CoffeePalooza at CoffeeStop

By Brian Arnold

More than 150 people enjoyed coffee, desserts and music during the evening of Nov. 20 at "CoffeePalooza," an 18-month anniversary festival of the Highlands-area CoffeeStop.

Begun as a monthly (third Sundays) coffeehouse in the basement of the Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church, CoffeeStop features local musicians in a smoke- and alcohol-free environment, with the $1 cover/donation going to local charity.

Ten musical acts and six poets provided an assortment of entertainment for the reunion-like event, from folk groups such as Zen Penguin's new foursome, to the cool jazz of Swing '39, to Victoria Austen's performance art.

Mary Ann Fisher. Photo by Jennie Guelda

Highlights of the evening included a great rendition of the blues with Mary Ann Fisher, who was Ray Charles' original "Raylette." Fisher was accompanied by Billy Rudolph on piano, and guitarist Harry Lewman joined in as well. Danny Flanigan performed three of the "seventy-some" songs he said he has written. Kelly Wilkinson artfully sang with Flanigan. Tyrone Cotton shared his dreamy guitar pieces with the mesmerized audience, and Ron Whitehead broke up the house with poems about a rural Kentucky childhood.

Also turning in polished performances were Susi Wood, Jim Dishman, and the Riverfront Ramblers. Bill Smith and Bill East read thoughtful poetic verse.

The next CoffeeStop happens the third Sunday evening in December, costs $1 and begins around 7:30 p.m. It will be a night of Christmas Gospel music, performed by the Lampton Street Baptist Church choir, under the direction of Michael Young.

The CoffeeStop is located at 1722 Bardstown Road.