May I suggest snowshoes as you make the rounds to the various drinking and music establishments this weekend.
Or maybe some good studded tires. Or chains, perhaps.
Whatever it takes.
Despite the frigid weather, it’s worth venturing out this week for the music to be found in both in Spokane and North Idaho.
So, don’t be a fair weather … well, you know what I mean.
Music on the Idaho side
We’re in luck. A.J. Croce and his band seem to have taken a liking to North Idaho. This week they’ll return for the third time to Tubs Cafe in Coeur d’Alene for a three-night stand.
Croce and crew are well worth braving the snow/freezing rain for. When this singer/songwriter (the son of the late Jim Croce) slips behind the piano, he mixes rhythm and blues, jazz, rock and folk into a fantastically enjoyable set.
Look for the followup to his superb 1995 album “That’s Me in the Bar” in March.
Croce performs Saturday at Tubs starting at 8:30 p.m. and Sunday and Monday starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and reservations are highly recommended.
I’m not a country music fan by nature. Can’t stand the faux ruralized Wrangler-choking-cheese-factor that seems to be a part of so many acts these days.
So what a cool surprise to hear a band like Big House, a group whose album passed my country gag test without a hitch. A country band with a funky blues twist and not a lick of cheese in sight.
Big House performs at Kelly’s Grand Old Opry in State Line, Idaho, Saturday night.
The six-man band from Bakersfield, Calif., is on the road in support of its MCA self-titled debut album. It’s an album that finds easy acoustic grooves and soulful vocals driving songs like “Cryin’ Town” and “Sunday in Memphis.” “Blue Train,” is addictive in its chugging smooth ride and artful harmonica flourishes. “Amarillo” is a steamy slow rocker with mournful harmonies and tasteful guitar swipes.
And maybe that’s the right word for these guys. Tasteful. Big House does country rock with comfortable style, not showy excess. They know how to forgo the platter-size belt buckle when a simple loop of silver will suffice.
Tickets for Saturday’s show are $7 and available through G&B; Select-A-Seat outlets or by calling (800) 325-SEAT. Music starts at 7 p.m.
Three-piece blues rocking band Indigenous begins a three-day stint at Mad Daddy’s in Coeur d’Alene Thursday.
The all-Native American band hails from Yankton Reservation, South Dakota, and has opened shows for the Indigo Girls, Jackson Brown, Melissa Ethridge and Big Head Todd and the Monsters.
Indigenous is made up of Wanbdi Wasta Win on drums along with her brothers Mato Nanji on lead guitar and Ptecha Ka Wicasa on bass. All three take care of vocal duties.
The shows start Thursday and run through Dec. 20. Music starts at 8 p.m. with Archie Johnson opening. Tickets are $6.
Spokane talents Nancy Lynn Allen and Fine Time Communion will be busy this month.
Fans of this band’s take on diversity (they play folk, rock, country, blues and ragtime, just to name a few genres) can find it at the recently opened City Slickers in Coeur d’Alene each Friday and Saturday night until the end of the year. They’ll also play New Year’s Eve through Jan. 3.
Along with the original five members, the group has added Dana Chapman and Jessica Keetch on harmony vocals.
Show starts each night at 9 p.m. And cover is $3.
Music on the Washington side
That sensational punk trio from Portland, The Automatics, returns to Ichabod’s North tonight. Bassist Jesse Kimball has described his band as “like the Ramones but faster and goofier.”
Tonight they’re joined by Moral Crux, Cos and Jimmy Paul Jones. Cover is $4 and show starts at 9:30 p.m.
With a hardcore/hip hop assault of the senses, Orange County, Calif., band (hed) p.e. rumbles into Outback Jack’s Tuesday. This six-piece finds a rock band, DJ and two rappers ripping through aggressive ear-gripping sonic chaos as well as fluent rap-heavy grooves.
Felix Shmitt and Five Foot Thick open the show Tuesday for (hed) p.e. at 9:30 p.m. Cover is $3.
Spokane’s own BeeCraft headlines an all-ages show tonight at the Manito Masonic Temple at the corner of 28th and Grand. Lewis and Clark High School band Bad Hand start the music at 7 p.m. Cover is $5.
Another standout Spokane band, Shrinking Violet, headlines at Ichabod’s North Saturday night. Sugar Pig and Indy 977 open. Cover is $4 and the show starts at 9:30 p.m.
Nice to see everyone out last weekend for the two-night benefit for the owners of 20th Century Trash, whose business was destroyed in a fire last month. A good chunk of change was raised to help Jon and Heather Swanstrom stay afloat.
A big slap on the back goes out to the bands - The Makers, Fatty Lumpkin, Fireballs of Freedom, Lopez, Oil Filter, 50cc, Nodge, The Rams and Fur Burger - who not only donated their time and money to a good cause but also put on a great rock show.
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