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It seems that the music scene in Louisville is heating up, no matter what type of music you're interested in. For fans of CCM, the local scene and the national acts being brought in are better than ever.
Just last month, Louisville was graced with the presence of Susan Ashton at Northside Christian and blown away by the sounds of The Big Voice Tour, featuring Bryan Duncan, Crystal Lewis and Anointed. This month, get ready for a visit from The Bubblemaker's Tour featuring Jars of Clay, supporting their sophomore release Much Afraid, and extremely tasty new alternative band Plumb. The Bubblemaker's Tour will be stopping in Louisville on November 8 at the Palace, and I can promise that this is one show you won't want to miss.
On the local front, I recently heard Josh Smith of Neptune playing unplugged and solo at Twice Told Coffeehouse's Songwriters Night and was blown away by the emotion and intensity of a couple of Josh's new songs. Talking to him later, I found out that Neptune is changing formats somewhat and branching out beyond the occasionally claustrophobic world of CCM into more secular venues. If Neptune's fans are afraid they'll be disappointed, they won't be. Their trademark honesty and rawness will still be there in spades, and if anything, this move will free the band up to move in even better directions. I've said it before and I'll say it again: keep your eye on this band. You'll be glad you did.
Last month I had the pleasure of playing at the opening of a new coffeehouse/club in New Albany, Indiana called He/Brews. This place used to be a steakhouse, but you'd never know that to look at it: lots of funky thrift-store chic atmosphere that lends itself to an intimate acoustic show as easily as it will for national acts.
Local CCM promoter and youth minister Nathan Quillo is known for bringing in some of the best national alternative acts to this area, bands like MxPx, The Supertones and Five Iron Frenzy, and he is heading up the coffeehouse. He/Brews is owned and sponsored by Wesley United Methodist and anyone interested in upcoming shows at the coffeehouse can call the church office for more information.
Jonah's Java, Louisville's best Christian coffeehouse, just celebrated their one-year anniversary on October 17 with a big party featuring Neptune and Death Defying Leap. It's amazing to look back and see how much this coffeehouse has grown in only one year, and Chris Lewis, Jonah's coordinator, is to be commended its success.
This month, look for bands K.A.D., Simple Faith and Frail to play at Jonah's as well as Zilch, DC Talk's backing band on both of their last tours. Zilch will be appearing with guests Silage and Prophecy on November 14. Since Jonah's is currently a little too small to hold the crowds expected for the Zilch show, it will be held inside Southern Middle School. Hope to see you there for that one!
Finally, this month look for new releases from Five Iron Frenzy, Poor Old Lu, Sixpence None the Richer, Audio Adrenaline and Circle of Dust.
On a more serious note, a recent reading of The Pure Rock Report revealed the sad news that J.C. Richardson of the band Sunday's Child has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Family, friends and his label, Gray Dot, need your prayers and encouragement. Fans of Sunday's Child can pass along their encouragement and letters sent to: 5305 Oaks Landing Court, Sugar Hill, GA 30518-6916 or send an e-mail to DeGarage@aol.com.
Also, fans of the late Rich Mullins will remember that there was another passenger with him in that fatal car accident on September 19. That passenger, Mitch McVickers, was a bandmate of Mullins and vocalist on Mullins' latest independent release, Canticle of the Plains. McVickers is slowly recovering from the serious injuries he sustained in the accident and was recently transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Topeka, Kansas on October 6. Please continue to remember McVickers and Mullins' family and friends in the upcoming months.