ryan’s forecast

by Ryan Snyder

upcoming shows you should check out


Chasing perfection in jazz is a fool’s errand, but few have come closer than John Coltrane when he released Giant Steps in 1960, only a few months after Miles Davis’ equally iconic Kind of Blue. Coltrane not only astonished the jazz faithful with a piece of music so melodically bewildering that consuming its dense scales is like a interpreting Morse Code at high speeds, but won a crossover audience in the fledgling field of rock music as well. Coltrane would match its brilliance on My Favorite Things, Impressions, A Love Supreme and countless others, and his incomparable legacy will be honored this weekend in his hometown of High Point with the inaugural John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival this Saturday in Oak Hollow Festival Park. The lineup includes a host of artists touched by Trane’s legacy both directly and indirectly, including former Earth, Wind & Fire sax man Ronnie Laws, who’s recorded Coltrane’s “Central Park West”; the great pianist Lonnie Liston Smith; Grammy winning vocalist Patti Austin; and Coltrane’s own son Ravi. The full list of performers can be found at Tickets are $45 in advance and the gates open at 1 p.m.


Quick, what do all of these artists have in common: Lupe Fiasco, Fuel, the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Lee Brice. The answer? Absolutely nothing, unless you count the fact that they’re all playing the Triad For the Love of Music Festival. One of the weirdest festival lineups since the fake Brochella poster earlier this year will go down this Saturday at Newbridge Bank Park, though you have to hand it to the organizers: It takes serious bravado to throw together a lineup this mishmashed.

Not to mention headliner Lupe Fiasco came out with one of the most reviled popular releases of the year, though his live shows are consistently excellent. The site’s artist bios also claim Fuel to be a band with nothing to prove, despite reuniting with an all-new lineup save for front man Brett Scallions. Then there’s the Carolina Chocolate Drops, whose inclusion screams “out of place” and their info on the festival’s site describes the band’s old lineup. Elsewhere it feels demographically measured: The New Boyz bring the teenybopper element; formulaic country singer Lee Brice had a minor hit that’s still relatively fresh in the eardrums of pop-country fans; there’s a couple of major-label artists who no one’s really heard of in Hope and Outasight; and there’s a token NC rock band in the Stone Chiefs. It could be amazing, or someone could take a bath. The festival starts at noon and ends at 10 p.m. Tickets are $25 for the first 2,500 and $50 thereafter. Lower tier tickets are still available.


For evidence of how easily a festival can crash, look back to the Soul Music Festival in Raleigh back in 2009. Half of the artists on the lineup simply didn’t show up, with rumors that they were skeptical of the organizer’s ability to pay them. Slick Rick was one of those no-shows, and when he comes to Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem this Saturday, he’ll be dropping his first new verses since 1999’s The Art of Storytelling. He’s had the long-awaited The Adventure Continues on the shelf since 2007, but it spears that a street date isn’t too far off. Tickets for the show are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. The music starts at 8 p.m.