Concerts in Columbia: Gov’t Mule; Strung Like a Horse; Duo Cortado

Also: Sally Barris, Freeway Music Benefit Bash, K Theory
By Free Times
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
K Theory plays Social on Wednesday. Courtesy photo

Thursday 6


Rae Fitzgerald — The cover of Missouri-based singer/songwriter Rae Fitzgerald’s latest full-length, 2013’s Quitting the Machine, features two faceless coffee shop patrons and a checkered background that seems to nod knowingly to the real-world space her music mostly ends up in. Fitzgerald has a beguiling-if-understated voice, one that pays homage to old-time tradition while also suggesting a steady diet of Cat Power and Tori Amos. The arrangements — a mix of less-is-more folk with a touch of indie rock — follow suit. As a songwriter, though, Fitzgerald has the keen eye of a short story writer, giving her work a depth and value that is seemingly all too easy to pass over in the setting that her album cover suggests. Local favorites The Restoration and Post-Timey String Band open. K. Petersen
Red Door Tavern: 8 p.m., $5; 764-5196; reddoortavern.net

Gov’t Mule — Led by modern-day guitar hero Warren Haynes, Gov’t Mule has been a staple of the jam band circuit since the mid-90’s and, like many of its post-Dead peers, favors southern blues-rock over psychedelics. However, the Mule doesn’t seem to have the studio allergy so common in a genre whose bread and butter has traditionally been marathon touring and equally lengthy performances. Haynes and company have released 10 studio albums since 1995 and are currently touring in support of 2013’s Shout! Expect many guitar solos and cover songs. They are, after all, still a jam band. M. Spawn
Township Auditorium: 8 p.m., $29.50-$35; 576-2356, thetownship.org

Saturday 8


Sally Barris, Don Henry — Whether performing solo or together with Tom Kimmel in the songwriter supergroup trio The Waymores, Sally Barris and Don Henry have an impressive list of hits to draw from. With their songs recorded by everyone from Ray Charles to Joe Cocker, Conway Twitty, Randy Travis and Martina McBride, you’re bound to hear something you already know. Combining Henry’s quick wit with Barris’ vocal prowess — equal parts mountain charm and soulful verve — this pair promises entertainment that’s also emotionally resonant. K. Oliver
UU Coffeehouse: 8:00 p.m. $17, $15 with reservation, $3 students; 803-200-2824; uucoffeehouse.org

Freeway Music Benefit Bash — This event, sponsored by Soulnote Productions, aims to raise money in support of Columbia’s Freeway Music School, which offers lessons in everything from guitar to mandolin to songwriting. Live music lasts until 1 a.m. and features performances from Don Russo, Cracker and the Doctor, Yaddatu, Les Racquet, Makayan, and One, Two, Skidoo. M. Spawn
Tin Roof: 6 p.m., $10; 771-1558, tinroofbars.com

Strung Like a Horse — Following the rise of acts like acts like Old Crow Medicine Show and Mumford & Sons, string bands-gone-rock ‘n’ roll are nearing overpopulation. But the Chattanooga-based Strung Like a Horse manages to make it work. The group plays energetic, straight-ahead bluegrass on the front line backed by an aggressive, jazz-inflected rock drummer. The lack of pretension and sense of joy combined with assured songwriting makes the group a noteworthy newgrass outfit in a scene crowded with too many acts that don’t make the grade.
K. Petersen
New Brookland Tavern: Start time 8:30 p.m., $8; 791-4413, newbrooklandtavern.com

Sunday 9


Duo Cortado — At this point, George Fetner’s work as a contemporary composer has far outshone his work as a guitarist in the local jam-rock scene. His pieces have been featured by adventurous local music series Southern Exposure and 21 Sounds; Beneath the Ice, his Kickstarter-funded record of computer-generated works, should see the light of day early this year. But while many of those pieces have centered on heavily processed orchestral instruments, he hasn’t neglected his beloved guitar. Tonight, exemplary local guitar outfit Duo Cortado (Devin Sherman and Andy Jurik) premieres Fetner’s “‘twas but a dream of thee,” a slowly mutating pieces that explores the broad range of textures and timbres of the nylon-string classical guitar. In places, it evokes classical masters Segovia and Christopher Parkening; in others, it’s redolent of the intense rhythms of Reich and Cage. At all times, though, it’s enthralling. P. Wall
Conundrum Music Hall: 8 p.m., free; 250-1295, conundrum.us.

Wednesday 12


K Theory — K-theory is some pretty high-minded stuff, a series of connected theorems about rings generated by vector bundles in topological space that has ramifications in everything from algebraic topology to high-energy physics and string theory. So while it’s tempting to extrapolate complexity from its name into its sound, San Francisco EDM trio K Theory — samplers Dylan Lewman and Dustin Musser with emcee Malcolm Anthony — is just too simple in style and execution. While densely layered and slickly produced, there’s not much that K Theory offers to separate itself from a way overcrowded EDM scene. Its drops are predictable, its trilling hip-hop thump unimaginative. As for execution: “Bitches go nuts when they hear this sound,” Anthony announces in “Turn Me Up.” Well. P. Wall
Social: 8 p.m., $10; socialcolumbiasc.com.

Dan Tedesco, Hunter Duncan — Earnest idealism and cynical reality collide in the songs of Dan Tedesco, with Neil Young, John Prine, Bruce Springsteen and Bill Mallonee among the available sonic and lyrical touchstones. His latest album Death In The Valley favors the acoustic-folk end of that spectrum. Columbia’s Hunter Duncan makes music as Yosef, including the late 2013 album Learn To Endure, which continues his run of stark indie-acoustic recordings nodding to the tortured tunefulness of Elliott Smith and Bon Iver. K. Oliver
Red Door Tavern: 8:00 p.m. $5 in advance, $10 day of show; 803-764-5196; reddoortavern.net

Let us know what you think: Email music@free-times.com.

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