Jackson Avenue in the Old City seems like the new Cumberland Avenue. The block east of Central Street has been the scene of one notable reunion and will be the site of another by the end of the month.
The lineup for the Friday and Saturday afternoon happy-hour blues jam in the courtyard outside the Catalyst has quietly solidified into the old Relentless Blues Band, who were regular local performers in the 1980s and early '90s. (Don "Mad Dog" Rutherford, who now lives in California, was the band's original guitarist.) The band—guitarist "Detroit" Dave Meers, bassist Michael Delaney, and drummer Ed Corts—have played The Catalyst courtyard for the last few weeks from 5-9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is free.
"I'd been doing Friday and Saturday nights at The Catalyst with different blues players in town, kind of an odds-and-ends thing thrown together when nobody was gigging," Corts says. Delaney, who had been living in Nevada until recently, sat in one Friday night with Corts, and Meers joined the following night.
"It was like magic," Corts says. "We had a really good time. Michael said, ‘Do you want to do it again?' We did the next Friday, and after that we sat down and had a meeting and decided to put it together while Michael's in town, and he's in town for a while."
Corts says the three last played together as the Relentless Blues Band about 15 years ago.
On Friday, July 30, Barley's Taproom will host a reunion show for '90s alt-rockers the Scenesters, who will be opening for Superdrag's John Davis and Superdrag bassist Tom Pappas' Whip! In 1996, Metro Pulse's Mike Gibson described the Scenesters—frontman Eric Otto, guitarist Craig Fralick, bassist David Curtright, and drummer Kevin Armbruster—like this: "[There's a certain ineffable something about the Scenesters, a slacker mojo essence to which only a handful of other Knox acts can lay claim. It's visceral, yet intangible; palpable, yet hard to define. It's the Rock Factor, and the Scenesters have it, in spades."