There’s been a bit of a musical ruckus going on in Bisbee of late. It’s happening at the Bisbee Royale, a new music venue that opened a few months back in a historic 1918 building that once housed a Baptist church.
Me, I’m fast becoming enough of a curmudgeon that I prefer not to drive more than 15 miles for any concert, much less one that may require me to sleep in a bed other than my own.
However, we know full well that many writers, artists and musicians regularly traverse the 100 or so miles between Tucson and Bisbee, and many might well like to head down to the hip former copper-mining town for a concert by singer-songwriter John Doe at 8 p.m. Thursday night, Nov. 8. Tickets cost $20.
Doe came to fame as a member of the still-going-strong Los Angeles punk-rock band X, but since 1990 also has established himself as an alt-country solo act, one of our pre-eminent pop-folk-rock singer-songwriters. This gig is a rare solo show that he actually requested himself after a previous Bisbee gig.
“The Royale is made for people like John, a strong voice, one single person who allows the venue to really shine,” said filmmaker and author Bill Carter, who booked and is promoting the concert. Carter also is a casual music booker, bringing some of his friends to Bisbee in recent years, such as Howe Gelb, Marianne Dissard, Calexico and Jason Lytle of Grandaddy fame.
Carter, whose latest book is the acclaimed Boom, Bust, Boom: A Story About Copper, the Metal that Runs the World, also has booked singer-songwriter Tom Russell for a Feb. 16 gig at the Bisbee Royale.
He reserves the highest praise for his friends Sloane and Danielle Bouchever, the proprietors of the Bisbee Royale. “They’ve committed an amazing amount of effort toward remodeling this beautiful old building. It’s an incredible venue, and not a venue you'd ever imagine seeing in that town.”
The last big show at the Bisbee Royale was a Halloween-night concert by Tucson favorites Sergio Mendoza y la Orkestra and Salvador Duran. The 250-capacity venue was packed.
To get to Bisbee, take Interstate 10 east to exit 303 at Benson, and take Highway 80 south about 50 miles. You can find the Bisbee Royale in the heart of town at 94 Main Street. Call 520-432-6750 for more information, or visit www.bisbeeroyale.com.