The Pearl and the Bird
Every year since she passed away in 2002, blues giant Lady Pearl has been honored by the blues community in the form of a performance by the BTA Band, her old backing group fronted by her brother and bandleader Ray Reed and now featuring Lady Pearl’s daughter Miss Kim.
But this year is different. Since the Bluebird re-opened about a year ago after years of neglect, the Como club has had trouble drawing a crowd, which may have nothing to do with a lack of interest in the blues but everything to do with the club’s location, in an area ravaged by poverty and crime. “Authentic experiences are too hard to come by,” wrote local bluesman David Blankenship in an e-mail. “And the Bluebird is definitely authentic.” Founded in the 1970s and owned and operated by the late legendary bluesman Robert Ealey, the Bluebird is an essential part of Fort Worth’s cultural history, as important as the Kimbell Art Museum and the Stockyards. The motivation behind BTA Band’s performance on Saturday is twofold: to keep Lady Pearl’s indomitable spirit – and the Bluebird – alive. The event starts at 10 p.m., and there will be a nominal cover charge. The Bluebird is located at 5636 Wellesley Ave. For more information, call the club at 817-732-1522.
The Metrognome Collective’s one-year anniversary show at The Wreck Room last weekend was reportedly a success, but the nonprofit arts group that provides space and publicity for local artists of various disciplines still needs help; the group’s building was temporarily shut down a couple of weeks ago for fire code violations, and getting back up to code is going to require a lot of money. Co-director James Watkins puts the bill at $10,000-$15,000, of which $5,000 has already been covered by a grant from Wishful Wings Foundation, a nonprofit organization that’s done a lot of good work in Tarrant County. More money, however, is needed. Donations can be made through PayPal at www.metrognome.org.
Q.T. Tubb (1925-2007)
Last Saturday, local news media were all over the Fort Worth funeral of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams, who was gunned down in a drive-by shooting early New Year’s Day in Colorado. Williams grew up in Cowtown, was a three-time All-District player while at O.D. Wyatt High School, and by most accounts a sterling young man. His death deserved the media attention. But another notable person, name of Quanah Talmadge “Q.T.” Tubb, was buried in the Fort on the same day and didn’t receive any media fanfare. Tubb was the nephew of country music pioneer Ernest Tubb, the ol’ Texas Troubadour himself. Q.T. penned a lot of country songs, including E.T.’s biggest hit, the Lone Star anthem “Waltz Across Texas.” Consider my few words here a meager but essential memoriam. – Jeff Prince
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