Paul Moffett

Down On The Corner
By Paul Moffett

• Down in Lexington, there’s a new musician organization called the Lexington Area Music Alliance (www.lexmusic.org). We’ll be interested to see if it lasts any longer than the defunct Louisville Music Industry Association.

• The internet radio show “Fender’s Den” (formerly “Fender’s Den of Sin”) is expanding its reach, adding syndication with an Oregon FM station, 102.1 FM The Leaf. Additionally, the program is broadcast on four other FM stations, one indie station and three internet radio stations.

The show is currently seeking female bands (or bands with female musicians) and solo performers for their edition of Divas Of the Den, which highlights women in the industry. If you would like to play the show, contact Dusty June at Marketing@denofsin.tv.

• The Louisville Orchestra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy early in December, which allows them time to reorganize their business affairs while keeping their creditors at bay. The press release suggests that the LO’s expenses are about $1.2 million ahead of its revenue for the foreseeable future. The Orchestra Board has been trying to trim the size of the orchestra from its present 71 full-time musicians to 55, with the remaining slots to be filled in with part-time players. Accordingly, the LO Board asked to break the current collective bargaining agreement with the American Federation of Musicians Local 11-637, which represents the musicians. This was the same issue that nearly caused the collapse of the LO a few years back.

The bankruptcy is beginning to be felt in places in the city that really matter to a lot of people, specifically at the Louisville Ballet’s annual production of “The Nutcracker,” which offers many, many small children their first taste of live stage performance. This year, however, the LO was not be there for “The Nutcracker” and the Ballet would not offer refunds for tickets. This loss will have cascading effects that are yet to be fully understood.

• Louisville native Sid Griffin, best known around these parts as a member of the Long Ryders, recently got a lengthy interview in the Americana Gazette, which should help keep readers up-to-date on Griffin’s doin’s in England, where he now lives. He is currently playing bluegrass mandolin in his band The Coal Porters. You can find the article at Sid's website, www.sidgriffin.com.

• Following the successful Holiday Pick-Inn event at the Holiday Inn Hurstbourne (1325 Hurstbourne Parkway at I-64, 526-2600), the hotel is now hosting the weekly Bluegrass Anonymous jam sessions, which begin at 7 p.m. Reports have it that the space is suitable and large enough to keep different small groups from interfering with each other.

CODAS

Bowyer, Gary Lee, 62, died in Louisville on December 5, 2010. He played with the former band the Scepters.

Comstock, Margaret Seitz, 102, died November 28, 2010

Ms. Comstock's love of music was expressed by singing in the Highland Presbyterian Church Choir, directing the youth choir there, and singing in the Louisville Chorus. She also went to the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado for 20 summers. After her husband' s death in 1983, she took her love and passion for music on a long journey to do good works. She was on the board of directors of The Louisville Orchestra and endowed the Piano Chair. She was on the board of directors of Marin Alsops Orchestra Concordia in New York City. She established a small endowment to sponsor students in voice and piano at The University of Louisville School of Music. The final sizable gift to the U of L school of music supported the choruses of director Kent Hatteberg. The Margaret Comstock Concert Hall at The University of Louisville School of Music is named for her.

Richardson, Helen “Elaine” nee Current, 81, died on December 18, 2010.

Ms. Richardson was a life member of the Musician's Union Local 11-637, played piano and sang professionally for 25 years at places such as Hasenours, Embassy Supper Club, The Pine Room, Essex House, Captain's Quarters, Undulata, Hurstbourne Country Club and Oxmoor Farms. She was the featured entertainer at various Marriott hotels and Holiday Inns throughout Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. Additionally, she also tuned organs for Miller Pipe Organs.