8X10 Club celebrating before taking a hiatus

Critic's Choice Pop Music

July 14, 2002|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

With its tiny stage and dive-bar decor, the Baltimore's 8X10 Club has long been a cozy place to catch big-name acts like Billy Joel, Los Lobos and the Dave Matthews Band. It's been an amazing blend of local and touring acts that has filled the 8X10 in the last 20 years.

Next month, however, the 8X10 as we've known it will disappear.

Kelly Rather, general manager of Mother's Federal Hill Grille, recently bought the two-story club and plans to shut it for a month or so of renovations beginning the first weekend in August. So, July has officially been declared the club's "Farewell Celebration Month." And the celebration begins Thursday with the All Mighty Senators and guest George Porter Jr. of the Meters sitting in. On Friday, the club will play host to an all-star New Orleans jam session.

Other acts returning to the 8X10 in the coming weeks include the Radiators, Lake Trout and the Kelly Bell Band.

The club is scheduled to reopen in the fall, and Rather promises it will have "a nicer appearance, better sound quality and a more motivated and energetic staff."

We'll take her word for it. But if the floor isn't sticky with stale beer and the air isn't thick with a potent combo of sweat and smoke, the 8X10 just may never feel the same.

For information on tickets and concerts at the 8X10 Club, 10 E. Cross St., call 410-625-2000.

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