UP AND COMING: The last time Joe Myers played Tucson was about eight years ago. It's not because he doesn't like Tucson--quite the contrary, Myers is very much looking forward to his upcoming performance on Saturday, November 25, at the Tucson Center for the Performing Arts, 408 S. Sixth Ave. It's just that, for this Phoenix-based artist, 100 miles south seems much further when dealing with the everyday rigors of raising a family and building a career in his adopted hometown.
Myers' endeavors in Phoenix garnered him acknowledgments from the Arizona Entertainment Awards, which named him Experimental Artist of the Year in 1991, and from the readers of the weekly New Times, who awarded him Best Male Solo Artist in the 1993 Best of Phoenix issue after the 1992 release of his CD, House With Nine Rooms. His Thursday night shows at Hollywood Alley continued to attract large audiences week after week. Opening shows for Adrian Belew, The Neville Brothers, Steve Morse, Adrian Legg and Tori Amos introduced him to a wider audience.
His most recent release, Sonoran Snake Lady, illustrates his expertise and versatility on the guitar, an instrument he has been playing for nearly 20 years. He tempers speed with taste and texture, providing an intricate yet relaxing experience for the listener.
Incorporating a wide range of styles and influences in his music, Myers finds expression through a number of different guitars, including electric, double-neck and acoustic. He has recently added a harp guitar, which is described as a basic electric with five bass-harp strings. Using a Moog foot pedal to create a bass line, hitting the side of his guitar for percussion, Myers gives the impression of more than one musician playing, falling somewhere between the conventions of solo performance and versatility of a band.
"There are a lot of things going on when I play live," Myers says, "a lot of percussion and things you can't see on a record."
Atmosphere is vital to Myers, who thrives on performing his music. That's one of the reasons he's eager to hit the stage at the Center for the Performing Arts, which offers an intimate setting for both performer and audience.
"I'm excited about playing the space," he says. "When I saw it, I thought it would be the perfect place for me to play in Tucson, a place where people can really listen to what's going on."
Todd Rusch from Ecoteur will open the show at 8 p.m. and tickets are only $5. Copies of Sonoran Snake Lady will be available at the show.
LAST NOTES: El Vez the Mexican Elvis returns to Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Saturday, November 25. This is rock and roll satire extravagantly staged with wild costumes and energetic antics for those who want to dance, laugh and generally have a raucous good time.
El Vez goes far beyond the status of Elvis impersonator, culling from a wide range of popular and political culture for inspiration. His "In The Barrio," a latin reworking of Presley's late '60s hit "In The Ghetto," delivers the message from a street corner on which Elvis never stood, delivered with humor and wit. It isn't guaranteed that he will play "In The Barrio," although you can bet that whatever he and his band do decide to play will be very entertaining.
There will be no opening act for this show, so make sure to arrive no later than 10 p.m., when the band is scheduled to take the stage. Call 622-8848 for ticket information.
Singer-songwriter Pat Maloney will appear at the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave., at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 28. His CD The Loneliness Birds reaches into the depths of the human condition and confronts such subjects as heartbreak and the loss of faith with a simplicity and directness reminiscent of John Prine. Maloney embraces his Irish-American roots throughout and proves himself a keen observer of the difficult times experienced by the working class. If Christy Brown could've expressed himself through music, it might have sounded a lot like Pat Maloney.
Admission is $5, $4 for TFTM, TKMA and KXCI members. You can call 884-1220 for more information.
American Recordings artists Barkmarket will be at Club Congress on Sunday, November 26, to assault your ears "with more raw energy than a Mac truck plowing full-speed ahead into a locomotive." Yikes. The new Barkmarket CD won't be out until spring, so head to CC for a preview.
Shoebomb headlines at Club Congress on Friday, November 24, with 35 Summers and '60s revivalists Zero Kings opening. Shoebomb has been generating some excitement in the local music scene and tickets are only $2. Cheap. Post-Thanksgiving relief. Go.
The Percussion Plus Concert Series gives its second performance at 8 p.m. in the Acoustic Café at the Southwest Center for Music, 2175 N. Sixth Ave. Admission is $3.
MERCHANT SHIPS OUT: That's right, to the recent slew of shows canceled in the Old Pueblo, add the names Natalie Merchant and The Innocence Mission. Rumor has it the diminutive folk rock diva is ill. Our sympathies. Really. Credits will be issued for will-call tickets purchased by phone. For a full refund, return to the place of purchase with tickets in hand. The good news for die-hards: The show in Mesa may be rescheduled.
Also fallen by the wayside is Green Day. We knew those $15 tickets were too good to be true. Call the TCC box office at 791-4266 for refund information.
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