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"House of Blues will significantly change the local landscape," said Jeff Gaulton, citing the new club's arrival as the reason he moved from his position as talent buyer for downtown's 4th & B to the same position at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach.

"[House of Blues] will block-buy with their Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Diego, and Las Vegas clubs. They will grow artists at their San Diego venue, then move them up through their other local venues -- like Coors Amphitheatre. And they have people who have a great history in the San Diego market. For instance, Kevin Morrow -- who is now senior vice president -- was [partners in a talent agency with]...the original talent buyer of the Belly Up [Mac Falk]."

Another incentive was the possibility for a franchise. "I'm on the ground floor with a couple of guys who want to brand the Belly Up name across the country." Belly Up Colorado opened in January.

Gaulton says, "One of the first things I did was to bring back the remaining members of the Beat Farmers to play on Saint Patrick's Day."

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