John Prine and Colter Wall
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John Prine and Tyler Childers
Get your road maps out, folks. You’re going to need them to track the regional journeys of Colter Wall, John Prine and Tyler Childers this weekend.
The focus of our travels is Canadian songsmith Wall, an artist with a voice and narrative sense way, way beyond his 22 years of age. Just one listen to the murder ballad “Kate MacCannon” from his self-titled Dave Cobb-produced 2017 debut album will tell you that. The song is sparse and schooled in construction while the baritone voice filling it with passive regret sounds like it has bounced around more than a few rough neighborhoods.
Wall is no stranger to Lexington. He played Willie’s Locally Known in 2016. A brief, cell phone video made there of Wall filling a cover of the White Stripes’ “Hotel Yorba” with honky tonk fire is viewable on Youtube. A stop at Manchester Music Hall followed last year.
But his current two night engagement at The Burl is a peculiar one. That’s because the shows don’t fall on consecutive evenings. The first was scheduled for Thursday night. The second takes place Saturday. Why not tonight, too? Well, it seems Colter received an invite to open for Prine at the Louisville Palace, a gig well worth packing your gear from one city, driving to another and then heading right back to where you were. That’s especially true given the career renaissance Prine is currently enjoying thanks to his splendid new album, “The Forgiveness Tree.”
We will save our musings on Prine for when he returns to the region next month to headline the summer summit whose title so befits him – the Master Musicians Festival. But he does figure prominently in one more weekend show that involves a celebrated Kentucky artist. On Saturday, Prine performs at the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati with Childers opening.
A staple of Lexington clubs for years, Childers became a national sensation last year upon the release of his country/Appalachian infused “Purgatory” album. Curiously, the Prine show (which comes only a day after Childers plays the Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival in Tennessee) may be your only available shot of seeing the Lawrence County native this summer.
We say “available” because he has numerous other bookings in the region, including a June 23 date the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland, a two night engagement here in Lexington on June 29 and 30 at Manchester Music Hall and another multi-night visit to Headliners Music Hall in Louisville on Aug. 16 and 17. All of those performances, however, are sold out. As of this writing, a smattering of balcony tickets still remain for Prine-Childers date in Cincinnati.
The Rev returns
Here’s a killer bill for Cosmic Charlie’s to brag about as the club winds down its final nights at 723 National Ave. It packs the punk infused, roots conscious and self-described “psychobilly” music of the Reverend Horton Heat. The Rev, known in real life as Jim Heath, has been blasting his trio-driven guitar rock ever since his earliest performance days in the Deep Elum outskirts of Dallas. He made the rounds with the major labels, but has long since been in the land of the indies with albums like “Spend a Night in the Box” (2000), “Laughin’ and Cryin’ with the Reverend Horton Heat” (2009) and his most recent work, the aptly-titled “Rev” (2014).
A solo set by veteran roots music crooner Big Sandy and a full band outing from Kingston, New York rockabilly aces Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones will open the June 12 performance (9 p.m., $22-$25). For tickets, go to Cosmic-charlies.com.