• Louisville bluegrassers Gary Brewer and the Kentucky Ramblers have been invited to perform at The Lincoln Center for Performing Arts on August 16, as part of the Arts Out-of-Door Festival. The festival will introudce "The Arts of Appalachia" to the New York public.
Brewer and the Ramblers also have a CD EP, Kentucky Headlines & Heartbreak, scheduled for release in mid-April on LMW Records. The CD features "Big Fire in Bardstown," about the November 1996 disaster at Heaven Hill distilleries, "Death of Floyd Collins," the hit song about the 1925 tragedy in Sand Cave, Kentucky and "Ship Soon to Sail," a gospel bluegrass song written by the late "Papa" Gene Adams of Letcher County.
• Former LASC'er and occasional contributor to LMN Wally Stewart has been getting airplay in Texas on "Make Me Like You," a tune he wrote. Stewart's publishers, Jack Roberts and Mike Boehnlein, who were also members of the Louisville Area Songwriters' Cooperative (LASC) are also getting airplay on their tunes "The Limestone Church" and "Bound for Glory."
• The Derby City Chorus will hold open auditions for women singers on Tuesday, April 7, 1998 at 7 p.m. at Thoroughbred Hall, 10609 Watterson Trail in Jeffersontown. For more information, call 502-493-6684
• The Kentucky Opera's 25th Annual Book Sale is set for Friday through Sunday, April 17 – 19 at the Trinity High School Alumni Hall, 4011 Shelbyville Rd. Hours are 10 a.m.to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Admission and parking are free.
For a mere $35, you can get first pick on Thursday, April 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The fee gets you refreshments, entertainment and an early choice of books. Call 584-4500 for more info.
• You say used books just ain't yo' thang? How about wine? The folks at the Kentucky Opera don't put all their 'eggs' in one basket, no sirree. On April 4, at 6 p.m., the KO will hold their second annual wine auction / fund raiser in the Crytal Ballroom of the Camberly Brown Hotel. The trip to Italy for wine tasting might be a little rich for your pocketbook, but perhaps you might be interested in the case of 1994 Chateau Lafite Rothschild? Call the Opera at 561-7923 for an invitation.
• Harry Lewman, who recently finished a book of musical scores of the tunes of Leadbelly, has a new CD, Gonna Be the Death of You, which features original songs as well material from Leadbelly. Rather than repeat the information about the book and CD, here is Lewman's website URL: www.hlmusic.com. You can find everything you need to know about the product.
• The fortunes of Chaz Rough's "Black Coffee" tune was a weekly mini-saga last year at the Train Station Restaurant. Every Wednesday, Chaz would offer some bit of upbeat news, usually that a deal with john conti coffee was "nearly there." Well, it's finally there: the Chazzer and the conti company inked the deal to use his paean to the power of caffeine as a promotional cassingle. The National Coffee Service Association will also be using "Black Coffee" at its annual coffee convention in July.
The cassingle, with an acoustic version (decaffeinated) and a full band (caffeine) version, is available at all conti coffee outlets, Joe Mugg's (inside Books-A-Million stores) and at Hawley-Cooke Booksellers. Listen for it on your favorite radio morning show and anywhere else the perpetual Chaz machine can get it.
• On April 4, you can dance until you fall over at Horsefeathers. The event, staged by the Kyana Blues Society, will raise money to buy a headstone for the late Foree Wells.
• Pennsylvania's country music king, Howard Vokes, sends along a request to folks in the Commonwealth. He is looking for pictures of the country artist Jimmie Osborne, who died by his own hand on Dec. 26, 1957. Osborne, who was born in Winchester, KY on April 8, 1923, had a million-selling big hit with "The Death of Kathy Fiscus." According to Vokes, Osborne had a son Gerald Douglas Osborne, who might still be in the area. Should you have some information about this, please contact Louisville Music News at 502-241-2699.
• Our occasional Nashville correspondent Alan Rhody writes to let us know that he'll be doing a combo art and music show at the Twice Told Coffeehouse in the next couple of months.
• Distillery Sound Studio has opening in the space formerly occupied by Audiovisions. There are four owners of the new studio, which is funded by Outpost Records. The studio has been created for Travis Meeks of Days of the New to record in. The studio willbe available for other recording whenever Meeks is out of town.
Former Allen Martin Productions engineer Todd Smith is the chief engineer at the new studio. Don Baker also is planning to move DSL Recording studio into the upstairs section of the studio.
• Speaking of Travis Meeks, the Days of the New leader has been invited to be the singer for the Doors' tune "The End." The remaining members of the Doors have reunited to re-cut those old songs. We can't wait . . .
• I know that Louisville bands are just dying for a chance to play yet another showcase for free, zowieee. This one is called the Atlantis Music Conference and is being held at the bottom of the Mediterraean Ocean .. . . No, that's not right. It's actually in the Atlanta, Georgia, area in August. Deadline for submissions is May 15, 1998. Contact them at 770-499-8600.
• Songwriters, here's a contest. The 1998 USA Songwriting Competition is accepting entries postmarked no later than May 31st, 1998. This songwriting competition is sponsored by BMI, Guild Guitars, D'Addario Guitar Strings, Musician's Friend, Cakewalk® Music Software, Superdups and ASN.
The contest offers lots of prizes donated by the sponsors, plus the ever-popular, very low-cost "exposure" to the industry.
For more information of the current competition rules, regulations and entry forms, please visit: http://www.tiac.net/users/asn/songcontest.html or e-mail USA Songwriting Competition at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can call their 24 hour contest line at: (617)576-9732 for more info.
• If Gospel Music is your thing, then make a note on your calendar for April 19-23, when the Southern Gospel Music Week will be staged in Nashville, culminating in the annual Dove Awards at the Nashville Arena. For more info, call 717-898-6806.
• Jazz chanteuse Sandy Newman has a new CD, Plum Juicy. Newman is the regular singer at the Rudyard's Wednesday night Jazz Jam.
• The Rumors just released a six-song CD, EP. • Other new CD releases from local folk keep coming in. The Rumors have released a CD, EP, featuring six tunes.
• Tanya Savory has a new CD, Town to Town. She describes it as having a more Kentucky and Indiana feel than her earlier work.
• There's yet another new restuarant open in the building at 530 W. Main St., across from the Kentucky Center for the Arts. The Main Street Smokehouse has been open since February and is booking blues bands in April. Read Keith Clements' Blues column on page 10 for more information.
• Joyce Axe Benjamin, 64, died in Elizabethtown, KY on March 20, 1998. She was a music teacher and owner of the old Melody Music Shop.
• Todd Duncan, 95, died in Washington on February 27, 1998. Duncan, a native of Danville and former resident of Louisville, was an operatic baritone who originated the role of Porgy in George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess."
• Erwin Daniel Eberlein, 56, died on March 20, 1998. He was the owner of Hurst Music Co. in Lexington, former band director for Madison County and Bourbon County high schools and a member of Kentucky Music Educators Association.
• Charles "Ronnie" Frith, 51, died March 18 in Louisville. Frith was a drummer for the Heavy Weights Band.
• Virginia Francis Noakes, 75, died in Louisville on February 25. She was a pianist who performed for 50 years and was a member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 11-637.