The Suspect: James McMurtry
McMurtry’s skillful songwriting comes to him honestly — his father Larry wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning novel Lonesome Dove and won the Oscar for adapting Brokeback Mountain. Stephen King says “James McMurtry may be the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation.” In 2006 he won both the American Music Awards Album and Song of the Year.
Can Be Found: The Grey Eagle, Thursday, March 17.
RIYD (Recommended if You Dig): Robert Earl Keene, Todd Snider.
You Should Go If: Your soul mate would also spend five hours a day reading online news, your car has more than 200,000 miles on it; Glenn Beck and insinuations about your earring are the two fastest ways to piss you off; it’s not officially spring until you … write the IRS a letter explaining why you refuse to pay your taxes again this year.
The Suspect: The Karl Shiflett and Big Country Show
In 2001, Shiflett & Big Country Show was awarded “Emerging Artist of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association. The band’s intention is not only to remind listeners of 1950s country music, but to evoke emotions as well. Shiflett says “There are so many people today who play millions of notes, but it doesn’t touch your heart.”
Can Be Found: White Horse Black Mountain, Saturday, March 19.
RIYD: The Del McCoury Band, Sons of Ralph.
You Should Go If: You host a weekly hayride at your house; you think that women over 50 are flattered when you call them “young lady”; you tried to order “sweet tea” at Dobrå; it’s not officially spring until you … make your master list of which friends will get bags of your prize winning Cherokee Purple heirloom tomatoes.
The Suspect: Mike Gordon
“I serenade you with a thought balloon,” goes one very Gordon-like line from his third and latest solo effort, Moss. The bassist and vocalist for the jam band Phish is also skilled in playing banjo, piano, guitar and harmonica and he brings a four-man backing band (which includes guitarist Scott Murawski) with him on this 17-date tour.
Can Be Found: The Orange Peel, Sunday, March 20.
RIYD: Phish, Mike Doughty.
You Should Go If: You primarily use your lawnmower as a clothes-drying rack; you’re more of a dancing-bear person than a dancing-skeleton person; your life is full of uncanny parallels to Jack of Jack and the Beanstalk; it’s not officially spring until you … and Ted E. Tourist embrace along the third-base line.
The Suspect: DeVotchKa
Mix gypsy/cabaret music with American folk, throw in a little punk, and you’ll have an idea of what DeVotchKa sounds like. The group just released its fifth album (not including their Grammy-nominated score for the movie Little Miss Sunshine), 100 Lovers on March 1. The L.A. Times raves “This sonically, musically and conceptually expansive album doesn’t need a release date so much as a big-screen premiere.”
Can Be Found: The Orange Peel, Monday, March 21.
RIYD: Gogol Bordello, Andrew Bird.
You Should Go If: You’ve seen every movie Cher’s ever made, even Burlesque; your spring fashion secret, two words: scarf belt; you are/have been a Capoeira instructor; it’s not officially spring until you … string your practice tightrope between the two biggest trees in your neighbor’s backyard.