A Texas music icon swings through L.A. this week. Joe Ely has a date at the Mint on Thursday the 17th. Part of the legendary Flatlanders with Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, Ely has been churning out vibrant country-rock since the last ‘70s. Among his fans was the band The Clash, for whom he opened. This year he released the Satisfied At Last, which comes stocks his trademark rough and tumble originals as well as well chosen covers by his pals Butch, Jimmie Dale and Billy Joe Shaver – it ranks right up there with his best work.
Another, somewhat lesser known, cult singer-songwriter who first appeared in the ‘70s, Garland Jeffreys is making an appearance at the Grammy Museum to share his new disc, The King Of In Between, his first release in 13 years. It’s a strong return and hopefully it won’t take another dozen years til his next one. If you want to check out more of Jeffreys, track down his 1977 release Ghost Writer, which features two wonderful tracks, and personal favorites: “Wild In The Streets” and “35 Millimeter Dreams.”
Two brothers who have been more guitarists to their lead singer sibling are fronting new ventures and both have shows in town on the 17th. Noel Gallagher, of Oasis fame, fronting his new band, High Flying Birds to Royce Hall, while Rich Robinson, from the Black Crowes, plays the Roxy in support of his new album Through A Crooked Sun. Another “brother” act, Roland White (brother of famed guitarist Clarence White) performs at McCabe’s on the 19th with a band featuring Herb Pedersen and Bill Bryson.
There are also a number of recommendable shows for impressive younger acts. The duo The Civil Wars has seen unexpected but totally welcome success with their excellent debut, Barton Hallow. They headline the Wiltern on the 19th with Milo Greene opening.
Feisty twangy songstress Lindi Ortega (who I reviewed for American Songwriter a while back) performs at the Hotel Café on the 20th. I’m sure will be kicking up a storm showcasing her lively debut Little Red Boots.
The Music Box hosts a fine double bill of Dawes and Blitzen Trapper on the 17th, while the next night Blind Pilot and Point Juncture, WA will fill the El Rey with their music.
The Brooklyn-based Americana group Jones Street Station has a pair of shows in town this week – at the Hotel Cafe on the 18th and the Bootleg on the 19th. I’ve liked what I have heard of them. Here’s a sample for your to hear: http://jonesstreetstation.bandcamp.com/track/the-understanding
Also on the 18th, Centro-matic has a show at the Satellite. Listening to their latest Candidate Waltz (their first group effort in several years) made me think of what Wilco might have been had they been reared in Texas.
The 17th has a trio of interesting female performers with shows in town. Indo-Canadian artist Kiran Ahluwalia comes to the Congo Room armed with a new album Aam Zameen : Common Ground, which involved the Tuareg band Tinariwen. Alyssa Graham shows off her new Craig Street-produced disc Lock, Stock & Soul at the Bootleg and Marketa Irglova, of The Swell Season fame, performs at the Troubadour, with Sean Rowe opening.
Other shows on the radar include the Races at the Echo on the 14th, the cool local country-rock outfit Paladino has a CD release show at Villain’s Tavern on the 15th, Bobby and Little Scream at the Satellite on the 16th and the raucous Scott H. Biram will stir things up at the Satellite on the 20th.
They Might Be Giants will appear at Amoeba on the 15th and at the Anaheim House of Blues on the 16th with Jonathan Coulton opening (psst, they will return to L.A. Jan. 28 with a family/grown-up double-header at UCLA)
Largo hosts a special benefit on Sunday. The acclaimed Section Quartet will raise money for music programs in Japan. Sam Phillips, Grant-Lee Phillips, Van Dyke Parks, Murry Hammond, Lisa Germano and mike watt are among the musicians scheduled to perform.