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Eric Culberson Blues Band

Local guitarist Eric Culberson has been a full-time musician for over a decade now. He’s released two studio efforts, been the house act at one of the city’s only blues-themed nightclubs, and weathered a serious arm injury that almost destroyed his career.

Now, with Stuart Lusk on drums, and relative newcomer Nate Saraceno on bass, the vocalist and frontman is calling the current incarnation of his eponymous band the most versatile lineup he’s ever enjoyed. His brand-new concert CD Live At The Bamboo Room was taped last year in front of a packed house of rabid fans in Florida, and finds the charismatic stringbender hitting a new high in terms of comfort, sass, and braggadocio. If there was ever a time to introduce (or reacquaint) oneself to (or with) his stage show, now would be it. That album will be unveiled, and available for sale at this earlier-than-usual show. Wed., 8 pm (music at 9 pm), Mercury Lounge.



This Phoenix, Az. quartet – who’s toured with their own local heroes Jimmy Eat World, as well as At The Drive-In, Further Seems Forever and From Autumn To Ashes – dropped one indie disc before hitting the majors. Their Virgin debut Morning Over Midnight hits stores next January, but they’re already pushing it hard, playing showcase clubs like this as well as crappy dives and pizza parlors in podunk towns. It’s all part of an effort to earn the hard-won street cred that’s a must these days if a band’s gonna win over the “patches and tats”set.

They’re more diverse than most of their hard-rocking brethren – acoustic strumming and contemplative lyrics are sprinkled liberally amongst the metallic, distorted guitar textures and processed, squashed drum sounds. At times, they even openly court mainstream pop stardom, while refusing to ditch stadium rock pretension altogether (a common thread among bands who’ve graced the Warped Tour stage, as they have).

Press comparisons to both the Foo Fighters and Green Day are fairly apt. Like those groups, Fivespeed try to exploit the cracks and fissures that exist in what has become a rather sad and stale genre. Whether they succeed, or become yet another big-budget write-off remains to be seen. In the meantime, they put on as polished and engaging a rawk show as you’ll find at this level of the biz in late 2005. Wed., Monkey Business (Hilton Head).

New Found Road

These rising stars on the Gospel Bluegrass circuit (they hit #1 on those charts) have been turning heads at clubs, festivals and churches for the past 4 years. With their latest CD (and 1st secular effort) they’re crossing over into the mainstream Acoustic format, and recently had the #1 Bluegrass song.

Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine says the record is “an exceptional release” that stands apart from others through the group’s soulful and – at times – bluesey vocal delivery, which caused the magazine to opine that in that regard, “the group is as strong as they come.” Advance tickets are available by calling (912) 748-1930. Fri., 7:30 pm, Randy Wood’s Pickin’ Parlor (Bloomingdale).


While plenty of folks are complaining that Kanye West backed out of a gig at this school, others will be thrilled that this 18-year-old Atlantan is more than game to make an appearance. Dubbed The 1st Lady of Crunk & B by Lil’ Jon himself, her debut CD (featuring the hit single “Goodies”) is being touted as a collection of paeans to female empowerment. However, she’s referred to by her own handlers as “eye candy,” and is constantly promoted as a sex object. Male Georgia Southern students should also be happy to know that she’s looking for “a round-the-way dude in an F-150 pickup with a crazy banging system.” With Bobby Valentino and David Banner (not The Hulk). Fri., 7 pm, Georgia Southern’s Paulson Stadium (Statesboro).

Vermillion X

Perhaps it’s the dark and moody tonalities of the majority of their recorded work, or the frustratingly low-key way in which they’ve promoted themselves that have kept more people from paying serious attention to this offbeat local alternative rock act. Then again, maybe it’s been the perplexing (bordering on shameful) treatment they’ve received from certain venues who couldn’t be bothered to give them a true shot at developing a following. Whatever the reason, this female-fronted quartet inhabits a niche of our scene that no one else seems willing to take a crack at: densely-layered late ‘80s jangle-pop that’s more bitter than sicky-sweet. Though their live show could definitely use a good B-12 shot from time to time, developing stage presence comes with experience in front of crowds – something they’ve deserve plenty more of. Tired of punk, metal and jam bands? Catch these guys while you still can. Sat., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean.


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Jim Reed

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