by Mike Breen
Northern Kentucky native and genuine guitar god Adrian Belew returns to the area tonight for a show with The Crimson ProjeKct at the Taft Theatre. Belew is spending half his summer on the road with the ProjeKct — a King Crimson offshoot that also includes KC’s Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto, plus Markus Reuter, Julie Slick and Tobias Ralph — touring as opener for modern-day Prog Rock legends Dream Theater. The ProjeKct set lists so far on the tour have been all King Crimson, primarily from Belew's initial period with the group ("Elephant Talk," "Thela Hun Ginjeet") and the ’90s KC period when Mastelotto joined the fold ("B'Boom," "THRAK"), but they've also been doing the title track from KC's 1974 album, Red. In August, Belew, Levin and Mastelotto will be going to camp in the Catskills. The second annual “Three Of A Perfect Pair Music Camp” — which will include workshops, story sharing, hangouts and lots of music-playing — takes place Aug. 20-24 (visit threeofaperfectpair.com for full details or check out the video overview below).But first things first — Belew and The Crimson ProjeKct perform tonight at the Taft at 7:30 p.m., followed by Dream Theater. Tickets are $27.50-$53.Here's a clip from 1982 of Crimson performing another song the ProjeKct has been playing on its current jaunt.• The name Marsalis is a quality-ensurer in Jazz. So many family members have made a name in music, the Marsalis family tree is a full branch of the general American Jazz family tree. Esteemed trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis is the brother of famed trumpeter/historian Wynton, modern sax icon Branford and respected drummer-turned-vibraphonist Jason, and son of Louisiana Music Hall of Famer Ellis Marsalis, Jr. Together, the musical family received the NEA Jazz Masters Award in 2011. Of course, the Marsalis' individual achievements are still wildly impressive outside of the context of the family's accomplishments. Delfeayo has released a handful of acclaimed albums since the ’90s, including 2011's Sweet Thunder: Duke and Shak, but his greatest contribution to Jazz may be his work in production. Handling the boards on over 100 albums over the years, Delfeayo helped steer recorded Jazz back to a more acoustic mindset, eschewing tech "advancements" like the "dreaded direct bass" for the ambiance of early, classic Jazz sessions. The Delfeayo Marsalis Sextet (with saxman and clarinetist Victor Goines) begins a two-night stand (with shows at 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.) tonight at downtown's Blue Wisp Jazz Club. Admission is just $15 ($10 for students with ID). Here's a clip of Delfeayo with his pops, performing "Sultry Serenade."
by Mike Breen
The whammy bar gets patented and Martin Denny's warm exotica
On this day in 1956, innovative guitar builder Leo Fender was awarded the patent for a "Tremolo Device for Stringed Instruments," commonly known as the "whammy bar." The device was misnamed — it's more accurately a vibrato bar (tremolo is a "wavering effect in a musical tone, produced by rapid reiteration of a note, by rapid repeated variation in the pitch of a note," according to the dictionary) — but that didn't stop musicians from using it in a variety of ways to create new sounds and techniques. The bar was introduced with Fender's Stratocaster, which was invented a couple of years earlier. The Greater Cincinnati area has given the world two "twang bar kings" (or maybe "twang bar Picassos" is more appropriate) —pals and bandmates in The Bears, Adrian Belew and Rob Fetters.Click on for Born This Day featuring Q-Tip, Brian Setzer, Chris Carrabba and Martin Denny.
by Mike Breen
Music Tonight: Locally-bred guitar superhero Adrian Belew is back in his homestate for a special gig at the Southgate House in Newport. Belew shows are always amazing, but tonight's performance is part of the Two of a Perfect Trio tour, which teams the Adrian Belew Power Trio with Stick Men, featuring Belew's mates from King Crimson, Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto. It'll be a night of Prog Pop and Rock as the Stick Men open things up at 8:30 p.m. with their explorations on Chapman Stick (the bass-like instrument Levin helped popularize), acoustic/electronic percussion and Markus Reuter' homemade "touch guitar" work. After Belew's set with his trio, the two ensembles will join forces for the "Crim-centric" encore, running through their favorite King Crimson compositions. The show is open to all ages; admission is $22. Below, check out a great retrospective documentary about Belew covering his entire career, narrated by the Twang Bar King himself.