The venue-closing blues

Updates on upcoming blues club, Copper Blue

Three weeks ago, I announced that the Blue Room closed and its owner, David Neal, was developing a new club called Copper Blue. Well, the first half was true.

I got the information from Jill Kettles, a publicist for Mark Pucci Media who formerly represented the Blue Room. She now says that Neal is not a part of Copper Blue. Kettles didn't have contact information for the elusive Neal, but she did put me in contact with Hammond B-3 organist Ike Stubblefield, the Blue Room's former general manager (and inspiration for the Codetalkers' song "Ike Stubblefield").

Stubblefield says he's the general manager of Copper Blue and co-owns the place with two silent partners. The club, located at 117 Martin Luther King Drive, will have the same concept as the Blue Room, with a theme of great music by local and international jazz musicians. "It's sort of a Hard Rock Café atmosphere, but more upscale as far as jazz, blues and acoustic bands," he says.

When asked why Copper Blue will succeed where the Blue Room failed, Stubblefield says of the latter, "We were packed every weekend, and it was a great location. But it was a high-rent district." While the Blue Room was located in Buckhead, however, Copper Blue will open in another potentially expensive location — right next door to Underground Atlanta.

The difference, says Stubblefield, is that Copper Blue will have a working restaurant, too, and a menu inspired by some of Atlanta's most popular musicians. (Think Sonny Emory's veal sandwich and Francine Reed's catfish.) He reasons that offering food as well as entertainment will allow Copper Blue to make more money than the Blue Room. "All of the things that Blue Room didn't have — a dining menu, a dressing room — we'll have to accommodate major artists," he says.

Stubblefield promises that Copper Blue will open before the end of the year, and says an official announcement will be made during the next several weeks.

RANDOM NEWS: Local rock band Cassavetes recently posted a Craigslist ad for someone to replace departed member Tyler Woodstrom. "Our current keyboard/guitar/vocals/trumpet player has moved and we're looking to fill the void — maybe with one person, maybe with two," writes the band. You can apply for the gig at www.myspace.com/cassavetes. ... Speaking of AWOL musicians, former Love Drunks vocalist Patrick A. announced that he formed a tour booking and promotion company called PAB Booking. For more information, check out www.myspace.com/pabbooking. ... Congratulations to Dead Confederate. The rock group formerly known as the Redbelly Band triumphed over 100-plus other acts and won the 2006 Open Mic Madness competition at Smith's Olde Bar. ... The Swear and Uncrowned are the Atlanta contestants among six bands competing in the Independent Music World Series' Southeast finals. The showcase, sponsored by DiscMakers, takes place Thurs., Sept. 21, at Velvet Underground. ... Atlanta-based singer Akon will release his sophomore album, Konvicted, on Tues., Dec. 12. ... The world continues to wait for Donnie's follow-up to 2001's The Colored Section. Once scheduled for an October release, The Daily News is now set for February 2007.

CD RELEASES AND ANNIVERSARIES: Hard-rock duo Jucifer welcomes If Thine Enemy Hunger during a Fri., Sept. 8, gig at Star Bar. Zoroaster and Tualatin open. ... The Mark Ultralounge celebrates its third anniversary on Fri., Sept 8. DJs for the night include Sammy B (formerly of the Jungle Brothers), DJ Dylan, Jonathan Edwards and Money Shot. ... Indie-rock favorite Ultrababyfat introduces No Ringo No with a Fri., Sept. 8, show at the Earl. The concert, held in conjunction with the Other Sound music festival, also includes Gentleman Caller, Faith Kleppinger, the Preakness, Engineering and Five Foot Flame. ... Blues musician Jason "Lefty" Williams issues Big Plans via a Fri., Sept. 8, gig at Smith's Olde Bar. Tony Tyler Trance opens. ... Folk duo Arlington Priest celebrates The Memory of Your Company with a Sat., Sept. 9, concert at Eddie's Attic. Nathan Beaver opens.

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