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Live music picks: Feb. 24-March 1

Atlanta quartet Uncle Green - Matt Brown, Bill Decker, Pete McDade and Jeff Jensen - in the days of the band's major label debut album, 1992's "Book of Bad Thoughts." The guys recently got back together to finish up their final album, "Rycopa," with a little financial help from the fans. They'll play a CD release show at Smith's Olde Bar on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Atlanta quartet Uncle Green - from left, Matt Brown, Bill Decker, Pete McDade and Jeff Jensen - in the days of the band's major label debut album, 1992's "Book of Bad Thoughts." The guys recently got back together to finish up their final album, "Rycopa," with a little financial help from the fans. They'll play a CD release show at Smith's Olde Bar on Saturday, Feb. 25.

TODAY
Steep Canyon Rangers

North Carolina’s Steep Canyon Rangers were the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2006 emerging artists of the year. In recent years, they’ve been recording and touring with famed comedian and actor (and accomplished banjo picker) Steve Martin. They collaborated with Martin on a their latest album, “Rare Bird Alert,” which was released just shy of a year ago and includes guest appearances by Paul McCartney and the Dixie Chicks.
8:30 p.m. Feb. 24. $18; $16 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

SATURDAY
Needtobreathe

This quartet from Seneca, S.C., released its major label debut, “Daylight,” in 2006. Think Coldplay with chunkier guitars, a touch of early ‘90s grunge and a dose of gospel. The group scored a Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association for the song “Washed by the Water,” from their 2007 album “The Heat.” Last year was a big one of the band. The quartet was hand-picked by Taylor Swift to open the North American dates on her “Speak Now” world tour and “The Reckoning,” the band’s fourth album, was the first Needtobreathe release to debut in the Top 10 on the Billboard album chart.
9 p.m. Feb. 25; 8 p.m. Feb. 29. $25. Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-9022.

SATURDAY
Uncle Green/3 lb. Thrill

Back in the days when college rock was heading toward the mainstream and morphing into alternative rock, Uncle Green was one of Atlanta’s finest combos. Unfortunately, the quartet became one of power-pop’s great lost bands and an example of the fickleness of record company fortune. The band recorded a couple of independent releases and then met up with a young producer named Brendan O’Brien, who helped them record another pair of albums for Atlanta’s dB Records. While O’Brien went on to produce Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen, Uncle Green signed to Atlantic Records to disappointing commercial results. Renamed 3 lb. Thrill, the band signed with O’Brien’s 57 Records (a division of Epic) and released “Vulture.” Like its predecessor, it didn’t catch fire with record buyers. A follow-up, “Rycopa,” was recorded in a rented house in Little Five Points in 1997, but the record company shelved it. 14 years later, the album has been resurrected, refurbished and, at long last, released, thanks to a little financial help from fans. It is, as the liner notes declare, “a big, messy, sprawling double album … weary, funny, weird and resilient.” It’s also a reminder of what we lost when these guys first parted ways, a band loaded with ambition, talent and a seemingly endless supply of memorable songs. Get the album, or hear clips of the tracks, at the band’s CD Baby site. Don’t miss the propulsive stomp and monster hooks of “St. Lazaro.” And even if you can’t make it to the show, you can catch the band as they do an in-store performance at Decatur CD at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, and pick up a physical copy of the disc. Check Decatur CD’s website for more info.
8 p.m. Feb. 25. $12 in advance. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-875-1522.

Legendary jazz pianist McCoy Tyner, best known for his years in John Coltrane's groundbreaking '60s quartet, brings his trio to the Rialto Center for the Arts on Saturday, Feb. 25. Photo: John Abbott

Legendary jazz pianist McCoy Tyner, best known for his years in John Coltrane's groundbreaking '60s quartet, brings his trio to the Rialto Center for the Arts on Saturday, Feb. 25. Photo: John Abbott

SATURDAY
McCoy Tyner Trio

Tyner was the pianist in sax great John Coltrane’s classic quartet, the group that unleashed the intense, revolutionary “A Love Supreme” in 1964. Tyner’s made brilliant records of his own, including 1967’s “The Real McCoy, “ since that landmark, and he’s still a fleet-fingered, percussive wonder at the keyboard.
8 p.m. Feb. 25. $45-$71. Rialto Center for the Arts, 80 Forsyth St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-413-9849.

TUESDAY
Darkland County Tuesdays

The Alliance Theatre’s upcoming production “Ghost Brothers Of Darkland County” features a blues and roots tinged score with music and lyrics by John Mellencamp and book by Stephen King. The actors in the cast must be true musicians, so Eddie’s Attic is joining with the Alliance Theatre to bring these actor/musician hybrids to the venue’s stage in the weeks leading up to the show’s April 4 premiere.
8 p.m. Tuesdays Feb. 28-March 27. $12; $10 in advance. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

Austin's Shearwater, including frontman Jonathan Meiburg and bassist Kimberly Burke, comes to the EARL on Wednesday, touring behind a new album called "Animal Joy."

Austin's Shearwater, including frontman Jonathan Meiburg and bassist Kimberly Burke, comes to the EARL on Wednesday, touring behind a new album called "Animal Joy." Photo: Greg Szeto

WEDNESDAY
Shearwater

You don’t need to be told that Jonathan Meiburg, the leader of Austin’s Shearwater, is an ornithologist, because much of his band’s music is speckled with the lore and lexicon of birds. A shearwater is a seabird, after all. The band’s last few albums were part of an informal trilogy sometimes known as the “Island Arc.” They were packed with lush, slowly evolving winged musical journeys where, more often than not, the impression was that Meiburg and company were gliding above our planet. The band’s new album, “Animal Joy,” is quite a different beast, as it stomps the ground with earthy joy, relying heavily on the central trio of Meiburg, drummer Thor Harris and bassist Kimberly Burke.
8:30 p.m. Feb. 29. $12. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. S.E., Atlanta. 404-522-3950.

THURSDAY
David Allan Coe

From the honky-tonk to the jailhouse and back, this country outlaw has traveled a hard road, and his gritty, darkly humorous songs reflect every inch of the journey. His best-known track wasn’t even his own composition, but he certainly made Steve Goodman’s “You Never Even Called Me by My Name” his own. That recording has become the quintessential barroom sing-along and you have to admire a song that so clearly enumerates the five pillars of country songwriting: mama, trains, trucks, prison and getting drunk.
8 p.m. March 1. $30; $25 in advance. Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.

Shane Harrison / sharrison@ajc.com

4 comments Add your comment

frank

February 23rd, 2012
11:58 pm

If that Ain’t Country…

[...] 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 [...]

Frank Furter

February 24th, 2012
7:45 pm

Check us out at “Run For Your LIve” on March 3rd!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Not-Quite-Devils/189460134436969

3 Lb. Thrill At Decatur CD Saturday

February 24th, 2012
10:25 pm

[...] The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the power-pop band was a big favorite in Atlanta during the 1990s and flirted with commercial success. They recorded Rycopa in 1997 but the record was never releasedj. Now band members have come up with financial backing to finally put it on the market. [...]