•With this issue, Louisville Music News completes twenty years of publication. Started in 1989 by Jean Metcalfe and yours truly, LMN was an offshoot of the newsletter for the Louisville Area Songwriters Cooperative. Jean was the Editor and I was the computer geek and all-purpose roughneck. The first few issues were put together with rubber cement on large flats, which we hauled to the printer. Layout software was not really readily available at that point.
A significant purpose of the paper was to promote the Louisville music scene to the rest of the music industry around the country, while trying not to appear to be doing that; it was a bit of a stealth act. We mailed a copy to anybody in the industry we could get an address for. At the time, bulk postage was relatively cheap. We finally stopped mailing altogether later in the Ninties, when the cost became prohibitive, but by then, we had established Louisville Music News as a brand in the industry.
Jean retired in 1995 and I continued on as editor and production crew, thanks to improved layout software and ever-faster computers. Our writers, bless them all, continued writing for the paper; we were blessed to find accommodating photographers to shoot the covers.
It took nearly fifteen years to finally get around to writing stories about performers who were on the first list we compiled; oddly, that last band was the Monarchs, who might well have been first.
Curiously, the same 'issue' that I had with Louisville audiences back then remains today: most folks not in the business have no idea about the range and variety of music in the Louisville area and very little notion about the bands that have been successful out in the rest of the country and the world. I believe it's related to the average age in Louisville, which is about 36. Awareness of popular music is age-related; we form our tastes in music roughly between 14 and 29 or so. Those older than thirty or thirty-five generally don't follow new music, WFPK not withstanding. The result is that Louisville music is much better known – more famous – in the rest of the world than in Louisville. This includes most Louisville politicians and government officials. (Hizzoner still loves those Monarchs.)
For the future, I continue to develop the LMN website at www.louisvillemusicnews.net, where, it is predicted, all print media will eventually wind up. We'll see. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy reading LMN.
•There has been considerable chatter going on in Louisville's bluegrass scene about the upcoming Bluegrass Hotel concert and video shoot at the Galt House on March 20. For those not familiar with the story, the Bluegrass Hotel was the residence of dentist and banjo picker Harry Bickel, who rented rooms out to bluegrass musicians in the 1973-1981 era of "newgrass" in Louisville. Pickers who lived in and visited the house include Sam Bush, Vince Gill, J.D. Crowe, Curtis Burch, Courtney Johnson, Dan Crary, Tony Rice, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson, Tony Williamson and Jack Lawrence.
A documentary DVD, audio CD/LP and a coffee table book are all scheduled for a fall ‘09 release. Bill Millet, former banjo picker with The Bluegrass Alliance who works now as a music producer, is driving the project, with assistance from Kentucky Educational Television
More information is available at the www.thebluegrasshotel.com website and at the Bluegrass Blog.com
Eddie Anderson, 51, died Wednesday, January 28, 2009. He was a musician and leader of the Eddie Anderson Band.
Joe R. Goosetree, 70, passed away Monday, February 9, 2009. He was the lead singer for the Crossfires Band.
Harlan Griggs "Greg" Land Jr., 55, of Louisville, died on Friday, January 23, 2009. He was a guitarist who played with several bands in the Louisville area and at one time managed the Guitar Emporium.