Category: Entertainment Written by Christian Morrow - Courier Staff Writer
JOE LOUIS WALKER
by Christian Morrow
Courier Staff Writer
Some of us are old enough to remember that before he was a renowned solo artist, back in the early 1970s Billy Price was the front man for one of the tightest big blues bands around—The Nighthawks.
Well, you younger blues enthusiasts will be in for a treat when Price and The Nighthawks reunite for this year’s Pittsburgh Blues Festival at Hartwood Acres, July 19-21. But you don’t have to wait until their penultimate Saturday night performance, because this year’s free Friday lineup may be one of the best ever featuring The Slide Brothers and Big Sam’s Funky Nation.
Inspired and endorsed by the much younger Robert Randolph, The Slide Brothers decided to stretch out beyond the exclusively sacred music they’d been playing, and everyone is better for it.
If that’s not cranked up enough, Big Sam’s Funky Nation out of New Orleans will get everyone on their feet for the Friday finale. Quick review from Oregonian writer Ryan White: “tight enough (and hot enough) to turn coal into diamond.”
Saturday’s lineup is nothing to sneeze at either, starting off with vocalist Gina Sicilia, followed by another dose of New Orleans with Blues Festival favorite, guitarist Eric Lindell. Then, it’s time to get old school with Joe Louis Walker and his signature blues/rock sound.
Winding up the July 20 show is Los Lonely Boys, the Texas power trio of brothers whose “Texican Rock & Roll” features acclaimed covers of John Lennon, Blind Faith and The Doors as well as their own Grammy Nominated hits.
The final night’s lineup starts with newcomer D.J. McPherson, followed by Price and The Nighthawks. Closing the weekend’s festivities is another Louisianan, Tab Benoit, whose Cajun-influenced stomping rhythm and hot guitar leads have entertained festival patrons in the past.
As always, proceeds from the festival benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank. Admission is $35 per day for Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free Friday with the donation of a bag of non-perishable food items. Children under 12 are free every day.
Afternoons will feature local bands, food and merchandise vendors, and a kids’ activity tent. Parking at Hartwood as also free. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the Blues Hotline at 412-460-BLUE, or by visiting www.pghblues.com.
Last Updated on Monday, 06 May 2013 15:53
Category: Entertainment Written by Ashley G. Woodson
R&B singer AVANT sang his heart out to all of the ladies at the event “Savoy Dinner Series.”
This week I visited Young Brother’s Bar on the North Side of Pittsburgh, CJ’s in the Strip District, Black Beauty Lounge in the Hill District and Savoy Restaurant in the Strip District.
My first stop was at the Black Beauty Lounge in the Hill District where everyone came out to enjoy “Karaoke Night.”
My next stop was at CJ’s in the Strip District where the music was great and the dance floor was packed.
My next stop was at Savoy Restaurant in the Strip District where they had an event called the “Savoy Dinner Party Series” featuring national recording artist Avant for a great night of entertainment.
My final destination was at Young Brothers on the North Side, where we listened to old school hip-hop all night long.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 11:59
Category: Entertainment Written by Associated Press
by David Germain
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Iron Man reigns as the standard-bearer of Hollywood superheroes with a $175.3 million domestic opening weekend for his latest sequel and an overseas haul of a half-billion dollars in less than two weeks.
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 May 2013 15:38
Category: Entertainment Written by Courier Newsroom
The August Wilson Center for African American Culture presents offCENTER from 6-8 p.m. at 980 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. The topic will be “The Point: Regional Black Film Showcase.” The show, hosted by Thomas Poole, is a platform for local Black filmmakers to showcase their current projects. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.augustwilsoncenter.org
The Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co. presents “Ma Noah” at 8 p.m. at 937 Liberty Ave., Downtown. The show blends humor and hard-hitting truth in the heart of the family unit. In the play, Rebecca Pratt, a single mother of four, struggles to keep her family intact despite all the social ills. She finds courage and hope to fight and save her children. The show will run through May 12. For more information, visit www.pghplaywrights.com.
The Pittsburgh Public Theater presents “Clybourne Park” at the O’Reilly Theater, 621 Penn Ave., Cultural District. “Clybourne Park” is set in a Chicago house on Clybourne Street in both 1959 and 2009. The play begins in 1959 with a man who tries to convince the White homeowners to not sell their home to a Black family. Act II takes place 50 years later and the neighborhood is Black. A White family buys the home with intentions to tear it down and build a larger property, but a Black couple comes along and challenges their plans. The play will run through May 19. For more information, call 412-316-1600 or visit www.ppt.org.
The Northside Coalition for Fair Housing presents Charlie Wilson at 7:30 p.m. at the Benedum Center, 803 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. The award-winning, Grammy nominee Wilson, solo artist and former GAP Band member, will perform some of his R&B hits. He will be joined by special guests R&B group Mint Condition. Proceeds from the event will benefit the 6th Annual Women’s Walk for Peace. For more information, call 412-321-5527
Savoy Restaurant presents Savoy Jazz from 5-9 p.m. at 2623 Penn Ave., Strip District. Every Monday guests can enjoy live jazz in a sophisticated atmosphere with the Roger Humphries Trio and a special guest each week. This week’s guest will be jazz and pop vocalist Judi Figel. For more information, call 412-281-0660 or visit www.savoypgh.com.
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents JazzLive at 5 p.m. at the Backstage Bar at Theater Square, 655 Penn Ave., Cultural District. Every Tuesday guests can enjoy hot jazz from some of the most talented jazz musicians, cool drinks and great people. The featured guest will be Eric Johnson. There will also be a performance from 5-8 p.m. from Alton Merrell. For more information, call 412-456-6666 or visit www.trustarts.org.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 12:00
Category: Entertainment Written by Terri Schlichenmeyer
You only wanted a job.
You needed a little spending money, a way to put food on the table, something to do that meant something or made a difference. So you applied for positions that sounded good and paid well, or seemed interesting and came with opportunity.
Humans, it’s believed, are wired for work. We need to contribute somehow, in some meaningful way. But as you’ll see in the new book “Double Victory” by Cheryl Mullenbach, some jobs don’t come without a double battle.
Shortly after the U.S. entered World War II in 1941, a desperate call went out for workers because America’s men were going to war. White women were encouraged to do the jobs their men had left behind. Black women wanted to do their part, too. They saw a chance to help win the war and to make better money: many of them were getting $2 a week as domestics, while factory jobs might pay 20 times that.
Time and time again, however, they were turned away—even though President Franklin Roosevelt had signed Executive Order 8802, which encouraged “full participation in the national defense program by all citizens… regardless of race…”
Emboldened, Black women kept trying for jobs and, eventually, there was such a strong need for workers that some were finally hired (although still segregated). At first, the jobs were menial or purposely difficult in the hopes that the women would quit. But they didn’t, which encouraged other Black women to bust barriers wide open.
When the government finally allowed Black men into the Armed Forces, Black women leaped to join, too, and were accepted into the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp in 1942. They still faced segregation but were finally allowed to “do their part” at home and overseas. Yet, despite what they sacrificed in service to their country just as their White countrymen did, when the war ended, there was just more discrimination.
No doubt about it, “Double Victory” is an eye-opener, especially for the generations born post-WWII.
Through interviews, newspaper accounts, books, documents, and diaries, author Cheryl Mullenbach tells the story of a courageous group of women who were determined to serve their country, even when it seemed that no one wanted them to. It’s shocking to see how Black women endured more severe discrimination than did their male counterparts, and I was surprised at the almost-ridiculous lengths to which segregation went to keep Black women as second-class citizens. I almost wanted to cheer as I read each individual story that Mullenbach includes here; these were women who were tough as nails and as tenacious as pitbulls in Army-issued “exercise dresses.” Seriously, how cool is that?
While this seems to be a book for teen readers, I think adults will get just as much out of every word here. If you’re looking for a book with an until-now-quiet story, “Double Victory” will do the job.
Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 13:26
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