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Sound Advice

The Flyer's music writers tell you where you can go.


One-timeFlyer cover subject and arguably the world's greatest under-40 blues player, Alvin Youngblood Hart is the local music force that isn't. This constantly touring East Memphis resident doesn't play locally very often. As far as I know he's played two Memphis shows so far this year -- not counting an appearance at a recent Prairie Home Companion broadcast at The Orpheum. His show on a Tuesday night in February at the Hi-Tone Café might be the best I've seen this year, as Hart and his crack three-piece band whipped through a revelatory set that melded blues and country and classic rock and nearly every other sound under the sun. He brought out local singers Jackie Johnston and Susan Marshall for a set that included a scorching version of the Rolling Stones' "Sway." I don't normally get excited by guitar players, but his playing was thrilling - - precise, explosive, imaginative, and somehow never indulgent. It was the most enthralling guitar performance I've seen since witnessing Built To Spill's Doug Martsch perform a similar feat half a dozen years ago. There were maybe 70 people at the Hart show -- maybe. Hart's other local show this year was at the Blues Tent at the Beale Street Music Fest -- a similar set with the same band, still great but less exciting due to the atmosphere. But Hart will be back this week for a two-night stay at B.B. King's Blues Club on Friday, July 20th, and Saturday, July 21st. He's the best Memphis has to offer right now and you don't get many chances to see him. Don't miss it.-- Chris Herrington

Tyler Keith, former frontman for Oxford's explosive Dixie- thrash masters the Neckbones, returns to the Young Avenue Deli Saturday, July 21st. It's Johnny Thunders meets Johnny Paycheck when Keith and his band the Preacher's Kids unleash their new-and-improved brand of defiant, working man's punk. Keith is a charismatic shouter whose furious guitar sermons can quickly whip a crowd into a Pentecostal frenzy. His solo debut, Romeo Hood , is not only the best release yet from the Monticello, Mississippi, label Black Dog, it's one of the best new discs I've heard all year. Grab it, spin it, learn the words, and get revved up for a hell of a show. If the performance they gave at Shangri-La Records a few months back is any indication, the Kids like to play, and the rowdier the crowd gets the better. -- Chris Davis

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