THE RED RIVER/DARE DUKES
At 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4
The Wormhole Bar, 2307 Bull St. With Brandon Nelson McCoy
Maybe it was the unexpected clarinets, shy trombones and muted trumpets, or perhaps it was the subtle strings that came in from somewhere in the back of the sound picture. Most likely, what made me love The Red River's Little Songs About the Big Picture is the way these gentle, acoustic songs wash over the listener like waves on the shore of some pleasant dreamscape. Singer/songwriter Bill Roberts heads this chamber pop collective from Southern California; full of guitars, pianos, and sweet boy-girl singalongs, it's minimalist acoustic music that tells sweet stories about the tiniest details - little songs, you see, about the big picture - and it reminds me a lot of Sufjan Stevens at his least pretentious, or Savannah's very own Dare Dukes, who happens to be sharing this evening's bill with The Red River. See myspace.com/theredriver.
At 11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5
The Jinx, 127 W. Congress St. With Cough, K. Lloyd & the Disciples. $10
First things first: K. Lloyd & the Disciples is an acoustic swamp/blues side project of Kirk Fisher, the North Carolina guitarist who fronts the legendary sludge/noise powerhouse Buzzov-en. So yes, he's opening his own show.
This is the first Buzzov-en tour in 12 years; Fisher, a famously wild man, had some nasty personal stuff to deal with, but he says he's ready to start slamming again. "I'm actually looking forward to re-tapping the angst and now, at least more clearheaded it should be coming from the raw anger that I, as well as many, deal with daily just trudging through life," he said recently.
Based in Richmond, Va., Cough is a sludge band with a molten new album, Ritual Abuse, on Relapse. See cough666.info, myspace.com/buzzovernx
CHECK IT OUT
At Hang Fire on the 4th, The Grand Prize Winners From Last Year, besides having the coolest name of all time, is perhaps Atlanta's freshest and funkiest band. Hip hop and rock ‘n' roll collide in fascinating, and purely energy-fueled, ways. Hey, Platipus Jones, K. Slaughter, Believe and Whiteshoes Blue: Any band that covers Prince's "Darling Nikki" is OK with us ... Can't get enough of a good thing Dept.: Charleston's Sol Driven Train returns to the Live Wire Thursday (Feb. 3), just two months and change since their last visit. The band plays "an adventuresome combination of Americana, reggae-tinged rock and world beat with a kind of swampy R&B funkiness" - that's what I said last time, and guess what, it's still true. SDT is like a young, hungry (and healthy) Grateful Dead, with an emphasis on energy and an eclectic approach to jamming ...