Local label Makeshift Music is on a roll: Earlier this fall, the underground rock collective released a third edition of its excellent local sampler series with Makeshift #3 and also Prettier Than Ugly, the impressive debut of singer-songwriter Blair Combest. The label's streak looks to continue into the new year with expected releases from the Coach and Four and flagship band Snowglobe.
Uniting these two bursts of activity is Concorde, the second album from The Glass, which is being released by Makeshift and celebrated with an album-release show Friday, December 19th, at the Hi-Tone CafÇ, with Dixie Dirt and Harlan T. Bobo opening.
Led by singer/guitarist Brad Bailey, the band also includes bass player Tommy Pappas, guitarist Justin Minus (of the Great Depression), and prolific drummer John Argroves (seen behind Cory Branan, Alvin Youngblood Hart, and Andy Grooms, and with the Lights).
Inhabiting the artier end of the alt-country/"Americana" spectrum, the band's rootsy but atmospheric sound and Bailey's florid, pleading, warbly vocals might remind listeners of Richard Buckner. The band's lyrics are cryptic, literate, downbeat, and presumably quite personal but contain sharp shards of meaning, as on "Tell Me It's Snowing," an evocative break-up song that opens with the declaration "I'm a minor poet/You're a finer breed," or the surging "N'er Do Well" (also contained on Makeshift #3), which opens "I drink to make a scene, but I never make a scene."
Concorde was recorded at Easley-McCain Recording and produced by the band along with Snowglobe's Tim Regan.
But the Glass is not the only band with a new record and playing this week. Minivan Blues Band's Lifelong Turbulation is also new to local shelves [see Local Beat, page 55], with the band playing the New Daisy Theatre the same night, along with Yamagata, Stout, and Parallel Parker.
Jazz fans will get to celebrate Christmas early this year, when The James Williams Quintet stage their reunion at King's Palace CafÇ on Tuesday, December 23rd. Pianist Williams, bassist Sylvester Sample, drummer James "Stix" Baker, saxophonist Gary Topper, and trumpeter Bill Mobley are all alumni of the Central High School jazz program; it's been nearly 30 years since they've performed together. Showtime is at 8:30 p.m.
On Saturday, December 20th, the Memphis Area Band Association, an organization of local metal, hard-rock, and modern-rock bands, will throw a Christmas party at the New Daisy Theatre, while, on the same night, the Hi-Tone turns into a DJ party with the Treefish Winter Solstice. --Chris Herrington