Hearsay: Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Russell, Russ, and Fletcher

All this angry music is making me ... angry. “You broke my heart, you lousy whore of Babylon!,” “You stole my money, you mindless lothario!,” “I’m gonna kill your iguana, you heartless minx!” I’m tired of it. I understand that life isn’t all strawberries and peaches (or strawberry- and peach-flavored schnapps), but sometimes, we all need to step down off the ledge, have some schnapps, and let the tension of modern life just ooze out of our pores and into the ether. What I plan on doing this Saturday is going to the Aardvark (2905 W Berry St; 817-926-7814), having some schnapps, and watching Sean Russell perform on a bill with The Red Herrings and The Esquire — and if I hear one discouragin’ word, so help me Buddha, I’m gonna start breaking hearts, stealing money, and killing iguanas. A much beloved Triple-A troubadour, Russell recently stopped riding the fence, so to speak, to concentrate on making music with a positive, faith-based vibe, the result of a cruel epiphany. While they were waiting in line to get into a club three blocks from where Russell was performing in Tuscaloosa this spring, three people were shot. From that moment on, the young singer-songwriter has been a different musician, though you’d still be hard pressed to detect an ounce of “I love you, baby Jesus!” in his music. It’s just good, no matter your religion. Russell’s rock-pop, like a smooth glass of schnapps, will serve as a nice, warm, occasionally funky counterpoint to The Red Herrings’ unabashedly and deliciously R&B-inflected rock ’n’ roll. ... Got a forwarded e-mail the other day from 6th Street Live’s Mike Trammel about a local music lover named Fletcher who’s selling his collection of “guns, guitars, rifles, and knives” to help defray the costs associated with battling cancer. Up until recently, according to the e-mail, Fletcher (né Mansol Fletcher Hurst) made decent money working as a plumbing foreman. Now that he’s been let go, he’s reduced to selling items that have unlimited sentimental value to him, including a ’70s-era Gibson six-string once played by John Nitzinger and another ax once played by Bugs Henderson. Norman, the composer of the original e-mail, said Fletcher would place photographs of his guitars being played by the greats in the appropriate guitar cases. Norman suspects that “the tragedy to Fletcher is not having to give up the symbols of his lifelong investments [but] having to sell them instead of giving them to someone important to him.” If you’re interested in helping in any way, contact Norman at normanhurt@aol.com. ... You may recall a while back that talk show host Russ Martin (“The Russ Martin Show,” weekdays 3-7pm on Live KLLI/105.3-FM) had some unkind things to say about sweet lil’ ol’ me, namely that through my writing he could surmise I was a pompous ass. (Amazing, how percipient some broadcast personalities can be.) Well, the loud mouth has a “band,” and he and his “bandmates” will play Sunday at 8.0 (111 E 3rd St; 817-336-0880). The show benefits the RMS Foundation, a supporter of families whose loved ones in firefighting and law enforcement have fallen in the line of duty. Visit www.russmartin.com.

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