In hopes of cooling down at a higher altitude, a friend and I headed up to Lyons, home of Oskar Blues Grill & Brew (at 303 Main Street). Even before I set foot in the club, I was assured that it was all about the blues by a dozen or so fliers taped up on the front doors advertising blues acts, alongside these words: "This is one big family owned and operated blues joint!" And inside, I was overwhelmed by an insane amount of blues memorabilia: framed autographed pictures and posters of blues legends, including such nationally known acts as Duke Robillard, Tommy Castro and John Lee Hooker Jr., who've all played on Oskar's stage.
Beyond catching cool air, catching seventy-year-old, Louisiana-born/Texas-bred bluesman Phillip Walker was reason enough to make the hour-long trek from Denver. As we walked down the stairs and found a table, Walker and his band were already heavy into some mean jump blues. He was digging in deep on the strings of his cherry-red Gibson 330, while his two horn players got down in front of Elvis Presley and Blind Blake posters.
Oskar's doesn't just serve up the blues; it also supposedly serves up Cajun and Southern grub. Unfortunately, we seemed to be sitting at the table that time — and service — forgot. Two waitresses stopped by two nearby tables and took orders, but they never made it to us. After waiting for half an hour, I finally went up to the bar to get a couple of Old Chubs, a Scottish-style ale that went down smoothly and went a long way toward making up for the slow service. The folks at Oskar's know their beer; in fact, they brew Old Chub, Dale's Pale Ale and Gordon Beer in a sixty-year-old barn next door. And in 2002, the microbrewery became the first in the country to can its beer.
The beer and the blues were a damn good combination. So good that I forgot the MIA waitresses and the heat waiting back in Denver. As I hit the head before driving back to town, I got an extra chuckle out of some graffiti on the wall by the urinal: "Please do not put cigarette butts in the urinal! It makes them soggy and hard to relight."
Club scout: DJs Chris Irvin and Jedi Scott just kicked off their Sunday School for Degenerates at 3 Kings Tavern (60 South Broadway). These weekly sessions (running from 2 to 7 p.m.) are aimed at the scooter set, and anyone wearing scooter-club gear gets dollar PBRs all day long while Irvin, Scott and guests spin rock, punk, psychobilly, funk, and '80s and '90s tunes.
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Local nightlife promoter Kevin Larson has teamed up with DC 10 (940 Lincoln Street) to introduce Circo Maximo, a new kind of ladies' night where you might see contortionists, fire performers, jugglers and more every Thursday starting July 26. And, oh, yeah: There's free champagne for the ladies and no cover.
The Supreme Court (1550 Court Place) has just started up a new live-band karaoke night on Tuesdays with Kick'd. The band has about 250 songs, mainly classic rock, under its belt, and adds songs on request; the club also has a traditional karaoke machine for purists. And on Thursdays, the Court has teamed up with Geeks Who Drink for feature nights.
Finally, props go out to DJ Bedz, who moved on to the final round of the Pepsi Superstar DJ Contest. From August 20 to September 7, fans can watch videos, listen to tracks and vote for their favorite DJ at www.pepsidjdivision.com/ superstardj. In the meantime, catch Bedz Thursdays at the Purple Martini DTC (8000 East Belleview Avenue in Greenwood Village) and Saturdays at the Loft (821 22nd Street).