Blues Streak

The Knoxville Blues Society is quickly turning into one of the most active players on the local music scene. This week—Thursday, Nov. 5, to be exact—they're bringing New York keyboardist Bruce Katz and his band to the third-floor performance hall at Patrick Sullivan's. Katz, a former member of Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, plays original tunes that mix blues, gospel, and soul into a big-city good time. When was the last time you saw a great blues pianist in town? (Okay, we know, it was the Dr. John show at the Tennessee. But Katz is definitely worth checking out.)

The Blues Society folks also just released their much-anticipated CD of live recordings from the weekly Blue Jam at Sassy Ann's. Watch this space for a full review next week. Of course, there's also the monthly River Blues Cruise, taking place on Nov. 22 and featuring Jenna and Strange Cargo. And then there's the Blues in the Schools program, which teaches kids about the music that spawned jazz, rock 'n' roll and pretty much everything else you hear on the radio. Great big Zippy kudos all the way around.

Le Jazz Hot

One hundred twenty-six jazz lovers know a good thing when they hear it. These members of the East Tennessee Jazz Society and anyone else who loves a good groove will be getting together on Sunday, November 15, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at Ivory's to celebrate a new CD Simple Complexity by trombonist and Elizabethtown-native Rick Simerly. The disc was recorded in the Scruffy City at Joel Fairstein's Castle Acoustics and some Knox Jazzers like Donald Brown, Rusty Holloway, Keith Brown, Jerry Coker, and Bill Scarlett have added their own licks. The concert will feature all of these great musicians in the same venue—not a daily occurrence in this town—and is also a fund-raiser for the Jazz Society its own self. Cover charge will be $6 for ETJS members, $8 for non-members (but larger donations will be gleefully accepted). Also, you might want to place an advance reservation with Bob Heintz at 982-6834 or Geoff Matthews at 579-5562 since the fire marshals get all touchy if more than 90 people cram into Ivory's.

The Playground is Closed

The November 14 Knoxville stop for Marcy's Playground has been canceled by the band. No, the Zipster has no idea why Playground has decided to get flaky at this point in their career; perhaps they finally realized that they were on minute 13 of their allotted 15. Refunds can be obtained at the Thompson-Boling box office Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Further questions can be directed to Tickets Unlimited at 656-4444.

That Vision Thing

Yes, yes, I know that this is nominally a music/arts/entertainment column, but I just can't resist commenting upon a good thing that seems to be happening in our fair burg. While the Fort Sanders neighborhood has been getting (rightfully) loads of attention in their ongoing struggle against development, other neighborhoods are also reviewing what makes them unique—a sort of identity domino effect. If you have an interest in good ol' South Knoxville, be sure to attend a Visioning Meeting, which will be taking place on November 10 at 7:15 p.m. at the Island Home Baptist Church. The folks involved want your input on discovering ways to ensure a positive future for the Island Home area. For more information, give Joe Hultquist at call at 579-5172.

—Zippy "Information Clearinghouse" McDuff