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Mose Allison at the Jazz Corner
Mose Allison

Mose Allison ****

ALONG WITH Jandek, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Charles Aznavour, Lee Hazelwood, Lenny Bruce and Tom Verlaine, Mose Allison is easily one of the absolute coolest stage performers of our time.

Known to some as “The William Faulkner of Jazz,” he’s a deft and subtle pianist of worldwide renown the New Yorker dubbed “nothing less than a National Treasure.” He’s also a dazzlingly prolific songwriter who’s responsible for more great jazz (cult) standards than you’d ever imagine to look at him. At 81 years of age, he still tours as many as 40 weeks a year (!), but a small, Southeastern supper-club engagement like this is rare indeed.


Here's a fan-shot clip of the octogenarian Mose doin' his thing about a year back:


Van Morrison recorded an entire album of Mose’s tunes. The Who, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, The Yardbirds, J.J. Cale, Stan Ridgeway and The Clash have all released covers of his material, the BBC recently completed a full-length documentary on his career, and the Pixies even wrote a song about him on their underrated Bossanova LP. Says guitarist and rock legend Pete Townshend, “The man’s voice (is) heaven. Mose was my man. I felt him to be the epitome of restrained screaming power.” Cool enough for you? Miss this two-night stand of wry humor, sly grooves and bebop if you dare — but be forewarned: this is a small room with a loyal crowd, and Allison gigs in previous years have been known to sell out quickly... Listen & Learn: $25 adv. tickets (reservations highly recommended) at or (843) 842-8620. Fri. - Sat., 8 pm, The Jazz Corner (Hilton Head) - ALL-AGES.

Bombadil ****

Here’s an extremely promising new quirky and wry Bolivian-formed and N.C.-based roots-folk-psych-blues combo that’s known as much for their fresh approach to anthemic, unabashedly pop guitar/bass/piano/drums song craft and their occasional inclusion of unusual instruments into their “wall of sound” live shows (i.e., harmonica, xylophone, organ, synth, saxophone, trumpet, viola, charango, glockenspiel, accordion, recorder and even zampona!). Astute listeners may hear nods to Cat Stevens’ Harold & Maude sessions in their arrangements and bittersweet, uplifting vocal inflections. Listen & Learn: $8 cover. Wed., 9 pm, Live Wire Music Hall.

Roy Book Binder

A masterful guitar picker, songwriter and storyteller, this minor blues and Americana legend has been plying his trade at festivals, concert halls and listening rooms around the world for the better part of four decades, and has actually called a tour bus his home for the last three.


Here's a fan-shot clip of Roy playing a classic piece of country blues just a little over a month ago at an extremely laid-back venue:


An acolyte of Lightnin’ Hopkins and Dave Van Ronk who learned his craft literally at the feet of the almost mythical blind street singer Rev. Gary Davis, “The Book” has shared the stage often with Bonnie Raitt, Hot Tuna and other more famous acts (Tuna leader Jorma Kaukonen recently said of Roy, “nobody writes in the idiom better than him”), and is a familiar face at the National Storytelling Festival and Americana music gathering MerleFest (where he’s hosted the acoustic blues stage for almost a decade-and-a-half). Listen & Learn:, Adv. $25 tix at 748-1930. Sun., 7 pm, Randy Wood’s Concert Hall (1304, E. Hwy 80, Bloomingdale) - ALL-AGES.

Shaun Hopper ****

This young, Atlanta-based fingerstyle acoustic guitarist mixes up classical technique with folk chords, blues licks, bluegrass-inspired runs and a percussive, avant-garde jazz outlook that at times sounds an awful lot like Savannah’s own internationally-celebrated Richard Leo Johnson — which is a comparison I don’t believe I’ve ever been able to make about anyone passing through town. Fans of Leo Kottke or Michael Hedges will likely find much to like about this buzzworthy player.


Here's a fan-shot clip of Shaun delivering an amazing arrangement of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" at a noisy coffee shop, while people talk and employees loudly make espressos, seemingly unaware of just how much talent is on display in their midst:

Listen & Learn: Thurs., 9 pm (headlining, no cover) + Fri. - Sat. (opening slots), LiveWire Music Hall.

The Two-Man Gentlemen Band

This anachronistic, suit-and-tied duo started out busking in Central Park, and now tours the country opening doors for ladies and passing out thousands of free kazoos so audiences can join in on the show. Their delightful originals reflect the quaint spirit of chivalrous, bygone days, but are still piping hot and fresh.


Here's a clip of the Gentlemen playing "My Baby's Got Prime Numbers" in Chapel Hill, N.C.:


They’re like a cross between Mister Magoo, Tiny Tim, Al Stewart and Brother Theodore — all fine fellows in my book! Listen & Learn: No cover. Fri., 9 pm, Jazz’d Tapas Bar. cs