Music, City Picks

The Bad Popes

When: Sat., Aug. 18 2012

The music of the Bad Popes wanders the entire Americana landscape and beyond. From haunting pedal steel-driven spaghetti-western swing to spy-movie surf rock to a little classic Buck Owens, the Popes are all over the Americana map. This Upstate act — featuring Greenville vets singer-guitarist Jef Chandler, singer-guitarist-mandolin player Charles Hedgepath, pedal steel-dobro player Mike Bagwell, and bassist Chris Garrett — is currently touring behind their sophomore disc, Town and Country, an album anchored by two standout tracks, "People With Money" and "Lord Will Giveth." The former is a soulful rootsy rocker that recalls the Band's "The Weight," while "Lord Will Giveth" moves in a slinky '40s pop gait, driven by its jazzy bassline. "It's basically a minor blues tune and a very standard progression that's probably a throwback, but I like things from that time period," Hedgepath says about the dark tune. "The idea is that no matter what you do or what you say, you're going to have good things happen to you and bad things happen — whether you're a good person or a bad person." The ability to play such a wide range of styles is one of the perks of getting older, if you ask Hedgepath."I'm 35 now. I just want to please myself and the people I play with," he says. "That's what's great with this group — we just laugh and have a good time. There's no drama."

Chris Parker

Price: Free

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