Monday, May 11, 2009

Mid-Month Music

This Friday night, Brian Wilkie (pictured) and I return to Finley Dunne's Tavern for three sets of hard-charging jukebox favorites. Brian will be armed with his Telecaster and his pedal steel guitar. He's one hell of a picker.

Finley Dunne's is located at 3458 N. Lincoln Avenue, in Chicago's Roscoe Village neighborhood. Showtime is 9:00 p.m., and there is no cover. Hope to see you.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Must-See TV?

For the past six months, I've made it a point to watch (or record) "The Marty Stuart Show," which airs every Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. (CST) on RFD-TV -- "Rural America's Most Important Network."

Marty's thirty-minute show is taped before a live audience on a spartan set in Nashville, and it's loaded with live music -- no skits, no interviews, and only a minimal amount of schtick.

Each week Marty and his phenomenal band, The Fabulous Superlatives, play a couple of tunes. Marty's wife, Connie Smith, generally joins the fray for one song. The kicker, however, is the weekly guest. It's generally someone who doesn't surface on TV -- perhaps because there aren't many opportunities (outside of American Idol and the late-night talk show circuit) for folks to sing and play on TV anymore.

In past weeks, Marty has featured legends like Wanda Jackson, The Del McCoury Band, Charley Pride, and Dallas Frazier. Equally important, he's also given airtime to great new acts like The Steeldrivers and The Quebe Sisters Band.

Marty's show reminds me a lot of The Buck Owens Ranch Show -- and that's a good thing. Buck's show aired regionally some forty years ago, and it's now available on DVD at Buck's website.

While I have Marty on the brain, I'll throw out a plug for "Souls' Chapel," his 2005 gospel record, which remains in heavy rotation at my house after four years.