Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Weekend Picks: RIP ET, James McMurtry, Eternal Summers, Minus The Bear, Martin Barre, Mandolin Orange, Charles Walker Band, Trongone Band

Well, never doubt the power of Robert Earl Keen. He reposted my blog post on Facebook last week and I had my second biggest week ever with over 1500 page views. Thanks, REK!

Alternative pop rock band Minus the Bear is at The National Thursday night. Tix are $19.50 advance, $23 day of show. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. Make sure you get in early to see openers Beach Slang and Bayonne. Minus the Bear is out promoting their new album, VOIDS. AllMusic said about the album, "There's a bit more pure pop intention to be found on Voids, but it retains the left-field charm that made them one of the more captivating acts to watch amidst the alt-to-indie rock shift that dominated the late '90s and early 2000s." From their 2010 album, Omni, here's "My Time":

Over at Vagabond (right next door to The National) on Thursday evening, it's the RVA based Turkish pop band, Yeni Nostalji. Music starts at 9 PM and it's $7 at the door. No opener so it won't go too late, if you're worried about that. Here's their entry for the NPR Tiny Desk Contest this year.

Rock/pop/psych/punk/dream punk/trio Eternal Summers is at Strange Matter Friday night. $10 to get in. Doors open at 8. RVA band Opin will be co-headlining and celebrating the release of their new record, Opin. Dumb Waiter, and Big Baby open and DJ Resin will play in between sets. Eternal Summers was recently featured on Judd Apatow's show Love on Netflix. The character chose to play "Come Alive" off of their 2015 album, "Gold and Stone". Here it is:

The Trongone Band return to town for a show at The Broadberry Friday night. Carl Dufrene of Anders Osborne's band is filling in on bass while regular bassist Todd Herrington spends some tine out West. Tix are $12 advance, $15 at the door. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9, No opener is listed. The band was recently part of an Everyone Orchestra show which saw them playing with Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers Band, Dead & Company, Aquarium Rescue Unit), Claude Coleman Jr. (Ween), Holly Bowling, Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk), and Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band). Here's their opening set for that show.

Saturday and Sunday, you've got your Church Hill Irish Festival going on. 10 AM to 7 PM Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM Sunday. From their Facebook event page:
In addition to great entertainment, there will be plenty of family fun, including children’s games, face painting and Irish-themed crafts. Over thirty Irish vendors will be in attendance! Food and refreshments will also be available. Enjoy wonderful “Irish Lasagna” prepared by the Ladies of St. Patrick’s, “Fish and Chips” and other favorites provided by Rare Olde Times Irish Pub, Rosie Connolly’s and many more.
A huge children’s play area will be sponsored by the great folks from “LINC”.
Proceeds benefit the St. Baldrick’s Society and their fight against childhood cancer, the Church Hill Association, the Church Hill Crime Watch, Richmond Hill, Child Saver’s Clinic of Richmond, St. John’s Church, the St. Peter’s Meals Program, St. Francis Home, Stone’s Circle of Friends and many other neighborhood causes. Proceeds also benefit the historic preservation of St. Patrick’s Church, a “little church with a big heart” built in the 1850’s by Irish Immigrants to Richmond, and its outreach programs. A $5.00 donation will be collected at the gate.
You can check out the music lineup in the picture up there. Should be nice and warm both days. Shorts weather!

Saturday night at The Broadberry, it's the lyrical-country-grassy-folk band with one of the greatest band names ever, Mandolin Orange. It's $15 to get in. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with opener Dead Tongues. Here's Mandolin Orange performing "Wildfire":

Charles Walker Band bring the funky soul to The Camel Sunday night to make sure your weekend doesn't end too early. It's only $7 to get in. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with RVA blues band, The Bush League, opening. Here's Charles Walker Band on a local news morning show last month in their hometown of Milwaukee.

The guitarist from Jethro Tull, Martin Barre, is at The Groove Music Hall in Woodford, VA. He'll be playing Tull classics and deep cuts along with music from his own solo albums. GA tix are $35 advance, $38 day of show and you can do VIP for $75. Here's a clip from when Martin played The Tin Pan in October last year.

Speaking of The Tin Pan, great singer-songwriter James McMurtry is there on Monday night. Tix are $30 advance, $35 at the door. Doors open at 6, show starts at 8 and no opener is listed. This is a solo show which is just fine because it will allow to hear the great storytelling of Mr. McMurtry. Check this guy out if you like Robert Earl Keen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Lyle Lovett and those other Texas alt-country troubadours. Here's one of my favorites, "Choctaw Bingo":

A great bass player and a great friend, ET Snider, decided to catch that glory train last Wednesday night. I'll miss the twinkle in his eye, his great smile, talking (and arguing) about music, and giving each other gentle ribbing about our football teams (his Redskins, my Eagles). I was thinking about writing more, but I thought I'd let the music do the talking. A few songs from his many bands and then a few songs that remind of him. Even though I'm still angry at him for leaving us too soon, I know next time I see him, after I yell at him, I'll give him a hug and tell him I love him.

This is from a Headstone Circus reunion show in 2015.

One of ET's favorite bands was Black Sabbath. He formed a kick-ass Sabbath tribute band.

And with swamp rock band Dismal Swamp Lords. He could play it all.

And here's a few songs that make me think of him. We shared a love for the Beach Boys and both obsessed over "Revelator". Hopefully, he's somewhere watching the waves and moving the fader. And the last one is a desperate and haunting song about another bass player and gentle soul who left us too early from a band I was happy to turn him on to.

Thanks for being my friend.

Tony Jordan

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Weekend Picks: Robert Earl Keen, Kevin Morby, Foxygen, DJ Williams Projekt, Bush League, Rattlemouth, Cash'd Out

Alternative/indie rock singer/songwriter Kevin Morby does a co-headlining gig with Waxahatchee and opener Mary Lattimore at Capital Ale House Downtown Thursday night. Tix are $18 advance, $20 day of show. Doors open at 7. Mary Lattimore comes on at 8, Waxahatchee around 8:45 and Kevin after that. Both Waxahatchee and Kevin are playing full sets. Kevin is part of a project called Resistance Radio: The Man In The High Castle Album, which is inspired by the original Amazon Studios series The Man In The High Castle. The show takes place in 1962 so it is made up of covers of songs from in and around that time. Kevin does a cover of The Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes For You". Kevin also recently played with the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir at a show in CA. Here's Kevin in France in November playing his song "Harlem River":

Richmond blues band The Bush League is at The Tin Pan Thursday night. Tix are $10. Doors at 6, show at 8. No opener listed. Bush League is celebrating their 10th year together. They recently competed in the 33rd International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN representing the Central Virginia Blues Society in Charlottesville. This is the largest annual gathering of blues musicians in the world and it was the 5th time in 6 years they competed. 120 bands converged on Beale Street on February 1st & 2nd from all over the United States and countries as far away as Northern Ireland and Israel. This year, the band finished as semifinalists (for the second time) which translates into the Top 40 bands competing. Great job representing not just RVA, but all of VA! Here's their first set from night one of the Challenge.

World music RVA band Rattlemouth hits up Garden Grove Brewing on Friday night. The show will run 8 - 10:30 PM. FREE to get in. Here's a taste of them at Garden Grove in 2015:

RVA native DJ Williams comes back to RVA from LA for a show with his DJ Williams Projekt. The show is at Buddy's Place on Friday night. This is being billed as the St. Patrick's Get Down and though I don't think DJ will be venturing into Celtic rock, it will be a funky good time, as always. You never who's going to show up to play with the Projekt but they are always fabulous musicians. Here's the Project in 2014 with the lovely and talented Sam Reed on vocals for a cover of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy":

I don't usually do too much out of town shows but you've got two chances to see alt-country legend Robert Earl Keen this weekend. The first is Saturday night at the new The Groove Music Hall in Thornburg VA about 45 minutes north of RVA. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8, no opener is listed. Tix range from $35 to $57/50. The second opportunity is at The Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville Sunday night. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with Abe Wilson from Sons of Bill playing solo to open. Tix are $30 advance, $35 day of show. There is talk of a statue being erected in Bryan-College Station, TX, home to Texas A&M, to honor alumni and former roommates Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett. Hope it happens. They are two of my favorite artists. HERE'S the story. Here's REK performing his most famous song, "Road Goes On Forever". This song was recorded by Joe Ely and The Highwaymen, a country music supergroup made up of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson. And when those guys pick your song to play, you know it must be good.

The Johnny Cash tribute band Cash'd Out is at Broadberry Sunday night. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. Red Light Rodeo opens. Tix are $12 advance, $15 at the door. Cash'd Out won six San Diego Music Awards for Best Tribute Band, and are the only tribute band endorsed by the official Johnny Cash web page, Here's Johnny Cash doing "Hurt":

Neo-psychedelic, indie/alternative, folk/pop/rock band Foxygen are at The National on Tuesday night. Tix are $15 advance, $18 day of show. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener Gabriella Cohen. You might dig Foxygen if you like Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd or Flaming Lips, From their latest album, "Hang", here's Foxygen's "Upon a Hill":

That'll do it. I may see you at Robert Earl Keen in C'Ville or Foxygen. Here's some country rock from the late 70's. This is Pousette-Dart Band at Oakland Auditorium in 1979:

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Weekend Picks: Wynonna & the Big Noise, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Musiq Soulchild, Moose Blood, Vanessa Carlton, Crocodiles, Royal Thunder

A punk rock show at Canal Club starts things off on Wednesday this week. Moose Blood (from the UK), Trophy Eyes, Boston Manor, A Will Away and She's a Legend play a show that starts at 6. Tix are $15 advance, $18 at the door. Moose Blood will play the big Reading and Leeds festivals in the UK this summer. Moose Blood has been selling out quite a few shows on this tour so get there early. Here's "Honey":

The soul music of St. Paul and the Broken Bones will fill The National Wednesday night. Tix are $23 advance, $26 at the door. Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30 with opener Aaron Lee Tasjan. If you haven't seen these guys live, lead singer Paul Janeway is a hurricane-effect force on stage. He looks like your accountant but when he starts to sing it evokes Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and other great retro soul singers. He will suck you in to his whirlwind. He'll climb the balconies. He'll crawl under the stage. And the Broken Bones are a great band who can follow him and support him and shine on their own. The band was recently on Austin City Limits. Here's a bonus track that wasn't included in the broadcast episode:

Alternative/indie/noise/rock/pop/garage/punk band Crocodiles slither into Strange Matter Wednesday night. It's $12 to get in. Doors open at 8. AJ Davila y Terror Amor, The Milkstains and DJ Marty Violence open. You might dig Crocodiles if you like Jesus & Mary Chain, Love & Rockets, Pixies, or Sonic Youth. From the Crocodiles latest album, "Dreamless", here's "Not Even In Your Dreams":

Thursday night is country night with Wynonna (Judd) and the Big Noise at the Beacon Theatre in Hopewell. Doors open at 6:30 with an opener TBD. Tix range from $37 to $55 in advance, $42 to $60 at the door. Here's Wynonna & the Big Noise with "You Are So Beautiful" (not the Joe Cocker song). Check this out. It might surprise you.

Two-Time CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan is at Richmond Coliseum Thursday night. Show starts at 7 with openers Brett Eldredge and Brett Young. Tix (including resale tix) are ranging from $47 to $500 on Ticketmaster. Here's Luke on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon a few days ago:

Amazing jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan is at Tin Pan Friday night. Doors open at 6, show starts at 8 with no opener. Tix are $35 advance, $40 at the door. "Jordan has received four Grammy nominations. His most recent album "Friends" was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Los Angeles Times jazz critic Leonard Feather wrote, "Genius is a word often tossed around in musical circles, but it has been rightfully applied to Stanley Jordan."" Here's Stanley's promo for the Tin Pan show:

The Southern Belles check into The Broadberry Friday night. Maradeen opens the show at 8, doors open at 7. Tix are $10. New bassist for the Belles, Mikey Sallemi, will be making his RVA debut. The Belles also have a new album coming out soon, "In the Middle of the Night". Here's their full set from The Camel in January:

"Heavy classic rock, 90's grunge, and forward-thinking progressive rock" band Royal Thunder are at Strange Matter Friday night. Doors open at 9. $10 advance, $12 day of show. Book of Wyrms and High Canyon open. Royal Thunder has been "described as playing, ‘a revved-up Southern hard rock that howls like Led Zeppelin astride a psychedelic unicorn’. And really, what more could you ask from a rock band? Here's their new single, "April Showers":

Electronica musician Negative Gemini is at Strange Matter Saturday. Doors open at 8. Make sure you get there early to see RVA artist Dazeases who will be on before Negative Gemini. Other openers are Bien and DJ Skrt Skrt. Here's Negative Gemini performing "You Never Knew":

There's a great soul show at VSU on Saturday night when the Nu Soul Revival Tour featuring Musiq Soulchild, Lyfe Jennings, Kindred the Family Soul, Avery*Sunshine, and Chrisette Michelle are at the VSU Multipurpose Center. Show starts at 8 and tix range from $35 to $75. Doors open at 7. Here's Musiq Soulchild's "Love":

Vanessa Carlton and Tristen are at Tin Pan Sunday night. Doors open at 5, show at 7. Tix are $35 advance, $40 at the door. Vanessa has a new live mini-album, "Earlier Things Live" out now. You'll dig Vanessa if you like Natalie Imbruglia, Sara Bareilles, Alanis Morisette, Fiona Apple, Sarah McLachlan, Jewel or Carly Simon. Here's a short set from Vanessa:

Philly grunge/Americana/classic/folk/indie/alternative rockers Strand of Oaks are at Strange Matter Sunday night. Doors at 8. $13 advance, $16 day of show. Twin Limb and Grass Panther open. From their latest album "Hard Love", here's "Rest Of It":

That'll do it. See you at Southern Belles. Here's Iggy and the Stooges because I wanna be somebody's dog:

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Weekend Picks: Ryan Adams, You Blew It!, Alex Dezen, Victor Wooten, Clair Morgan, Photosynthesizers, Skydog, Suggesting Rhythm, Long Strange Night

Jazz/funk/rock/bluegrass, oh, heck, he can play it all, bassist Victor Wooten is at The Broadberry on Thursday night. Most of you may know him as the bassist in Bela Fleck & the Flecktones. He's also a "5-time Grammy Winner, the only multiple winner of Bass Player Magazine’s reader’s poll (3 times), and was voted one of the top ten bassists of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine." He'll be appearing at The Broadberry with his trio including Dennis Chambers and Bob Franceschini. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 and no opener is listed. Tix are $25 advance, $30 at the door. As of noon on Wednesday, GA tickets for this show are SOLD OUT. VIP sections and table reservations are still available. Here's the trio playing at halftime of Knicks game last month:

Clair Morgan continues their First Friday residency at The Camel and they continue to give proceeds from these shows to charities, this time to Planned Parenthood. Tix are $6 advance, $8 at the door. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with openers Doll Baby, Bad Magic & Blush Face. Clair Morgan recently announced that they'll be playing a concert with the Richmond Symphony on September 23 along with other RVA artists Matthew E. White, Natalie Prass, Bio Ritmo and Tim Barry. Should be quite the special show. However, they do a need a new video. I have to keep playing this one because it's the only one they've got.

Long Strange Night will have a long strange afternoon at Cary Street Cafe on Saturday. The Beatles, blues and Grateful Dead cover band will play from 2 - 6 PM if you want to shake it down on Saturday afternoon. Don't cost nothin' to get in. And the band will be doing a "very special and rare acoustic show". Here they are very un-acoustic a few weeks ago:

Emo/pop/alternative/indie rock band You Blew It! do an early show at Strange Matter Saturday evening. All Get Out and Free Throw open the show with doors opening at 5 PM. Show will end no later than 9 PM. Tix are $12 advance, $15 day of show. You Blew It! is out promoting their new album, "Abendrot". This is the new video "Arrowhead" from that album:

This is a good Saturday for those who want to take in some music and still get to bed early. There's a cool show at Hardywood with RVA bands Photosynthesizers (Indie Rock Alternative Hip-Hop/Soul), The Trillions ("...strikingly urgent, almost mathlike, pop punch..."-Style Weekly) , Spooky Cool (Rhapsodic pop bursting with disruptions of riff heavy psychoactive polyrhythmic rock) & Gull (one man psychedelic avant-garde percussionist) that starts at 5:30 and runs until 10. The taproom opens at 1 and they'll have a few food trucks there if you get the munchies. It's FREE to get in. From Photosynthesizers, here's "Best of the Class":

Celebrate the life of late, great Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks with Skydog: A Tribute to the Allman Brothers Band at The Broadberry Saturday night. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with no opener listed. Tix are $10 advance, $12 day of show. Here's the band with "Ain't Wasting Time No More":

More jam band tribute bands Saturday night with Suggesting Rhythm doing the Grateful Dead thang at Canal Club. Doors at 8, music at 9, no opener listed. $8 advance, $10 at the door. Here's the band and people with hats on dancing:

The illustrious and prolific Ryan Adams is in town for two shows at The National Sunday and Monday night. Tix are $43 advance, $48 day of show, doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30 with opener Phoebe Bridgers both nights. Ryan's 16th, and latest album, Prisoner is getting the usual great reviews. Here he is performing the title track, solo acoustic, on KCRW last week:

Alternative pop singer/songwriter Alex Dezen is at The Camel Sunday night. Mike Dunn and Ben Shepherd open the show at 8. Doors open at 7. It's $10 to get in. He's out promoting his album, "Alex Dezen II" and here's "Holding on to You (Holding on to Me)" from that:

That'll do it. Have a great weekend! I'll leave you with this one from the Old 97's with Fred Armisen (SNL, Portlandia, Late Night with Seth Myers) filling in on drums and Jenna Fischer (The Office) as the interviewer.

Tony Jordan

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Weekend Picks: Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Larry Keel, Os Mutantes, Eisley, Jeff the Brotherhood, Pepper, The Taters, Down the Rabbit Hole

Reggae/dub/rock band Pepper is at The National  Wednesday night with pop-punkers Less Than Jake, The Attack and The Bunny Gang. Tix are $21 advance, $24 day of show, doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30. Pepper is out supporting their new self-produced album, "Ohana". If you somewhere where pot it legal, you can get Pepper's own brand, "Hawaiian Pepper". Find it where quality weed is sold. Here's Pepper's "Give It Up":

Psych/grunge band Jeff the Brotherhood plays Strange Matter Wednesday night. Big No and Roy Batty open. Doors open at 8. Tix are $10 advance, $12 day of show. You might dig Jeff the Brotherhood if you like Diarrhea Planet, Ty Segall Band, Screaming Females, Black Keys, or Weezer. Here's Jeff the Brotherhood's "Diamond Way":

Out of New Orleans, it's the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at Capital Ale House Downtown Wednesday. Tix are $20 advance, $25 day of show. The Get Right Band opens the show at 8, doors open at 7. Dirty Dozen is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. Hard to believe. And I hope they never stop because they put on a fun and fantastic show that will not allow you to sit still. Here's an unofficial video for "Lil' Liza Jane":

You can spend happy hour (or happy three hours) at Hardywood Friday night when The Atkinsons and Long Arms play from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM. The taproom opens at 4 if you want to get a head start before the bands come on. The Atkinsons are one of 20 bands, five from Richmond, that are up for a spot playing at this year's Lockn' Festival. And every vote (you can vote once a day) gets you a chance for a pair of 4-day GA passes to the festival. You can vote HERE. The Atkinsons also entered into the NPR Tiny Desk Concert contest. Here's their entry for "Out of Time":

The Taters have a really special show at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen Friday night. They'll be backed by the Richmond Symphony for the show and I can't wait to see what songs they do from their repertoire of classic rock and pop. And some of their originals too! The show is at 7 PM and tix are $40. You can add dinner before the show for an additional $28. Here's another recent collaboration for The Taters, playing with Russ Varnell & His Too Country Band:

Friday at The Broadberry, bluegrass/Americana artist Larry Keel performs. Doors open at 8, Boy Named Banjo opens the show at 9. Tix are $13 advance, $18 at the door. Here's some of Larry's press blurb:
Larry Keel is described by reviewers as the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic guitarist performing today. Keel has absorbed the best lessons from his Country and Bluegrass family upbringing, both sides deeply steeped in the rich mountain music culture and heritage of Southwest Virginia. From there, he has always integrated that disciplined musical grounding and natural-born talent with his own incomparable approach to playing the guitar and composing original music. He's also got a knack for choosing interesting and appealing material from all realms of music with guts, whether it's a tune written by a fellow song-writer/musician friend, or a tasty cover from any number of genres all over the map. The combination is pretty irresistible, and has earned Keel the highest respect and billing among the top acoustic musicians alive, and some now gone: Sam Bush, Del McCoury, Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers), Chance McCoy (Old Crow Medicine Show), Tony Rice, Chris Thile,Vassar Clements, John Hartford, Bill Monroe, Peter Rowan, and Darol Anger to name a few. And his fierce, high-spirited energy also appeals to young rockers, jammers and alt country players and fans who are equally drawn to Keel's deep rumbling voice, his earthy and imaginative song-writing, and his down-home-gritty-good-time charm. Keel regularly collaborates with Americana giants Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, Infamous Stringdusters, Keller Williams, Steep Canyon Rangers (with Steve Martin), Jorma Kaukonen, David Nelson, Little Feat, Rebirth Brass Band, Dirty Dozen Brass, members of String Cheese Incident and Leftover Salmon, amongst others.
Here's the Larry Keel Experience, which is the lineup at the Broadberry, on 12/31/16:

The Canal Club hosts an event called Down The Rabbit Hole on Saturday starting at 4 PM and going until 2 AM. There will be live music from:

They'll be making it a full experience including acrobats and go-go dancers, arts & crafts vendors, contests & giveaways and themed shots & drinks. Tix are $15 advance, $20 at the door. Here's Trongone Band playing at Winter Skunk Fest a couple weeks ago:

The Broadberry has indie pop band Eisley along with Civilian and Backwards Dancer Saturday night. Doors at 7, show at 8, $15 to get in. Eisley's new album, "I'm Only Dreaming" came out on 2/17. From that album, here's "Louder Than a Lion":

Americana acoustic pop band Hazeltone is at Poe's Pub Saturday night from 9 PM to 1 AM. No cover charge or opener is listed.

50+ year Brazilian psychedelic pop band Os Mutantes is at Capital Ale House Downtown Tuesday night. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with Major & the Monbacks. Tix are $25 advance, $30 day of show. Here's the band in 2015:

That'll do it. Have a great weekend! I'll leave you with Gov't Mule joined by Grace Potter for a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Gold Dust Woman":

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Weekend Picks: Black Joe Lewis, Anders Osborne, Steve Forbert, Turn to Crime, KINGS, Good Shot Judy, Never Mind the Bollocks Here's Richmond

Not sure what's been going on the last few weeks, but it seems all the bands want to play on Friday night. So you'll need to make some decisions, my friends.

Folk singer/songwriter/guitarist Steve Forbert is at Capital Ale House Downtown Friday. Doors at 7, show at 8, no opener listed. Tix are $20 advance, $25 day of show. Here's some background on Steve from his press blurb:
After years with local bands, Steve Forbert left his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi in his early 20s and headed for the Big Apple in search of recording deals and larger audiences. He started out playing for change at Grand Central Station and hitting every open mic night he could before eventually moving into the club scene at infamous spots like New York City's CBGB's. At a time when rootsy rock was fading in favor of punk edged bands such as the Ramones, Talking Heads, and Blondie, Forbert's folk pop "Romeo's Tune" hit #11 on the charts and brought him into the international spotlight. Critics and the public embraced his melodic and lyrical styles, a more traditional sound among the post disco punk and rock of the late '70s and early '80s. Always following his own instincts, Forbert says, "I've never been interested in changing what I do to fit popular style and needs."
And that's the motto he has lived by since the release of his debut album, Alive on Arrival, in 1978. Rolling Stone contributing editor David Wild recently wrote that "now or then, you would have been hard pressed to find a debut effort that was simultaneously as fresh and accomplished as Alive on Arrival. It was like a great novel by a young author who somehow managed to split the difference between Mark Twain and J. D. Salinger."
From his 2005 album, "Good Soul Food - Live at the Ark", here's "Good Planets Are Hard to Find". Indeed!

Great New Orleans blues/rock guitarist Anders Osborne is at The Broadberry Friday night. Tix are $25. Doors open at 8 ,show starts at 9 with The Ghost of Paul Revere opening. If I didn't have my kids this weekend, I would definitely be at this show (kids come first!). I've been seeing Anders since the 90's and he always puts on a fantastic rocking show. I've seen Anders at Lockn' Festival recently, with his band and playing with Phil Lesh and others at the fest. Hopefully, we can give him some good Richmond memories at this show as I believe the last time he was in Richmond he was onstage on the infamous day when Toots Hibbert of Toots & the Maytals was hit by the thrown vodka bottle at Riverrock. A black day in Richmond's music history. Thankfully, Toots got back to touring last year. Anders will be with his full band Friday, but here he is playing acoustic while riding in a gondola:

On Friday at Gallery5, it's Never Mind the Bollocks Here's Richmond when "Gouda Mayhem performs the classic Sex Pistols album, Never Mind the Bollocks, in its entirety as a celebration of the 40th anniversary of its release, with an All-Star cast of Richmond guest vocalists, including Julie Storey of Doll Baby, Lindsey Spurrier of Roy Batty and Hot Dolphin, Eddie Prendergast of Mikrowaves, Chrissie Lozano of Lady God, and, in his first live performance in more than 15 years, Taylor Steele of FOUR WALLS FALLING! It's looking like there are going to be multiple guest DRUMMERS also. This is gonna be some chaotic fun. Kenneka Cook will be opening with a beautiful non-Sex Pistols-related set." Doors open at 8, show starts at 9, tix are $8 advance, $10 day of show. Here's some Sex Pistols with Spanish subtitles:

Good Shot Judy (jazz) and My Son the Doctor ( Eastern European Soul) will play/record at Sound of Music Studios Friday night. They'll be creating a jazz club atmosphere. Head on over and have your cheers immortalized on a live recording. Show starts at 8. $7 suggested donation for the bands and sound engineer. Here's Good Shot Judy conjuring up a little of that old black magic:

R&B/soul/funk band KINGS are at The Camel Friday night. This is a special Valentine's show, including an RVA Entertainers Club set with special guests, including Sam Reed. Ropeadope Records band Escaper from NY will open the show. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9, $10 to get in. Here's KINGS latest track, "Enough Island":

Experimental indie alternative pop band Turn to Crime turn into Strange Matter Sunday night. Doors open at 8, $8 to get in. The Green Hearts and Doctor Collins open. NME said "An uplifting mix of Krautrock, playful synths and candy-pop hooks; Turn To Crime sound like an experiment gone awry in a toy factory" Their new song from their new album, "Secondary" is now near and dear to my heart. And my pills will indeed blow your mind.

Finally, the show I'll be at Monday night. Black Joe Lewis is gonna bring the grungy blues/funk to Strange Matter. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9. It's $15 to get in. Dams of the West (featuring Chris Tomson of Vampire Weekend) and RVA's own Big Mama Shakes open the show. This is a great show top to bottom so get there early. I have a feeling this will be sweaty dancey night. From Black Joe Lewis' new album, "Backlash", here's "PTP":

That'll do it. Have a great weekend! I'll see you at Black Joe Lewis Monday night. I'll leave you with this for Valentine's Day.

Tony Jordan

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Weekend Picks: WRIR Black Valentine's Party, Ruthie Foster, No BS! Brass Band, Full Moon Fever, Instant Karma

It's happy hour goodness at Hardywood on Friday night especially if you like Tom Petty. Full Moon Fever, the Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers tribute band, will be there along with openers, Imaginary Boys (Cure tribute). The taproom opens at 4:30 and the music starts at 6. Don't cost nothin' to get in. Here's TP doing "You Don't Know How It Feels":

More tribute bands when Instant Karma (Beatles/John Lennon) are at Cary St. Cafe from 2 - 6 Saturday afternoon. Here's The Beatles visiting Penny Lane. On horses.

Blues/folk/gospel artist Ruthie Foster is at The Tin Pan on Saturday night. Ruthie is out supporting her new album, "Joy Comes Back" which comes out March 24. Ruthie was nominated for Grammies in 2010, 2012 and 2014 for Best Blues Album and Ruthie has been recognized by organizations such as the Austin Music Awards (2007, 2008 and 2013 Best Female Vocalist), Blues Music Awards (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013), Living Blues Awards (2010 Critics' Poll Winner and 2011 nominee for Blues Female Artist of the Year). Doors open at 6, show starts at 8, tix are $30 advance, $35 at the door. Here's one of her performances on this year's Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise:

No BS! Brass Band will perform an early show (doors at 6, music at 7 and 2 sets from No BS) on Sunday night. They are calling it the No BS Brass Valentine's Dinner Theatre. Dinner is not included with the price but you can always get your own from the menu at Capital Ale House Downtown and of course partake from their fine selection of beer. Tix are $15 advance, $20 at the door. Let's step back 3.5 years to No BS' performance on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert:

On Tuesday, February 14, WRIR FM 97.3 presents its 11th annual Black Valentine’s Day Party. Gotta broken heart again? Happy loving couples ain’t no friend of yours? Feel like love stinks? Then this is the party for you!  Happy people who enjoy great music while in the company of the brokenhearted are also welcome!

Three great performers, Mikrowaves, Dorthia Cottrell (of Windhand), and Paul Ivey, will perform songs about love gone terribly wrong.  These are songs that speak to love unrequited, betrayal, despair and hearts torn asunder… the horrible emotions that make you feel miserable but oh so alive. Your favorite WRIR DJs will be on hand to spin songs of romantic woe between sets.

This year’s party will also features the Black Valentine’s Day live Date Auction, with proceeds benefiting WRIR!  Each winning bidder will walk away with an eligible date and a dinner for two at one of Richmond’s finest restaurants.  And should romance bloom, don’t blame us when it all comes crashing down in a fiery wreck.  You should have seen that coming.

For the past eleven years, the romantically downtrodden have found solace at the Black Valentine’s Day Party.  Well-adjusted people in happy, committed relationships are also welcome, but the rest of us would appreciate it if you’d turn the joy down a notch.  We’re trying to enjoy our heartache over here.

The musical misery gets underway at 8:00 pm sharp at Gallery 5. 200 W Marshall St., Richmond, VA.  Admission is free, but you must be 18 or older to attend, and any donations at the door will benefit Gallery 5.  Doors open at 7:00 pm.

Here's the Mikrowaves last July 4 at Hardywood (that was a fun and interesting night) performing Dodge Diplomat:

That'll do it! Have a great weekend! I'll see you at Hardywood Friday night and the WRIR Black Valentine's Party. I'll leave you with this one dedicated to Betsy DeVos:

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Weekend Picks: WRIR Party for the Rest of Us, Eric Krasno & Marcus King, Hiss Golden Messenger, Charlie Hunter, Black Marble, Atmosphere

The weekend kicks off Thursday at Broadberry with Eric Krasno Band and Marcus King Band. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9. Tix are $17 advance, $20 day of show. Eric Krasno is a veteran of funk-jam bands Soulive and Lettuce and is the go-to guy to sit in with just about everyone on the jam band scene. It'll be a funky good time. And get there early for the up and coming "soul-influenced psychedelic southern rock" of The Marcus King Band. The 20 year old guitar player (Marcus King) is gaining fast acclaim on the jam band/blues scene and will probably be headlining on his own the next time he comes through town. And expect the two guitarists to play together at some point. Here's a little tour teaser from Eric and Marcus filmed on the beach at Gov't Mule's Island Exodus:

Friday is chock full o' music, but the highlight for me is the WRIR Party for the Rest of Us celebrating the 12th birthday of Richmond's independent radio station. I may be a bit biased because (full disclosure) I am a volunteer at the station. But this is a great lineup of music. Check it out:
People's Blues of Richmond
Yeni Nostalji 
Doll Baby 
Richmond Avant Improvisational Collective 
Satellite Syndicate 
Harry Partch Appreciation Society 
RVA Comedy Standup showcase
WRIR DJs spinning between sets
And you not only get all that but free birthday cake too! You get in for a $15 donation that supports WRIR. Doors open and the entertainment starts at 7 PM. It will run until midnight. Here's People's Blues of Richmond with "Quit or Die":

Friday evening, there is an early show at Strange Matter with electronic/alternative/indie/synth pop/new wave/rock band Black Marble. Doors open at 5. You. & Unmaker open. $10 advance, $12 day of show. Here's Black Marble doing "Frisk" live on 1/24:

Jazz-funk guitarist Charlie Hunter brings his trio to Capital Ale House Downtown Friday night. Tix are $22.50 advance, $25 at the door. Doors at 7, show at 8 and no opener is listed. Here's the press blurb for Charlie and the band:
Charlie Hunter really deserves his own category because he has had to actually invent guitars to match his vision. When the Berkeley-High-School graduate emerged on San Francisco stages in the 1990s using an 8-string guitar on which he simultaneously played bass, chords and leads, he seemed almost freakish, but that impression was quickly tempered by a profound musicality that brought him deep respect on the international scene.
Here's the trio on 12/30/16 opening for Snarky Puppy:

Singer/songwriter Hiss Golden Messenger is at Broadberry Friday. Tix are $16, doors at 8, show at 9 with opener Phil Cook. Hiss aka Michael Taylor will be hitting a few festivals this summer including BottleRock Napa Valley, Boston Calling, Pickathon, and Sloss Fest. Here they are playing for WYEP in Pittsburgh earlier today (1/31):

Clair Morgan does their monthly First Friday show at The Camel. Each one of these shows is a benefit and this one is for ART 180. Tix are $6 advance, $8 day of show. Doors at 8, show at 9. The Dawn Drapes, Glass Twin, and J Kramer open. Here's Clair Morgan's "How to Set Your Bed on Fire":

Afro-Zen All Stars kick off the Global Sound Series at the newly named The Mainline at Ashland Coffee and Tea. (If you're wondering what has changed along the name, check out this article from Style.) I saw Afro-Zen All Stars at the Broadberry last month when they opened for No BS! Brass Band and their sound is quite mesmerizing. Here's their press blurb:
Led by a driving horn section, the Afro-Zen Allstars present a powerful instrumental collection that evokes irresistible rhythms and dance-able grooves. From Ethiopia’s “Golden Age” of music (popularized by the Ethiopiques Series and groups such as Debo Band) to wedding music of Rajasthan or Zimbabwe’s Chimurenga music of “revolutionary struggle,” Afro-Zen honors a heritage of positive music through the modern arrangements of its bandleader, George M. Lowe. As a lifelong student of international music, Lowe takes the listener to a place where the sound is both rare yet familiar.
Afro-Zen Allstars features the powerhouse lineup of Hector “Coco” Barez, percussion; Brian Cruse, Bass; John Lilley, Alto and Tenor Sax; George M. Lowe, Guitar; Scott Milstead, Drums; Chris Sclafani, Baritone Sax; Chris Vasi, Guitar; and Toby Whitaker, Trombone as well as a rotating cast of Richmond’s all-star musicians.
Tix are $8 advance, $10 at the door. The show will run from 8 to 10. No opener. Here they are performing at that show at The Broadberry:

Hip-hop duo Atmosphere is at The National Saturday night with Brother Ali, deM atlaS, Plain Ole Bill, and Last Word. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. Tix are $20 advance, $25 day of show. From their latest album, "Fishing Blues", here's Atmosphere's "A Long Hello":

Indie popper Allison Crutchfield and The Fizz bubble up in Strange Matter Saturday. $12 cover. Doors open at 8. Radiator Hospital and Pinkwash open. Born in Alabama, Allison now resides in Philly, as do the rest of the bands on the bill (thus the Liberty Bell in the poster) which makes them all cool in my book, being a Philly boy myself. However, now Allison says she doesn't "Ever Wanna Leave California". OK, the weather is better there. But you can't get a good cheesesteak there.

That'll do it. I'll see you at the Eric Krasno show. Here's a pretty trippy song and video from a band called Moon Duo.

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Weekend Picks: Legendary Shack Shakers, Shawn Mullins, New Stew, Big Mama Shakes, Taters, Runaway Gin, Hazeltone

No alternative facts here. Just the real deal on who's playing where in the RVA this weekend.

Start your weekend right with The Legendary Shack Shakers blues, punk, rock and country Southern Gothic hell-for-leather roadshow at The Broadberry on Thursday. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with openers The Brains & The Delta Bombers. Here's a taste from the Shack Shakers press blurb:
Although not legendary upon being named, the band has grown into its reputation the last several years due to their heavy tour schedule, six critically acclaimed studio albums, and songs that have been featured on television shows such as HBO’s True Blood. Past tour mates and fans include Reverend Horton Heat, Rancid, The Black Keys, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, and Hank Williams III. Robert Plant is also a noted Legendary Shack Shakers fan, and picked the band to open for him on his 2005 tour of Europe. Plant named the band's third album Believe as one of his favorite records of 2005. The list of esteemed admirers goes on to include horror novelist Stephen King, who listed “CB Song” as among his iPod’s Top Five in a 2008 Entertainment Weekly article. Such a wealth of devoted fans over the years has only added to the mystique that the Legendary Shack Shakers possess, carrying them down the road toward new creative pursuits and barn-shaking tunes.
Here's the Shack Shakers playin' in the "Mud":

Louisiana singer/songwriter Marc Broussard is at The Tin Pan Friday night. The show might be sold out, but if tix become available they'll run $45 advance, $50 at the door. Door open at 6 and Jamie McLean Band opens the show at 7:30. Get there early to see Jamie. He used to play with Dirty Dozen Brass Band and his band has been touring with Gregg Allman, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Drive By Truckers, Gov't Mule, Soulive, Jackie Greene, Blues Traveler, North Mississippi Allstars and more. Here's one from Marc:

And one from Jamie:

At Capital Ale House Downtown, help yourself to a big serving of The New Stew Friday night. Who's in the Stew, you say? Here's the lineup:
Corey Glover – Vocals (Living Colour, Galactic)
Roosevelt Collier - Lap Steel/ Pedal Steel (Lee Boys)
Yonrico Scott – Percussion (Derek Trucks Band, Royal Southern Brotherhood)
Dave Yoke – Guitar (Susan Tedeschi Band, Dr. John, Scrapomatic)
Jared Stone – Drums (Stone's Stew)
Matt Slocum – Piano (Oteil and the Peacemakers, Col. Bruce Hampton & Aquarium Rescue Unit, Lee Boys)
Jonathan Meadows from The Congress is going to sit in too. These soul/jazz/blues vets will pay tribute to the classic album "Bill Withers - Live from Carnegie Hall" by playing the album in it's entirety. Tix are $20 for GA or $32.50 for VIP and you can get a $20 discount HERE. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. Here's the band performing "Harlem/Cold Baloney" from that album last year:

The Taters kick off their 20th year with a show they are calling Bridge of The Cyber Taters. Will this be a prog-rock sci-fi epic rock opera? (Probably not.) Will they wear robot costumes? (Maybe!) Find out at O'Tooles Friday night. The show starts at 8 and goes until 11. Here's the band last week on Cary NC:

Phish is off the road for a while and if you miss them already, head to The Camel Friday night. Runaway Gin - A Tribute to Phish will take the stage at 10:30. There's no opener and the doors open at 9:30. Tix are $10 advance, $12 at the door. This is the Richmond debut of the band, who have played 200 shows, earning them the self-appointed title of World's Most Active Phish Tribute Band. Here they are doing "Tweezer > Sneaking Sally Through The Alley" in November:

Big Mama Shakes will shake your big ass Saturday night at Garden Grove Brewing Company. This will be a release party for Big Mama Brown Ale. I always loved Big Mama Brown and I'm glad they named an ale after her. Oh wait, it's a brown ale? I get it. It's a collaboration between the band and Garden Grove to make a fine brown ale. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with openers Dharma Bombs. It's FREE to get in. The band can rock the Southern/classic/blues rock thing pretty loud but they get a little introspective on this song, "Places":

Americana band Hazeltone is at Poe's Pub Saturday night with a special guest opening the show. Doors at 9, show starts at 10. No cover charge is listed. Here's their description of themselves:
We play B side, off the wall stuff from the Tom Petty, Rolling Stones, REM, David Bowie, Neil Young. Our originals lean towards Better than Ezra ,Petty Doors, John Mayer influence. We are a 7 member band that includes 12 & 6 string acoustic, harmonica, 6 string electric guitar, violin, piano, accordion,sax drums, and bass...We are an all original song band with some hand crafted covers.

Shawn Mullins is at The Tin Pan Sunday night. Doors open at 5, show starts at 6:40 with opener Rick Brantley. Shawn's big hit was "Lullaby" in 1998 but he's continued to make great storytelling music: emotional, romantic. sometimes cynical, sometimes humorous. Tix are $25 advance, $30 at the door. Here he is performing "Gulf Of Mexico" last March.

That'll do it. I'll see you at Legendary Shack Shakers on Thursday. Maybe Taters or Runaway Gin on Friday. Maybe Big Mama Shakes Saturday. I'll leave you with "Magic", a song Bruce Springsteen wrote about "alternative facts" during the Bush II era. Who knew it could get worse.

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Weekend Picks: Umphrey's McGee, Doyle Bramhall II, Be Bad Weekend, Poe's B'day Bash, Karen Jonas, Sammi Lanzetta's B'day Bash

A fairly busy weekend with bands starting to hit the road again after holiday break.

We'll start with two shows at The National from prog/jam band Umphrey's McGee. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with Spafford opening on both Friday and Saturday. Tix are $27.50 but Saturday's show is SOLD OUT so hurry and buy those tix if you want to go Friday because they are running low too. If you miss 'em, get some Lockn' tickets because they'll be back there this year. Here they are on 1/14 in Atlanta:

Another multi-night show starts Friday night. This is one is Friday through Sunday at Strange Matter and it's the Be Bad Weekend 2017. If you are ready to rock hard, this is the show (shows?) for you. It's three days of celebrating women in punk and hardcore. And the ladies rock for a good cause. Proceeds go to Girls Rock RVA. Oh, and also to some of the out of town bands for gas money. Shows start at 7 each day and it's $8 advance, $10 at the door. You can get a discounted show price if you bring NEW picks, instrument cables, xlr cables, clip-on tuners, 9v batteries, drum sticks, and/or power strips!! Girls Rock! RVA needs NEW supplies, not used! There are different lineups all three days. To see whose playing, click that link or look at that poster up there.

Murphy's Kids bring their punk/reggae/ska to The Camel Friday night. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with Eastern Standard Time and King Easy. It's $7 to get in. There will also be chances to win tickets for 2017 SuperNova International Ska Festival. Here's Murphy's Kids:

Like some literature with some rock n' roll sprinkled in? Head to Poe's Birthday Bash at The Poe Museum on Saturday. It'll be twelve hours (noon to midnight) of performances, music, film, tours, exhibits, fun, and games for the whole family, all for just $5 per person. You can check the link there for the full schedule. Bands are scheduled to play at:

Charming Disaster seem made for this event with songs like this one, "Ghost Story":

Sammi Lanzetta (of Venus Guytrap) celebrates her birthday with a show at Sound of Music Studios Saturday night. It's $7 to get in, doors open at 7, show starts at 8. It's BYOB (cans only please, no glass). Sammi's gonna play last because it's her birthday so she gets what she wants. Opening the show will be Big Baby & Pete Curry. Here's a song that is near and dear to my heart if anyone knows my love for Sudafed:

Suzie & the G-Tones are at Ashland Coffee & Tea Saturday night. Show starts at 8 (no opener) and it's $8 advance, $10 at the door. They've got a new album out, "Wine, Tears & Rain", that they'll be playing a bunch of stuff from along with some choice covers. And if you've seen the band before, you've never seen them like this, as they just became a five-piece, adding Scott Young on sax and keys. Here's "Battlegrounds" from their new album:

Fredericksburg based alt/trad-country singer Karen Jonas is at the new Steam Bell Beer Works on Sunday afternoon from 2 to 5. Don't cost nothing to get in. Karen's 2016 album, "Country Songs", is starting to get noticed not just in the US, but worldwide. And check out the great guitar work of her collaborator, Tim Bray. Here's the title track from that new album.

Underground guitar hero Doyle Bramhall II is at Capital Ale House Downtown Wednesday. You may not have heard of him, but you've most definitely heard him. He was recruited at 18 by Jimmie Vaughan to play with The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Then he joined Arc Angels with Charlie Sexton and Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section, Chris Layton & Tommy Shannon. Then he joined Roger Waters' band. Next, he started a long time, ongoing collaboration with Eric Clapton in his bands and on his albums. He's also played with Sheryl Crow, Tedeschi Trucks, Elton John, Questlove, Gary Clark Jr., Erykah Badu, Gregg Allman, Robert Randolph, T-Bone Burnett, Me'shell Ndegeocello, Dr. John and many others. Tix for the show are $22 advance, $27.50 at the door. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with openers Future Stuff. Here's DBII in Chicago in November. If you are watching at work, skip ahead to ten seconds. The guy introducing them says a dirty word.

That'll do it. Have a great weekend! I'll leave you with this one.

Tony Jordan