COLUMN WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where each Friday we’ll be taking a look at shows coming to the region over the next week. Whether your musical tastes are rock and roll, jazz, heavy metal, singer-songwriter or indie, there’ll always be something to check out in the coming days.
Here are seven of the best for the week beginning Jan. 1:
Gov’t Mule – Jan. 2 at The Tower Theater
Few bands have a reputation for making music as consistently honest, organic and daring as Gov’t Mule. Now the enduring group, fronted by visionary singer-guitarist Warren Haynes, who leads the virtuosity and intelligence that has made the band so extraordinary over the past two decades plus, are set for their annual “New Year’s Run.” New York City got New Year’s Eve and the night before that, but Philly gets the first Mule show of the year. At press time tickets still remained, but grab them fast as rumors swirl about what special guests might make an appearance.
Devon Allman Band – Jan. 3 at Sellersville Theater 1894
It can’t be easy being the son of a rock ‘n’ roll legend, especially one with such a strong pedigree. But if anyone has shown that he can handle it, it’s Devon Allman, son of The Allman Brothers Band legendary singer/songwriter Gregg Allman. How he does it is not by trying to emulate his famous father, but follow his own path which is tinged with not only southern rock blues, but his own influences sought out independently from his lineage.
The Dove & The Wolf – Jan. 6 at Boot & Saddle
The Dove & The Wolf is made up of singer/songwriters Paloma Gil and Lou Hayat-Camard, two girls raised on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean — one in Paris and the other on the French-Caribbean island of Martinique. They started playing together in 2004 and formed this project in 2012. Six months after creating the band, the duo released their self-produced and self-distributed four-song EP and are currently working on their debut LP. The best thing about their partnership? Gil and Lou call Philadelphia home these days, residing in Fishtown.
Winter Jam – Jan. 7 at Santander Arena
Christian music isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the fact is, it’s a viable genre that continues to grow in popularity. Since its formation by NewSong in 1995, The Winter Jam Tour Spectacular has featured many of the top names in Christian music, which this year includes For King & Country, Matthew West, Crowder and, of course, NewSong. When you attend a Winter Jam event, you can count on ministry being the main focus and lots of talk about what God has in store for the faithful.
Venom Inc – Jan. 7 at Underground Arts
And here is something from the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Venom is one of the best known black metal outfits, and with album titles like “Welcome to Hell,” “Fallen Angels” and “Prime Evil” are pretty unlikely to show up at a Christian music festival. It is important to note that this is Venom “Inc.,” an offshoot of the original UK outfit, and is made up of previous members of Venom.
Jeremiah Tall – Jan. 7 at Bourbon & Branch
Inspired by an unwavering love for summers spent in the mountains, along with the tall tales from his youth, Jeremiah Tall is a one-man show based out of Bucks County. Tall’s tales range from the struggles of finding your feet on an ever-changing landscape to fictional stories of cowboys and the common man’s battle with the devil. A hand painted suitcase converted into a kick drum provides a backbone to his own throwback spin on folk rock.
Splintered Sunlight – Jan. 7 at Ardmore Music Hall
Formed in 1992, Splintered Sunlight quickly became the most popular Grateful Dead tribute band in the Philadelphia area, gaining praise from Deadheads and non-heads alike. Since that time, the band has become a permanent fixture for music in the Mid-Atlantic region. Splintered Sunlight is every bit the equal of the various bigger-name Dead bands. From its authentic two-drum set lineup, to Butchy Sochorow’s soaring lead guitar and naturally “Dead” on Jerry Garcia-like voice, to Dan Leyden’s rhythms and Bob Weir vocals, Splintered can do it all in a big way. They’re musically superb, imaginative and always changing set lists, like the real thing.