, the series is an orgy of tomorrow's music. Here's the line-up:

Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers Tuesday, July 21. As noted above, this show is sold out. The TV broadcast will allow you to see Emmylou and her current band, which hasSam Bush, mandolin, fiddle and vocals;Al Perkins, dobro, banjo and guitar;Randy Stewart, harmony vocals and guitar;Larry Atamanuik, drums; andMark Winchester on bass.

Sam Bush and John Cowan Wednesday, July 21.Sold Out. Bush will hang around and be joined by John Cowan, Larry Atamanuik and guitarist/singerJon Randall Stewart for a show the night after the Emmylou program. Bush and Cowan were, of course, one-half ofNew Grass Revival, back in the "goodle days" on Main Street. Cowan has lost a lot of weight and plays rock 'n' roll these days, but his singing is still wonderful and this show should be exquisitely interesting. In any case, it's a short walk but a long, long way from the Great Midwestern to the KCA.

Margareth Menezes and Band Thursday, July 23. For your first dose of world beat, by all means go see Brazilian chanteuse Margareth Menezes. This "Queen of World Music" went on tour withDavid Byrne and stole the show. The label string for her music is: reggae, Afro-pop, samba, funk, rock, African, Brazilian and Caribbean music.

Les Tetes Brulees Friday, July 24. Their name means "The Burned Minds." They're from Cameroon and they play an electrified, upbeat version of the traditional Bikutsi music called "Bikutsi rock." If this means as much to you as it does to me, then another description might help: "trance-dance voodoo magic." Besides that, they dress wildly and put on a good show.

Little Jimmy King and the Memphis Soul Survivors & Kenny Neal and Band Saturday, July 25.Sold Out. "Louisville loves the blues," sangAlan Rhody, and this show is the test of that sentiment. Hot, new, young blues pickers King and Neal will see if they can carve out a Louisville niche for themselves. King has been here once and that might be the reason this show has sold out.

Los Lobos Monday, July 27. Sold Out. East L.A.'s favorite famous sons come to the Midwest promoting a new CD,Kiko. Their fame precedes them, and rightfully so. We'll have to wait for the broadcast to see how they do.

Otis Clay, Ann Peebles, Clarence Fountain and the Blind Boys of Alabama, The Memphis Horns & the Legendary Hi Rhythm Section Tuesday, July 28. This show demonstrates that LPS should get longer. All this talent and a TV taping to boot might well wear the audience down but not out. A night of classic R&B, soul and gospel should energize even the most jaded music lover. Clay and Peebles are promoting new recordings and Clarence Fountain just keeps on.

The subdudes Wednesday, July 29. The producers of LPS love that Cajun cookin' and these guys are one of two Creole courses. They sing, they write, they play New Orleans R&B, Zydeco, rock and soul and they don't fit those labels. This is my bet for the group most likely to return for a sold out show in the next series or so.

Terrance Simien and the Mallet Playboys Thursday, July 30. Here's Creole special number two. Simien gets attention even among the 600 acts at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, so iff'n you like your Zydeco like the natives take it, take it from this group. And they said the accordion was a dead instrument. Ha!

Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens Friday, July 31. If you're having trouble moving by this time, Mahlathini will put energy back in those tired buns. Early pioneers of South African Mbaqanga music, this crew hails from Soweto. That "township jive" and some great dancing, combined with colorful costumes, means that LPS will close out with some spectacular fireworks.

If you want to avoid missing the acts you most want to see, buy a subscription for the next series. For something over one hundred dollars, you can completely blow your ears and eyes out on whatever actsDick Van Kleeck andSusan Watkins decide to bring to town. Like 610 Magnolia's meals, it might be quite surprising but it'll be wonderful.

The ticket office number is (502) 584-7777 or 1-800-775-7777.