Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Folk Fest, Buckethead, Danzig, Sam Bush, Wailers and more...

A big music weekend here in Richmond so let's jump right in.

Even if your 401K has been decimated and you are now eating Ramen noodles every night for dinner, you can still go to the Richmond Folk Festival because its FREE! Last year was the last of three years for the National Folk Festival's stay in Richmond but Richmond will try and keep the tradition going. (Is it a tradition if its only been four years? Discuss.) As of Wednesday night, the weather looks like it will be beautiful (70s and mostly sunny) so that won't stop you.

For those of you that haven't gone to any of the previous ones, the Folk Festival is held down at the Brown's Island. Click here: for all the event info and schedules and bios on the bands. Most bands play at multiple times on multiple days so there are multiple times to see them. Do the math.

Some of my picks:

- Vieux Farka Toure - Saharan blues. Son of Saharan blues legend Ali Farka Toure.

- Dan Tyminski Band - Bluegrass. Dan is in Allison Krauss' band, Union Station. He was also the singing voice of George Clooney (Everett of the Soggy Bottom Boys) in "O Brother Where Art Thou".

- Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet - Cajun. Beausoleil is a great band who will get your butt movin' one minute (Rolling Stone once called them "the best damn dance band you'll ever hear"), then sing a weeper which is somehow doubly sad because he sings it in Cajun. I believe they also sing some stuff in English just in case you don't know Cajun/French.

- The Itals. Reggae.

- Dale Watson. Honky-tonk country.

- E.U. Go-go dance music from DC. Not sure if this is folk music, but it may be worth it just to see a bunch of white, folky types try to dance to "Da Butt".

Part of the fun is also just to walk around and check out the music from around the world. One year we stumbled upon a kick-ass Bulgarian gypsy band. No kidding.

There is also a Family Stage with stuff for the kids, workshops, crafts, food and beer & wine. Just to clarify, the beer & wine isn't at the Family Stage but is throughout the fesitval. Though if you have kids, it might be good to have beer & wine for the parents at the Family Stage. Just a thought, Folk Fest people.

We're going to try and get down there on Saturday & Sunday. Hope to see you there.

As for paid events, the intriguing combination of Sam Bush (new grass) and the Original Wailers (of Bob Marley fame) play at The National on Thursday night. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 and tix are only $20. Sam says on his site "Three great shows this week in Virginia as Sam and the band co-headline their first shows with the newly reformed Original Wailers. Anyone who has followed Sam and the guys through the years know that Sam is a big Bob Marley fan and has often included his music in his shows. This is a great musical match and will be a great evening of music." The National web site says "Each band will play a full set and will play an extended jam session together to end the show." So you are guaranteed to get some cross-pollination that should be very cool. Even though I won't be able to make it, I will have to search out a recording to hear the jam session.

Friday night, Galactic bring their New Orleans funk/R&B/rap/jam thang to Toad's Place. Doors open at 8 and tix are $22.

Saturday, jam band Perpetual Groove come to The National. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9, tix are $16.

Monday night, muscly heavy metal guy Danzig comes to Toad's. Doors open at 6 and tix are $30. You'll get four other bands too so its a bargain. I'm pasting in the poster because its close to Halloween.

Also, if you want to read an interesting story about Danzig check out "The Night the Lights Went Out On Danzig" from Crawdaddy online magazine.

Finally, Buckethead is playing at The National on Tuesday night. Who is Buckethead you ask? Well, no one really knows for sure. He wears a Michael Myers (from Halloween) mask and a KFC bucket on his head when he plays. You must check out his web site, Bucketheadland. Very twisted. OK, well people do know who he really is but its more fun to pretend we don't. Buckethead is a killer guitarist who has played with Guns N' Roses (Axl-only version), Les Claypool, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Iggy Pop, and Serj Tankian. Ozzy Osbourne said "He plays like a motherf**ker" but Ozzy found him too weird to let him join his band. Let me repeat that, Ozzy f**kin' Osbourne found him to be too weird after only a couple hours with him. So you know this will be a good show. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8, tix are $23.

Have a great weekend and I'll see you at the Folk Festival.

Tony Jordan