Blues clues: Eli Cook has African rhythms, Hendrix covers and more in store for the next few weeks.
Eli Cook‘s January 12th show at Four County Players in Barboursville caught our eye immediately. Hendrix: Classic Works, performed by the Eli Cook Band, reads pink and purple text over a swirling psychedelic pattern. Intrigued, we caught up with the local blues guitarist to learn more.
|Take a listen to "Curbstomp" by Eli Cook:
"It’s hard work," says Cook of covering Jimi Hendrix‘s tunes, but if any local group can pull it off, it’s Cook and his band. And Eli is no stranger to Jimi’s songs, as his first trio, The Red House Blues Band, included challenging jams like "Little Wings" in their repertoire. Cook’s astounding talent will no doubt lend itself nicely to more Hendrix numbers, and hardcore Jimi-heads should be pleased by Cook’s song choices. "We’re trying to do some of the more obscure songs," Cook says, "not the greatest hits." To make things even better, the concert is a benefit for Four County Players.
What we’re listening to
"Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis," by Neko Case (from New Coat Of Paint: Songs Of Tom Waits)—A sad holiday tale penned by Waits and animated by Case’s spookily appropriate voice.
"Even If Love," by Bonnie "Prince" Billy (from Master and Everyone)—The bald, bearded folkster sings about love and monsters over a bafflingly simple melody and almost inaudible strings.
"Way Down In the Hole," by Steve Earle (Tom Waits cover, from Washington Square Serenade)
"John Allyn Smith Sails," by Okkervil River (from The Stage Names)
"Uncle Charlie," by The Fiery Furnaces (from Widow City)
You have a few chances to see Cook before he steps into the Jimi’s shoes, though. He and his band will open for Navel (who are back rocking for the holidays) at Outback Lodge on December 26 and play Durty Nelly‘s on December 28. Cook will also team up with percussionist Darrell Rose to play a mix of blues and African rhythms at Gravity Lounge on December 29 and play a solo acoustic set at Rapunzel’s on January 5. Last November Rose and Cook performed a great set at the Kennedy Center‘s Millenium Stage in D.C. (you can find video of the entire concert on the Center’s website), and Gravity seems like a perfect place to grab a drink, sit back and let these two wow you.
After being cooped up with relatives for the holidays, you probably need to release some pent-up energy, and what better way to do so than a loud, noisy rock show? That’s why, for the past few years, local indie/punk band Worn in Red has put together a pre-New Year’s show that delivers cathartic decibel levels.
This year’s edition, which takes place downstairs at Outback Lodge on Friday, December 28, will feature Worn in Red, Horsefang, Tapeworms and The Unholy Four. Last week we met up with Tapeworms at Ludwig’s Schnitzelhouse to chat.
"What do you sound like?" is always a tough question, but what the band lacks in concise description it makes up for in energetic (and side-splitting) enthusiasm.
"We’re like the Allman Brothers locked in a room in Berlin with…somebody else…fighting!" says drummer Steve Snider.
"It’s like Jimi Hendrix playing with [Nintendo theme song cover band] The Advantage," responds guitarist Mac Mathews.
"No!" exclaims Snider with a laugh. And, after some more spirited discussion: "Well, we don’t hate melody."
As "Der Voglertanz" (the "Chicken Dance" song) played in the background, Snider, the overnight supervisor at UVA’s Clemons Library, related some of the insanity that occurs during exam time. "People were giving out free Red Bull last night, and kids were chasing them around. Twenty minutes later, I was walking through and this guy was dancing on a table with, like, eight empty Red Bull cans around him."
Given the liveliness that radiates from Tapeworms, we imagine the band sounds something like that over-caffeinated Wahoo, if you gave him a guitar and a really loud amp…and maybe threw in a little "Chicken Dance" for good measure.
Let the tape rock: Tapeworms play Outback on December 28.
Inside The Box
A new place called The Box will soon open in the former space of our much-beloved Atomic Burrito. As Restaurantarama mentioned last week, Beetnix manager Chas Webster and a couple other folks are primed to fill the space with music once again (they may even open by New Year’s Eve). Webster says that they want to continue the vibe with DJs and live bands. That’s great to hear, and we hope that they not only revive the tunes, but also carry on the gritty, anything-goes attitude that made Atomic great.
Inkin’ it up
|Listen to "Old Virginia Block" from Devon Sproule‘s Keep Your Silver Shined:
We were thrilled to see a review of Sons of Bill‘s A Far Cry From Freedom in December 14’s Washington Post and equally happy to find a nice article on Devon Sproule in the January issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine. "The Sons showcase their sense of humor as well as their ability to craft a catchy narrative, two skills that make for a captivating and entertaining debut album," says the Post. And Acoustic Guitar gives a nice account of Sproule and her music, from her Twin Oaks upbringing in Louisa to Keep Your Silver Shined‘s "jazzy, literate, richly detailed songs." Viva la Charlottesville!
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