Stacey Mitchhart

Stacey Mitchhart plays Stevie Ray’s Blues Bar on Wednesday, August 13.

Stacey Mitchhart plays Stevie Ray’s Blues Bar on Wednesday, August 13.

Thirteen couldn’t be a luckier number for this bluesman, because that’s the number of freakin’ endorsements he has. In laymen’s terms, music companies give you free or reduced-price gear in exchange for you promoting it by, eh, playing it. 

But Mitchhart, who continues an unintentional theme of Cincinnati blues artists at Stevie Ray’s two weeks in a row, didn’t amass this current arsenal of gear by sucking. His chops have been celebrated thusly: appearances on TBS, NASCAR, Monday Night Football for the Tennessee Titans twice, and he’s the subject of an independent biopic. Add to that Blues Entertainer of the Year, Blues Male Singer of the Year and both Electric and Acoustic Act of the Year, and … well, judge for yourself. —Mat Herron

Stevie Ray’s Blues Bar

230 E. Main St.


$15; 8 p.m.



ZZ Top @ The State Fair

ZZ Top plays Freedom Hall on Thursday, August 14

ZZ Top plays Freedom Hall on Thursday, August 14

The guys in ZZ Top don’t consider themselves to be a calculating band.

That might surprise those who thought the whole sharp-dressed men image the band created in its videos for hit songs like “Legs,” “Gimme All Your Loving” and “Sharp Dressed Man” was carefully crafted.

But, as bassist Dusty Hill explained in a recent interview, as well as guitarist/singer Billy Gibbons in a 2005 interview with this writer, that image was unplanned — right down to the pair’s world-class beards.

When the trio reconvened for the 1979 album Deguello, Gibbons and Hill had turned loose their facial hair. “We’d gotten really, really lazy,” Gibbons said. “Nobody’d bothered to shave. In simple terms, that’s exactly how it started.”

So don’t expect Hill or Gibbons to talk of any grand plan behind the shift away from the slicker sounds of the 1980s albums (Eliminator, Afterburner and Recycler) to a more stripped-down feel on XXX (1999) and Mescalero (2003).

“Every album is unto itself, so whatever sounds we need to come up with (we’ll use),” Hill said. “It’s purely, absolutely the song, and the way the CD is going that dictates what we’re going to do.” —Alan Sculley

Freedom Hall


$41 (adv.)-$46 (includes gate admission); 8 p.m.


Friday, Aug. 15

Vanguard Cinema preview party

Ahhh, the days of sneaking Little Kings into the movie theater are almost over. Vanguard Cinema, which is scheduled to open at the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center in the spring, will not only serve adult beverages at film screenings but encourage their consumption. The restaurant/movie theater/bar concept came about in response to Louisville’s budding film scene, owner Derrick Beasley says. “We want to be the place where all the different film groups in town come to show their work,” he says. 

Beasley promises a full bar and restaurant (partnering up with North End Café in the kitchen) and two screening rooms — one that seats 70 and one that seats up to 200. 

To get the buzz spreading, Beasley is throwing a preview party — what the restaurant business terms a “soft opening” — for Vanguard Cinema Saturday night. The lineup includes Trophy Wives (8:15 p.m.), the documentary “Girls Rock!” about a rock school for tweens (9), musician Scott Carney (10:15) and the bloody Japanese revenge movie “The Machine Girl” (11). Best of all, North End will cook up the food, New Albanian Brewing Company will pour the brews and the Derby City Roller Girls will serve you on wheels. A lawn chair and a 2-buck donation are all you need to bring. —Sara Havens

Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center 

1860 Mellwood Ave.

$2; 7 p.m.


Aug. 15-17

Fright Night Film Fest

Scary-movie enthusiasts, especially those too scared to actually watch them alone, take note: The fourth annual Fright Night Film Fest is under your bed — uh, at the Holiday Inn. There will be screenings of more than 100 independent creepy flicks from all over the world, including England, Australia and Spain. In addition to the scary-movie fun, there will be vendors, live music and even a tattoo artist. Some events will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, so you can feel good about being delightfully frightened. 

In addition to the films from around the world, “Taste of Flesh,” a film by Louisville’s own Tom Whitus, will be shown. The film was shot in Louisville and Southern Indiana and includes local actors. Maybe they really are under your bed. —Jane Mattingly

Holiday Inn

1325 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy.



Aug. 15-17

Carmichael’s turns 30

They say at 30, you become more comfortable with yourself. Confident. Less worried about useless nonsense like the onset of gray hair and wrinkles. Thirty is the new 20, right? For Carmichael’s Bookstore, 30 is a major milestone in the dwindling ma-and-pa market. To celebrate the birthday, Carmichael’s is offering 30 percent off its inventory from Aug. 15-17, and there’ll be a cookout Saturday at the Highlands location and Sunday at the Crescent Hill store. 

Carmichael’s owner Carol Besse says she buys into the saying “Never trust anybody under 30,” and is glad the franchise has aged well. She credits the stores’ successes to their supportive neighborhoods. “We’re integrated in the community, we know our audience,” she says. “We’re happy with our size, scale and scope. We don’t want to take over the world or become the largest bookstore around.”

So when Carmichael’s turns 100, will the books be 100 percent off? “Someone other than me will make that decision,” Besse laughs. —Sara Havens

Carmichael’s Bookstores

1295 Bardstown Road (Highlands)/2720 Frankfort Ave. (Crescent Hill)



Saturday, Aug. 16

Artist Mary Ann Currier

Louisville painter Mary Ann Currier will kick off the Arts Association of Oldham County’s Bring a Friend Lecture Series next week at Gallery 104. The free lecture will focus on Currier’s techniques and materials, and will include an entrée provided by Norma Jean’s Trackside Restaurant, as well as a slideshow of her selected works, a number of which hang at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Speed Art Museum here and the Jacksonville Art Museum. 

After training at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art, Currier worked in Louisville as a commerical artist and began teaching at the Louisville School of Art, where she mentored such notables as sculptors Ed Hamilton and David Caudill and assemblage artist Jacque Parsley. —Caitlin Bowling

Gallery 104

104 E. Main St. 

La Grange, Ky.

(502) 222-3822

Free; 4 p.m.


Saturday, Aug. 16

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts play Saturday, Aug. 16, at Cardinal Stadium.

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts play Saturday, Aug. 16, at Cardinal Stadium.

I don’t hate myself for loving Joan Jett — I’m just starting to hate the fact that I was around and coherent in the ’80s to remember it. Guess these nostalgic free concerts are geared toward people like myself — too old to have better plans on a Saturday night yet still young enough to brave the State Fair in August. 

For those actually born in the ’80s (gasp!): Jett and her Blackhearts roughed up the charts with classics like “I Love Rock ’N’ Roll,” “Bad Reputation” and “Do You Wanna Touch Me.” Compared to another rocker-girl badass, the cool and classy Pat Benatar, Jett was rough and raspy. For proof, go download her 1981 cover of “Crimson and Clover” on iTunes, punk up your hair so that it’s hiding your face and mouth the words into a hairbrush. You’ll feel more than 99 cents’ worth of cool, as long as no one is looking. —Sara Havens

Cardinal Stadium

Free (w/ Fair admission); 8 p.m.


Through Aug. 30 

Ashley Cecil & Sarah Lyon

“Pae Dah” by Ashley Cecil is part of the joint exhibit featuring her and Sarah Lyon at Gallery Nulu through Aug. 30.

“Pae Dah” by Ashley Cecil is part of the joint exhibit featuring her and Sarah Lyon at Gallery Nulu through Aug. 30.

This show could be called “Portraits of Louisvillians I’ve Met,” but that bland title covers a lot of territory. While both Ashley Cecil and Sarah Lyon created portraits of people in Louisville, their objectives are vastly different.

Cecil is someone who uses her art to further social change (she calls herself a “painting activist”). Her portion is titled “Women of Mass Construction.” She created watercolor paintings of women “who are current or former clients of a Kentucky nonprofit that has helped them make a positive transformation in their lives,” she says. 

Lyon’s “Louisville Portraits 2003-2008” is a series of large-format environmental portraits that relate people to places (some of the images are from her “Louisville Portrait” calendar). The locations seem to be telling a story as much as the portraits do. The locales often give a sense of loss, yet are not necessarily sad. They represent change and renewal in the place we call home.

A percentage of the exhibition sales will be donated to the HYPERLINK “”Women’s Second Chance College Scholarship Fund. — CONTACT _Con-419CB26F17 c s l Jo Anne Triplett

Gallery NuLu

632 E. Market St. #2 (upstairs)



Through Nov. 28 

‘Sacred Places’ by Kenro Izu

“Angkor #26, Ta Prohm, Cambodia,” by Kenro Izu, part of the “Sacred Places” exhibit at the Paul Paletti Gallery.

“Angkor #26, Ta Prohm, Cambodia,” by Kenro Izu, part of the “Sacred Places” exhibit at the Paul Paletti Gallery.

Another local gallery is using art to help fund a good cause. Photographs by Kenro Izu are in Louisville to raise money for the Angkor Hospital for Children.

  Izu may be best known for his stunning images of Angkor Wat. But there is another reason to associate him with that location. While photographing the decaying temple, he saw many children who were seriously ill from war, poverty and living without proper medical care. He formed the organization Friends Without a Border in 1996, which funded the building of the children’s hospital in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in 1999. The organization receives a portion of its operating budget from sales of Izu’s photographs and donations. — CONTACT _Con-419CB26F17 c s l Jo Anne Triplett

Paul Paletti Gallery

713 E. Market St.