• In the "Big Music" department, the first to-be-annual Blue Sky JamFest is scheduled for September 20-22, 2002 in Slugger Field and the surrounding blocks of the Waterfront District. The event is an attempt to replicate the KFC Bluegrass Festival and the Great American Music Festival, with the intent to have Americana acts on a level equivalent to those of the previous festivals. Louisville-based and other regional acts will be allowed to perform outside Slugger Field.
• The new Initial Records catalog is out; it's bigger (112 pages) and has more color, but somehow, it doesn't quite have the impact of some of the earlier ones. Maybe it's because K. Scott Ritcher retired to publish K Composite and run for Mayor of Louisville and Snake moved to Canada. Maybe it's because they didn't put Erin Thomas on the cover. Whatever. Log on to www.initialrecords.com to sign up for your very own copy.
• The Twice-Told Coffeehouse has changed its name to bring it more in line with what actually happens in that room. It will now be known as the Twice-Told Performance Café. They will continue to serve coffee as well as vegetarian and regular meals. New hours will be noon to midnight Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, noon to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and ten a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tuesdays, they'll be closed.
• The stream of new releases of Louisville CDs continues relatively unabated. Our "Mid City Meddler" ist, Muffy, has finally gotten her How'd Ya Get So? project out (not her fault, BTW). I've tossed it on the player and am enjoying it - I'm a big fan of this talented chanteuse and songwriter.
I also was handed a pre-release copy of the new Will Cary Foundation of Love project, which should be available shortly. As regular readers know, Will has been through some tribulations with respect to his music, specifically, hand surgery a while back, but he's back and in fine form again. Look for a review in a future issue.
• Gary Brewer has a new project, Home Brew, on Copper Creek, featuring three Tom T. Hall and Dixie Hall tunes, plus songs by other writers including John Hartford and Raymond McLain. It's available from Gary at email@example.com or www.brewgrass.com or www.coppercreekrec.com
• T-Rex and IXL Music Productions are merging into one studio to be called IXL Music Productions. Same phone number, though.
• Greg Claggett and LA (Louisville Area) Groove have a new project done, called Live - An Evening on the Job. You can give a couple of tunes a listen at www.mp3.com.au/Lagroove .
• The Velcro Pygmies have a newly renovated site at www.velcropygmies.com.
• Public Radio Partnership Station WUOL celebrated its 25th anniversary on December 19. with a special lunchtime classics program featuring the Oldham County Singers who performed a program of holiday choral music. Happy birthday, team.
• In Jimmy Brown's "This Old Guitar" about his Korean friend Mr. Dixon, Jimmy had wanted to include his friend's Korean name, but he did not get it to us in time to print it then. We now wish to correct that oversight. The gentleman's birth name is Kim Kwang Seon
• Marvin Maxwell (of Mom's Music) and his lovely spouse Beverly have finally finished the restoration of the old three story schoolhouse they bought in New Washington, IN. It's now in use as a facility for receptions, with a kitchen, consignment shop and a mini-museum of the memorabilia from the previous occupants, including a really groovy bell. See for yourself at their website at www.AStepBack.Net.
• The Bellarmine University Music Department has announced the formation of the Bellarmine University Wind Symphony: Collegiate/Community Players, intended as a performance wind ensemble composed of thirty to forty players from Bellarmine and the greater Louisville area. Rehearsals will be held every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Room 101 of the Norton Music Building on the Bellarmine campus. Members must be at least eighteen and play a wind, brass or percussion instrument. For more information or to set an audition, contact G. Leon Kirkpatrick at (502) 452-8233, (502) 592-6512 or Maestro@aol.com; or Richard Burchard at (502) 452-8497 or RBurchard@bellarmine.edu.
• The Grammy people (NARAS) had a songwriter workshop in December. It was a cool event and photographer Carolyn Drakopulos got some some cool pix. They'll be online at www.louisvillemusicnews.com as soon as she sends over large enough copies.
• Maurel Hunkins, 97, died on December 18 in Louisville. He was a violist and conductor who was a founding member of the Ohio University faculty string quartet. He also was an assistant conductor of the Chautauqua (NY) Symphony and performed with Charleston (WV) Symphony.