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. 8 (listen to a playlist featuring each artist below):
Chase Rice – Jan. 8 at The Fillmore
Former reality television star turned country singer superstar Chase Rice is on quite the roll. His 2014 major-label debut, Ignite the Night, was a hit out of the box, debuting at number one on the country charts. Rice, who co-wrote the Hot 100 Florida Georgia Line single “Cruise,” is still touring for the genre-busting bruiser of an album that tackles tube tops and tears in equal measure, which came out via Columbia Nashville and his own Dack Janiels label.
City of the Sun – Jan. 8 at Boot & Saddle
New York City trio City of the Sun creates tunes with two guitars, a box, and bells, resulting in a sound that is far greater than the sum of those parts. Their music has been called “a re-invention of acoustic music.” It’s instrumental; it’s worldly; sweeping from wide-screen post-rock dynamics to gypsy jazz syncopations. Formed in the early 2010s, the band has blazed a trail through the city playing everywhere from street corners, to lofts, to sold-out hotspots like Rockwood Music Hall, Mercury Lounge, and The Gramercy Theatre. They’ve shared stages with a diverse array of artists including Marky Ramone, hip-hop star Matisyahu, and Greensky Bluegrass.
Light of Day Winterfest – Jan. 8 at World Café Live Upstairs
Light of Day is a New Jersey-based organization which funds research into possible cures, improved treatments and support for persons suffering from Parkinson’s disease and related illnesses. The primary fundraising efforts are an annual series of concerts held in Asbury Park, N.J. The concerts and the organization began as a birthday party in November 1998 to celebrate the 40th birthday of artist manager and music industry veteran Bob Benjamin who had recently been diagnosed with the disease. This will be the first “Songwriters Up Close & Personal” event in Philly and will be hosted by Ben Arnold. Appearing with in the singer/songwriter circle format are Rob Hyman of the Hooters, Willie Nile, Mutlu and Blake Morgan, Lisa Bouchelle and Dawg Whistle featuring original E Street Band drummer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Vini “Maddog” Lopez and Jersey Shore legend Paul Whistler.
Maceo Parker – Jan. 9 at Ardmore Music Hall
It’s fairly common knowledge that Maceo Parker has played with each and every leader of funk, from his start with James Brown – which Parker famously described as, “Like being at University” – to jumping aboard the Mothership with George Clinton and more recently his ongoing part in Prince’s tours. He’s the living, breathing pulse which connects the history of Funk in one golden thread, and his solo shows are an education in themselves.
Metz with Bully – Jan. 12 at First Unitarian Church
Punk rock act Metz is reason enough to head out to this show, but the real attraction, not to diminish the headliner in any manner whatsoever, is Bully. The Nashville natives released one of 2015’s most exciting albums, Feels Like, a debut that brims with intensity, angst and while a throwback to the alt-rock of the 90s, sounds fresh as anything else out there. Much of it is doe to frontwoman Alice Bognanno’s intensity which can go from zero to 60 in seconds.
Joe Bonamassa – Jan. 12 at Santander Performing Arts Center
Joe Bonamassa’s career began on stage opening for B.B. King in 1989, when he was only 12 years old. Today, he is hailed worldwide as one of the greatest guitar players of his generation, and an ever-evolving singer-songwriter who has released 16 solo albums in the last 14 years, all on his own label, J&R Adventures. Bonamassa’s tour schedule consistently hovers at around 100 shows worldwide each year, and a heaping handful of markedly diverse side projects keep him thinking outside the box and flexing every musical muscle he’s got. He works hard, he’s got the blues and he’s a must see in concert.
Crucible – Jan. 13 at Voltage Lounge
Sometimes artists can’t do want they want musically in their main bands, so they’ve got to extend themselves to an outside project. That’s the case with We Came As Romans vocalist Dave Stephens, guitarist Lou Cotton and bassist Andrew Glass, who late last year launched a new side project dubbed Crucible. The band finds the trio joined by guitarist Todd Jansen and ex-Taproot drummer Nick Freddell. The project was started in order to allow the musicians to play something heavier than their primary bands would allow. There’s no telling where it will go, but to catch them in a venue this size might be the last time before they graduate to larger gigs.
By Michael Christopher, For Digital First Media (Michael Christopher’s “Seven In Seven” music column appears regularly in Ticket)