At 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20
Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St. $8
Blake Christiana grew up in Schenectady, N.Y. with a hippie dad who exposed his son to the acoustic, country-flavored tunes of mid-period Grateful Dead, as well as Jerry Garcia's bluegrass offshoot, Old & in the Way.
Making his way through the years, Christiana - who's 36 now - grew fond of Willie Nelson, which, naturally, led him back to the classic country artists of the 1940s and ‘50s. A natural fit for a budding singer, guitarist and songwriter.
With his buddies Trevor MacArthur (guitar and vocals) and Andrew Hendryx (mandolin, harmonica), Christiana formed Blake & the Family Dog, which started as a trio but quickly blossomed into the Brooklyn-based Yarn, a softly-rocking acoustic band that today includes Rod Hohl (electric guitar), Rick Bugel (bass) and Robert Bonhomme (drums).
Yarn's music is harmonious, the lyrics clever, the harmonies sublime. Here's how Christiana responded to Jambase's question about what the band does, exactly: "It's tough to describe because it bounces around all over the place. It's country, it's rock, it's got a bit of bluegrass feel, and occasionally some gospel creeps in. We jam, but not endlessly, and you'll never hear the same show twice." See yarnmusic.net
With Dare Dukes + The Blackstock Collection, Jubalson
At 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19
The Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave.
"Contemplating peace can be exhausting/Thinking about our transgressions and what they're costin,'" Janet Elizabeth Simpson sings on "Be Sweet," a track on the Delicate Cutters' recently-released second album Some Creatures.
From Birmingham, Ala., this indie-folk quartet took its name from one of Kristin Hersh's starkest tunes, "Delicate Cutters," from the debut Throwing Muses album.
While she certainly contemplates her transgressions, and those of others, Simpson doesn't wallow in morbid self-pity like Hersh in her darkest dreams. The uptempo tunes on Some Creatures, like the jaunty "May As Well" and the swinging, poppy "Me and the Birds" take the edge off the sporadic melancholy of the record.
The title track is a supple combination of sweet melody, piano, synthesized rhythms and trans-planetary strings. It closes the album, a bittersweet coda to one of the more interesting - and intriguing - DIY records of 2011.
Delicate Cutters' deep textures are provided by fiddler Kevin Nicholson, its swing and sway by drummer Chance Shirley. Bassist Brian Moon produced Some Creatures, which is populated by one delicate cut after another. See delicate-cutters.com
ALL THAT JAZZ AGAIN
The Telfair Jazz Society began back in 1978, and has since morphed into the Coastal Jazz Association - keeping jazz alive in Savannah through monthly concerts, an annual festival and periodic special events. This Sunday (Jan. 22), Telfair co-founders Ben Tucker (bass) and Teddy Adams (trombone) front a band that includes pianist Kevin Bales, drummer Quentin Baxter and vocalists Val Davis and Claire Frazier. The free 5 p.m. concert at the Westin Resort, and it's being billed as a "Rent Party" - the organization is a little short of cash this year, so they're asking for donations at the door ....