Bourbon, Bites & Blues – What’s Involved in Crafting a Musical Show?

October 18, 2016

Johnie Dean 2015Dr. Johnie Dean
Assistant Conductor / Arranger

This Friday, Oct. 21, The Lexington Singers will present its inaugural fall fundraiser Bourbon, Bites & Blues. We’re very excited to do this show, and we think you, our audience, will have a fun time at the show.

There’s work that goes into a production like this, though, and I’d like to open the curtain a little bit to give you an idea what goes on behind the scenes.

To me, the crafting and work on the upcoming Bourbon, Bites & Blues show has been a labor of artistic love. We first had to develop a theme or a seminal idea to make the whole evening cohesive yet appealing. When the theme, Bourbon, Bites & Blues, was suggested as the name of the show, the initial appeal was apparent in the name. Soon thereafter the crafting of the musical portion began.

The Blues…what an inspiration. It appears that many genres of popular music today have, in one way or another, been influenced by the blues. Blues has influenced the spawning of jazz, rhythm & blues, rock ’n’ roll, gospel and even country and western. With that type of palette, a wide range of music and stylings could be presented together…all with roots in the blues!

In developing the show, the leadership wanted to present some classics as well as sprinkle in lesser-known numbers. A large list was put together and from this list we discussed which numbers would be more accessible as a group number, and then we pulled those from the initial list. Next, we began to cull the list down some more, yet worked to keep representative works from various genres.

muhammad-ali-robe-2Because the stage area for the Singers was to be limited, we had to enforce a limit of 20 singers. This became an arduous task as several were cut from the show who auditioned wonderfully! The idea put forth was that every cast member would have a solo to sing, and then all cast members would sing in five to six ensemble numbers. The creativity presented by those auditioning was incredible. Some chose a song from the list, while others presented a song from the various genres but with a blues connection.
Once the cast was chosen and the songs selected, the next step was to incorporate these works into a musical flow which would shift texture, style, tempo, key and other musical aspects as the show progressed. The idea is to craft a show in which variation propels the production along, keeping the show moving and appealing all at the same time. We have done this – from “Worried Man Blues” to “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues.”
The Lexington Singers are proud to present Bourbon, Bites, & Blues! In addition to
an outstanding performance, you’ll have the opportunity to bid on some fantastic auction items, like autographed guitars from blues legend B.B. King and epic rock singer Meat Loaf, a signed boxing robe from the Greatest of All Time and Louisville native Muhammad Ali, and some fabulous vacation packages.

And let me add – there is something here for everyone – so join us for this musical blend accompanied by delicious food and Kentucky’s elixir to the world!