IN RELIEFThere's not an ounce of truth to the rumors that stalwart Tucson Weekly music editor Stephen Seigel scored two tickets to paradise and is sunning himself south of the border. He's just away from his desk this week.
It'd be impossible replace him, but you're stuck with yours truly until he returns to kick me out of his chair. Let's see what gigs have come in over transom.
LAST-MINUTE RAMBLEYou're going to have to be quick to catch folk music legend Ramblin' Jack Elliott, who some have called the first cowboy-rap-folk artist, in his return to Tucson tonight at Club Congress. A Grammy-winning legend and contemporary of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Johnny Cash, Jack Kerouac and countless others, Elliott has been through town a couple of times in recent years, and he has yet to inspire anything less than adoration and respect for his music or the tales that he tells about the road, show business and plain ol' life.
I repeat: You'd best hurry. Put down this newspaper, if you must; you can always read the rest tomorrow.
Doors open at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 1. Tucson singer-songwriter Howe Gelb, who knows a little about ramblin' his own self, will open the show. You can find Club Congress at 311 E. Congress St. Tickets cost $17.50. Call 622-8848 if you have questions.
JAZZ TAKES FLIGHT SATURDAYThere's reason to celebrate whenever world-class jazz musicians come through Tucson. It doesn't happen every day. But the Tucson Jazz Society works hard to remedy that. This winter, the society has been presenting the Legends of Jazz series, which will feature pianist and composer Mulgrew Miller and his New York City-based backing group Wingspan this Saturday.
The 51-year-old Miller has been playing piano since he was 6. Among his credits are stints in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (a veritable farm league for major jazz players) and bands fronted by Mercer Ellington, Johnny Griffin, Betty Carter, Joe Lovano, Woody Shaw and Tony Williams.
Over the years, Miller has developed a style that bridges the classic sophistication of Oscar Peterson, the melancholy lyricism of McCoy Tyner, the cerebral attack of John Hicks and the punchy Latin/hard-bop phrasing of Horace Silver.
Miller has led his own groups for more than 20 years. His latest is Wingspan, with which he has recorded two albums. The group includes trumpeter Duane Eubanks, bassist Ivan Taylor, drummer Rodney Green, vibraphonist Steve Nelson and saxophonist Steve Wilson.
Check out Miller and Wingspan at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. Tickets cost $30 for the general public, $25 for Tucson Jazz Society members and $12 for students. Call 903-1265 for more info.
ALLMAN SCIONHearing the soulful baritone of jam-band leader Devon Allman, it's hard not to think of his famous father, Gregg. Which ain't a bad thing at all. The younger Allman and his band, Honeytribe, recently saw the release of their promising debut CD, Torch, on the Atlanta-based Livewire Recordings.
Recorded on the band's own dime at the famous Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tenn., about this time last year, Torch is a sweet set of Southern rock, funk and bluesy reggae that will bring a smile to all those folks hiding dusty but beloved James Gang LPs in their closets--rock fans who still flock to shows by the Black Crowes, Gov't Mule, the Derek Trucks Band, well, the Allman Brothers Band.
The other members of Honeytribe, together on and off since 2000, include
drummer Mark Oyarzabal, bassist George Potsos and keyboardist Jack Kirkner.
The product of the elder Allman's first marriage--"Right before Cher," he told a St. Louis publication last fall--Devon was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, and moved to his current hometown of St. Louis with his mother and stepfather when he was in high school.
Devon, now 31, didn't really know his father until he was 15, at which point he contacted his dad and requested a meeting. Apparently they have a strong relationship now. In fact, Devon and Honeytribe have opened dozens of dates for the Allman Brothers.
You can see what all the fuss is about by catching Devon Allman and Honeytribe at 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 7, at Nimbus Brewing Company, 3850 E. 44th St. Admission will be $10 at the door. Info: 745-9175.
METAL OLD AND NEWFans of heavy-metal music can choose between catchy, crunchy nostalgia and the pummeling sounds of now this Saturday night.
Refugees from the 1980s glut of hair bands, Quiet Riot and Skid Row must have something going for them if they're still playing shows for aging boomer fans. The lineups might have changed a little over the years, but both groups are touring with at least some of the original members.
For instance, lead singer Kevin DuBrow will be in tow with Quiet Riot. The mostly intact Skid Row, though, haven't for several years included the blustering but entertaining Sebastian Bach on vocals. Bach's replacement, Johnny Solinger, has gathered some positive attention on the two albums he's recorded with the band, the most recent of which is last year's Revolutions Per Minute.
Quiet Riot and Skid Row will feel the noize starting at about 8 p.m., Saturday, March 3, at the Desert Diamond Casino, where Interstate 10 meets Pima Mine Road. General admission tickets cost $25 in advance, $30 the day of the show. Call 293-2799 to learn more.
At about the same time, brutal thrash bands Kittie (that's an all-female act, by the way) and 36 Crazyfists (all guys) will team up for a more modern heavy-metal assault across town. The show will also feature fellow younger generation bands
Dead to Fall, Walls of Jericho, In This Moment and A Breath Before Surfacing.
That show starts at 7 p.m. at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. Advance tickets cost $16; $18 the day of the show. All ages will be admitted. Call 629-9211 for further information.
FOLK FOR FOLKS AT THE CHAPELI haven't heard much hype lately about the "urban folk" movement that descended on popular culture from the coffeehouses and nightclubs of the East Coast several years back. Some of the artists affiliated with the movement--Shawn Colvin, Ani DiFranco, John Gorka, Bill Morrissey, Dar Williams and Patty Griffin--have thrived despite the American press losing its infatuation with the category tag.
One such artist is Ellis Paul, who has experienced the most success for his prototypically "urbane, literate" folk songwriting in soundtracks for TV programs and movies. Paul's tunes have found homes on shows such as Ed and MTV's The Real World, as well as the films Me, Myself and Irene and Shallow Hal. But perhaps his biggest accomplishment to date came when Woody Guthrie's daughter, Nora, invited Paul to perform at a concert tribute to her father in September 1996 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. It helps that he sings in a crystal-clear tenor that is a joy to hear and makes him sound like your protective older brother.
Paul likely has more than a little in common with Tucson singer-songwriter John Coinman, whose dark "desert-noir" country-folk songs have scored places on the soundtracks for Melrose Place on TV and in the movies Dances With Wolves and The Postman. He's a favorite in these parts.
Paul and Coinman will play a concert together at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at the historic San Pedro Chapel, 5230 E. Fort Lowell Road. Advance tickets cost $18; they'll be $20 at the door. Call 440-4455 or visit rhythmandroots.org for more information.