DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND
At 9 p.m. Thursday, June 14 (doors at 8 p.m.)
Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St.
Tickets $13 advance, $15 day of show
Here's how Gregory Davis, who's been playing trumpet in this New Orleans party band for 35 years, explains the DDBB musical philosophy: "It ends up being like a pot of gumbo - you drop in a little okra, drop in a little shrimp, you drop in some crabs. Before you know it, you've mixed in all these different ingredients and you've got a beautiful soup. That was our approach to music early on and it still is today."
It is, and has always been, a gumbo-tastic blend of R&B, funk, Dixieland, bebop and Afro-Caribbean rhythms - spicy, intoxicating, as diverse and as splendid as New Orleans itself.
These days, they work in reverent tributes to such contemporary NOLA stars as rapper Lil Wayne; there's a Rihanna cover ("Don't Stop the Music") on the band's latest album, Twenty Dozen (it comes a few tracks in front of "When the Saints Go Marching In"). Twenty Dozen is the first new Dirty Dozen release in five years.
Along with Davis and baritone sax player Roger Lewis (another founding member), today's DDBB includes tenor sax-man Kevin Harris, trumpeter and lead singer Efrem Towns, sousaphone player Kirk Joseph, drummer Terence Higgins and guitarist Jake Eckert.
(Towns, you may recall, was in Savannah March 17 as part of an ad-hoc band called the Loco's All-Stars.)
"We've never been the norm, even though we started out as a traditional New Orleans brass band," Davis said. "In the beginning we weren't getting work of any kind, so we thought it was okay to explore other music. That allowed us as individuals to bring ourselves into the rehearsals and that's where we started to experiment."
STAR & MICEY/CAROLINA STORY
At 10 p.m. Monday, June 18
The Jinx, 127 W. Congress St.
The Memphis acoustic trio Star & Micey consists of Joshua Cosby, Geoff Smith and Nick Redmond. It's hard to explain the appeal, exactly - suffice it to say that there's a rich vein of soulfulness in their folky pop music. There are acoustic guitars, banjos and mandolins, and very cool fireside three-part harmonies. And not only that, Luther Dickinson - one of the South's greatest contemporary musicians - plays on the debut Star & Micey album. Now there's an endorsement for you. The band has an new EP, I Can't Wait, waiting in the wings.
Nashville-based Husband and wife duo Ben and Emily Roberts are Carolina Story, delivering that tight Americana two-party harmony (see Gram and Emmylou, Neil and Nicolette, the Civil Wars and so many more).