March 27, 2007

Black magic, in the Wake, fresh Bloom, Cats’ meow

Zakk WyldeZakk Wylde has been the trusted sideman of one of heavy metal’s godfathers for a long time.Ozzy Osbourne plucked Wylde out of relative obscurity (he was working at a gas station in New Jersey) to be the lead guitarist on No Rest for the Wicked, No More Tears and Ozzmosis.Over the years, Wylde has had his hand in his own projects though, namely Black Label Society, which plays Coyote’s (116 W. Jefferson St., 589-3866) Tuesday night.“I dig working,” Wylde says on his Web site. “You can bitch and moan sometimes about having too much on your plate, but it’s gotta get done, and this is what I do.”Boasting a massive back-catalog that might well earn him the reputation as the hardest working guitar player in rock, Wylde has released a new album, Shot to Hell, on Roadrunner Records.Doors open at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $22.50/$25 day of show. Sanctity opens.•••Thoughtful and evocative, Gold Dust Trail, by Livewire recording artists Warm in the Wake, is a testament to the band’s dedication.Warm in the Wake: Georgia’s Warm in the Wake returns to Louisville on Saturday. Look for the band’s new album, American Prehistoric, in late summer.Recording it “was a long process that ended up hopefully sounding cohesive and making sense together,” said Chris Rowell, guitarist and vocalist for the Georgia group. “Luckily we have enough of a chemistry as a group that the songs keep improving in our live shows, enough so that it keeps the songs new and alive for us even after hundreds of performances,” Rowell said.  Show-goers should expect an inspired performance, as the band is looking forward to returning to Louisville to preview its work. The Wake rises at 10 p.m. Saturday at Vito’s Place (1919 S. Preston St., 634-1003). The show kicks off the second leg of a tour promoting both its seven-song EP Gold Dust Trail, and its forthcoming LP release American Prehistoric, slated to arrive in late August. “It worked out that Louisville fell at the end of the last run and the beginning of the next,” Rowell said. “We met some amazing people during our last show, and we can’t wait to play there again.”•••In keeping with spring, new music blossoms for Bloom Street. The staple Louisville group celebrates its 10th anniversary and has been diligently working on a new recording, unofficially titled Pure Goodness. Guitarist Joe Bowers described the release as the “polar opposite” of the ensemble’s previous effort.“The first album was really just a ‘live in the studio album.’ No overdubs, no post-production, and we really didn’t have an overall big picture,” Bowers said. “We put a lot of thought and band discussion on every detail of this album … the last album was so rushed, I think we all wanted to really take our time this one.”Percussionist Alex Molina noted that all criticism between the members is constructive, and that the album represents new levels of communication and maturity for the band.  “Being able to look back and reflect on past experiences has been an integral part of this album … whether it is the coming about of our current sound, or the relationships we have built with each other,” he said. “I think people are really going to be surprised,” Bowers said. “Our hope was to make a record that you couldn’t easily categorize, and I think we’ve done that. It’s also an album of great songs. Lyrics mean a lot on this album; Daniel has really come into his own as a lyricist and songwriter.”Bloom Street plays Friday at the Pour Haus (1481 S. Shelby St., 637-9611). Doors at 9 p.m. •••If you’re looking for the cat’s meow, swinging jazz/blues quartet Little Charlie and the Nightcats return to StevieLittle Charlie and the Nightcats Ray’s Blues Bar (230 E. Main St., 582-9945) at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Group namesake Little Charlie Baly and his bandmates think of Louisville fondly.“I recall the energetic and enthusiastic Monday-night crowds, the great sound and the amazing selection of bourbons available at the bar.” Baly said.  But it’s not just rowdy folks and fine liquor that inspires this bunch of hopping rockers. Baly and the Nightcats have become an institution, blending blues, jazz, Western swing and rock into a wholly original musical style.  The group is touring to promote its most recent Alligator Records collection, Nine Lives, and to perfect new material for a possible live record. “We try to record live as much as possible and use older recording techniques and equipment to get a richer, less electronic sound,” Baly said. “We’ve recorded eight studio records and only one live record; my guess is that we’ll record another live one soon because of the great sound of the current edition of the band.”In spite of the years spent touring, learning the genre and developing their style, the blues remains fresh and exciting to Baly and the Nightcats.“I constantly try to learn new things and come to the gig with new ideas to explore in my solos every night,” Baly said. “Playing for different audiences all around the world keeps the music fresh, and being surrounded by great musicians who are constantly challenging themselves and bringing 110 percent to the table is very inspiring.”•••Finally, if you’re in the mood for the eclectic, check out Lexington-based Sexual Disaster Quartet Saturday night at The Rudyard Kipling (422 W. Oak St., 636-1311).  Performing selections from its forthcoming self-titled album, the group will woo listeners with its own unique blend of soul, rock and jazz. Instrumentation is rich and complex, evincing the members’ formal music education; audiences may even be treated to a cornet or flugelhorn solo — musical avenues sure to delight fans of the diverse. “One thing people don’t realize about our group is that we mostly play together at our shows,” said bass and keyboard player Kenny Bernhardt.“We practice when we can, but individually we are responsible for our own parts. So lot of the time the audience is experiencing the music right along with us. Individual rehearsal and technical competence is just as important to us as structured rehearsal,” he said.Though the band is young, it maintains a rigorous touring schedule and assiduously pursues improvement. Having gone through personnel changes, the quartet seems to have found its groove, and the members find their music improves with each show. “The key for us is being comfortable with each other musically,” Bernhardt said. “I know how Sam (Flowers, horns/keys/vocals) is going to play any instrument he picks up, so I’m comfortable and can react to it. Relating to someone musically doesn’t have as much to do with an instrument as one would think. When you are comfortable with each other’s abilities and musical personalities, you can make anything work,” he said. Doors open at 9 p.m. Contact the writer at