By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
A Whole Mesa Blues: This weekend delivers one of the unquestioned highlights of the year for Valley blues aficionados. On Sunday, February 22, the Phoenix Blues Society presents its seventh annual blues festival, dubbed Blues Blast '98. The stellar bill includes zydeco veteran Terrance Simien and his Mallet Playboys, the Smokin' Joe Kubek Band featuring B'nois King, Big Jack Johnson and the Oilers, and Johnny Rawls. Also featured will be Tucson's Bad News Blues Band and Phoenix's Sweet Jeffrey and Friends, both finalists in a PBS-sponsored Arizona Blues Showdown. Blues Blast '98 will be at Mesa Amphitheatre, with a swing night on February 21 at the adjacent Rendezvous Center.
Voluntary Band Contractions: Heavily metallic local trio Freudian Slip has announced its breakup. Bassist Paul Schneider recently joined alt-country band The Revenants, which spurred drummer Jason Graham's decision to put away his drumsticks for good. Singer/guitarist Christian Henry is planning to put together a new musical project, whose name and shape are still uncertain. This lineup will play three more gigs, with its final show coming on Sunday, April 26, at the New Times Music Awards Showcase.
Slim to None: Look for The Piersons to open for ex-Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap on Friday, February 20. Though he toiled in Paul Westerberg's considerable shadow during a Mats stint that lasted from 1987-91, Dunlap is an engaging roots-rocking front man, and the only male rock star on the planet easily mistaken for Shelley Duvall. Meanwhile, The Piersons recently scored a generally favorable review in Amplifier for their latest album, Appleberry Wine. The Amplifier review pins that persistent Replacements tag on the band, but notes that Pattie and his mates are a notch above most Westerbergian barflies.
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