With a cult following as big as his adoptive home state of Colorado, singer/songwriter Jerry Joseph is one of those guys you've probably never heard of, but throw enough stones and you'll hit someone who has.
A marble-mouthed, guitar-wielding performer whose rich, lyrical songs often invoke historical (and hysterical) figures, Joseph fronted the Rocky Mountain reggae band Little Women, and during his stay in Utah, he had a crunch/hardcore outfit called the Jackmormons. The band relocated to Oregon and (almost) conquered the world.
These days, he lives in New York City, tours in duos and trios, and as a solo (which is the way he'll play this Live Wire show).
Conscious Contact, the Jackmormons' 2002 release, was produced by Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools (Joseph and Schools did a brief tour of Europe together, calling themselves the Stockholm Syndrome). Joseph, and the still-gigging Jackmormons, are friendly with the Panic boys, and often appear on the same jam-band festival bills.
Joseph's been around so long, he claims he doesn't even know how many records he's put out. What he does know, for sure, is that his records aren't paying the bills - that's why he tours, and tours constantly. "I'm also getting involved with stuff like MySpace and Facebook," he told an interviewer. "All these tools I kind of avoided for a long time, because, well, I didn't need to talk to someone I slept with in 1986.
"There's got to be a way to navigate that effectively and still have a life. So many musicians seem to sit around and monitor their own shit; I'd rather monitor what TV On the Radio's up to than my own shit." Listen & learn: www.jerryjoseph.com.
At 10 p.m. Friday, April 2 at Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St. Bret Mosley opens. $12.
With hillbilly teeth, an extremely weird haircut and music that sounds like blues, Appalachian, punk and metal when it's all been mixed in a blender, Joe Buck - also known as Joe Buck Yourself - is certainly on of Nashville's most original exports. He gained notoriety as Hank Williams III's standup bass-playing foil in the Damn Band, and in Assjack (he was also the brains behind Tennessee's snarling Legendary Shack Shakers). Buck is now a "bona fide evil motherfucking one man band" (his description) who plays guitar and drums, at the same time, sings and screams and glares maniacally. Think of Gary Busey in The Buddy Holly Story, drop some acid in his coffee, and you get the idea. Listen & learn: www.joebuckyourself.com.
At 11 p.m. Friday, April 2 at the Jinx, 127 W. Congress St.
LUBRIPHONIC/YO MAMA'S BIG FAT BOOTY BAND
From the mean streets (and the blues clubs) of Chicago comes the mighty Lubriphonic, a funk/soul band with the combined chops of seven of the Windy City's hottest young players. Band founder (and lead singer) Giles Corey is a smoking-hot guitarist whose shredding licks dive like kamikaze planes into the phat lines of the three-member Lubriphonic horn section - his work reminds me of the late Terry Kath, who worked wonders in another horn-based band from northern Illinois. Maybe you remember them - Chicago Transit Authority? The rhythm section is unstoppable. Lubriphonic opens this show for North Carolina's delightfully-named Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, which - along with its own fusion-inspired originals - makes a joyful, funky noise out of everyone from Miles Davis to Santana. And, of course, they draw from the Parliament/Funkadelic well, the source from which all beautiful funk flows. Listen & learn: www.lubriphonic.com, www.bootyband.com.
At 9 p.m. Saturday, April 3 at Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St. $8.
Follow Johnny Depp down the hole in the garden, and when you come out on the other side you may well find your psychedelic self whirling to a soundtrack by this Atlanta-based electronica band, with surreal soundscapes that swirl and ascend. Andrew Provine, Charles Pazinets and Adam Ryan Herbert don't use laptops, as far as I can tell - it's live, atmospheric electronica, created with synths, loops and real keyboards, with real guitars and -gasp! - real drums and percussion. Far out. Listen & learn: www.myspace.com.1randomrabbit.
At 10:30 p.m. Saturday, April 3 at the Wormhole Bar, 2307 Bull St.