Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Weekend Picks: Eighth Blackbird w/Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Laura Stevenson, Four Year Strong, Joey DeFrancesco, Travelin' McCourys, People's Blues of Richmond,

A bunch of good hump day music this week. Punk-pop band Four Year Strong is at The Canal Club Wednesday as part of their 10th anniversary tour. Helping them celebrate are openers Can't Swim, Sleep On It, Light Years and Flight Club. Doors open at 6, music starts shortly thereafter. $15 advance, $18 day of show. Here's their latest video, "Men Are From Mars":

Classical pop (is that a thing?) group Eighth Blackbird team up with Will Oldham aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy for a show sponsored by U of R's Modlin Center but held at the Leslie Cheek Theatre in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Wednesday night. Tix range from free for U of R students to $28 for most of us and a few other price points in between depending on your demographic. Here's the press blurb about the performance:
“The sextet Eighth Blackbird is simply the most exciting force for new music on the concert stage today” – Cincinnati.com
The centerpiece of the program by four-time Grammy® Award-winning sextet Eighth Blackbird is Murder Ballades, a work by composer Bryce Dessner, guitarist for indie rock band The National. “The ‘murder ballad’ has its roots in a European tradition, in which grisly details of bloody homicides are recounted through song,” Dessner writes, and his set of seven instrumental ballads reflects his twists on the tradition.
The music of singer-songwriter Will Oldham, aka Bonnie “Prince” Billy, has been linked to Americana, folk, roots, country, punk, and indie rock, and Will himself has been described as an “Appalachian postpunk solipsist” with a voice that is “a fragile sort of warble frittering around haunted melodies in the American folk or country tradition.” He joins the ‘Birds once again to perform a set of original songs, along with Frederic Rzewski’s iconic Coming Together, a touchstone piece of classical music’s young, underground, independently minded set.
The evening’s program will also include David Lang’s learn to fly.
The show starts at 7:30 with no opener. Here they are performing "One With The Birds":

Laura Stevenson, a pop-rocker with influences like The Go-Go's, Gaslight Anthem, Lemonheads, Liz Phair, Replacements, Juliana Hatfield (who she'll open for in April) and Weezer will play Strange Matter Wednesday. Doors open at 8. It's $10 to get in. Bad Magic and Sammi Lanzetta & Friends open. Here's Laura solo (she's with her band Wednesday) last year:

Up at the new Groove Music Hall in Woodford/Thornburg VA, it's the Grateful Ball Tour with bluegrass bands Jeff Austin Band and the Travelin' McCourys. The show will feature a set from both bands followed by a special collaborative set of the music of the Grateful Dead. Show starts at 8. Tix are $20 advance, $25 day of show. If you are interested in playing bluegrass, you can join the three-day DelFest Academy and learn from the Travelin' McCourys and some other great bluegrass artists. Here's Cumberland Blues and Althea from when they got together in February:

Does humor belong in metal? Find out Thursday night at The Broadberry when The Mockstrosity Tour comes to town. The show features Mac Sabbath, a band that plays fast food parodies of Black Sabbath songs with members Ronald Osborne, Slayer Mac Cheeze, Grimalice, and the Cat Burglar. Also on the bill is Metalachi, as far as I know the world's only heavy metal mariachi band. Rounding out the bill is Okilly Dokilly, the world's only Nedal band, performing music inspired by The Simpsons character, Ned Flanders. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8, $20 to get in. Here's Mac Sabbath performing "Organic Funeral" based on Black Sabbath's "Electric Funeral":

The Rock & Roll Jubilee brings the music of the 50's to life at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen for three shows, Friday & Saturday night at 7 and a matinee on Sunday at 2 PM. All the greatest stars will be there or at least reasonable imitations of the big stars like Elvis, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Everly Brothers and Ricke Nelson. RVA favorites Craig Evans, Brad Tucker, Brian Sulser, George Garrett, Jim Wark, and BJ Kocen will portray the artists and perform all the greatest hits. It's $28 to get in and you if you want dinner before the Friday or Saturday shows catered by DeFazio's, you can get that for an additional $23. Here's a little taste from their show last year with Brad Tucker performing "I Believe What You Say" as Ricky Nelson:

Earth, Wind & Fire come to Altria Theater Friday night. Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30 and no opener is listed. Tix range from $60 to $126. Founding members Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson lead the current lineup. I saw them a couple years ago at Innsbrook and they sounded fantastic. I was especially impressed that Philip Bailey can still hit those amazing high notes just like it was 1977. Here's the classic lineup performing "Reasons":

At The Broadberry Friday night, it's the return of homeboys People's Blues of Richmond. Dalton Dash and The Slank open the show. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9, it's $15 advance, $18 at the door. After this show and one in Ashburn, they'll be hitting the road with London Souls and The Revivalists. This show is also a fundraiser. Here's the deets:
Join Advocates of Change as we host a fundraiser for the International Rescue Committee and a toy drive for local refugee children with People's Blues of Richmond at The Broadberry with support from Dalton Dash and The Slank!
Advocates of Change will collect donations of toys for 25 refugee children and funds for a dinner party for refugees that have recently come to Richmond (more info in posts below). We'll be giving away art created and donated by artists local to Richmond and beyond!
Suggested donations are as follows:
$3 = one entry into art giveaway
$5 = two entries
$10 = five entries
$20 = fifteen entries
And TOYS! There are 25 children ranging from ages 2-15, and you'll be entered into the art giveaway when you donate!
A bit about the IRC: The International Rescue Committee's mission is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Their programs in Richmond include Resettlement, Employment Services, Education and Integration, and Health Services. 
The Resist Group is a local group of activists who've decided to throw a dinner party for the 55 refugees to welcome them and help integrate them into our community.
Funds raised by AoC at this concert will go directly toward this dinner party.
Help us welcome these immigrants to their new home!
Here's PBR doing "Quit or Die":

Jazz great Joey DeFrancesco is at Tin Pan on Saturday night with his band, The People. Doors open at 6, show starts at 8 and no opener is listed. Tix are $35 advance, $40 at the door. Here's a little bit about Mr. DeFrancesco:
DeFrancesco has recorded and/or toured with his own groups as well as numerous renowned artists that include Ray Charles, Diana Krall, Nancy Wilson, George Benson, James Moody, John Scofield, Bobby Hutcherson, Jimmy Cobb, John McLaughlin, Larry Coryell, David Sanborn and many more. The three time Grammy® Award-nominee, with more than 30 recordings as a leader under his belt, has received countless Jazz Journalist Association awards and other accolades worldwide, including being inducted into the inaugural Hammond Organ Hall of Fame in 2014, the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame in 2016 as well as topping the Critics Polls in DownBeat Magazine eleven times over the past fifteen years and the Readers Polls every year since 2005. 
 Here's the Joey DeFrancesco Trio live at Dizzy's in NY in Aug 2016:

That'll do it. Have a great weekend! We didn't do a tribute to the late, great Chuck Berry last week so here's Chuck with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band:

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Weekend Picks: RIP ET, James McMurtry, Eternal Summers, Minus The Bear, Martin Barre, Mandolin Orange, Charles Walker Band, Trongone Band

Well, never doubt the power of Robert Earl Keen. He reposted my blog post on Facebook last week and I had my second biggest week ever with over 1500 page views. Thanks, REK!

Alternative pop rock band Minus the Bear is at The National Thursday night. Tix are $19.50 advance, $23 day of show. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. Make sure you get in early to see openers Beach Slang and Bayonne. Minus the Bear is out promoting their new album, VOIDS. AllMusic said about the album, "There's a bit more pure pop intention to be found on Voids, but it retains the left-field charm that made them one of the more captivating acts to watch amidst the alt-to-indie rock shift that dominated the late '90s and early 2000s." From their 2010 album, Omni, here's "My Time":

Over at Vagabond (right next door to The National) on Thursday evening, it's the RVA based Turkish pop band, Yeni Nostalji. Music starts at 9 PM and it's $7 at the door. No opener so it won't go too late, if you're worried about that. Here's their entry for the NPR Tiny Desk Contest this year.

Rock/pop/psych/punk/dream punk/trio Eternal Summers is at Strange Matter Friday night. $10 to get in. Doors open at 8. RVA band Opin will be co-headlining and celebrating the release of their new record, Opin. Dumb Waiter, and Big Baby open and DJ Resin will play in between sets. Eternal Summers was recently featured on Judd Apatow's show Love on Netflix. The character chose to play "Come Alive" off of their 2015 album, "Gold and Stone". Here it is:

The Trongone Band return to town for a show at The Broadberry Friday night. Carl Dufrene of Anders Osborne's band is filling in on bass while regular bassist Todd Herrington spends some tine out West. Tix are $12 advance, $15 at the door. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9, No opener is listed. The band was recently part of an Everyone Orchestra show which saw them playing with Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers Band, Dead & Company, Aquarium Rescue Unit), Claude Coleman Jr. (Ween), Holly Bowling, Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk), and Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band). Here's their opening set for that show.

Saturday and Sunday, you've got your Church Hill Irish Festival going on. 10 AM to 7 PM Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM Sunday. From their Facebook event page:
In addition to great entertainment, there will be plenty of family fun, including children’s games, face painting and Irish-themed crafts. Over thirty Irish vendors will be in attendance! Food and refreshments will also be available. Enjoy wonderful “Irish Lasagna” prepared by the Ladies of St. Patrick’s, “Fish and Chips” and other favorites provided by Rare Olde Times Irish Pub, Rosie Connolly’s and many more.
A huge children’s play area will be sponsored by the great folks from “LINC”.
Proceeds benefit the St. Baldrick’s Society and their fight against childhood cancer, the Church Hill Association, the Church Hill Crime Watch, Richmond Hill, Child Saver’s Clinic of Richmond, St. John’s Church, the St. Peter’s Meals Program, St. Francis Home, Stone’s Circle of Friends and many other neighborhood causes. Proceeds also benefit the historic preservation of St. Patrick’s Church, a “little church with a big heart” built in the 1850’s by Irish Immigrants to Richmond, and its outreach programs. A $5.00 donation will be collected at the gate.
You can check out the music lineup in the picture up there. Should be nice and warm both days. Shorts weather!

Saturday night at The Broadberry, it's the lyrical-country-grassy-folk band with one of the greatest band names ever, Mandolin Orange. It's $15 to get in. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with opener Dead Tongues. Here's Mandolin Orange performing "Wildfire":

Charles Walker Band bring the funky soul to The Camel Sunday night to make sure your weekend doesn't end too early. It's only $7 to get in. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with RVA blues band, The Bush League, opening. Here's Charles Walker Band on a local news morning show last month in their hometown of Milwaukee.

The guitarist from Jethro Tull, Martin Barre, is at The Groove Music Hall in Woodford, VA. He'll be playing Tull classics and deep cuts along with music from his own solo albums. GA tix are $35 advance, $38 day of show and you can do VIP for $75. Here's a clip from when Martin played The Tin Pan in October last year.

Speaking of The Tin Pan, great singer-songwriter James McMurtry is there on Monday night. Tix are $30 advance, $35 at the door. Doors open at 6, show starts at 8 and no opener is listed. This is a solo show which is just fine because it will allow to hear the great storytelling of Mr. McMurtry. Check this guy out if you like Robert Earl Keen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Lyle Lovett and those other Texas alt-country troubadours. Here's one of my favorites, "Choctaw Bingo":

A great bass player and a great friend, ET Snider, decided to catch that glory train last Wednesday night. I'll miss the twinkle in his eye, his great smile, talking (and arguing) about music, and giving each other gentle ribbing about our football teams (his Redskins, my Eagles). I was thinking about writing more, but I thought I'd let the music do the talking. A few songs from his many bands and then a few songs that remind of him. Even though I'm still angry at him for leaving us too soon, I know next time I see him, after I yell at him, I'll give him a hug and tell him I love him.

This is from a Headstone Circus reunion show in 2015.

One of ET's favorite bands was Black Sabbath. He formed a kick-ass Sabbath tribute band.

And with swamp rock band Dismal Swamp Lords. He could play it all.

And here's a few songs that make me think of him. We shared a love for the Beach Boys and both obsessed over "Revelator". Hopefully, he's somewhere watching the waves and moving the fader. And the last one is a desperate and haunting song about another bass player and gentle soul who left us too early from a band I was happy to turn him on to.

Thanks for being my friend.

Tony Jordan

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Weekend Picks: Robert Earl Keen, Kevin Morby, Foxygen, DJ Williams Projekt, Bush League, Rattlemouth, Cash'd Out

Alternative/indie rock singer/songwriter Kevin Morby does a co-headlining gig with Waxahatchee and opener Mary Lattimore at Capital Ale House Downtown Thursday night. Tix are $18 advance, $20 day of show. Doors open at 7. Mary Lattimore comes on at 8, Waxahatchee around 8:45 and Kevin after that. Both Waxahatchee and Kevin are playing full sets. Kevin is part of a project called Resistance Radio: The Man In The High Castle Album, which is inspired by the original Amazon Studios series The Man In The High Castle. The show takes place in 1962 so it is made up of covers of songs from in and around that time. Kevin does a cover of The Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes For You". Kevin also recently played with the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir at a show in CA. Here's Kevin in France in November playing his song "Harlem River":

Richmond blues band The Bush League is at The Tin Pan Thursday night. Tix are $10. Doors at 6, show at 8. No opener listed. Bush League is celebrating their 10th year together. They recently competed in the 33rd International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN representing the Central Virginia Blues Society in Charlottesville. This is the largest annual gathering of blues musicians in the world and it was the 5th time in 6 years they competed. 120 bands converged on Beale Street on February 1st & 2nd from all over the United States and countries as far away as Northern Ireland and Israel. This year, the band finished as semifinalists (for the second time) which translates into the Top 40 bands competing. Great job representing not just RVA, but all of VA! Here's their first set from night one of the Challenge.

World music RVA band Rattlemouth hits up Garden Grove Brewing on Friday night. The show will run 8 - 10:30 PM. FREE to get in. Here's a taste of them at Garden Grove in 2015:

RVA native DJ Williams comes back to RVA from LA for a show with his DJ Williams Projekt. The show is at Buddy's Place on Friday night. This is being billed as the St. Patrick's Get Down and though I don't think DJ will be venturing into Celtic rock, it will be a funky good time, as always. You never who's going to show up to play with the Projekt but they are always fabulous musicians. Here's the Project in 2014 with the lovely and talented Sam Reed on vocals for a cover of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy":

I don't usually do too much out of town shows but you've got two chances to see alt-country legend Robert Earl Keen this weekend. The first is Saturday night at the new The Groove Music Hall in Thornburg VA about 45 minutes north of RVA. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8, no opener is listed. Tix range from $35 to $57/50. The second opportunity is at The Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville Sunday night. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with Abe Wilson from Sons of Bill playing solo to open. Tix are $30 advance, $35 day of show. There is talk of a statue being erected in Bryan-College Station, TX, home to Texas A&M, to honor alumni and former roommates Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett. Hope it happens. They are two of my favorite artists. HERE'S the story. Here's REK performing his most famous song, "Road Goes On Forever". This song was recorded by Joe Ely and The Highwaymen, a country music supergroup made up of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson. And when those guys pick your song to play, you know it must be good.

The Johnny Cash tribute band Cash'd Out is at Broadberry Sunday night. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. Red Light Rodeo opens. Tix are $12 advance, $15 at the door. Cash'd Out won six San Diego Music Awards for Best Tribute Band, and are the only tribute band endorsed by the official Johnny Cash web page, JohnnyCash.com. Here's Johnny Cash doing "Hurt":

Neo-psychedelic, indie/alternative, folk/pop/rock band Foxygen are at The National on Tuesday night. Tix are $15 advance, $18 day of show. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener Gabriella Cohen. You might dig Foxygen if you like Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd or Flaming Lips, From their latest album, "Hang", here's Foxygen's "Upon a Hill":

That'll do it. I may see you at Robert Earl Keen in C'Ville or Foxygen. Here's some country rock from the late 70's. This is Pousette-Dart Band at Oakland Auditorium in 1979:

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Weekend Picks: Wynonna & the Big Noise, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Musiq Soulchild, Moose Blood, Vanessa Carlton, Crocodiles, Royal Thunder

A punk rock show at Canal Club starts things off on Wednesday this week. Moose Blood (from the UK), Trophy Eyes, Boston Manor, A Will Away and She's a Legend play a show that starts at 6. Tix are $15 advance, $18 at the door. Moose Blood will play the big Reading and Leeds festivals in the UK this summer. Moose Blood has been selling out quite a few shows on this tour so get there early. Here's "Honey":

The soul music of St. Paul and the Broken Bones will fill The National Wednesday night. Tix are $23 advance, $26 at the door. Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30 with opener Aaron Lee Tasjan. If you haven't seen these guys live, lead singer Paul Janeway is a hurricane-effect force on stage. He looks like your accountant but when he starts to sing it evokes Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and other great retro soul singers. He will suck you in to his whirlwind. He'll climb the balconies. He'll crawl under the stage. And the Broken Bones are a great band who can follow him and support him and shine on their own. The band was recently on Austin City Limits. Here's a bonus track that wasn't included in the broadcast episode:

Alternative/indie/noise/rock/pop/garage/punk band Crocodiles slither into Strange Matter Wednesday night. It's $12 to get in. Doors open at 8. AJ Davila y Terror Amor, The Milkstains and DJ Marty Violence open. You might dig Crocodiles if you like Jesus & Mary Chain, Love & Rockets, Pixies, or Sonic Youth. From the Crocodiles latest album, "Dreamless", here's "Not Even In Your Dreams":

Thursday night is country night with Wynonna (Judd) and the Big Noise at the Beacon Theatre in Hopewell. Doors open at 6:30 with an opener TBD. Tix range from $37 to $55 in advance, $42 to $60 at the door. Here's Wynonna & the Big Noise with "You Are So Beautiful" (not the Joe Cocker song). Check this out. It might surprise you.

Two-Time CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan is at Richmond Coliseum Thursday night. Show starts at 7 with openers Brett Eldredge and Brett Young. Tix (including resale tix) are ranging from $47 to $500 on Ticketmaster. Here's Luke on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon a few days ago:

Amazing jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan is at Tin Pan Friday night. Doors open at 6, show starts at 8 with no opener. Tix are $35 advance, $40 at the door. "Jordan has received four Grammy nominations. His most recent album "Friends" was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Los Angeles Times jazz critic Leonard Feather wrote, "Genius is a word often tossed around in musical circles, but it has been rightfully applied to Stanley Jordan."" Here's Stanley's promo for the Tin Pan show:

The Southern Belles check into The Broadberry Friday night. Maradeen opens the show at 8, doors open at 7. Tix are $10. New bassist for the Belles, Mikey Sallemi, will be making his RVA debut. The Belles also have a new album coming out soon, "In the Middle of the Night". Here's their full set from The Camel in January:

"Heavy classic rock, 90's grunge, and forward-thinking progressive rock" band Royal Thunder are at Strange Matter Friday night. Doors open at 9. $10 advance, $12 day of show. Book of Wyrms and High Canyon open. Royal Thunder has been "described as playing, ‘a revved-up Southern hard rock that howls like Led Zeppelin astride a psychedelic unicorn’. And really, what more could you ask from a rock band? Here's their new single, "April Showers":

Electronica musician Negative Gemini is at Strange Matter Saturday. Doors open at 8. Make sure you get there early to see RVA artist Dazeases who will be on before Negative Gemini. Other openers are Bien and DJ Skrt Skrt. Here's Negative Gemini performing "You Never Knew":

There's a great soul show at VSU on Saturday night when the Nu Soul Revival Tour featuring Musiq Soulchild, Lyfe Jennings, Kindred the Family Soul, Avery*Sunshine, and Chrisette Michelle are at the VSU Multipurpose Center. Show starts at 8 and tix range from $35 to $75. Doors open at 7. Here's Musiq Soulchild's "Love":

Vanessa Carlton and Tristen are at Tin Pan Sunday night. Doors open at 5, show at 7. Tix are $35 advance, $40 at the door. Vanessa has a new live mini-album, "Earlier Things Live" out now. You'll dig Vanessa if you like Natalie Imbruglia, Sara Bareilles, Alanis Morisette, Fiona Apple, Sarah McLachlan, Jewel or Carly Simon. Here's a short set from Vanessa:

Philly grunge/Americana/classic/folk/indie/alternative rockers Strand of Oaks are at Strange Matter Sunday night. Doors at 8. $13 advance, $16 day of show. Twin Limb and Grass Panther open. From their latest album "Hard Love", here's "Rest Of It":

That'll do it. See you at Southern Belles. Here's Iggy and the Stooges because I wanna be somebody's dog:

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan