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[CHOICE BEATS]

by Britt Chester

Upcoming shows you should check out

RIVERBANK RAMBLERS

Friday, Dec. 12, Bull’s Tavern, Winston-Salem, 336.331.3431

Hailing from southwest Virginia, Riverbank Ramblers are getting the spotlight and perhaps even putting Botetourt, Virginia on the map. Receiving positive praise and a small feature in Relix Magazine, the grunge-country rockers got that little bit of national attention often needed to take the next step as musicians. The digital magazine added one of their songs to a playlist, which circulated some spins, and gave Riverbank Ramblers some added enthusiasm for their craft. “It was pretty humbling, but it wasn’t anything major. To go from being in a basement playing with a bunch of guys to being in a magazine was pretty cool,” said Joey Feazell, one of the founders of the band. The music fits perfectly here in the south: banjos and mandolins trading the spotlight under smoky backwoods vocals all swirling around drums and Americana guitar melodies. Once again, Bull’s Tavern comes through with a solid booking of an act that will, almost certainly, be playing bigger stages in the future. As always, the doors are wide open to the 21+ crowd when Riverbank Ramblers takes the stage around 9:30 p.m.

JUICY J

Friday, Dec. 12, Ziggy’s, Winston-Salem, 336.722.5000

Memphis, Tennessee’s Jordan Houston, better known as Juicy J of the indomitable Three 6 Mafia, has come a long way since the “Slob on my Knob” days of old. The southern rapper even managed to secure his place in history alongside DJ Paul and Frayser Boy when the trio won an Academy Award for “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp,” which was the lead single from 2005’s Hustle & Flow soundtrack. Since then – the days of slick spittin’ and sippin’ on syrup – Juicy J has taken to the mainstream and never looked back. Leaving behind Three 6 Mafia to hang with the pop stars and divas, Juicy J has essentially changed his destiny and once again secured his place in history by remaining in the Billboard Top 100 charts thanks to the guaranteed success of artists like Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus, both of whom tapped him for features on lead singles in the past two years. For southern rap fans it was almost a slap in the face, but these are also the actions of a guy who co-wrote “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” so you know he’s willing to take that easy money and run. Don’t fault the guy, though, he’s just trying to make a buck. Juicy J headlines at Ziggy’s after Glueazy, The Real Laww and DJ SK prime the crowd. Tickets cost $40 in advance, $50 day of the show. Doors open at 9pm.

BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY

Tuesday, Dec. 16, Cone Denin Entertainment Center, Greensboro, 336.378.9646

There’s something about swing music in the modern era that just makes you say, “Damn. Where was this originated?” Bringing back the vibes of smoked out rooms, zoot suits, and powerful horn sections, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy brings the modern twist of swing to the Cone Denim Center on a Tuesday night. There’s sure to be more than enough mood in the room to grab your partner, flip her around your hips, pull her through your legs, and land a throwback Princess Dip just like it was a 1950s juke joint. The band started in 1989, and although mainstream success really peaked in 1999 when the act played the Super Bowl half time show, the group has kept a pretty steady performing schedule and always manages to keep the Lindy Hop popular. Tickets for show start at $40 and go up to $95, depending on where you want to move your feet in the venue. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

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