CULTURE- FRIDAYS UPDATE Fowl Play: Chickenheads come to roost

Key West Band

As one of the area's most rock-solid blues bands, the Chickenheads were accordingly rock-solid in their dedication to their weekly gig. Reports still vary, but for seven or eight years, they could be found at Dürty Nelly's every Thursday night, and locals–with the reverence otherwise reserved for Thompson/D'earth at Miller's– would make the pilgrimage down JPA , if only to see who might show up to sit in.

"It was a fairly regular thing for us to include other musicians in the mix, particularly the second set,

 says guitarist Arin Van Brocklin, "Guitar players, bass players, sax players..."

That was possible in large part to bassist Victor Brown, who makes for a monstrous rhythm section when paired with drummer Johnny Gilmore.  But then again, pretty much anyone does alright with Gilmore in the driver's seat.  "It makes my job a whole lot easier," Brown laughs.  They've known each other since they were kids and have played together for ages – "Ten years, easy," says Brown.

Needless to say, shockwaves rippled through the Hook's music calendar when the band put the Dürty Nelly's gig to rest earlier this spring.

"After all that time, I think we all felt like it was long enough," says Van Brocklin.  "It ran its course," agrees Brown.

Both attribute it mostly to the unpleasant call of the day job on Friday morning. Apparently, the barflies didn't take the news of the cancellation too badly.

"The first Thursday we didn't play, the place was packed," sighs Van Brocklin.

But the band has been doing alright elsewhere; Brown says they're still averaging a gig a week thanks to private engagements, and aside from Fridays, they've recently had shows at Saxx and Fellini's #9.  This week's show is one of the few that's open to the public these days. But even if there public appearances are less frequent, musicians won't feel the sting: the band plans to continue their tradition of inviting guest artists along for the ride: this week, opener Eli Cook will likely sit in for a few tunes.

In all, Van Brocklin is enjoying the change.  "The biggest difference is more women," he laughs, "You can get a mixed drink and a good glass of wine."