Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Weekend Picks: St. Pat's Day Fests, Dar Williams, Mary Gauthier, Melvin Seals & JGB, Mekong Xpress & Get Fresh Horns, Jackass Flats

Five St. Patrick's Day Festivals on Saturday. As on Wednesday evening, the weather is looking iffy so be sure to check on their websites and/or Facebook pages on Saturday to make sure they are still on before you head out. Nothing like showing up in your green finery. looking like an overgrown leprechaun, only to find there is no one else there.

But first, let's talk about Friday night. The Camel has the soul/rock/funk of Mekong Xpress & the Get Fresh Horns. This band is made up of members of Modern Groove Syndicate, Bio Ritmo, Mathew E White's band, Particle, Former Champions, The Big Payback, DJ Williams Projekt, New Belgians and Beast Wellington. A RVA supergroup, if you will, and they are promising lots of special guests at the show. It's $7 to get in, doors open at 8, the show will start at 9:30 with Blaqtronic and DJ Phil Dice will be spinning before and between sets. And be sure to congratulate trumpet player Bob on the birth of his daughter. Here's Mekong Xpress playing at the place that gave them their name, Mekong, in August:



It's bluegrass & Americana over at Broadberry on Friday night. Jackass Flats headlines with openers Seth Stainback and Roosterfoot, and Matt Jones and the Bobs. Doors open at 8, it's $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Here's Jackass Flats live at Camp Barefoot in August:



Let the St. Pat's Day fests begin. Saturday at Sine' it's their 16th Annual St. Pat's Day Street Party and it's FREE. The event starts at 10:30 AM. Bands include Broke by Monday (noon - 2), Teaze Band  (3 - 5), Type Cast (6 - 8), Doc Grin Band (9 - midnight).

At Rosie Connolly's Pub in Shockoe Bottom Saturday, their Block Party goes from 11 AM  - 6 PM and is FREE. There will be music by Sutor Brothers, Patchwork, Scalaheen, Pipes & Drums from the Metro Richmond Emerald Society and Irish Dancing from the Southern Academy of Irish Dance.

Concurrently in the Bottom, it's Shockoe Fest, which goes from 11 AM - 5 PM and features music from Bucket, Patchwork, Jimmy Catlett Group, Roper & Furley, RPG, Sutor Brothers, Pipes & Drums from the Metro Richmond Emerald Society, Hearts of Ireland, and Irish Dancing from the Southern Academy of Irish Dance.

Shamrock the Block takes over The Boulevard Saturday from 11 AM to 5 PM and is FREE. The bands there are Dirty Bangs (11 - noon), These Wild Plains (12:15 - 1:15), Jackson Ward (1:30 - 2:30), The Kairos Effect (2:45 - 3:45), Tigerman Woah (4 - 5). This one also has a Kids Area for the wee ones, but they warn to get there early because the lines can get long.

St. Paddy's Palooza is out at Innsbrook Pavilion on Sunday (this was changed from Saturday) and proceeds go to St. Baldrick's Foundation to help kids with cancer. It will run from 11 AM to 5 PM. This one is definitely the most family oriented and music will be provided by Cary St. Ramblers, Flat Elvis, members of Honky Tonk Heroes, and much Irish dancing.

If you are looking for a quick breakdown:

  • Family oriented: St. Paddy's Palooza
  • Biggest: Shamrock the Block
  • Most traditional: Shockoe Fest/Rosie Connolly's Pub
  • Close proximity: Shockoe Fest/Rosie Connolly's Pub/Sine (all within a few blocks)
  • Best Bands: Your guess is as good as mine. I don't recognize any of the bands. Expect lots of cover bands if they aren't playing Celtic music.
If you party too much at one of those St. Paddy's Day fests and want to come down with blues, brunch and the hair o' the dog, head to The Camel on Sunday for Blues Brunch with The Bush League. Brunch begins at 11 AM, the band plays from 2 PM to 4 PM and it's FREE to get in. It is also the birthday of both of their guitarists. Here they are in February at the 2015 International Blues Festival in Memphis:



Monday night at The National, it's Melvin Seals and JGB (Jerry Garcia Band). Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 and there is no opener listed. Tix are $20 in advance, $23 at the door. Melvin played in the original Jerry Garcia Band with the original Jerry Garcia Band and now he carries on the JGB tradition. Here's the band on 3/3/15 doing the Smokey Robinson & The Miracles classic, "Second That Emotion":



On St. Patrick's Day itself on Tuesday, FW Sullivan's has their Sixth Annual St. Paddy's Day Celebration. They'll party inside the bar and also close down Stafford Avenue outside the bar for their Street Stage with music from local Richmond bands, which had not been announced as of 3/11. Sully's opens at 11:30 AM and the street festival starts at 4 PM. It's FREE but it is 21 and over only.

Punk band Perfect Pussy will be at Strange Matter Tuesday night. Doors open at 9 PM and it's $10 to get in. The Nervous Ticks and Men's Room will open. Here's their video for "I":



Folk singer/songwriter Dar Williams will lead a discussion and also play some tunes at a talk called Conflict & Protest at the Jepson Leadership Forum at University of Richmond, Camp Concert Hall, Booker Hall of Music on Wednesday at 7. Tickets for this event are FREE and can be reserved by calling the Modlin Center Box Office at (804) 289-8980 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekdays. She will discuss how artists have used music to facilitate socio-politico transitions and resolve conflicts, and will share samples from her beautifully crafted portfolio of songs of protest, power, and tolerance. Here's a short (22 mins.) concert Dar did for Paste Magazine back in 2010:



Wednesday night at Ashland Coffee & Tea, it's an evening with singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier. Show starts at 8, it's $17 in advance, $20 day of show. This Sunday, she'll be recording a Mountain Stage radio show (NPR) with the Drive-By Truckers, the Barr Brothers, Allison Moorer and Carlos Nunez in Morgantown, WV. Can't wait to hear that one! Here she is performing "Another Train" at the 30A Songwriters Festival:



May be out for Mekong Xpress, one or more of the Irish fests, and/or Bush League this weekend and I will definitely be at the Dar Williams talk on Wednesday. Have a great weekend!

Here's the late, great NYC via Ireland band, Black 47:


Tony Jordan