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Live music picks: Aug. 12-18

Musical adventurers Bela Fleck and the Flecktones head to Chastain Park Amphitheatre Friday. Photo: Jeremy Cowart

Musical adventurers Bela Fleck and the Flecktones head to Chastain Park Amphitheatre Friday. Photo: Jeremy Cowart

TODAY
Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers

Genre-busting master of the banjo Fleck and his band are masters of musical diversity. They’ve recorded a bit of Bach, some Beatles tunes, “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” (aka the theme song from “The Beverly Hillbillies”) and a whole trove of melting-pot originals. Smooth, melodic pianist Hornsby, a one-time Grateful Dead sideman, has penned hits for Don Henley and Huey Lewis. His 1986 debut album, “The Way It Is,” contained three Top 20 hits, including the title track. Like Fleck, Hornsby is at home in many genres. He won a Grammy for best bluegrass recording (in addition to pop instrumental and best new artist trophies) and plays jazz with the Bruce Hornsby Trio.
7 p.m. Aug. 12. $25-$59. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta. 404-733-4949.

SATURDAY
Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas

Her acclaimed work with Robert Plant on the Grammy-winning album of the year “Raising Sand” (released in 2007) threatened to overshadow her regular gig with Union Station. These musicians are too good to be ignored, though. When Krauss reconnected with this stellar band of musicians, the result was “Paper Airplane.” The group’s first release since 2004’s “Lonely Runs Both Ways,” the new album became the group’s first No. 1 country album and debuted at No. 3 on the all-genre Billboard 200 album chart in April. “Paper Airplane” is worth the price of admission just to hear Krauss sing Richard Thompson’s beautiful “Dimming of the Day.”
8 p.m. Aug. 13. $37-$47. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-881-2100.

SATURDAY
Big Mike Geier’s Elvis Royale

It’s been nearly 34 years since his death, but it seems that nothing can dull the king’s shine. Singer-actor Mike Geier and his Kingsized Orchestra are keeping the memory of the King alive with a pair of annual tributes that are among Atlanta’s most entertaining nights of the year. The festivities are gussied up with an injection of Vegasy cheese by the glamorous Dames Aflame burlesque troupe.
8:30 p.m. Aug. 13. $27. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

SATURDAY
Yacht Rock Revue

Atlanta cover band Yacht Rock Revue does that mellow soft-rock that dominated AM radio and had a big presence in the Top 40 during the late ’70s and early ’80s. It might be easy to sneer at some of those songs, but it’s hard to forget them. For this mini-festival, help is on its way, because the band has recruited some of the genre’s originals. The lineup includes Little River Band (“Reminiscing,” “Lonesome Loser”), Ambrosia (How Much I Feel,” “Biggest Part of Me”), Walter Egan (“Magnet and Steel”), members of Atlanta band Starbuck (“Moonlight Feels Right”) and Peter Beckett, lead singer of Player (“Baby Come Back”).
3-11:45 p.m. Aug. 13. $30; $25 in advance. East Andrews Complex, 56 E. Andrews Drive, Atlanta.

SATURDAY
Flashback Festival

Kiss 104.1 has been adding a little more contemporary music to its R&B mix, but this edition of the Flashback Festival doesn’t stray past the ’90s. It may not be as old school as it used to be, but early rap outfit Whodini hit its peak in the mid-’80s, A Taste of Honey hit No. 1 in 1978 with “Boogie Oogie Oogie” and Loose Ends was the first British band to top the U.S. R&B chart with “Hangin’ on a String” in 1985. When headliner Keith Sweat, whose string of R&B Top 10s runs from 1987 through 1998, is your most recent charting artist, things are still pretty old school. The best reason to see this show, though, is the mighty Larry Graham. Many might remember him for his 1980 Top 10 pop hit “One in a Million You,” but he is one of the greatest bassists ever to slap a string. In fact, he’s credited with inventing the percussive slap bass technique, perfecting it during his time with Sly and the Family Stone and Graham Central Station.
6 p.m. Aug. 13. $10-$60. Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, 2002 Lakewood Ave. S.E., Atlanta. 404-443-5000.

THURSDAY
Alkaline Trio

Pop-punk isn’t known for its intelligence and depth, but the skillful imagery of Alkaline Trio has always been an exception. The band released its first album more than a decade ago, and after a one-album stint on a major label (Epic released “Agony & Irony” in 2008), Alkaline Trio is back in the land of independents. After 2010’s “This Addiction,” the trio’s seventh album, the band has issued “Damnesia,” which consists of mostly unplugged versions of songs from the Alkaline Trio catalog, along with a pair of new tracks.
7 p.m. Aug. 18. $18. Masquerade, 695 North Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-577-8178.

THURSDAY
Eric Johnson

The Austin, Texas, guitar hero is a multifaceted player whose inventive playing doesn’t fit any genre. Despite being a fixture of Guitar Player magazine polls in the early ’90s, most of his recorded work is more substantial and less prone to noodling and navel-gazing than the work of his peers.
8 p.m. Aug. 18. $22.50; $20 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

2 comments Add your comment

[...] more music happenings, check out our Live Music Picks on the Atlanta Music Scene blog. This is just a selective list of events happening around town, so [...]

brock

August 11th, 2011
11:35 pm

I see a Futureman in my future!