Thursday, June 12, 2014

Weekend Picks: Lake Street Dive, Funky Meters, John Prine, Diamond Center, Robert Earl Keen, Time Jumpers, Black Girls, Susan Greenbaum

Thursday night, up and coming pop/jazz/blues band, Lake Street Dive, comes to The National. If you caught them at Cheers last year, you could tell that was the last time you would see this band for $5. The sultry singing of Rachael Price leads a band that can create diverse sounds and really swings. Tix are $18 in advance, $21 at the door. Doors open at 7 and show starts at 8 with opener Sun Parade. They are hitting a lot of festivals this summer and getting a lot of buzz. This is also the very first show of their summer tour, so they should be fired up and ready to go. Look for me. I'll be there. Here's the band doing "Stop Your Crying" last month:



If Lake Street Dive wasn't here in town tomorrow night, I would be taking the short ride down to Hopewell to see one of my favorite songwriters, Robert Earl Keen, at the Beacon Theatre. Doors will open at 6, show should start around 6:30 with an opener TBA. Tix are $25 in advance, $30 at door (General Admission Balcony); $40 advance, $45 door (Reserved Orchestra); and $80 (Orchestra Pit). Robert Earl will be playing the Austin City Limits 40th Anniversary show (to be broadcast in October) on June 26 with Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark Jr., Jeff Bridges & Sheryl Crow. Not a bad lineup! Here's REK and his band with "Amarillo Highway" in 2007 at the Ryman Auditorium:



Friday evening is the first of the last three Friday Cheers of the year and starts the run I've been waiting for. Next week, St. Paul & the Broken Bones will be there and the week after that is Neko Case, but this week it's the legendary Funky Meters. This band invented New Orleans Funk in the 70's and they are still out kickin' it today They backed up Dr. John, Robert Palmer, Lee Dorsey, and Allen Touissant, as well as cranking out their own music. Original members Art Neville on keys (because every New Orleans band must have a Neville) and George Porter Jr. (the bass and soul of the band) are there, along with Brian Stoltz (gtr) and Russell Batiste, who have been with the band since 1994 and 1989 respectively. Brown's Island will be shaking with a funky party and it kicks off at 6:30 with local band Mekong Express & The Get Fresh Horns, an all-star band of some of Richmond's best musicians, who can bring the funk of their own, so get there early. I'll see you at this show too. Here's the Funky Meters in Denver in Febuary with "Hey Pocky Way" (a song the Grateful Dead covered) into "Cabbage Alley".



The Beacon Theatre in Hopewell has another good show on Friday night with The Time Jumpers, a big Western swing band, featuring Vince Gill, Dawn Sears, Kenny Sears, and Ranger Doug Green. Doors open at 6, showtime is 7:30 with an opener TBA. Tix are $36.50 advance, $40 at the door (Balcony General Admission, and $55.50 advance, $60 at the door (Orchestra Reserved). They recently taped a show for "Bluegrass Underground", a great show on PBS where great bluegrass bands play inside Cumberland Caverns in TN. So it's bluegrass played underground. That's right, you got it. It's a great show so set those DVRs. Here's their video from 2 years ago for "On the Outskirts of Town":




If you are looking for a fun family festival on Saturday, head to the first Build a Better Block Church Hill, taking place in Church Hill surprisingly enough, on 25th St between P & Carrington Streets. Things actually start Friday night from 5 - 9 PM, then pick up again Saturday from 9 AM to 3 PM. Music-wise, NO BS! Brass Band will be onstage at 25th & Venable from 10:30 AM to noon and Chkn Grease will be on the same stage from 1 PM to 2 PM. There will be lost of other stuff going on, so just click that little linky up there to check it out.

Folk legend John Prine is at the Carpenter Theater on Saturday with Carlene Carter opening. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. Tix are $49.50. Rolling Stone recently polled it's readers on what was the saddest song of all time and John's "Sam Stone" made the list. Now, he doesn't play all sad songs as you'll see if you watch this episode of "Sessions at West 54th":



Black Girls are at The Camel Saturday night with Tiny Victories, Family & Friends Band, and Sons of Hippies. Black Girls are back from a two week East Coast tour so they'll be ready to party with the hometown crowd. Doors open at 9 and it's $7 to get in. Here's Black Girls at the Broadberry a couple months ago:



Susan Greenbaum will be up at Ashland Coffee & Tea on Saturday. It's $12 to get in and the show starts at 8. Here's Susan at Ashland Coffee & Tea a couple weeks ago doing the bluesy "When Will You Learn?" along with a fine imitation of her grandmother.



At the Broadberry Saturday, you can get 4 bands in a jam band showcase for just $10 with The Mantras, Spiritual Rez, Trongone Band and Dreadlock Robot. Here's The Mantras "Asterisk" live in Roanoke:




The show at Gallery 5 on Sunday starts early (6 PM) but that's just so they have more time to blow your mind. Diamond Center headlines a show with Ancient Sky and Father Sunflower & The Rays opening. To further open up your mind's eye, projections will be provided by Lord Candy Dish and soundscapes will be constructed by Revolt of the Apes. It's just $6 to get in. Here's Diamond Center at Strange Matter in 2012:



We'll see you out at Lake Street Dive and the Funky Meters! Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan