INDIE, COUNTRY | Johnny Delaware and SUSTO
Wed. April 8
9 p.m.
$7/adv., $8/door
Redux Contemporary Art Center

Johnny Delaware became a full-time member of SUSTO again this year, but not before he had the chance to record a couple of solo tracks for the artists’ split 12-inch vinyl they’ll drop at tonight’s Hearts & Plugs residency gig at Redux. Speaking to the City Paper a few weeks ago, Delaware revealed that the release will include the orchestral “Truth,” which he wrote while meditating on acid — confirming drugs may not be a bad idea at all. The record also includes “Time,” a pretty and pensive track Delaware wrote for his ex. As for the rest of the record, SUSTO’s side will include a couple of tracks fans have probably heard live: a fun calypso version of “Black Jesus” and “Circle Fountain Medley,” a good-humored story that begins with, “I’ve been checking you out/ I’ve been looking at your Facebook/ I’ve been doing all the things that I know would probably creep you out.” After tonight, Hearts & Plugs has one last residency show next week with local acts Grace Joyner and Hermit’s Victory, the latter of which is an ethereal new project from Tyler Bertges. —Kelly Rae Smith wednesDAy

w/ FALINE and The Gunshy
Sun. April 12
9 p.m.
The Royal American

Solo artist Andrew Bryant learned at a tender age the struggles of balancing work and pleasure. As a youth, he spent a significant chunk of time assisting his father at the sawmill while learning to sing from his piano-playing mother, before ultimately deciding to pursue a full-time career in music. The now 34-year-old makes up one-half of alt-country band Water Liars, having toured with major names like Drive-By Truckers and Mountain Goats, and he’s even had the privilege of recording tunes at his own studio for over a decade. However, that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the frustrations and subsequent burnout that performers today face when coping with real-world anxieties. Bryant’s sixth full-length release This is the Life is a nod to those instances of uncertainty, and it acknowledges the dissonance of attempting to maintain a creative lifestyle while balancing the tumultuous yet gratifying work that comes along with it. “I tried to separate the heartache and failure in life as much as possible and fill in that gap with a personal adrenaline shot,” he says of the album. Bryant’s sound is a mix of husky vocal stylings and ambient harmonies with a push of folk-rock (reminiscent of acts like Dawes or Justin Townes Earle) and elements of Americana and southern gospel, including prevalent slide guitar as per his upbringing in Mississippi. From songs like “Losing My Shit” to “Do What You Love” and “The Free,” This is the Life evokes myriad emotions yet provides a hopeful message for the listener by proposing a solution to the problematic frame of mind Bryant deems as distinctly American. “Capitalism constantly degrades humans, and musicians are no different,” he says. “I take the only road I know that works for me — to just keep working, to love myself, and to do something good for someone else for a change.” —Kristen Milford sunDAy

DEPRESSION-ERA JAZZ | Dustbowl Revival
w/ Miss Tess & The Talkbacks
Sun. April 12
9 p.m.
Pour House

Los Angeles-based band The Dustbowl Revival mixes turn-of-the-century blues, New Orleans swing, old-time jazz, back-in-the-day bluegrass, and Southern gospel to create a timeless, varying sound that journeys through the American songbook. The band met through the jazz and bluegrass communities in L.A. “Living by the beach to me has been inspiring,” vocalist and guitarist Z. Lupetin says. “It’s a bit like being in a revolving circus.” Joined by Liz Beebe (vocals, washboard), Ulf Bjorlin (trombone), Matt Rubin (trumpet), Daniel Mark (mandolin), Connor Vance (fiddle), James Klopfleisch (bass), and Josh Heffernan (drums), Lupetin says their brand of music starts with the blues and the church, which feeds into bluegrass, rock ‘n’ roll, and soul. “We try and really give audiences a full tour of what gets us going, which is kind of all of it,” Lupetin says. Their performances are so engagingly fun, The Dustbowl Revival was named Best Live Band by LA Weekly. In 2010, the band won Americana Song of the Year from the Independent Music Awards with Tom Waits judging. And when Rolling Stone went to see Dustbowl Revival, they loved them so much, the critic came back for more the next day. One song Lupetin likes to perform is “John the Revelator,” which is on the band’s last release Carry Me Home. “I first heard [Son House’s version] when a friend in college started stealing old gospel albums from the jazz library. We sat in that hot dorm room and played it over and over,” Lupetin says.” I had to feel the way he did when he shouted that song. It still moves me to do that tune.” —Kelly Rae Smith sunDAy

w/ Stagehands and Brett Nash
Thurs. April 9
8 p.m.
Tin Roof

Based out of Atlanta, Ga. and originally hailing from Memphis, Tenn. comes the other-worldly stylings of Naan Violence. A relatively new project from talented sitar player Arjun Kulharya, Naan Violence also consists of JB Horrell (synthesizer), Ben Bauermeister (tablas), and newest member Benjamin Walsh (flute). Citing inspiration from acts like Sun Ra, the group was originally formed by Kulharya and fellow Memphis musician Andrew McCalla in 2012. Described by Kulharya himself as “transcendental, free sitar music,” Naan Violence’s sound instantly encapsulates listeners in a golden-age-of-Bollywood type of feel and a noticeably cinematic soundscape. “Siren Sampler” takes listeners on an eclectic musical journey, offering the slick harmony of the sitar with backing drums — perfectly appropriate for roaming the streets of Mumbai or trekking the desert sands. In embracing the uniqueness of the music, honing the traditional sound of the sitar — pioneered by renowned sitarists like Ravi Shankar — with dreamy synths and backing percussion, Naan Violence’s distinctive style essentially brings the genre to the current day. One thing is for certain: It’s definitely unlike most music that you’ve seen performed live. —Viraj Naik thursDAy

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