• Our friends out at First Quality Music have taken delivery on a couple of guitars worth taking note of, since the total asking price for the two is $242,500. (Not a typo.) The pricier of the two is a Martin Guitar commissioned one-of-a-kind Harvey Leach Western model with museum-quality art inlay that simply must be seen to be believed. Martin commissions these instruments now and again to show off the finest inlay work being done and they usual keep them, too, displaying them in the Martin museum in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, but this one is right here in Louisville. The asking price for this instrument is $195,000.
The `low-end model,' at $47,500, is a D-50 Deluxe Koa/Koa with a Koa front and back, one of only 5 being made. This guitar has truly elegant inlay on the fingerboard as well.
Since these instruments are only on display to qualified buyers by reservation, First Quality has posted some excellent photographs, including close-ups, on their website at www.fqms.com. Click on "The Vault" for the pix. Don't forget to have a tissue handy to wipe the drool off you keyboard.
Dan Reed, Program Director for the Public Radio Partnership, has agreed to accept a position at WTMD in Baltimore, Maryland. He will leave his PRP job effect June 1, 2004, according to a memo from Gerry Weston, President of the Public Radio Partnership.
Reed has been credited with changing the direction of WPFK, PRP's non-classical music station, moving it away from its longtime mix of jazz, world beat and non-commercial music style programming to a more AAA or Americana format, a style that features more rock-based singer-songwriters and which is intended to attract a younger audience. He also was responsible for bringing the Non-COMM Radio Convention to Louisville for the last several years.
Reed recently ran into some problems when he verbally assaulted Martin Kasdan, the Jazzin' column writer for Louisville Music News, at a "Live Lunch" program at the Public Radio Partnership building over comments Kasdan made in his column about the recent reduction of jazz programming at the station. The incident resulted in a three-day suspension for Reed.
• While we're talking about PRP, word comes that Bill Underwood, the only program director that WUOL has ever had, will retire effective April 30.
• The Kentucky Center's long-running and influential "Lonesome Pine Special Series" is facing cancellation, according to reports from National Public Radio. The loss of corporate sponsorship from longtime sponsor Bank One. The Kentucky Center's Ken Clay has said that the Center is continuing to seek corporate sponsorship but that the Series is likely to be cancelled for at least a year. As we go to press, word comes that an individual has offered a $12,000 matching grant to the Series.
• American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Nimbit Web Services have joined forces to offer members of ASCAP low-cost websites, with email services, dynamic calendars, tour journals and other entertainment tools. For more information, logon to www.ascap.com.
• Bill Ede sent along a small correction to his Van Zandt Tribute story, which ran in the February 2004 issue. He added this line: "Joee Conroy also backed up Paul K on cello.
• The Music Department at Indiana University Southeast, along with the IU Southeast Arts Institute, will host a week-long clinic for talented string players in the region. The clinic will run from June 7 - 11, 2004 and is open to students entering grades 8 - 12 in the Fall of 2004. Interested students should contact the IU Southeast Music Department at (812) 941-2655 or the Arts Institute at (812) 941-2436 for more information. Application deadline is April 16, 2004.
• From Revelation Records, we hear that Louisville'sChristiansen has finished the first video for the song "Under Things Killed". The band is currently on the first ever tour in Europe and will be supporting Hot Water Music in Germany.
• The first Cigar Box Guitar Festival is set for May 14-16 at General Butler State Resort Park in Carrollton, Kentucky. Really. According to Festival Director Kurt Schoen, players have ranged "from Civil War soldiers to Carl Perkins to Jimi Hendrix, from Blind Lemon Jefferson, to band The Presidents of the United States of America. The cigar box guitars displayed, built and played by those at this fest will feature from 1 to 12 strings, made from the humblest woods to the finest ebony and strung with anything from fishing line to nickel-silver electric strings, all playing blues, funk, country, folk and bluegrass music."
Sound like your idea of a great festival? Contact Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org call (502) 548-1213 or logon to www.cigarboxguitarfest.com
• David Alan Capito, 46, died in Louisville on February 23. He was a bass player and a member of AFM Local 11-637
Mary Ann Fisher, 81, died in Louisville on March 12. Fisher was a noted blues singer in Louisville and sang with Ray Charles earlier in her career. For more on Fisher, read Keith Clement's I've Got A Mind To Ramble column on page 10.
• Dennis M. "Denny" Inzer, 57, died in New Albany on January 27. He was a musician in the Louisville for many years. He performed with Robbie Bartlett and Company for some time and was last with the Tren-Dells from Lexington.
• Roy McCarty Jr, 77, died in Louisville, KY on January 29. He was a working guitarist for sixty years, playing on the Grand Ole Opry and with country stars Cowboy Copas and Red Garrett. He also played guitar with the Doug Oldham Band, the Dixie Six Band, the Boyd Bennett Band and the Al Henderson Band. He was the banjo player for the Rascals Of Ragtyme and the Louisville Redbirds. He also taught at The Melody School of Music in Elizabethtown and at Shackleton's in Louisville.