BLUES & BEYOND: On the road to Memphis
Atlanta Blues Challenge winners; new music from blues and roots veterans
The victors of 2023’s Atlanta Blues Challenge, which took place in August, are getting ready to represent our city at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January.
The winners are:
Solo/Duo: Greg Fortune
Band: David Pippin Group
People’s Choice: David Pippin Group
Check them out before they leave Atlanta and throw some extra money in the tip jar to help cover their travel-related expenses. Or better still, book the weekend in Memphis and cheer them on in person.
Continuing with the awards theme, it’s not like legendary, Atlanta based, multi-talented singer/songwriter William Bell needs another accolade, but he got one … this time with his name on it. The inaugural William Bell Blues & Soul Award, named in his honor, was presented to … William Bell. The press release from the Jus’ Blues Music Foundation reads “he and future recipients of this prestigious award are acknowledged for outstanding accomplishments as an artist, arranger, writer and producer in the genres of blues and soul music.” The Jus’ Blues Foundation hands out a series of blues tributes annually. Along with Bell, this year’s other honorees in a variety of categories include Corey Harris, Morgan Freeman, Bobby Rush and others. The complete list is here.
For some, EG Kight needs no introduction. The Georgia based singer/songwriter/children’s book author and celebrated goat lover, nicknamed the Georgia Songbird, has been a professional musician for a quarter century. She just co-headlined WRFG’s high profile Labor Day Blues BBQ and has a terrific new album, Sticks & Strings. The follow-up to 2021s The Trio Sessions is, as its title implies, another stripped down affair with Kight accompanied by just drums and another guitarist. Bass is added on about half the tracks. That’s all she needs to put across these nine originals and a sweet cover of Gregg Allman’s “Come and Go Blues” with her alternately powerful and sublime vocals. The material is a moving combination of bluesy soul with some strains of folk and country. It’s epitomized by the gentle lope of “God, Goats and Guitars” which capsulizes her career in just over three minutes. The closing, quietly defiant “I Won’t Ever Give Up,” tells all you need to know about her perseverance in a genre that doesn’t exactly mint stars. Kight is currently on tour supporting the album mostly playing clubs in the southeast, but mark your calendars for a solo performance at Eddie’s Attic November 11.
Local blues fans may remember Little G Weevil. The guitarist, born and raised in Hungary, was a presence around the Atlanta scene when he relocated here in 2009 after living in Memphis. He reached a peak of popularity after nabbing first place in the solo/duo category of 2013’s International Blues Challenge. Weevil’s website states that he is a “proud lifetime member recipient of the Atlanta Blues Society,” which explains how much of an imprint he left on the city’s blues scene. He has released a clutch of well received albums and now has a new one, If I May…, recorded in Budapest on his own label. It features notes from WRFG radio host Larry Eaglin aka Stagga Lee Henzel. Although once feted for his acoustic solo work, Weevil’s disc features a full band supporting him as he traverses swamp rock, Texas shuffles, Latin-tinged and rugged slow Chicago style blues, many with socio-political lyrics and a wicked sense of humor in tracks such as “Scam Me, Scam Me Not” and “Yoga Girl (Hold Me Close…).” His vocals are tough and strong, the band swings and the recording is professionally produced, all begging the question, “Where is he now?” The answer is back in Europe, specifically Budapest, since December, 2018. The new album is a superb set from someone who left an indelible impression on this city during his years here, and one any local blues fan will appreciate.
The temperatures are chillier but October’s roots based music stays hot. Check out these live highlights.
The Courettes, Ladrones, Sonambula, The EARL — Take some ‘60s girl group pop, throw it in a garage and you’ve got the blueprint for The Courettes’ rocking groove. Heavily influenced by The Cramps, whose “Bikini Girls with Machine Guns” they cover on their newest single, singer/guitarist Flavia Couri has the sexy snarl and grinding, raw licks to light any stage aflame. Their latest is appropriately titled Boom! Dynamite. Hang on tight.
$12-14. 8:00 p.m. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave.NE, Atlanta, 30316. 404-522-3950. badearl.com
Tav Falco’s Panther Burns, Twisty Cats, Smith’s Olde Bar — Imagine Dex Romweber without the baritone voice and you’re close to the indescribable sound of Tav Falco. The irrepressible frontman has been slinging out his raw, rockabilly, circus-like garage rocking, cracked country and twisted tango since the early ‘80s without a lot of acclaim for carrying that particular musical torch. It’s all cool and you have to hand it to the guy for keeping this clearly non-commercial flame alive. Albums don’t capture his full weirdness so take this rare opportunity to get a dose of it live.
$15-27.50. 8:00 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave. NE, 30324. 404-875-1522. sobatl.com
Sarah Lee Guthrie, Eddie’s Attic — Most roots fans know Guthrie from her last name and extensive work with Johnny Irion. They have now separated personally and professionally which makes this appearance truly solo. She has a lovely, subtle voice and mixes her folksy side with more pop influences. She hasn’t released a new album, but a new song, “Dog Gone Shame,” mixes sweet, light, honky tonk with fiddle-led country for a tune that might have been penned by her legendary dad … or granddad.
$28.92. 7 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030. 404-377-4976. eddiesattic.com
Molly Burch, Christelle Bofale, The Masquerade — Singer/songwriter Burch’s music, accurately described as “torch song retro pop,” shifted from that unique style to something slicker and more commercial on 2021s Romantic Images. That’s also the sound of her recently released Daydreamer which has some ‘70s pop influences including, for better or worse, disco. Her mellifluous voice remains Burch’s biggest draw though; the new material is a leap from the intriguing indie pop she started with.
$18. 8:00 p.m. The Masquerade, 650 North Ave. NE., 30308.404-577-8178. masqueradeatlanta.com
Shinyribs, City Winery — Ex-Gourds frontman Kevin Russell has been working his Shinyribs persona since even before that outfit disbanded. His debut under the alias appeared in 2010 and since then that frisky combination of roots pop, soul, swamp, blues, country and retro rock has expanded along with the size of his band. Horns and choreographed backing singers help bring the nightly party that you really have to experience live to fully appreciate. And once you do, you’re a fan for life.
$20-45. 8:00 p.m. City Winery, Ponce City Market, 650 North Ave. NE., 30308. 404-496-3791.citywinery.com/Atlanta
Brothers Comatose, Goodnight Texas, Aisle 5 — This West Coast quintet (none named Comatose, but two of the members are brothers) takes their unplugged, percussion-free bluegrass instrumentation to play rock ’n’ roll (“Honky Tonk Woman” is a natural), soul covers, and their own originals with twangy energy. They bring the audience into the performance which makes for an unforgettable evening where the line between the band and fans is erased.|
$18. 8 p.m. Aisle 5, 1123 Euclid Ave. NE.,Atlanta 30307. 404-549-2778. aisle5atl.com
The Lil Smokies, Town Mountain, Terminal West— Bluegrass fans are in luck this week. Yesterday it was Brothers Comatose, today it’s this double bill of old time pickin’ ’n’ grinnin’. Both bands ply the retro dust of backwoods music, writing originals that split the difference between old school instrumentation and fresh originals that sound like genre classics. Either act could headline, making this a full evening of rustic playing ready to transport you back in time.
$22.50. 7:30 p.m. Terminal West, 887 West Marietta St. NW Ste. C., Atlanta, 30318. 404-876-5566. terminalwestatl.com
Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Surrender Hill, Eddie’s Attic — Just because these are two of the scene’s most talented string players doesn’t ensure that their music will be memorable. But one listen to anything Dobro master Ickes and guitarist/vocalist Hensley play and it’s obvious they were destined to work together. Country, bluegrass, blues, and always a Grateful Dead cover combine with eye-bugging instrumental prowess that created a standing ovation when recently opening for Little Feat. Arrive early for the North Georgia-based openers, whose clear, sparkling country and honky-tonk makes this a wonderful double bill.
$26.50. 7 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030. 404-377-4976. eddiesattic.com
Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, Buckhead Theatre — “Together on stage!” reads the press release! And, exclamation mark notwithstanding, this is sure to be a captivating evening. Each of these veteran singer/songwriters will dig deep into their decades long catalogs of folk/pop/alt-country, pulling out hits and obscurities, while interacting with each other. This a must-see for introspective Americana lovers.
$46-99+. 8:00 p.m. Buckhead Theater, 3110 Roswell Rd. NE, 30305. 404-843-2825. thebuckheadtheatre.com
Daniel Donato, The Loft — The show is officially billed as “Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country,” which tells you all you need to know about the young country/bluegrass/jam guitar talent’s direction. He’s prodigiously gifted on the six strings, has an amiable voice and writes hooky tunes. A new album, his second, Reflector is due out in November; you’ll get an advance listen to songs which push country music outside its boundaries by adding reverb, some psychedelia and even funky elements. And the kid can shred.
$20-30. 8:00 p.m. The Loft, 1374 West Peachtree St., Atlanta, 30309. 404-885-1365. centerstage-atlanta.com
Big Richard, Smith’s Olde Bar — The Colorado-based, all-female (that is, no one in the band is named Richard), acoustic outfit goes bluegrass one better by adding a cello to the guitar/mandolin/bass/fiddle lineup. Sumptuous four-part vocal harmonies kick the already vibrant music up a few notches. If their lone live album is any indication, this’ll be one sizzling show. Be sure to request their stunning string band cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.”
$15-20. 8:30 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave. NE, 30324. 404-875-1522. sobatl.com
Will Kimbrough, Eddie’s Attic — You may not recognize Kimbrough’s name but you’ve surely heard him on an album even if you didn’t realize it. The multi-talented musician, who “never could sit still for very long,” is an in-demand producer as well as first call guitarist for many edgy country acts. He is a member of the part-time, alt-folk supergroup Willie Sugarcapps (Eddie’s regulars) and also releases his own albums with memorable originals like “The Late Great John Prine Blues” that combine folk, country, blues and swamp music with potent results.
$20.03. 6 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030. 404-377-4976. eddiesattic.com
Durand Jones, Terminal West — The frontman for Durand Jones and the Indications loses some of the retro soul for which the band is known, shifting to a smoother, more gospel-oriented Donny Hathaway-style for his recent non-Indications solo release. His powerful voice dominates the material, incorporating everything from prison chants to the slick socio-political “Someday We’ll All Be Free” which sounds like a lost Stevie Wonder B-side.
$25-30.00. 8:00 p.m. Terminal West, 887 West Marietta St. NW Ste. C., Atlanta, 30318. 404-876-5566. terminalwestatl.com
Briscoe, Lighthearted, Smith’s Olde Bar — The two founding members of Texas folk/rockers Briscoe, Truett Heintzelman and Philip Lupton, add some friends to moderately expand their stripped-down sound for the duo‘s forthcoming ATO debut. They write catchy tunes, sing ‘em with youthful energy and don’t let excess production or instrumentation ruin the roots fun. Their harmonies are effortlessly tuneful and the songwriting is full of the life you’d hope youngsters still have. Joyful and upbeat.
$15-25. 8:00 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave. NE, 30324. 404-875-1522. sobatl.com
Suzanne Vega, City Winery — Those who only remember Vega from her “Luca” or “Tom’s Diner” hits have a lot of other great folk/pop to discover in her catalog, including 2014’s terrific, if obliquely titled, Tales From the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles. Vega’s breathy, cool, natural, vocals remain as distinctive as in the ‘70s and the songs you don’t know are as impressive as the ones you do. When she rocks out on “I Never Wear White,” she displays a seldom heard, somewhat darker side of her talents.
$50-65. 8:00 p.m. City Winery, Ponce City Market, 650 North Ave. NE., 30308. 404-496-3791. citywinery.com/Atlanta
Margaret Glaspy, Bridget Kearney, Vinyl — Brooklyn-based Glaspy’s fine new album, Echo the Diamond, returns to the edgy, blues guitar-based rock she veered from on her last release. It’s tough and poetic and her voice, which ranges from sweet to sticky, delivers these rugged songs with authority and intensity. Opener Kearney is best known as multi-instrumentalist for arena headliners Lake Street Dive, but her own albums are darker and more haunted than the pop/soul of that band. She features songs from the recent Snakes of Paradise.
$22. 8:00 p.m. Vinyl, 1374 West Peachtree St., Marietta, 30309. 404-885-1365. centerstage-atlanta.com
The Weeks, Rae and the Ragdolls, Vinyl — Kings of Leon-approved (they record for that band’s label) Southern indie rockers The Weeks revisit their first full-length Dear Bo Jackson on its 10th anniversary. The quartet’s combination of soul, pop and rock isn’t unique but they write catchy songs featuring hooks that stick and play em’ with verve and enthusiasm. Arrive early to check out the Atlanta openers whose well-crafted Go-Go’s styled pop/rock is cool and refreshing.
$18. 8:00 p.m. Vinyl, 1374 West Peachtree St., Marietta, 30309. 404-885-1365. centerstage-atlanta.com
Wire and Wood Festival, Alpharetta — This annual, multi-stage, roots gathering, featuring a handful of national acts (Marc Broussard, SUSTO) and some impressive area talent (Cicada Rhythm, Cat Ridgeway) gets better each year. It’s laid back, professionally-produced and, if the weather holds out, one of OTP’s best free festivals. You always leave with the name of a new act you’ll want to follow, which is not only part of its charm, but also the fest’s success.
$free. 5:00 p.m (Fri), 1:00 (Sat). Free. Downtown Alpharetta. wireandwoodalpharetta.com
Michael McDermott, Eddie’s Attic — Folk rocker McDermott may not be a household name, but it’s not for lack of talent or his trying. He has released solid, Springsteen-inspired, emotionally laced Americana since a 1990s debut, racking up over a dozen titles since. He will likely feature tracks from his latest, 2022’s St. Paul’s Boulevard, crammed full of 15 songs unfurling in over an hour that captures his committed, Midwestern rock as well as any of them.
$20.00. 7 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030. 404-377-4976. eddiesattic.com
Samantha Fish featuring Jesse Dayton, City Green Live — One-time blues guitarist Fish has been expanding her reach outside of the genre over the past few years. Recently she delivered a tough, tight garage rock release along with veteran Dayton titled Deathwish Blues. It reinforces her strutting attitude and moves her even further towards harder edged rock with funky, and occasionally psychedelic, overtones. It’s all killer/no filler — and should be even better live.
$free. 7:30 p.m. City Green, 1 Galambos Way., Sandy Springs, 30328. 770-206-2022. citysprings.com/city-green/experience-city-green
Mapache, Johnny Payne, The EARL — California duo Mapache captures the laid-back, ‘70s Laurel Canyon vibe as effortlessly as if they were a part of it. Sam Blasucci and Clay Finch have pitch-perfect harmonies; the music is a combination of Grateful Dead, the Everly Brothers and Flying Burritos; and the calm, flowing songs on their new fifth album glide and hover. Sweet and subtle.
$16-18. 8:30 p.m. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave.NE, Atlanta, 30316. 404-522-3950. badearl.com
The Church, Variety Playhouse — It’s unclear why there isn’t more love and respect for these Australian indie rockers. They created a unique, detached, warm, rather psychedelic guitar sound over the decades and, with a new album just released (somewhere around their 26th), have seldom deviated from that dreamy approach. Founder/singer/songwriter/bassist/frontman Steve Kilby is the only original member, but he effectively carries the tradition into the band’s 42nd year … and they still sound like no one else.
$25-160. 8:00 p.m. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. NE. Atlanta, 30307. 404-504-7354. variety-playhouse.com
Atlanta Blues Society Gathering and Jam, Will Henry’s Tavern — It’s that time again. Meet ’n’ greet and trade stories with your favorite local blues artists — and with other area blues fans — with the music of Five Long Years. Musicians! Bring your instruments for the closing jam.
$Free. 3:00 p.m. Will Henry’s Tavern, 1228 Rockridge Rd., Stone Mountain, 30087. 678-741-8898. atlantabluessociety.org
St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Classic City Wrestling, The Eastern— Over the course of a decade and five albums, Birmingham, Alabama’s Paul Janeway-led, horn-enhanced outfit has shifted from soulful, gospel infused rock to artsy, indie-inspired music. Their lyrics are increasingly oblique. The songs now twist in edgy directions that wouldn’t have fit onto the group’s earliest releases. Regardless, Janeway remains a riveting frontman whose falsetto approaches Prince territory — and these guys know how to deliver their Southern soul goods live.
$37.50-43. 8:00 p.m. The Eastern, 777 Memorial Dr. SE., Atlanta, 30316. easternatl.com
The Cadillac Three, Terminal West— This Nashville trio funnels Southern rock through a tough funk attitude that borrows liberally from latter day ZZ Top, albeit without the flashy sports cars and beards. It’s a loud, hard-hitting sound they accurately describe as “country fuzz.” With over a decade of playing live, they can torch a stage in their sleep. More pickup truck than Cadillac, but an enjoyable ride in either case.
$22. 8:00 p.m. Terminal West, 887 West Marietta St. NW Ste. C., Atlanta, 30318. 404-876-5566. terminalwestatl.com
The Handsome Family, Drunken Prayer, The EARL — The “family” is the married couple of Brett and Rennie Sparks who create a dark, often unsettling combination of gloomy country, indie rock and folk. Lyrically literate and musically sparse, they carve out a sound that borrows from Johnny and June at their most portentous without sounding much like them. It’s creative and artsy, but unpretentious music, and to their credit, over the course of about a dozen releases, they haven’t gotten slicker or more commercial.
$18-21. 8:00 p.m. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave.NE, Atlanta, 30316. 404-522-3950. badearl.com
Allison Russell, Terminal West— Chicago soul and roots singer Russell first generated attention as one half of Birds of Chicago, then as a member of the Rhiannon Giddens-led Our Native Daughters. She reached critical mass on 2021s solo debut Outside Child, one of that year’s most striking Americana debuts. Her new album The Returner is already generating raves for Russell’s husky, Aretha-styled voice and potent R&B/gospel infused soul. Don’t miss this chance to see her in a small venue.
$25-30. 8:00 p.m. Terminal West, 887 West Marietta St. NW Ste. C., Atlanta, 30318. 404-876-5566. terminalwestatl.com
Jono Manson, Rootstock— The blues/pop singer songwriter goes solo for this date, assisted by Thomas Hinds. Like Keb’ Mo’, his upbeat roots pop/rock goes down easy, helped by an easygoing voice and decades of live experience (his debut appeared in 1998). He will feature songs from a terrific recent release Stars Enough to Guide Me.
$TBA. 8:00 p.m. Rootstock, 8558 Main St., Woodstock, 30188. 770-544-9009. rootstocknow.com
Seth Walker, Eddie’s Attic — Even if you’re not a fan of Walker’s bluesy, relaxed, roots pop, it’s impossible not to leave one of his shows without feeling better than when you entered. He’s an affable yet magnetic performer, always has a cool duo supporting him and delivers his songs with an irresistible offhand energy. He is a frequent Atlanta visitor and makes new fans each time through. Once you see him, you’ll want to return, and bring friends, when he appears next.
$20.03. 7 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030. 404-377-4976. eddiesattic.com
The Bones of J.R. Jones, Eddie’s Attic — Jonathon Linaberry, aka J.R. Jones, combines a punky form of blues with dark county and stripped-down, throbbing rock for a uniquely taut, pulsating and menacing vibe. He doesn’t release many albums, but he’s touring to support a new one, Slow Lightning, the title of which captures the skulking atmosphere of his rugged, often moody approach. This is the perfect venue to experience it in too.
$22.25. 9 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030. 404-377-4976. eddiesattic.com
Jeremie Albino, Benjamin Dakota Rogers, Smith’s Olde Bar — You never know what happens when a major label gets hold of an indie folk/country rocker, but it doesn’t usually work out well when bean counters get involved. Thankfully Albino has kept his organic, unaffected sound intact as he releases his first album, Tears You Hide for the mammoth Republic label. His plaintive, sweeping voice and engaging, introspective tunes feel lived-in and authentic. Let’s hope he keeps it that way.
$15-25. 8:00 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave. NE, 30324. 404-875-1522. sobatl.com
Highball, Pullman Yards — This oddly named two-day festival of edgy Americana acts and indie rockers is curated by Athens’ The Futurebirds, who, not surprisingly play both nights. The lineups are impressive with this night’s headliners Band of Horses getting support from Seratones, T Hardy Morris and others.
$95-225. 8:00 p.m. Pullman Yards, 1225 Rogers St. NE, 30317. https://www.highball.live /
Highball, Pullman Yards — This oddly named two-day festival of edgy Americana acts and indie rockers is curated by Athens’ The Futurebirds, who, not surprisingly, play both nights. The lineups are impressive with this night’s’s headliners The Head and the Heart supported by openers The Whigs, S.G. Goodman and others.
$95-225. 8:00 p.m. Pullman Yards, 1225 Rogers St. NE, 30317. https://www.highball.live /
Hot Club of Cowtown, City Winery — This veteran acoustic trio (two of its founders remain on board) has been playing their energetic, spirited, combination of western swing, rockabilly, and hot jazz since 1998’s debut. Like Asleep at the Wheel, they have stuck to their music guns regardless of current trends. The musicianship is incredible and, with a dry sense of humor reminiscent of Dan Hicks, this is guaranteed to be a great time. Perhaps the sit-down atmosphere of the venue isn’t quite right for music that demands dancing, but this’ll be a ton of fun nonetheless.
$18-25. 8:00 p.m. City Winery, Ponce City Market, 650 North Ave. NE., 30308. 404-496-3791. citywinery.com/Atlanta
Coco Montoya, Eddie’s Attic — Blues rocking journeyman Montoya, a veteran of Albert Collins’ and John Mayall’s bands, has been slinging out sizzling licks on a steady stream of solo albums beginning in 1995. His playing pounds and shakes, his vocals are as tough as the riffs, and all of it is displayed on a rugged new album Writing on the Wall, his first in four years. Tinsley Ellis fans take note, this guy is on fire..
$46.17. 7 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030. 404-377-4976. eddiesattic.com
Rodney Crowell, City Winery — It’s “The Chicago Sessions” tour, named after the title of singer/songwriter Crowell’s newest release. He was a known quantity even before his 1977 debut due to his membership in Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band. Nearly two dozen solo albums later, Crowell is still writing terrific Americana tunes in a style (part country, folk, rock and roll and blues) he helped define. It’s always fascinating to hear what he plucks from his swollen catalog on any given evening.
$50-65. 8:00 p.m. City Winery, Ponce City Market, 650 North Ave. NE., 30308. 404-496-3791. citywinery.com/Atlanta
Graham Nash, Variety Playhouse—It’s the “60 Years of Songs and Stories” tour, and Nash has lots of both to draw from during this two night stand. You’ll get the hits, starting with the always affable Nash’s days in The Hollies, through his most recent solo release, this year’s Now, along with stories he has probably articulated in his autobiography and some of his famous photos throughout the decades. If you’re a fan of Nash’s sing-along, often socio-political folk rock, this is as good as it gets.
$49.50. 8:00 p.m. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. NE. Atlanta, 30307. 404-504-7354. variety-playhouse.com
Lucas Nelson and POTR, Buckhead Theatre — Willie’s son is nearly as popular as his dad, at least in Americana circles of younger fans who may not even be aware of his family lineage. He and his POTR (Promise of the Real) mates have toured as Neil Young’s band, but afterward released a steady stream of engaging albums, the newest of which, Sticks and Stones arrived in July. Like many in the Americana field, he combines his dad’s pure country with a folksy sound that goes down easy and even includes strains of pop, best exemplified on his lively duet with Lainey Wilson. And yeah, his voice is similar to pop’s.
$34-39+. 8:00 p.m. Buckhead Theater, 3110 Roswell Rd. NE, 30305. 404-843-2825. thebuckheadtheatre.com
Cat Clyde, Smith’s Olde Bar — Canadian born and raised roots singer/songwriter Clyde combines country with rockabilly and folk for a heady, intriguing mix best displayed on her new album Down Rounder. She’s influenced by Patsy Cline and Gillian Welch too, singing with a high lonesome, intoxicating intensity that should make her more famous than she is. Catch her on the way up.
$15-22.50. 8:00 p.m. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave. NE, 30324. 404-875-1522. sobatl.com
Carrie Newcomer, Eddie’s Attic — Folk singer Newcomer has been mesmerizing audiences with her supple alto voice since her first album appeared in 1991. She was in her early thirties at the time and now that she may be ready to sign up for Medicare, her approach hasn’t changed much. That’s not an issue since her songs remain as pure, affecting and intimate as those on her new album, A Great Wild Mercy. She hasn’t lost her knack for creating music that’s beautifully crafted and she’s a riveting performer too.
$43.95. 3 and 8 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030. 404-377-4976. eddiesattic.com
Lauren Calve, Joey Frendo, Eddie’s Attic — It has taken nearly five years for roots singer/songwriter Calve to release her debut full length (she has a few EPs), but now that it’s finally here, it’s clear that the prep time was put to good use. Her ringing songs — think Tom Petty and Sheryl Crow at their most melodic — are crisp and her voice reveals a confidence rare for an artist this early in her career. Opener Frendo is also introducing his first album, a solid folk/pop/twang collection sung with lots of soul.
$16.68. 6 p.m. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 30030. 404-377-4976. eddiesattic.com
Jonathan Richman, Terminal West — “LIVE! ON STAGE: JONATHAN RICHMAN featuring TOMMY LARKINS on the drums!!” is how the show is billed. And the all caps font with that double exclamation point is likely a joke on how stripped down and offhand Richman’s show is. Now in his 70s, he’s been doing a version of the innocent alt/folk/pop thing for forty-something years. He warns “do not expect old songs,” so you’re likely to get obscure tunes sung/warbled in Spanish or French along with his more recently-written material. Nevertheless, he’s a charming, idiosyncratic performer whose childlike whimsy remains delightful or cloying depending on your mood.
$25. 8:00 p.m. Terminal West, 887 West Marietta St. NW Ste. C., Atlanta, 30318. 404-876-5566. terminalwestatl.com
Bob Log lll, Michael Myerz, The EARL — Either you’re prepared for the unpredictable at a Bob Log lll show or you shouldn’t be there. He wears his traditional motorcycle helmet, outfitted with a mic and hides behind dark sunglasses as he pounds out thumping beats on a sparse cocktail drum set, and grinds/slashes his guitar with an elemental form of discordant raw blues rock that makes Captain Beefheart sound like Kenny Wayne Shepherd. If this is something that piques your interest, he’s been at it long enough (his first album appeared in 1998) to at least know what he’s doing. And occasionally he delivers some serious, dark delta blues that’s cool and chilling. Of course he may not do that. Either way, it’s a show you won’t forget.
$13-15. 8:00 p.m. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave.NE, Atlanta, 30316. 404-522-3950. badearl.com
Please send upcoming blues events to consider for CL’s Blues & Beyond concert calendar to firstname.lastname@example.org.