Local singer-songwriter Wayne LeeLoy is probably better known around town as entrepreneur than as artist, and for good reason. As founder of the popular Memphis Troubadours Acoustic Showcase and driving force behind the spin-off project The Acoustic Highway, LeeLoy has been making good things happen on the local music scene. But he's also an artist in his own right, fronting the folk-rock band Native Son, who will hold a CD-release party Saturday, December 28th, at the Lounge for their fine new disc Spirit. With its toe-tapping acoustic-based sound and ambitious songwriting, Spirit sports a vibe somewhat reminiscent of the Dave Matthews Band. Native Son will be joined Saturday by Los Cantadores.
Other local shows (not many touring acts around the holidays) of note this week include another record-release, for longtime local fixtures FreeWorld, who celebrate their new live album Saturday, December 28th, at the New Daisy Theatre, with Retrospect. And four bands whose records topped this critic's year-end local list (see Music Feature, page 31) can all be seen this week. The Reigning Sound headline a New Year's Eve bash at the Hi-Tone Café with Tyler Keith & the Preacher's Kids and The Cool Jerks. At the Young Avenue Deli Friday, December 27th, Snowglobe and The Bloodthirsty Lovers will be joined by The Glass. And the next night at the Deli, Lucero return home for a special Christmas show that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.
"Drinkin' Alone," the signature tune by Detroit goof-a-billy artists Bill Parker and His Motherscratchers, contains a bit of Charlie Louvin-style preaching. "God spoke to me in a dream," says frontman Hank Diesel, "unfortunately, I was asleep." Yes indeed, here is yet another punk-country group that develops their material by standing outside the trailer park looking in. Unlike most of the bands that are mining this increasingly fallow field these days, the Motherscratchers seem to genuinely enjoy the traditional music they exploit. Compared to the tired shtick of Southern Culture on the Skids, the Motherscratch-ers seem completely fresh, and they get extra points for taking their name from one of the silliest bits of dialogue that the Coen Brothers ever committed to film. They will be at the Hi-Tone on Friday, December 27th, with Knoxville's Pink Sexies and Memphis' own The Limes. --Chris Davis