December Upcoming

By Paul Moffett

Acoustic / Americana

• The Bank 1 Lonesome Pine Special show on December 10 will feature a collection of masters of string instruments: songwriter and all-around instrumental whiz and former member of Hot Rize Tim O'Brien, banjo virtuoso Alison Brown who played with the Alison Krauss Band and served as band leader for Michelle Shocked, violinist Darol Anger and member, with mandolin wizard Mike Marshall, of the David Grisman Quintet, pianist Philip Aaberg and bassist Todd Phillips will join forces for an acoustic tour de force. Heaven knows what they'll select, but the selections will certainly include O'Brien tunes, plus favorite compositions from some or all of the others in the group. In the Bomhard Theater at 8 p.m.

Tix and info: 584-7777

• If you don't mind a quick trip up to Bloomington, Ind., you can catch Janis Ian at Second Story on December 11, with special guests Troy & Kara. Ian has made a career of writing about tricky and taboo subjects, beginning with her little ditty about interracial romance, "Society's Child," and continuing with her 1993 album Breaking Silence, in which she dealt with coming out, eroticism and the Holocaust. No telling what will be on her list for this show.

Tix and info: 812-333-9955

• Texas singer/songwriter Guy Clark will play a show at Lynagh's in Lexington on December 11.

Tix and info: 606-255-6614

Bluegrass

Gary Brewer will hold a "Christmas Pickin' Party" on Saturday, December 18 at the Shepherdsville Country Music Place. Bring your instruments and $5 to help pay the rent for the building. Brewer and the Kentucky Ramblers will do one set, then the jam begins.

Info: Call Gary Brewer at 502-448-9107.

Blues

• Stevie Ray's Wednesday Nite Blues Concert Series will feature The Southside Denny Band on December 2, the Pat Ramsey Band on December 9 and the Sean Chambers Band on December 16.

Also at Stevie Ray's, the Chicago blues act The Buzz, which has found a home in Louisville, will be in town for a two-night stand on December 4 & 5. Opening will be Jim Diamond and the Groove Syndicate, the winner of the 1998 Kyana Blues Society's Amateur Blues Contest.

• If you remember Curtis and the Kicks, here's a chance to see them again: they'll be at Headliner's for one show on December 17. Curtis Marlatt left town some years back and only returns occasionally.

Tix and info: 584-8088

The Derek Trucks Band will make a stop at Lynagh's in Lexington on December 2. Peace in the Jones will open.

• Also at Lynagh's on December 18, you can catch Duke Robillard's Rhythm Revue w/Susannan.

Tix and info: 606-255-6614

Brass Band

Jack Daniels Silver Cornet band will play two shows at the Ogle Center in Indiana University Southeast in New Albany on Saturday, December 5, 2 and 8 p.m. You might have caught this group at Danville's Great American Brass Band Festival last summer, but if not, they offer a live history lesson into the kind of music that was very popular in America through most of the nineteenth century.

Tix and info: 812-941-2526

Celtic

Read Decimus Rock's column on page 34 for a complete line-up of upcoming Celtic music shows.

Chamber Music

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet is probably not a name that you would immediately associate with chamber music, but it's so. The group has been getting lots of whatever passes for ‘buzz' in chamber music circles, not to mention airtime on PBS, public radio and the A&E Network's Breakfast with the Arts. They'll be in the Bomhard on Friday, Dec. 11, for an 8 p.m. New Masters Series show.

Tix and info: 584-7777

Christmas Concerts

There will be all manner of concerts, in-stores, etc. featuring Christmas music during December. It wouldn't be the Holidays if there weren't, now would it? Here are a few choices you might not be familiar with; this list is by no means even close to complete, so if Christmas music is what you crave, a little research will turn up many more shows.

The Louisville Chorus will present three different Christmas concerts in December. On December 5, they group will offer the child-centered "Mistletoe & Sugarplums," subtitled "The Fun of Christmas." They will offer two shows, at 1 and 4 p.m., at the Kentucky Center for the Arts.

On December 12, the Louisville Chorus will sing Bach, Brahms, Holst and Joio selections at the Cathedral of the Assumption. The program is titled "Christmas at the Cathedral" and it's an 8 p.m. show.

Finally, on December 20, the group travels to St. Mary's Catholic Church in New Albany for "Christmas at St. Mary's," which will feature an array of traditional Christmas carols. The program will start at 3 p.m.

Tix and info: 968-6300

The Louisville Youth Orchestra will offer their "Holiday Spectacular" at the Brown Theatre on December 5 at 8 p.m. The Orchestra will be under the baton of Jim Bates and will feature performances by two of the Concerto Competition Winners, Ms. Tyra Blasher, flute and Mr. Fabio Brum, trumpet.

Tix and info: 584-7777

• If handbells are to your liking, then make plans to attend one of three concerts offered at Christ Church United Methodist on December 13, 20 and 21. The church's Handbell Choir, plus the Chancel Choir, joined by the Kentucky Arts Brass Quintet will present "I Will Come to You, Alleluia." They even offer childcare for the one hour program.

Info: 893-2201 ext. 244 or 229

Country

• Calling BR 549, calling BR 549 . . . oops, never mind, that just reveals my age. However, BR 549 will be in town to promote their new CD, Live at Robert's, on December 16 at Headliner's Music Hall. It's a Spotlight show and they're not traditional country music by any stretch. But then, you knew that.

Tix and info: 361-3100

• Coyote's is joining forces with WAMZ to give Louisville country music fans a couple of free shows this month. They must be in the spirit of the season. On Thursday, December 3, Texas newcomer Deryl Dodd will help the club celebrate their 7th Birthday Bash. Dodd's current single, "A Bitter End," is getting good airplay, you probably already are familiar with him.

On Tuesday, December 17, another newcomer, Clint Daniel will be in the big room for a WAMZ free show. As always with Coyote's and WAMZ, some of the most interesting new acts appear hear first, so don't miss either of two shows. Remember, you have to get a free ticket or else you'll pay $5 at the door.

Tix and info: 589-3866

Experimental

• Artswatch, 2337 Frankfort Ave., will present an concert featuring soprano saxophonist Bhob Rainey, together with trumpet player Greg Kelley and percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani on Friday, December 4 at 8 p.m.

Tix and info: 893-9661

Jazz

• If you'd like some sultry jazz to start the winter off with, then get down to the Bomhard on Saturday, December 5 for the Midnite Ramble Series presentation of Houston Person and Etta Jones. .Tickets will set you back $18 and $15.50 but it's worth it.

Tix and info: 584-7777

• Okay, if sultry is not the jazz you'd like, how about some classics from the club scene of the 1940's? The National City Jazz Cabaret will present Bobby J and the Flying Martinis in Clark-Todd Hall on December 20.

Tix and info: 584-7777

Musicals

• If televisions reruns of the holiday classic movie, It's A Wonderful Life, are not enough to satisfy your need for Christmas cheer, then the only thing for you to do is get yourself over to the Derby Dinner Playhouse in Clarksville for a musical version of It's A Wonderful Life, running now through December 31. With a simplified and intensified script by former Courier-Journal critic Dudley Saunders, you can hardly go wrong: you even have a chance to turn the tables on Saunders, if you're old enough to remember his critics and didn't always agree with him.

Tix and info: 288-8281

• Maybe It's A Wonderful Life is just too new a Christmas tale for you. In that case, you have to take in The Gospel According to Scrooge, a musical retelling of Dicken's A Christmas Carol presented by Louisville Trinity Church, 10307 Seatonville Rd. Show dates are Dec. 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13.

Tix and info: 231-2141

Petula Clark fans, attention. The British songstress is starring in the Broadway Series presentation of Sunset Boulevard, another of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "masterpieces," set to open at the Kentucky Center for the Arts on December 29. Clark plays the role of the glamorous (and aged) silent film star Norma Desmond. The show runs through January 3, so don't fool around.

Tix and info: 584-7777

Orchestral

• The Louisville Orchestra certainly can be counted on to stage some appropriate works during the Christmas season and this year, it'll be Felix Mendelsohn's oratorio of faith, Elijah, on December 3 & 4 in Whitney Hall, KCA.

In addition to Conductor Uriel Segal, the LO has rounded up quite a collection of guest soloists and choruses, including soprano Theresa Santiago; mezzo soprano Elizabeth Bishop; the Louisville Youth Choir, Janie P. Benjamin, Choir Director; U of L Choir, Dr. Kent Hatteberg, Choir Director; and the Oratorio Chorus of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Lloyd Mims, Choir Director.

Just so you know that it'll be authentic, the Oratorio will be sung entirely in German, with English supertitles written by Thomas Smillie projected above the stage.

On December 18, Robert Franz will conduct the Louisville Orchestra in the Bank One Louisville Pops Series presentation of "Home for the Holidays."

Tix and info: 584-7777

• The Jewish Community Center Orchestra will present a Holiday Salute featuring Cantor Misha Pisman and Violinist Gregory Fulkerson on Sunday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the JCC, 3600 Dutchman's Lane.

Tix and info: 459-0660

Rock

• If you get the Holiday Blues, you probably don't really want to see Epic Records' Suicidal Tendencies, but the rest of you metal heads can blast on out Bardstown Road on December 1 for their show, along with Jughead's Revenge. It's a Spotlight Production: tickets are $12 advance; $14 day of show.

Tix and info: 361-3100

• The Louisville band Flaw will have their first CD release show at the Toy tiger on December 4, with My Own Victim, Faceplant and Engrind. For those of you who think the varieties of metal are all history, think again. Louisville is actually a hot scene for the genre. My Own Victim has done very well in Europe and Flaw has been getting consistently good reviews for their live shows.

Tix and info: 456-1137

Aerosmith will finally make their delayed concert at Freedom Hall on December 9. The band had to cancel several earlier dates due to Steve Tyler's injury to his knee. The publicist insisted that this is a HUGE show and who am I to argue with a publicist? Ticket prices certainly reflect the importance of the band. Seven Mary Three, which last appeared here in August 0f 1996 at the Brewery, will open.

Tix and info: 361-3100

• Coyote's string of free shows includes one featuring Molly Hatchett on Monday, December 7. Dallas Moore will open. the show is a WSFR event.

Tix and info: 589-3866

• Gather ‘round, Tewligan vets. Mike Watt, of Firehose and Minute Men fame and original punker who played Derby Eve shows in ‘91 and ‘92, will be at the Mercury Paw on December 11. Gaunt, Warner Bros. recording artist, will open.

Tix and info: 361-3100

• How about an all-ages indie rock show at a church? No kidding, this one is the "Planet Why" show, put together by Victoria and Steven Moon and held at Deer Park Baptist Church, 1733 Bardstown Rd. The acts are Out, the Enkindels and Elliott, all Initial Records bands. The show is on December 4 at 7:30 p.m. and is a "Toys for Tots" event, so bring a new toy for admission. Note "new" toy, not used.

Tix and info: 485-1174

• If you can't wait for the next return of Mojo Nixon to the Phoenix Hill Tavern, scoot on down to Lynagh's in Lexington, He traveling with the Toadliquors band on what is billed as a "Horny Holidays" tour. The show is on December 9.

Tix and info: 606-255-6614