Extended Play 4.25.07

by Jordan Green

Greensboro and the Triad don’t always have a lot to feel good about, what with the economic pain associated with sunsetting industries and recurring episodes of misused police power, but we have some real solid, decent and good-hearted ambassadors representing us out in the world.

Speed skater and Olympic gold medalist Joey Cheek comes to mind.

Add to that list Chris Daughtry. He’s an everyman hero and a genuinely nice guy. The former Toyota service tech who won national fame as an “American Idol” contestant and then recorded a debut album that held the number-one spot on the Billboard charts for several weeks hasn’t turned his back on Greensboro. His free performance for a 23,000-strong audience at the foot of McGee Street on March 23 is proof of that.

Footage from that concert, including a rehearsed wave of applause, shows up on the Daughtry video “Home,” which premiered on MTV on April 17. (Visit to see for yourself.) If ever there could be a tribute to Greensboro, it would be this: Daughtry’s plaintive declaration, “I’m going home to the place where I belong, where your love has always been enough for me.”

The video opens with a shot taken from Elm Street of the Norfolk-Southern Railroad splaying eastward and splitting into divergent routes, and then cuts to footage of ecstatic fans pouring into the street nearby. Anyone who has completed a long haul back from Tennessee or southwest Virginia will relate to the feeling of familiarity and relief when the “Greensboro – Coliseum Area” sign on the shoulder of eastbound Interstate 40 flashes across the screen. Oh yeah, there are shots of warm, post-industrial light, Daughtry in garish stage makeup, Daughtry doing crunches, Daughtry grinning and talking on a cell phone outside the tour bus and Daughtry striding before a midnight gas pump. It’s heartland rock poetry.

Greensboro troubadour Bruce Piephoff once sang, “He got drunk at the David Allan Coe show.” Unfortunately, that will be just a bit more difficult, as the long-haired outlaw country singer infamous for tooling around Nashville in a hearse has postponed his Friday gig at the N Club. But you can catch Piephoff the next day at the Deep Roots Market Festival on Spring Garden Street.

Souhail Kaspar, a performer of Near Eastern percussion instruments, and the Lebanese-born AJ Racy, a professor of ethnomusicology at UCLA, will demonstrate play the nay, the buzuk and other instruments during a free concert at the Recital Hall at UNCG’s School of Music on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Reggae star Gregory Isaacs headlines at Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem on Friday. Winston-Salem’s original country punker Jeffrey Dean Foster will perform at the Garage on Saturday, joined by Raleigh’s Kenny Roby. The bluegrass act Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver performs at MerleFest in Wilkesboro on April 29. And Professor Jazz kicks off the Piedmont Jazz & Blues Festival at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Greensboro on May 1.