Terrific Florida-based jazz combo led by the dazzling keyboard work of pianist Bill Peterson and the sublime vocals of Swearingen. This group is capable of laying down lush, slow burns that linger in the mind for long after the tune itself has faded out. Far from one-trick ponies, they swing in a number of different directions on their latest indie CD Reverie tackling standards and jazzbo faves like Stompin At The Savoy, and Where Flamingos Fly). Theres plenty of subtle flourishes present on this disc, but each one seems subservient to the greater good of the song and by no means an example of showing off for the sake of doing so.
This should prove to be yet another great weekend of bewitching music at this tony supper club in The Village At Wexford (about an hours drive from Savannah). Call (943) 842-8620 for reservations. Fri. - Sat., 7:30 pm, The Jazz Corner (Hilton Head).
Since late 1994, this Virginia-based bluegrass act has released a half-dozen full-length albums, played the Ryman Theatre in Nashville, Lincoln Center in New York City, and the famed Birchmere in Alexandria, Va.
The members range in age from fairly young to quite seasoned, and together the sound they make is both rooted in the past, while pressing on into the future of this increasingly malleable genre. Theyve been called the Dave Matthews Band of the bluegrass world, and while Im not sure what that means, Im certain its meant as a compliment. Advance tickets are $25 online at www.randywoodguitars.com or by calling (912) 748-1930. Fri., 7:30 pm, Randy Woods Pickin Parlor (1304 East Hwy 80, Bloomingdale).
Cosmic Charlie (Dead Tribute)
This Athens-based tribute act to the glory days of Jerry Garcia and Company boasts two drummers, and a devotion breathing new life into these old songs, rather than slavishly trying to recreate past arrangements or improvisational quirks culled from the thousands of unofficial live recordings of this legendary band that still make the rounds.
Diehard fans of the Dead will appreciate the fact that this group is unearthing some old gems, and trying to put their own stamp on the groups musical blueprints. Casual listeners will just get a thrill out of hearing this material performed live in a small venue with both skill and goodwill. Fri., 10 pm, Locos Deli & Pub.
Immortal Lee County Killers
This crazy good trio of guitar, drums and keyboards formed from the ashes of Alabamas sensational Estrus label noisemakers The Quadrajets, and works hard to deconstruct gutbucket American blues until it screams for mercy.
While some may find their frenzied, caterwauling racket to be derivative of more well-known purveyors of the form as Jon Spencer and Jack White, its worth noting that these guys get a hell of a lot more waydown than either of those fashion models. This is far-beyond-raw emotion channeled through relentless slide guitar mantras. With opening acts The Love Drunks and Nashvilles The Ex-Lovers. Sat., 10 pm, The Jinx.
Project/Object Zappa Tribute
The last time this celebrated touring love letter to the enduring musical and sociopolitical legacy of the late Frank Zappa passed through Savannah, they played for a relatively small crowd of the faithful at a now-defunct club on the Southside. Id be lying if I said it was a great gig. While its a nice treat to hear the late composers work played with no small amount of reverence by diehard acolytes with plenty of their own chops, the truth is that Franks famous ban on sidemen imbibing should be grandfathered in to include these guys.
Longtime Zappa vocalist and guitar foil Ike Willis (Thing-Fish) was on hand to help call the shots with founding member and lead guitarist André Cholmondeley, but the fact that Ike was half-soused didnt exactly fit with his whole Frank made me swear on his deathbed to help keep this music alive bit. Once more, theyve got the unbelievably great saxman/vocalist Napoleon Murphy Brock with them to maintain a link to FZs own past backing bands, and Im sure theyll do a passable job of tackling the maestros rat-mazes. Lets just hope they take it a little more seriously this time. Sat., JJ Cagneys.
Animal Welfare Benefit w/Circle Takes The Square
This screamy dark hardcore band is one of the shining lights on our local scene, even though they rarely play hometown shows. Their idiosyncratic approach to dual (duel) male/female vocals and crashing, chaotic song structure have won them legions of fans far and wide in the underground arena. For this special ALL-AGES gig, theyll be joined by F Is For Fire and Rifkyn, with proceeds going to help support the local organization Voice For Pets. This venue is one that over the past year or so has become increasingly popular for young punk and indie-rock bands to utilize for such DIY tours. Sun., 9 pm, Starland CCA (2424 Bull St.).