Friday, December 14, 2007

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 4. no 25

originally published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

Otis Gibbs
November 30, 2007
Home Fields Advantage House Concert Series

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it until…well, it is engraved on my tombstone. House concerts are a terrific way to see music. A house concert is - you guessed it, a concert in a house. All of the money goes directly to the musician. Everyone is there to listen, so you don't have to worry about bar chatter, smoke cappuccino machine or smoke. This series is run by Cary Alan Fields, who hosts the Fields of Bluegrass radio show on (88.7) on Friday evenings from 9:00-10:00. This house concert series includes time for chatting with the musicians and food. Everyone brings a snack to share. The lovely Cyndi, who opens her house to all of us, makes soup. Any good concert needs soup.

Otis Gibbs was the performer this month. Otis told stories between songs, and he has some good stories - being mistaken for a homeless man in Germany, meeting folks at a hobo camp in the West, eating nothing but boiled peanuts for 14 days (and swearing he’s a better man for it) during a Southern tour earlier this year and standing on the Charles Bridge in Prague one Valentine's Day. His music is even more amazing than his tales. Karlov Most, the song written about the Charles Bridge is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. He also played a good dose of his music from his Christmas album, Once I Dreamed of Christmas. Classics such as Lloyd the Reindeer, Crap for Christmas and Carl and Mavis. The songs are a fun look at the holidays. He also wrote some beautiful Christmas songs, Color Wheel about his grandmother's tree and the sweet Little Red Nose. 

Otis is starting a European tour this right after the show. I'll miss getting my annual Christmas photograph with him. I have six Polaroid snapshots lined above the bulletin board in my office. It is s a good measure of hair styles and weight gain (mine, not Otis'). It was a great way to kick off the holiday season.If you would like more information on the Home Fields Advantage series or for help hosting a house concert please email me:

As I’m pouring over the venue calendars deciding what show to highlight for this section I am feeling overwhelmed. Not that feeling overwhelmed is an unfamiliar feeling. Anyway, believe it or not the preview section is the part of this column that takes me the most time. There are so much great shows happening every single day. Plus I’ve really pushed the deadline envelope this time.

So, here’s my holiday wish for you. Go see live music, whether it be a national act or a grade school production. I am continually humbled by the amount of talent in our corner of the world. The idea that someone will put themselves on the line to entertain us amazes me.

My other suggestion to you is to give the gift of music. Broad Ripple is chock full of independent music stores and the staff at every single one of them is knowledgeable and helpful. If you’re not sure what someone on your gift list would like, they are happy to make recommendations. And they all have gift certificates. You can’t go wrong with the gift of music, CDs fit perfectly in to stockings, like for instance my stocking at the Red Key, just in case you’re wondering.

New Year’s Eve Previews

I goofed; I didn’t realize that this issue would be on the stands until after the New Year. I had grand plans of a comprehensive New Year’s Eve show previews. Alan is letting me dash something off to be included (thanks man!). Luckily, I’d already made a list – so here it is without the details I would usually include. You can check with the venues for details.

The Here Now (their sound is kind of alt-country-indie-folk-orchestral-rock mixture).

Daddy Jack’s
Gordon Bonham Blues Band (blues at its best).

Jazz Kitchen
Cynthia Layne (it does not get any classier than the beautiful Cynthia).

Local’s Only
Latex Novelties, Atomic Bombay, The Gizmos and Slammies (I cannot tell you how excited I am about this show. I might even dig my Slammies undies out of the shoe box for the occasion).

Melody Inn
Punk Rock Night NYE with CryptoKats, Toxic Reasons, Fuglees and Acid Green (just typing the name Fuglees makes me smile).

Acoustic Flyer (jam band fun)

Music Mill
Jon McLaughlin, The Last Good Year and Red Moon (Indiana native Jon McLaughlin is making a big splash on the national scene. He filmed his latest video on the Circle. Last Good Year just won the Birdy’s Battle of the Bands).

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Mandy Marie, Jason Webley (I saw Rev. Peyton’s band last NYE and Breezy was the best dressed person in the whole Hyatt. I’m a brand new Mandy Marie fan. This show will be some high energy twangy fun).

Here Come the Mummies (you can find the Posh Petals women at this show…and where ever they are is the place to be).

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