THE HEAVY PETS
With the Suex Effect
At 10 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19
The Wormhole Bar, 2307 Bull St.
Gloriously funky, the Fort Lauderdale-based Heavy Pets' gumbo is like a tour of 21st Century Little Feat world, heavy on New Orleans shuffle, with strong elements of R&B and marvelously soaring, guitar-based rock ‘n' roll. There's a dash of reggae in there, too, and they hit that hip hop thing, and the exciting end result is a mixed bag that induced Relix to call the band "a living, breathing force of nature." The Pets are regular players at Bonnaroo, Gathering of the Vibes and most of the other hot-band festivals - they started out, ‘round '07, as a jam band, but have expanded their approach into world-class songwriting and hooky melodies.
The band's new album (out this very week) is Swim Out Past the Sun, a mostly-acoustic effort that features a guest appearance by mandolin master (and jam band granddaddy) David Grisman. See theheavypets.com
TONY WILLIAMSON & FRIENDS
At 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22
Randy Wood Guitars, 1304 E. U.S. 80, Blomingdale. $28
Williamson is a world-class mandolin player, who's mentioned in the same breath as David Grisman, Mike Marshall, Tim O'Brien and Sam Bush (he's played with them all, too). He's also a frequent visitor to the Pickin' Parlor at Randy Wood's place. "It's my favorite place to play, hands down," he told us. "And I've been in a recital hall in Carnegie Hall, I've played in China, and Japan and I've played in the courtyard of Cheateu d' D'Yquem in Bordeaux ... although I'd have to say that's a close second."
That trip to the vineyards came during a recent two-week tour of France. "I was on the Metro when I was there, jamming with a bunch of busking gypsies," Williamson reports. "I got into a total vibe with these guys. I had to watch my wallet, though."
That vibe was possible because gypsy jazz is one of Williamson's specialties. He's also fluent in bluegrass, country music, swing and ragtime, and you can expect a healthy sampling of each at this show, which will find the master mandolinist performing with singer/guitarist Scott Huffman. "He's a great flat-picker, he takes a back seat to nobody with his flat-picking," Williamson says. "And he is just a great songwriter. The last time we played Randy's we had people laughing till they hurt their sides, people crying ... it's beyond belief what he's capable of in the right situation." See mandolincentral.com
CHECK IT OUT
Michigan’s freaky and incredibly forward–thinking psychedelic jazz jam band Ultraviolet Hippopotamus is back at Live Wire Music Hall Thursday (Oct. 20). Check out that Floydian light show .... New Life Church in Richmond Hill is the site for the Oct. 22 “Rocktoberbest,” a day-long event featuring more than two dozen bands. See the event’s Facebook page for all details ... Onstage Sunday at the Sentient Bean: General Oglethorpe & the Panhandlers share a bill with another self-professed "quirky folk-pop" band, Those Lavender Whales from up Columbia way ...