July proved to be a difficult month for the Louisville music scene, with a number of deaths, among them two music store owners, the Director General of The Kentucky Opera and a longtime drummer. Indeed, 2015 generally has seen rather more musicians dying than in past years, which testifies to the increasing age of the large population of players who began their careers in the Sixties. As a board member of the Musicians Emergency Resource Foundation (MERF), I see a number of musicians struggling with long-term illnesses and, sadly, surviving spouses also struggling. While MERF can provide some very short-term aid, most of these difficulties will be with the individuals for some time and we can only hope for their future success in resolving them.
It doesn't look good. Fortunately, there is now healthcare available, unless and until the political party opposed to the Affordable Care Act actually manages to kill that program in which case, MERF (and every other social services agency and group) will see a spike in demand. Take note of that when you vote next time.
Otherwise, looking ahead, we see the State Fair coming up, with its usual lineup of faded country and rock stars – not much to write home about. The Louder Than Life Festival returns in October and there will be several other, smaller festivals in the meantime. With the closing of PHT and Porter's, of course, the availability of live Louisville music is greatly reduced, so you need to seek it out in different places, as everybody needs your support.
Until next time, stay cool and support live music!
Conte, Gennaro G. "Jerry" , 79 died in Louisville on July 27, 2015. He was the owner of Sound And Music on New Cut Road.
Dewees, Kenny, 70, died on July 5, 2015. He was the owner of Far Out Music and Ascoustical Audio Designs in Jeffersonville.
Petti, Donald J, died in Louisville on July 10, 2015. He was a lifelong professional musician.
Roth, David, 56, died in July 7, 2015 in an automobile accident. He was a General Director of the Kentucky Opera.
Young, David Michael, 61, died in Louisville on July 27. He was a drummer who was a founding member of The Merry Prankster and performed with them for 23 years. He was also a member of McHenry, Miller and Young.