Upcoming concerts with Junior Brown and Old Crow Medicine Show with Gillian Welch

More Concerts of Note

Old Crow Medicine Show

Junior Brown

Saturday · Gold Star Chili Chilifest (near the corner of Court St. and Central Ave.)

The marketing geniuses that came up with the concept of crossover music weren't thinking it would lead to the Rock rumble and Country bluster of Junior Brown. The Indiana native learned piano at a young age from his father and through radio/TV exposure became a Country music fan (particularly of Ernest Tubb, who Brown would tribute on his first album with his original track, "My Baby Don't Dance to Nothing But Ernest Tubb"). When Brown discovered electric guitar in the '60s, he joined a number of Rock bands but, well ahead of eventual convention, was always more interested in the intersection of Rock and Country.

Playing in obscurity through the '70s, Brown took a guitar teaching post in the mid-'80s where he met Tanya Rae, the woman who would become both his rhythm guitarist and his wife. The pair relocated to Austin, Texas, and Brown's band scored a house gig at the city's Continental Club, which created enough buzz to draw label attention. In 1990, Brown released his first album, 12 Shades of Brown, which received great critical notices but was generally ignored by Country radio. In 1993, his sophomore album Guit With It proved to be his breakthrough; 1995's Junior High EP featured Brown's frenetic spin on the old Red Simpson hit, "Highway Patrol," the video for which went to No.1 on CMT and TNN and forced Country radio to playlist him.

Brown's most recognizable attribute might well be his guit-steel, a double-necked combination of six-string electric and steel guitar. Although he'd previously considered attaching a cut up zither to an electric guitar, the idea for his unique double-necked guitar came to him in a dream in 1985. With help from famed guitar designer Michael Stevens, Brown realized the instrument from his dream.

From his earliest albums right up through his most recent release, Down Home Chrome (his first for the Ohio-based Telarc label), he's utilized his guit-steel (including an updated model christened "Big Red") to become one of the most singular guitar players in either Country or Rock. (Brian Baker)

Old Crow Medicine Show with Gillian Welch

Sunday · Parrish Auditorium at Miami University/Hamilton Campus

There are any number of bands and individuals earning a living by concentrating their attentions on the good time music of pre-World War II America. Old Crow Medicine Show takes that oft-visited concept to the next level by writing original material in the same vein, presenting it seamlessly alongside vintage period songs. The quintet assembled six years ago with each member's love of Bluegrass, Blues, Folk, Country and all of the permutations in between firmly planted in their collective consciousness.

After a long stint of playing old-time Americana across the wilds of Canada, OCMS relocated to North Carolina, where they experienced the break of a lifetime. While busking on a street in Boone, N.C., a young woman asked the band if they'd hang around long enough for her to retrieve her father so he could hear them as well. The woman's father turned out to be Bluegrass legend Doc Watson, who was smitten with OCMS's sound and immediately offered them a slot at MerleFest, Watson's annual four-day celebration of acoustic music in all its facets. OCMS's MerleFest appearance resulted in an invitation to busk in front of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, which in turn led to a spot on the Opry stage proper and highly visible opening slots for Del McCoury, Dolly Parton and Merle Haggard, a slot on the Bonnaroo jam festival and a guest shot on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion.

All of this activity piqued the interest of David Rawlings, Gillian Welch's longtime playing partner, who produced the sessions that resulted in OCMS' recently released debut album. Whether they're playing Country Blues standards from the early part of the century or sawing away at one of their well-crafted originals, Old Crow Medicine Show is a gifted band that plays with purity, authority and authenticity. (BB)

To Live and Shave in L.A. with Hair Police, Tan As Fuck, Irene Moon, Burning Star Core, Roesing Ape, Realicide, Black Fives and Iovae

Sunday · Southgate House (Ballroom)

It's been a few years since To Live and Shave in L.A. has been at full force. Besides having one of the great band names of all time (swiped from a title of a Ron Jeremy porn flick), the group's harsh, kitchen sink experimentalism helped earn the gang of sonic terrorists a fervent cult following in the underground music scene for the entire span of the '90s. TLASILA was founded by Tom Smith, a broad-scoped musician born in the buckle of the Bible Belt and reared on self-discovered styles of music like Kraut Rock, Fusion, Glam, Punk and Dub (as well as similarly nihilistic literary, film and art cult heroes).

The core of TLASILA cemented when Smith — after stints in the Air Force and Pussy Galore — hooked up with Rat Bastard (whose driver's license reads "Frankie Falestra") in Miami. Ben Wolcott (on "oscillators") solidified the core in 1994, and the band recorded and toured up until 2000, after which several offshoot projects popped up. In 2003, Smith started the Smack Shire label (smackshire.com) and reformed his merry band of brazen avant garde-ists for the Smack Shire release, God and Country Rally!, which continues the TLASILA tradition of blendered, intoxicated Noise, brain-assaulting loops, scattered, disorienting rhythms and illimitable improv (the disc was actually totally improvised and recorded in 1996 and then finally remixed by Smith in 2003). The disc is an immensely challenging, discomforting listen, using the loose sense of structure and tradition to create something jarringly neurotic, occasionally terrifying and wholeheartedly original and freeing.

For the God and Country Rally! tour, Wolcott, Bastard and Smith are joined by Smith's longtime friend Don Fleming (of Gumball and Dim Stars fame and also known for his production work on albums by Hole, Teenage Fanclub, Screaming Trees, Sonic Youth and Alice Cooper); guitarist Mark Morgan (of NYC's Sightings); and bonafied "Rock Star" Andrew W.K., a devoted TLASILA fan who has name-checked the group at every opportunity and who will handle drum duties. With the cream of the regional and local crop of like-minded experimental artists opening the night, this gig should be an eye-opener for those infinitely tired of the same ol' same.

As an added incentive, for those keen on the jazzier side of experimental music, the trio Sonore (featuring improv kings Peter Brötzmann, Mats Gustafsson and Ken Vandermark) will play in the Southgate's upstairs Parlour Sunday night as well (an additional cover charge will be applied). (Mike Breen)