This buzzworthy and funky Charleston power trio has only been around for a short while, but has already established themselves for their impressive abilities on their instruments (including drums, slide guitar, bass, organ, piano and synth), and for their strong sense of groove. It probably helps that two of them are brothers. In their brief professional career, they’ve already shared bills with Santana, Crosby Stills & Nash, O.A.R., Aerosmith and Derek Trucks. They’re an adventurous outfit that’s said to be enjoying a steadily growing following here based on their live shows. Fri., 9:30 pm, Tantra Lounge.
This way-cool ex Berklee Grad from Virginia independently released a debut CD (Too Young To Play The Blues) a while back that’s a furious backwater slide guitar workout that’s easily better than half the shit Fat Possum’s put out for years. With a wink and a nod to vintage Yardbirds, Time Out of Mind-era Dylan (think “Million Miles” hopped-up on Texas medicine and railroad gin) and even a sideways glance at the spirit of PJ Harvey’s trashcan demos, on tape, Arum Rae Valkonen is beyond bewitching. Seems she’s recently relocated to Savannah, and it would seem the local music scene is all the better for it. Also on this bill, the somber, minor-key, Shins-ian melodrama of Charleston-based indie-rock act A Decent Animal. Fri., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean - ALL-AGES.
This noteworthy local jazz trio is something of an anomaly for a number of reasons. First, it features a husband-and-wife duo (Jackson and Maggie Evans). He plays guitar, and she bass. Second, they mix up well-known standards and Latin-tinged covers (Maggie also often gigs with regional Latin percussionist David Lugo’s up-and-coming combo) with a sizable batch their own original, slightly blues-oriented compositions. Maggie adds beguiling, breathy vocals to many of their numbers, and the whole thing is rooted in ace, classically-trained percussionist Mark Cordray’s impressive skills behind the trap set. Their recently released debut CD is a standout among local jazz efforts, and they seem poised for a long, solid, creative run. They’re a perfect match for this delightful second-story hardwood bar in one of downtown’s swankiest hotels. Sat., 9 pm, Mansion on Forsyth Park.
Coming off the release of their second album (and the first to get a serious nationwide push), this relatively unique and entrancing Athens indie-rock band seems to be turning heads around the country as quickly as they have regionally. Alternately dreamy and chaotic, their influences (Modest Mouse, The Cure, Postal Service, Death Cab For Cutie) combine to become something more than merely the sum of their parts — and yet one can’t help but thinking that they’re either playing it a bit safe, or perhaps reaching some sort of artistic plateau fairly early on. This may just be due to the sophomore album jinx, which is not to suggest that their latest effort seems a misstep or a disappointment. Far from it. I just can’t help but enjoy the seeming innocence of the first record a bit more. Regardless, there is definitely a rebirth of sorts going on in Athens these days, and this band is right in the thick of it. Also on this bill: Richmond, Va.’s lush and refreshingly unpredictable shimmery shoegaze act Cinemasophia (featuring former SCADRadio Music Director John Merchant), and Slow Runner, an indie-rock act from Charleston (who cites retro-power-poppers Keane as a key musical influence). Thurs., 10 pm, Guitar Bar.