by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out


It’s been about 14 years since Muscadine, a quasi-legendary, borderline apocryphal collaboration between the time zone-hopping Jonathan Wilson and the reclusive Benji Hughes, went its separate ways. The band’s critically acclaimed, but commercially unsuccessful brand of grungy folk rock was the product of two very distinctive talents, neither of whom has shown much influence from the band’s two albums in their work since. After releasing his only solo album in 2008, Hughes is finally ready to emerge from his Mecklenburg County cave this year with a pair of records, but the Forest City-born Wilson has been practically hiding in plain sight all along. After he bolted town for California in the early 2000s, Wilson became something of a parvenu in a resurrected Laurel Canyon music scene. He made friends with Jackson Brown and Tom Petty, with whom he toured Europe, meeting the legendary songwriter Roy Harper, the titular muse of Led Zeppelin, and curating a tribute record in his honor. Through three records (four if you count Frankie Ray, a tremendous work lost in the legal ether that is out there to be had by the well-capitalized fan or the savviest of copyright scofflaws), he’s been a true adherent to the soft rock of Browne and Petty, though with his own windswept vibe. Last year’s incredible Fanfare won him a rather substantial European fan base, but except for well-received festival appearances, he’s yet to really win over American crowds to the same degree. That might change with his first extensive US tour since the release of Fanfare, and he’s returning to his home state to play the Cat’s Cradle on Tuesday. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. !