Latin-funk | The Nation Beat
Wed. March 29
The Nation Beat is a Latin-rhythm “world music act” out of Brooklyn who pull more from the spiritual vibes of the traditional Maracatu music than the familiar samba grooves. “We fuse Northeastern Brazilian music with funk, jazz, and New Orleans second line rhythms,” says artistic director and percussionist Scott Kettner. “We’re presenting a ‘Brazilian Big-Beat Extravaganza’ at Cumberland’s this week with an exciting evening of world music from the Northeast of Brazil and beyond.” Kettner, a colleague of former Charlestonian jazz guitarist Clay Ross, is also a performing member of Cyro Baptista’s Beat The Donkey. The group is touring in support of their debut album, MaracatuUniveral. The impressive album features folkloric Brazilian percussionists as well as world-renowned artists such as Frank London, Ron Caswell, Art Barron, and members of Cascabulho. —T. Ballard Lesemann WEDNESDAY
HARD ROCK | Black Venus
Wed. March 29 / Fri. March 31
Johnson’s Pub / Charleston Beer Works
It’s fun calling newly-established local quartet Black Venus a “curse rock band.” They certainly look and sound like the kind of smart-asses who cuss and carry on over the microphones in a beery stupor and release a loose, heavy rock sound sure to induce rowdiness. Singer Ben Crisatello, bassist Mark Wheeler, guitarist Jordan Smith, and drummer Spencer Collins regularly play around the bars of downtown with a harshly riffy, leather ‘n’ denim set of hard-rock covers and originals (their debut EP is sue out this season). “We don’t play any jam band crap,” assures Spencer. “We actually try to offend anyone who is affiliated with that genre.” Indeed. —TBL WEDNESDAY/FRIDAY
ROCK | Mute Math
Fri. March 31
These days, it’s quite refreshing to hear retro synth-rock band do something clever, original, and aggressive. Formed in New Orleans, alt-rock quartet Mute Math carefully mix big beats, menacing guitar and synth sounds, low-budge electronic samples, and grim melodies with fine results. Guitarist Greg Hill, singer/keyboardist Paul Meany, drummer Darren King, and bassist Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas are on a major U.S. tour behind a strong, 13-song, self-titled album (released on Teleprompt Records). “We act on the idea that our magic is to be found in the mixture of countless thoughts,” says Meany. “I blame it on the past 40 years of music.” Local experi-rock trio Maestro opens the show. —TBL FRIDAY
JAZZ-FUNK | The Greyboy All-Stars
Fri. March 31
$23 ($20 adv.)
Legends in the home-grown jam scene, the original Greyboy All-Stars are back at it and touring the U.S. in advance of their first studio album in nine years. Led by saxophonist and flute player Karl Denson (pictured) and keyboardist Robert Walter, the lineup includes guitarist Elgin Park, drummer Zak Najor, and bassist Chris Stillwell. Denson has kept busy with other band, Tiny Universe, while Robert Walter has done similarly with his group, 20th Congress. The All-Stars recently recorded with DJ Greyboy. Once again, the high-tech ensemble is dedicated to the quest for the “almighty groove.” Expect the band to veer into freaked-out experimental jazz ramblings, soul-filled funk beats, and a pile of “sonic organization and interpretations.” —TBL FRIDAY
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