ryan’s forecast

by Ryan Snyder

upcoming shows you should check out


It’s been more than 20 years since Paul Simon collaborated with Ladysmith Black Mambazo ( on Graceland — not only one of the greatest albums of any time, but one that sparked a widespread interest in world music as well. The nine-man a capella vocal band with a recording history spanning 50 years will perform this Thursday at the spiritual center of Wake Forest University, Wait Chapel. It’s perfectly appropriate since their vocal style Isicathamiya (the “c” is pronounced with a dental click), was born in the mines of South Africa as traditional work songs. In addition to Simon, they’ve performed alongside Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton, and their music has been praised as a “celebration of the human spirit.” The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $25 for the general public. Yomi Durotoye, a native of Nigeria and coordinator of the African Studies minor at Wake Forest, will give the pre-performance talk at 6:40 p.m. in the chapel’s Balcony Room.


A mere two weeks after Jamey Johnson played a sold-out show at the Millennium Center, one of his closest songwriting confederates (no pun intended) will also get his shot to prove that he’s above writing gimmicky country schlock. Country singer Randy Houser (, also known as one of the three that inflicted “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” on the world, will play there this Friday. While he’s not quite of a traditionalist as Johnson is, Houser’s no Trace Adkins at heart either. He’s probably not going to please the Merle, Willie and Waylon crowd, but he has no problem pandering to the “I’m country and dern proud of it” crowd. It’s originality, however, where he lacks the most, as his forthcoming album They Call Me Cadillac clearly borrows from Johnson’s own They Call Me Country. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $15 in advance, $20 on the day of the show.


Now that I have your attention… Cross Canadian Ragweed ( might bring the party like the Canadian Women’s National Hockey team, but they are not, in fact, of Canadian origin. You can clearly tell by how the tops of their heads are connected to their lower jaws. But when three members of a band bear the names Grady Cross, Cody Canada and Randy Ragsdale, they’re left with very little choice in regards to choosing a name. The red-dirt country stars from Yukon, Okla. will find their way to the Aquarius Music Hall on Saturday alongside fellow country rockers Reckless Kelly (, who are neither Australian or named Kelly. Reckless Kelly recently released one of the best country albums of the year with Somewhere In Time, which pays tribute to celebrated Oklahoma singer/songwriter and founder of the Famous Motel Cowboys, Pinto Bennett. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.