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Check It Out

Check It Out!: April 17, 2014

Pickers, Prodigies & (White) Lions, Oh My

April 18


Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell

@ NYCB Theatre @ Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd.,

8 p.m. $74. 877-598-8497

Renaissance man is one of those terms tossed around haphazardly but it’s really not a stretch when using it in association with Steve Martin. Along with being an actor, author, stand-up comedian and playwright, Martin is also an accomplished musician who has been playing banjo since his teens. His musical prowess is such that he’s appeared at the Grand Ole Opry, released his 2010 debut The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo (which also won a Best Bluegrass Album Grammy), performed at various musical festivals and even narrated and appeared in the PBS documentary, Give Me the Banjo. Last year, he and the Steep Canyon Rangers were joined in the studio by Edie Brickell and emerged with Love Has Come For You. The title track subsequently won a Grammy for Best American Roots Song and as such, the crew will bring its picking and twanging to Westbury for one night.

April 18


Ronnie Spector’s Beyond the Beehive @ The City Winery,

155 Varick St., 8 p.m. $55, $50, $45. 212-608-0555    

In what’s evolved from being an annual Christmas show that had its origins downtown at the late, lamented Bottom Line, legendary Ronette Ronnie Spector is at the center of this festive evening of song, stories and images dubbed “Beyond the Beehive.” In addition to being one of Joey Ramone’s favorite vocalists as well as a close friend, Spector’s distinctive pipes have found her working with The Beatles, The Boss and Jimi Hendrix and with the 2006 release of her latest studio album The Last of the Rock Stars, it wouldn’t be too shocking to hear some of these newer numbers work their way into Spector’s set.

April 18


Billy Joel @ Madison Square Garden,

4 Pennsylvania Plaza. 8 p.m. $124.50, $104.50, $64.50.


Billy Joel continues to keep doing things his way. While fans will continue to hope and wish for new studio material, the Long Island native has been content to get his musical jones by playing live. Since the beginning of this year, he’s been playing a residency gig at Madison Square Garden that’s found him playing once a month indefinitely. Outside of maybe seeing him around the Gold Coast or running into him taking in an elementary school concert in Glen Cove, this is your best bet to get a Piano Man fix.

April 19


Bobby Bare, Jr. @ Mercury Lounge, 217 E. Houston St.

7:30 p.m. $12. 212-260-4700

Being the namesake of a bona fide country legend, it shouldn’t be a shock that Bobby Bare, Jr. has passing familiarity with the kind of heartache and pain that’s always ends up been the best source material for his dad’s genre of music. In the past five years, the junior Bare lost his house, got divorced, almost lost his mom and had a son. All this inspired his last full-length project, 2010’s oddly titled A Storm A Tree My Mother’s Head. (Which actually tells the true story of his mom almost dying after high winds toppled a tree into the Bare home and broke her back.) Bare, Jr. once again returns to music therapy with his Bloodshoot Records release, Undefeated, of which this album release party will be full of his gritty Dinosaur, Jr.-meets-Drive-By-Truckers style of y’alternative juju.  With Cory Brannan.

April 20


The James Hunter Six with Cariad Hammond @ The City Winery,

155 Varick St., 8 p.m. $45, $40, $35. 212-608-0555

A former Van Morrison sideman, James Hunter has cobbled together a well-respected solo career thanks to a croon that contains elements of Sam Cooke’s smoothness, James Brown’s bite and Boz Scaggs’ smokiness. Hunter first crossed everyone’s radar with his Grammy-nominated 2006 breakthrough People Gonna Talk, earning further kudos with his 2008 follow-up The Hard Way. Early last year he returned with Minute by Minute, credited to the James Hunter 6. Produced by Daptones major domo Gabriel Roth (Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings; Booker T. Jones), Hunter’s latest is steeped in the kind of analog soul that he’s become known for. As an added bonus, British singer-songwriter Cariad Hammond, who falls somewhere between Norah Jones and Joni Mitchell, will be also be performing.

April 23


Mike Tramp (of White Lion) @ Revolution Music Hall,

140 Merrick Rd. 8 p.m. $16 adv. $18 DOS.,


Hair metal fans may know Mike Tramp as the frontman for White Lion, but back home when he was coming up, he was more like Denmark’s answer to Michael Jackson. Nowadays, Tramp is known for the slew of hits he had with former creative partner Vito Bratta (“Wait,” “When the Children Cry”) And while White Lion, (minus Bratta), reunited to release Return of the Pride back in 2008, Tramp has worked as a solo act both with and without the Rock ‘N’ Roll Circuz. Last year was no different as he released Cobblestone, the Danish native’s seventh solo album. With Randy Jackson of Zebra and Midnight Mob.

April 23


Jackie Evancho @ NYCB Theatre @ Westbury,

960 Brush Hollow Rd., 8 p.m.

$84.25, $62.50. 877-598-8497

At the ripe age of 14, crossover classical vocalist Jackie Evancho already has five albums under her belt. Between self-releasing her 2009 debut Prelude to a Dream and getting mondo hits on YouTube, the Pittsburgh native landed a spot on America’s Got Talent, which served as a springboard for the then-tween. In that time she became the youngest person to ever give a solo concert at Lincoln Center, extensively worked with a number of charities, modelled for the Guess Kids clothing line and appeared in last year’s Robert Redford film The Company You Keep.