Gather ‘round

By Kevin Elliot Reynolds

John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” A lot of people make plans involving some kind of live musical entertainment. With Lexington’s affluent music scene, those people need spend no time dealing with life. Last week, those who often escape the harsh realities were treated to rising country troubadours, independent rock, hot local talent and a Dutch jazz trio! How’s that for entertainment? This week holds more of the same, which in Lennon terms could mean trouble for our infrastructure. But as you’re stocking your pantry, think back on another famous Lennon quote, “Reality is for people who can’t cope with drugs.” Having trouble coping? Didn’t think so.

Last week was full of surprises including a Friday night show at The Dame with up-and-coming country star Chris Knight without any fights! A few months back Knight’s performance at The Dame turned into a mini-Ultimate Fighting Challenge, though this time around he took time at the beginning of the show to ask for harmony among his fans. His request was obeyed and the show was great. Another great show which was no surprise was Stego’s Friday night performance at High On Rose, though last week held yet one last shocker. Hitler is getting a breather down there because the Wildcats Football team won a game! The Cats pulled out a late 14-13 victory against a good Vanderbilt team in Commonwealth on Senior Day Saturday. Hopefully this tenacity will bleed over to next season.

So what does the Lexington scene have in store for you this week? Another full docket of hot local and national talent beginning Thursday night with the roots-rock of Fresno, California’s Joose performing at The Dame. Their original style blends blues bar chic with big band bang. This is definitely a show worth checking out. Also performing Thursday night is another roots band that falls somewhere between Bluegrass and blues in The Betweeners. This Louisville acoustic trio is one of the region’s hidden treasures and can be found Thursday at High On Rose. If you’re simply looking to hear some of today’s hits performed live while enjoying some spirits, head to Cheapside where Jason England and his St. James Gate will be belting them out. If you would like to be taken away on that improv jam journey, head over to The Fishtank and catch the Indianapolis based trio EN2. These guys are schooled musicians, each with degrees from different universities in fields such as jazz and contemporary improvisation. They are now touring extensively across the Midwest, spreading their innovative style that blends techno house dance samples with progressive improvisational jazz. A must see for you jazz and jam folks. For a little something different, stop by Natasha’s Café at 8pm to be mesmerized by the famous Rakadu Gypsy Dancers, because they put on quite a show.

Friday night will see a flurry of Bush supporters rush into town as Lexington and Rupp Arena will welcome one of the most successful artists in the history of Christian music. In more than 30 years as a singer, composer, songwriter and producer, Bill Gaither has won four Grammies, twenty Dove awards and the first Gold Record ever awarded to an inspirational album, A Gathering for Believers. Inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 1982, Gaither was recently honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) as the Christian Songwriter of the Century. Friday night he will bring those songs to the soon-to-be-robe-wearing crowd at Rupp. If gospel music isn’t your forte, there are plenty of other music choices for you to absorb Friday night. Alfalfa’s will be serving up the good stuff while Shoshanna Gross will serenade the hungry patrons. Cheapside will feature the uber talented Chris Cheatham rocking the blues with his Chris Cheatham Trio. You may recognize Cheatham from one of Lexington’s favorite Nashville imports August Christopher, or maybe not, he’s the drummer. Either way he will be center stage crooning to and exciting fans Friday and Saturday night. High On Rose will be hosting the underground roots rock of Fire the Saddle with The Jive Turkeys. Should be a great show in the most hip and intimate venue Lexington has to offer. Another sure bet for Friday night is a two-set performance by none other than Lexington favs Club Dub. These funk-rock specialists never fail to please, so check them out at The Dame. For those of you that have heard of the Damn Yankees show at the Lexington Opera House Friday and Saturday, don’t get too excited. It is not a reunion tour of Ted Nugent, Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw, though it should be a great play performed by the Paragon Musical Theater....

Saturday night will see more great live music including a performance by Knoxville’s Jescoe at The Fishtank. Jescoe presents an original blend of 70’s rock fused with funk and jam-jazz. Carla VanHoose will provide the guests at Alfalfa’s with Americana jingles while just a few blocks down at High On Rose another jam band will be…jamming. The masterful musicianship of the full horn section superjam of Universal Frequency is rarely heard as they play very few shows, so Saturday is your chance. Guitar virtuoso Ben Lacy will be opening the show and if you have never heard him play it could change your life. Just a hop, skip and a jump away, The Dame will be hosting a doozy with rock-a-billy blues enthusiasts the Asylum Street Spankers providing their hybrid genre melodies.

That should be enough to satisfy your musical Jones until next week. While you are thinking of someone to enjoy the music with, remember the immortal words of Woody Allen, “Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night!” So enjoy yourself, be safe, be responsible, and as always…Support Local Music!!!! n