Blue Cat blows

It should have been the biggest gig of the year for Josh Alan, local bluesman and contributor to the Dallas Observer. And Alan will probably still remember it for a long time to come -- just for different reasons than he originally thought. KKZN-FM (93.3) assistant program director Abby Goldstein had invited Alan and his new band, Crow Jim, to perform on her Sunday-night show, Lone Star Radio, on June 27. It was supposed to be the inaugural performance in The Zone's new live-music series, which would have Goldstein broadcasting live from a different club each week. The Zone had arranged for Alan to play at the newly remodeled Blue Cat Blues for the first show, scheduled to air from 8 to 10 p.m.

Alan accepted Goldstein's offer, even though it meant he had to back out of a gig he had previously booked, playing at his wife's high school reunion in Lubbock. Every year, Alan recently explained, he performs one big show, one concert that he invites all of his friends and fans to see. This, he reasoned, would be this year's show. He spent several hundred dollars mailing out 350 postcards promoting Crow Jim's appearance on Lone Star Radio, and several hundred more renting a rehearsal space for the band to tighten up for a week or two before the performance.

Unfortunately, Alan and Crow Jim were preparing for a gig that was never going to happen. A week before, The Zone pulled the plug on the show after a financial dispute with Blue Cat Blues owner Doug Henry. Apparently, Henry had bounced a few checks with The Zone's retail department, and the station was unwilling to give him or the club any more free publicity until he had cleared up his debts. Since the station was no longer sponsoring the group's appearance -- and the club is usually not open on Sundays -- Crow Jim's concert was canceled.

Of course, no one bothered to inform Alan or the band of that fact until three days before the performance -- far too late to rescind all the invitations that had been sent out or recoup any of the money that had already been spent. Henry says that he didn't receive formal notice that the show wasn't going to happen until Friday at 6 p.m., and that the concert didn't happen due to "miscommunication, shit like that." He added that the club is trying to reschedule the show.

Alan insists he does not have a problem with The Zone; Goldstein later apologized on the air for the mishap. However, the same doesn't go for Henry or Blue Cat Blues. Alan hasn't heard from anyone at the club since he found out the gig wasn't going to happen, and he's still waiting for a straight answer from Henry as to why the gig was canceled. A few words of advice, Josh: Don't hold your breath.


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