Loretta Lynn ***
ANTICIPATION IS RUNNING HIGH for this extremely rare area appearance by this C&W icon. At age 74, she’s basking in the afterglow of her most recent comeback album, Van Lear Rose. That record —amazingly enough, only the second in her long and storied career on which she either wrote or co-wrote every track— was produced by (and featured) the White Stripes’ Jack White, which helped make it a big seller and critics’ fave in 2004.
Here's a promo video for that collaborative 2004 record::
White won’t be in tow for this one-nighter at the region’s largest showcase club venue, as oddly enough, Lynn reportedly didn’t alter her oldies-heavy setlist too awfully much in the wake of that return to vogue. Still, her touring bands are filled with top-notch players, and her back catalog of ballsy, defiant and —at times— heartbreaking hits (the Grammy-winning Country Music Hall of Famer and Kennedy Center Honoree’s had 17 No. 1 albums and 16 No. 1 singles!) and deep cuts contain more than enough A-list material to fill three hours or more.
Though age and back surgeries now force Lynn to remain seated for most of her stage time, her home-spun humor (evident in between song banter) remains intact — as does her hardscrabble voice. This show essentially kicks off her 2009 tour, coming straight on the heels of a two-night stand at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry.
Here's a vintage live TV performance by Loretta::
Opening will be outstanding newcomer (and Rounder recording artist) Bradley Walker, who nabbed the International Bluegrass Music Assn.’s 2007 Male Vocalist of The Year Award. Says the Wall St. Journal, “A voice like (his) shows up maybe once in a generation — if we’re lucky.” Listen & Learn: lorettalynn.com, bradleywalker.com. $55 Reserved Seats / $45 General Admission at shorelineballroom.com. Fri., 8 pm, Shoreline Ballroom (Hilton Head).
Casper & The House of David ***
Caribbean native Casper released his first indie EP a decade ago. Since then, he's become a buzzworthy traditional roots-reggae artist. Inspired by Burning Spear and Freddie McGregor, he's devoted himself to emphasizing spirituality and positive political messages through his music. In part, that's what attracted the late, pioneering reggae songwriter (and hero to Bob Marley and Peter Tosh) Joe Higgs, with whom Casper initially collaborated. Currently, Casper's backing band includes a legendary reggae rhythm section: drummer Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace (who's worked with Lee "Scratch" Perry and Inner Circle, besides starring in the reggae cult film Rockers) and bassist Strickland Stone. Props to this venue for bringing in an unexpected show of this type. Listen & Learn: brothercas.com. $8 cover ($5 w/SCAD ID). Thurs., 10 pm, Live Wire Music Hall.
6 Day Bender
This Charlottesville "mountain rock & roll" quartet is more twangy and raw than most of the blues and jazz acts that entertain diners and drinkers at this swanky subterranean hang underneath The Gap on Broughton St., blending bluegrass, neo-folk and shit-kickin' alt.country. They've been named "C'ville's Next Big Band" by The Hook Magazine, and frankly, sound like that market's answer to our own Train Wrecks. Listen & Learn: myspace.com/6daybender. Free admission (21+ only). Wed., Jan. 21, 7:30 pm, Jazz'd Tapas Bar.
Suns Collide, Kalibur
A double bill of guttural scream-heavy modern Ga. metal: Augusta's Suns Collide cites Mastodon, Meshuggah and Umphrey's McGee (?) as key influences, while Savannah's Kalibur revels in overdriven, minor-key guitar distortion as well, but at times channels the overwrought melodrama of Jim Morrison. This is just one in a long line of upcoming gigs at this new Starland area venue-in-progress that still lacks much in the way of ambience or production value, but charms with an informal, DIY, basement-show vibe. Listen & Learn: myspace.com/sunscollide, myspace.com/kalibursav. $4 cover (21+ only). Fri., 10 pm, The Wormhole (2307 Bull St.). cs