Mark Maxwell, formerly with Spanky Lee, called to relate the latest about his new band Maxwell. In addition to Mark, the band features Max Maxwell on drums; Tim Halcomb, formerly with Mr. Popular and Rhino Ivory and the Monkey Paws, on bass; Screaming John Hawkins, formerly with Screamin' John & the Dippitty Doos and the Little Kings, on guitar: and three back-up vocalists: Sharon Hirschler, who sang with Sassy; Tanya Anton, a studio singer from New York; and Dana Lester, formerly with Blond Logic.
The group's style is "deeply rooted rock," according to Maxwell, not as metal oriented as Spanky Lee.
Their November schedule looks demanding: they play the MERF show on November 8; then an acoustic show at Clifton's on November 9. Their full premiere show will be at a benefit for Sister Cities of Louisville at the Phoenix Hill Tavern on November 11.
On November 16, the group leaves for a week in Germany, where they will play at a rock/pop/blues festival in Mainz, returning on November 23. One song, "Tremble," will be included on a CD to be released in Germany on November 1.
• Cary B. Willis called to correct a rumor that he was pondering moving Flipside to WQMF. Nope, he said, QMF wasn't interested. He is interested in talking to anyone out there in the Greater Louisville radio market who is interested in making some changes in the radio scene here, preferably someone with a little investment capital and/or a radio license.
Sounds like another voice in the large chorus of radio listeners who would like more variety in their available choice of radio formats. Maybe we could help the folks with the Rough Diamond Network in their effort to find a station which will play some -- gasp, dare I say the word? -- local recordings? I write this as I listen to the just-released CD of Steve Ferguson's Jack Salmon and Derby Sauce, and I wonder who in Louisville will play this fabulous stuff?
Well, I'm willing to receive messages, cards and letters about what can be done to improve the radio market here.
• Susan O'Neil is leaving da Mudcats in November. Susan and her husband have been building a new house and she wants to take some time off to spend with her child and husband. Jim Rosen of da Mudcats says that the band will continue to perform as a four-piece group.
• Ran into John Grammer at the Garvin Gate Blues Festival and, of course, he told me a couple of jokes. Here's the one I can print:
Q: What do you call a guitar player without a girlfriend?
• Louisville's Larnelle Harris is set to tour South Korea. In addition to performing in the world's largest church, he will stop at a couple of military bases. Larnelle's current single, "Take the Time," debuted at #1 on the CCM charts.
• Friends and fans of the Chicago-based Eleventh Dream Day will be interested to know that the group is back in the studio working on their third album for Atlantic Records. The group includes former Louisvillians Janet Beveridge Bean and Wink O'Bannon.
Other tidbits from Atlantic Records: North Carolina-based Mammoth Records has entered into a joint venture with Atlantic Records, which should result in improved marketing and distribution for artists on the Mammoth label. Why have I made this note? Louisville's Big Wheel is a Mammoth artist.
• Good News - Bad News Dept. The good news is I didn't miss Michelle Shocked's local appearance at the Macauley. The bad news is that the show was canceled due to low ticket sales.
I have been wanting to see Michelle for a while, in part because she is from close by my part of Texas, to wit, Tyler, and her songs reflect that. After all, I've certainly made "the Run to Gladewater" -- in search of alcoholic beverages as a (wayward) youth.
Macauley manager Jonathan Smillie said that there was also trouble with the over-all tour, as The Band had pulled out and Uncle Tupelo was doubtful.
The University of Louisville Student Association was the local sponsor.
• Rocky Adcock, business manager for AFM Local 11-637, married Leta Rodway on September 5. Leta was most recently handling affairs for the Louisville Gardens. The couple got in a Jamaican honeymoon but have now returned to the real world.
Greg Middleton, executive director of Music Talent of Louisville, Inc., married Julie Blair on September 19. In addition to his duties with the booking agency, Greg plays with the band No Excuse.
• Bohemia Revisited. I'm always telling people that I'm not a hippie, I'm a beatnik. Now that Twice Told Coffeehouse has opened up on Bardstown at Bonnycastle, I'll have to back up my assertion with my presence (even though it's not exactly my neighborhood). I already missed Allen Ginsburg. The real question is, am I TOO OLD? Everybody else in the place besides the help looks like they are in their early twenties. Go check it out and tell me true.
The Post Office call 'em "nixies." I call ''em mistakes and the readers write and tell me about them, which leads me to the following letter:
Thanks for the mention (Down on the Corner, October '92) regarding our set at Clifton's last month (September). However, your information from Greg Walker was a wee bit incomplete. The Swedish Dixieland Band is in reality the Swedish-American Dixieland Band.
This is the group that I have toured Europe with the past few years. Stops have included Budapest, London, Berlin, Warsaw, Paris, and finally this year I brought the group to the New World. So in August my three Swedish friends -- Ake Nystrom, Einar Persson, and Jonas Granberg -- flew to Louisville to meet with the American contingent of the band.
From Louisville, the Swedes, Greg Walker, Bob Watkins and I traveled overland to the Crescent City, New Orleans. The old city proudly boasts it's the birthplace of jazz; we were not disappointed. The place was boiling with music and we certainly got our licks in while we were there. From Jackson Square to the Natchez, to Fritzels' on Bourbon Street, and even in the pool at our hotel, we played day and night.
At the Hotel Provencial, we became quite an attraction poolside. It was a great kick to jump in the pool and play with cooling waters up to our necks. Alas, because of the wood in the banjo and clarinet, Greg Walker and Bob Watkins could not frolic in the water with the brass players. However, their improvisations were appreciated at the water's edge.
Another site for a fun gig for us was the Aquarium of the Americas. Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, the Aquarium has a nice stage that faces the river. In addition to providing a picturesque setting for us to play, we had a wonderful tour of what I'm sure is the finest aquarium in North America.
After our tour of New Orleans, we returned to several nice gigs in Louisville and a recording date at Falk Studios. Soon the fruits of our labor will be realized with the release of a cassette tape. Many thanks go out to our special guests on the recording, Jon Topy (trombone) and Ron Stopher (drums).
Well, it seems what had started as a small correction note to you has blossomed into a full account of Tour 1992 for S.A.D.B. Please feel free to reprint, edit, or toss any or all of this letter.
Finally, congratulations to you and Jean Metcalfe for making the Louisville Music News the publication of record in this area.
Quentin K. Sharpenstein
(The photo you sent us was nice, Quentin, but I'd almost trade that much-appreciated compliment in your last paragraph -- thanks! -- for a photo of the poolside/mid-pool jam in New Orleans.)
Artswatch has received a grant from the Norton Foundation to fund participatory arts workshops for children age 6-17 residing in the Home of the Innocents.
Writers, performing, visual and media artists are invited to submit workshop proposals.
Interested artists should contact Phyllis Free at Artswatch, 502-893-9661 for more information.