Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Weekend Picks: Alejandro Escovedo, J Roddy Walston & the Business, Crushed Out, Mothers, Southern Belles, Big Mama Shakes

The weekend starts Thursday with Americana/roots rock singer/songwriter Alejandro Escovedo at The Tin Pan. Doors are at 6, show is at 8, no opener is listed. Tix are $45 advance, $50 at the door. He's recording an episode of Austin City Limits (ACL) as I write this on Wednesday night. And he is a perfect representative for ACL. He grew up in San Antonio and then California. He's got brothers who were in Santana and his niece is Sheila E. He joined a punk band in SF called The Nuns who opened for the infamous last Sex Pistols show at Winterland. Moved to Austin in the early '80s and joined roots rock band, The True Believers. Then he struck out on his own and earned such distinctions as No Depression magazine’s Artist of the Decade Award in 1998 and the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Performing in 2006. I saw him about 2 years ago at Capital Ale House and it was a fantastic show musically and lyrically. Here he is last month as a trio, one an original, the other, his tribute to Bowie.

Soul Rock/ Southern Americana band Big Mama Shakes does the final show in their First Thursday residency at The Camel on, well, Thursday. Doors open at 8, show starts at 8:30 with openers Ladies Drink Free and Isaac Friend & Father Figure. Just $7 to get in. Here's Big Mama Shakes at one of the First Fridays earlier this year:

Psychedelic rockers The Southern Belles are also closing their First Friday residence at The Camel on, well, Friday. It's $10 to get in, $12 at the door. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with openers The Band Piano. After 48 First Fridays at The Camel, there will be a lot guests stopping in to celebrate the last one including:-Original Bass Player Zach Hudgins of Red Light Rodeo
-Original Drummer Raphael Katchinoff of The Congress and Milkstains
-Slide guitarist Stephen Kuester of Jackass Flats, featured on both of our studio albums
-Andrew Rapisarda of Mekong Express & The Get Fresh Horns
-and perhaps our most supportive and dedicated friend and fan, who led us through years of development and growth, Ben Butterworth of Captain Grandpa

Here's a taste of the Belles a few weeks ago at The Pour House in Charleston SC:

Saturday at Hardywood, they release their delicious Christmas Morning stout at 1 PM. The Richmond Craft Mafia has their indie holiday craft show Handmade Holiday show from noon until 7 PM (noon to 5 PM on Sunday). And the music starts at 5:30 with Lobo Marino (drone-vibing world-fused folk music), Great American Canyon Band (Alternative Rock; Soft -> Loud -> Soft -> Loud.), and finally, Mikrowaves (based out of Richmond, VA, combine explosive grooves and trance-like rhythms with cathartic melody). Here's Mikrowaves at Hardywood on July 4. I may have been there. It's all a blur.

The National hosts the pulsing rock and roll of J Roddy Walston and the Business Saturday night. Tix are $18 advance, $23 day of show. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with The Quaker City Night Hawks. J Roddy and the Business will be joined by special guests, Sleepwalkers, for a Christmas-themed encore, in addition to playing some new, unreleased material fresh from the studio. The band recently had their music featured on the Cinemax series, "Quarry". Here's "Goodnight Baby" from the show:

Folk musician Josh Ritter is at Modlin Center for the Arts Saturday. The show starts at 7:30. Tix range from $10 to $40 depending on who you are, though it will be $40 for most of us. Lowland Hum open the show. Here's the press blurb on Josh:
“...he sets out to carry a world of ideas on a few basic chords... there is no limit to the depth and ambition of his songs.” –The New York Times
Josh Ritter, one of the “Top 100 Living Songwriters” (Paste Magazine), returns to the Modlin Center in support of his eighth full-length album, sermon on the rocks, which NPR Music calls “gorgeous and glorious.” In 2011, Ritter’s debut novel, “Bright’s Passage,” became a New York Times best-seller, and Stephen King wrote that Ritter’s work “shines with a compressed lyricism that recalls Ray Bradbury in his prime...This is the work of a gifted novelist.”
 Here's Josh performing live at Jack White's Third Man Studios in August:

It's Christmas with The Taters! It sounds like a Christmas Special on RFD-TV but it's really a live Christmas special at The Tin Pan on Saturday night. Doors open at 6, show starts at 8, no opener. Tix are $15 advance, $20 at the door. Here they are last year playing Elton John's "Step Into Christmas":

Rock & Roll, Surf, Proto-Punk, Country Blues duo Crushed Out will groove at Strange Matter Saturday. The show starts at 9 and it costs money to get in. The Strange Matter site doesn't say how much. The You Go Girls (love the name), Dadmobile, and Death Birds Surf Club open. This should be a fun show. Here's Crushed Out's latest video "Out of the Blue":

The Bush League do their 4th Annual Give Back Food Drive show at Poe's Pub on Saturday to benefit Feedmore. $5 at the door for entry and if you bring a canned food item, the band will give you a discount off of The Bush League merchandise. Show starts at 9:30. The band may play some new music and they may have Twinkies too. Here's the band at the Hull Street Festival last month:

Indie rockers Mothers are at Strange Matter Sunday. Doors open at 8 with openers Night Idea and Blush Face. Tix are $8 advance, $10 day of show. Here's a 30 minute set from Mothers on Audiotree in September 2015:

That'll do it. Have a great weekend! I'll leave you with this one from The Wild Reeds. I have been in love with this song over the last week. I'm a sucker for female three-part harmonies and I love the way this song builds.

Tony Jordan

Monday, November 21, 2016

Weekend Picks: Maxwell, Mary J Blige, Joe Bonamassa, Keller Williams, Jorma Kaunkonen, PBR, No BS!, Big Mama Shakes

It's Thanksgiving weekend so the weekend starts on Wednesday!

Maxwell & Mary J Blige bring the smooth R&B to Richmond Coliseum Wednesday night. The show starts at 7 PM with Ro James opening. Tix range from $23 to $148. Here's Mary J's new video, "Thick of It":

Over at the Altria Theater Wednesday night, blues guitar hero Joe Bonamassa will rock your face with a band that includes Anton Fig (drummer, from Dave Letterman's Late Night Orchestra) and Reese Wynans (piano & Hammond organ from Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble). The show starts at 8 and no opener is listed. Tix range from $81 - $127. Joe is a true "guitar nerd" with a Facebook page filled with pics of classic and antique guitars. If you consider yourself a guitar nerd too, check it out with the link up there. Here's Joe and the band with Beth Hart joining them on vocals for a slow burner called "I'll Take Care of You":

It's a great bill of local bands at The National Friday night with People's Blues of Richmond, No BS! Brass Band, and Big Mama Shakes. This high-energy show is going to blow the roof off the place! If you don't know these bands, this is a great chance to see three of the best that Richmond has to offer in one grand show. And if you do know them, you know how good this will be. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8, tix are $15 advance, $18 day of show. Here's PBR doing a four song set in the Sixthman offices in October. Sixthman is the company that runs all those different music themed cruises.

Saturday night at The National, it's Keller Williams with an all-star bluegrass band he put together specifically for this show known as Keller Williams' Thanksforgrassgiving. Tix are $23, doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with the bluegrass band that plays 80's hits, Love Canon. Keller's band includes Jeff Austin (formerly of Yonder Mountain String Band) on mandolin, Danton Boller (KWahtro) on bass, Nicky Sanders (Steep Canyon Rangers) on fiddle and Jay Starling (Love Canon) on dobro. Here's Keller playing some bluegrass with the Travelin' McCoury's in 2013. But it's definitely not a traditional bluegrass song.

Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna guitarist Jorma Kaukonen is at The Tin Pan Sunday night. Doors open at 5, show starts at 7 and there is no opener. Tix are $65 advance, $70 at the door. Here's a full Jorma show from 1979:

That'll do it. If I was in town this weekend, I'd be at the PBR and the Keller Williams show at The National. But I'll be heading to NJ for Thanksgiving with Mom and my 30th high school reunion. In honor of my reunion, here's the number 3 song on 11/26/1984. This song was written by Prince who had the #2 song, "Purple Rain".

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Weekend Picks: Rock to End Alzheimer's, Souper Bowl III, Mash Notes fundraiser, Cracker, The Naked & Famous, The Good Life, Steep Canyon Rangers, Charles Walker Band

The weekend starts on Thursday at The Tin Pan with the soul/funk of Charles Walker Band. Doors open at 6, show starts at 8, tix are $12 advance, $15 at the door. Their positive, upbeat and definitely danceable groove will definitely help you shake off any blues you've got. Here's the band performing "Damn" in June:

On Friday night, Gallery5 hosts a fundraiser for the pet project of WRIR DJ Paul Ivey, putting together a CD of new Richmond bands/musicians covering old Richmond bands/musicians. "Mash Notes vol. 1" will see a digital and physical release sometime in mid 2017. And for just $5 you get to see performances by four of the bands participating in the project. The doors open at 7 and the music starts at 8 with Get in the Car, Antiphons, Various Eggs and Julie Storey (of Doll Baby). Now check out this cool psychedelic video from Get in the Car, "Tamam Shud":

Over at The National Friday, alternative synth pop band The Naked And Famous pull into town for a show. Tix are $24.50 advance, $28 day of show. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with openers xylo and Chain Gang of 1974 and make sure you get in early to see them too. TNAF are out on tour promoting their new album, "Simple Forms". From that album, here's the lyric video for "Last Forever":

It's Rock to End Alzheimer's at The Broadberry Friday. This event benefits the Greater Richmond Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and features four great bands: Big Mama Shakes, Brighter the Moon, Venus Guytrap, and 808. Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8, tix are $10 and you can get VIP tix for $20. Here's Big Mama Shakes doing "Henhouse":

Bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers is at Modlin Center for the Arts Friday night. The show starts at 7:30 and no opener is listed. Tix range from $10 - $40 depending on your demographic, though for most of us adults, it will be $40. There aren't many tickets left for the show so don't sleep on it if you want to go. The Rangers will be playing at the big Americana festival at the Coachella site in April called Stagecoach. The band often collaborate with Steve Martin. Here's a very funny song and video they did together called "Jubilation Day":

Another benefit for another great cause on Saturday afternoon. Souper Bowl III features soup samples from 14 Richmond restaurants and music from four bands: Yesterday & Tomorrow, The Taters, Steve Bassett, and Indecision. All proceeds benefit Max's Positive Vibe Cafe food service training program for people with disabilities. Adults get in for a donation of $15, kids 12 & under $5. It will run from 12:30 to 4:30. Can't find a listing of which band is on when, but it's fine music whenever you go. Here's The Taters performing "I Put a Spell On You" at their recent Halloween show at Tin Pan:

Saturday night at The Broadberry, Cracker is back in town. Tix are $20 advance, $23 day of show. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9, and there is no opener. Last time they were in town, the show sold out, so be aware if you are thinking of going. Here's Cracker on the Late Night with Conan O'Brien show in 1993:

Indie rockers The Good Life are at Strange Matter Sunday night. Field Mouse & Jake Bellows open the show. Doors open at 8. Tix are $12 advance, $15 day of show. This is The Good Life:

That'll do it. Have a great weekend! I may see you out somewhere. I may not. I just don't know. It was a great show with Drive-By Truckers last week at The National. Here's their latest video, "Surrender Under Protest":

Tony Jordan

Monday, November 7, 2016

Weekend Picks: Drive-By Truckers, Damien Jurado, Tegan & Sara, Ted Leo, True Widow, Ingrid Michaelson, Missy Raines & the New Hip, Concert of Light, Skydog

Formerly folky, now full on pop, sister duo Tegan & Sara come to The National Wednesday night. Tix are $24.50 advance, $28 day of show. Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30 and make sure you get in early to see Torres. From their 2012 album, "Heartthrob", here's Tegan & Sara's "Closer":

At Strange Matter Wednesday night, Ted Leo is doing a solo show. This is the start of a brief solo tour and he hasn't played in a couple months so he should be raring to go. You might dig Ted's punk/folk rock if you like The Clash, Thin Lizzy, The Jam, Billy Bragg, or Jack White. Tix are $13 advance, $15 day of show, doors open at 8 and Outer Spaces and Sundials open. Here's Ted with his long time band, The Pharmacists, from their 2010 album, "The Brutalist Bricks", here's "The Mighty Sparrow":

The big event for the weekend, at least for this guy, starts on Thursday. Two big shows at The National  for one of my all-time favorite bands, Drive-By Truckers. You can go Thursday, Friday or both. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 both nights with Kyle Craft opening. Tix are $23 advance, $28 day of show. Their new album, "American Band" is one of their best-selling albums ever and also their most political. While they always had some politics in their songs, they were usually told through stories of people, either contemporaries or from the past. But in this album, it's out front more than ever, especially on this moving song, "What It Means":

Psychedelic indie singer/songwriter Damien Jurado is at Strange Matter Thursday night. If you are going to the show, head to the Events page for the show on Facebook and vote for which older song you want Damien to play. Tix are $13 advance, $15 day of show. Doors open at 8 and Doug Keith and Julie Karr open. From Damien's 2012 album, "Maraqopa", this is "Museum of Flight":

The Allman Brothers Band tribute band, Skydog, has a show Friday night at The Broadberry. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 and it doesn't look like there is an opener. Tix are $10 in advance, $12 day of show and in honor of Veterans Day, it's $8 for veterans. Here's the Allman Brothers Band in 1998 at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's 3rd Annual Music Masters tribute concert honoring Robert Johnson doing "Come On In My Kitchen":

There's a concert to benefit wounded service members and their families at The Beacon Theatre in Hopewell Friday. Concert of Light will feature Sportsbar Rockstar, Craig Gerdes, Mudbone, Jill Kinsey and more (check out the poser up there). Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:15. Tix are $15 advance, $20 day of show. Here's Sportsbar Rockstar cutting the cake:

True Widow play Strange Matter Friday night. From their bio: "TRUE WIDOW craft patient, rounded music that calls to mind images of foggy dawns and parched fields. Formed in November 2007, TRUE WIDOW released their self-titled debut a year later and immediately caught the ears of the underground. At its core, the music of TRUE WIDOW is powered by the driving, guitar-dense aspects of shoegaze and stoner rock and the heavy, low-moving evocations of ambient music." Tix are $10 advance, $12 day of show. Doors open at 9 and Mary Lattimore and Keep open. From True Widow's new album, "Avvolgere", this is "F.W.T.S: L.T.M.":

Americana artist Missy Raines and the New Hip are at The Tin Pan Saturday night. Doors open at 6, show starts at 8 and no opener is listed. Tix are $12 advance, $15 at the door. Here's their press blurb:
With a voice described as “smoky and seductive”, 7-Time IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Bass Player of the Year Missy Raines is heading east with new band members and a fresh sound. Missy Raines & The New Hip covers broad territory, ranging from bluegrass virtuosity to ambient Americana-esque lushness over a jazz-tinged landscape. The compass is set by Raines, planted right in the center of the stage, directing with her upright bass every bit as much as she plays it. With Jake Stargel on guitar and vocals, David Benedict on mandolin and vocals, and Cody Martin on percussion, the New Hip’s new sounds are lush with a thick groove and infectious melodies. When they play, you feel it - immediately. 
Here they are performing "So Good":

Folk/pop singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson is at The National Saturday. Tix are $24.50 advance, $28 day of show. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. AJR open. Here's Ingrid performing "Ghost":

That'll do it! I'll see you at the Drive-By Truckers show on Thursday night. I'll leave you with a classic track from Todd Rundgren.

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Late Night TV Pick: Jim James

Jim James of My Morning Jacket is on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon tonight (NBC, 11:35 PM). Jim's new album "Eternally Even" comes out tomorrow and it's getting good reviews so far. Here's "State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)" from 2013:

Here's Mitski performing with Jon Batiste & Stay Human on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Weekend Picks: Dweezil Zappa, Paul Barrere & Fred Tackett, Animal Collective, Sorority Noise, DJ Williams, Southern Belles, Big Mama Shakes, Life On Mars, Funky Monks

The weekend kicks off with two members of Little Feat at The Tin Pan. Guitarists Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett take the stage to play some Feat classics and some choice covers. Doors open at 6, show starts at 8 and no opener is listed. Tix are $30 advance, $35 at the door. Here's a set they did in Woodstock in April.

Big Mama Shakes continue their First Thursday residency at The Camel. It's $7 to get in. Doors open at 8, show starts at 8:30 with openers These Wild Plains and Colin & Caroline. Here's Big Mama performing "Places" live on the Audio Barre podcast a couple weeks ago.

Weird (and I mean that in a good way) experimental psychedelic electronica pop band Animal Collective is at The National Friday night. Tix are $24.50 advance, $28 day of show. Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30 with opener Actress. From their 2007 album, "Strawberry Jam", this is "Peacebone":

RVA psychedelic band The Southern Belles  play their penultimate First Friday show at The Camel Friday. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with opener The Groove Orient. Tix are $10 advance, $12 at the door. The Belles did a session at the Relix Magazine office last month. Here it is:

Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band, Funky Monks, will be at Cary St. Cafe Friday night. Show starts at 10 and it's $5 to get in. Here's one of the Peppers greatest songs, "Californication":

More tributeness Saturday night at Vagabond as they celebrate their one year anniversary with David Bowie tribute band, Life on Mars. Show starts at 10, and it's $10 to get in. The band will do an acoustic set and an electric set so get there on time. Here's the original video for "Space Oddity" with a different arrangement than the version you know. It's also good to know Major Tom had some babes with him.

Dweezil Zappa is at The National on Sunday night. Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30 and no opener is listed. Tix are $25 for reserved balcony and $19.50 for GA floor in advance. All tix are $25 day of show. You may have heard about the terrible rift among the Zappa kids regarding Dweezil playing Frank's tunes and merchandising. Dweezil is appropriately calling this the "Dweezil Zappa plays whatever the F@%K he wants!" show, subtitled "The Cease & Desist Tour". I know Dweezil has been keeping Frank's music alive, playing it live for the past 11 years now and hopefully he'll never stop. HERE'S a blog Dweezil wrote when the tour was just about to start last month if you want to know more. Here's Dweezil and band back when they were allowed to call themselves Zappa Plays Zappa doing "Camarillo Brillo".

Party punk alt-rock band Sorority Noise is at Strange Matter Sunday night. Tix are $12 advance, $14 day of show. Doors open at 7 and Free Throw and Ratboys open. Here's the press blurb:
Indie quartet SORORITY NOISE was formed in 2013 by singer/guitarist Cameron Boucher, who also fronts New Hampshire-based screamo group Old Gray. Looking for an outlet for some of his newer material, he enlisted Old Gray drummer Charlie Singer, along with Prawn bassist Ryan McKenna and second guitarist Adam Ackerman, to form Sorority Noise in Hartford, Connecticut. After a handful of early releases, including a cassette EP and digital single, Boucher and his bandmates delivered their debut LP, Forgettable, in early 2014. Fusing bits of emo and pop-punk with melodic indie rock, the band eventually caught the attention of respected East Coast indie Top Shelf Records. Released in June of 2015, Joy Departed, their follow-up album -- and debut for Top Shelf -- took a more diverse and introspective approach. It was followed by a national tour with Motion City Soundtrack. 2016 saw both the release of a new Sorority Noise EP, It Kindly Stopped for Me, as well as the reissue of their debut album, Forgettable, via Broken World Media. 
Here's "Using":

DJ Williams is back in town to celebrate his 35th birthday with a Dirty Thirty...Five party at the Broadberry Sunday. Doors at 8, show at 9, no opener listed. $10 advance, $12 at the door. Here's DJ jamming at The Mint (wherever that is) earlier this month. Sweet horn section.

That'll do it. I'll see you at Funky Monks and maybe Dweezil Zappa. I'm running out of $ but Dweezil may be worth it. Speaking of Zappa, here's Frank doing "Yo Mama":

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan