Live Music: Groundhog Day; Ray Charles Tribute; Tape Loop; Wimpy Rutherford & The Cryptics

Great Live Music to Check Out This Week

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LESLIE MCKELLAR
  • Leslie McKellar
A Bit of everything | Groundhog Day V
Fri. Jan. 13
8 p.m.
$15-$25
Charleston Music Hall

Six years ago, a group of Charleston’s most beloved and talented musicians came together to help celebrate the end of winter with the now annual Groundhog Day Concert. Actually, that’s not entirely true — Groundhog Day was simply a weird enough occasion that gave the group of friends a great excuse to perform a collection of their favorite songs together. We’re sure glad they did, because this show has become a tremendously special one. Led by organizers Bill Carson, Nathan Koci, and Ron Wiltrout, Groundhog Day comes complete with carefully selected old covers, original compositions, and nearly 20 musicians onstage, many of them being multi-instrumentalists. This year’s extra-early concert includes, for the first time, a string quartet with violaist Alva Anderson, celloist Helen Greenfield, and violinists Amanda Kapousouz and Elena Moon Park. Other additions include two — count ‘em, two — set designs by sisters Hirona and Riki Matsuda. Vocalist Leah Suarez will perform several Mexican songs, and a variety of instrumentalists, like Charleston Jazz Orchestra leader Charlton Singleton, will lend their vocal talents for a change. “The line between ensemble member and singer is blurred a little more,” says Carson. Artists Jack Burg, John Cobb, Michael Flynn, Jonathan Gray, Joel Hamilton, Kevin Hamilton, Lindsay Holler, Aisha Kenyetta, Tyler Ross, Mark Sterbank, Wiltrout, Koci, and Carson will also take the stage and, once again, breathe a bit of local magic into the historic Hall. —Kelly Rae Smith FRIDAY

FILE
  • File
Tribute | Remembering Ray: The Ray Charles Legacy
Wed. Jan. 11
7:30 p.m.
$15-$25
Charleston Music Hall

Straight outta New York City, Remembering Ray is a musical/theatrical work from creator/director/producer Kenny Brawner that brings the career of the legendary Ray Charles to life. A Harlem-based 12-piece orchestra, featuring a former member of the Ray Charles Orchestra, and three vocalists (the Raelettes) will perform the hits, which are interwoven with monologues reflecting on the music that influenced Charles, America’s social history, the singer’s drug battle, and his eventual and triumphant return to Georgia. The show will only whet your appetite for more tribute shows later in the week, including Long May You Run, a Neil Young night featuring local artists Solid Country Gold, Jordan Igoe, Guilt Ridden Troubadour, and Sideshow Americans at the Pour House on Fri. Jan. 13. The next night at the PoHo, catch the Last Waltz Ensemble, a seven-piece Atlanta outfit that celebrates the 40th anniversary of The Last Waltz by performing the music of the Band and Bob Dylan. —Kelly Rae Smith WEDNESDAY

PROVIDED
  • Provided
CLASSIC PUNK | Wimpy Rutherford & The Cryptics
w/ Horror Business
Wed. Jan. 11
8:30 p.m.
$5
Burns Alley Tavern

Forming in 1981 in the somewhat unlikely town of Portsmouth, N.H, seminal punk band the Queers banged out a tightly coiled, attitude-heavy brand of sneering, Ramones-inspired noise, heavy on the gang-vocal choruses and gutter-treading humor. The group was originally fronted by Jack Hayes, a.k.a. Wimpy Rutherford, who spent the band’s first few years flinging his skeletal frame around whatever stage he was on, flipping the bird, and delivering one-to-two-minute punk-rock wonders, like “Teenage Bonehead,” “I Can’t Stop Farting,” “Ursula Finally Has Tits,” and “Fuck the World” in a hectoring nasal whine. Rutherford left the band in 1984, beginning a series of revolving-door lineup changes that continue in the band to this day. But Rutherford himself has no qualms with reviving his band’s greatest hits, and he’s found the perfect band to team with to do so: Dover, N.H.’s the Cryptics. The group specializes in lightning-fast punk-pop, the perfect training to serve as Rutherford’s backing band for an all-Queers-material set. It might not be the original, but it’s a damn good copy. —Vincent Harris WEDNESDAY

PROVIDED
  • Provided
EXPERIMENTAL/HIP-HOP | Tape Loop
w/ Bass Ghost, Jonathan Brown, and A5ylum
Fri. Jan. 13
9 p.m.
$7
Tin Roof

Last October, Marcus Amaker’s ambient, experimental project Tape Loop released the first album in a series of six using only analogue instruments, with zero post-production. “And there’s no computer editing, so it’s straight from the instruments to your ears, like Kraftwerk and other old-school artists used to do,” he says. The goal is to produce one collection a month, the most recent edition being December’s analogue // 3. This weekend, the artist brings the project to life on stage with an all-analogue setup. “It’s an experimentation for me to really create things in an improvisational style for the stage — there’s something really organic about that that I like to see,” Amaker says. He’ll be joined by fellow musician Jason Layne for the Tape Loop set. Former Charlestonian (he was big on the local spoken word circuit about 15 years ago, Amaker says) and current New Orleans author, poet, and hip-hop emcee Jonathan Brown will also perform along with local hip-hop artists Bass Ghost and A5ylum.
—Kelly Rae Smith FRIDAY

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