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SOUND CHECKS ‌ Notable Shows in the Next Week

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JAZZ/FUNK | Michael Bellar & The As-Is Ensemble
Wed. Jan. 31
The Pour House

Returning to Charleston in support of a fine LP titled Like It Is (left 3), The As-Is Ensemble -- led by Asheville-based composer and keyboardist Michael Bellar --specialize in a modern, off-kilter style of alternative jazz. "I tend to call what we do 'alt/trip/jazz," Bellar says. "It a hard thing to define. I think we lie somewhere between what Medeski, Martin & Wood and The Bad Plus do." With drummer Brad Wentworth (Aretha Franklin, Ryan Kerberle) and upright-bassist Rob Jost (of Imogen Heap, Ursa Minor), the trio weave an usual blanket of grooves and sounds ... dynamic, funky stuff pulled from a wild mix of influences. Bellar's battery of keys includes a Wurlitzer, a Nord Electro and rack, an accordion, and many effect loops. "Rob and Brad have been touring with me for the past two years now," says Bellar. "I plan to make a new record with them this summer. This is by far the best it has ever been, in terms of a group playing in the moment together. Those guys have really absorbed my musical ideas and through playing live as much as we can have developed a real trust in what each of us brings to the musical table." Dig and for more.

--T. Ballard Lesemann WEDNESDAY


POP/BLUES | Paris Luna
Sat. Feb. 3

"We are just a really hard working , hard touring, dedicated band that is trying to live the dream," boasts singer/guitarist/pianist Paris Luna of her current rock/pop combo. "Hopefully the record that is coming out this spring will show all of our great and diverse qualities." Luna's band -- all of whom first started jamming together in Carrollton, Ga., -- includes bassist Billy Lyons, drummer Kane Russell, and lead guitarist Michael Harris. Their bright pop-rock style works from a blend of electric blues, funk, folk, and alternative-pop. Her self-titled debut is due on Severe Record in March. "It is my first time to play in Charleston so we really just can't wait," says the band leader. "The show really caters to young and old with the dipping that we do into so many different genres and eras." --TBL SATURDAY


AMERICANA/SOUL | Delbert McClinton w/ East Coast Party Band
Sat. Feb. 3
The Plex
$37.50, $30, $25

A favorite among longtime fans of shag dancing, '80s country music, and blue-eyed soul, singer Delbert McClinton has had a darn good time gigging around the Southeast for the last three decades or so ... with plenty of typical 'rock lore" up-and-downs, of course. Last year, he re-asserted his dominance with a solid album on the Americana/rock label New West titled Cost Of Living. The material on the disc include a dozen songs in the "days in the life" (along with a cover of Jimmy Reed's "I'll Change My Style"). Born in Lubbock, Texas, the songwriter grew up on Western swing, country blues, jazz, rock, and honky-tonk. Gigging in Fort Worth as a young musician, he shared the stage with such blues greats as Lightnin' Hopkins, Joe Turner, Sonny Boy Williams, Jimmy Reed, B.B. King, and Bobby Blue Bland. "After more than four decades of making music, McClinton is breathing freely with the confidence and energy of an artist who knows that he has mastered his game," say the execs at the Plex. Local oldies/shag/vintage rock ensemble East Coast Party Band open at 8 p.m. See for more. --TBL SATURDAY


w/ Scotty Don't
Sat. Feb. 3
Music Farm

Rhode Island tribute band Badfish confidently claim to "channel the spirit of Sublime with a fury not felt in a long time." According to fans and the impressively high attendance at their recent performances, there must be some truth to it all. Badfish cover the bases -- from Sublime's early albums 40 Oz. to Freedom and Robbin' the Hood to their final self-titled effort. Just 10 years after the untimely death of Sublime lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter Brad Nowell, they seem to carry the torch high and bright. Opening act Scotty Don't, an original rock act featuring members of Badfish, are a "no-frills, take it or leave it musical concept being put out for everyone who is ready to hear and experience the harmonized collective madness." See and for more. --TBL SATURDAY


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