MUSIC BOX: Rock the weekend blues

By on January 28, 2014
Cure your cabin fever with Royal Southerners, sophisticated up-staters, and Northwest ramblers.

Cure your cabin fever with Royal Southerners, sophisticated up-staters, and Northwest ramblers.

JACKSON, WYO – Supergroup combines legendary families
New Orleans supergroup Royal Southern Brotherhood hit the ground running right out of the gate in 2012. Their self-titled debut album not only debuted at number five on the Billboard Blues Chart and was nominated for Rock Blues Album of the Year by the Blues Music Awards, the overall reception was arms wide open. What else would you expect when you bring together a Neville and an Allman?

This lineup has talent to burn, and here’s why. Considered by some as the South’s last great soul singer, Cyril Neville is not only a former member of The Meters and one of the talented Neville Brothers, he’s also a poet, philosopher and percussion master. Devon Allman holds a strong name as well as an inherited blues voice as the son of Gregg Allman. A compression-loving ripper of a guitarist, Mike Zito won Best Rock Blues Album at the 2011 Blues Music Awards for his album, Greyhound. You know drummer Yonrico Scott as the master skin slapper for luminaries Derek Trucks Band, Gregg Allman and The Allman Brothers. And bassist Charlie Wooton (no relation to Victor) can pull off syncopated lines ala Jaco Pastorius and also is a member of Bonerama and Charlie Wooton Project.

After perusing some of their recent shows via YouTube, the quintet is Stones-heavy in its repertoire beyond self-penned material, including powerful versions of “Sweet Virginia,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Happy,” and “Hip Shake“ alongside the Dead’s “Fire on the Mountain.” The Southern rock-blues-funk pot is in full stir, propelled by genuine voices, a monster backbeat, and the soaring leads of Zito.

Royal Southern Brotherhood, 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Center Theater. $30. JHCenterForTheArts.org, 733-4900.

Sophistafunk

Sophistafunk

Live band hip-hop
There’s heaviness, smoothness, a grimy mix of funked-up hip-hop, live drums and Moog savagery. Meet Syracuse’s Sophistafunk: Jack Brown (vocals, lyrics), Adam Gold (keys, bass, vocals) and Emanuel Washington (drums). The Soulive-esque freshness to their groove is mashed with insightful, lyrical poetry and elements of A Tribe Called Quest, Parliament, The Roots and Herbie Hancock.

Perhaps you caught the band on an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” when Gold’s restaurant and music venue, “Funk n’ Waffles,” was featured. Host Guy Fieri liked them so much he invited them to play his personal birthday party. Act like it’s your birthday, and get Sophistafunked.

Sophistafunk, 10 p.m. on Thursday at Town Square Tavern. $10. 307Live.com.

Polecat

Polecat

Happy Grass
Paralleling the efforts of eclectic string band Railroad Earth, Bellingham, Washington, quintet Polecat shouldn’t be pinned as a bluegrass band. Not just that they incorporate drums and electric guitar along with fiddle, upright bass and 12-string guitar, but its extension into world music, country, Celtic and rock make for a wide-reaching, song-based approach.

“When people ask us what genre we perform in, I just call it ‘roots music,’” lead vocalist/guitarist Aaron Guest said. “It’s the people’s music. There is something in it for fans of every genre, I think.”

Polecat’s 2013 release, Fathoms, delves into mostly blissful subjects celebrating life, love and spending time with friends. This is not your Southern-bred high and lonesome sound, but rather a contemporary, twang-less play on a variety of melodic paths.

Polecat, 7:30 to 11 p.m. on Fri. and Sat. at the Silver Dollar Bar. Free. 732-3939.


About Aaron Davis

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