XOXO: Mark your calendars

Courtesy
Ryanhood


Mark your calendars… 

Thursday, Dec. 2 

Blurring the line between organic instrumentation and synthesis, The Senators’ sophomore album, Wild Wide Open (2020), lays hold of the expansiveness of the desert Southwest they call home. These Phoenix electric folksters are “Harsher than Whiskey” and “Sweeter than Wine.” At Hotel Congress (plaza). With RISO and Danielle Durack... Swathed in the Yuletide spirit, Marie Osmond beams, “It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year. Let’s celebrate the holidays with music guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit. With as many instruments we can fit on stage.” Marie Osmond
presents a Symphonic Christmas. At Casino Del Sol Event Center. With David Osmond and Daniel Emmett... 

Friday, Dec. 3

Kim Wilson is perhaps best known for his 30-year tenure as the leader of the Fabulous Thunderbirds; they landed in the upper echelons of the Billboard Top 100 with “Tuff Enuff” and “Wrap It Up” in 1986. Possessing one of the “great blues voices,” Wilson’s pipes and hard-driving harmonica have appeared on albums by Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, James Cotton and others. Not content to revel in old glories, Wilson released his eighth solo album, Take Me Back, in 2020. Intermixing deeper cuts from the Jimmy Rogers catalog along with Wilson-penned originals, The Alternate Root proclaimed that Take Me Back “bleeds blues authenticity.” Recorded in mono while the band chased a vintage sound by playing live in the studio, Wilson delivers a 16-song set of gut-wrenching blues in the same fashion that his musical heroes did during the zeitgeist of the 1950s. Kim Wilson and his Blues All-Stars—Billy Flynn (guitar), Bob Welsh (guitar/keys), Kedar Roy (bass) and Marty Dodson (drums)—headline Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Foundation’s Wintertime Blues Bash at the historic El Casino Ballroom. With Arizona Blues Hall-of-Famer Michael P. & The Gullywashers... Having spent much of his musical life ignoring boundaries, Washington D.C. producer and songwriter Bartees Strange reflects, “When I played in hardcore bands, I remember throwing in these R&B sections...and people would be like, ‘Bro, what are you doing? This is a hardcore band.’ And I’d be like, ‘You’re right, I’m an idiot.’ But those were things that always felt natural to [me].” Born in Ipswitch, England to “super-Christian” parents—his mother sang opera, his father a military man—the family traveled widely for their jobs (Germany, Greenland, and a number of U.S. states) before settling in Mustang, Oklahoma, “an overwhelmingly white and racist sundown town.” Growing up in suburbia, he often felt that he wore a target on his back. Strange adds, “I didn’t let myself be seen. I held myself down [to] make people feel more comfortable around me.” Tapping into difficult emotions, on “Mustang” he sings, “I came with a mouthful of blood, I’m hurt, ’cause no-one can see me.” In the South, everything felt like a threat. “There is something so grim and beautiful about the joy and sadness of the Black community in rural areas.” Conflicted, Strange reflects, “We have a whole lot of fun, we eat good food, and we have a good fuckin’ time. But, we do it with this understanding that we could all lose it so quickly.” Reconciling his upbringing, on his wildly eclectic debut studio album, Live Forever (2020), Bartees Strange carves out his own path. At 191 Toole. With Chateau Chateau... Covering hits from storied songwriters: Carole King, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Billy Joel, John Lennon and others. Placing her unique mark on the pages of a treasured songbook, Tony-nominated actress, singer, and songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway Sings the 70s. At Fox Tucson Theatre. With special guest Liz Callaway... Kicking off a three-night stint, Reveille Men’s Chorus presents A Very Merry, Mary! “The spirits of the holidays have never been so fabulous.” At Leo Rich Theater... Promoting multiculturalism in its portrayal of diversity in America, The New York Times says of Hamilton, “This theatrical landmark has transformed theater and the way we think about history.” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s sung-and-rapped-through musical Hamilton continues (through Dec. 5). At Centennial Hall... Intermixing elements of deep house, indie dance, and nu disco, producer/musician Kevin Chapman (aka SNBRN) has popularized a sub-genre: Sunset House. “It’s 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. summer sunset on the beach with all your friends’ kind of music.” SNBRN drops tracks from Solé (2019), his debut album. At Gentle Ben’s... 

Saturday, Dec. 4 

Sharing songs and telling stories, three Grammy award-winning songwriters take to the stage. Shawn Colvin, Marc Cohn, Sara Watkins: Together in Concert. At Fox Tucson Theatre... Complete with coyotes, cavalry, and rattlesnakes, this live orchestra/classical ballet production transports the traditional Nutcracker to Tucson in the 1880s. In the first of two performances, Tucson Symphony Orchestra presents A Southwest Nutcracker. At Tucson Music Hall... Over the years, this alt-folk duo have won more than a dozen Best Of distinctions, including “Best Folk Band” and “Best Rock Band.” Performing in the starlight, Ryanhood present their holiday themed show, A Winter’s Evening. At Hotel Congress (plaza)... The Pork Torta supply the rough-and-tumble rock ’n’ roll for briny, spandex-clad wrestlers for Dia de las Luchas. At Rialto Theater... Coming together in a tribute band extravaganza, The Iron Maidens, The Jack and AZ-Z Top interpret the music of Iron Maiden, AC-DC, and ZZ Top. At Encore... Born out of a longing to live by the sea, progressive reggae rockers Desert Fish toast the release of Chill Pill Vol. 1. At The Rock. With The Riddims, The Resinators, and ZeeCeeKeely... Giving rise to “mind stimulation and heart activation, in a fresh blend of synthetic and organic sound manipulation,” electronic musician Soulular headlines Communiverse. At Solar Culture Gallery. With Subulae, Persephone, Chris Tiano and others... Slightly off the well-trodden path. This eclectic musical mash-up—exemplary of an eclecticism that may only be found in the sun-scorched Old Pueblo—features Kid Congo and The Pink Monkey Birds, The Ritchie White Orchestra and Angie Bowie + Chick Cashman. At Habitation Realty...

Sunday, Dec. 5

After long-standing tensions with Stevie Nicks reached a roiling boil—who cited a disagreement over tour planning as reason—Lindsey Buckingham was fired from Fleetwood Mac in 2018. Lawsuits ensued, followed by emergency triple bypass surgery in early 2019 and a divorce filing by his wife of 21 years in summer 2021. Turning the page to the next episode, Buckingham released his self-titled seventh solo album. Written, produced and recorded at his home studio in L.A., Lindsey Buckingham (2021) is a blend of “sunny power-pop and partly cloudy ballads.” Buckingham noted that the album’s reference points date back to Rumours (1977), Fleetwood Mac’s tempestuous magnus opus. Striking a balance, Buckingham sees this collection of 10 songs as being about how “joy and pain have to coexist side by side.” Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Lindsey Buckingham will “never, never give in to the house of blue light.” At Fox Tucson Theatre... Ekali is the alter ego for Canadian DJ/producer Nathan Shaw. In an era of computerized precision, Ekali’s tracks—which range from aggressive trap bangers to sorrowful downtempo strains—resonate defiantly with analog-era warmth and texture seldom seen in modern beats. He has collabed with Drake, Denzel Curry, ZHU, and Illenium. On his latest release Ekali stands A World Away (2020). At Gentle Ben’s. With RemK... 

Tuesday, Dec. 7 

What started as a 14-year-old aimlessly tinkering with GarageBand on his iPhone—by melding the innocence of the first crush with dreamy retro synth-pop—soon blossomed into the soundtrack for proms and homecoming dances. Latin Tejanos Luna Luna make slow-burning indie-pop For Lovers Only. At Club Congress. With BOYO and Estereomance...

Wednesday, Dec. 8

After having toured the world, amassing a legion of followers and numerous accolades, this veteran bluesman—a Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers alumnus—was forced to step down. While touring Germany in 2013, Walter Trout’s health began to deteriorate. Diagnosed with cirrhosis and Hepatitis C, he would require a liver transplant within 90 days if he was to survive. Following the transplant, Trout spent eight months in a hospital bed in recovery, during which time he suffered from brain damage. He lost the ability to speak, play the guitar, and even to recognize his loved ones. He also lost the use of his legs during this time, due to being bedridden. Rehabilitation was prolonged, spending the better part of a year relearning how to speak, walk and play the guitar. He chronicled the harrowing experience in Rescued From Reality (2014), a biography co-written with British music journalist Henry Yates. Blues survivor Walter Trout descends into Ordinary Madness (2020). At Rialto Theater. With Miss Olivia and the Interlopers... Tucson Holiday Toy Drive features War Prison, Psypiritual, Trailz, Blue Haven and Hotblack. At Club Congress... Building upon distinguished international careers, pianist Fabio Bidini, violist Margaret Batjer and cellist Andrew Shulman deftly transport audiences with their inventive interpretations, technical prowess and musical passion. Los Angeles Piano Trio present a program featuring works by Mozart, Beethoven, and Chausson. At Leo Rich Theater... 

 Thursday, Dec. 9

“A conversation with the gods,” is the meaning of the word mambo, as well as the name of a voodoo priestess. Tito Puente Jr.’s father, who tapped into something larger than himself, was a pioneering force in mambo. Popularized in Cuba during the 1930s by Israel “Cachao” Lopez, Perez Prado and Tito Puente & His Orchestra, mambo is a potent cross fertilization of Afro-Caribbean and Latin rhythms whose roots are inextricably traced to voodoo drumming that evolved in the New World from the 6,000-year-old West African religion Vodun, the religion of many slaves brought from West Africa to the Americas and the Caribbean. Brutally repressed by slave-owners, these primal, hypnotic rhythms—the same ones that compel blissed-out partakers to enter into an ecstatic union with their divine selves—not only withstood the inhumanity of their forced transplantation to the New World, but eventually thrived by seeping into Western culture and music. “The Devil’s music,” soul, R&B, rave, trance, and EDM all owe a debt. Now, assuming the mantle, with his own high-voltage fusion of jazz, salsa, merengue and mambo, the undisputed prince, Tito Puente Jr. Latin Jazz Ensemble present The King and I (2021), a tribute to the music of his father. At Rialto Theater... In a program that evinces bittersweet romance and humor, led by fifth-generation Mariachi musician Jóse Hernàndez, Mariachi Sol de México celebrate a Merry-Achi Christmas. At Fox Tucson Theatre... Phoenix-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Kristina Moore (aka Koleżanka) writes songs about placelessness—what French philosopher Henri Lefebvre referred to as “the misery of everyday life”—a state of being, Moore asserts is understood all too well by truckers, deckhands, flight attendants, and touring musicians. Illuminated under the yellow glow of headlights, Koleżanka provides the soundtrack for a late-night drive through a desert nightscape. At Club Congress... 


Until next week, XOXO...

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