Festive First Friday

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Adding to the holiday festivities next weekend will be the First Friday Art Walk, scheduled to go on as planned July 3.

The night before you get to see colorful fireworks in the sky, you'll get to see colorful (or maybe black and white) artwork on the walls in galleries around town.

Last year, the First Friday in July fell on the nation's birthdate, and many galleries decided to postpone in order to celebrate. This year, though, it's right before the holiday so most galleries plan to just go with it.

The ARound Town Group will still offer the art shuttle, which started this month. The June First Friday art shuttle carried nearly 100 passengers to nine galleries on its loop around the Cape Girardeau art circuit. With extended family in town and more people who saw or heard about the shuttle, that number stands to grow July 3.

Another First Friday event some people want to see grow are the Blues off Broadway concerts, formerly known as the Blues on Broadway concerts when they were held in the Marquette Tower on Broadway the first Friday of every month.

The concerts now play at Dockside the Upper Deck. Talent wrangler Larry Underberg, charged with finding and bringing in new acts for the concerts, said the Dockside will hold roughly 185 people plus a full bar, allowing them to sell more tickets.

Underberg also reduced the number of concerts. Blues on Broadway was originally meant to be a musical supplement to the Art Walks each month. Blues off Broadway will put on a concert every three months or so.

Underberg decided to let the other events shine and allow people to start to miss the concerts before he offers more. A $15 to $20 ticket each month can be hard to justify, but once every couple of months doesn't sting so much.

For the July Blues off Broadway the Stoney Curtis Band is flying in from Los Angeles. Underberg discovered this psychodelic blues band at the bottom of a clearance bin at a music store that was going out of business. Everything must go, so Underberg took a chance on the CD because he liked the cover.

Talk about judging a CD by its cover.

You won't have to do that. We've posted three songs by the Stoney Curtis Band on our website, www.semissourian.com. Check them out and enjoy.

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