Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Weekend Picks: Jason Isbell, Gov't Mule, Blackberry Smoke, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Howlin' Brothers, Jennifer Nettles, Steep Canyon Rangers

Thursday night at The National, Jason Isbell, formerly of Drive-By Truckers and now putting out great solo albums, will perform. Tix are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener Hiss Golden Messenger. Jason's album, Southeastern, was one of my favorite albums last year and the few songs he did with Drive-By Truckers are some of the most moving that band has ever done. I'll be heading to this show and I suggest you do the same if you are interested in a great alt-country singer/songwriter who can rock too. Jason recently sold out three nights at the famous Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Here he is doing "Cover Me Up" from the "Southeastern" album on Austin City Limits. There's even a mention of Richmond in this song.

Thursday night at the Beacon Theatre in Hopewell, tease your hair and get out the spandex, because Bret Michaels is in town! This is the show that was rescheduled from the original May 1 date. Doors open at 6, show starts at 6:30 with "special guest". Tix are $36.50 ($40 at door) for GA balcony and $55.50 ($60 at door) for Orchestra Lower Level. The Bret Michaels empire has expanded to include a line of toys, clothes and accessories for your dog or cat as part of his "Pets Rock" collection. Here's Bret's latest single, "A Beautiful Soul":

OK Go! will be doing a webcast on Thursday night at 9:45 PM on the Yahoo Screen site. I wonder if they are as clever in their live show as they are in their videos.

The annual GWAR-B-Q begins Friday night at Hadad's Lake, but it will be touched by sadness this year, as well as the usual buckets of blood, pus and other bodily fluids, as they honor the late Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus. Friday from 4 - 7 PM will be the Dave Brockie/Oderus Urungus public memorial as Oderus Urungus' form will burn upon the SS Boat as he makes his way to Valhalla. The GWAR-B-Q itself goes on Saturday from 10 AM to 7 PM. $45 gets you in. Bands include Body Count (w/Ice-T), Hatebreed, F**kface Unstoppable, Goatwhore, Iron Reagan, Kepone, Loincloth, The Meatmen, Misfits, Noisem, Occultist, Revocation, Eat the Turnbuckle and GWAR themselves. Here's a look at GWAR-B-Q 2013:

On a much softer note, Jennifer Nettles, of country band Sugarland, is out doing the solo thing and she'll stop at the Classic Amphitheater at Richmond International Raceway on Friday night. Show starts at 7, tix run from $15 to $40. It's hard to think about Christmas right now, but if you want to get a Christmas album out in time for Christmas you have to record it in August and Jennifer will sing on Michael W. Smith's Christmas album, "Michael W. Smith & Friends: The Spirit of Christmas". Some of Michael's friends will include Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Bono, and Michael McDonald. Here's Jennifer's "That Girl":

If you want some good ol' Grateful Dead and to send some good vibes to Bob Weir, head to Quaker Steak & Lube on Broad St. for Lube Stock Saturday afternoon They'll be having live bands all day (1 PM  - 10 PM). Local Grateful Dead tribute band, King Solomon's Marbles, will be on from noon until 4. Then, School of Rock plays from 4 - 6. Trongone Band, who's been known to bust out a Dead song or two, will close things from 6 - 10. In fact, here's a whole Grateful Dead set Trongone Band did with Southern Belles at The Camel earlier this year:

Saturday night at The National, it's bluegrass time from Steep Canyon Rangers. This a seated show unless you want to stand on the GA Platform. Tix range from $15 to $35. Steep Canyon Rangers has been backing up Steve Martin lately and they recently toured with the addition of Edie Brickell (neither one will be there on Saturday). They recently played the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center in West Texas and Edie's husband showed up to play along.

More bluegrass-ish music on Sunday from Old Crow Medicine Show who will be outside at Maymont. Gates open at 5:30, show starts at 6:30 and this is billed as "An Evening With Old Crow Medicine Show" which usually means no opener so don't delay in getting there. Tix are $32.50 in advance, $39 day of show. They've got a new album called "Remedy" out. This is "Sweet Amarillo" from that album:

If your tastes run a little more toward indie pop, head to The Camel Sunday night for Philly band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Band member Alec Ounsworth will do a solo performance before the full band comes on and Colin & Caroline will open the show at 8. Doors open at 7 and it's $15 to get in. Here they are performing on KCRW last Friday:

Next Wednesday night, it's Southern Rock night at Innsbrook, but this time they have some bands that made music after 1995, and in fact, both bands released great new albums last year. Gov't Mule, led by Warren Haynes, headlines the show and Blackberry Smoke will open. Gates open at 5 and the show starts at 6. GA in advance is $16.50, $20 at the door. Gold Circle runs from $30 to $45. Both bands will play at a tribute concert for Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Fox Theater in Atlanta on Nov. 12. Skynyrd will perform too along with Trace Adkins, Alabama, Gregg Allman, Charlie Daniels, Peter Frampton, Warren Haynes, John Hiatt, Jason Isbell, Jamey Johnson, Aaron Lewis, moe., Robert Randolph, Cheap Trick and Donnie Van Zant.

Here's the Mule doing "Soulshine" at the Hondarribia Blues Festival this year:

And here's Blackberry Smoke "Shakin' Hands with the Holy Ghost":

At the Camel next Wednesday night, it's bluesy mountain music with The Howlin' Brothers and The Honeycutters. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with The Honeycutters and it's $10 to get in. Rolling Stone just named The Howlin' Brothers recent album "Tapped" as "one of the 26 albums from 2014 you probably didn't but really should hear". Here they are performing "Boogie" yesterday at the Artist Co-op in Nashville. She likes to boogie.

I'll leave you with the late, great Robin Williams as Elmer Fudd singing Bruce Springsteen:

Have a great weekend! See you at the Jason Isbell show!

Tony Jordan