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Beckley Noize

Alternative music scene in Beckley, West Virginia.

I have rarely been as, well, sated, as I was this Monday, after having spent the weekend listening to some best live music around--which included an exquisite Mountain Stage performance. Just hated to miss the finale at the Glass (after MStage)--heard Slim Dunlap, Robin Hitchcock, the Amazing Delores, and others tore it up in celebration of our fearless leader's birthday. Ol'Donovan still packs a wallop, I must say.

So anyway, I found myself at one point at Backroads in Glen Jean (of all places). Highland Talent had Citizen Kain in there and it was packed with happy people. Joe Dew of CK has a well-deserved rep as a good player and the band itself is definitely interesting, with a good, clean strong sound. I'd say you'll see more of them; they say they have some original tunes on the way...and they certainly pack a dance floor.

Also caught new offering: Three Bucks. Jeff Cook, Chuck Wiseman, and Wes Anderson make a tight, captivating threesome even at 3am. I was also intrigued by Cook's songwriting ability; they played a song of his that was really somethin'. Wiseman on drums/harp is also impressive, and Anderson also deserves HIS good rep as a guitarist. Hope to hear more from these guys.

Cattleman's holds an open mic night weekly now--heard Dew (among others) played it last week, and a good time was had by all. Also I'm pretty sure they have the lowest drink prices around....Call 'em and say you read it here.

Rich Morgan has been asked to produce a ³Homegrown Hour² for Mullins radio station WPMW. This is to feature local music/musician types and he's looking for tapes, CD's and press packs. Send to: PO Box 278 Pineville WV 24874. Cover tunes are ok but they of course prefer originals,(any style of music) and if you send tapes be sure that they are of decent quality. He will also be doing some on-air interviews with musicians so get on it if you want to be featured on this. AOC has already sent their stuff to Rich and incidentally they are also getting airplay on Summersville's C93.

Beckleyan Ron Brunk has been recording at Doug Gent's Media Productions; Gent said Ron's work was impressive. Soldiers Memorial Theatre will hold its last Coffeehouse for a while Nov. 23--Detlef Ulfers of Beckley played a command performance (by popular demand) at the last one. What a guy. SMT will have done Fringe Festival II by the time you read this, and with any luck at all this concert series will continue, possibly with a Blues night. They are also getting ready to produce an original play, Christmas for Paper Dolls and will be having all-day activities on the weekends for kids and families through most of December.

You Charleston folk reading this accidently take note: Actress/Comedienne Margaret Baker's show Infinity Babies is WELL worth seeing. You gotta respect a performer who looks the audience in the eye and tells them they're as weird as she is (true), and she's funny. I would expect to see Baker playing many more shows in and around Charleston.

As I write I am somewhere south of Cleveland working for Writer/Actress Karen Vuranch. Her show Homefront is well worth seeing too; as is anything the Historic Fayette Theater does (which she and Actor/Director Gene Worthington run.)

Those famous Carpenter Ants will be Lurking around our area--Catch them before they move off to Russia...And I've gotta throw in, too, how impressive local Jazz group IMPROV is. The oldest one in the bunch is barely 18 but these kids are pros and really know how to work a crowd. If they're playing, go see them.

This article originally appeared in Graffiti Magazine, from West Virginia.

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