Southern Culture, 2537 N. Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville
Friday, June 24, 7:30 p.m.
Greenville’s Trapfire Bros. play a stripped-down-but-fun mix of country, bluegrass and folk, with just the right amount of grit and some interesting cover material (MGMT’s “Kids,” for example). There’s an ease of interplay between the trio that comes from the longtime camaraderie between singer/guitarists Eddie Williams and Justin Garber. “Justin and I went to Clemson together,” Williams says. “We kept playing together after we graduated, and we ended up back in Greenville and started jamming with each other again, and we put together a three-song EP to fish for shows and a bass player.” Rather than continuing down the rock band path, both men decided to go the acoustic route because “it’s just easier,” Garber says with a laugh. “It’s a lot easier to facilitate a three-piece acoustic band show than full rock band. But we’ve actually picked up a percussionist, and we’re toying with the idea of going electric on some shows.”
Bill Evans Showcase, featuring John Valerio, George Hoar & Ron Schwartz
My Sister’s Store, 104 S. Poinsett Hwy., Travelers Rest
Saturday, June 25, 7 p.m.
On the heels of last month’s well-received Frank Sinatra tribute show at My Sister’s Store in Traveler’s Rest, the veteran trio of John Valerio on piano, George Hoar on bass and Ron Schwartz on drums have decided to pay tribute to a perhaps lesser-known, but no less important, musician. “Bill Evans is iconic in the jazz world,” Schwartz says. “He recorded ‘Kind of Blue’ with Miles Davis, the best-selling jazz album of all time. Piano players in general try to imitate him, simply because of the influence he’s had. We chose Bill because of the legacy that he left behind. He died very young, unfortunately [at age 51], but he left a huge impression on the jazz world. And he was responsible in many ways for making the jazz-piano trio as prominent as it is.” For this show (which runs two 45-minute sets), the trio will focus on many of Evans’ most-well known tunes, including “Alice in Wonderland,” “Emily,” “Waltz For Debby,” “Nardis” and “Solar.”
Pretty Please, with fk mt. & Jim & The Limbs
Radio Room, 2845 N. Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville
Saturday, June 25, 9 p.m.
About five seconds into the first track on the Atlanta trio Pretty Please’s new EP, it becomes obvious: This is a no-frills affair. The drums pound, the guitars are cranked to 11 and the vocals are less sung than sneered. The EP, called “Acedia,” is the band’s third release, and the first they’ve recorded on their own. “We recorded it at our drummer’s studio,” says singer/guitarist Robee Whitmire. “We decided we wanted to do it ourselves and take our time instead of having a budget and time restrictions to work with. It’s a lot more relaxed, so we can be ourselves instead of feeling like we need to rush things. We thought about trying to save up a lot of money to go with someone like Steve Albini, but the money’s better spent on tour or pressing albums.” The band’s gritty, no-BS sound is one that seems to be sorely lacking on the music scene these days. “It’s kind of fallen by the wayside,” Whitmire says. “Really loud, straight-ahead rock bands seem to be really few and far between.”