Isn’t Life Ironic?

Once upon a time, not long ago, I took my young friend Victoria to see Bonnie Rait at the Louisville Palace. While waiting in line to get in we stood outside next to a picture of Tony Bennett who had been a featured performer at the Palace in the past.  I remarked to Victoria that I had seen Tony Bennett at the Palace back before she was even born.

She looked up at me with her smiling eyes and said, “Isn’t life ironic?”

 

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The Palace Theater

Bonnie Rait

Bonnie Rait

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Victoria Meadows

 

 

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Tony Bennett

KMAC Couture

Launch Party

KMAC Couture is a wearable art runway show presented by KMAC Museum In Louisville, Kentucky each April. This event offers a unique way to experience the Museum.

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Everything Couture Here?

I walked into the party

my scarf it was apricot

I had one eye in the viewfinder

and the other rubbering around the room

the girls in their lavish dresses

were on display for all to see

A cupcake is a tasty treat

and the eye candy looked so sweet…

the gates of heaven must be open

I think I saw an angel just walk by.

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KMAC Museum, 715 W, Main Street, Louisville, Kentucky

All photos by Benn Bell

 

LOVE

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my fabulous Word Press friends!

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Love from Louisville

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Goddess of Love

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Amour From Philadelphia

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City of Brotherly Love

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Love from Big Lou

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Love from the Big Apple

THE COLORS OF FALL

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

-Albert Camus

So, I decided to take a walk in the park, This is what I saw:

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Cherokee Park, Louisville, Kentucky

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Cherokee Park

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Cherokee Park, Louisville, Kentucky

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Cherokee Park, Louisville, Kentucky

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Pavilion at the Top of Dog Hill

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Cherokee park, Louisville, Kentucky

HENRY IV

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Is There Free Will?

There is in Louisville, Kentucky. You can find Free Will in Central Park, home of the country’s longest running Free Shakespeare in the Park.

Last night Kentucky Shakespeare, spearheaded by managing producer Matt Wallace, mounted another successful production of one of the bard’s history plays: Henry IV.

Directed by Amy Attaway and acted by a fine ensemble cast it was sight to behold and a treat to listen to. Only a few minor quibbles. Couple of times the mics seemed to fall into a dead zone causing the actor’s voices to drop, a missed light cue or two, and a couple of slow entrances, but these are minor flaws in an otherwise outstanding performance.

Henry IV is one of my favorites among many of Shakespeare’s plays. It has some of his best lines and it introduces one of the greatest characters of all time, Falstaff. Some have said that Falstaff is a stand in for Shakespeare himself and have cited the similarity in their names: Fall/staff, Shake/speare.

Harold Bloom writing in his, Shakespeare, The Invention of the Human, quotes Hegel: “Shakespeare made his best characters free artists of themselves.” The freest of them all are Hamlet and Falstaff because they are they are the most intelligent of Shakespeare’s persons. Falstaff certainly shows his proclivity for eating, drinking, and fornicating and basically being a social deviant.

Anthony Burgess suggests that the Falstaffian spirit is a great sustainer of civilization. It disappears when the state is too powerful. There is little of Falstaff’s spirit in the world today. As the power of the state expands, what is left will be liquidated.

But wait…don’t banish Falstaff, not sweet, kind Jack Falstaff, true Jack Fallstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, old Falstaff, banish plump Jack and banish all the world.

Keep Will Free!

 

 

 

A COMEDY TONIGHT!

Comedy of Errors

 

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Saw a production of Kentucky Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors in Central Park last night in Old Louisville. Matt Wallace’s merry band of players brought this hilarious play of mistaken identity to vivid life on the outdoor stage. Even if you don’t understand every single word of the Elizabethan tongue you will have no problem following the action.

Kudos to Matt Wallace for his fine directing and stage blocking. Many scenes were staged to look like paintings or tableaus. And the costumes! Divine. Colorful, flowing, rich, sensuous materials; candy to the eye and music to the ear. All against a color coordinated set dominated by brown with white furniture, windows, doors, and lattice works. Baskets of brightly colored fruits and vegetable accented the tables.

At no time did the action drag. As one character leaves the stage another enters, usually talking.

Really liked the Greek dance at the end.  A nice grace note to end upon.

All in all, it was a Comedy Tonight!

 

MY NEW DIGS

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In a few days I will be moving into my new digs located in Old Louisville. I’ll be moving there from St. Mathews which is in the East end of Louisville and rather tony, if you get my drift. This will be my fourth move since I moved back to Louisville in  2012 maintaining a life long habit of moving every few years.

First I lived in the Highlands, which I loved, then out Westport Road which is even further to the east, and now, finally getting back to my roots and a more urban environment, Old Louisville.

Old Louisville is a historic neighborhood in central Louisville nestled between Downtown Louisville and The University of Louisville. It is the largest preservation district in the United States featuring almost entirely Victorian homes mostly made of brick. With its wide avenues, beautiful treelined streets, and magnificent mansions it is truly a wonder to behold.

Old Louisville also sports a number of fascinating and interesting taverns, bars, and grills, and an odd assortment of restaurants. And I have been having quite a time exploring the area. Here are a few snaps of my new digs, and my new neighborhood.

See you in the hood!

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Mag Bar

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Fourth Street Tavern

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Vis-a-Vis

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Granville Inn

 

Garvin Gate Blues Festival

Photo Essay

The Garvin Gate Blues Festival is held the second weekend in October in historic Old Louisville. It’s a two day festival featuring performers both national and local that celebrates blues music. This event attracts both a multiracial and a multi-generational crowd.  It has a 29 year history and is still going strong.

Featured here is the band Tweed Funk hailing from Milwaukee.

Bikers, Booze, and Blues

Garvin Gate Neighborhood

Pet Friendly

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Tweed Funk

Smokey Holman

Andrew Spada

Eric Madunic

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Dave Schoepke

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A Face in the Crowd

 

ORANGE BLOSSOM SPECIAL

The day I met Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash At Newport

One evening in the bleak December back in the 1970’s I was sitting in one Louisville’s famed dens of iniquities, Rhiney’s Go Go Bar and Lounge. The Rick Hipple Duo was playing for our listening enjoyment. Rick Hipple was on the the organ and sang vocals while his partner Lou Stanfield played the drums. I was there with my girlfriend, Lynn of the pretty green panties.

The band had just finished playing a rousing version of Dixie, Of course back in those days whenever a band played Dixie everyone stood up took off they hats and put their hands over their hearts.

Lynn and I had just re-seated ourselves and I was trying to get the waitress’s attention for another round of drinks when the door of the establishment flew open and out of the cold night a man dressed in black and a whole entourage of people trailing behind him filed into the bar.

The man in black approached the bandstand and wrestled the microphone away from ole Rick Hipple and said into the mic with a bit of a slur, “Hi, I’m Johnny Cash, how do you do!”

He looked back at the astonished face of Rick Hipple and said, “Orange Blossom Special,” which Rick commenced to playing.

Now these were the days before Johnny was acquainted with June Carter which is to say he was still a pretty wild character. And that character was on full display that night. He was all liquored up on that roadhouse corn and he stood there swaying in the spotlight slurring his words and trying his best to get through that song.

“Well, I’m going down to Florida and get some sand in my shoes…”

Well, that was the night I met Johnny Cash. A night I will never forget.

 

 

 

 

EXPERIENCE HENDRIX

Are You Experienced?

Lot’s of serious guitar playing going on at last nigh (3/19) at the Jimi Hendrix tribute tour at the Louisville Palace, in the heart of beautiful downtown Louisville, Kentucky just blocks away from Positively Fourth Street.

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All the old familiar tunes like Hey Joe, All Along the Watch Tower, and Purple Haze were on display for an adoring audience. Some of the biggest names in Show Biz were there to cut some mean licks and shake up the bricks.

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Buddy Guy

80 year old, down by law, Buddy Guy was there. He was a major influence on Hendrix as well as Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Buddy Guy is a six time Grammy winner and is ranked #23 best guitar player of all time by Rolling Stone.

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Beth Hart and Kenny Wayne Shepherd

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Beth Hart and Johnny Lang

Beth Hart was the whole reason I went to this concert. She has already stolen my heart and damned if she didn’t steal the show. Blues Magazine once dubbed Beth Hart as the Ultimate Female Rock Star. But to me she is the best blues singer this side of Blue Heaven.

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Zakk Wylde is a former Ozzy Osborne band member and now solo artist and master guitarist.

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Ana Popovic

Of all the things I have ever done in my life I don’t think there has ever been anything quite so exciting as attending a live musical concert.

Excuse me while I kiss the sky….