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Bulls Eye back in the Rock biz

By Joel David Steinfeld

Score this one a win for lovers of good old fashion live — rock and roll.

Rock bands are back at the Bulls-Eye Bistro now that the — restaurant has lifted its recent ban on electric music. The venue stopped — showcasing electric bands earlier this summer because of noise complaints — registered by guests staying at the Ashland Springs Hotel. The Bulls-Eye — recently changed back to electric music because the business was losing — money from poor turnouts during concerts.

"We compared apples to apples from last year and there — was a noticeable difference in revenue," said Karolina Wyszynska, a sales — and marketing rep for the hotel.

The change is welcome news for local musicians who have — struggled finding places to play. The Rogue Suspects have been a staple — of the local scene for the past four years and were disappointed at the — initial decision of the restaurant.

"We had gigs lined up for the summer, and they called — us and said they had canceled us," said Dirk Price, who sings and plays — guitar for the Rogue Suspects.

He believes that the Bulls-Eye management thought that — acoustic duets and trios would draw as many people as electric acts but — added, "I don't think that's happened."

The decision to bring back electric music to the Bulls-Eye — will help revitalize the local music scene and help bring more musicians — and bands to Ashland, Price explained.

"The population supports it," he said. "It needs to come — back. People want to hear live music."

Ed Dunsavage, a local jazz guitarist and music promoter, — said that a poor music scene isn't unusual during the summer months, even — during the peak tourist season. He said that locals make up most of the — audience at local music events and many of them leave town on the weekends — during the summer.

"I think that the decision of the Bulls-Eye Bistro to — go with smaller, acoustic acts during the summer months may have taken — some people by surprise but I don't think it really affected the local — music scene in Ashland significantly," he said, adding that tourists come — to Ashland to see Shakespeare plays, not to hear live music.

"My experience through many years of booking music in — the Valley is that the fall & winter months are generally better for the — local music scene."

Dunsavage believes that community support is vital to — keep a healthy music scene in Ashland.

"If a local business that features live music observes — that people are coming out on a regular basis, then they will be more — inclined to continue and even expand their live music offerings," he said. — "However, if only a hand full of people are coming out sporadically to — hear music, there is no way that a venue can afford to continue paying — for bands to perform."

Along with the Bulls-Eye, Dunsavage said that the best — places to see live music in Ashland are Alex's, The Ashland Creek Bar — & Grill, Martinos', The Wild Goose, The Standing Stone Brewery, The Siskiyou — Micro Pub and The Vinyl Club.