With Blue Billy Grit, Cranford Hollow, and The Grascals, 7:30 p.m.
Warning: listening to BlueBilly Grit is going to leave you smiling, tapping your feet, and nodding your head enthusiastically. Your overt happiness might make your coworkers punch you in the face and steal your lunch money (although City Paper editorial assistant Melissa Tunstall later apologized). When it comes to writing, the BlueBilly’s leader Mark Garrison says, “I don’t want to come up with a great melody line that will allow for some hot pickin’ and just add filler words to it to complete the process. The song should say something that has meaning or ministers to someone.” And Garrison didn’t want to imitate the modern bluegrass style of piling one solo on top of another. “So many [musicians] try to emulate their bluegrass heroes to the point that if you hear 10 different guitar pickers, they would all try to sound like Tony Rice, lick for lick.” Garrison, for one, offers his own take on bluegrass. “A pond becomes stagnant when there is no fresh source of water flowing into it. A particular genre of music will do the same thing,” he says. “There are those who want to keep it that way for the purity of it, but we all know what happens to a stagnant pond.” BlueBilly formed in 2008 and released its first album Mill Grinder’s Blues in 2009. Since then the band has put out Ready for a Change (2011) and Live at the Melting Point (2013). —Stephen Pappas FRIDAY