Monday, June 9, 2008
City Stages Preview !!!!
For my local Birmingham readers it is City Stages time. Also, it is time to eat some crow. Last year I predicted the death of the festival. I was so wrong. With a new booking agency helping out, this is the best lineup in years! In fact, on Saturday there are multiple times where acts are playing simultaneously and I am going to need to miss some good acts.
The folks at al.com and The Birmingham News have asked me for my recommendations. Many of the acts playing this year are already familiar to Birmingham. Will Hoge, North Mississippi All-Stars, Marc Broussard, Ben Harper and Robert Earl Keen do not require an introduction from anyone. What about the best of the rest? Here are some other bands that I am most excited about:
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Three African-American musicians taking Appalachian music and mixing it with gospel and other traditional styles. Their set will be a musical melting pot. I have a feeling they will be the surprise hit of the festival.
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit - Many are familiar with his work with Drive-By-Truckers, but he has his own band now. His song "Dress Blues" is powerful live.
Old Crow Medicine Show - They have a high energy set of traditional tunes played with Rock n' Roll angst.
Act of Congress - This is a local New Grass band that is not getting the recognition they deserve. Their musicianship is excellent and they put on a really good live show. I hope It will be worth coming out early to see them on Saturday.
The Dexateens - This Tuscaloosa based band boasts an album produced by Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood of Drive-By-Truckers.
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals - This will be show stealer no doubt. A mixture of Blues and Soul delivered with an attitude.
Griffin House - His new album is one of the best singer-songwriter releases of the year.
Elizabeth Cook - Authentic country. She has great personality and a voice as real as Loretta. Her song "It Takes Balls to be a Woman" will be a crowd favorite.
Hackensaw Boys - This bluegrass act is eclectic enough to have shared the stage with Modest Mouse. If you like OCMS on Friday, come see these guys on Sunday.
Shooter Jennings - If you think he is coasting on daddy's name. Think again.