Paducah may be in a bluegrass state full of bluegrass bands, but it's far from the only sound coming from this Kentucky river town.
Tonight the raucous yells and hard riffs of four rock bands - three local, one visiting - will fill the Elks Lodge at 310 N. Fourth St., and the bands hope the dancing, singing bodies of many-a-music fan will fill the lodge along with them.
"The Elks Lodge does sound really good if you get about 100 people in there," said Jerry Davis, drummer for Paducah punk band Hi Fi Ninja. "But if you don't have enough people standing in front of you, it can sound like a gymnasium."
The high energy Hi Fi Ninja will be joined in tonight's lineup by Teenage Rehab (also a Paducah punk band, and one of the longest-running bands in the area), doom metal band Gorgantherron of Evansville, Indiana, and hard-to-define but massively talented aggressive-indie band Fairseas of Paducah.
One night this week after practicing, Davis and two of his Hi Fi Ninja bandmates - bass player Shana McCoy and lead vocalist and guitar player Ronnie McCoy (yes, they're married) - sat down to talk about tonight's show and the challenges of putting a show like this together. Their newest bandmate, guitar player Jon Grace, had to cut out early.
They explained that even though the number of affordable venues available for bands like theirs has drastically dwindled in recent years, they're going to keep on playing.
"Regardless of the place we end up playing, or the other bands we end up playing with - you never know what's going to happen - I still have a fantastic time because I'm playing with these people," Davis said, gesturing toward the McCoys.
"Ditto," Ronnie continued. "To us, playing is like what fishing with buddies is for other people. You gotta find the right people to play with, that's for sure."
"And I like to play in front of the right people too," Shana chimed in. "Everyone that always comes to our shows, we know them. It's like having practice with friends around."
Aside from the dwindling number of fitting venues in the area, they said getting new people to come out for their shows is their biggest problem.
"Isn't it weird that back in the day when we had no choice but to go around and pass fliers, as many as we could, sticking them in windshield wipers, walking through the mall, we'd actually have a ton of people show up for every show?" Davis said. "You'd think that with Facebook it would be easier, but it isn't."
Fairseas, the youngest and newest band of tonight's lineup, has papered the town with fliers and posters in hopes of snagging the attention of Paducahns who might not have heard of the show otherwise.
Music fans of all ages are welcome tonight. The show is set to start at 7 p.m., and tickets are $7 at the door. The bands will also be collecting canned goods for the Paducah Cooperative Ministry and pet food for area animal shelters.
"Whenever we do a show, we like to use that opportunity to do something good," Ronnie said. "When you have so many people in one place, why not?"
Tonight at the Elks Lodge there will be no cover songs, no country tunes, no banjos or mandolins. It will be loud, it will be rowdy, and there will be drums and electric guitars banging out original rock songs.
"As bands we're completely different from each other, but along the same vein," Ronnie said of tonight's lineup. "If you like rock music, you're going to find something here."
Contact Genevieve Postlethwait, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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