Ranging from bawdy and bluesy to swingy and political, the Austin-based Asylum Street Spankers, appearing Thursday, March 24, at Sticky Fingerz, defy the limits of a genre label.
The group is everything its name suggests, with a head-spinning set list designed to hold the attention of even the most ADD-plagued listener. Fronted by versatile vocalist Christina Marrs and a multi-instrumentalist bohunk of a guy named Wammo, the string band’s music is mostly acoustic, but the Spankers have been known to plug in of late. They have gained a reputation as a must-see in festival circuits here and overseas. Apparently, they’ve garnered a big following in Japan following a 2003 tour.
Several anti-drug-war tunes highlight their repertoire, such as “Dry Down There,” “Funny Cigarette” and “Winning the War on Drugs.” They also are known for covering the vast canvas of American roots music with such classics as “Shave ’em Dry” (arguably one of the dirtiest songs in American history, by Depression-era blues feminist vocalist Lucille Bogan), “Little Sugar in my Bowl” and “Shine on Harvest Moon.” Then they’ll go modern with their takes on the Beastie Boys’ “Paul Revere” and the B-52’s “Dance This Mess Around.”
Admission is $10 for the 9 p.m. show.
After a five-year stint fronting the popular Austin blues, rhythm and soul band Storyville, Malford Milligan is going it alone. Milligan, whose pipes have been compared with those of R&B great Otis Redding, will appear at Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom on Saturday, March 26, with a new seven-piece backup group that includes a horn section.
Milligan’s impressive credentials include lending vocals to more than 30 CDs by other talented musicians and fronting Texas Flooders Double Trouble (of Stevie Ray Vaughan fame). He made a big impression several years ago at the Riverfest Amphitheatre as part of a lineup that included the Neville Brothers, Dr. John and B.B. King.
Charlotte Taylor and Gypsy Rain open at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.
If you’re feeling like hearing some throwback honky-tonk country in the style of the ’70s-era Texas Outlaws, Jack Ingram and the Beat-Up Ford Band will appear at Juanita’s on Thursday, March 24. A cohort of songwriters Jim Lauderdale and Todd Snider, Ingram has recorded 10 albums. Last year was a very busy one for Ingram, with three albums released: “Acoustic Motel,” “Young Man” and “Happy, Happy … Live at Gruene Hall.” He’s not taking a breather, either: he’ll have a new album out this spring.
This show, says management, will be more upbeat and rocking than his previous acoustic, moody, motel-room sets. The very-good-at-rock-’n’-rolling local act Jeff Coleman Band opens at 9 p.m. Admission is $10.
As you may guess from his stage name, Little Howlin’ Wolf (Jessie Sanders) was a student and long-time band mate of Chester Arthur Burnett — the great, innovative blues legend known as Howlin’ Wolf. On Friday, March 25, he’ll appear with the Jess Hoggard Band as his backup at the Press Box, across from UALR on Fair Park Boulevard.
The 74-year old Sanders has worked with the greats, like the three Kings (Freddie, Albert and B.B.), Jimmy Reed, Little Milton and Bobby Blue Bland, among others. Admission to the 10 p.m. show is $5.
Vino’s has a great lineup this week: Memphis-based rockers Lucero will sweep through town on Friday, March 25. Opening will be tour mates Communique and local rockers American Tourist … Temper Effect, finalist in this year’s Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, will hold its CD release party on Saturday, March 26. Opening at 8:30 p.m. will be the Key of Summer and Day 21. Admission is $5 … Metal rules on Sunday with Shadows Fall and special guests Epoch of Unlight and Vore. Admission to the 6 p.m. show is $15 … Jump to Wednesday, March 30, with hard rock from New York City provided by Alston, fronted by Kobie Jackson, the former vocalist of Primer 55. Alston’s debut CD is called “Voo Doo for Fun and Profit.” Also appearing is Sinch, a pop, rock and electronic band that interestingly comes equipped with an “ocular noise machine.” Dust Forth opens the show starting at 7 p.m. Admission is $7.