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by Ryan Snyder

upcoming shows you should check out

GREENSBORO BLUES FESTIVAL FRIDAY AT THE GREENSBORO COLISEUM

The weather is cold but the blues are hot, and it just doesn’t get any hotter than the annual Greensboro Blues Festival. The latest installment happens this Friday and features the biggest names in the business of blues. Well, maybe not. You’ve probably actually never heard of most of these names unless you possess an exhaustive knowledge of the genre. This year’s event features musicians Roy C, Sir Charles Jones, Theodis Ealey, Shirly Brown and Calvin Richardson. After some careful digging, longtime listeners might most recognize J. Blackfoot and Mel Waiters. Blackfoot fronted the reformed lineup of the Bar-Kays after they were killed in the same plane crash as Otis Redding, before he scored more than a dozen R&B hits as the lead singer of the Soul Children and eventually had his own in the ’80s as a solo artist. Mel Waiters lent his imitably smooth voice to his hits like “Suki Suki Man,” “Hit It and Quit It” and “Got My Whiskey,” while the rest of the bill ranges from deep blues to gospel. Be sure to check out likely show opener Richardson, whose latest release is a tribute to the great soul singer Bobby Womack. Tickets for the night are $39.50 and $49.50 and the show starts at 8 p.m.

WINTER JAM 2010 TO CREATE A NEW GENERATION OF FLANDERSES

One can assume a lot of things from the title alone for the concert bill appearing outside the Greensboro Coliseum this Saturday. Winter Jam 2010 might mean a lot of things to a lot of people; hip-hop heads might liken it to Superjam, while the term “jam” alone might evoke rambling, ethereal improvisation in others. The truth is that neither applies here. Winter Jam is a huge, touring Christian rock concert with the purpose of proselytizing while providing a safe, positive environment, since common perception these days is that most kids have trouble relating to the traditional Christian message without the help of excessively cheesy pop bands that beat esoteric biblical references over their heads. We all know that no musicians ever write subtle, imaginative spiritual themes into their work. No sir. Thankfully, headliner Third Day will be there to impose their narrow, uninspired view on scripture for the impressionable masses. Supporting them will be the Newsboys, a band who has played an identical set every show for the last several years, including the encore and stage gimmickry, right down to the sermon lead singer Michael Tait delivers. Elsewhere in the evening, NewSong, Tenth Avenue North, Fireflight, Sidewalk Prophets, Robert Pierre, Revive and guest speaker Tony Nolan are included in the ticket price. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 6 p.m. The cost is $10 at the door, though no advance ticketing is available and seating is first come, first saved — err, served.

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