The top recommended show of the week takes place at the Mint on March 2. The headliner is Backyard Tire Fire, hot off the release of their disc, the Steve Berlin-produced Good To Be - and quite good it turns out to be. Which isn’t a surprise. BTF has been one of my favorite rootsy rock groups for the last few years. They fall in with fellow hoist-a-beer-to bands like the Hold Steady, Marah and Lucero – guys who create gritty music with a dose of twang and a big serving of rock ‘n’ roll. Frontman Ed Anderson evokes Tom Petty vocally, but he’s reared less on the Beatles and Byrds than the Replacements and early Wilco. Backyard Tire Fire is one of those bands percolating just under the mainstream but poised to become better known.
Preceding BTF is the fine local outfit, Old Californio, another band that looking to blossom to bigger things. Haling from the San Gabriel area, this group mines the golden SoCal country-rock sound, but make their music feel new and fresh. Last year, they produced their debut, the thoroughly wonderful Westering Again, a disc you should get to know if you haven’t already.
Other shows worth checking out include:
Andrew Belle, part of the Ten From Tenn singer/songwriter collective, plays the Hotel Café March 3
The quirky Brit pop/rock group the Clientele comes to Spaceland on March 5.
The Experience Hendrix Tour brings a galaxy of guitar wizards (Joe Satriani, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, David Hidalgo, Ernie Isley and more) to the Gibson March 5.
March 6 finds the critically acclaimed performer/producer Joe Henry appearing at Largo.
While across town at UCLA’s Royce Hall that night, two iconic acts from the American South – The Blind Boys of Alabama and Allen Toussaint - will perform. Coincidentally, Joe Henry produced Toussaint’s last disc..hmm.