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Alive and Kicking!

It must have been the drums that first got me hooked on live music. Looking back, I think it may have even been at the annual Bremen Fireman’s Festival Parade as the marching band played loud, strong, and right up close. But it was when the drum section got next to me that I always felt the music grabbed me and made my heart pound to their beat.

There’s something about live music that makes you stop what you’re doing and listen. Even if off in the distance you hear a marching band, or a garage band practicing, you realize “Hey, that not just somebody’s radio, that’s live music!”

Sometimes it seems live music gets pushed aside by other forms of musical entertainment - there’s been disco, techno, karaoke - but music is something that runs so deep in people’s blood that there will always be musicians and those who respect their art enough that there will always be live music... even if you have to poke around a little to find it. did just that, and had the opportunity to talk to some musicians as well as club-owners that offer live music. We interviewed Rob Mason of Thundercore, Marty Poorman of Pearl, Club 42’s Fran Woodard, Country Boy’s Restaurant manager, Lanhuck’s Jim Lang, and Hal Yeagy of Slippery Noodle Inn. We thank them all for providing us with the interview, and with great music!

The Bands

This is a busy time for Thundercore, as they have just completed a nine track CD of all original music called “Thundercore”. This CD will be out in September or October, produced by Freeman James. James heard a demo they had recorded at Single Tree Studios in Bloomington, and was so impressed with their sound that he brought them to Minneapolis to record a full album and do a video at his expense.

Rob Mason, Thundercore's guitarist, describes their music as “aggressive. If you had to label it, the best term would be Hardcore, but we have a groove that you usually don’t hear in that style of music.” Mason and guitarist Dan Morley started the band in 1996 after having played together since ‘92 in a band called Outrage, and realizing the two had a “cool connection musically.” Their unique sound was strengthened with the addition of percussionist Nathan Poorman and Chris Morley on bass, together making up their distinctive rhythm section, and front-man Bret Simmons.

Since recording their album, Thundercore has focused mainly on Indianapolis, as Mason feels “bands like ours - who play all original, heavy music - have a limited audience in small towns.” However, “we get emails all the time from people in Southern Indiana who want us to play for them. So the audience is there.”

Their favorite places to play in Indy are The Purple Underground and the Emerson Theater, which stand out because of the crowds they draw. They also like performing at the Toy Tiger in Louisville, Kentucky, which also draws major label acts.

With ties throughout the Southern Indiana area, Thundercore hopes to perform more regionally after the album is out. Mason was born in Owen County and lives in Canby. Dan and Chris Morley both live in Owen County, Nathan Poorman lives in Bloomington, and Bret Simmons, who is originally from Connecticut, now lives in Spencer.

Mason says, “The crowds are growing for our kind of music. Hardcore and heavy music in general is becoming more mainstream. People who come to our shows don’t want or expect to see a guy just standing on stage with his instrument...they come to see a show...and we give it to them!”

“Live music became very unpopular for quite a while... the scene just disappeared. But it’s coming back now, thank God!”

If you’d like to contact Thundercore, they have a very cool web site at, or email them at And please see their schedule of upcoming shows at the end of this article.

Marty Poorman, lead guitarist for Pearl, also has seen live music come through a “depression” recently, but “there are a lot of good bands around”, and he sees the live music scene as building back up, with more places to play all the time. While some of the larger cities may have moved away from live music, there are more local and small town venues available for musicians and fans.

You may recognize the Poorman name from the above interview, as Marty Poorman is the father of Thundercore’s Nathan Poorman. Musical talent definitely runs in this family, as Marty’s sisters Jeannie Tapscott and Nancy Loveless are also in Pearl, with Jeannie playing acoustic guitar and sharing lead vocals with Nancy. Their brother Chris Nield is also in the band, playing bass. Pearl is rounded out by Roger Coffin on keyboards and Bob Kelly on drums.

Pearl plays blues, rock and classic rock, and has been together for a year and a half. But Poorman has been playing music in clubs since he was 14 years old, and has no plans to stop. Before Pearl, he played with Bounty Hunter Band which was more southern rock. With this band Poorman toured Canada for three months. He also played with Big Richard, the Lance Cameron Band, and Glass Heart.

Pearl plays a lot of original music, and has been busy putting together a CD of all original music which will be out by the first of the year.

Pearl can be seen about once a month at the Northside Inn in Martinsville, and also plays at Rusty’s in Bedford, and The Cozy in its new location in Indianapolis. Some other favorite venues for live music for Poorman were the former Jake’s in Bloomington, and the Slippery Noodle Inn in Indianapolis.

Pearl can be contacted for more information at 812-935-8780 - and please see their schedule of shows at the end of this article.

The Venues

As the bands have mentioned, live music has gone through changes, but we found you don’t have to go far to find good live music in Southern Indiana. In our case, living way off the beaten path, the nearest department store is a 25 minute drive, but the nearest venue for live music is only about 10 minutes away. And when we can get enough musician friends together, it’s as close as our own barn!

Club 42 is located on State Road 42 between Cloverdale and Poland. We talked with Fran Woodard, who tells us they offer a variety of musical styles every Friday and Saturday evening. They do offer karaoke some weeknights, but the crowd is never as big. Many of the bands that play Club 42 have a loyal following of fans, so there is almost always a crowd on the weekends.

Some regular bands at Club 42 are Shoes & Strings out of Terre Haute, which does mostly rock and some country, and Family Daug out of Plainfield, which plays rock, blues and country. She says many of the bands play original music as well as some cover. Tilford Hayes, a country band, has also been popular at Club 42, and the Lucas Brothers were also regulars, but have since moved to Nashville, Tennessee.

Club 42 offers a full menu - including steak and seafood. The night visited we enjoyed seeing Shoes & Strings play some of our favorites. We also loved the fried chicken and enjoyed the overall atmosphere of Club 42.

Another interesting place to hear live music is Country Boy’s Restaurant on State Road 67 in Paragon. This restaurant offers some of the best home cooking and bluegrass you’ll find anywhere. Every Friday and Saturday evening from 6 pm to 10 pm diners or just listeners are entertained by Kentucky Bluegrass Express. We have enjoyed the music, friendly atmosphere and hickory smoked ribs many times! Their other specialties are prime rib, steak, walleye and fried chicken. But take our word, come hungry and in the mood for good bluegrass.

Country Boy’s Restaurant also has Gospel music on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and sometimes Sunday afternoons with Linda Haley. If you’re driving on SR 67, look for the restaurant that looks like a big red barn!

If you’re traveling to or live in Southwest Indiana, Lanhuck’s is a popular Evansville night club that has been in business and offering live music since 1983. Lanhuck’s seats around 100 people and is located on the near northside of Evansville at 321 E. Columbia St. It is owned and operated by Jim Lang, who was kind enough to talk to us, even though we haven’t had the chance to visit... yet!

At one point Lanhuck’s offered live music six nights a week, but they have found a niche in pool leagues, and have dedicated Monday and Tuesday evenings to pool. They have been very successful with this - as this year two of the three teams from Evansville that made it to the Camel League U.S. & Canada championships were from Lanhuck’s. And one of their teams placed 5th out of 491 teams - being beaten only by the team that won overall!

But Lanhuck’s offers more than pool. Wednesday evenings they have karaoke, which is geared towards college students from nearby University of Evansville. A Lanhuck’s favorite over the years has been Chelsea Morning, an acoustic trio of Linda Sublett, Danny Waltz, and Dave Martin. Though Linda now lives in Lafayette, Indiana and Danny in Nashville, Tennessee, they still get together and play once or twice a month at Lanhuck’s.

They also have live music on Friday and Saturday evenings, with each band being booked both nights. All types of music can be heard on the weekends, including alternative, classic rock, rock, and world music. The Jeb Band plays alternative rock and roll with a lot of their own original music. Second Hand plays classic rock, and Planet Zuppa plays “world music” with Latin, African, Reggae and Zydeco-inspired music. The Crowd and the popular Duke Boys also can be heard at Lanhuck’s.

Lang tells us there are several places in Evansville which offer live music, with a jazz club just a block away.

So whether its top-notch pool or top-notch musical entertainment you’re looking for, plan to visit Lanhuck’s!

If you like blues, there’s no place like The Slippery Noodle Inn, which features live blues seven nights a week. The historic Slippery Noodle Inn in downtown Indianapolis, at 372 South Meridian Street, is located in what is believed to be the oldest commercial building in Indianapolis. The Slippery Noodle Inn has been owned by the Yeagy family since 1963, and is now run by Hal Yeagy. Not only is this the premier place to see live blues, it has a rich history.

Other bars have used the title “the oldest bar in Indiana”, but Hal explained why the Slippery Noodle Inn can rightfully claim this distinction. The Slippery Noodle has been a bar since 1850 in its current building. “Our compete title is: Indiana’s Oldest Bar in Continuous Operation in Original Building on Original Site. We were not the first bar in Indiana, but we have outlasted everyone else.”

The Noodle is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Indiana Register of Historic Places . Between 1850 and 1863 the back half of the building was built as a road house for the railway passengers. The back building was originally a stable for patrons of the Inn.

The Slippery Noodle Inn today features the “front bar”, where patrons can sit and visit; two music rooms; a game room; and a TV room. And if it’s live music, especially blues you’re in the mood for, you can hear live blues seven nights a week here! And as far as we know, this is the only place in Indianapolis where you can get live music every day of the week. Sundays through Tuesdays large national acts, regional, or local bands are featured. Wednesday is the weekly jam hosted by two bands that alternate by the week. Thursday you can usually hear larger regional acts without hurting your wallet, with just a $5.00 cover charge and $1.75 U-call-it drinks. Friday and Saturday nights bring two bands each night, on two separate stages. And don’t eat before you go, because The Slippery Noodle Inn has a full menu of great food at great prices.

We asked Yeagy about the state of live music in Indianapolis , a city that has seen some venues cutting way back on their live music offerings, and several clubs even going out of business or stopping live music all together. But he feels “It is trying to grow - we just need more people to get out and enjoy the music. There are several bands that can compete on a national scale, but the infrastructure to do so is just starting. By that I mean the record labels, booking agents, affordable advertising., etc.”

“People need to push the commercial radio stations and their favorite clubs to play and book the local performers. They cannot take the local performers for granted.”

Next time you’re in Indianapolis, no matter what night of the week, stop in and hear the live music at The Slippery Noodle Inn! Let’s help keep live music Alive, and Kicking!

For more information, visit


or email

Sept. 11th, The Emerson Theater, Indianapolis with Lift
Sept. 24th, The Purple Underground, Indianapolis, with TBA
Nov. 11-12th, The Purple Underground with Hardcor and others TBA

Contact Marty Poorman @ 812-935-8780

Sept. 4th, Rusty’s in Bedford
Sept. 10-11th, Northside Inn, Martinsville
Sept. 17-18, The Cozy, Indianapolis
Oct. 15-16, Northside Inn, Martinsville
Nov. 19-20, Northside Inn, Martinsville
Dec. 17-18, Northside Inn, Martinsville

321 E. Columbia St.
Evansville, IN 47711

Sept. 24-25th, Chelsea Morning
Oct. 2-3rd, Chelsea Morning
Oct. 29-30th, Chelsea Morning
Sept. 10-11th, Second Hand
Sept. 17-18th, Planet Zuppa
Sept. 24-25th, The Crowd

The Slippery Noodle Inn
372 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN
Concert Line: (317)631-6968

September 27th - Out of Chicago, a fun and exciting band The Kinsey Report.

New Years Eve: Where will you be when the Millennium Arrives? Be at The Noodle with everyone else for our Alien Blues Bash!! With 3 stages of entertainment, heated tent and a new glass atrium. Headliner Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Gordon Bonham Blues Band, Gene Deer & The Blues Band, Reverend Raven & the Chain Smokin’ Alter Boys. Hurry and call (317) 631-6974 or toll free at (888) DIS-IS-IT for reservations and special prices through October 31, 1999!

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