The Suspect: Holy Ghost Tent Revival
Indyweek.com says the band’s debut album So Long I Screamed has “…the mischievous air of a Mark Twain yarn.” Hailing from Greensboro, this band lists “lollygagging” as its main interest, but members don’t waste any time in bringing audiences out to the dance floor with their toe-tapping blend of swing, jazz, bluegrass and more.
Can Be Found: The Grey Eagle, Friday, Dec. 17.
RIYD (Recommended If You Dig): Squirrel Nut Zippers, The Avett Brothers, Langhorne Slim.
You Should Go If: Last year you paid for Spring break in Cancun through an elaborate gift card laundering scheme; you decorated this year by putting tinsel on the Barcalounger that’s been sitting on your sidewalk since September; if your life were an O. Henry story, your girlfriend would be out selling her hula hoops to buy you a giant checkers set.
The Suspect: Blind Guardian
This German power-metal band is about to celebrate 25 years of rockin’ the Casbah. Its first American release came in 1999 with Nightfall in Middle-Earth, a Tolkien-inspired concept album. According to the band’s website, its latest release, At the Edge of Time, transports us “… into the dimension of time, where imagination knows no limits, where all worlds exist at once, and where all existence is drenched in song for all time.”
Can Be Found: The Orange Peel, Friday, Dec.17.
RIYD: Hammerfall, Manowar.
You Should Go If: You love to impress people with your encyclopedic knowledge of how soldiers celebrated Christmas on ancient battlefields all around the world; you decked the halls this year by putting Santa hats on all of your Shrek figurines; if your life were an O. Henry story, your girlfriend would be out selling her fairy costume to buy you a 60-pound box of beef from Hickory Nut Gap.
The Suspect: Johnny Irion
Irion formed his first band in Columbia, S.C. at the age of 15, and over the last 17 years or so, his songwriting and singing have drawn comparisons to early Gram Parsons and Neil Young. He is poised to release a new CD this February, Bright Examples. It’s his second full-length album recorded with his wife, Sarah Lee Guthrie, who calls their music country-rock meets pastoral psych-rock aesthetic.
Can Be Found: The Grey Eagle, Saturday, Dec. 18. (Playing with Chatham County Line)
RIYD: Neil Young, The Jayhawks
You Should Go If: Hopping freight trains is your preferred method of getting home for the holidays; you’ve argued with strangers about whether squeezing a dog into a Christmas sweater constitutes abuse; if your life were an O. Henry story, your girlfriend would be out selling her old American Girl doll collection to buy you a Kegerator.
The Suspect: Wooden Toothe
This Asheville foursome combines a gritty, country-twang with thrashing urgent punk riffs. Formed in 2007, they released their self-titled debut last year. According to a review in Bold Life magazine, the band sounds like Asheville itself: “… spontaneity, lack of pretension and assimilation of a variety of attitudes.”
Can Be Found: Lexington Avenue Brewery, Saturday, Dec. 18.
RIYD: Circle Jerks, the Dead Milkmen.
You Should Go If: Using a giant slingshot to catapult fruitcakes at Pack Square last year was mostly your idea; you’ve kidnapped more than 20 baby Jesus dolls from Nativity scenes all over town and show little to no remorse; if your life were an O. Henry story, your girlfriend would be out selling her car to buy you a car.