The Flyer's music writers tell you where you can go.

by Jim Hanas & Mark Jordan

The Charlie Mars Band is playing in Memphis Saturday at Newby’s.

I thought there wasn’t going to be a whole lot I could tell you about the Charlie Mars Band, and then when I went to find background material, I realized I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know much about them. This Atlanta-based pop-rock group has been shamefully ignored by us media types. The band formed in Dallas in 1993 and has been steadily touring the Southeast since 1995, building a strong following everywhere they go. The sound is unmistakable college rock – catchy hooks, played with gusto. But the band’s tightness and Mars’ remarkable lyrical ability are what set them apart. For the moment you can still catch these guys up close in clubs, but in the not-too-distant future you’ll only be able to see them as a far-off speck on a festival stage with the likes of the Dave Matthews Band. – Mark Jordan

Starting with the first of George Winston’s “seasonal” records, Autumn, in 1980, Windham Hill has become the preeminent new-age label around and likewise come to represent everything evil that that appellation bestows. This is the label, after all, that finds it necessary to continue issuing the sappy, romantic, derivative drool put out by the likes of Yanni and John Tesh. But the confounding thing about Windham Hill is that, mixed in amid the slop, are some real gems like the Louisiana soul band the subdudes, R&B diva Etta James, and the great guitar/vocal duo Tuck and Patti, who will be headlining a tour of the label’s artists that is rolling into the New Daisy Thursday. Joining Tuck and Patti on A Winter’s Solstice VI will be the jazz-influenced pianist Liz Story, composer/multi-instrumentalist David Arkenstone, and Celtic harpist Lisa Lynne. I don’t know much about those other three, but Tuck and Patti are definitely worth seeing for their soulful, jazzy cabaret-style show that recalls some of the great work the late Ella Fitzgerald did with guitarists like Joe Pass.
n – M.J.

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