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Check It Out

Check It Out!: February 27, 2014

Buddy Guy: Come For The Stars, Stay For The Blues

Buddy Guy – Rhythm & Blues (RCA) — A bridge between the heyday of the ’50s and ’60s Chicago blues scene and subsequent generations of six-string warriors, Buddy Guy began an improbable comeback dating back to 1991’s Damn Right I Got the Blues and continued unabated. For his latest, Guy and producer Tom Hambridge came up with the idea of one disc of R&B and another of blues. The distinction really isn’t all that clear. Instead, what you have here is a showcase for the septuagenarian’s still-impressive fretwork and gritty singing. With a project of this significant scope, it’s no surprise that numerous famous fans lined up to participate albeit with varying results. While piano playing howler Beth Hart more than holds her own on the horn-goosed “What You Gonna Do About Me” and young buck Gary Clark, Jr. is equally impressive on the snappy shuffle “Blues Don’t Care,” Kid Rock’s embarrassingly profane reading of “Messin’ With the Kid,” the signature song by Guy’s late collaborative partner Junior Wells, is flat out embarrassing.

Somewhere in the middle falls Keith Urban’s country lite “One Day Away” and “Evil Twin,” where Steven Tyler singing about a “heart-shaped booty” lends an air of absurdity to it that’s quickly dispelled by the scorching leads provided by Guy and Joe Perry. At the end of the day, it winds up being Guy whose musical prowess prevents this from becoming the second coming of Supernatural thanks to gems like the autobiographical “I Came Up Hard,” the stripped-down “I Could Die Happy” and funky album opener “Best in Town.” So if you come for the celebrities, just be sure to stay for the guitar playing.

February 28

North Mississippi Allstars @ Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave.

8 p.m. $15. 718-963-3369

The late and legendary Jim Dickinson looms large over the North Mississippi Allstars (NMA) thanks to progeny Luther and Cody continuing to carry on the family business. Last year saw the release of World Boogie is Coming, the follow-up to 2011’s Keys to the Kingdom. On it, Luther, Cody and company take distorted sonics, swamp rock nuances, stomping grooves and juke joint-flavored swagger to bring the Delta blues square into 2013-14.(Also appearing with Lightnin’ Malcolm on March 1)

March 1

Port Washington

Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul @ Landmark on Main Street,

223 Main St. 8 p.m. $47, $42, $37.


An ambassador of traditional Celtic music, Eileen Ivers is an eight-time All-Ireland fiddle champion and a cast member of the Bill Whelan-produced Riverdance. Moreover, the Bronx native is a former member of supergroup Cherish the Ladies and has worked with everyone from Hall & Oates and Patti Smith to Hothouse Flowers and Paula Cole. Her own work has led her to dig deep into Irish and Celtic sounds, tracing connections between continents and scattered Celtic communities, sharing how these connections reverberate in American roots music, delving into jazz sensibilities and Grappelli-esque improvisations, and incorporating her trademark effects with her eye-catching (and ear-catching) electric violin. That said, Ivers is in the middle of recording an audio account of her travels that is going to wind up being her forthcoming project, Beyond the Bog Road, her first album of non-Christmas music in a decade-plus.

March 1


Zappa Plays Zappa @ NYCB Theatre @ Westbury,

960 Brush Hollow Rd., 8 p.m. $52. 877-598-8497

I admit to having a soft spot for Frank Zappa, having registered to vote at his 1987 Nassau Coliseum tour stop for the You Can’t Do That On Stage Tour. One of my most vivid recollections was son Dweezil coming out to jam on a totally unironic reading of The Allman Brothers Band’s “Whipping Post” while his pop proudly beamed on the side, stopping only to occasionally wave a conductor’s baton or sip on a mug of coffee. In recent years, the younger Zappa has paid tribute to his late Dad with help from a crack crew that’s dipped deeply into the canon of the elder Zappa, often making for quite a number of memorable evenings. This time ’round, he’ll be commemorating the 40th anniversary of 1974’s Roxy & Elsewhere.

March 1


Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks @ The Suffolk Theater,

118 E. Main St. 8 p.m.

Gala and speakeasy party $45 (does not include dinner);

Prix Fixe Dinner $35 (does not include tax and gratuity).


If you’re planning a Roaring Twenties-themed party to celebrate the first anniversary of the Suffolk Theater, tapping Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks to provide music for the evening’s festivities winds up being a no-brainer. Giordano not only composes music for HBO’s 20s-era series Boardwalk Empire, he is a big band historian who played a weekly residency gig at Sofia’s Restaurant in Time Square that is now being held at Iguana NYC.

March 5


Los Lobos Disconnected: 40th Anniversary Tour

@The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave. 8 p.m. $65, $50, $40.


Going into its fifth decade of making music together, Los Lobos stands at the crossroads of American roots music and traditional Spanish and Mexican folkloric tradition. And while 2010’s Tin Can Trust was the band’s most recent studio recording of original material, the quintet has remained busy on the recording front. Late last year saw the release of Disconnected in New York City, an acoustic set recorded at Manhattan’s City Winery and just in time for Cesar Chavez Day, the Fab Fivesome will be reissuing Si Se Puede!, the band’s 1976 debut that was also a charity album that raised money for the United Farm Workers of America. (Also appearing: The Mastersons.)

March 6


Patti Austin with The Duke Ellington Orchestra @ Town Hall,

123 W. 43rd St. 7:30 p.m. $81.50, $71.50, $51.50.


As the offspring of trombonist Gordon Austin and goddaughter of Quincy Jones and the late Dinah Washington, Patti Austin comes by her jazz roots honestly. Throw in the 2008 Grammy she won for Avant Gershwin, her first 53 years after making her recording debut, and it’s no surprise that she’s touring with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Paul Mercer Ellington, son of Mercer and grandson of the orchestra’s namesake, leads this ensemble and with Austin, promises to deliver an evening’s worth of top-flight jazz.

March 7

Bay Shore

Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds @ the

YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 W. Main St.

8 p.m. $45, $40. 631-969-1101

Longevity is what runs the Savoy Brown engine and with founding member Kim Simmonds being the driving creative force behind this legendary UK blues crew, it’s no wonder that the band has had enough members pass through its ranks to fill a telephone book. The current Savoy Brown lineup is a trio rounded out by bassist Pat DeSalvo and drummer Garnet Grimm.

March 7


The Avett Brothers @ Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave.

8 p.m. $55, $52.50, $48.50, $38.50.


Scott and Seth Avett have quietly put their group on the map thanks to a string of recent records that fuse bluegrass, folk, indie rock, honky-tonk and ragtime. Last year’s Magpie and the Dandelion was not on the The Avett Brothers’ eighth studio album, but was produced by label head Rick Rubin, and was so well received that it debuted at number five in Billboard’s Top 200 list upon the first week of its release. (Also appearing: Old Crow Medicine Show.)

March 7


Broken Bells @ Webster Hall, 125 East 11th St. 8 p.m.

$39.50. 212-260-4700

Collaboration is at the heart of most projects that Brian Burton, aka superstar producer Danger Mouse, deigns to participate in. And while his most successful outings have been with Cee-Lo Green in Gnarls Barkley, he’s more recently hit paydirt by teaming up with James Mercer of indie rock outfit The Shins in Broken Bells. The band’s 2010 self-titled debut yielded a pair of radio hits in the shape of “The High Road” and “The Ghost Inside” and with significant airplay welcoming the new single “Holding On For Life,” the same fate is apparently awaiting the recently-released Broken Bells sophomore bow After the Disco. (Also appearing: Au Revoir Simone)