This week's guide contains:
YES, PLEASE: Rosie Ledet, Transportation, Jason Ringenberg, Bonerama, Phon/ Drums Like Machine Guns
EH, WHATEVER: Citizen Cope
VS.: The Wrights vs. Patty Larkin
INTRODUCING: Peter Lamb & the Wolves
LAST WEEK'S PARTY: King Solomon Burke
SONG OF THE WEEK: Richard Buckner's "Invitation"
02.08 ROSIE LEDET @ BLUE BAYOU
Rosie Ledet's charisma and the big-beat Zydeco music that she stirs up create a double-whammy magnet that will draw you toward the stage and onto the dance floor. It's comforting to know that there will be Zydeco dance lessons held before the show. $14-$18/8 p.m. (lessons), 9:30 p.m. (music) —Rick Cornell
02.08 TRANSPORTATION @ THE CAVE
Transportation's easy-going rock is the meat sandwiched between the Summer of Love and the Decade of Greed. Suffused with the '70s bell-bottom step of acts like the Raspberries and Badfinger, there's a casual, save-it-for-later vibe that dovetails nicely with the big open-hearted hooks and lazy rhythms. A little Southern twang creeps into rich, dulcet tracks like "My Love," whose warm swells and graceful amble suggest a Yankee answer to British prog-folksters such as Strawbs and Renaissance. One can easily imagine this Triangle trio playing over the lulling reverberation of California breakers amidst elegant eligibles sipping White Zin. With Blood Red Sun. 10 p.m. —Chris Parker
02.08 JASON RINGENBERG/ TWO DOLLAR PISTOLS @ THE BERKELEY CAFE
For many a country-punk year, Jason Ringenberg raised a ruckus with the Nashville-based Scorchers. But Ringenberg is such a fireball of a performer that he can tear it up by all his lonesome. Just watch the Berkeley stage try to contain him on Friday night, as he shares the bill with the winding-down Two Dollar Pistols. Then catch him again at a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday as he inspires kiddie mosh pits as Farmer Jason. $10-$12/9 p.m —Rick Cornell
02.09 BONERAMA @ THE BERKELEY CAFE
This New Orleans brass septet (trombones, sousaphone, guitar, drums) puts the swing to rock's hormonal thrust, resurrecting the bluesy hip-shimmy that sometimes gets lost in rock's lusty adolescent crush. Whether bombing Sabbath's "War Pigs" or digging deeply into Zep's "The Ocean," the horns' prodigious percussive punch ensures an impressive sonic footprint. $10-$12/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker
02.12 PHON/ DRUMS LIKE MACHINE GUNS @ NIGHTLIGHT
An East Coast avant array: Raleigh's Phon builds wide, brooding, layered soundscapes from tabletops of pedal circuits and sound samples, while New Jersey's Human Adult Band submerges garage pop in a 50-gallon oil drum. Pennsylvania's promising Drums Like Machine Guns gets to the point quickly, letting vengeful electrons battle it out in rising arcs of noise. Also, Waste Gates. 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin
02.12 CITIZEN COPE @ CAT'S CRADLE
This show by Brooklyn posi-acousti-hop songwriter/ producer/ bandleader Citizen Cope is already sold out, so what better chance could there be to ask, "Why?" Cope falls somewhere between Michael Franti and Jason Mraz, vacillating between lazy liberal soapbox rants and target-market ballads that have only brushed with the popular reception that none of this tripe deserves: Indeed, Cope's soapbox sounds as though built from wet newspaper clippings, his rhymes—"Drug infusion (For the chosen few)/ Mass confusion (When they say that they died for you)/ Delusion (Say that the dreams don't come true)/ Solution (It can take a hold of you)"—like sermons read from a bad book. And if that sounds empty, wait until he tries to woo you with a mellotron and a talkbox. Yikes. 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin
From: Nashville, Tenn.
Claim to fame: Keeping it in the family
Both southwest Georgia natives, the husband/wife country duo of Adam and Shannon Wright grew up playing and singing country tunes in their respective backyards. After meeting in 1998, musical sensibilities matched and sparks flew. They're not Faith and Tim Part Deux, even though Adam's uncle is Alan Jackson. Rather, The Wrights keep their sound low on gloss and high on tradition, landing neatly in a retro-country groove filled with plaintive, homespun harmonies. And kudos to this couple for not kicking up the sugar-spun romance of its relationship: Their latest, The Wrights trades petty pillow-talk for playful sexuality and sincerity. At THE BERKELEY CAFE with Stephen Simmons and Jason Eady. $10/ 8 p.m.
From: Boston, Mass.
Since: Mid '80s
Claim to fame: Fiery red
Patty Larkin has built a strong reputation by playing over 150 concerts a year, flashing her brilliant fret work and commanding, compelling vocals in one fiery outburst. Much like The Wrights, Larkin depends on simplicity and shades of the past in her unassuming folk-rock, exploring territories close to the backwoods beauty of Gillian Welch and the rough rawness of Bonnie Raitt with a steady hand and smoky, sultry voice. Larkin continues to punch out rough, unpolished folk rock without abandon on her latest, Watch the Sky. That sound, strong and straight-ahead as it is, wins by close decision. A part of THE ARTSCENTER's Fifth Annual Roots Series. $22/ 8:30 p.m. —Kathy Justice
02.08 PETER LAMB & THE WOLVES @ YANCY'S
Raleigh's The Countdown Quartet ended an almost 10-year run of mixing New Orleans jazz and R&B last August. Now, tenor sax player Peter Lamb brings former bandmates Steve Grothmann (bass) and Ray Duffey (drums) into his newest Raleigh jazz group with no boundaries, Peter Lamb and the Wolves. Joined by Mark Wells (piano and vocals) and Al Strong (trumpet), the group has been working on some funky jazz standards, Russian tunes, Latin grooves and even a Dylan cover.
So what do a bunch of seasoned musicians with different influences and approaches to music sound like together? Tchaikovsky meets Coltrane? Maybe. "I'm trying to make it a jazz band and not a jazz band," Lamb says. "We all like good music. We don't need to stick to a certain genre." Tonight, Lamb debuts the new unit. —Andrew Ritchey
LAST WEEK'S PARTY
02.02 KING SOLOMON BURKE @ PAGE AUDITORIUM
The red carpet was out. If you went home without a rose and without dancing on stage, it was your own fault. A King Solomon Burke show is always a floral, interactive affair. But this one went beyond that, as stage visitors from Chapel Hill, Maryland and Philly gave the evening a This Is Your Life feel. There was majestic singing, of course, with an emphasis on country-soul courtesy of the opening "That's How I Got to Memphis" and, some 75 uplifting minutes later, "Just out of Reach (of My Two Open Arms)." Arms, no doubt, bearing red roses. —Rick Cornell