When: Wed., June 24, 7 p.m. 2015
PHIL COOK'S SOUTHLAND REVUE
DUKE GARDENS, DURHAM
MONDAY, JUNE 22–WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24
Four years have passed since Megafaun released what appears to be its self-titled farewell, a 15-track sprawl that traded some of the band's early experimental propensities for a core of conscious songcraft. The three members have since scattered across the coasts, either launching solo projects or pursuing production and management work.
But Southland Mission, the forthcoming debut LP from Megafaun co-founder Phil Cook as a bandleader, picks up the thread of his old outfit and dances with it, taking exultant turns on bluegrass and blues, gospel and its Southern rock progeny. Slide guitars moan, and choirs exalt. Fiddles dance, and banjos rollick. Cook seems to smile his way through it all, singing with delight even as he catalogues the woes of the poor worker during "1922" or growls about perseverance during the sizzling "Lowly Road." His three-night "Southland Revue" is the centerpiece of Duke Performances' summer programming. He'll start on Monday with a stunning quartet of female singers (including former Be Good Tanya Frazey Ford and Mount Moriah's Heather McEntire) before inviting two folk mentors, Midwest master Charlie Parr and Johnston County's The Branchettes, for Tuesday's gig. And on Wednesday, he'll recruit a local cast of friends and familiar faces to offer cuts from Southland Mission, giving a glimpse of the LP ahead of its September arrival. 7 p.m., $10, 420 Anderson St., Durham, 919-684-4444, www.dukeperformances.duke.edu. —Grayson Haver Currin
Price: $5-$10, 12 and under free