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ryan’s forecast

by Ryan Snyder

upcoming shows you should check out

TIME TO HEAD FOR THE HILLS

The positive flipside of the onset of tick season is that the time is nigh for the four-day music bender we know as festivals and as always, the kickoff event this year is the spring Shakori Hills Festival of Music & Dance (www.shakorihills.org), happening just outside of Pittsboro Thursday through Sunday. While the top of this year’s lineup is a little more obscure than the past few installments, there’s still more than enough reason to shake out the tent and pack the cooler for the weekend. There’s a heavy lean this year toward African roots music to compliment the festivals usually predilection toward bluegrass and folk. The big name this year is banjo guru Bela Fleck, who headlines Saturday night and will also perform on Sunday with Nashville songstress Abigail Washburn, who has her own set as well. Fleck is currently touring with Malian ngoni player Bassekou Kouyate, who’s slotted to player right after Fleck Saturday night, so expect the two virtuosos to share the stage. Arguably the next most recognizable name on the bill is Rusted Root, which is somehow relegated to a Thursday night slot, easily the least-attended day of the festival. Hopefully this will change that. Chiwoniso Maraire, daughter of Zimbabwean mbira music legend Dumi Maraire, is another opening-night draw, but she’ll play a second set Friday after old-time troupe the Hackensaw Boys. Leftover Salmon’s Vince Hermann bring s his new act, jam band Great American Taxi to close out Friday, while festival staples Donna the Buffalo closes out Saturday night. Others to check out include Asheville’s the Honeycutters, Chapel Hill indie rockers Hammer No More the Fingers late Saturday night and noted Grateful Dead archivist David Gans, who will play three different sets (and is the subject of this week’s Tunes story). Bring your banjo, fiddle, mandolin or guitar, not just for the late-night campfire jams, but for the workshops hosted by the likes of Fleck and Gans themselves. Tickets for a four-day pass are at the gate $100 this year for adults and $50 for youths, while kids are free. Single day passes are also available.

LOVE THE EARTH? NOW YOU’RE SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE

As if there weren’t already a slew of good reasons to cut out of work early to drink and listen to good music, Sustainable Greensboro says you can now use Earth Day as a cop out. The ecologically-sound nonprofit is not only in touch with terra matta, but urbane musical sensibilities as well. They’re bringing Merge Records’ latest darling the Love Language to perform at the 40thEarth Day Celebration this Thursday, a band who wowed audiences at the recent SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. The lo-fi indie rock and R&B ensemble was received to high acclaim following the release of its self-titled debut last year and have the follow-up, entitled Libraries, slated for a July release and the first single “Heart To Tell” can be downloaded here: www.mergerecords.com/audio/lovelang/HeartToTell.mp3. From the sound of it, the band has cleaned up their rough-hewn sound slightly, but have retained the vintage pop charm that made so many fall in love with the Chapel Hill septet. The NC A&T choir opens for the Love Langauge, who will take the stage at 5:45 p.m. Natty Greene’s will be on site stocking the beer garden and the Elsewhere Collaborative will have art on display. The fun starts at 4:30 p.m. and best of all it’s free.

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