Originally published in the Broad Ripple Gazette
Elvis Birthday Bash
Friday, January 4, 2008
This was the third year for Wayne Bertsch’s Elvis Birthday Bash, but it was my first. I had so much fun I was sorry that I’d missed the first two.
Little Voice kicked off the show. Erika Thomas was an adorable Elvis and channeled the King admirably. I was charmed by this talented group of alt-rockers. Little Voice is on hiatus, but promise they will have a new album when they come back this summer.
Jay Elliott played solo sets between the bands. It was such a great idea and one of my favorite parts of the evening. His sets were a combination of Elvis tunes and his own. He played right on the dance floor, and often had a crowd of folks dancing next to him as he sang. Jay’s voice is amazing and he has great charisma. He dressed the part, looking like the young handsome Presley. Jay is part of band Stereo Deluxe. The band is on the cusp of greatness, just waiting for the rest of the country to discover what we already know.
Hey Hey Melodica was big acoustic rock fun. You could tell the band was having a good time on the stage. They put the fun in to Presley’s songs.
The Mess Arounds did the most traditional covers of Presley’s songs. Elvis’s songs were perfect for the rhythm and blues band. Danny Thompson’s voice is instrument enough, but his hot guitar playing is icing on the cake.
My only regret of the evening is that I didn’t try the special at Local’s Only that night – fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
Friday, January 11, 2008
It was a typical Friday night. I was exhausted and hunkered down for the evening, in my bathrobe and preparing to write this column. Ah, the best laid plans…My friend Kristi called. She was five minutes from my house and offered to pick me up. Some how pulling on jeans and cowboy boots led to three venues and getting home at 1:30 in the morning.
Steve Allee Band
The Jazz Kitchen
9:30: We walked in to a full of jazz fans Jazz Kitchen. Steve Allee, piano player/arraigner extraordinaire gathered cream-of-the-crop players for the evening. Kenny Phelps on drums, Frank Smith bass and Rob Dixon played saxophone. The result was amazing. I really enjoyed the music, atmosphere and food. It was also good to catch up on neighborhood news. After working on that corner (and by working on the corner, I mean working at the coffeehouse) for so many years I miss seeing everyone.
We were chatting with the band after the set, when I saw that I had a text message from Tammy Lieber “I’m listening to John Byrne play pedal steel.” Magic words, a siren call right on my iPhone. A flurry of text messages determined where John was playing and that Tammy could give me a ride home.
Jes Richmond Band
11:00: We walked in to another full venue. This was my first time seeing the Jes Richmond band, and I can’t believe that it took me this long. I always enjoy seeing Jes as part of Soul Bus.
The Jes Richmond band is Jes, his talented wife Vicky, Chris Pyle, Randy Melson and, of course John Byrne. The band was great; they play folk-rock – lots of sing-along and dancing tunes. The stage banter was fun, and Jes and the lovely Vicky were celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary that night. Clearly they married as teens.
As a side note, between both venues we wound up seeing a good chunk of the Bob and Tom Band – band leader Steve Allee, Frank Smith, Chris Pyle and Randy Melson.
12:30: I jumped in to Tammy’s Jeep for the ride home. We were driving down College Ave. when we passed the new/old façade of the Vogue. Lazarus and Hum-V were playing. I talked Tammy in to parking and going in.
The Vogue has started to have live music every Friday. I am thrilled. The lineup for the next couple of months is a great mix of local, regional and national acts. I was happy to see that the Vogue was still busy – even though we’d missed the music. We did get to chat with Lazarus band mates Rusty Redenbacher and TJ Reddington. I heard plenty of people talking about how good the show was. I’m looking forward to actually hearing them.
Thursday’s at the Corner Wine Bar (the Wine Cellar)
Free, nonsmoking, 21 and over.
I was chatting with Corner Wine Bar manager Michelle at the Jes Richmond show (I’m always thrilled to run in to restaurant folks when they’re not working) about the new Thursday music series at the Wine Cellar (below the Corner Wine Bar). I think it is such a great idea. The shows start at 6:00 and you can have dinner. I was there a few weeks ago for the Middletown show. There were a passel of us; the service was great and the food excellent. I would suggest getting there early to eat; the seating is first-come, first-seated. A Touch of Grass will continue to be the house band on Friday and Saturdays.
Thursday, January 17, Whiskey Biscuits
Thursday, January 24, The Brandon Meeks Duo
Thursday, January 31, Crackhead Patty
If you are interested in booking a show, contact Pat Brunner firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, January 18, 2008
2131 E. 71st St.
The Healing Sixes are known for their great live shows. As their Web site says, their music separates the men from the boy bands. I’m looking forward to seeing them, and not just because drummer Wade Parrish has an almost involuntary need to say “Nora Spitznogle” peppered with a colorful expletive over the microphone.
Friday, February 1, 2008
8 pm, $10, all ages, non-smoking.
4903 Winthrop Ave
Antje Duvekot [DOO-va-kot] was born in Heidelberg, Germany. She remembers her German childhood as carefree and filled with song. In school they sang old folk songs and she was enchanted at summer camping trips by the sound of adults singing around the campfire. She was drawn to the old melodies and the emotion.
When she was 13, her mother remarried and the new family moved to Delaware. She barely spoke English and music became even more important to her. She discovered the folk world of urban songwriters like Ani DiFranco. She made tapes of them, and listened while she wandered through her new world. As she told the Boston Globe in 2005, "The only time I was truly happy as a teenager was walking around the neighborhood, listening to my folk tapes. My English wasn't so good yet, but I just loved the kind of melancholy, solitary aspect of the songs. And I could tell that these people were saying something important. That was profound and meaningful to me, even before I knew just what it was they were saying. It was like these artists were actually talking to me, not just making sounds."
She has become a player in the urban folk world. One of her songs Merry Go Round is featured in Bank of America’s national campaign.
The Hostel is the perfect place to see Antje, everyone will be there to listen and you’ll get a change to hangout with her.