We hear that fiddler Alan Brock, formerly with the Juggernaut Jug Band is the hospital for heart bypass surgery. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Alan.
Also, drummer and graphics artist Steve Eilers is back in the hospital. Steve recently had a kidney transplant after some time on dialysis; we hope his current stay turns out well.
I had a brief chat with Mike Williams of the Janis Pruitt Trio (and other groups) last month; although it seems like only yesterday that his and wife Mary's house burned some three weeks into opening the Black Cat at Pope and Frankfort, it's been four years. He said they are finally getting a 'few things going,' but noted that the fire, which totally destroyed their house, many instruments and pets, was a serious setback, from which recovery was neither quick nor easy. Glad things are looking up.
• I made a trip to the Phoenix Hill Tavern on Friday, January 5 to help a videographer with the recording of the bands playing as part of Eddy Metal's "LMN Gathering 2" showcase. Hanging out until 2 a.m., listening to various metal bands screaming along at full volume isn't something I've done a lot of lately. The cause is age-related, mostly; I'm too old to do that and then get up at 6:30 a.m. to walk the dogs, then go to work. However, I'm working on putting together a Louisville Original Rock television show, which requires a sample program as proof of concept to sell to advertisers, so I needed to get a sample what the scene is like.
It's the old saying, redux: the more things change, the more they stay the same. The Phoenix is and has been a 'meet' market: boy meets girl, girl meets boy, girl meets girl, only with lots and lots of tattoos and retro Goth outfits, overlaid with the remnants of disco clothing (Really). The music, as always, is too loud to talk, so guys don't have to worry about sounding like sex-crazed idiots, at least not until they get to the parking lot. Oh, the joys of young Americans at play.
• Speaking of television, "The Player's Spot," which is currently appearing on WYCS Channel 24 (Insight 138), will have a new time: Tuesday's at 9 p.m., rather than 8 .pm. The station management has been brought under the umbrella of The CW Louisville, which has the potential of being a positive step forward. In the interim, however, it did result in one week's program now running, as the staff scrambled to make all the changes from one place to another.
"The Player's Spot," for those of you who haven't been reading this column regularly (tsk, tsk) features Louisville artists doing original material. It's recorded at Gerstle's on Thursdays.
• The plan to post videos clips from "The Player's Spot" on YouTube.com and other video sites is moving along quite well. The following artists have clips uploaded: Bryan Fox, Teneia Sanders, Jenny Madison, Mark Stampley, danny flanigan, Leigh Ann Yost, Brigid Kaelin, Joel Timothy, 16 Bones, Brian P. White, and Glenn Metzger. Just go to www.youtube.com and search for "The Player's Spot." You can also check the artist's page at www.louisvillemusicnews.net and the artists' own pages.
Be sure to rate the video.
An old friend from my days in New Albany, mandolinist and composer John Goodin recently sent me email that he had written a tune called "Ekin Avenue" and mentioned yours truly plus our mutual friend Ray Major at his http://somanytunes.blogspot.com/ site. Ekin Avenue was the street Ray and I lived on back in the day.
Goodin also composes and performs contra dance music. Check his website for that http://www.contratopia.com/ Some time back, Goodin wrote a symphony for mandolin orchestra, "The Louisville Suite," which was premiered by the Louisville Mandolin Orchestra.. Maybe there'll be a recording someday.
• Big Hopp's, the club located in the old Goodwill building at Eighth and Market, has closed.
• Farr, Thomas Nelson, 84, died in Louisville on January 18, 2007. Prior to World War II, he played trombone around the country for such notable "Big Bands" leaders as Tony Paster, Dean Hudson and Woody Herman.