This week, our critics' picks include a varied pool of performers across genres including Boz Scaggs, 7 Seconds, Pigeon John and Peter J. Woods. Take your pick from punk and hip-hop to blues and noise. As always, stayed tuned until Friday for even more recommendations over the weekend.
Matt Harnish's Pink Guitar Monday, July 21 w/ Matt Harnish's Pink Guitar, 3 of 5, Mitch the Champ @ Foam 9 p.m. | $5 By Mike Appelstein From the 2014 RFT Music Awards: With Bunnygrunt currently relegated to part-time status owing to bassist Karen Ried's move to Cincinnati, lead singer/guitarist Matt Harnish has taken the opportunity to go solo for the first time. The format of Matt Harnish's Pink Guitar is fairly self-explanatory: It's mostly him (sometimes with a few friends) and a cheap semi-acoustic guitar, playing some of his favorite songs in a stripped-down style. The setlist often resembles a playlist from a clued-in college DJ, with selections from the likes of Camper Van Beethoven, Game Theory, Pooh Sticks and Mountain Goats. There's usually a Sparks medley at some point in the show, and occasionally Harnish's fiancee joins him for a duet of "You're the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly." Charmingly low-key and obviously a labor of love.
Boz Scaggs Tuesday, July 22 @ River City Casino 7:30 p.m. | $45-$75 By Christian Schaeffer On Boz Scaggs' 2012 trip to St. Louis, he was joined by Michael McDonald and Steely Dan's Donald Fagen for the so-called "Dukes of September Rhythm Revue" at the Fox Theatre. Scaggs might have been the undercard on that line-up, but of the three smooth-as-silk '70s icons, his voice and instrumental chops had weathered the best. In his youth, Scaggs mixed R&B rhythms with his nimble, blue-eyed soul vocals, and record companies didn't quite know what to do with him. The success of Silk Degrees changed all that, and Scaggs has since then been constantly refining his vision of soul music, including on the covers-heavy Memphis from last year.
Patrick Sweany Wednesday, July 23 w/ The Maness Brothers @ Off Broadway 7:30 p.m. | $10-$15 By Roy Kasten From this 2011 show preview: You wouldn't know it from suffering through the singer-songwriters who plague subway stops and opening slots from coast to coast, but they wouldn't exist without the blues. That said, there's nothing duller than a Tom Waits cultist with a steam-punk tattoo and the word "Reverend" in front of his name. Ohio native and now Nashville-based songwriter Patrick Sweany isn't the second coming of anything. He's simply a dedicated musician who has absorbed the feel and the form of celebrated blues-based Southern masters such as Joe South or underappreciated ones such as Kevin Gordon. On the -released That Old Southern Drag, Sweany's voice can be as wizened as a dust bowl or as warm as a two-inch analog tape. His sound and songs rarely fail to capture the muscular drive of both early rock & roll and back-to-the-jukes blues.
New Edition Thursday, July 24 w/ Dru Hill @ Family Arena 8 p.m. | $58-$128 By Josh Levi From this 2012 show preview: Serving as both propellants of new jack swing and fore-bearers of the boy band movement of the late '90s, New Edition's lasting footprint has rippled through popular culture since its beginning in 1978.... New Edition is sure to cause a frenzy among the grown and sexy as the evening highlights hits from the respective careers of its members. Add the seductive bump and grind of openers SWV and the night is sure to make you "weak at the knees."
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