Mixing the primal proto-punk of the Stooges with the bad-girl bubblegum of groups such as the Ronnettes, The Gore Gore Girls (named for a grade-Z horror flick) have earned a reputation as one of the finest garage-rock outfits on the Detroit scene. Slinging vintage Gretsch guitars (heads-up, White Falcon fans), the Gore Gore Girls bump, grind, and growl their way through beat-y, Kinks-inspired R&B, then rip the top of your head off with old-school Detroit fury. This is inspired rock and raunch, not to be missed. The Gore Gore Girls visit the Buccaneer on Wednesday, May 11th, with the Natural Kicks.
I'm one of those evil media types who work overtime to keep Hank Williams III down in the honky-tonk ghetto. When he fills his guitar with retro rocket fuel and blazes through his grandpa's songbook, it's a holy, holy experience: a full-on three-chord tent revival. Hank's original rock stylings aren't horrible, but they aren't particularly inspired either. Chances are he'll play a heaping helping of lonesome weepers and regrettable screamers when he pulls into the Hi-Tone on Saturday, May 7th.
The ridiculously unfunny anti-comic Neil Hamburger has always made me grin from ear to ear, but he's never made me nearly drive my car into a ditch laughing until I heard him squeeze off a line about the contents of Madonna's breasts on his new CD, Great Moments at DePresa's Pizza House. If you think comb-overs are funnier than mullets, Hamburger's your man. He's at the Hi-Tone on Thursday, May 5th. -- Chris Davis
If you're not overstuffed with music after last weekend's Beale Street Music Festival, you can look forward to another of the city's biggest annual music events this week with the Blues Foundation's W.C. Handy Awards, which will be held Thursday, May 5th, at the Cook Convention Center downtown. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.
But even if you can't make it down for the awards ceremony itself, you can still enjoy the fruits of the event, because blues spills out all over town this weekend. Former International Blues Challenge winner Watermelon Slim will be at Blues Hall Friday, May 6th, and at Huey's Downtown Sunday, May 8th. Huey's will also welcome a couple of national blues figures to their Midtown location Sunday: Fruteland Jackson for an afternoon show and Michael Powers that night.
Elsewhere on Beale, Ann Rabson will be at King's Palace Café Friday. The Rum Boogie Café will welcome Honeyboy Edwards Friday and former Muddy Waters sideman Bob Margolin Saturday.
But this week is also a good opportunity to sample some of this city's local blues stalwarts. Over at B.B. King's, Ruby Wilson, Kirk Smithhart, and Preston Shannon are all on tap, while Blues Hall will present The Eric Hughes Duo as well as an open jam sponsored by the Memphis Blues Society, which will happen late Thursday. At Rum Boogie Café, James Govan and harmonica master Billy Gibson are on the schedule this week, and over at Silky O'Sullivan's, the always entertaining Barbara Blue is in the house. Check out our After Dark listings for dates and times on all of this Beale Street action.
Finally, a couple of blocks off Beale, my personal fave of the bunch --Di Anne Price & Her Boyfriends -- will be at Huey's Downtown for the afternoon show Sunday, May 8th.
If blues isn't your thing, my Sound Advice partner has the skinny on this week's best bets, but I'll throw a few more out there:
Paddy's Memphis Pub welcomes a couple of artists from the Memphis in May honored country, Ireland, with Nigel Mooney Friday, May 6th, and Rig the Jig Saturday, May 7th. Some excellent singer-songwriters who have been absent for a while are getting more active lately: Cory Branan is back from a stint in New York and will perform alongside Snowglobe's Tim Regan at the Hi-Tone Café Wednesday, May 11th. And Makeshift Records songsmith Blair Combest will be at the P&H Café Saturday, May 7th.