Club News Division. There has been a tad bit more news this month in the nightclub business. Read on:
Alternative Nation Redux Dept. The Phoenix Hill Tavern is following WDJX's lead and adding alternative music to their lineup – every Friday and Saturday night in the Roof Garden there will be alternative bands. Phoenix Hill manager Courtland Rose admits that he's not totally up to speed on alternative bands, but he's been working hard to get more knowledgeable and is excited about the music.
The Village Pub has a new house band, which isn't quite news anymore, as they have been playing since September 23. However, Pub manager Kamran Javid wrote and detailed the line-up of the Neon Cowboys. The rhythm section is Mike Alger on drums; Hank Rose, bass and vocals; and Jamie Bowles, keyboards and vocals. On lead guitar is Richard Douthitt, and Billy Nett has fiddle duty. They'll be working Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
The formation of this group really stirred up some talk back in August. The regular local bands that played the Pub weren't too happy, needless to say, even as members of different groups battled to get the gig. The loss of such a large room as the Village Pub no doubt will leave a large hole in the schedules (and pockets) of many country groups.
On the plus side, it will provide the Neon Cowboys with steady work and they won't have to haul equipment around for a while.
Of this, more later.
The Palace in downtown Louisville may yet reopen, according to an article in the October 15 edition of the Louisville Courier-Journal. John J. Siegel, a Louisville businessman, and his two partners, executives in the Indianapolis-based Sunshine Promotions, have a "handshake agreement" with Conseco, Inc., a Carmel, Ind., financial holding company. Conseco will provide about $4 million in financing needed to restore the historical building.
The saga of the Palace has kept Louisville music fans intrigued for many years. Perhaps this time it will finally reach its oft-predicted reopening as a major downtown venue.
Jeffrey Crowder, former owner of the now-defunct Cherokee Blues Club, is rumored to be opening the New Cherokee Blues Club on east Broadway, in the building formerly occupied by Scooter's. No word on an opening date.
Hurricane O'Malley's new entry in the blues venue market, Da Blues, is nearing completion. O'Malley's owner Don Blackburn wouldn't set an exact opening date, but the MERF Community Show, scheduled for November 21, has booked Lonnie Mack, Keri Leigh & Mark Lyon (of the Blue Devils) and Simon Tittley into the room, so it will be open then, anyway.
Downtown, meanwhile, finds B. J. Knockers working hard to establish a solid blues venue there. A Grand Opening of the club is set for November 15-21.
The Center for Women & Families R.A.P.E. Relief Center has announced the availability of their new "Private Plaything" Music Video, which targets date rape. It was produced by Louisville-based Videobred Inc. and features Renee Sartin of Louisville, who wrote the title song. For more information, call 581-7273.
The Folk Scare Returns. WFPL has announced the return of Folk Masters from the Barns of Wolf Trap – that's a radio program, bunky. It's on Sundays at 1:00 p.m.
Kentucky scores again: John Michael Montgomery's Life's a Dance has been certified platinum by the RIAA. Way to go, John Michael!
While we're on the subject of Mr. Montgomery, Music Man Records' Charlie Walls tells a funny story about John Michael's mom and John Michael stopping in the Burger King, unrecognized. Well, Charlie told it better, so ask him.
If You Live in Kettle, Kentucky, Dept. There is now a record company and recording studio in Kettle. Volcano Records and Recording Studio is now open for business, run by Elliott Sewell. Call 502-433-7727 if you want to know more.
Da Mudcats is in the studio working on a new CD, with Tim Krekel producing. Stevie Ray Vaughan's keyboardist, Reese Wynans, was in town to help. Da Mudcats will be backing Keri Leigh on the MERF show on November 21.
Serpent Wisdom has been recording a live album at the Highland Grounds coffeeshop. No date for release has been set.
Ding-Dong Go the Bells Dept. Speaking in Tongues' Chaz Rough and longtime significant other Connie Chenault made the walk down the aisle October 9 at Kenwood Heights Christian Church.
Homefront soundman Jack Twombly wed Mary Teddi Sorrell on October 2 at the Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church.
Richard Wayne (Rick) Burris, 42, longtime singer for the J. D. Black Band, passed away at his home on October 3, after a long and valiant battle against cancer. His passing is a great loss to the local country music scene.