HOLY GHOST TENT REVIVAL
At 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 23
Wormhole Bar, 2307 Bull St.
The first band that came to my mind when I heard this North Carolina six-piece was Little Feat. Maybe it was the irreverent lyrics, the swinging Mardi Gras atmosphere (banjo and trombone alert), the hot boogie-woogie piano or the free-wheeling, fun-loving and blues-inflected vocals. Ah, but there's straight-ahead Americana, a bit of bluegrass, and a lot of tunes that - maybe because of that irrepressible ‘bone - sound like rocked-up Dixieland or Vaudeville. "We like a lot of music," bandleader (and banjo man) Stephen Murray told an interviewer. "There's no reason why we can't write a rock song or a Dixieland song. We're ragtime and rock ‘n' roll." HGTR - the guys came together as UNC Greensboro students - has two studio albums, So Long I Screamed and Family, and there's also a live one called Northbound at Southpaw. See holyghosttentrevival.com
At 8 p.m. Saturday, March 26
Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park St.
With its quirky blend of abstract folk, modal jazz and psychedelia, San Francisco's Big Tree would have fit right into the lineup of the recently-wrapped Savannah Stopover Festival. If you're a fan of our own General Oglethorpe & the Panhandlers, this band is sort of like that - it's just that the weirdness is expanded a bit (and hey, the Panhandlers are opening this show, so everything seems to be cosmically correct). The band, which began in New York before relocating out west, crossed the county in 2010 in a van powered by vegetable oil. Just thought I'd throw that in there. See bigtreesings.com
CHECK IT OUT
On its very first U.S. tour, the Israeli art-rock band Eat Liz has a Wormhole date March 26, with Consider the Source ("Sci fi Middle Eastern Fusion"). The 8 p.m. bill also includes Domino Effect and the Quincy Mumford Band ... Live Wire's got Deepwater Soul Society, the high-energy Charleston rock aggregate, both Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26 (with the avant-jazz Dirk Quinn Band sharing the marquee for the Saturday show ... Some can't miss coolness on parade: Dare Dukes and the Blackstock Collection and Holopaw (from Gainesville, Fla.) at the Sentient Bean Saturday .