Upcoming shows you should check out
PAUL BARRERE AND FRED TACKETT’S GREATEST FEAT
It’s fair to say that, outside of Peter Frampton, no ‘70s band was more singularly defined by a live album than Little Feat. Not that Feat didn’t have great studio recordings — Little Feat, Sailin’ Shoes, Dixie Chicken and Feats Don’t Fail Me Now was chronologically one of the strongest runs of any band of that period — but if you only own one Feat record, Waiting for Columbus is likely it. Forget that the band’s leader and guitar wizard Lowell George had more or less checked out and a bunch of his mistakes had to be overdubbed later on (while they were at it, everything else also); Feat’s intoxicating roux of boogie, blues, folk and jazz, bolstered by the Tower of Power horns, was it’s hip-twisting best on the final recording. George’s substance abuse would be his downfall a couple of years later, and Feat’s ensuing years in the wilderness would end with the addition of one of George’s closest collaborator, Fred Tackett.
Today, four members of the “classic” Feat lineup still form the core of the band along with Tackett, but it’s spawned multiple iterations. Keyboardist Bill Payne is an unofficial member of Leftover Salmon, while guitarist Paul Barrere and Tackett for a potent acoustic combo, favoring stripped-down versions of their own classics and some nice interpretations of tunes from their contemporaries for mandolin and guitar, but still wringing enough funk from their strings to keep things familiar. The Barrere-Tackett Acoustic Duo will come to Ziggy’s this Friday night for a 9 p.m. show. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.
CAMEO HAS A WEIRD THING TO SHOW YOU
In retrospect, Larry Blackmon and his synth-funk monolith Cameo might feel like sort of a novelty, mostly because their most memorable qualities are basically memetic ones. Blackmon’s blasé ‘ows’ that showed up in just about every Cameo track from Cameosis onward weren’t just punctilious verbal tics, they were essentially the downbeat to their 808 orgies. Blackmon’s hair, that insane hi-top fade that became known as the Cameo Cut and was massively influential in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, of course deserves a mention. Yet, even the cut that inspired Kid and Tupac seems insignificant when bringing up Blackmon’s trademark: the red leather codpiece he still wears on stage today.
It’s so crucial that it has its own Google autofill; people have actually gone hunting for this piece of electro-funk lore or a close facsimile. Cameo was a band known for their what-the-hell music video moments, and Blackmon debuting that in “Word Up!” was par for their course. The codpiece made a curtain call in “Candy” and went full-on meta in “Back and Forth” when they used it as a transitional wipe (it’s not too late for that to catch on, filmmakers), but Cameo was also a band that wasn’t above wry self references.
There’s a double-take moment in that video for “Back and Forth” about midway through when Miles Davis makes a — and what else can you call it — cameo for no apparent reason other than a codpiece and a mile-high fade weren’t enough (he’d later show up on “In the Night”; probably not his best work). Still, if Cameo was cool enough for Miles, they’re cool enough for most. This Saturday night at the White Oak Amphitheatre, pair them with El DeBarge and Midnight Star, and it’s safe to say that DJ Lemon Lyme might be talking to himself during the Saturday Nite Soul Party on WQMG. Tickets start at $29.50 and the jams kick off at 7:30 p.m.
CLUTCH RETURNS TO ZIGGY’S AFTER 15 YEARS
April 4, 1998. Fire-breathing rifflords Clutch were 10 days away from their major label debut, a small point of contention for the fans who were just fine thrashing in the mud along with their stoner rock heroes, but also an inevitability. Their momentum was as relentless as the ass-kicking southern groove they peddled. Their Ziggy’s show on that date would come in the middle of a bill with two bands who would experience a lot more commercial success — Limp Bizkit in the midst of full-on “Nookie” hype (there were a few red ballcaps in that crowd) and opener Sevendust. It was the kind of show that tested the structural integrity of the old Ziggy’s location; the bottom floor area was bowing like a trampoline, which didn’t escape the attention of frontman Neil Fallon. He acted and played as if he wanted to see it snap.
Compound that over 25 years, and you have the near-career-ending threat he incurred last September. Fallon was diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis and a couple of herniated discs, ailments that made the him fear he wouldn’t be able to sing again — the corrective procedure literally required his trachea to be moved to the side. Miraculously, Fallon came out okay, and Clutch didn’t have to revert to the Bakerton Group full-time, though
don’t be surprised if they sneak in some of their instrumental blues-rock side work to give Fallon’s vocals a break this Sunday when they return to Ziggy’s for the first time in over 15 years. The floor’s a little sturdier this time, so the rockers they do play will have to count a little more. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door, and the show starts at 7:30.
CROSSROADS #010: WILLIAM TYLER AND HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER
There are essentially two ways to consume the guitar work of William Tyler. First, take it entirely at face value, appreciating albums like his recent LP Impossible Truth for their pristine beauty while rejoicing in the reality that human beings are able to weave such intrecciato instrumental poetry with only their two hands. The other way is to dive into the rabbit hole at the surface of his catalog and explore the labyrinthine network of ideas and philosophies that inform his growing body of work. The latter is a rather formidable task; Tyler is a songwriter who doesn’t write lyrics, but rather paints frescoes in dazzling, evolving six-stringed textures. What today might be your next favorite instrumental could resurface years down the road with a new name, reshaped under a different milieu; familiar, but newly provocative.
Such was the case with the stunning 13-minute electric road-tripper “Whole New Dude” off of his new EP Lost Colony; originally it was a pastoral acoustic piece called “Man of Oran” until it was reborn with a driving backbeat and a generous amount of reverb. “We Can’t Go Home again” was given a similar treatment; an exploration on the micro level went big and macro after a discussion on bicameralism — the idea that the conscience once had its ow n unerring, authoritarian agency — with songwriter MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger. To be a fly on the wall during that discussion, because Tyler and Taylor each have a lot to say about the divine. Taylor’s Poor Moon is an examination of the spiritual in its own right, wondering in the beauty of creation and reckoning with its fragility and capacity for misery. After touring together on numerous occasions, the two will come together again for a coheadlining date this Saturday at SECCA in Winston-Salem for the 10 th installment in its ongoing Crossroads series. In this case, you may not have any choice but to dive completely in. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $25 for VIP, and the show starts at 7:00 p.m.
INSTANT GOSPEL, JUST ADD LEE BOYS
On “I’m Not Tired”, the third track on the Lee Boys latest album Testify, the sacred steel ensemble repurpose the timeless melody from the Southern Tones’ “It Must Be Jesus” — the very same one that Ray Charles used for “I Got A Woman” — into a shredtastic bit gospel-funk. It’s a tune that anyone should know, having resurfaced time and again, and here it’s blessed by the voice and guitar of their label benefactor, Warren Haynes. On Tuesday night at High Rock Outfitters, you can be Warren Haynes, so long as you can play an instrument somewhat competently. The Lee Boys are returning to serve as the backing band for the not-your-averageopen-mic-night, making okay amateur musicians sound like legends, and they’ll have extra help from Donna the Buffalo’s Dave McCracken. They’ll be there Monday night as well, except there it will be the imitable guitar of Shane Pruitt front and center. Both shows start at 9 p.m. and cover is $10 at the door. !