• October was not a happy month, given the passing of Steve Ferguson on October 7. It was a sad closing marker that matched – if that's the right word – the marker that was Tim Krekel's passing earlier in the year. Adding in Ricky Mason and Louisville has lost three of its most excellent guitarists. LMN Blues columnist Keith Clements has a well-written brief obituary in his column.
• I got a phone call from Mary Wagner, widow of Rick Wagner, songwriter and host of a number of Songwriters’ Nights around town during the 90s. I hadn’t heard that Rick had died; Mary said he didn’t want to make a fuss. He passed away on June 4, 2008. Mary is looking for an autographed copy of Steve Ferguson’s Fun for Fools album that Rick lent to a musician at one his Songwriters Night, so if that someone is you, Mary would very much like to have it back, as it meant a great deal to her late husband. Mary can be reached at 614-8713.
• It seems that a group of businessmen, led by Louisvillian Daniel Reyes, has leased 35,000 square feet of CityBlock and will put in a nightclub to be called Spin. Presumably, that would be the Coyote’s section of the complex.
• Louisville singer/songwriters Emily Clark and Brian Halfacre of See Emily Play have made the cut for the final 64 on CMT’s Music Cty Madness Competition, a viewer-voted-on competition. The video can be seen at www.cmt.com/interact/music_city_madness/vote/.
• In case you hadn't heard, Def Leppard has canceled the third leg of its North American tour. This cancellation includes the November 25 show at Freedom Hall. Refunds are available from the vendor where they were bought.
The folks in Lucky Pineapple are busy establishing themselves as, well, quirky. A brand new video, “Moment in an Empty Street,” featuring a puppet as the main character, will help that process out. Take a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phH-8YlbxOA
• I’ve been taking a very unscientific survey about audiences, asking players and club managers about their audiences, particularly in the Open Stage/Jam Session market. The results are not comforting, as the increase in available live music has not been matched by an increase in audiences attending those shows. Reading posts here and there reveals that sometimes shows do quite well but more often than not, the musicians are making very little for their efforts. (This is especially true for any performer appealing to any segment of the baby boomer-era crowd.)
The problem does not seem to be limited to Louisville, either. Noted music blogger Bob Lefsetz argues that musicians should make the music great and the crowds will appear, while noting on the other hand that it’s very hard to get the word out in any useful way. Altogether, it’s a conundrum. I’d be interested to hear what you might have to say about – leave a comment online.
Brent E. Miller, 23, died in Louisville on September 29, 2009. He was a member of the band Nex2Nothin.
Steve Ferguson, 60, died in Louisville on October 7. He was a co-founder of NRBQ and longtime leader of his own bands, including the Great Midwest Creole Ensemble.