Weekend To-Dos: Grand Serenade and co., Doc Watson and Guitar Shorty | Rock Candy

Friday, August 29, 2008

Weekend To-Dos: Grand Serenade and co., Doc Watson and Guitar Shorty

Posted By on Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 12:53 PM

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Grand Serenade.

GRAND SERENADE/ THE NOBILITY/ ISAAC ALEXANDER

8:30 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $6.

Calling all local pop-rock fans. It doesn't get much better than this. Grand Serenade, the young foursome that leapt onto the scene several years back from out of nowhere (or Heber Springs) and quickly attracted an adoring throng of female fans, will likely headline, performing songs from their sparkly debut album, “Lean Times,” and new ones from a follow-up they're currently recording at Blue Chair Studios, where guitarist Jordan Trotter works. The Nobility is a power-pop band from Nashville that plays Arkansas often because the band's lead singer, Sean Williams, is from Searcy. It's still touring behind “The Mezzanine,” a punchy album released last year that picked up positive national press. Probably opening the show, Isaac Alexander performs songs from his debut solo album “See Thru Me.” Glooms never sounded better.

DOC WATSON
7:30 p.m., Ozark Folk Center, Mountain View. $37.50.

Arguably the greatest living flat-picker, Doc Watson brings his encyclopedic knowledge of folk music and warm voice to Mountain View for a special performance. From his star-making appearance at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival, to singing Jimmy Driftwood's “Tennessee Stud” on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's “Will the Circle Be Unbroken, to a steady and impressive run of solo albums, Watson's been a force in bluegrass for nearly 50 years. He's the recipient National Medal of Arts, National Heritage Fellowship and five Grammy Awards. David Holt, host of the public radio show “Riverwalk” and a five-time Grammy winner, will accompany Watson. Seating is limited and Watson is 85; if you've missed seeing him before, this could be your last chance.

SUNDAY 8/31

GUITAR SHORTY

7 p.m., Revolution. $5-$10.

Guitar Shorty is nearly 70, so I'm not holding my breath for the somersaults, back-flips and headstands that were signature moves in his live shows in the past (years ago, he won “The Gong Show” by performing “They Call Me Guitar Shorty” while standing on his head). But by all accounts, the Texas bluesman still puts on a riveting live show. He comes pedigreed. According to his bio, when he was just 16, he joined Ray Charles' band for a year. The following year he recorded a single under the direction of blues great Willie Dixon. Later, he played alongside Guitar Slim and moved to New Orleans, where he eventually led the house band at the Dew Drop Inn, performing with the likes of T Bone Walker and Little Richard. A job with Sam Cooke sent Shorty packing to the West Coast, L.A. and, later, Seattle. There, in 1961, he married Jimi Hendrix's sister. The guitar great reportedly came to see Shorty perform often. In the long and decorated career that's followed, he's released nine albums, most recently recording for Alligator, and picked up several W.C. Handy Awards. The show starts early because of the 10 p.m. Sunday curfew on booze sales in clubs.

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