Local Concert Preview for Chicago / Milwaukee
April 29-May 6, 2010
First Appeared in The Music Box, April 2010, Volume 17, #4
Written by John Metzger
Wed April 28, 2010, 06:30 AM CDT
4/29 - Shooter Jennings & Hierophant / Ike Reilly - Lincoln Hall - Chicago - 8:30 p
As the son of Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, Shooter Jennings didn’t have to do much in order to gain attention from music critics. Nevertheless, his career likely has not been very easy. He grew up on tour buses, and music is an integral part of his DNA. Yet, his songs forever will be compared to his parents’ output. Jennings has always injected a strong sense of rock ’n‘ roll feistiness into his work. Beginning with his sophomore set Electric Rodeo, he truly began to embrace this side of his persona, which allowed him to define himself on his own terms. Jennings formed his new band Hierophant as a prelude to his latest foray Black Ribbons. Throughout the set, Jennings pushes country motifs and southern soul refrains through his sweeping, prog-rock arrangements, and the entire collection is bound together with spoken-word passages provided by Stephen King. It’s safe to say that this is Jennings' boldest undertaking to date, and he’ll lean heavily upon it when he performs at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall on April 29. Ike Reilly, whose own ambitious story-songs are showcased on efforts like Hard Luck Stories and We Belong to the Staggering Evening, will open the show.
4/30 - Public Image Ltd. - Pabst Theater - Milwaukee - 8:00 p
5/1-2 - Public Image Ltd. - House of Blues - Chicago - 9:00 p
Seventeen years after putting his band on an extended hiatus, John Lydon announced that he was reconstituting Public Image Ltd. for a brief year-end tour of Britain. Satisfied with the results, he quickly made plans to return to North America. For the record, Lydon is fronting an entirely new rendition of the outfit. Nevertheless, he — along with bass player Scott Firth, drummer Bruce Smith, and guitarist Lu Edmonds — has proven that the latest version of Public Image Ltd. can dutifully replicate an array of oft-overlooked nuggets that span the group’s career. If all goes well — and Lydon can entice a record label to provide some financial support — Public Image Ltd. will head into the studio later this year to craft its first outing since 1992’s That What Is Not. In the meantime, Lydon is trying to raise the money himself via Public Image Ltd.’s shows at Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater on April 30 and Chicago’s House of Blues on May 1 and May 2.
5/2 - Shelby Lynne - Turner Hall Ballroom - Milwaukee - 8:00 p
5/4 - Shelby Lynne - Martyrs - Chicago - 8:00 p
If Just a Little Lovin’ proved anything, it was that Dusty Springfield’s canon has always been near and dear to Shelby Lynne’s heart. Actually, Lynne’s entire career could be considered one long, loving homage to Springfield’s work. In making her latest album Tears, Lies & Alibis, which was issued just a few weeks ago, Lynne moved further away from the typical machinations of the Nashville music scene in which she got her start. In the process, she has also continued to refine her formula of wrapping gentle folk songs in soul-pop currents. Since late last summer, Lynne has been scattering tunes from the endeavor across her concerts. She likely will lean even more heavily upon her new material when she performs at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall Ballroom on May 2 and Chicago’s Martyrs on May 4.
5/6 - Kaki King - Park West - Chicago - 7:30 p
Through her first four albums, Kaki King revealed two distinctively different sides to her musical personality. On the one hand, she is a guitarist who, much like John Fahey, favors densely layered, intricately crafted compositions. She also has an ear for good melodies, and she recently has applied this talent to the development of relatively straightforward folk-pop tunes. On her 2008 set Dreaming of Revenge, King worked closely with producer Malcolm Burn to close the gap between these personas. Her latest outing Junior extends her forward progress, though this time, she took a more collaborative approach by inviting drummer Jordan Perlson and multi-instrumentalist Dan Brantigan to help her refine her work. Earlier this spring, King embarked upon a tour of Europe, which provided her with a chance to warm up prior to the release of Junior. Consequently, she should be in top form when she performs at Chicago’s Park West on May 6.
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