May 202010

By Nick Kidd

Willie Eames plays for free at Sidebar every Wednesday. Did you read that? Read it again. Free. Willie.

You might recognize Eames as the frontman of The Tall Boys (who play free sets at Lynagh’s every Sunday) and Club Dub, but his solo sets are more concerned with delta blues and classic rock covers. These subdued solo gigs are strikingly wonderful, especially if you’re able to a) shut up and b) listen, while c) drinking. Okay, “c” is optional. But if you’re heading to Sidebar just to socialize on a Wednesday, show some respect for the man and pipe down.

Crucial Fun Fest. This is the 5th year of this festival and I have to admit, I’ve never been. In fact, I’ve never heard of any of the bands that are playing this year, just like last year, and the year before, and the year before…Hell, I’ve never spoken with anyone who’s ever been to CFF. It’s quite a mystery to me, which speaks to the diversity of music in this city.

Here’s this year’s lineup (of bands I’ve never heard of):

May 28: Delay, The Sidekicks, Dead Dogs, Timeshares, and Sundials

May 29: Andrew Jackson Jihad, The Two Funerals, Pink Houses, and others.

May 30: The Max Leving Ensemble, The Wild, Mischief Brew, and others.

I tracked down a musician who performed at a past CFF for the scoop. He described CFF bands as folk ‘punk’ (he used air-quotes for punk) and says “Mischief Brew represent the best that wasteland of a genre has to offer.” Okay then!

The City play May 29. Our layout guy, Keith Halladay, is in a band called The City. Wait to hear how much cash the band’s raking in, playing out roughly 7 shows a month…a whopping ZERO DOLLAZ! That’s because The City plays gigs and donates whatever money they make from them to causes like the Humane Society of Lexington, Military Missions (sending care packages to soldiers), Doctors Without Borders, and the Lyric Theater restoration fund. They’re friggin’ Rockin Robin Hoods.

The City will be playing on May 29 AT Natasha’s Bistro for the Lexington Area Music Alliance, LAMA, a “civic-oriented musical arts association” who’s goals include lobbying for the growth and development of local music and entertainment in city-county government activities; creating a communication network of musicians, venues and other live music interests in the area; and focusing efforts of developers, civic leaders and other non-traditional music partners to create a bona fide entertainment district. (This information and more can be found at

The City is doing a very cool thing, something that artists are regularly asked to do—donate—in an organized, purpose-driven way. Kudos to them. If you’d care to help out a cause and experience some live music, keep your eye on The City.

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