Thursday, February 11, 2010

Furthur, Sons Of Bill, Lotus, Willie Nelson, Haiti Benefit

Lots going on this weekend so let's get started with two guys from the good ol' Grateful Dead and their latest project, Furthur. The bus pulls into Hampton Coliseum Friday night (show starts at 7, tix $45) and then the Patriot Center at George Mason University in Fairfax on Saturday night (show starts at 8, tix $53.50). Furthur features Phil Lesh (bass) & Bob Weir (vocals & guitar), both formerly of the Grateful Dead. They'll be backed up by Jeff Chimenti (keys from Weir's other band, Ratdog), John Kadlecik (guitar, formerly of GD cover band, Dark Star Orchestra, who will be playing Innsbrook on May 21), Jay Lane (drummer, from Ratdog), Joe Russo aka "The Madness" (drummer, from Benevento/Russo duo), and backing vocalists backing vocalists Zoe Ellis and Sunshine Garcia (no relation to Jerry Garcia though it never hurts to have an extra Garcia on hand). Reviews of the tour have been good to great so far (check them out on the PhilZone) and I am looking forward to the show tomorrow night. I'll have a review for you next week.
Here's the band doing "Jack Straw" at the Tabernacle in Atlanta on Monday night:

If you prefer to stay in town on Friday night, check out Sons of Bill at The Canal Club. Tix are $10 and doors open at 8 with openers Horsehead and Exebelle and The Rusted Cavalcade. I caught Sons of Bill when they opened for Jason Isbell at The National this summer and was very impressed with their brand of Americana rock n' roll. There was a nice article on them today on the cover of the Weekend section of the Times-Dispatch. You'll dig these dudes if you like Petty, The Band, The Silos, Steve Earle or Drive-By Truckers. Here they are performing "The Rain" at their show opening the restored Jefferson Theater in C'Ville last month:

Also Friday night, Lotus will be at The National. Tix are $19, doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with excellent opener Toubab Krewe, so don't be late. Lotus will be playing at this year's Bonnaroo (lineup just announced yesterday). Lotus plays an often dreamy, jam band rock. You'll dig them if you like String Cheese Incident, Disco Biscuits, or the Allman Brothers.
Here is Lotus playing last summer's Summerdance in Ohio:

Lotus: Through the Mirror Episode 8 from LotusVibes on Vimeo.

Saturday night, if you are in a Mardi Gras mood and/or want to continue to celebrate the Saints' Super Bowl victory, check out CJ Chenier at Capital Ale House Downtown. Show starts at 9 and tix are $15. Here is what the Capital Ale House site says about CJ:

"Clayton Joseph Chenier was born September 28, 1957, the son of the great King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier. C.J.'s father was the first Creole musician to win a Grammy Award. C.J. spent his childhood in the tough tenement housing projects of Port Arthur, Texas. His earliest musical influences were an eclectic mix of funk, soul, jazz and Motown, and his first musical instruments were piano, tenor saxophone and flute. It wasn't until his 21st birthday, after winning a scholarship and studying music at Texas Southern University, that C.J. first performed with his famous father and the legendary Red Hot Louisiana band.
On the road his father showed him how to front a world class touring band, teaching C.J. how to run the family business and how to develop his lifelong passion for music into a career. When Clifton died in 1987 his son adopted the Red Hot Louisiana Band and recorded his debut album for the great American independent label Arhoolie Records. As he told a journalist at the time, he does not try to imitate his father's playing: "I play it the way I play it. All my father really told me was to do the best I could do with my own style." In the following years C.J. would record albums Slash Records and the legendary Chicago label Alligator Records. When Paul Simon recorded his 1990 album Rhythm of the Saints, he handpicked C.J. Chenier to play accordion (alongside Ringo Starr on drums)."

Here's some video of CJ and the Red Hot Louisiana Band last year at a very orange show:

Also Saturday, Cafe Diem has a Heart for Haiti benefit with The Atkinsons among others going on from noon until whenever. Suggested donation is $10. Here is the lineup:

The Chiggers - 12-12:30
Toxic - 12:40-1:15
The Hullabaloos - 1:25-2:05
Moossa - 2:15-2:50
The Bellyachers - 3-3:40
Revinyls - 3:45-4:30
Charles Arthur - 4:40-5:30
Janet Martin - 5:40-6:30
The Big Guys - 6:40-8:00
The Atkinsons - the rest of the night

If you need more Grateful Dead after attending the Furthur show on Friday night, you can head to Cary St. Cafe on Saturday night for GD cover band, King Solomon's Marbles. Show starts at 10 PM and there is a $7 cover charge.

Tuesday night at The National, legend Willie Nelson comes to town. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener "a Special Guest" and tix are $45. I've seen Willie open for people a couple times and while it was cool to see a legend, the shows always felt a little rushed, like he was trying to jam all his songs (and God knows, he's written a lot of great ones) into the one show. I don't know if that's because he was an opening act or if he is always like that. If you go to the show or if you have seen him as the headliner before, let us know in the comments section. You gotta love Willie for keepin' it real all these years and he's got a new album, "Country Music" coming out on April 20th, which is produced by T-Bone Burnett, so that's something to look forward to. Here's Willie from Austin City Limits doing "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain":

Also on Tuesday, if you run more jazz funk than country, check out DJ Willims Projekt in his regular gig at Cafe Diem. The gig starts at 9:30 PM.

That's about it for this week. I'll leave you with something cute because every now and then you just need something cute to get you through the day to help you forget the economy, Tea Partiers, earthquakes, and people who don't like Nutzy:

Have a great weekend! I'll see you at the Furthur show!

Tony Jordan