The week’s huge news that Greensboro picked up the National Folk Festival for up to the next three years has made the rounds, but let’s promise to do better than Nashville did, okay? In more confounding festival news, John Coltrane Jazz Festival organizers announced its 2014 lineup with both middle fingers in the air. Lovers of smooth (Boney James), disco/soul (Latimore), instrumental pop/R&B (George Benson), neo-soul (Morgan James) and cold, clinical gypsy swing (Andreas Varady) will be pleased, but jazz fans are shorted once again. On the bright side, Benson might do that “Naima” cover. On the third, brighter side, there’s only 49 weeks until the next Art of Cool Festival.
More immediately, one of the city’s most tenured music series (of a smaller scale) makes its 2014 return on Wednesday when Steve Williard and Chuck Folds of Big Bang Boom play the first Tunes at Noon. Later, Letlive pepper So Cal funk on their latest release The Blackest Beautiful, and they’ll play Greene Street Club with support from the ever-dynamic Brit group Architects. On Thursday, gravelvoiced songwriter DC Carter sings songs to soothe at the Green Bean.
John Howie Jr. & the Rosewood Bluff’s new one Everything Except Goodbye is about everything you want out of a country record, and he’ll play a lot of it at the Garage on Saturday with the Bo-Stevens and a solo set from bassist Billie Feather. The Crown at Carolina Theatre hosts a benefit for the family of Richard Mao, the young man killed in the suspected arson at USA Pawn last month, with music from Bare the Traveler, Damn Frank and Ameriglow. There’s a little Keane and a little PJ Harvey in Atlantans the Fire Tonight. They’ll join up with Kyle Caudle’s solo project Volunteer at Krankies, while Jim Quick & Coastline bring beach music without the cheese to Ziggy’s.
There should be no surprise that the Winery Dogs s/t debut is top-to-bottom a record of extremely competent, straightahead throwback rock. It is ex-Dream Theatre drummer Mike Portnoy and Mr. Big bassist Billy Sheehan, after all. They’ll throw the hammer down on Sunday at Ziggy’s. Shonna Tucker and John Neff both played on the great Drive-By Truckers record Go-Go Boots, and they carry a lot of its soulful sound into Tuckers’ solo band Eye Candy, who play the Garage on Monday. Virginia rock-and-rollers Melodime are on tour to put instruments in the hands of needy kids, and they’re at the Blind Tiger on Tuesday. Greensboro native Eric Suddreth has thrived as 2 Chainz’ tour DJ, and he hosts a party at Greene Street Club. !