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