by Robert Bell
JAWBONE & JOLENE
9 p.m. Cornerstone Pub & Grill. $5.
While its listener demographics have certainly changed over the decades, the blues are nonetheless alive and well in a multitude of flavors, from hidebound purists to wild-eyed, nothing-is-sacred innovators and all points in between. The motto of the Arkansas River Blues Society is "Keeping da Blues Alive for 20 years ... and still counting!"
That's a worthy goal, though I'm skeptical that anything short of a world-ending meteor could ever kill the blues, which has long since transcended mere genre to become something more akin to a religion. The fundamentalist devotees are out there shouting the gospel and although most members of the flock are merely Easter observant, it still permeates the culture.
Harp 'n hollow body duo Jawbone & Jolene fall into the traditionalist camp, performing classics and originals that touch on evergreen themes: ramblin', gamblin', landin' in trouble and amblin' back home. Jolene's guitar provides a sturdy backing for Jawbone's gravelly singing and wailing harmonica. This is a CD release show for the duo's latest, "Lifestyles of the Poor & Infamous."