Friday - April 21st, 2017
John Paul White - 9:30pm - 11:00pm
Beulah. It’s a small, complicated word with a tangle of meanings. It’s the title of John Paul White’s new album, his first in nearly a decade, a remarkably and assuredly diverse collection spanning plaintive folk balladry, swampy southern rock, lonesome campfire songs, and dark acoustic pop. Gothic and ambitious, with a rustic, lived-in sound, it’s a meditation on love curdling into its opposite, on recrimination defining relationships, on hope finally filtering through doubt.
Dylan Leblanc & The Pollies - 7:45pm - 9:00pm
"One day I won't be insane," sings Dylan LeBlanc on "Look How Far We've Come," a minor key, moody shuffle off his third album Cautionary Tale. If this is madness, then lock us up. Cautionary Tale, produced by Alabama Shakes' Ben Tanner and John Paul White, is a gorgeous 10-track journey about going through hell and surviving with a broken halo. LeBlanc has been compared to Neil Young – and if how "Easy Way Out" echoes the main two-bar vamp of "Ohio" isn't proof enough, just look at the biting lyrics of "Beyond the Veil" – but he melds a Seventies sensibility with a taste for the soothing, locomotive Southern blues. Other artists who record in Muscle Shoals, where Cautionary Tale was made, get preoccupied with sounding "swampy": LeBlanc, however, would rather surrender to the flow of the river than get stuck in the mud. M.M. - Rolling Stone
Saturday - April 22nd, 2017
Cory Branan - 9:30 - 11:00pm
Cory Branan is a natural-born storyteller, his seemingly conversational, painstakingly crafted anecdotes benefitting from a hard-eyed stare at hydra-headed life experiences. Not unlike his musical and literary pedestal sitters, from John Prine and Leonard Cohen to Raymond Carver and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Cory's gift for detail and phrase-turning is a thing of wonder. There's a novelistic flair to his writing, an approach full of layers and depth. Songs seemingly reveal something new with every listen.
Dexateens - 7:30pm - 9:00pm
The Dexateens have always been a "super group" of sorts, spanning Alabama's punk rock scenes and from there the song has remained the same. The live show is tuned to that of a howling SR-71 Blackbird set to the sound track of dueling stereos pumping The Quadrajets and Waylon Jennings in one ornate cacophony. The Dexateens are exactly what Rock and Roll has been missing for nearly 5 years, back to stake claim on what they helped begin and perhaps break it down only to rebuild it stronger and better than ever to shake off the poseurs and malcontents.
Great Peacock - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
You can call Great Peacock a folk band... but don’t expect them to make music for campfires or square dances. Raised in the Deep South and headquartered in Nashville, they’re a group of red-blooded country boys who aren’t afraid of the big city. Case in point: Making Ghosts -- the duo’s harmony-heavy, guitar-driven debut album -- whose 11 songs find the middle ground between rootsy, down-home Americana and super-sized arena pop/rock.
Lilly Hiatt - 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Lilly being herself means playing songs that are sharply witty, brutally frank, and musically adventurous. Royal Blue, the second album by East Nashville firebrand Lilly Hiatt, is about the majesty of melancholy-or, as she explains it, “accepting the sadder aspects of life and finding some peace in them.” A dance between pedal steel and synths, the album examines the vagaries of love and commitment but steadfastly refuses to romanticize any notion of romance.
The Deslondes - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
The Deslondes are a New Orleans-based band, whose raw, stripped-down sound springs to mind a country-meets-Southern-R&B hybrid rooted partly in the Texas singer/songwriter tradition, partly on the weathered floor of a Louisiana dance hall.