The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker
8 p.m. June 6 at The Dame, 367 E. Main St., $7. (859) 231-7263. www.dameky.com.
Printed on the inside cover to Kaboom!, the 2007 album by The Dynamites, is a one- sentence slogan. Or promise. Or credo. Take it however you will.
"Funk and soul to make you whole."
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That's some boast. But listen to the interlocking horn drives, especially on the album-opening instrumental Body Snatcher, the percolating organ fills during What's It Gonna Be? and the revivalistic singing of little-known R&B giant Charles Walker on the gospel-fortified Dig Deeper, and you can easily sense a sort of restorative energy — especially if your tastes run to the sort of vintage soul sounds that usually are approached only as retro exercises by contemporary artists
Both Walker and The Dynamites hail from Nashville, a music metropolis not often associated with vintage soul. From 1945 to 1970, Nashville was one of the country's most prolific bases for juke joint- inspired R&B, soul and funk. The era was chronicled, beginning in 2004, on a pair of exemplary two-disc anthologies titled Night Train to Nashville. One of Walker's earliest recordings, the 1959 single No Fool No More, is featured on Night Train, Vol. 2.
But what helped bring Walker together with the old-school/new-generation soul band The Dynamites was the Country Music Hall of Fame, which mounted an exhibit celebrating Nashville's soul heyday in conjunction with the release of the two Night Train albums.
The Dynamites were then assembled by Nashville producer and guitarist Bill Elder, who plays under the name of Leo Black. And in 2007, Kaboom! exploded.
Walker and The Dynamites have played Cincinnati and Louisville clubs regularly since the album's release, but this weekend marks their first live serving of "whole" funk and soul in Lexington.
Other Dame doings
■ The Dynamites make up only half of the weekend's fun at The Dame. On Friday, Tupelo, Miss., songsmith and onetime prizefighter Paul Thorn heads to the club. Thorn is an artist with an obvious — at times, a touch too obvious — Springsteen-ian streak in his music. A literate romantic when it comes to songwriting and a scratchy-voiced Southern mystic when it comes to singing, Thorn shifts from epic rock 'n' roll stories of hard love and life to quieter, percussive blues serenades on his recent album A Long Way From Tupelo. Lexington's Bradlee Burtner will open. (8 p.m., $12.)
■ Here's one not to miss: a Wednesday outing at The Dame by Annie Clark, better known to the indie-pop world as St. Vincent. Her new album, Actor, is one of the great pop delights this year. It offers a mix of prog-rock invention, low-fi electronica, beautifully orchestrated backdrops and a sense of hushed psychedelia that keep everyone — especially listeners — on their toes. There's a touch of Kate Bush-style fancy in Clark's songs, too. But the light, melodic, yet ornate charm of songs like The Strangers, Laughing With a Mouth of Blood and especially Marrow makes for a highly original pop listen. The Wednesday performance comes just two days before St. Vincent journeys to Tennessee to play the Bonnaroo festival. The Philadelphia experimentalist "nu-jazz" duo Pattern Is Movement will open. (8 p.m.; $10 in advance, $12 day of show.)