Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Weekend Picks: Lemuria, Tony Bennett, Hamaganza, No BS! Brass Band, Skip Castro Band, The Congress, Lady God, Chatham County Line

This is a busy weekend as many bands try to get in a few last shows so they can have some extra Christmas cash to buy gifts for their friends and family and/or they're doing charity gigs to help people out in the holiday season. Either way, it's a good time to get out, blow off a little holiday stress, sleep late because you're off from work or nothing is going on at work anyway, and enjoy some fine music.

We start with Americana/bluegrass band Chatham County Line on their Electric Holiday Tour and stopping at the Broadberry on Thursday. Doors open at 8, tix are $15 in advance, $17 at the door. They just completed a tour of Norway, Holland, Scotland, Ireland and England and got back in time for Thanksgiving. Here's "Category Stomp" from last year's Electric Holiday Tour:

The national treasure that is Tony Bennett is at Altria Theater Thursday. Tony's daughter, Antonia, will open the show with a set of jazz/pop standards. It will all get underway at 8 PM. Tickets run from $55 to $115. Tony's duet album with Lady Gaga was named one of the best albums of 2014 by the Boston Globe. They wrote, "Maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that two outsize Italian-American entertainers from New York would have such an easy chemistry together. It was still a shock to hear how well Bennett and Gaga blended on this album of jazz standards, reminding you that she’s a dexterous singer and he’s the ultimate master of understatement." Though Lady Gaga won't be at the show Thursday, here they are together at this year's lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree:

Over at The Camel, Trongone Band finish their December Thursday night residency. It's FREE to get in. The show starts at 8 with Mister F. Here's Trongone Band from the first week of the residency doing Little Feat's "Spanish Moon" with sax player Ron Holloway, who currently plays with Warren Haynes Band and has also played with Susan Tedeschi, Dizzy Gillespie, Gil Scott-Heron, and Root Boy Slim.

The annual Richmond tradition Hamaganza brings the weirdness to your holidays for 20 years now with two nights. The first is at Hardywood Brewery on Friday night starting at 6 PM. The second is at Cary St. Cafe on Saturday night starting at 10 PM. These shows benefit the Central VA Food Bank aka FeedMore. Admission is $10 or a ham. You never know what you will see at these shows but they are always MC'd by transvestite performer Dirtwoman who will lead the way through acts including Pete Lanzo, Blee Child, Chris Dovi, Kate Andrews, Rebecca Behrman, Jarrod Russell, J. Dean Owen, Mel Chase in the Hamaganza House band, with special appearances by Herschel Stratego, Iggy Plop and the Splooges, Diamond Heist -RVAs legendary Neil Diamond Tribute! The Perverted Puppet Players w/ the Cuttlefish, Female Arm Wrestlers, Jonathon the Juggler, The School of Rock, you may see some local news celebrities, whistlers, comedians and who knows what else. Just about anything goes.

New local band Lady God will be at Plant Zero Events and Arts Center as the musical guest for the new comedy showcase, RVA Central on Friday night. That will get underway at 7. No listing of cost but shouldn't be that much.

And that shouldn't go too late, because then Lady God heads over to Strange Matter to headline a show with SPORTS BAR and The Welcome Hips. The fun starts there at 9 PM on Friday when the doors open. It's just 5 dolla to get in. Here's Lady God rocking their power pop/surf sound last month at Sound of Music Studios:

Friday, No BS! Brass Band have their Annual Canned Food Drive show at The Broadberry. Doors open at 8 and the show starts with Gina Sobel and The Mighty Fine. You can get in for $8 if you bring a canned good or goods. You get in for $12 if you don't. Here's their latest video, "Git It Awn!" and they do:

If you head out to do a little last minute Christmas shopping Saturday morning (Saturday is the biggest shopping day of the year), why not wind down in the afternoon with a beer and some bluegrass-ish rock n' roll music with Flesh Mountain Boys and Adam Eubank at Cary St. Cafe. It's FREE to get in and starts at 2 PM. Here's a little promo for the show:

And here's the band at Cary St. Cafe last year:

Sunday night, it's blues rock/R&B/boogie-woogie galore at The Broadberry with The Skip Castro Band and The Nighthawks. It's $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Doors open at 7 and the show starts at 7:30. If you don't know Skip Castro Band, here's the press blurb:
It began a long time ago. 1978 to be exact. Four musicians, out of work at the same time got together because honestly, they liked to play music. Thus, the Skip Castro Band was born. A mutual love of rhythm 'n blues, swing, boogie woogie and rock 'n roll became the foundation.
Over the next ten years, Skip Castro would become staples on the East Coast between Boston and Atlanta playing every bar, club, music hall, and college in between. All the while having a great time. Called one of the best party bands ever, Skip Castro brings the party every time they take the stage.
And who didn't they play with? Muddy Waters, Big Joe Turner, Bo Diddley, James Brown, Chuck Berry, James Cotton, Albert Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, the Nighthawks, the Kinks, Kenny Loggins and a host of others....
Fast forward 36 years and the same four guys are still playing together. Why?
Because even though they stopped playing full time 25 years ago, there's a unique groove and spirit that exists when Skip plays. They've played with other musicians but the greatest satisfaction comes when these four get together.
 And here they are playing at the State Theater in Falls Church a couple weeks ago:

Indie rockers from Buffalo, Lemuria, will be at Strange Matter Monday. Tix are $10 in advance, $12 day of show. If you buy in advance, you get a free 7" single! The doors open at 8. Prince (the band, not the artist formerly known as and now known again as Prince), Cross Eyed & Victory Party will open. Lemuria sold out their shows in Boston and Chicago, and had a number of shows moved to larger venues on this tour so if you want to go, get your tix now. Here's Lemuria talking about "Wise People":

Americana/alt-country band The Congress at at The Camel Tuesday night for a Christmas show with special guests The Southern Belles. Doors open at 8, it's $12 to get in, $10 in advance. The Congress are originally from RVA but reside in Denver now, but they're home for the holidays and want to rock. They've recently been opening for bands like Lake Street Dive and Hard Working Americans. Here's their latest, "Ain't It Easy":

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan