Big Leg Emma's Brush with Death

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Big Leg Emma
Despite rumors that Big Leg Emma was going to cancel its April 7 show at Wilbert's, a deadly bus scare won't keep the folk-rockers from backing out of their Cleveland concert. The Jamestown, New York, sextet was traveling in their tour bus on their way to a March 10 gig in Richmond, Virginia, where their driver, Keith Landers, died from a massive heart attack behind the wheel. As the 45-foot machine sped out of control, it veered to the right before guitarist Steve Johnson crawled over the dying Landers to grab the wheel, yank on the emergency brake, and bring the bus to a stop. While the band waited for the paramedics, bassist Steve French unsuccessfully performed CPR on Landers as a 911 dispatcher talked him through the procedure. "All of us were extremely lucky to be hugging a huge cement wall instead of a small guardrail or even a bridge rail when we crashed, because it contained us from a more sinister fate," says mandolinist Charity Nuse. "Life is so fragile, so precious. Appreciate the raindrops, the smell of home, and the first time a child cries, because lightning crashes even on a sunny day." Their $10-a-ticket Wilbert's show starts at 10:30 p.m. (The Honeydogs from Minneapolis open at 9 p.m.) Big Leg Emma will perform a memorial concert for Landers in Jamestown on May 11. — Cris Glaser

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