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The Robbie Ducey Band

I’m always surprised when people say they hate the blues, as it’s truly a genre in which one can find almost endless variations without looking too awfully hard.

Whether it’s the rotgut, ass-kicking side of the blues favored by the late Hound Dog Taylor, or the schmaltzy, Vegas testifying of B.B. King, or the half-pickled tall tales favored by Sam “Lightning” Hopkins, there are so many sides to the blues it’s almost round.

Guitarist and vocalist Robbie Ducey – whose family has roots in Savannah – lists the late Curtis Mayfield as a major inspiration. He favors an organ-drenched style of electric blues typified by the late ‘80s and early ‘90s output of crossover stars like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robert Cray.

It’s a soulful approach that’s obviously informed by rock and roll, yet still retains just enough grit to qualify as the real deal.

Ducey’s band knows how to inhabit a groove without stepping on each other’s toes. Their most recent album is called Down Right Dirty Shame, and it can be ordered online from CDBaby.com.

Take a minute to go to that great site and preview some of the band’s tracks. If you enjoy solid, modern, unpretentious blues, I think there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself making plans to attend this rare one nighter. Sat., Savannah Blues.

The Rosebuds, Tracy Shedd

I’ve listened to The Rosebuds debut CD Make Out dozens of times since the good folks at Merge Records sent me a copy, and I’m here to tell you that it deserves all the accolades it’s been raking in from reviewers worldwide.

With it’s go-go beats, earnest handclaps, distorted drums, and vintage keyboard sounds, it sounds like some great lost supersession where The Feelies jammed with the original Modern Lovers on a bunch of Standells b-sides.

Live, the trio sacrifices precision for power, but they still get their hypnotic pre-punk melodies over with conviction.

Opening up is Tracy Shedd, a rootsy Jacksonville alt.rock band named for their frontwoman (who previously cut solo albums for Teenbeat). They make a fine addition to the bill. Great, great stuff. Thurs., The Jinx.

Chris Cook's Dark World Cabaret & Body Painting Fest

Local impresario Chris Cook has made throwing ribald theme parties a part-time gig for years, and now I’m told he’s quit his day job to live full-time as a Savannah scenemaker. While that may seem an unlikely career move, if he concentrates on high-profile happenings like this one, he may just keep the lights on.

Using such hoary come-ons as “Beautiful Bellydancers performing for your pleasure,” *Fabulous Fire Spinners breathing flames of passion,” and “Gorgeous Body Painters designing art upon living skin,” this 21+ spectacle centers around the fire worshipping antics of Incus, an intense and theatrical Boston goth band that has played throughout the country at nightclubs, fire festivals and pagan gatherings.

Their tribal dance music has been called dark and ominous, but according to the band, “if Incus is dark, than it is dark like the woods under a full moon: unexpectedly bright, full of brilliant stars, inviting, warm, natural and seductive.”

If you’re a fan of Tool, Diamanda Galas, Bauhaus or even David Sylvian’s Japan, if you’ve seen Backdraft several times (and not for Billy Baldwin), or if you just dig getting half naked while a complete stranger paints swirly lines on your undulating flesh – this has got your name written all over it. Fri., Velouria.

Yonrico Scott & Friends

This in-demand Atlanta session man has gigged with everyone from Aretha to Kansas and from Andy Gibb to MC Hammer. Think about that for a minute.

Since 1995, he’s been the drummer for Derek Trucks’ outstanding Southern fusion band, but during downtime he leads his own hard-swinging jam projects like this one. Those who appreciate free-flowing organic music that draws from the worlds of jazz, rock, blues, funk and soul, will likely get a thrill out of the interplay between Scott and his top-notch sidemen. This show reinforces Cagney’s as the place for adventurous improv rock in Savannah. Sat., JJ Cagney’s.

Justin Beckler

Wake Up Process, the debut CD from this Orlando-based songwriter is a tremendous accomplishment for an unsigned artist. The singer describes the album as “a work of commitment and love,” and boy, does it ever show.

A thick and meticulously arranged effort, it takes his songs – primarily based around his acoustic and electric guitar and percussion (both real and sampled) – and fleshes them out with special guest Amy Steinberg’s keyboard work and copious amounts of vocal overdubs. The result recalls both Kurt Ralske’s Ultra Vivid Scene and vintage Primal Scream as much as it does The Smashing Pumpkins and early ‘90s U2.

Like Peter Gabriel, PJ Harvey, and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Beckler hangs out in vocal spaces most singers don’t even have the nerve to visit. Whether he can pull that off live is another matter, but it’s probably worth showing up to find out.

People who work this hard at their art deserve to be seen and heard.Thurs., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean.

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Jim Reed

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