• MERF has held its Board elections and the new officers and Board members are: Chairman of the Board, Marvin Maxwell; President, Gary Duesner; Vice-Presidents, Beverly Howell and Jim Rosen; Treasurer, Kat Bryant; and Secretary, Linda Morgan.
Directors are John Hendrick, Mark Langely, John Timmons and Wayne Young.
• Fire Dept. Dept. Perry Scroggin called up to wish us all Happy Holidays and, oh, yes, tell us that Fire Dept. is doing a reunion show at the Toy Tiger on New Year's Eve. Graybeards all, he said, the original members will be there.
Paid for Loving It Bureau. The Love Jones guys showed up singing the trailer going out of Louisville Tonight Live one evening over the holidays. I guess that's what happens when you get a new record contract and you come home from L.A. for Christmas. Check the Review section for a look at the guys' new Zoo Records release, Here's To the Losers. The Lovers have been on a 40-city tour, often paired with the Afghan Whigs and they are going to be on Conan O'Brien's show on January 6.
• Back in November when the new room at the Hurricane O'Malley's/ Coyote's complex opened, in a moment of no doubt fatigued giddiness, the club name being circulated was da Blues, but that was merely a mirage on Coyote's wall. The real, fer sure name is The Backstage Blues Cafe. Write that down.
• Nashvillian (Louisville native) and LMN columnist Alan Rhody just signed a new publisher/writer agreement with the Double J Music Group.
Maybe they'll change the company name to "Start Your Career Here," since that seems to be Rhody's songwriting role, beginning with "I'll Be True to You" (the Oak Ridge Boys' first Billboard No. 1 hit), through "Trainwreck of Emotion" for Lorrie Morgan (first gold record) and "Wild-Eyed Dream" (first hit) for Ricky Van Shelton.
• Neon Neon Cowboys Dept. Kamran Javid of the Village Pub threw a party for the media and musicians who have played at the Village Pub over the years.
The occasion was perfect to show off the house band's full stage show. The stage has been outfitted with new lights and sound. The band's name, Neon Cowboys, is spelled out in neon in front of the stage. It was all pretty slick and when the smoke machines cranked up, I knew I was looking at contemporary country music.
• Jamey Aebersold got a plug in the November 8, l993, edition of USA Today, according to the Jazz Society's newsletter. USA Today was touting Aebersold's new 100-minute video Jazz: Anyone Can Improvise ( $24.95).
Aebersold was a jazz educator and maker of play-along jazz recordings long before most people had heard of karaoke. Call 1800-456-1388 or write to P. O. Box 1244, New Albany, Ind. 47150.
• Speaking of Teachers Bureau. Fiddlers, start your bows. Mark O'Connor plans to hold a fiddle camp at Montgomery Bell State Park, just outside of Nashville, on May 30 through June 3, 1994.
Instructors include, besides O'Connor, Texas Shorty, Buddy Spicher, Matt Glaser, Liz Carroll and Paul Peabody. The camp is billed as an in-depth look at fiddle styles, inc1uding Texas old-time, Bluegrass, Country, Swing/Jazz, Celtic/Irish and Classical. The fee is $500 for five days. Contact Mark O'Connor Musik, P.O. Box 150802, Nashville, TN 37215, 615-297-7188.
• Homefront Board member Steve Imhoff dropped a note to say that he had seen Carrie Newcomer at the Rudyard and that she was "great, exquisite superb." (Well, he's a fan.) Newcomer will have a new CD out on Rounder Records come February 15. I'm sure willing to give it a listen — Ms. Newcomer sings like the proverbial angel.
• No More Alarm Clock Dept. Best wishes to WAMZ's long-time momingdrive-time deejay Dick Braun, who decided he'd like to start sleeping in instead of being the wake-up call for thousands of country music fans. Enjoy your retirement, Dick, you've earned it, but you'll be missed.
• Ooops Dept. In my bite on the Roadrunner/Coyote's video contest, I
mispelied mispeled misspelled the name of the award, which is The RRote Awards. Sorry about that.
• Walker & Kays are going whole hog (so to speak) in promoting their new album Chasing A Rainbow. Besides a black tie affair at the MeX Theater at the Kentucky Center for the Arts on December 26, they'll be holding a somewhat less formal affair at Bobby J's on Frankfort Avenue on January 10.
• Something to Mark the Calendar For. Mardi Gras fans (and who isn't?) take note: On February 4, 1994, in Union Station, the Louisville Ballet will hold its first Louisville Ballet Mardi Gras, complete with the requisite Cajun food, music, surprises, food, drink, costumes, food and Kings Cake, fresh from New Orleans.
Tickets are $30, proceeds going to the Ballet, of course. I just want to know if the mudbugs will arrive alive.
• Sympathy goes out to the family of James Alan Clark, who passed away on December 22. The Courier-Journal, in its December 24 edition, related that Clark was a drummer for Crazy Train and a member of MERF.
• The International Bluegrass Music Museum, located in Owensboro, Ky., got an anonymous challenge pledge of $250,000 recently. Owensboro's RiverPark Center Board voted to pledge that amount also. Since September, the museum has received gifts and pledges totalling over $600,000.
Cordell, _Ky., native Ricky Skaggs has been tapped to serve as campaign chairman and his former boss, Ralph Stanley, will represent the campaign as honorary chairman.
Plans calls for the renovation of the second floor of the 22,000-square-foot complex when funds become available. Anyone wanting to get involved should call Tony Watkins at the museum office, 502-926-7891.
• If you're going to Seattle Dept. Not grunge aficionados, that is. The 1994 Northwest Folklife Festival will be held on May 27-30 in Seattle, Wash., featuring music, dance, food, crafts, demonstrations and workshops demonstrating traditional arts from around the globe. For information, call 206-684-7300.
• The Barking Spiders wrote to announce the addition of two new members to their line-up. Vocalist Steve Fitzgerald and bassist Erick Collins have joined the blues/jazz/ country/rock 'n' roll band.
• A sad word as we go to press. Jazz legend and occasional LMN contributor Jimmy Raney is reported to be very seriously ill.
All of us here at Louisville Music News wish him a complete and speedy recovery.