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Down On The Corner
June kicks off the ever-so-busy summer festival season in Louisville (not to overlook Abbey Road on the River, which happened on Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial beginning of summer.), which this year features a number of new and old festivals to compete for your entertainment dollar. Most notable among these is the HullabaLOU Festival at Churchill Downs, which is planned to grow rapidly into a major festival, if the Downs administration has anything to say about it. The festival is aimed at the baby-boomer generation, which is all to the good for the Forecastle Fest, which happens a mere two weeks before, as the FF attracts a younger crowd. And that's just in June
In any case, boomers might be looking to take out a loan for the HullabaLOU Fest. Just be sure to take your wipe-on sunblock and some very comfortable shows and remember that you are not 21 anymore.
Last month was heavy with music business news, particularly with the destruction by fire of the Blue River Cafe in Milltown, which was the gathering place for whatever folks of the political and social Left there are in Southern Indiana. The Troubadours of Divine Bliss were first out of the blocks to organize a day-long benefit program for the staff (at the request of the owners of the cafe.), featuring a number of the musicians who had played at the BRC. The event, held in a field across from the wreck, raised $7,000, according to one source. Kudos to the Troubs.
The relocation of ear X-tacy Records to a site at Douglass Loop was instantly old news to music fans, as the local media all reported the announcement on the same day. Indeed, owner John Timmons made the announcement on the noon news at WHAS TV. All the faithful staff and customers cheered, though the folks at Electric Ladyland might not have been so happy to have that level of competition move in just down the street.
That event was overshadowed by the destruction caused by the Great Nashville Flood of 2010, which ruined a large number of instruments, gear, customs and historical artifacts that were stored in a single facility on the banks of the river. Restoration experts and electronic gear repairpersons around the region are already reporting work coming in from Nashville.
In the hard-to-believe department, Neil Young sold out the Palace Theatre for a solo acoustic show, with prices ranging from $85 to $250, thought to be the record for a single performer in Louisville. The pricing caused a considerable amount of discussion among the fans and media.
The onset of summer also brings tours overseas, at least for some Louisville musicians. Rockers Wax Fang were invited to the All Tomorrow' Parties, a very big festival in Britain. They subsequently picked up a few extra gigs along the way. Americana singer-songwriter Brigid Kaelin also managed a trip to the British Isles; the number of shows she'll play won't be known until she gets back, though fans can follow her regular posts at her blog and on Facebook.
Surfing the web has its utility: a posting on Rodrigo y Gabriela's site revealed that they are playing a show with Aussie Xavier Rudd at Headliners on September 8. Considering that they sold out the Brown Theatre on a Sunday night, it's hard to see why they would play the much-smaller Headliners. Ticket demand may result in a venue change. Stay tuned.
Hill, William Wallace "Wally", 61, died on May 4 in Key West, Florida. He was a harmonica player who performed with Tom Flood.
Keister, Robert "Rockin' Bob", 43, died on April 29. He was a musician and songwriter who played with King Cotton, Two Dollar Pistol, Karen Kraft and Kicks, The Bagmen and Shiner.