If you like countrified soul-punk like the Gories used to play it, then you'll be way into a little group called The Detroit Cobras, who'll be ripping things up at the Hi-Tone on Friday, March 28th.
Fronted by the manic and maniacal female singer Rachel Nagy, the Cobras lean toward the spookier end of the garage spectrum, and their raunchy guitar sound is defiantly aimed to hit you below the belt.
If, on the other hand, you're more interested in countrified soul-punk the way Memphis' own Lucero used to play it, you'll want to go see them at the Young Avenue Deli on Saturday, March 29th. Ben and the boys don't play their hometown as often as they used to, so catch them when you can.
Of course, the must-see show of the week is a record-release party for Memphis' legendary singer and songwriter Sid Selvidge at Earnestine and Hazel's on Friday, March 28th, from 6 to 8 p.m. Selvidge, as the popular story goes, learned his critically acclaimed guitar chops from such blues masters as Furry Lewis and Mississippi Fred McDowell. But to call Selvidge a bluesman would be inaccurate. Selvidge can yodel like Jimmie Rodgers and moan an Appalachian murder ballad like some ghost from the Civil War. When he joined with Jim Dickinson, Jimmy Crosswaith, and the late Lee Baker to form Mudboy & the Neutrons -- the group Bob Dylan once described as "the band nobody can find" -- Selvidge proved he could also rock with the best of them. His latest recording, A Little Bit of Rain, released on Archer Records and produced by Jim Dickinson, is an eclectic mix of American folk styles showcasing Selvidge's smooth tenor.
His cover of Little Brother Montgomery's offbeat boogie, "Mama You Don't Mean Me No Good," is flawless, and his version of the folk standard "Long Black Veil" is nearly as creepy as Lefty Frizzel's. But it's the cover of "Every Natural Thing," written by a gravel-voiced Muscle Shoals musician named Eddie Hinton, that really shows off Selvidge's ability to tell a story with a song. It's a classy record from a class act that just keeps getting better with age. So go to E&H, get a Soul Burger with all the trimmings, and enjoy. And if you can't catch Sid this time around, he'll be appearing on the Porch at Shangri-La Records on Friday, April 25th.
-- Chris Davis