Bo Diddley: R.I.P.
Guitar hero and influential rock pioneer Bo Diddley died Mon. June 2 of heart failure at the age of 79. According to news reports, Diddley suffered a heart attack in August, three months after suffering a stroke. Since his earliest days recording sides for the old Chess label, he never stopped touring or working until last year. Born Ellas Bates (he later changed it to Ellas McDaniel) in Mississippi in 1928, he grew up in Chicago and switched from boxing to playing R&B and blues in the 1950s. His first big break came in 1955, when Chess released his debut single, "Bo Diddley" — a bold tune that featured his unique, reverby electric guitar sound and the signature, syncopated rhythmic pattern (nicknamed "shave and a haircut, two bits"). Follow-up hits included "I'm a Man," the calypso-tinged "Crackin' Up," "Who Do You Love," "Road Runner," and "Bo Diddley Does Gunslinger." His early band featured a guitar-playing lady named Duchess and a maraca-shakin' sidekick named Jerome Green. Their repetitive, beat-heavy style influenced just about everyone who followed them — from Buddy Holly and the Rolling Stones to U2, The Clash, and George Thorogood & The Destroyers (he had a role as a pool shark in that band's "Bad to the Bone" video clip). Diddley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and received a lifetime achievement award in 1999 at the Grammy Awards. He's rightly considered to be a founding father of rock 'n' roll.
Tom Waits (For Real)
While a gang of local musicians may be dishing out a full night of Tom Waits tunes at the Pour House on Sat. June 14 (see Music Board), the actual Tom Waits and his current band are on their "Glitter and Doom" tour through the South and Europe this summer (Waits recently told fans, "We're going to the Deep South where they still love a man who wears red pants and they make him feel welcome."). They leave from Phoenix on Tues. June 17 for a two-week trek. Southern dates include Sun. June 29 at the Civic Auditorium in Knoxville, Tenn.; Tues. July 1 at the Time Union Center in Jacksonville, Fla.; Wed. July 2 at the Saenger Theatre in Mobile, Ala.; Thurs. July 3 at the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham; and Sat. July 5 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Check out www.tomwaits.com for details.
The Charleston CariFest 2008 celebration embraces June as Caribbean American Heritage Month next weekend. On Fri. June 20, a semi-formal Caribbean Gala will take place between 6-10 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Airport and Convention Center (5264 International Blvd.) in North Charleston. Starting at noon on Sat. June 21, there will be a Caribbean Carnival Street Parade with guest masqueraders from St. Kitts and Nevis winding from King, Carolina, and Lee streets to Brittlebank Park. The festivities continue there with live reggae, soca (a form of dance music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago), and calypso bands from the Slice International collective, Latin/Caribbean dance company performances, and drum groups from 1-9 p.m. (tickets are available for $7 for adults and $3 for children). On Sun. June 22, the Caribbean Health Expo/Jazz and Gospel Explosion and Last Lap Festival commence at Grace United Methodist Church (1601 Sam Rittenberg Blvd.) at 12:30 p.m. with music from Brunson Steel Band. Go online to
www.charlestoncarifest.com for more.
Circular Blues With Drink Small
The Circular Blues Unplugged series (organized by Gary "Shrimp City Slim" Erwin) concludes this Sun. June 15 with an acoustic set of tunes from blues singer and guitarist Drink Small, the super-cool veteran Carolina character known by fans as "The Blues Doctor" and "The Real Deal." Small has been singing the blues in his raspy voice and layin' down his boogie on a hollow-bodied six-string named Geraldine since the 1950s. His latest release is titled Blues Doctor: Live & Outrageous. Sunday's gig is at the Circular Congregational Church (150 Meeting St.) at 7 p.m. Cover is $10. Visit www.bluesbash.com and www.drinksmallblues.com for more.
Horses Come Home
After a whirlwind year and a busy winter touring schedule behind their smash Cease to Begin (Sub Pop), Band of Horses — singer/guitarist Ben Bridwell, guitarist Rob Hampton, drummer Creighton Barrett, bassist Bill Reynolds, multi-instrumentalist Tyler Ramsey, and keyboardist Ryan Monroe — reappear for a "hometown" gig at the Music Farm on Fri. June 20. With support from Josh Roberts & The Hinges and Analog Moon. Tickets are $20 ($18 in advance). See www.musicfarm.com and www.bandofhorses.com for more.
Zz Top Rocked Pac
Fans got their money's worth at the big ZZ Top concert Sunday as Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard ("the same three guys and the same three chords," as Gibbons put it) rocked out with class and sass. Go to the Feedback File weblog at music.ccpblogs.com for pics and details.