ryan’s forecast

by Ryan Snyder

upcoming shows you should check out


It’s likely you’ve never heard the Godfather of Soul like this before. Whereas some all-star tribute tours are bloated with furious axe slingers (see: Experience Hendrix), Still Black, Still Proud: An African Tribute to James Brown brings together a group of players that bring something meaningful to the puzzle. The rustic, soulful voice of percussionist Cheikh L’, James Brown associates and funk originators Pee Wee Ellis and Maceo Parker, and the man simply known in his home country of South Africa as “The Voice,” Vusi Mahlasela will bring the timeless music of James Brown to Chapel Hill’s Memorial Auditorium backed by a juggernaut eight-piece band. The show comes to Chapel Hill’s Memorial Auditorium tonight at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $19.


Like Jay-Z once rapped in “30 Something,” 30 is the new 20. No rapper more accurately embodies that ideal than the lionhearted Detroit emcee Danny Brown. In one of the best years for hip-hop in a long, long time, Brown’s XXX was one of the true standouts. He wields the desperation that accompanies hitting the big 3-0 on XXX like a machete amidst trashy electro and Dilla-esque jazz joints, lacing it with scathing, drug-addled wit. Once you get past the squeak toy he calls a voice, Brown is simultaneously reveals himself of the most thoughtful , audacious and hilarious rappers working today, and when he comes to

Studio B in Greensboro this Saturday, he’ll be joined by the author of one of rap’s other great 2011 releases in Memphis’s Cities Aviv. It’s a free show being co-presented by WQFS and Jazzy Joel Productions, and the music starts at 8 p.m. with glo-fi producer Rimar opening.


Despite rarely ever playing a proper guitar on stage and having only one album of original material at the time, Robert Randolph nonetheless was recognized as number 97 on Rolling Stone magazine’s (somewhat silly) list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in a 2003 issue.

Never mind that Kurt Cobain was also named number 12 on that list; Robert Randolph’s sacred tone is just as recognizable and his technical abilities are without question. He’s lent that sound to everyone from Robbie Robertson to Kirk Whalum to the Experience Hendrix tour, and his roof-raising Family Band has been a staple on the summer festival circuit since breaking through in 2002. As great a player as he is, however, songwriting has always been his Achilles’ heel. He has three studio albums under his belt over the last 10 years despite being a prolific performer, and even the last one We Walk This Road was cover heavy. Robert Randolph & the Family Band come to Ziggy’s this Friday with a set list that includes Prince, Hendrix, Dylan, Peter Case and John Lennon. Tickets for the show at $17 in advance and $20 at the door, and the music starts at 9 p.m.