Paul Moffett

Down On The Corner
By Paul Moffett

• You know things are bad with the Louisville Orchestra when the Kim Tichenor, head of the players' negotiating committee, resorts to a pleading letter that the musicians want work in the C-J, in which she asks the Board to negotiate with them. Tichenor asserts that the LO has set a deadline of September 30, after which, if no agreement has been reached, they will either hire replacement musicians or file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, even though an outside negotiator has been brought in to assist in the negotiations.

That negotiator, for whom an anonymous donor put up the money, is one Ralph Craviso, a labor relations expert who has worked with orchestras for more than a decade. Craviso has a long track record, and, according to Drew McManus at Adaptistration.com, his results have not always been in the best interests of either the orchestras or the players. Indeed, he is often characterized as a union-buster. McManus has excepts from various publications around the country who have written about Craviso's involvement in orchestra labor issues. They're not flattering assessments; indeed, they tend to portray Craviso as "the heavy." Look for more animosity in these negotiations.

Tichenor's letter was in response to an earlier Op-Ed letter from LO Board President Chuck Maisch in which Maisch detailed the solution that the LO Board expected to enact, i.e., reducing the orchestra size and hiring temporary players for the pieces requiring larger orchestras.

As is said in reports about lawsuits, remember that such letters give only one side of the story.

It's a mess.

• The reviews are in for the premiere of The X-Factor , and N icole Sherzinger takes some shots from reviewers and fans. People magazine headlines it as a question of Sherzinger Vs. Cole? Britain's STV.com notes that the host, Welshman Steve Jones, seemed irrelevant and panned Sherzinger in passing.

• Thanks to the buzz that has developed around the release of the Ladybirds Shimmy Shimmy Dang CD, the group has been getting attention from a wider audience. A Santa Cruz blog site called OnlineRock.com has a very long interview by Nancy Woo with vocalist Sarah Teeple. Her lead-off paragraph sums it up pretty well:

"The Ladybirds are a dynamic five-piece rock and roll outfit, whose main hobbies include drinking bourbon late into the night, playing vinyl records as loud as possible, rotating drummers and impressing locals with their high-energy live shows. They talk the talk and walk the walk with their retro garage blend of 50s rockabilly, surf rock, a little country and a whole lot of punk rock attitude, influenced by the great, early eras of rock music."

• The late John Hartford was a favorite in Louisville, back in the early days of the Kentucky Music Week/Weekend series, and he had a lot of friends around the region. Now we have word that a documentary about his life is the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. If this is of interest to you, go check it out at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/657235707/john-hartford-oh-yeah-documentary-of-his-life-and

CODAS

Pierce, James "Jim" Allen,46, died in Louisville on September 19. He was a drummer who played with several Louisville rock bands, most recently The Accountants

Shipp, Ray,74, died on September 24 in Louisville. He taught music for eleven years at the old Music Center. In 1964 the Hikes Point School of Music was opened and a few years later he opened East End Music before opening the Music Warehouse on Bardstown Road, which he ran for twenty-one years, spending a total of thirty-eight years in the music business. He was also a member of the American Guild of Music and a board member of the National Association of Musical Merchants and had a dance band called "The Tradewinds."