Soundchecks: Patti LaBelle, Trondossa, Velvet Carvan, Dirty Southeast Fest, The Unity Concert

Live music to catch this week

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Classic Soul | Patti LaBelle
Fri. April 26
6:30 p.m.
$62.50-$89
North Charleston Performing Arts Center

What can you say about Patti LaBelle at this point, other than that the woman is a national treasure, a force of nature, and one of the few remaining living legends that we have in the damn music business? I mean, let's talk about LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade" or her membership in the Grammy Awards Hall of Fame, or the fact that, at age 74, she still has an F-5 hurricane of a voice and a flamboyant performance style that would make Lady Gaga blush. We're talkin' 50 million-plus records sold, more than 40 hits on the R&B charts (including "On My Own," "New Attitude," "If You Asked Me To," and many more), a couple of Grammys, seven NAACP Image Awards, and a pretty sweet side gig appearing on TV and in movies. So you're talking an absolute icon of soul music, and a singular talent who should be seen onstage while she's still deigning to tour. —Vincent Harris FRIDAY

Misc Genres | Trondossa Music & Arts Festival

Widespread Panic, Umphrey's McGee, The Wood Bros., Rainbow Kitten Surprise, The Marcus King Band, Caroline Rose, Josh Roberts & The Hinges, Robotrio, Schema, She Returns From War, Sol Driven Train, The Reckoning
Sat. April 27 - Sun. April 28
Noon
$88-$350
Riverfront Park

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The Trondossa Festival boasts a pretty damned impressive lineup this year, and jam-band fans will probably be most excited because Widespread Panic is playing each night, giving the band an opportunity to stretch out, groove, and improvise as only they can. But there's a lot more worth investigating on the rest of the bill, starting with the ethereal, heartbreaking alt-country of She Returns From War and moving on to the soulful, brassy roots-rock of Sol Driven Train, the raw country-tinged garage rock of Josh Roberts & the Hinges, the adventurous Americana of the Wood Brothers, the kaleidoscopic indie-pop of Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and the fiery guitar wunderkind Marcus King, whose namesake band is one of the fastest rising blues-rock bands in the country. And that's not even a full taste of what you can expect; it's worth checking out as many of the bands on both days of the festival as you can. —Vincent Harris SATURDAY & SUNDAY

HOT CLUB SWING | Velvet Caravan
Sun. April 28
3 p.m.
$15-$25
Flowertown Theater

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There are simultaneous elements of the exotic, the passionate, the down-home, and the danceable in Velvet Caravan's hot club swing-jazz sound. Taking inspiration from guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli's Hot Club of France collaborations in the 1930s and 1940s, this unorthodox acoustic quintet has emerged over the past few years as one of the most flexible groups around, collaborating with the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hilton Head Symphony as easily as they lay down scorching hot shows in the jazz clubs of New York. There is some high-level instrumental virtuosity going on between pianist and accordion player Jared Hall, violinist Ricardo Ochoa, bassist Eric Dunn, drummer Vuk Pavlovic, and guitarist Jimmy Grant — though dazzling playing is never the whole point of Velvet Caravan's compositions or performances. It's more about an acoustic ensemble playing a modern day version of hot jazz mixed with a dash of honky-tonk country and being as smooth and propulsive as their band's name. —Vincent Harris SUNDAY

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Misc genres | Dirty Southeast Fest
Benny Starr, Niecy Blues, Royal Tinfoil, Drunk Couples, BKiddo, Abstract That Rapper, Chew
Sat. April 27
5 p.m.
Free
Redux Contemporary Art Center

While you may remember PBR's Dirty Southeast Fest as one that takes place across multiple venues during the course of a week, this year PBR rep Jillian Cunningham has made it a one-day event at one venue only: the back lot of Redux Contemporary Art Center. In honor of PBR's No. 1 spot, The Recovery Room, a team of artists have erected the facade of Rec Room, where you can actually grab your beer before you boogie. The lineup is a diverse one — from hip-hop to rock 'n' roll to R&B — full of artists with something to say, like Benny Starr, Niecy Blues, the Royal Tinfoil, Drunk Couples, BKiddo, Abstract That Rapper, and Chew. And since this event is entirely free (and the beer is cheap), you can spend your extra cash on goods from a few vendors who'll be onsite, too. —Kelly Rae Smith SATURDAY

RUTA SMITH
  • Ruta Smith

Misc genres | The Unity Concert
Abstract That Rapper, Soul Power, Halo, Mike Burna 843, Joe Bleezy, Mike Martin & the Beautiful Mess, Sex Wax, Anergy, Well Charged
Sun. April 28
5 p.m.
$10 suggested donation
The Purple Buffalo

Mike Martin of Mike Martin & the Beautiful Mess has organized a tribute to his friend, the late Muhiyyidin d'Baha, the local Black Lives Matter activist who passed away last year, leaving a gaping hole in the community. With collectively diverse backgrounds, d'Baha in hip-hop and Martin in country, the two decided to come together to showcase a variety of genres and co-organize the second Unity Concert, which was two weeks away when the activist was senselessly shot while riding his bike in New Orleans. Now, over a year later, the third Unity Concert is here in tribute to d'Baha and his vision to build community "from the block up." Proceeds will go to Pink House Charleston, which operates in Sherwood Forest neighborhood in West Ashley as a learning center, resource center, after-school program, summer camp, and more. —Kelly Rae Smith SUNDAY

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