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The City

Gene Woods is deep in a groove.

With his Stratocaster in hand, he’s singing a song — one of his songs — into a hot mike. At a break, he spins to his left to put the focus on vocalists Jane Harrod and Lara Brier as they purr the chorus.

Seconds later, the singers are out front on their own as Woods and drummer Arthur Rouse, percussionist Steve Parrish and keyboardist Tom Martin get into a little jam at the back of the stage.

“What really makes this exciting for me is the ability to express ourselves in original music,” Woods says of the band, The City, a jazzy, bluesy act that’s just starting to make some noise in Lexington.

He’s not doing it for the money.

Woods has a pretty good day gig: He’s chief executive of St. Joseph Health System.

Most of his bandmates also have solid day jobs. Brier is the drama teacher at Sayre School. Harrod is a landscaper, Martin is the editor of Business Lexington, and Rouse owns Video Editing Services. Parrish recently retired from a career as a psychiatric nurse.

“He’s still a psychiatric nurse,” Martin jokes, and Woods adds, “We just don’t pay him on this side of things.”

Rounding out the lineup for the band are:

■ Brian Powers, bass, who works at the University of Kentucky College of Law and is working on setting up his own law practice.

■ Chris Goode, trumpet, attorney.

■ Mike Meuser, trombone, attorney.

■ Dr. Jay Zwischenberger, harmonica, chief of surgery at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

■ Paul Osbourne, saxophone, who has had a variety of jobs, including stockbroker and financial consultant.

“All these day gigs are to put food on the table,” Osbourne says. “My life is music. Since I was 13, I played music.”

Everyone in the band has significant musical experience, and several are playing in other bands. They all have had other careers but have kept music as part of their lives.

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Extra Crispy gets laughs ‘off the cuff’

Jonathan Lay is in on the hot seat. The cops circle around him, waiting for the confession like vultures waiting for the last gasp from fallen prey. They want a confession, but in this land far, far from Miranda rights, he’s not sure what he’s accused of.

“You got thirsty,” Marcus Lynn barks.

Lay stammers, “I wanted a Diet Sprite?”

Lynn barrels back, “Well you sure weren’t going to get it from there!”

During the next few minutes, Lay winces and tightens up under the barrage of leading questions until he finally breaks.

“I confess,” Lay says, “I went cow tipping in Wisconsin with Lindsay Lohan.”

That’s only a crime in the world of improv comedy, which is where Lay and his interrogators were.

They are members of Extra Crispy, a nine-member improv troupe that has been performing around Central Kentucky for almost two years. The group’s next show is at Natasha’s Bistro on Thursday night.

The group keeps turning out a crowd because, by definition, every show is different.

“Off the cuff is the best way to describe it,” says Darrin Hensley, a professional stand-up comedian and Extra Crispy member. “You basically get a few quick guidelines: Who are we? Where are we? What are we doing? And you build the scene around that, you build the punch lines, the characters all on the spur of the moment.”

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Chico Fellini has a new sound and a new album

Chico Fellini’s first album “self titled” could open window to wider opportunities as the band prepares for their March CD release.

Time lapse: Buster’s Bar knocked down

Making way for the CentrePointe project, crews continued clearing the block, including Buster’s Bar at the corner of South Upper and W. Main Street on Thursday, August 21, 2008.




Time lapse: The Dame falls

The building which housed the popular music venue The Dame was demolished overnight on August 19, 2008, making way for the new CentrePointe development in Lexington.



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