Music News & Reviews

Jompson Brothers return to Cosmic Charlie's

The Jompson Brothers, based in Nashville, bring Southern rock shaded with country.
The Jompson Brothers, based in Nashville, bring Southern rock shaded with country.

The Jompson Brothers

9 p.m. July 9 at Cosmic Charlie's, 388 Woodland Ave. $7. (859) 309-9499.

Making the encore rounds this weekend are the Nashville pack of rockers known as The Jompson Brothers. Whether you caught the band's previous show at Cosmic Charlie's earlier this year or have become a fan of the guitar crunch that dominates The Jompson Brothers' self-titled EP, this will be a show well worth making the centerpiece of your Saturday night.

The Jompsons are fronted by singer/guitarist Chris Stapleton, who stirred waves on country radio with the Grammy-nominated blues and bluegrass roots-music ensemble The Steeldrivers. Initially, Stapleton and the Steeldrivers seemed an ideal fit. Stapleton's blues-savvy singing, together with the band's tough-knuckled but stylistically diverse string sound, was one of the more refreshing finds to come out of Nashville in ages. But then, shortly before The Steeldrivers' sophomore album was to be released, Stapleton bolted from the band.

Stapleton has many country references in his songwriting and in his singing. His tunes have been covered by Kenny Chesney, Trace Adkins, Darius Rucker and, more recently, George Strait.

All of that makes for impressive credentials, even though they don't really offer a clue to what The Jompson Brothers are all about. This is an altogether different band from The Steeldrivers. The Jompsons' volume and drive seem a more obvious fit for the grit in Stapleton's singing. The EP's opening tune, a gigantic fuzzed-out rocker titled Ride My Rocket, is all high-voltage boogie and blues, seasoned with the sort of band bravado that would do any barroom proud.

Elsewhere, we get glimpses of several other great Southern bands. Hey Girl summons the '80s charge of Drivin 'n' Cryin', and there is no mistaking the ZZ Top-inspired guitar riff that kicks off Secret Weapon, although the tune quickly spins into an arena-rock orbit all its own. Veering away from the South altogether is the more sinister groove of Skeleton Key, which recalls the '70s recordings of the great British post-psychedelic blues-rock troupe Savoy Brown.

Justin Wells and Rachel Brook will open Saturday's performance.

New Found Glory

9 p.m. July 9 at Buster's Billiards and Backroom, 899 Manchester St. $21. (859) 368-8871.

Are they punk or are they pop? Since 1997, the Florida rockers of New Found Glory have been a bit of both. A contemporary of Blink-182 and a disciple of grand punk torch bearers Green Day, New Found Glory can pack a wallop in concert. But its close-to-hardcore sound is often atypically upbeat and melodic. That has made huge hits out of the albums Sticks and Stones and Catalyst.

With its founding lineup almost intact (Cyrus Bolooki replaced drummer Joe Moreno before the band's debut album was released in 1999), New Found Glory is prepping a new release for later this year. Its most recent recording is 2009's Not Without a Fight.

David Church

7 p.m. July 9 at the Renfro Valley Entertainment Center's New Barn, Renfro Valley. $15, $20, $25. 1-800-765-7464.

David Church might not be a country-music name that comes immediately to mind. The young Ohio singer hasn't yet scored a major radio hit (although his single I Don't Live in Lonely Anymore scratched the country Top 20), but he has managed to draw healthy-size crowds to live shows through a devout grass-roots fan base.

Raised on the songs of Bill Monroe, Uncle Dave Macon and The Carter Family, Church steers to a fervently traditional school of country music that has long been out of favor with country radio. Vocal comparisons to Hank Williams have popped up in numerous reviews of his performances.

See what all the indie fuss is about when Church performs Saturday at Renfro Valley.

When with Rome, ...

We thought we had heard the last of the punk-ska trio Sublime when guitarist, singer and frontman Brad Nowell died of a drug overdose in 1996. In effect, we had. Bassist Eric Wilson and drummer Bud Gaugh soldiered on for five years with the Long Beach Dub All Stars. Then, in early 2009, Wilson and Gaugh performed again as Sublime, with Rome Ramirez in Nowell's place. But Nowell's family estate, which owns Sublime as a band moniker, threatened a lawsuit. Injunctions were filed, settlements were made and the resulting band is now billed as Sublime with Rome. It plays Sunday at Louisville's Iroquois Amphitheatre. (8 p.m. $35. TicketMaster at 1-800-745-3000 or

Odd instrumentation

Cool sounds from unheralded instruments is the theme behind Monday's taping of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour at the Kentucky Theatre, 214 East Main Street. On the bill will be Peter "Puma" Hedlund on the Swedish nyckelharpa, Maeve Gilchrist on the Celtic harp, Andy Cohen on the piano-like dolceola and Dick Boak on the traditional autoharp. (6:45 p.m. $10. (859) 252-8888.

Trombones downtown

Neighboring cities will match their 'bones for the next performance in the monthly Jazz: Live at the Library! Series. Veteran Lexington trombonist (and onetime Stan Kenton collaborator) Tom Senff will play alongside Cincinnati trombonist (and Senff's longtime pal) Bill Gemmer on Thursday at the Central Library Theatre, 140 East Main Street. Rounding out the ensemble will be series regulars Matt Davidson on bass and Dave McWhorter on drums. The program will also introduce Lexington vocalist Lori Shelburne. The 7 p.m. performance is free.