The away team took the 2007 Piedmont Blues Challenge, the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society’s qualifying competition for the International Blues Challenge in Memphis – the world cup of bluesifying mojo. The champ at this year’s playoff, which was held at the Clubhouse last month, is Big Road Blues, a stripped-down three-piece band from Asheville, with Owen Poteat of North Wilkesboro taking second place and journeyman Matt Nozzolio traveling from Connecticut to snatch up third place.
The bill at Greene Street on Wednesday features punk bands. I’ve heard three out of four of ’em, and I can vouch that they merge innovation and classic passion. Never mind the Bollocks, it’s Queen Anne’s Revenge, the Leeves, the NonDenoms and Devastation Proclamation.
Also on Wednesday, Colorado-based jam band Green Lemon plays a free show at the Lighthouse Tavern in Elon.
On Thursday, Suzanne Galer performs a faculty recital at Dana Auditorium at Guilford College.
In Winston-Salem on Thursday, Florida road dogs Sister Hazel kicks out the jams at Ziggy’s. Down market, Jews(s) and Catholic(s), Russian Spy Camera and Sugar In the Dirt do it up nice at the Werehouse.
It’s that time of year again… the biannual Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival in Chatham County runs from Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 14. The highlight, I’m betting, will be Zimbabwean superstar Oliver Mtukudzi. Mixing the genres of chimurenga, South African mbaqanga, traditional kateke drumming, and Zimbabwean pop, Mtukudzi has “crafted a brilliant body of work over the past three decades by cutting to the core of the most complex political, social and spiritual themes and recasting them in the most simple and direct terms,” according to his press. I’m guessing he and President Robert Mugabe are not the best of friends.
Other heavy hitters include the Greencards, Rosie Ledet, Memphis the Band, Jim Lauderdale, the lovely Martha Bassett of Winston-Salem, the Duhks, the innovative Mosadi Music, the Waybacks, the incomparable Audioform, Cyril Lance, Mamadou Diabate and, of course, Donna the Buffalo.
If you can’t make it out to the country, the next best thing will probably be the rapture summoned by Holy Ghost Tent Revival at Greene Street in Greensboro on Friday. On Saturday, EMFfringe presents Matt Haimovitz at the new Windemere Center for Art and Culture in Greensboro, while the Five Browns (“a singular quintet of world-class concert pianists,” who happen to be siblings) dazzle the spectators at the Carolina Theatre.
Saturday’s bill at the Werehouse in Winston-Salem features Mouser, Quiet Hooves, Lovely Leaves and the St. Peter Pocket Veto. Back in the ‘boro, the Working Title, Monday In London, Christopher Denny, Good Day Hayden and Mona Raye play an all-ages show at Greene Street.
Sunday in High Point, the Fairlanes, Kings and Peaches, Shiela’s Traveling Circus, the Not Dead Yet Blues Band and the Late Shift play the Red Lion. The Late Shift’s Randy Bishop describes it as an “annual fish fry that they use to raise money for a variety of worthy causes.” It starts at 2 p.m.
On Oct. 17, bluesman Seth Walker throws down at the Greensboro Cultural Center in a further installment of the EMFfringe series. Also on Oct. 17, our state’s best contribution to the Southern rock tradition, Gov’t Mule, shows up at the Millennium Center in Winston-Salem. Tickets available at Ziggyrock.com.