September 8 2004 

CHERI BUCKNER WEBB

Local jazz singer Cheri Buckner Webb recently released By His Grace, a new album featuring Randall Coryell and the Celebration Choir. Come celebrate (since the choir can't make it) the release and listen to her work her pipes during an in-store performance at the Record Exchange.

Sunday September 12, Record Exchange, 2 p.m.

LEON RUSSELL

If Gandalf the wizard played the piano, he would probably aim to sound like Leon Russell. No doubt he would at least look like Russell, with the surging white mane and beard. But if Gandalf knows boogie-woogie, he'd know that Russell's style (in the 1960s) was instrumental in bringing the piano to the forefront of rock and roll. Russell is a musician's musician, leaving a wake of influence for other well-known pianists and repeatedly demonstrating his aptitude as a performer and songwriter.

Monday, September 13, Big Easy, 8 p.m., $25.

KATAHDIN'S EDGE

A three-piece jazz outfit is hardly a rarity, so it takes a little something special to ossify a niche in the market. The three men who make up Katahdin's Edge are Willie Myette, John Funkhouser and Mike Connors. And their special little secret is that they are all classically trained musicians from Boston and Rhode Island. Berklee College equals tenacious and talented musicians. What they create is a version of improvisational jazz fused with electronic sounds and grooves. They add depth to what is otherwise a predictable jazz setup. Listening to Katahdin's Edge requires attention, but the band keeps it with their intriguing and athletic effects.

Monday, September 13, Tom Grainey's, 10:30 p.m.

JOHN EDDIE

Who the hell is John Eddie? That's what it says on the dude's own Web site, so it's easy to assume that the correct answer is "nutcase." But if you click to enter, you'll find out that back in the '80s, Eddie was a Jersey rocker oft compared to Bruce Springsteen, but he's got some country in him--apparently he's "more Memphis than Asbury Park." Which, despite your doubts, is a better place to be country. Over the years, Eddie's rootsy rock has turned more country, but his songs have always maintained a thread of satirical humor--evident in the self-mocking name of his first major-label album in over a decade: Who the Hell is John Eddie? There's one place tp find out.

Tuesday, September 14, Big Easy Bourbon Street Saloon, 7:30 p.m., $10

CIRCLE JERKS

Part of Southern California's group of bands that helped establish the area's hardcore punk sound in the late 70s and early 80s, the Circle Jerks are still going strong. The Jerks at one time produced a sound that seemed to flip a middle finger to the Southern California sun. And years later they still do.

For more on the Jerks, check out the Noise feature on page 22.

Wednesday, September 15, Big Easy, 6:30 p.m., $16.50.

BOUQUET

There's a spot on Main Street that reminds me of Cher. It has been around forever, always been cool and now we get to witness its redefinition for a more current style. It's the space that hosts the Bouquet, née the Blues Bouquet.

The days of popular blues are long retired to artistic idealism, so new owner Eric Walton decided to revamp and upgrade the entire joint. "The biggest challenge is changing the demographic," Walton says. "It was older, we're looking to go a little younger. We're looking to compete with the people at 6th and Main."

So they made significant upgrades to the audio system, lowered drink prices and hooked up satellite TVs. Walton still has big ideas to come, including promotions with liquor and beer companies, theme nights, changing up the wall ornaments and adding different artists. And, of course, food.

"The big thing we have coming is food. We're in the process of remodeling the kitchen," he says. "We'll have wraps and chips and we're gonna do fried foods."

OK, so Cher isn't that cool, but the word is that her concerts rock. And what makes this venue special, and most like Cher, is the kick ass live shows. The Bouquet will still have live music Tuesday through Saturday and Sunday is free jam night for bands to hit the stage and play a set and get their feet wet or show off a bit. :

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