Happy In Bag

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Roger (Bettye, Bruce) & Me

My ears hurt so good. The music scene in Kansas City is more vital and exciting than it's been in at least a decade.

It starts with the clubs. The Record Bar, which became the city’s premier venue the first night it opened, is a godsend. Between it, the Brick, Davey’s, the Hurricane, and Mike’s, local rock’n’rollers have never had it so good. Even as the brilliant Tech N9ne can headline at Memorial Hall, the conscious hip hop scene is blowing up. The nortena and salsa scenes seem to be thriving. Jazz is struggling, but there are still a handful of solid acts playing out every night. Blues is stuck in one of its cyclical downtrends, there’s still plenty to be heard around town, especially at roots-oriented clubs like BB’s Lawnside BarB-Q and Knuckleheads.

The Sunday Star is loaded with listings for various classical music events. And I haven’t even mentioned the new space at Harrah’s or the fine room at Ameristar. Adequate radio and retail support are now the only missing links in an otherwise scorching hotbed of music.

Tuesday night you could have found me at the Hurricane, the scene of an epic double bill. The first event was the kind of boutique show that almost never touches down in Kansas City. Resurrected legend Bettye LaVette, in support of her new Anti release I’ve Got My Own Hell To Raise, tore it up. It was like seeing Otis Redding.
Her opening act was the venerable Wild Women of Kansas City (see my September 5 entry).

Arizona's Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers played the second show. It's confounding that an act as compelling and talented as Bruce Springsteen or John Mellencamp pours it all out for only a couple hundred people a night.

Speaking of Springsteen, the reissue of Born To Run hit shelves Tuesday. I can’t wait to pick it up. But with all the action in Kansas City, it’s going to be hard to find time to enjoy it.


  • At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    first off, sorry about the comments on old posts - im new here...

    second off, the kansas city/lawerence music scene is fantastic...but i cant STAND to turn on my radio. if i hear the killers or robert palmer one more time im gonna stab someone


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