Bluegrass fans in Louisville are all familiar with fiddler Art Stamper, who spent some time as a Bluegrass Boy and who has been playing at Maier's St. Matthews Tavern of late. Now we hear that Art has developed throat cancer and is currently undergoing treatment. Shively bluegrasser Gary Brewer is organizing a benefit for Stamper as we go to press. The details available now are these: it will be held on Sunday, April 22 at the Shepherdville Country Music Place, beginning at 1 p.m. Brewer promises an "All-Star" lineup and already has a commitment from Larry Sparks, a tentative confirmation from J. D. Crowe, plus Brewer and his band, the Kentucky Ramblers. There will be additional bands, Brewer says. The ticket will be $10 at the door. For more information, contact Gary Brewer at 502-448-9107.
Gordon Graham is near completion of his third album, Black Frenzy Epilogue, which he is recording with former members of Tempus Fugit and Andy's Kitchen. Andy High is engineering. A tentative release in scheduled for May. Graham has recorded two other albums, Mastertown and The Kitchen Sessions, both currently out of print.
Fingerstyle guitarist Steven King is coming back to Steilberg String Instruments to present a workshop and concert on April 4. King, who tours on behalf of Taylor Guitars, is a former winner of the National Fingerpicking Contest, held annually at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield Kansas.
The Workshop concert is free but reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the store at 491-2337. Guitarist should not bring their instruments for this workshop.
The Public Radio Partnership will present their 2nd Annual Starry Night Soiree at the HSA Broadband Building, 619 s. 4th St. on Saturday, April 7 6 pm to midnight. The "Stars" for the event include NPR "Morning Edition" host Bob Edwards, "World Café" host David Dye, Lisa Mullins and Chris Farrell. Music will be by Lovesauce and Soulbones, John Boutte, Jim White, the U of L String Quartet and the Steve Crews Jazz Combo. There will be a gourmet buffet by Zephyr Cove, with wine, beer and bourbon tasting. Tickets are $50 per person.
You might remember last year's soiree, held under canvas in the Zephyr Cove parking lot. It was punctuated by a major fire at apartments on Brownsboro Road at the same time as it started, which made for some interesting traffic.
Out at Melody Hill Farm, they've added a new engineer, Donnie Bott, who previously worked in Nashville at the Loft and Mastermix. Bott is a native of Elizabethtown.
Commonwealth Broadcasting will add "Nothing Left Between Us" from Bobby Terrell's Tonight, Tonight CD, beginning April 1. Terrell said the head of the programming (and everybody in the office) loves his rock-a-billy sound.
Engineer and producer Todd Smith and his wife Sandra have a more-or-less new baby, Lillian, born January 19.
Harmonica player Wally Hill sent a postcard from Key West, where he is now residing. Hill retired from his "real job" working on the railroad and decided that he had had enough of the Ohio Valley winters. Being unattached, he concluded that the only reasonable thing to do was to go as far south as possible. Hence, he is now a conchhead in training.
Jim Beam Bourbon has announced its third annual award of grant money for unsigned musicians through the B.E.A.M. - Benefiting Emerging Artists in Music - program. This year, the gift will be $100,000, which will assist up-and-coming musicians and music industry aspirants throughout the country with such expenses as rehearsal space fees, recording costs and equipment purchases.
Applications are available on their company website atwww.jimbeam.com or by writing to the B.E.A.M. Advisory Board at P. O. Box 5349, New York, N.Y. 10150. There are currently two rounds of grants left for 2001; deadlines are June 30 and September 29, 2001.
In addition to the grants, the B.E.A.M. program also provides assistance to musicians through the Jim Beam Rock Band Search, the Jim Beam Country Band Search and the Jim Beam Back Room Sessions. For more information about the programs, log onto the Beam website.
Given that several Louisville bands have crossed the Big Water to Europe to gig, it might be worth mentioning the upcoming A2A: Access to Amsterdam New Music Conference, set for October 17-20. The event is modeled after SXSW, which means that a number of European industry types will be in attendance, offering opportunities for European and non-European acts to connect with booking agents, record labels, etc. This might be worth doing early on, if Europe is on your list of places to tour. The showcase entry deadline is July 1. Information is available at: A2A Headquarters, P.O.B. 2585, 1000 CN Amsterdam The Netherlands or at the North American Office at: A2A, P.O.B. 50063, Austin, TX 78763 or online at www.a2amusic.com
The First Baptist Church in Shelbyville is offering a mountain dulcimer workshop for Senior Adults on May 3-5. Presenters will be South Carolinian dulcimer teachers Dean and Brenda Eades. If you don't have a dulcimer, they can sell you one. Call 502-633-1317 or 633-0698 for more information
John Gilbert Adams, 71, died on February 27 in Louisville. He was a professional musician who founded and led the Syncopators.