Thursday, January 8, 2015

Weekend Picks: Corey Harris, Robbin Thompson, Everwilde, Farm Vegas

The holidays are over. Everyone has the post-holidays, "damn I spent too much money" blues. It's too cold to go out. The local bands all played all over the place last month and have now retreated to their studios to make new music and rehearse. The touring bands, if they're touring at all, are touring down south where it's still warm. What does all that mean? It means a slow week here in Richmond.


Friday night, Farm Vegas take over The Broadberry for a rock n' roll show because they are not afraid to rock in the cold. Norfolk band Major and the Monbacks will open. Doors will open at 8. It's $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Here's Farm Vegas' set when they played Broadberry in June:




Up in Ashland, singer-songwriter Robbin Thompson is at Ashland Coffee & Tea Friday night. Robbin famous, of course, for being in one of Bruce Springsteen's early bands, writing songs with Timothy B. Schmitt of the Eagles and co-author of the unofficial Virginia state song, "Sweet Virginia Breeze". Show starts at 8, no opener. Tix are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Here's Robbin with Lewis McGeehee and Friends last February.



The Capital Ale House downtown is hosting a night of acoustic blues with Corey Harris Friday night. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9. Tix are $10 in advance, $12 day of show. Here's the press blurb on Corey:
He began his career as a New Orleans street singer, travelling throughout the southern U.S. In his early twenties he lived in Cameroon, West Africa for a year, which had a profound effect on his later work. He has recorded many old songs of the blues tradition while also creating an original vision of the blues by adding influences from reggae, soul, rock and West African music. His 1995 recording, Between Midnight and Day, is a tribute to the tradition of acoustic blues. Subsequent recordings, such as Greens From the Garden (1999), Mississippi to Mali (2003), and Daily Bread (2005) show Harris’ maturation from interpreter to songwriter. Some of his imaginative compositions are marked by a deliberate eclecticism; other works stay true to the traditional blues formula of compelling vocals and down-home guitar. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music.

He has performed, recorded, and toured with many of the top names in music such as BB King, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Henry Butler, R.L.Burnside, John Jackson, Ali Farka Toure, Dave Matthews Band, Tracy Chapman, Olu Dara, Wilco, Natalie Merchant, and others. His additional recordings include Fish Ain’t Bitin’ (1996), Vu-Du Menz (with Henry Butler, 2000), Downhome Sophisticate (2002), Zion Crossroads (2007).blu black ( 2009 ),DC Blues (2010),Father Sun-Mother Earth(2011),Fulton Blues (2013),True Blues (with Taj Mahal,Shemeka Copeland,Guy Davis,Alvin Hart and Phil Wiggins-(2013).

In 2003 Harris was a featured artist and narrator of the Martin Scorcese film, “Feel Like Going Home,” which traced the evolution of blues from West Africa to the southern U.S. In 2007, he was awarded a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship – commonly referred to as a “genius award” – from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The annual grant, which recognizes individuals from a wide range of disciplines who show creativity, originality and commitment to continued innovative work, described Harris as an artist who “forges an adventurous path marked by deliberate eclecticism.” That same year, he was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine.
Here's Corey when he played at The Camel in December with local sax legend, Gordon Jones:


Saturday, country rock band Everwilde is at Tobacco Company. It's FREE to get in and the show starts at 9:30. Everwilde was last seen (at least by me) impressing the audience prior to the great Delta Saints show at The National in early December. Here's an Everwilde original, "This Time":



That'll do it this week. I'll leave you with the Black Sabbath/McDonaldland mashup, Mac Sabbath. This is truly the stuff of nightmares. Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan'