Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Live Music: Whiskey Diablo, The Bushels, The Bumper Jacksons, Atlas Road Crew

Great live music to check out this week

Posted by Sam Spence on Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 4:00 AM

OLD TIMEY COUNTRY | The Bumper Jacksons
w/ Noodle of the V-Tones
Thurs. June 6
9 p.m.
The Sparrow

Chris Ousley is going to let you in on a trade secret, the very thing that allows his band the Bumper Jacksons to give jazz and country traditionals a uniquely modern flair. In reference to his band’s latest release Big Horn Mama, Ousley says, “The easiest and most concrete way to do this is the shift in instrumentation to change the feel. Many of the tunes were written in the 1910s, but the lap steel wasn’t electrified until the 1930s, but its distinctive tone transformed the early traditional jazz tune ‘Darktown Strutter’s Ball’ into a Western swing powerhouse.” Why yes it does. Ousley’s cohort in crime is Jess Eliot Myhre (vocals, clarinet, and washboard), and Big Horn Mama proves that the pair know exactly what they’re doing. “Rearranging the tunes or writing new lyrics is another great way we’ve found to freshen the tunes. Take ‘Shine’ for example,” Ousley says. “Jess and I were sick of being in the car one tour and started getting goofy and writing new lyrics to this 1910s song. The first verse is the original one, which makes it clear that it’s about a really confident woman strutting her stuff. We updated the next two verses to be increasingly ridiculous claims of power — taking out men in drunken brawls, laser beam eyes — so the central idea is still there, but it’s also a completely new song.” —Chris Haire THURSDAY

NEW CLASSIC ROCK | Atlas Road Crew
Thurs. June 6
9 p.m.
$5
The Windjammer

It’s hard to write about a band like Atlas Road Crew. Their influences are plainly obvious: a little Skynyrd here, a little Hootie there, a lot of Black Crowes, like, everywhere. Currently based in Columbia and wildly popular along the University of South Carolina’s fraternity row, this Cola-town quintet is planning a move to the Holy City following a June East Coast tour. The band’s music is steeped in Deep South twang and humidity-induced ease, while its loose and jammy vibe is built on gold-standard blues-rock riffs. But there’s a reason classic rock is called classic rock. Atlas Road Crew’s biggest strength is the familiarity of their classic rock odes, but the group ditches the standard retro-ready vibe for a bar-band-made-good attitude and plenty of soulful and exuberant jams. In the end, the music that Atlas Road Crew makes is as ruggedly comfortable as a worn-out CofC T-shirt. —Patrick Wall THURSDAY

Americana | The Bushels
w/ The Black Iron Gathering, Nu Blu
Fri. June 7
7:30 p.m.
$15/adv.,
$20/door
Charleston
Music Hall

The Bushels got their start as a local bluegrass and country string quartet five years ago. The rustic, twangy, jangling sound of their 2009 self-titled debut and 2011’s Wood & Steel are pleasant in a barebones Americana manner but not particularly distinctive in a marketplace flooded with such acts. But what a difference a couple of years makes. These days the Bushels have a brand-new sound. In fact, you can hear the difference in “Someday,” a track on their eponymous 2013 release that was originally recorded for Wood & Steel. What felt nondescript on the previous disc leaps to life here, buoyed by the inclusion of drums (courtesy of Jack Friel) and a piano, which drives the melody much more effectively. Indeed the new backbeat enlivens the entire proceeding. Standouts include the shuffling pedal steel of “Down to the Wire,” the pretty organ-laden roots-soul ballad “Everytime,” and the loping alt-country “Better Way to Be.” Guest singers Ivory Collins and Reid Stone contribute warm vocal harmonies to the new seven-song EP, while fiddler Joe Marlow and pedal steel guitarist Charlie Thompson lend a hand on several songs. —Chris Parker FRIDAY

ROWDY ROOTS | Whiskey Diablo
Fri. June 7
10 p.m.
$5
Home Team BBQ: Sullivan’s Island

Sat. June 8
9 p.m.
Surf Bar

The guys in Whiskey Diablo — Brian Widlowski (drums), Jonathan Gray (bass/vocals), and Patrick Blake (vocals/guitar/kazoo) — sure know how to wail. And they damn well better. After all, their latest rowdy, roots-rocking foot-stomper is called Wail and Serenade. It’s also one helluva kneeslapper, thanks to tracks like “My Three Ex-Wives,” “The Last Time,” and “Outdoor Cat.” When it comes to adding a dash of ha-ha to Whiskey Diablo’s songs, Blake offers a word of advice. “Humor must be honest in order to be effective,” he says. “Serious songs can sometimes get swallowed by their overly dramatic nature which can lead to a loss of authenticity. Just like any good book, film, or play, I think it’s important for a song to have some sort of balance of comedy and drama.” You can catch Blake and company at two gigs this week. —Chris Haire FRIDAY-SATURDAY

Tags: ,


Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Classified Listings

Powered by Foundation   © Copyright 2016, Charleston City Paper   RSS