The return of the cool Colonel
Col. Bruce Hampton (ret.) and his latest combo The Quark Alliance return to the Pour House stage on Sat. Dec. 27. Over the course of the last 30 years or so, the Georgia native, singer, poet, actor, guitarist, and all-around hilarious bandleader led various forms of musical mayhem via the Hampton Grease Band, the Aquarium Rescue Unit, the Fiji Mariners, and the Codetakers. The Quarks boogie with style and grace, thanks to the backing of guitarist Jeff Caldwell, bassist Kris Dale, and drummer Matt Letalien. Josh Phillips Folk Festival opens. Cover is $10 ($8 adv.). Visit www.myspace.com/thequarkalliance and www.charlestonpourhouse.com for more.
Panic footage at The Griffon
Popular Georgia jam band Widespread Panic wraps up 2008 with a pair of New Year's concerts in Denver at the Pepsi Center. If you can't make the trip (or score tickets), here's an option: downtown tavern The Griffon (18 Vendue Range, 843-723-1700) presents a live viewing of the show on a 10-foot high screen 'round midnight or so (10 p.m. MST in Denver) on Wed. Dec. 31. Party favors and a champagne toast are involved, too.
Big concerts on horizon
The folks at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center announced several shows this week. Veteran pop vocalist and actress Olivia Newton-John is solid for a concert at the PAC on Sat. March 7. Tickets are available now for $56 and $46 (plus applicable fees). On Wed. March 11, the PAC hosts The Cardinals — singer/guitarist Ryan Adams with backing from Neal Casal (guitar, vocals), Chris Feinstein (bass, vocals), Jon Graboff (pedal steel, vocals) and Brad Pemberton (drums). The band recently released a new album titled Cardinology (the second highest chart debut of Adams' career). Tickets are available for $31 (plus applicable fees). International star Yanni — a Greek-born, self-taught keyboardist and composer — is scheduled to perform at the Coliseum on April 19. He recently collaborated with producer Ric Wake as they wrote and produced music for "four extraordinary new vocal artists" under the title Yanni Voices. Tickets are available at the Coliseum Ticket Office, Ticketmaster outlets, by phone (843) 554-6060, and online at www.ticketmaster.com. Visit www.olivianewton-john.com, www.cardinology.com, and www.yanni.com for more.
Fred's back on the IOP
In recent years, New Orleans-based rock band Cowboy Mouth has practically made the Isle of Palms its home away from home. Barely a big holiday passes without a gig or two from Fred LeBlanc and the gang. This week, the band — bassist Regina Zernay, and guitarists John Thomas Griffith and Jonathan "JP" Pretus — returns for a post-Christmas, pre-New Year's two-night stint at the Windjammer in support of a new 12-song collection titled Fearless. On Fri. Dec. 26, the Mouth shares the stage with local power-trio Leslie. On Sat. Dec. 27, eclectic groove-rock combo Milhouse opens the show. Tickets are available for $20 at Etix.com. Check out www.cowboymouth.com and www.the-windjammer.com for more.
Wu-Tang at the Farm
Making their second appearance at the Music Farm, the Wu-Tang Clan are set to perform on Sat. Jan. 10. The acclaimed hip-hop machine is back on tour with all eight original members assembled in support of a collection titled 8 Diagrams (their fifth studio album), released through Street Records Corporation. Tickets are available for $40 in advance. See www.wutang-corp.com and www.musicfarm.com for more.
Joan does Jump
A rendition of local songwriter Jay Clifford's tune "Cathedrals" — originally released on the Jump, Little Children album Magazine — landed on the CD sampler inside the the Dec./Jan/ issue of Paste magazine. Vocalist Joan Osborne (of "What if God Was One of Us" fame) included the cover on her new album Little Wild One. See www.pastemagazine.com for more.
Charleston Music Hall hosts Wynton and JLCO
Acclaimed trumpeter and musical director Wynton Marsalis leads the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) — a versatile big band comprised of "15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today" — through a concert at the Charleston Music Hall on Fri. Jan. 16. The JLCO has been the Jazz at Lincoln Center resident orchestra for over 12 years. Featured in all aspects of Jazz at Lincoln Center's programming, it performs and leads educational events in New York, across the U.S. and around the globe. Tickets are available for $35 and $100. Proceeds from the world-class event benefit the Charleston Concert Association's education program. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Fri., Jan. 16. Visit www.jalc.org and www.wyntonmarsalis.org for more.