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Down On The Corner
• Stopped by the Rudyard a few nights ago and ran into an old friend,Fred Otto, who often contributed tin whistle accompaniment to the Monday night jams. His news was that he had gotten married toKathy Szinnyey last year. No wonder we hadn't seen him out and about. Congrats Fred & Kathy.
•Too Late to EnterBut Enjoy the Music. The Fourth Annual WAMZ/Jim Porter's Country Band Contest is set for March 5 & 12 at Jim Porter's. Possible contestants have already entered, but you can go and suppor your favorite if they made the cut or just go and root for the whole bunch. The winner gets $500. Your part is to pitch in a buck at the door as a donation to St. Jude Children's Research Center.
•Nearly Too Late But Not Quite Dept. Auditions for the 37th season of the Stephen Foster Story have been going on in February, but if you're really, really desperate to try out, you might still get in on the last auditions, to be held in New York City on March 23-26. (The last local auditions are/were set for Feb. 26 at Youth Performing Arts Center). Call 1-800-626-1563 for more information.
• Get out to theKyana Blues Society Benefit at Jim Porter's Good Time Emporium on March 16 for a whole mess o' blues. Susan O'Neil and the Blues Hounds will perform.
•The Q News. An unconfirmed tidbit from the Net: Fans of NRBQ will be interested to know thatTerry Adams will be releasing a solo jazz album soon.
•Kelly Richey has a story lots of us would like to be able to tell. While playing down at Stevie Ray's, a fan came up and gave her a 1962 Gibson SG. The fan said that she had bought it way back in '69, had never learned to play and had been looking for someone to give it to and Richey was that someone. The instrument still had the Sixties-style flat-wound strings on it . . .
• Living Blues magazine will have a special 25th Anniversary issue out in March. They'll reprise the best of their stories and photos. For the record, the publication is put out by the Southern Studies Publications Dept. of the University of Mississippi. Should be a kick.
•Out on Shelbyville Road Division. On March 25 at Hawley-Cooke Booksellers, you can hear theOutSkirts, an all-female band from Bowling Green, playing tunes from their new CD, Running from the Rescue. Show time is 2 - 3 p.m. I betcha they'll give you autographs.
•Young Folks Play. Young musicians need audiences, too, so check out The Repertory Orchestra, a middle-school division of theLouisville Youth Orchestra. They'll be presenting a Spring Formal Concert at Central High School, on Sunday, March 5, at 3 p.m. Tix are $6/adults, $3/seniors and free for students.
•David La Duke sends word of the Local Music Store Distribution Network, a Fairfax, Virginia, company dedicated to distributing local independent product. We know nothing about it other than what's in their promo stuff, but you can find out more by calling 703-641-8995.
•The Soul Shack, owned byDave Ernspiker andSam 'Shake' Anderson, will be opening for studio work soon. Ernspiker says the studio will be project- and artist-oriented. Their equipment is 16-track Alesis ADAT, going to 24-track soon. Both will engineer and produce, plus serve as in-house musicians. They even have a toll-free number: 1-800-350-SOUL. Here in town you can call them at 425-9871.
•Better Late Than Never Dept. This item migrated to the bottom of my tray but that's no reason to ignore it. TheLouisville Times Chorus, barely 18 months old, qualified for theInternational Barber Shop Harmony Society's International Chorus Competition, scheduled for July in Miami. The "Times" did it with the only 19 men on stage, the smallest chorus ever to achieve this honor. The "Times" is still looking for singers. The group rehearses every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Middletown VFW Club. For info, call Bob Thrush at 502-358-5790 or 358-8764.
•While We're At It Dept. TheThoroughbred Chorus is also looking for men singers. For more information, contact the Chorus at 502-267-7464.
• Country fans will no doubt be ready to line up for tickets for theMavericks andMary-Chapin Carpenter, scheduled in on April 2 in Freedom Hall.
•Steven Curtis Chapman picked up a pair of gold records recently, one each for Heaven in the Real World, and For the Sake of the Call. In addition, Chapman will be an official presenter on the live telecast of the 37th Annual Grammy Awards on March 1. Besides that, the single "Heaven in the Real World," was the number one single on Christian radio, according to Christian Research Report. CRR Reporters also named Chapman Male Vocalist of the Year.
• TheGospel Music Workshop of America has selected Louisville as the site for its 1998 conference, a gathering of as many as 25,000 people. The Gospel Music Workshop, founded by the late Rev. James Cleveland, stages the largest African-American gospel convention in the world.
•Thunder Production, a new Christian label, has been formed in town. For more information, callCraig Pumphrey at 280-1293.
•Johnny Lewis Arnett Sr., owner of Syl's Lounge, died on Jan. 24 at the age of 61.
•Kilbourne Walter Hoke, 70, died on Jan. 24. Hoke was a regular performer in musicals, including the Stephen Foster story.
•Jerome C. Howlett, 49, passed on Feb. 9, of complications from a stroke. Howlett played with Cosmo & the Counts. "It was a shock," said Tom "Cosmo" Cosdon. "He was a great horn man and he will be greatly missed." See Keith Clements' story on page 9.
•Thomas Earl Shewmaker, 42, died on Jan. 15. He played with The Rustics.