Mississippi blues in the house this Friday with two of the most electrifying practitioners: Little Dave Thompson at Teddy’s and Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm at Chelsea’s. Thompson gives his Greenwood, Miss., gospel stomp a sophisticated shine without sacrificing a bit of its potency, while Burnside and Malcolm stoke their engines with moonshine and barbecue sauce. Both are part of the revitalization the blues is getting in recent years, letting it evolve into something new and exciting. And this all sounds too academic and revisionist, let me assure, they all rock hard.
A coarse wind blows in from the backwoods depth Lee County, Iowa on the ragged voice of William Elliot Whitmore. His latest release, Animals in the Dark, is a stampede of field hollers, porch rambles and gospel-tinged blues sure to make your hair stand up on end as you stay through a few beer glasses with him at Chelsea’s. Also at Chelsea’s will be Tuscaloosa’s roots rock true-believers the Dexateens serving up hot and greasy portions of their latest album Hardwire Healing on Saturday. If you like Drive-By Truckers, you’ll like Dextaeens. Trucker Patterson Hood was the one that turned me onto them in the first place.
But if you want to see the highest form of evolution that stemmed from the blues, you need to score a ticket for one of the two Blue Note Anniversary shows Thursday at the Manship Theatre. Ravi Coltrane, Nicholas Peyton, Peter Bernstein and other “young lions of jazz” as local jazz DJ Zia Tammami called them will be present for this most intimate look at jazz at its finest.
Fujiya & Miyagi cover every other possible base besides the blues. The Brighton cry fuses whispered near-rap cadence over a relentless pulse, launching rockets from the midpoint between early Can and the early B-52’s. Fujiya & Miyagi will be performing an early show before the Velcro dance night at the Spanish Moon.
Finally get your Ryan Adams tickets for next weeks’ show at the River Center before he changes his mind and retires again this week.
Wednesday, Feb. 25
Fujiya & Miyaki (Early show) at Spanish Moon
Thursday, Feb. 26
Blue Note Records 70th Anniversary Tour at the Manship Theatre
Steve Forbert at the Red Dragon
Kristin Diable at Chelsea’s
10 Years at The Varsity
Friday, Feb. 27
Fleur de Tease at Spanish Moon
Lil Dave Thompson at Teddy’s Juke joint
Juke Joint Duo featuring Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm at Chelsea’s
Waiting for Brantley and Ayleron at Click’s
Sweet Root at Boudreaux & Thibodeaux’s
Saturday, Feb. 28
Dexateens at Chelsea’s
The American Tragedy at The Varsity
The Bluebirds at Teddy’s Juke Joint
Axes of Evil at Red Star
Letters in Red and Touching the Absolute at Click’s
Mellow Down Easy at Boudreaux & Thibodeaux’s
Sunday, March 1
Teddy’s Sharecroppers at Teddy’s Juke Joint
Monday, March 2
Arms and Sleepers at Red Star
Tuesday, March 3
William Elliot Whitmore at Spanish Moon
Thursday March 5
The Cardinals featuring Ryan Adams at the River Center