I cant say enough how great this local blooze combo has become. Whether they meant to or not, they're played together so much over the past few months that the sound of the group has finally morphed into something altogether different from what they might even have hoped for. Its not straight-up Delta boogie anymore, nor is it Dylan and Tom Waits--influenced moonshiner rawk (although theres still plenty of that deconstructionist angle on display). No, these days, the group veers blissfully close to the sort of raging, psychedelic proto-punk typified by The Leaves, Love, and other Nuggets-era rotgut polyglots. The simpatico thats developed between the members is fascinating to watch (especially the interplay between drummer Jason Cecik and guitarist Ray Lundy), and the reckless abandon with which they tear through their unique, amped-up arrangements of standards, obscure gems and originals is thrilling to behold. Wed., 10 pm, Savannah Blues + Thurs., 9 pm, Fiddlers Crab House + Fri., 9 pm, The Mansion on Forsyth Park + Sun., 9 pm, Fiddlers Crab House.
Buzzworthy local indie band, whose take on reggae and hip-hop-inspired rock (think Michael Franti, with whom theyve jammed) is as infectious as it is carefully finessed. They play on the road more than in their own hometown, and with professional management in tow seemed bound and determined for some measure of regional and perhaps national notoriety. Fri., 10 pm, Locos Deli & Pub (Downtown).
The Chuck Courtenay Band
Much like his brother (and longtime musical collaborator) Jason has been doing over the past year or so, this local acoustic guitarist and singer is rapidly recasting himself as a convincing frontman for a full, electric C & W band, and as a budding country songwriter, to boot. The current lineup of his backing group reads like a whos who of some of the areas most experienced and tasteful players, and their latest demo stands out as one of the most commercially viable and in-the-pocket recordings of any local country bar band that Ive ever heard. All the elements which make for shiny, radio-friendly honky-tonk are firmly in place: tinkly, Floyd Cramer-esque piano runs, flashy pedal steel licks that chirp and flutter in the background like a tipsy whippoorwill, solid timekeeping, and the occasional red-hot slide guitar line. Chucks country drawl can come off a tad affected, but then again, finding your own voice is perhaps the hardest thing one can do in this genre, and theres still plenty of time. Fri. - Sat., 9 pm, Tubbys (Thunderbolt).
If you missed out on nabbing a seat for Thursday nights Jerry Seinfeld gig (virtually sold out at presstime), this high-profile show may make a fine consolation prize. As one of the original Kings Of Comedy, this ballsy black standup comic parlayed his tremendous underground success into mainstream fame. He now boasts his own syndicated morning radio show, a travel agency, and a line of dapper mens suits (only slightly funkier than Johnny Carsons). Now hes touring behind his first-ever full-length concert film and its based around a brilliant marketing concept: the famously foul-mouthed Harvey forces himself to work clean in front of a massive arena of church folk. Its a gutsy move that provides plenty of dramatic tension, while simultaneously exploiting both the growing demand for wholesome-but-edgy Christian-based entertainment and his traditionally loyal, family-oriented African-American fanbase. No word on whether or not this local appearance will be at all blue. With opening act Nephew Tommy. Sat., 8 pm, Johnny Mercer Theatre.
All Night Drug Prowling Wolves
This brand-new Atlanta group channels the rock fury and pop overtones of late 70s British punks like The Clash and The Jam. While this is only their 4th show (and 1st on the road), singer Tom Cheshire and guitarist Marlow Sanchez both played the hell out of this venue when it was called the Velvet Elvis and they were in the beloved (and now defunct) Rent Boys. Opening are fellow Atlantans Beat Beat Beat, who do a great job of approximating the snotty fervor of old-school NYC punk like The Dead Boys or The New York Dolls. Sat., 10 pm, The Jinx.
Anyone who lists Big Star, Afghan Whigs and Ann Peebles as key influences has to be up to something tuff. This sultry and soulful Memphis singer/songwriter is a serious contender for best undiscovered rock singer in the South. A backup vocalist for Lenny Kravitz and John Doe among others, she showed up Norah Jones and Lucinda Williams at a Gram Parsons Tribute a few years back and won a Memphis Grammy in 2003 for Best Female Vocalist. No word on how her live show compares to her studio work, but this just could wind up as one of the better shows this room sees in 2006. Sun., 9 pm, The Sentient Bean.