ryan’s forecast

by Ryan Snyder

ryan’s forecast

upcoming shows you should check out


According to the official tour schedule, comedian and bluegrass aficionado Steve Martin looks to be taking a two-show break from touring with the Steep Canyon Rangers (, but there’s also word that he isn’t completely ruled out for the Rangers date at the Carolina Theatre on Friday. This one is still special, however, as all proceeds will go to benefit the Piedmont Land Conservancy, which celebrates North Carolina music and the nature of the Piedmont. The five-piece format Steep Canyon Rangers will take are a must-see for any fans of bluegrass, old-time and string music, and will also be joined by Prairie Home Companion favorites Polecat Creek. The Rangers don’t have the clout of vets like the Del McCoury Band or Ralph Stanley just yet and as such they’re consistently criminally underrated, but they can certainly pick with any of the heavyweights. They were nominated for two International Bluegrass Music awards in last year, including Album of the Year for Lovin’ Pretty Women, and were named “Emerging Artist of the Year” in 2006 at the IBMA awards, so they’re real, real good. With so many reasons to see this one, it’ll be good even if Martin doesn’t show. The music will start at 8 p.m. and tickets are $21.50.


It’s a good weekend for music at the Carolina Theatre and they’ll have another acclaimed performer on Saturday. Few artists have experienced as many phases in their career as songwriter and vocalist Rickie Lee Jones ( While she dabbles primarily in pop, soul and jazz, it’s her penchant for experimentalism that sets her apart from her more commercial-oriented counterparts. She began her career as a beloved pop standards singer, but moved quickly into more complex and experimental arrangements. Time progressed and she had moved far from the artist who had a hit with “Chuck E.’s in Love.” She battled a period of writer’s block after a heavy foray into electronic music, but resurfaced in the past few years with a fresh approach and a new album released this month, Balm in Gilead, which marks a return to her more folksy roots. Tickets range from $19.50 to $37.50 and the show starts at 8 p.m.


Duke Robillard ( has taken on just about every role in music there is that doesn’t involve handling money. He was the touring guitarist for Tom Waits the last time he was out; he took over for Jimmy Vaughn in the Fabulous Thunderbirds; he’s done session work for a list of names too long to mention here and he’s just an all-around wicked guitar player. He’ll be playing at the Garage next Wednesday, Oct. 21 as a part of the Garage’s American Music Showcase and co-presented by the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society and the Piedmont Guitar Society. The Blues Music Awards (formerly WC Handy Awards) have named Duke Robillard “Best Blues Guitarist” four years out of five and he also received nominations in three others. His current touring band includes Doug James on baritone and tenor saxophones, Bruce Bears on piano and organ, Mark Teixeira on drums (not that Mark Teixeira) and Brad Hallen on bass. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.