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Must-Have Tickets

Taj Mahal Trio
Fri., 5/11 • Doors: 6 p.m.; Curfew, 10 p.m.
Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
1941 Amphitheater Drive
Tickets $30 in advance; $35 day of
www.983thepenguin.com
Nothing says sweaty, steamy, hot and bothered like a bucket of blues. The Taj Mahal Trio will take over Greenfield Lake and turn it into a swamp fest of howling rhythm come May 11th.

Led by the one and only Taj Mahal (also known as Henry Saint Clair Fredericks), the legend has secured two Grammys, plays more than 20 instruments and has powerhouse vocals reflecting the gruff and smooth, gravelly and pristine depth of roots music. His 50-year career has snowballed a plethora of nontraditional sounds across the globe, from the Caribbean to Africa and beyond. He’ll be playing it all for audiences at Greenfield, alongside his touring band, Bill Rich on bass and Kester Smith on drums. Hurry and get tickets now—it will sell out!

Civil Twilight
Thurs., 5/31 • Doors: 8 p.m.; Show: 9 p.m.
Soapbox Laundro-Lounge
255 N. Front St.
$1.98/adv.; $10-13 day of
www.soapboxlaundrolounge.com
Though Civil Twilight originally formed in Cape Town, South Africa, they found the music scene just wasn’t big enough to feed their hunger. So, they moved to Los Angeles—then retreated to a small town in South Carolina to record their debut album. Finally, they’ve settled in Nashville, the perfect home for the modern alternative rock act.

Comprising Steven McKellar (vocals, bass, keys) his brother Andrew McKellar (guitar, vocals), and lifelong friend, Richard Wouter (drums), Civil Twilight is known for its beat-heavy, dream-like tunes as heard on shows like “One Tree Hill,” “House, MD” and “Vampire Diaries.” They’ve played Bonnaroo and Summerfest, among a number of other notable stages. The current tour promotes their latest release, “Holy Weather,” with the recognizable single, “Letters from the Sky,” which can be heard on Wilmington’s Modern Rock 98.7. In fact, the radio station, along with Progressive Music Group, is presenting the band at the Soapbox.

Star and Micey, Carolina Story
Wed., 6/20 • 9 p.m.; free
Satellite Bar and Lounge
120 Greenfield St.
www.satellitebarandlounge.com
Showcased at SXSW thrice now, Star and Micey is quickly making a name for itself in the folk outlet. Actually, the Folk Alliance International invited the Memphis-based act to perform at its 2012 conference. The line-up includes Joshua Cosby (vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin), Geoff Smith (bass, glockenspiel, percussion, vocals) and Nick Redmond (guitar, banjo, vocals), and their self-titled debut release from 2009 featured well-known musicians Luther Dickinson of The Black Crowes and Rick Steff of Lucero. Though their instrumentation is mellow, the band revels in the energy of live shows.

Built of the husband-and-wife duo Emily and Ben Roberts, Carolina Story brings songs inspired by relationships and encounters in smooth, haunting Americana. Emily, from South Dakota, and Ben, of Arkansas, met at Visible Music College in Memphis. Their harmonizing vocals, acoustic guitar, kick drum and harmonica sound pretty great.

Lucero
Thurs., 6/21 • 8 p.m.; Show: 9 p.m.
Soapbox Laundro-Lounge
255 N. Front St.
$20/adv., $25-$28/day of
www.soapboxlaundrolounge.com
Locals love alt-country, and they especially love a group who defines it without parallel. Enter Memphis, Tennessee’s Lucero—a six-piece of punk-rockers-at-heart who play rambling hooks filled with twangy soul.

Roy Berry (drums), John C. Stubblefield (bass), Brian Venable (guitar), and Ben Nichols (guitar and vocals), Rick Steff (piano, organ, accordion), and occasionally Todd Beene (pedal steel) have released six albums among a relentless touring schedule since their genesis in 1998. Released in March on ATO (My Morning Jacket, Drive-By Truckers, Alabama Shakes), “Women at Work,” is their latest hit, mixing rock and soul among standard hints of country.

Carbon Leaf
Fri., 6/29 • 8 p.m.; Show: 9 p.m.
Soapbox Laundro-Lounge
255 N. Front St.
$12/adv., $15-18/day of
www.soapboxlaundrolounge.com
Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, Carbon Leaf has been creating quality alt-country, Celtic-infused rock for 20 years. Their list of instruments runs the gamut, with lead singer Barry Privett on penny whistle, acoustic guitar and bagpipes; Terry Clark on guitar and vocals; and Carter Gravett on mandolin, guitar (acoustic, 12-string, lap steel), bouzoki, bodhran, loops, fiddle and vocals. The group is filled out by drummer Jason Neal and electric and upright bassist Jon Markel.

Returning to their independent roots, the band parted ways with Vanguard Records in 2010 in order to release music on their own terms and via media other than CD. Heralded for its lyricism, in 2002 it took first place in the rock category for “The Boxer” at the International Songwriting Competition. In 2007 it took second place overall and first in lyrics for “The War was in Color” at the USA Songwriting Competition.

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Sun., 7/1 • Doors: 7 p.m.; Show: 8:30 p.m.
Hooligan’s Music Hall
2620 Onslow Drive, Jacksonville
$12, www.hooligansmusichall.com
Residents of Wilmington, Jacksonville, and surrounding areas will likely recall tunes such as “Face Down,” “Damn Regret,” “You Better Pray” and “Your Guardian Angel.” In July they’ll hear it live as Red Jumpsuit Apparatus hits Hooligan’s Music Hall. The hard alternative rock of RJA actually spawned from childhood friends in an AP music theory class in the early 2000s.

The Middleburg, Florida, band—Ronnie Winter (lead vocals), his brother Randy Winter (rhythym guitar), Joey Westwood (bass), Josh Burke (lead guitar), and touring drummer Kristopher Comeaux—has been featured in the movie “Georgia Rule.” Their latest album, “Am I the Enemy,” was released last fall.

Christopher Robinson Brotherhood
Tues., 7/3 • 6 p.m.
Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
1941 Amphitheater Drive; $25
www.greenfieldlakeamphitheater.com
The self-proclaimed purveyors of “psychedelic filling in a folk-blues pie,” Christopher Robinson Brotherhood is an amalgamation of unique artistry. In December 2010, The Black Crowes announced they’d be taking a hiatus for who knows how long. In the spring of 2011, CRB was born.

Featuring Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes, of course, the band also calls forth Adam MacDougall (keys, The Black Crowes), George Suppick (drums, JJ Grey and Mofro), Mark “Muddy” Dutton (bass, Burning Tree) and Neal Casal (guitar, Ryan Adams and The Cardinals).

Tickets are available online or at Gravity Records (note that advanced standing room is sold out, but seated tickets are still available for $25). It’s fitting that our local record gurus at Gravity would sell tickets, especially since CRB made a point to celebrate Record Store Day (April 21st) with the 7″ release of “Blue Suede Shoes” and a live recording of “Girl, I Love You.” The debut release from CRB, “Big Moon Ritual,” is expected to be out on June 5th, just in time for their performance at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater.

Leftover Salmon
Wed., 7/25 • Doors 5:30 p.m.; show 6 p.m.
Tickets $25 adv / $30 day of
Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
1941 Amphitheater Drive
www.greenfieldlakeamphitheater.com
Hippies and Americana fans alike will be sated as Boulder, Colorado’s Leftover Salmon returns to the port city to play their masterful jammy sounds mixed with a pickin’ flair nested in Zydeco/Cajun influences. Having been around since 1989, they’re the product of two bands colliding: Salmon Heads (Vince Herman, guitar, washboard), asked some members of the Left Hand String Band (Drew Emmitt, mandolin, fiddle, electric guitar; Glenn Keefe, no longer in the band; Mark Vann, no longer in the band) to fill in on a few shows. Since, they’ve been moving along quite swimmingly with the addition of Andy Thorn on banjo, Greg Garrison on bass, and Jose Martinez on drums.

After a three-year hiatus in 2004, the band couldn’t stay away from the stage and has been picking up steam since, completing a 20-year anniversary tour in ‘09. Their “Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass” gets a new dose of magic, too, as they have a new album dropping, “Aquatic Hitchhiker,” in May. They even recorded a five-part documentary of its making in Portland, Oregon.

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, 910tix.com. Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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