Live Music: Andy Vaughan; The Camellias; Zonaea; Meet the Sky

Great live music to check out this week

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HONKY TONK | Andy Vaughan & The Driveline
Thurs. July 31
10t p.m.
Free
The Mill

Richmond honky tonkers Andy Vaughan & The Driveline are on tour fresh from the release of their third album Sinners and Saints, a record that sheds light on how much the angelic and sinister really have in common. “There are good people out there who occasionally do bad things, and I’m one of them. I’m a decent person, but I’ve definitely screwed up,” says lead vocalist Andy Vaughan. While Vaughan’s father, a former singer, guitarist, and mandolinist, was a big inspiration for his son, the band is also strongly influenced by country greats like Buck Owens, Conway Twitty, and Merle Haggard. And though the country-music genre has strayed far from its simpler roots, Andy Vaughan & The Driveline is dedicated to keeping that tried-and-true traditional sound alive and well.—Teddi Aaron THURSDAY

PROVIDED
  • Provided

DOWNER FOLK | The Camellias
w/ Oh Valentino
Thurs. July 31
9 p.m.
$5
The Sparrow

City Paper readers know Paul Bowers for his punny adaptations of police reports, along with top-notch, hard-hitting news features (nope, we’re not biased). However, the journalist has an alter ego known as Metalcore Bowers. OK, maybe that was more high school. These days he might be better known as Flower Bowers for his part in local quasi-folk group The Camellias. Bowers is a songwriter, guitarist, banjoist, and vocalist in the three-piece string group, working alongside upright bassist Gardner Beson and mandolin man Jesse Hildreth. All neighbors, the guys jammed in Beson’s garage for a year and a half before they began booking a few casual shows at spots like East Bay Meeting House. Bowers’ lyrical inspiration comes from historical events, literature, and personal tales of love and travel. The music also benefits from Beson and Hildreth’s music theory backgrounds. “They add the embellishments and give me instruction in the technical details,” says Bowers. A common thread that unites the members of the Camellias is the storytelling. To the strums of strings, Bowers sings sincere, bare-bone folk tales about naming kids after hurricanes and living in Ladson. Think Josh Ritter meets Glen Hansard, if he was Southern instead of Irish. There might also be a few places where the lyrics are screamed instead of sung, which really speaks to Bowers’ early influences. “There’s sort of a metalcore breakdown in one of the songs,” says Flower Bowers. “Old habits die hard.” —Kalyn Oyer THURSDAY

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INDIE ROCK | Zonaea
w/ Cepheus
Fri. Aug. 1
9 p.m.
$5
Tin Roof

The guys in Zonaea claim they’re all about the dissonance. “We’re experimental noise. It’s getting more subdued and subtle as we keep going, but it will always remain somewhat abrasive and loud with really pretty melodies,” says singer and guitarist Doug Robertson. Zonaea has been playing together under various names for about 15 years; last year they released As the Stars Collapse. Robertson says, “The way we play now is such a natural unit, and it’s a band that’s more than the sum of its parts.” The group finished up recording their new album in June and plan on releasing it this October, although Zonaea will unveil four of the new tracks at this Friday’s show. “Two blend into a song about existential longing that we call ‘Ghost Cycle,’” Robertson says. “It starts out as probably some of the softest discordant stuff that we’ve ever played, and then it gets into the heavy and heavy metal. There’s a force to it.” —Michaela Michienzi FRIDAY

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POP ROCK | Meet the Sky
w/ Cairo Fire and Volcanoes in the Kitchen
Sat. Aug. 2
10 p.m.
$5
The Sparrow

Local burrito-loving pop rockers Meet the Sky came together after college in 2008 and have been hitting the club circuit, and apparently all the Chipotles in between, ever since. “Lately we’ve been playing closer to home around South Carolina. [Though in the past we’ve] been on the road as far west as Corpus Christi and as north as Michigan, we are in a season of waiting for the right opportunity to travel again.” The three-piece band — lead vocalist and guitarist Ricky Taylor, bassist James Campbell, and drummer Joshua Luke ­— released the 14-track Brighter last year, and it’s an album all about resilience. “The record tells a story of overcoming hardship and obstacles, with an overreaching strategy of extending hope. We strive to be very intentional about planting a seed of hope — not just lyrically, but within the composition of the music as well,” says drummer Luke. So why do they love Chipotle so much? Luke says, “Let me count the ways.” —Teddi Aaron SATURDAY


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