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ryan’s forecast

by Ryan Snyder

ryan’s forecast

upcoming shows you should check out

GEORGE AND REBA PLAY THE HITS

Two of the biggest and best-selling stars in the history of American music will appear together this Saturday as country royalty George Strait and Reba McIntyre (www.georgestraitrebamcentire.com) bring their first tour together in years to the Greensboro Coliseum. Their one-off in Dallas back in June sold out in less than an hour and Greensboro gets them at arguably the peachiest spot on the tour. It kicks off in Maryland on Jan. 22 (the day yours truly entered this earth) and then immediately comes to town with any potential production kinks already exposed and resolved, so expect a tight performance. Strait’s status as the King of Country is undisputed thanks to Garth Brooks’ recent productivity slump, but Strait is so engulfed in the Country Music Machine that it’s hard to really credit him with the success of his most recent release, the Grammy nominated Twang. Of the albums 13 tracks, Strait shares songwriting credits on only three of them and possesses sole ownership of none. Instrumentally, the only acknowledgement he receives is for lead vocals, but don’t underestimate the brand power that his voice carries with it. It has the quintessential country sound that any Nashville hopeful would do well to emulate. Special guest Lee Ann Womack will join George and Reba, bringing the enormity of this show to head-spinning levels. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are astronomical.

FOR ONCE, COME FOR THE OPENER

Sometimes it’s okay to be more excited about the opening act than the headliner, and this Sunday’s show at the Aquarius Music Hall is one of those instances. Cowboy Mouth is fun and entertaining and all, but they haven’t really been relevant in some time. Their most recent release, Fearless, was not particularly good thanks to their ever-shifting lineup, though 2006’s Voodoo Shoppe was some of their best work in years. Opener Junior Brown, on the other hand, is an absolute wild man. A true throwback country musician in every sense, Brown is most notable for his invention of a doublenecked hybrid guitar and lap-steel called, what else, a “guit-steel” that he plays off of a podium. He has filled the shoes of the greats on record by carrying on the old country sound, but he did it on the big screen as well. If you’ve seen the semi-flop remake of “Dukes of Hazzard,” you may remember Brown as the narrator, a role formerly occupied by Waylon Jennings. Make sure you arrive early for this one. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

A CHANGE IN THE GUARD FOR HOT POLITICS

Goodbyes are always tough, particularly when it impacts good local bands. Jeff Hindson, bassist and founding member of groovy jazz/ funk outfit Hot Politics (www.myspace.com/hotpolitics), will play his last show with the group he helped form four years ago this Saturday at the Blind Tiger. It was a personal decision for Hindson, who is leaving to finish his education. It’s an easy call for anyone who realizes that gigging from night to night is no way to pay for college. Hot Politics will carry on, however, with new bass player Gray Hackelman, who many will recognize from his regular gigs at the Green Bean and Tate Street Coffee. Hot Politics will be supported at the show by Athens, Ga. unit Jazz Chronic (www.myspace.com/jazzchronic), who take the stage at 9:30 p.m. Cover for the evening is $8.

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