The big show this weekend that was added late to the Zoo Bar calendar is a date with multiple powerhouse artists. Mark Hummel, Anson Funderburgh and Little Charlie Baty teamed up with crack rhythm section of Wes Star and R.W. Grigsby to start making high-octane blues under the name of the Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue. This month their band releases their self-titled debut recording on Electro-Fi Records. The 14-track recording mixes choice covers with original tunes. The band recorded with Kid Andersen in the producer’s chair at Andersen’s Greseland studios. Local fans know Andersen for his work as Rick Estrin’s lead guitarist.
The result showcases this true blues supergroup crackling with energy and artistry.
They played indoors at the Zoo last spring and strutted their stuff at the Zoo’s outdoor anniversary show last summer. They have been touring a lot prior to finally getting in the studio to record this disc. Blues Music Magazine says “The Golden State Lone Star Blues Revuew carries the torch for traditional electric blues with style and class. Top Notch!”
Longtime bandleader of Little Charlie & The Night Cats, Little Charlie Baty says simply, “The Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue is all about five guys who have been playing music all their lives, but each night play with the excitement and energy of their first gig.”
If that weren’t a big enough draw, the opening set will feature the long-overdue return of the wonderful Ian Moore playing an opening set at 5 p.m. News 8 Austin probably summed up the evolution in Moore’s music the most succinctly, observing with the release of his 2007 album To Be Loved, “To Be Loved is tearing it up at college radio – meaning today’s Ian Moore is a far cry from the leather-clad guitar slinger we knew back at Steamboat [nightclub] more than a decade ago. Expect solid pop songwriting and a smart band…” Performing since 2005 with new bandmates as Ian Moore & The Lossy Coils, the now-power trio released El Sonido Nuevo in 2011. Look up the whole story under the “bio” tab at ianmoore.com. Throughout his early career, Moore’s beautiful voice and excellent songwriting were as striking as his guitar skills. The Austin Chronicle says of El Sonido Nuevo, “While his days as an inventive guitarist haven’t been left behind, El Sonido Nuevo surprises with an assortment of songs drawn more from the pop jangle of Big Star and the guitar overdrive of Dave Edmunds than the Texas blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan.”
Davina Brings the Joy
Davina & the Vagabonds are long-overdue for a return visit to the metro, and they are back Thursday, April 28, at The 21st Saloon, 6-9 p.m. and Lincoln’s Zoo Bar Friday, April 29, 9 p.m. The Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter-keyboard player continues to ride a rising star, with multiple European tours in the last year, festival dates and an appearance on the U.K.’s Later with Jools Holland. They’ve been invited back to play for their third year at the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival. In their first year at the event, the local Monterey Herald proclaimed them “…easily among the breakout stars at this year’s festival.” Davina and her great band call their “genre busting” music a “fresh spin on an old sound.” They’ve just released their latest self-produced disc Nicollet and Tenth, a live recording. They put down a mix of sparkling originals and classic covers reinvested with new emotion and joy. Joy is the subtext of a Davina & the Vagabonds show – pure joy. See davinaandthevagabonds.com.
The 21st Saloon presents a multi-band rockabilly festival Saturday, April 23, 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Rocking the house are three high-octane regional rockabilly bands” Sioux Falls’ Big Red Rawkit Riot, Des Moines’ Rumble Seat Riot and Minneapolis-based Ross Kleiner & the Thrill. Check out the Facebook Event page for more details.
Also Sunday, April 24, The Sunday Roadhouse presents The Suitcase Junket at the Reverb Lounge, 5 p.m. Musician Matt Lorenz is the one-man-band The Suitcase Junket. Red Line Roots says, “There really are no words to accurately describe what you witness unfold in front of your eyes as he creates a tapestry of sound that 10 men could not successfully conjur up. His ability to master not just one, but a collection of sounds and emotions is uncanny.” See sundayroadhouse.com.
Next week acclaimed guitarist Jimmy Thackery takes the stage at the Zoo Bar Wednesday, April 27, 6-9 p.m. Thackery is up at The 21st Saloon Saturday, April 30, 8-11 p.m.
Mark your calendar now for the May 2 performance at Slowdown of rising soul-blues vocalist Matt Anderson. Anderson is a 2014 Juno nominee (the Canadian equivelant of the Grammy) a 2013 European Blues Award, multiple Canadian Maple Blues Awards and was the winner in the Best Solo Performer at the 2010 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. His new disc, Honest Man, has been showcased by publications including Paste Magazine, American Songwriter and Relix Magazine. Check out his music at stubbyfingers.ca.
I saw Prince probably half a dozen times live. His performances were always spectacular. Musicianship and electricity. His astonishing impact on not only music but fashion and pop culture probably still can’t be fully appreciated. Losing two great icons of music and culture, Prince and David Bowie, in half a year’s time leaves a hole. I was fortunate to see Bowie a handful of times live also. Both men’s passing hit like a punch to the gut. Thankfully they leave their music and art behind, but one wonders how much more they would have innovated and created if they’d had the chance. Of course, we also lost the great Merle Haggard recently, who influenced several generations of songwriter and country performers. As I write this, I just opened up my email to see that influential roots-rock guitarist Lonnie Mack also passed today. Even when we lose the senior artists who have given us a full career of music, like Haggard and B.B. King’s passing last year, the light changes, the world shifts a little.