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Live music picks: March 23-29

Ruthie Foster brings her powerful voice to Eddie's Attic on Friday, March 23, fresh from a series of acclaimed shows at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas. Photo: John Carrico

Ruthie Foster brings her powerful voice to Eddie's Attic on Friday, March 23, fresh from a series of acclaimed shows at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas. Photo: John Carrico

FRIDAY
Ruthie Foster

Texas singer-songwriter Foster brings her gutsy blues- and gospel-infused vocals to Decatur fresh from a round of triumphant performances at the South by Southwest music conference last week in Austin, Texas. She has a new album, “Let It Burn,” which demonstrates the wide range of influences that inform her genre-defying talent. She covers songs by Adele, the Black Keys and the Band, and duets with William Bell on his soulful Stax Records classic “You Don’t Miss Your Water.”
8 p.m. March 23. $20. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

FRIDAY
The English Beat

The English Beat (just the Beat in the U.K.) began as one of the second-generation ska bands — along with the Specials, Madness, the Selecter and others — in the wake of punk in the late ’70s. Like many of their contemporaries, the band added elements beyond straight-ahead ska over its original five-year, three-album life span, crafting memorable tunes such as “Save It for Later,” “I Confess” and “Mirror in the Bathroom.” The current version of the band is led by original frontman Dave Wakeling.
8:30 p.m. March 23. $22.50; $20 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

FRIDAY
The Mar-Tans

This new Atlanta funk ‘n’ soul band includes keyboardist-singer Matt Wauchope, Terrence Prather on congas and bassist Melvin Zachery, all longtime sidemen for the late Atlanta blues guitarist Sean Costello. Those three, along with drummer Marlon Patton, trombonist Jonathan Lloyd (of Lloyd’s Rocksteady Revue) and sax man Will Scruggs (of CC Booker III), will mark the release of their debut album, “Repurpose,” which includes a vocal assist from the great Francine Reed on “Keep It Movin’.”
10 p.m. March 23. $10. Northside Tavern, 1058 Howell Mill Road N.W., Atlanta. 404-874-8745.

"It's All Good" is the name of Joe Nichols' latest album. He'll perform tracks from that album, along with many more from his long list of country hits, at Wild Bill's on Friday, March 23. Photo: Universal Music Group

"It's All Good" is the name of Joe Nichols' latest album. He'll perform tracks from that album, along with many more from his long list of country hits, at Wild Bill's on Friday, March 23. Photo: Universal Music Group

FRIDAY
Joe Nichols

Joe Nichols’ voice is melted country chocolate, whether he’s delivering amusing barroom odes (“Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off”) or heart-stopping ballads (“I’ll Wait for You”). He doesn’t feel any need to prove his country credentials. They’re right there in his voice.
9:30 p.m. March 23. $15-$100. Wild Bill’s, 2075 Market St., Duluth. 678-473-1000.

FRIDAY
Chris Knight

Knight has a gritty edge, with his road-tattered tales of love and life gone wrong. Just his song titles are enough to evoke the life of a traveling musician — “Homesick Gypsy, “ Miles to Memphis,” “Almost There” — and those are just the ones from his latest album of new material, “Heart of Stone.” His most recent release, though, is “Trailer II,” a companion piece to 2007’s “The Trailer Tapes.” Both albums are drawn from rustic demo sessions recorded in a trailer in Knight’s hometown of Slaughters, Ky., back in 1996.
8 p.m. March 23. $20 in advance. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-875-1522.

SUNDAY
Ursula Oppens

She’s been called the first lady of contemporary American piano music and few have embraced the work of modern, living composers as fervently as Oppens has. She’s been a champion of the work of Elliott Carter in particular, having recorded his complete works for piano. In this Spivey Hall debut, she’ll perform “Two Thoughts About the Piano” by Carter, who is still composing at 103. John Harbison’s “Winging It” and  Fredric Rzewski’s “The People United Will Never be Defeated!,” variations on a Chilean folk song, are also on the program. The latter piece was commissioned by and dedicated to Oppens, who premiered the work in 1976.
3 p.m. March 25. $50. Spivey Hall, 2000 Clayton State Blvd., Morrow. 678-466-4200.

Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Melanie Fiona celebrates the release of her new album, "The MF Life," at the Loft on Monday, March 26. Photo: Universal Music Group

Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Melanie Fiona celebrates the release of her new album, "The MF Life," at the Loft on Monday, March 26. Photo: Universal Music Group

MONDAY
Melanie Fiona

She might be a new name to many, but Canadian R&B singer and songwriter Fiona released her debut album back in 2009. This year, she scored two Grammy awards for her collaboration with Cee-Lo, “Fool for You.” She’ll be celebrating the release of her second album, “The MF Life,” which hit stores and online outlets earlier this week.
9 p.m. March 26. $15. The Loft, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.

TUESDAY
Daughtry

Chris Daughtry’s mainstream rock has proven to be one of the more durable products of the “American Idol” starmaker machine. More proof that winning isn’t everything, since Daughtry came in fourth in season five. His band’s third album, “Break the Spell,” was released in November and debuted in the in the Top 10 on the Billboard album chart.
8 p.m. March 27. $32.50-$52.50. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770-916-2800.

Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, is touring behind his second album, "Put Your Back N 2 It." He'll play the EARL Thursday, March 29. Photo: Angel Ceballos

Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, is touring behind his second album, "Put Your Back N 2 It." He'll play the EARL Thursday, March 29. Photo: Angel Ceballos

THURSDAY
Perfume Genius

The intimate music of Mike Hadreas was like a tough-to-watch documentary on “Learning,” his debut album as Perfume Genius. The music’s stark, raw beauty marked him as a distinctive new talent and cast him as a new voice for freaks, geeks and, in particular, gay youth. On the follow-up, “Put Your Back N 2 It,” the themes feel a tad more universal, but it’s still a bruising soundtrack for outcasts.
8:30 p.m. March 29. $12; $10 in advance. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. S.E., Atlanta. 404-522-3950.

Shane Harrison / sharrison@ajc.com

3 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 [...]

Frank Furter

March 22nd, 2012
1:25 pm

Not Quite Devils at The Wishing Well at 1745 Hudson Bridge Road, Stockbridge, Ga 30281 on 3-31-12 Starts at 9:00 PM
There will be 2 other bands…Steps From Fallen and Sound Syndrome ! Hope to see you there!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Not-Quite-Devils/189460134436969

mike

March 26th, 2012
12:03 pm

Can someone gift wrap Melanie Fiona and mail her to me…mmm mmm yummy!