Soundbites: Upcoming Concerts

Mason Jar Menagerie, Chris Lane and Brooks Dixon Band

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Mason Jar Menagerie, w/ Gods of Mars & Sweat Lodge

FRIDAY, NOV. 25
Radio Room, 2845 N. Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville
9 p.m.
$5 (21+)/$7 (under 21)

The Fountain Inn trio Mason Jar Menagerie is part of a growing trend of bands taking the energy of power-trio rock and applying them to classic acoustic blues music – think Them Crooked Vultures or Dead Meadow. But the band, led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Jake Garrett, isn’t quite the acoustic-guitar-and-washboard combo that some might expect, given their influences. Garrett has a theory about why many modern musicians are combining seemingly incongruous sounds. “I think a lot of it is that kids grow up on the more aggressive punk music, and then when they get to a certain age, they start learning about Appalachian, bluegrass and folk,” he says. “So they take the roots of what they loved and apply that aggression to those other forms of music. It’s hard to take the punk out of a punk kid.” Garrett says that if you trace the history of rock ‘n’ roll and the history of older forms of music, they share similar roots. “If you keep going back, it all comes from the same place,” he says. “All you’re doing is making it more aggressive, a little more emotional than people were into at that time.”

 

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Chris Lane

FRIDAY, NOV. 25
Blind Horse Saloon, 1035 Lowndes Hill Road, Greenville
9 p.m.
$15 (in advance)/$18 (door)

There’s nothing wrong with a healthy sense of competition, whether in sports or music. And that compulsion to win might be why country singer Chris Lane’s star is rising so quickly. The former college baseball player has a drive to succeed in music that’s fueled his ascent. “I think everybody wants to go out there and give it everything they have,” he says. “And I think most bands are going to do that. No one wants to get out-performed by anybody. There’s certainly that competitive edge that most artists are going to have; you don’t want to get outshined.” Lane, whose recent single, “Fix,” was a big hit on the charts, is one of many country artists who performs both his own songs and outside material. “The music’s all about what you feel,” he says. “I write about a lot of things in my life, or stuff that I feel sure people can relate to. When it comes down to choosing songs, I just go with what I know is ‘me’ and my style. Whatever it says in the song, I make sure it’s something that I would want to talk about.”

 

 

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Brooks Dixon Band

FRIDAY, NOV. 25
Smiley’s Acoustic Cafe, 111 Augusta St., Greenville
10 p.m.
Free

Singer/songwriter Brooks Dixon grew up within a solid musical community, provided by his family. “I grew up singing in choir with my brother and my sister,” he says. “My parents weren’t musicians, per se, but they loved music and they could sing and that’s what I grew up around. They forced me to start taking piano lessons when I was in second grade or so, then I picked up the guitar around seventh grade.” That background helped Dixon develop a back-porch acoustic playing style, and his sweet-and-sour vocals are perfect vehicles for his infectiously melodic, lyrically incisive slice-of-life songs. He’s got a keen eye for small details and a solid sense of songwriting that make the songs so pleasant that it’s easy to miss some of the darker, more turbulent emotions he expresses, as his newest EP, “Weather the Storm,” displays. “Most of my lyrics are personal,” he says. “It’s me diving deep into myself.”

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