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Jason Michael Carroll, 2 Live Crew and others

Volcano scribes tell you where to go

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Jason Michael Carroll

If you attend this show, close your eyes for the first couple of songs, otherwise you might think Jason Michael Carroll is lip-syncing to an obscure deep-voiced country artist from the 1970s. The 28-year-old singer/songwriter looks like an ‘80s heavy metal singer — complete with long blonde locks — but appearances prove to be deceiving as Carroll is as hardcore country as Merle Haggard ever was.  Forget his poster boy image though; this is one artist that can rely solely on his talent.  With simple chord progressions, his rootsy, self-penned originals are not glammed out but are purely Americano with a rock edge. The North Carolina native won a local talent contest in 2004 and grabbed the attention of manger Rusty Harmon (Hootie and the Blowfish), and by the next year he was a staple on Nashville’s Music Row.  Carroll issued his debut, Waitin’ in the Country, on Arista Nashville records in February of this year on which his baritone voice, insightful lyrics and brilliant arrangements all shine as bright as his pretty boy picture.  The media hype surrounding the record has lead to appearances with Brad Paisley and Neal McCoy.   Catch him at the Puyallup Spring Fair before tickets to his shows cost you an arm and a leg. — Tony Engelhart

[Puyallup Fairgrounds, 7:30 p.m., $5.50-$8, Ninth and Meridian, Puyallup, 253.845.0162]


Clinton Fearon and the Boogie Brown Band

More than just the pulsating beat, there’s just something about reggae that makes you feel righteous.  It transports you to a place where the sun is always shining and the crystal blue waters are forever calm.  One performer delivering these positive vibes stateside is Clinton “Basie” Fearon. For a little more than 20 years, Fearon has been pumping out 72 beats per minute with authenticity and a keen sense of traditionalism.  Cutting his teeth as a founding member of the celebrated singing group the Gladiators in the early ‘70s, Fearon became one of the most sought-after session bass players in Kingston, Jamaica, while the band fast gained notoriety as well.  Fearon left the Gladiators and relocated to Seattle in the late ‘80s where he co-founded the Defenders, whose 1987 EP, Chant Down Babylon/Rock Your Bones, reached Number 14 on The Reggae Route Top 20.  The multi-instrumentalist wrote the lyrics and sang lead, as well as playing bass, guitar and percussion. After going solo for three years, Fearon formed his third band, the Boogie Brown Band, in 1993.  Fearon and company has released three acclaimed discs, 1994’s Disturb the Devil, 1997’s Mystic Whisper and 2003’s What A System.

In Friday’s show at the Eagles Ballroom, Fearon welcomes special guests Deborah Bartley with Sunmay. This is a benefit for Media Island International. — Tony Engelhart

[Eagles Ballroom, 8 p.m., $9-$10, 805 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.970.5550]


Joe Lewis Walker

In 2002, I penned a review of Joe Louis Walker for a blues rag in Seattle: Joe Louis Walker is not just another young blues artist. While he began recording around the same time as other blues revivalists such as Robert Cray, Walker’s music has always walked the line between gospel and blues. Combining these two genres once again, Joe Louis Walker’s first release for Telarc, In The Morning, is possibly his best record since the 1988 release, The Gift

That same year, Walker released two more equally impressive discs, Pasa Tiempo and Guitar Brothers with Otis Grand, which received similarly positive reviews from me as well as other critics.   A uniquely diverse artist, he has always pushed the boundaries to incorporate many styles including Texas blues, Delta, modern electric, contemporary, soul, and R&B.  From wicked shuffles to smoldering slow blues, his riffs are always tight and solos are continually sharp. While his skills as a guitar player are beyond words, his soulful vocals are equally as moving.  Walker’s roots go deep, his legacy spans 40 years and he is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. — TE

[Jazzbones, 9 p.m., $12-$15, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396.9169]


Hot Club Sandwich

Woody Allen’s 1999 film “Sweet and Lowdown” starring Sean Penn was a fictional biopic about the second best jazz guitarist of the 1930s behind the real Django Reinhardt.  The movie was not only delightful because of Allen’s off-the-wall comedic edge, but it introduced moviegoers to a long lost genre, ragtime jazz.  In the tradition of Reinhardt, Hot Club Sandwich has captured the essence of string swing bands from the early 20th century and has brought it to contemporary audiences who long for the organic sound of this obscure genre of music. Formed six years ago, the sextet of Ray Wood (guitar), Kevin Connor (guitar), Greg Ruby (guitar), James Schneider (bass), Matt Sircely (mandolin), and Tim Wetmiller (violin), are seasoned players who are thoroughly absorbed in the Puget Sound’s Gypsy jazz scene.  The key to the band’s unique sound is the diverse musical backgrounds of its members.  Whether performing long forgotten standards or original ditties, the band’s complex arrangements and musical harmonies blend with flawless precision.  The Seattle-based group has released two recordings: 2003’s Digga Digga Do and this year’s, Green Room. — TE

[Traditions Café, 8 p.m., $8-$12, 300 Fifth Ave. S.W., Olympia, 360.705.2819]


2 Live Crew

It was announced a few days ago that the governor of Florida has been asked to pardon the late Jim Morrison, who was accused 38 years ago of lewd and lascivious behavior. The argument being presented is that the singer would not have been convicted of these types of charges today. Case in point: 2 Live Crew, whose members are no strangers to controversy, law suits and performance related arrests, are still free men and still making music, despite behavior that makes Morrison, by comparison, look like a choir boy.  In 1991, Florida District Court Judge Jose Gonzalez ruled that 2 Live Crew’s record As Nasty As They Wanna Be was legally obscene, and therefore illegal to sell. Subsequently, record retailers caught selling the record were arrested. Shortly after the ruling, three members of 2 Live Crew were arrested on obscenity charges for performing material from the record in a Florida night club. They were later acquitted, thanks in part to testimony by a Harvard professor who argued the material had important roots in African-American literary traditions. 

This week 2 Live Crew, or at least one original member of it (Fresh Kid Ice), will perform as Fresh Kid Ice and the X-Rated Rydas in Tacoma at the Garage.

2 Live Crew was famous for profane and sexually graphic songs such as “Me so Horny,” “We want some P—-y,” “Dirty Nursery Rhymes,” “Throw that D” and “Banned in the U.S.A.”

Fresh Kid Ice and the X-Rated Rydas band members are Fresh Kid Ice, Fish-N-Gritz, Drill Em’ Out, DJ-Big Ed and The Me So Horny Dancers. According to the band’s MySpace page, they “are in place and ready to take control of the explicit world.” The Rydas say they are the new era taking over where “The Crew” left off. Catch a glimpse of the future of the explicit world at xratedrydas. — Angela Jossy

[South Sound Garage, Saturday, April 21, 10 p.m., $10 advance at club, $12 door, 933 Market St., Tacoma, 253.305.0069]



The Parisian duo Air bring their Moog-flavored icy soundscapes and Partridge Family-on-helium harmonies to Tacoma’s Pantages Theater Monday, April 23.  Jean-Benoit Dunckel and Nicholas Godin are touring behind their fourth release, Pocket Symphony, which floats them back to their original breath of fresh air — up-tempo and mid-tempo float on the same plane, and beauty is accompanied by a distinctive high-altitude chill.

OK, that’s all the air metaphors I can draft.  Ha! — Brad Allen

[Pantages Theater, Monday, April 23, 8 p.m., $38.50, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, Ticketmaster]

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