Mad Paddle

On stage at Mad Paddle

If you’ve seen the 2003 movie School of Rock starring Jack Black, you know the general story behind the real-life School of Rock (SOR). The movie was based on the first SOR which was founded in Philadelphia, and has since grown to 300 programs around the world.

One of those programs is based in Louisville out of the Guitar Center music store, and I caught up with General Manager Melanie Scofield about the upcoming SOR Showcase at Mad Paddle Brewery on December 11.

“We did this event once before at Mad Paddle over a year ago and it was a huge hit with everybody. We love Madison so much, and all the parents and friends who came over for the show kept telling me we had to get back to Madison again.

“I have to give credit to Jerry Wade of Mad Paddle for his support of our program. As soon as I brought up the idea of doing it at his brewery he was instantly on board and gave us everything we needed to make it work.

“We bring a pretty large crowd wherever we do one of these shows, so I tell everybody to come early, enjoy the town, maybe do some shopping and have a nice meal. Madison is just about the perfect location for this type of event, with everything so close and walkable.

“I should point out that the kids we have coming for this event are what we call our Show Team, which is sort of like an honor band. They are the best of our best. They have to audition for a place in this band, and these are the kids who have made a total life commitment to music.

“These students play numerous shows a year, touring around to other venues and other SORs around the country. The School of Rock also has regular students who take lessons and perform live, plus we have an adult band we call Seriously Casual. But these kids coming to play at Mad Paddle are a cut above.

“People who haven’t seen them before are always surprised. I mean, they look just like your average teenagers. But when they pick up a guitar or step up to the mic, they blow people’s socks off! Our vocal bench is unbelievably talented. And they are just a blast to watch because every one of them is doing it for the love of it.

“Another fun aspect for adults who may have come up in the 80s or 90s, or even earlier in the 70s, is seeing these young kids discover and embrace some of the classic popular songs from those past decades. You see them really light up when they realize how cool some of the old songs are.

“The show is Saturday, December 11 at 7 p.m. on the main stage at Mad Paddle Brewery. Oh, and I should mention we are opening up the event, kind of like an open mic, for anyone 18 or younger who wants to get up on stage and share a song or two. Or even a full band. We want to encourage youth from all backgrounds and all communities to join in this celebration of music.”


After Thanksgiving is over and the leftovers have all been ziplocked and aluminum foiled and Tupperwared, you still have the rest of the weekend to spend with family and friends. One of the best things you can do is introduce them to the special magic of Indiana’s Music City. Both Friday and Saturday nights you can park your car in one spot downtown and walk between at least four hoppin’ live music venues. The Central Hotel, Mad Paddle Brewery, Red Bicycle Hall and Off Broadway Taproom all have great shows booked for this holiday weekend, and all are within two blocks of each other. Keep an eye on Thomas Family Winery, too, where Steve Thomas is likely to have something going on Saturday night. Gobble up some live music this weekend!

Charlie Rohlfing is a retired advertising man and partner in The Red Bicycle Hall music venue. Look for his distinctive fedora bobbing above the crowd, anywhere live local music is happening.

This Week in Music

Wednesday, November 24

Central Hotel — Power Plant

Mad Paddle — Tracy & Elaine

Cuzz’s Bar (Vevay) — Fullmoon Rising

Friday, November 26

Central Hotel — Falls City Boys

Mad Paddle — Joe Perkinson & Friends

Red Bicycle Hall — Johnny Berry & The Outliers

Off-Broadway Taproom — Jimmy Davis Band

Saturday, November 27

Red Bicycle Hall — Jimi Hendrix Birthday Party

Central Hotel — Stacey & The Wildcards

Mad Paddle — MadESSENCE

Off-Broadway Taproom — Robby Cox Band

Fairgrounds — Bluegrass Show (2 p.m.)

Tuesday, November 30

Off-Broadway Taproom — Open Mic Night