Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I think that Joe Vuskovich could open a Yats on an island and people would figure out how to get there. I also think that he could try not to have a Fat Tuesday party and the neighborhood would show up anyway. Luckily for us, Joe pulls out the stops, moves the furniture to the street, tucks a band in the corner and lets the hilarity ensue.
This year Joe asked the band SouLOVEuniverse, featuring Kelsey Smith to play. The band plays a party mix of funk, R&B and soul. They were a blast! Kelsey not only has a fabulous voice, but she is a great performer and had the crowd dancing. The abbreviated version of the band included guitar player, Sean McGary, bass player, Mike Hogan and drummer extraordinaire, Devon Ashley.
The highlight of the evening for me was watching Joe in all of his glory. He is the consummate host, charming and a larger-than-life presence. Joe was appropriately costumed as the Greek god Pan - the god of shepherds and flocks, hunting, the season of spring and music. I know that we all flock to Yats to feast on the wonderful food he as gathered for us. As sure sign of spring is when the outdoor tables are in use. As always, Joe made us all feel at home.
Now, go eat at Yats! You won’t be disappointed.
Tonight…Its Beaver (formerly known as the Loud Band)
Red Key Tavern
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
All of us at the Gazette write on a volunteer basis – and I for one am thrilled to do it. That said, I was feeling a little smug when a cooking shift at the Red Key coincided with music. For the first time, I was going to come out ahead financially after reviewing a show.
The band had not quite settled on a name when it came time to start. Everyone’s favorite waitress, Lana introduced them as “tonight, its Beaver!” and thus they were named – at least for the night.
The group is made up of Tuesday Night All Stars basketball team regular, Don McMahon and his band mates, Jeff Florczak, Derek Palmer and Franklin Roesner. They played a variety of sweet classic rock songs – Sweet Melissa and Sweet Virginia included. The set list could double as the soundtrack of my high school years – Bob Segar (my first concert), The Allman Brothers Band, Eagles, AC/DC, Neil Young and the Rolling Stones.
They sounded just as good from the front of the room as they did over the sizzle of the grill in the kitchen. You could tell they were all having a blast -- trading instruments and vocal duties. And I had fun swooping around them to deliver cheeseburgers.
The room was full of band wives, parents and basketball teammates. I love meeting the “other half” of the people that I wait on regularly. As you all know I am a blushy Catholic school girl at heart, so when I was asked to put on a band tee-shirt reading “WE ARE BEAVER” I thought I was going to faint. I felt much better after Don’s mom put hers on.
And a warning – the Red Key rules are in effect, even if you’re a rock star. Don put his foot on a chair during a guitar solo and he was chided from the bar.
Big Roots Show
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The every Thursday Big Roots Show at Locals Only keeps growing in popularity, with good reason. There the show starts early (7:30), there is always excitement on the stage, delicious food and now the Big Roots Shows will all be non-smoking – woo hoo!
I arrived just in time to catch the set of The Passengers. Good-time county music. John Barney is the songwriter and he plays guitar and harmonica, Rich Hynes plays mandolin, drums and harmonica, Mike Strauss plays bass and Mike Brown plays accordion, mandolin, keyboard and guitar. The Passengers are working on a record; the bits I’ve heard are great.
Kudos to Cara Jean Wahlers and Cliff Snyder for hosting and keeping the lineup fresh and interesting, Butler Scion for sponsoring the show and the fine folks at Locals Only for making us all feel so welcome.
Friday, February 27, 2009
I had a blast! I wondered up to the stage when I got there and never looked back. The annual Cash Bash (this was the fifty) is hosted by the very talented Mandy Marie Luke.
Mark Miller of BR-549 fame and Kenny Taylor of the Blue Moon Boys played a foot-stomping Rockabilly fun-laced set. They played a combination of Johnny Cash tunes and original songs. Cash had an unlikely songwriter in Shel Silverstein, but a “Boy Named Sue” and “25 Minutes to Go” are Silverstein songs.
I remember where I was the first time I heard “Boy Named Sue” – I was in Danner’s on the square in Lebanon. It was 1976 and I was buying a plastic red, white and blue link belt with the word VOTE on the disks with my selling sweet corn money. I don’t know which is stranger – that I still have the belt (I have managed to lose any decent piece of jewelry I’ve ever owned) or the fact that it is one of the few things I remember from childhood.
Mandy Marie and the Cool Hand Lukes played two raucous sets chock-full of originals and Cash tunes. The band is flat-out fun to watch! Mandy Marie an honest-to-goodness great guitar player. Drummer Lewis Scott Jones, marks great time with the intense pace of the band and new-to-the band guitar player, Eric Grimmitt makes it all look easy. Morrison “Mo” Foster plays like his upright bass like it’s his best friend – the kind of friend that you can stand on or get in to a slap fight with.
I got to hear the song “$600 boots,” the title track from their upcoming album, I can’t wait to hear the record. Not only are they excellent musicians, but they are the most photogenic band this side of the Tennessee Three.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
6259 College Avenue
doors at 7:00, show at 8:00, nonsmoking, 21+
$20 advance/$23 at the door
I’m really looking forward to this - I first heard the band when I was in Ireland on holiday last year. My friends and I stopped the bus to get our photograph under the N-17 sign and drove though Tuam singing Saw Doctors songs at the top of our lungs. The band has been playing together in some form since 1986. They are often compared to Bruce Springsteen with there use of real life places and people.
Ironically, it was exactly a year ago that I wrote this blog entry: This was my first introduction to the Saw Doctors. Boy was I missing out! Good rockin’ sing-along fun. The Saw Doctors are from County Galway, but ironically they were in the States when we were in Ireland. But I got to hear plenty of their music as we toured the coast of Ireland. In fact we drove through Tuam, hometown to three of the band members and stopped to take photographs of the sign for N17, the title of one of their songs. N17 is the road from Tuam to Galway. The N17 is the road a young person leaving the west of Ireland would likely take when emigrating. I’ve still got several Saw Doctors songs stuck in my head -- in a good way.
I’ve already purchased my ticket and I’ll see you there.
Karen Irwin and Scott Ballantine
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The Corner Wine Bar (Wine Cellar)
6331 Guilford Avenue
7:00, pass the hat
Any time that I get a change to write about Scott Ballantine is a good day. Scott is an excellent guitar player (and teacher). Rumor has it that Scott is never more than two steps from a guitar at any point in the day. Karen Irwin and Scott are reviving their musical partnership from last summer. I would call their music jazz, blues and pop standards. I asked Karen how she would describe it: Stuff that doesn’t suck.
Barfly's Big Art Show at The Big Roots Show!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
2449 East 56th Street
7:30, $5, 21+, non-smoking
Wayne Bertsch is a hero of the Indianapolis music scene. And I’m not just saying that ‘cause he called me one. Wayne is the talented guy behind the Barfly comix in NUVO. He highlights a band or event in his each week in the strip.
It is fascinating to see the process and behind-the-scenes work that goes in to each strip. Often he draws characters, cuts them out and then adds them to a background. He said he’s most often the only 40 year-old guy in the scrap booking store. He’s been drawing the Barfly strip for NUVO for six years and the topical and often political cartoon for almost two years.
He has hundreds of Barfly comix and the artwork for concert posters hanging in Locals Only. They will be on display and for sale (bring cash – original artwork Barfly strips $40, posters $5, and other work is something in between) through the month of March.
Wayne got to select some of his favorite local roots acts to celebrate his art show. The Warner Gear has been on hiatus, but will be out for for Wayne's art opening. Mandy Marie Luke (see Cash Bash review above) and Shelby Kelley will share a solo set and host band, 19Clark25 will play.
Big Roots Show
Tim Brickley & The Bleeding Hearts + The Reacharounds
Thursday, March 19, 2009
2449 East 56th Street
$5, 7:30, 21+, non-smoking
This show could also be billed as the “Landlord Tour” or “Guys Nora Has Paid Rent To Concert.” CATH coffeehouse used to have an office in the basement of Tim’s studio, Hit City. And Mr. BenWah Salami (that is not what I wrote on the check by the way. Or how I introduced him to my friends and family for that matter) and I were roommates a dozen years ago.
I’ll let Cliff Snyder take of the description of the music now; otherwise you’d hear some totally off-topic stories.
“Tim Brickley is an Indianapolis based composer-producer-performer who the Indianapolis Star describes as a musical "local legend." His studio, Hit City Recording & his bands The Bleeding Hearts & the fifteen-piece Big Band are well known locally. Tim is the consummate professional amidst the Indianapolis music scene and he puts on one heck of a show.
The Reacharounds feature an all-star cast, fronted by Scott Sanders who is joined by Keith Carey on bass, BenWah Salami on a little bit of everything, Scott Ballantine (see preview above) on guitar and Robin Reuter on drums. Scott & the boys will be performing many of his original songs and adding in a few roots flavored covers. This will be a hot show.”