Who needs Memorial Day when the weekend immediately prior to the "annual start of summer" is offering so much good stuff to see and do? Let's look at our best choices, shall we?
First up, consider how much good music is at the Living Traditions Festival this weekend. But at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night, this music lover is planning to be staring straight at one of the best living soul singers on the planet. That's right, LaVette may not be a household name but that doesn't mean she lacks the talent to be ranked up there with anyone you care to name. Her career's been beset by hard luck and bad breaks - but not for a lack of a wonderful voice. Her notoriety has increased a great deal during the past decade and her re-emergence is a real bright spot in the music business. The 66-year-old Detroit native is one of soul music's best-kept secrets and we here in SLC are super lucky to be able to sample her sound for free this weekend.
Also, bluesman and wonderful harp player Charlie Musselwhite is featured at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, which sounds like the ideal way to wind down the weekend. Musselwhite is a veteran harmonica player and vocalist who got his start in Chicago in the mid-'60s blowing harp alongside the likes of Big Walter Horton. Authentic blues music is a relatively rare treat in these parts, and that's what Musselwhite delivers. know I won't miss it. For more on Musselwhite and his amazing story, check this interview and song selection recorded earlier this year on NPR's World Cafe.
And for non-Living Traditions oriented people, let it be known that lauded indie-folk singer Ane Brun will perform Saturday night at The State Room, starting at 9 p.m. Brun has earned notoriety for singing alongside famed singer Peter Gabriel. Her funny and somber mix of songs should work well at TSR. Tickets remain on sale.
Also, Minnesota bluegrassers Trampled By Turtles hit The Depot for the second time in six months on Saturday. These guys have a legion of dedicated fans, which make the shows pretty fun. Tickets are $20 and remain on sale at smithstix.com.