upcoming shows you should check out
HONORING THE LATE-GREAT BENTON FLIPPEN
Old-time great Benton Flippen was one of the performers on hand this time last year to honor the legendary picker Tommy Jarrell in the 10th year of the Tommy Jarrell Festival at the Earle Theatre in Surry County. This year, it’s he who is being honored. Flippen, at the time the oldest fiddler with direct ties to Jarrell, passed away last summer at the age of 90 and with him went a peerless fiddle style that can’t easily be duplicated. His oversized grip allowed him to slide his forefingers up and down the neck in different directions at the same time, rather than simply fingering with four digits. The result was something like the reverberation a master pedal-steel player can achieve. Like the festival’s namesake, few players could infuse a melody with as much richly complex ornamentation as Flippen, and even fewer could sing with the kind of expressiveness he had while doing it. Flippen and the legacy of Tommy Jarrell will be honored once again this weekend in Surry County at the 11th Annual Tommy Jarrell Festival, featuring a cast of notable old-time players that includes Riley Baugus, Ira Bernstein, Richard Bowman and tons of others. The festival starts on Thursday and runs through Saturday. Visit www.surryarts.org for tickets and location information.
JOHNNY CASH TURNS 80 SATURDAY AT THE GARAGE
Johnny Cash would’ve been 80 years old this Sunday, and to put that in perspective, Little Jimmy Dickens is 91 and still going. George Jones is 80 and still touring, and Charlie Louvin was playing right up until he died last year at 83. Point is, it seems like Cash should still be with us, but there’s no shortage of tributes to be found. The Garage will be holding a weekend-long tribute to the father of outlaw music for the 10th year running with another strong lineup at its annual Cash Bash. It does a great job of showcasing not just Johnny’s pervasive country influence, but his less recognized impact on punk music in one fell swoop. It starts on Friday with Heavy Rebel organizer Dave Quick & his Hot Mess, Crisp Bess of Southern Culture on the Skids playing oldschool rock with Phatlynx, the great Dexter Romweber with his Duo, Cash Bash charter members the Truckstop Preachers, honky tonkers the Bo-Stevens and JT & the Dragpipes. Saturday brings (not that) Danny Kay & the Nightlifers, country punks the Tremors, maybe the weekend’s best Cash impersonation from John Howie Jr. & the Rosewood Bluff, and lots of the hard stuff from Gojira-X, Reverend D-Ray & the Shockers and Hillbilly Casino.Tickets are $11 for each night and the music starts at 8 p.m.
A COUPLE OF ITEMS OF BUSINESS
It’s my opinion that the proposed amendment to Article IV of Chapter 18 of the Greensboro Code of Ordinances as it is worded is a travesty. A vibrant downtown is a noisy downtown; there’s no way around it. The city council is voting on this amendment on March 6 in the Melvin Building at 6 p.m., and if everyone whom this will detrimentally affect comes out, it will be standing-room only with hundreds more outside. Secondly, as terrific as a music hall would be downtown, the early adoption of the name “Greensboro Performing Arts Center” feels like a missed opportunity to enhance downtown identity. There’s already enough overlap between the two Carolina Theatres that partially co-opting the name of Durham’s best performance space feels like coattailing. Surely, there’s some combination of Greensboro historical figures and “center,” “plaza” or “hall” that exhibits an air of novelty.