The Americana Music Festival is happening in Nashville next month but L.A. is experiencing something like their own version of it this week with shows from Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and more this week.
The week starts with Steve Earle with Allison Moorer at the House of Blues Anaheim on Monday and the Hollywood House of Blues on Tuesday the 27th. Unfortunately, the 27th is the same night that the goddess-like Emmylou Harris brings her Red Dirt Boys, plus Patty Griffin and Buddy Miller to the Greek Theater.
The following night, the terrific trio of Justin Townes Earle, Caitlin Rose and Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit takes over the Music Box. Each of these young acts has released quality albums recently and are worth checking out.
The 28th also is the night that the Blind Boys of Alabama come to the Grammy Museum with Sara and Sean Watkins (of Nickel Creek fame) as their guests, which has the making of a special night too.
Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings set up their mics at the Music Box on the 29th; they are touring in support on the new, highly lauded disc The Harrow & The Harvest.
McCabe’s will play host to the fine rootsy ensemble Ollabelle on the 30th, the underrated singer-songwriter Matt The Electrician on Oct. 1st, and the Chapin Sisters, with guest Jen Chapin the Sunday the 2nd. If that isn’t enough, the soulful rockers Kings Go Forth work up a sweat at the Echo on the 27tb and the folk group Red Horse has a show at Pepperdine’s Smothers Theatre on the 1st.
Several up-and-coming singer-songwriter have shows around town. L.A.-based Mariah McManus has a CD release show at the Hotel Café on the 27th, the day that her debut disc Nice To Meet You comes out. Alana Amram comes to the Bootleg on the 29th; her new project Snow Shadows is a tribute to the songwriter Vince Martin and Arrica Rose & the …’s play Room 5 on the 1st.
The 29th offers a number of intriguing options. Zach Rogue of Rogue Wave fame has a new project under the moniker Release The Sunbird that has an interesting folk/pop/rock vibe. He’ll be at the Hotel Café on the 29th. Meanwhile, AA Bondy and Nik Freitas share the bill at the Bootleg that night and the talented Canadian pop-rocker Dan Mangan lands at the Satellite. Another Canadian export Geoff Berner brings his quirky, accordion-fueled music to Genghis Cohen on the 30th, with the local country rock band Paladino on the bill too.
The French music festival OohlaL.A. takes place this week at the El Rey. Novelle Vague headline the show on the 28th while the wonderful Mali band Tinariwen and the Moroccan-born, Paris-based chanteuse Hindi Zahra perform on the 30th. Tinariwen will also be at Amoeba on the 29th.
Hugh Laurie, of House TV fame (or A Bit of Fry And Laurie, depending on your TV inclinations) has made a CD of New Orleans-inspired music, and he will perform it at the Mint on the 30th. The phenomenally talented Esperanza Spaulding (the jazz bassist who nabbed the Best New Artist Grammy last year) has a concert at the Orpheum on the 30th too.
Peter Bjorn And John sweep through Southern California this week with shows at the Belly Up on the 30th, the Troubadour the 1st and 2nd and the Smell on the 4th (hopefully I got all of those dates and venues right)
Elbow is at the Greek on the 1st, the same night Portugal. The Man will be at the Avalon, while Marnie Stern appears at the Bootleg on the Oct. 2.
If you are on the lookout for cool young rock bands, then be aware of Braids and Pepper Rabbit at the Detroit Bar on the 28th and the Echo on the 29th. Dominant Leg and the Nurses at the Echo Lounge on the 28th. Idiot Glee at the Smell on the 30th. Neon Trees opens for a band named Duran Duran at the Nokia on the 27th.