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Rocker Robbery

The theft of his trailer capped a bad week for John Evans

The installation is a sidebar to Wood's book on Houston blues, to be published later this year by the University of Texas Press, and it has a tight focus. Though it takes in the past as well as the present, it's solely based on Blue Monday jams in the Third Ward. "There'll be some written elements that will deal with the legendary Shady's Playhouse and also on a joint called Nola's and a few other clubs," says Wood. "And also the more recent stuff at Miss Ann's Playpen."

Wood hopes that people will get the Blue Monday bee in their bonnet after seeing the exhibit. "We're also going to be encouraging people who might see the exhibit to go over to Miss Ann's over on Dowling Street and go to a Blue Monday," he says.

The award-winning Fraher, who has been published in dozens of periodicals and has shot over 100 album covers, has made 15 photo-shooting trips (at his own expense) to Houston since meeting Wood at an Arkansas blues conference in 1993. Fraher, a Chicagoan who was once as arrogant as all of the Windy City's blues devotees ("Whaddaya mean dey have blooze somewhere else?") had his world turned upside down by the Houston blues gospel Wood preached at the conference. After one trip down here, Fraher and Wood started working on Living Blues editor David Nelson to expand his coverage of the Houston scene, and as a result America's foremost blues journal published two Houston-themed issues in 1997 and 1998, for which Fraher provided the bulk of the pics and Wood the better part of the prose.

Scuttlebutt Caboose

Local rapper Lil' Flip and Suckafree Records have signed a distribution deal with New York City's Loud Records, making Houston's own "Freestyle King" a labelmate of Wu-Tang Clan, Xzibit and Mobb Deep. Flip is scheduled to drop the follow-up to 2000's The Leprechaun in late spring or early summer…Local hard rockers elsa mira will kick off a ten-city Gulf Coast tour with a CD release party at Fitzgerald's on February 8. Their debut disc will be self-titled…Local rockers the Southern Backtones are set to release The Formula, their second CD, next month. According to advance press, the album layers Spanish, surf and modern hard rock sounds atop their patented "Texas voodoo rockabilly" style…Make that the Clumsy Drivers: The Clumsy Lovers, scheduled to appear at Fitz's on February 21, canceled after wiping out their van on a patch of ice between Salt Lake City and Phoenix. Nobody was hurt, but their van and trailer were totaled. The band is rescheduling their Houston date…East Texas native Don Henley says he is to blame for the state of modern country radio. Speaking to the L.A. Times, the off-and-on Eagle said that the likes of Faith Hill and Shania Twain are outgrowths of his band's sound, and he is sorry that they have knocked George Jones and Merle Haggard off the air. "It's our fault, I'm so sorry, I apologize to the entire universe," Henley said….Former UH Cougar basketball scrub Master P was forced to sell his unfinished $10 million Baton Rouge recording studio to settle a $200,000 debt owed to a Louisiana contractor. It's the latest in a series of setbacks for the New Orleans-born hip-hop mogul, as his move from the Big Easy to Baton Rouge in 1997 has been a disaster. He owes his neighborhood association $14,000 in fees and the state of Louisiana $1.5 million in unpaid income taxes. Last May he entered into a consent judgment with Bank One for $740,000 after falling behind on a million-dollar promissory note.

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