Feeling Blue

Some new Shoes


It took me a while to find the blues. Before my sophomore year in college--a year that, not coincidentally, marked my discovery of dark bars, Tom Waits and bourbon--the blues was a mere historical curiosity. Not something to listen to so much as a thing to be studied, considered, contemplated. Ahhh, the blues. Very important thing, the blues. Back then, music was the thing on the radio and MTV and began approximately with the release of Michael Jackson's Thriller. That all changed when I met John Lee Hooker. And B.B. King. And Willie Dixon and Lightnin' Hopkins and R.L. Burnside, men with blood in their voices and fire in their fingertips. That year, I listened to scratchy old blues records until the sky got light or my memory went black, whichever came first. Maybe it was the whiskey, maybe it was my white guilt, but I could feel their pain, bruthah--sure, I'd never been a sharecropper, but my mother was positively miserly about my allowance. OK, so I never tried heroin, but once, I drank so much Goldschlager I smelled of cinnamon for days. Dallas' Blue Shoe Project, however, is here to make sure kids (and college students and adults) know about the blues. They educate through local performances of blues and roots musicians, and on Sunday at the Palace in Grapevine, 300 S. Main St., Blue Shoe hosts the first of several fund-raisers. Accomplished singer-songwriter Hal Ketchum will perform at this one--not a bluesman, exactly, but a honky-tonker with a truckload of battle scars. Don't let another suburban white kid graduate high school in such ignorance. Support the blues. Doors open at 4 p.m. for the first show and at 7 p.m. for the second one. Tickets are $35 to $100. Call 1-877-548-3237. --Sarah Hepola

Campy Camp


A kid's summer vacation is a trimester to lounge, to live, to learn. Free of curriculum and deadlines, it's a time that defines us more than any formal education can. It's an indulgence of personal interest: summer camps, home projects or workshops such as WaterTower Theatre's Summer Musical Theatre Camp. Students from the camp will perform Seussical, a spliced celebration of the work of Dr. Seuss, a musical mélange of the good doctor's work, Thursday through Sunday. It's the youngsters' labor of love. "Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted." Or so says Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel. Word. The Addison Theatre Centre is at 15650 Addison Road. Tickets are $10 and available at the WTT box office by calling 972-450-6232. --Matt Hursh

The Bluest Eye


When we were growing up in the late '70s and early '80s, Crystal Gayle was many things to us. For one, she was a style icon. Oh, how we wanted ankle-length hair. So shiny, so lovely, so long. She was also the first of many artists whose song lyrics were completely lost on us. Singing along with "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," we just couldn't understand how whatever Crystal Gayle was singing about was making her brown eyes blue, and our brown eyes, no matter how hard we wished, always stayed that way. Soul-crushing. Hear Gayle sing her classics at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza in Fort Worth, at 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $9 to $15. Call 214-373-8000. --Rhonda Reinhart

Song Birds


Throughout high school, despite the daily risk it posed to my social standing, I sang in a choir--a special choir called the Madrigal Singers. This 16-member group toured local schools and sometimes state contests and sang about nymphs, love and 16th-century England. I moved from high tenor to bass, but I never really grew comfortable. Maybe it was the sneers I'd get from my football teammates: "You got singing practice again, Kix?" But since then, a strange thing happened, thanks to the Polyphonic Spree. Their popularity today shows my prescience then. Or so I figure it. Same deal for The Women's Chorus of Dallas, which will--without shame, of course--celebrate its 16th anniversary Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Caruth Auditorium, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the campus of Southern Methodist University. There will be singing of all genres and local actors speaking the truths of the chorus' heroes, from Susan B. Anthony to Sally Ride. Tickets cost $20. Call 214-520-7828. --Paul Kix

Starry Night


Ah, summer. Time for road trips, visits to the park, picnics and outdoor ballet under the stars. This year's Summer Dance Concert, presented by Fort Worth's Ballet Concerto, will be Luis Montero's Gaite Parisienne. Montero is known for combining classical ballet and flamenco, and this will be his 11th season to stage works for the annual outdoor event. The concert will mark the Fort Worth debut of Gaite Parisienne, which premiered in 1938 at the Theatre de Monte Carlo. The show runs from June 24 through June 27 and starts nightly at 8:30 at Trinity Park Theater in Fort Worth. Admission is free for picnic-style seating, but reserved table seating is available for purchase. Call 817-738-7915. --Kelsey Guy

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