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ryan’s forecast

by Ryan Snyder

upcoming shows you should check out

YEEAH-YUH! GET CRUNK AT LIL’ JOHN’S MOUNTAIN MUSIC FESTIVAL

Looking for a relaxed, peaceful farm setting for your family to celebrate Memorial Day to the soundtrack of some sweet live bluegrass? Uh-WHAT? I said are you ready to throw down on a mountainside with some of the most bad-arsed pickers this side of MerleFest? Oh-KAAY! Do you think MerleFest is crassly commercialized and want something a little more off the beaten path? Uh-WHAT? Starting Thursday in secluded Snow Camp, Lil’ John’s Mountain Music takes to the hills for another weekend of hard liquor and easy pickins. The great Rhonda Vincent, also known as the only other female bluegrass vocalist in the same stratosphere as Allison Krauss, tops this year’s lineup for two shows Friday afternoon and night, and her backing band the Rage ain’t too shabby neither. Bluegrass fans might also know her equally-noteworthy brother Darrin, who’s latest act — the gospel-leaning Vincent & Dailey — will hit Lil’ John’s as well. One of the must-see bands this year includes the SteelDrivers, who are essentially Nashville’s answer to the Funk Brothers — a seasoned group of studio vets with credits too long to list in a single bio. The Steep Canyon Rangers will take a break from touring with Steve Martin once again to play two shows on Friday, just in case you missed them at Foothills Hayride a couple of weeks ago. Tickets are $25 for Thursday and $30 for Friday or Saturday. Weekend passes are $75 and camping is included. Children under 12 are free with an adult.

EL BAMBINO BLOWS THROUGH GREENSBORO

No matter what language it’s in, a good beat is a good beat. Not surprisingly, the same can be said for throwaway, mass-produced pop. No matter how good his beats sound on record, when it comes to the live stuff, Tito “El Bambino” definitely falls in the latter. With a DJ and a horde of bad back-up dancers, his shows are a slow, monotonous march to “Caile” and “El Amor.” This is the essence of Reggaeton, however, and Tito is the biggest in the genre. It’s a shame though, that while so many Hispanic artists like Aterciopelados and Bomba Estereo are making music that transcends borders that most never get exposed to, guys like this are the face of Latin music worldwide. El Bambino will be at Greensboro Coliseum this Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 and up.

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