The Guitar Emporium has been in business for thirty years and so Jimmy Brown and crew will have a 30th Anniversary Sale on Saturday, August 13, where you can make some deals if you are of a mind. More importantly, on Sunday, August 14, there will be a free show at Guitar Emporium, featuring Duke Robillard, blues guitar master and former member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Room Full of Blues) and Greg Martin guitarist for the Kentucky Headhunters. There is another unconfirmed performer whose first two initials are the same as the business and which might well be confirmed by the time this goes to print. (I suspect that some advance registration or tickets will be in order. Call first.) Congratulations to Jimmy B and all the crew.
• So then publicist Leslie Stewart send along a little email to the effect that Ear X-tacy will celebrate its 20th Anniversary on Monday, August 1. Started with a credit card $500 advance and a record collection, Ear X-tacy has grown consistently despite declining national music retail trends. Ear X-tacy has become Kentucky's largest independent record retailer and the state's only member of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores. Congrats to John Timmons and company for beating the trend.
• Actors Theatre has found an interesting musical vein to mine, specifically, plays about famous musicians. "Always, Patsy Cline" let audience get an "up close and personal" look at Cline's dealings with fans but also delivered on the musical goods, which meant finding someone who could sing like Patsy - no small feat. "Hank Williams: Lost Highway" gave audiences Hank Sr. straight up and simple. Now, Actors ventures to the rock side of things, with "Love, Janis," another star correspondence turn, while two (count 'em, two) singer/actors, Katrina Chester, who appeared in New York's Off-Broadway production of "Love, Janis," and Lauren Dragon, a Cincinnati-based blues singer, trade off stints as the on-stage big-voiced hippie queen. Helping out on this production is Sam Andrews, a friend and band member from Big Brother and the Holding Company, Joplin's early band.
Altogether, this could be a major kick for unreconstructed JJ fans. The play starts on August 18 and runs through September 10.
• Last month, I neglected to mention that I had received a call from Gary Deusner, longtime agent with Triangle Talent, telling me that he was leaving Triangle Talent for a job with a company that markets commercials to movie theaters. It was, he said, time to look for new opportunities and noted that he would still be around town.
Louisvillian and filmmaker Stu Pollard has joined forces with Todd Smith's Label X to produce a soundtrack CD, using songs by Louisville artists that are in his new movie, "Keep Your Distance."
Scheduled for release on August 2, a month before the film opens in theaters on September 2, the CD will feature sixteen selections from Tim Krekel, Digby, Peter Searcy, The Muckrakers, Art Geko, The Middle Men, Waterproof Blonde, Follow The Train, Ten Months Later, Carter Wood and David Grissom.
The CD also has a 30+-page color booklet with profiles of all the artists and songs, including all-new photographs of the artists back-dropped by many of the locations featured in "Keep Your Distance." The booklet is the work of two other Louisvillians, photographer Eddie Dant and graphic designer Bill Green.
"Keep Your Distance," a psychological thriller, was filmed entirely in Louisville over the course of five months in 2003. It is Pollard's second feature film set in Louisville; the first was 1999's "Nice Guys Sleep Alone."
• For those you who weren't at the "Best Of Louisville" (I never get an invite. Sigh.) WFPK Radio on-air host Laura Shine walked away with the "Best DJ" award, plus runner-up for "Best Local Radio Personality." WFPK's Scott Mullins received runner up in the "Best DJ" category.
• The EveryNationPraise! Worship Band and Choir, a multi-cultural, multi- racial, inter-faith, inter-denominational, straight-friendly group of GLBT Musicians and Artists, is forming in Derby City. An open call has been issued for vocalists and musicians of all types as well as those interested in production and sound. Specific band positions to be filled include: drummer, lead guitarist, rhythm guitarists, bass player(s), keyboardist/pianist and percussionist.
An informal, informational meeting and sign up for auditions will be held August 11, 2005, 7 p.m. at Third Lutheran Church, 1860 Frankfort Ave. For more information, please contact organizational coordinators and directors Ron Viers at 502-380-6512 or Aletha Fields at 502-262-4272. Or email us at: EveryNationPraise@odcma.com
• E-Double Entertainment is releasing a new CD/DVD compilation, called River City Ridaz Vol#1 Big Business, featuring some of Louisville's best hip/hop artists, including Father Jah, The Too Big Click, Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys, Madd House, Louis Ky's of Spotless Records, Ambush Mafia Family and Jim Jones of the Diplomats. The CD comes with a DVD. For more info, go to www.edoubleent.com or grab a copy at Ear X-tacy or Better days West in Lyles Mall.
• Childress, Virginia A. Taylor, 50, died in Louisville on July 13. She was a member of the Gospel Revelators Quartet.
• Dillingham, Joe, 81, died in Louisville in July 14. He was a musician who played with the Harmonics.
• Paul Francis "Boom Boom" Tkac 43, of Louisville, died on Wednesday, June 29, 2005. He a blues drummer and played with The Bottom Line, The Saints and Lamont Gillespie, among others.