Sounds Good: North Mississippi@Knuckleheads, Lucinda Williams@Liberty Hall, 11.11.11@Downtown Lawrence, Jayhawks@Beaumont, Jakob Dylan@Indie

After looking at my picks for this weekend, I realized they’re super heavy on the rootsy, Americana thing.  

Which is nice, if you’re into that whole deal. 

If not, hey, you’re just wrong, that’s all. 

I guess you can always go down to the Sprint Center and watch the bloated carcass that ate Axl Rose haul his ass on stage and try to scream without shitting his pants. 

Seriously, I know he’s all old and stuff, and probably needs money real bad, but maybe it’s time to hang up the “leather pants-sexy rock star- front man” thing and just sign up for Celebrity Boxing or something. 

I mean, I’d pay good money to watch Scott Baio pummel Axl, wouldn’t you?


Thursday, November 10th

North Mississippi All Stars at Knuckleheads in KC

This band exploded onto the scene in 2000 with the release of their debut album, Shake Hands With Shorty, which was Grammy nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album.  Relentlessly touring the country, playing small bars and honing their live show into a blazing, buzzing, party, the All Stars soon became favorites of the jam band and festival scene.  As a result, they started playing bigger and bigger shows, like the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee and the Wakarusa Festival in Arkansa, where they consistently won over unknowing concert goers with their break neck southern blues sound.  Most recently, they’ve been touring with Robert Plant, among others.  

These guys should absolutely kill it at a smaller venue like Knuckleheads, trust me.  I first saw this band in about 2002 in Vail, Colorado at a little club called 8150.  The wooden floor flexed and bounced so much that lead singer/ guitarist Luther Dickinson’s amp fell over, and I’m not sure my ears ever fully recovered. 


Friday, November 11th

11.11.1111.11.11: Eleven Productions 10 Year Anniversary – Lotsa Bands at Lotsa Venues in Lawrence

OK, so if you haven’t already, click back, scroll down, and read my interview with music goddess Jacki Becker, the brainchild of Eleven Productions who, over the years, has spotted talent and brought bands to our neck of the woods long before they ever got big.  Think Bon Iver, Death Cab for Cutie, Arcade Fire, The White Stripes – you get the picture.

So here’s the deal: you can buy one wristband that will get you into all the venues for only $15.  Fifteen bucks!  For 41 bands!  If my math is correct, that’s like $.03 per band!  Or, you can just pay a small cover at the venue for access to that one venue.  The venues are the Bottleneck, Replay, the Granada, the Jackpot, the Taproom, and Love Garden (which is free).

Some of the bands I’m most excited about are Murder By Death, Fourth of July, Suzannah Johannes, Spirit of the Stairs, and of course, the Sluts.  Check out the aforementioned interview for the whole line up and set times.

Lucinda Williams at Liberty Hall in Lawrence

Having been a critical darling for the better part of her 25 year career, Lucinda Williams always seems to broaden her scope little by little with each subsequent album.  From country, to blues, to roots rock, to Americana, her evocative voice and simple songwriting strikes a chord with listeners, as well as other musicians.  She’s played and recorded with a ridiculous amount of artists, from David Byrne to Steve Earle to Flogging Molly to M. Ward.  And as if Lucinda’s prolific performing career weren’t enough, she’s also written hit songs that other artists have performed, my favorite of which is the song Changed the Locks as performed by Tom Petty.  I had actually never heard the Lucinda Williams version until I got smacked down while unsuccessfully trying to convince a lovely young lady that Tom Petty wrote it. 

Her latest release, Blessed, has been panned by some critics for its optimism.  After spending decades living the life and writing songs about bad relationships, lost loves, death, and betrayal, in 2009 Williams married her manager and apparently got happy.  Stephen Duesner of Pitchfork said of the new album, “Listening to these songs and knowing the story she has been so careful to document, you want Williams to finally find her joy.  You want this album to be good.  You want these songs to be better than they really are.” 


Saturday, November 12th

The Jayhawks at the Beaumont in KC

After giving their latest album, Mockingbird Time, a good listen and a half, I couldn’t help but wonder how the Jayhawks could still sound like they did circa 1995 and Tomorrow the Green Grass.  But they really do.  The same country-tinged melodies, the same high vocal lines with polished harmonies, the same catchy songwriting. 

Allmusic’s Mark Deming wrote, “easily the group’s strongest and most cleanly focused album since their 1992 masterpiece Hollywood Town Hall.  [A] simple but richly rewarding example of what the Jayhawks do better than anyone, and serves as a potent reminder that they’re one of the finest American bands of their time.”

I have a feeling this show could be epic.  It’s not scientific or anything. It’s just a gut feeling I have that was derived from a complex mathematical formula that factors in multiple variables across several different baselines derived from data collected over a specified time frame.  Sometimes you gotta go with your gut.


Sunday, November 13th

Jakob Dylan and Band at the Indie in KC

I thought Jakob Dylan was one of the best acts this past summer at FarmAid, out at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.  He took the stage with an acoustic guitar, a keyboard player, and of course, a funny little hat, and proceeded to show everyone that he’s not JUST Bobby D’s kid.  Though all the sets that day were shortened to accommodate the number of acts on the bill, Dylan made the most of his time, sprinkling some Wallflowers songs in with a few country-ish covers. 

The best song of his set was also my favorite Wallflowers song, 6th Avenue Heartache, and I went home and dug up Bringing Down the Horse for a much-needed listen.  What I found was that: 1) I really like the Wallflowers; 2) I think almost every song off this album was a hit single, seriously; and 3) One Headlight is still mildly annoying.

This go-around he has a full band in tow, as well as more time for a proper set, so you can be sure that he’ll hit some material off his latest release, 2010’s Women Country.

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6 Responses to Sounds Good: North Mississippi@Knuckleheads, Lucinda Williams@Liberty Hall, 11.11.11@Downtown Lawrence, Jayhawks@Beaumont, Jakob Dylan@Indie

  1. face palm says:

    …” I know he

  2. PB says:

    First time seeing them (thanks Frank for bringing them to KC) and they were fucking incredible. I’m guessing closest thing to seeing Johnny Winter during his 70s heyday. They threw it all out there. Show ran the gamut soundwise from Howlin’ Wolf to Humble Pie to the Dead (one song in particular had a Turn On Your Love Light feel) to even a Guster-like moment or two. Seamless transition from down & dirty blues to jam band and vice versa. Amazing. Whole band killed, but Luther is a straight up freak.

  3. JB says:

    New Low?…
    Really, face palm? You must be new here….

  4. FP says:

    JB, you must be all old and stuff.

    worst writing I have ever seen on this website, and I have seen some pretty bad writing here

  5. randyraley says:

    Great stuff
    Wow, what a weekend,
    I’d love to be there.
    Saw the All Stars open for Robert Planet here. Certainly wasn’t a whole lot of chatter from the audience. They command your attention, they were really good. Lucinda, The Jayhawks(so glad they’re back together) and Dylan…I sure miss KC. I wouldn’t walk next door to see Axl if he was playing for free in my neighbor’s back yard. In fact, I’d tell them to turn it down, because I’m watching “Cops”

  6. chuck says:

    Maybe thats his brother,
    Alex Rose.

    Kinda like the Cansecos.

    “Is that Jose in the ring?”

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