Must-see shows this week: Brother Oliver, Wirewood, Tez Sherard

Brother Oliver and Wirewood and Tez Sherard

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Brother Oliver, w/ Mark Webb & Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster

Friday, Feb. 24
The Spinning Jenny, 107 Cannon St., Greer
7 p.m.
$9 in advance, $12 at the door

The Greenville band Brother Oliver, aka multi-instrumentalist siblings Andrew and Stephen Oliver, has evolved over its three-year existence from a stripped-down folk act to an outfit that mixes psychedelia-tinged acoustic rock and pop melodies. But in truth, it’s surprising that they started playing in a band at all. “I wasn’t allowed to listen to rock or pop when I was growing up,” Andrew says. “I was raised hyper-religiously, in ways that I’m grateful for but also many ways that were extremely difficult. I wasn’t allowed to listen to any music that involved a drum kit.” But when he began taking trumpet lessons in his teens, Andrew’s instructor would send him home with jazz and rock CDs to practice with, and his obsession with music was born. “I was late to the party, so everything was intriguing,” he says. “Everything sounded amazing. I started making my own music, and I just decided I was going to work in music for the rest of my life. My passion overtook me, I guess.”

Wirewood, w/ Mourning Dove

Friday, Feb. 24
The Upper Room, 7 College St., Greenville
7:30 p.m.
$15

Greenville’s Wirewood are an acoustic guitar-and-cello duo, but they don’t play classical duets or dinner-party background music. Instead, they play blissfully catchy pop songs, with Keith Groover handling the rhythms on guitar (complete with some occasional percussive tapping on the guitar’s body) and cellist Laura Koelle playing the melodies, swooping and diving around the notes with the flexibility of a vocalist. “I think cello is the world’s greatest melodic instrument,” says Groover, the duo’s primary songwriter, “and I think the guitar is the world’s greatest rhythmic instrument. So I think our sound really works well like that.” At first, Groover tried to write more traditional, classically themed material for Koelle’s cello, but he realized he wasn’t playing to her strengths. “The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the songs that Laura really nails are the straight-up melodic ones,” he says. “And so I decided to write straight-up songs with singable melody lines. She’s basically the singer of the group.”

Drumming Master Class and Demonstration with Tez Sherard

Saturday, Feb. 25
Drumming Master Class and Demonstration with Tez Sherard
Huguenot Mill, 101 W. Broad St., Greenville
12 p.m.
$25

Drummer Tez Sherard has played everything from rock (with Edwin McCain) to funk (with the Craig Sorrells Project) to blues (with Wanda Johnson), so he could probably have handled his upcoming percussion masterclass all by himself. But where’s the fun in that? So he recruited veteran jazz drummer Sonny Thornton and country-rock band Greg Payne and The Piedmont Boys’ drummer Colt Strickland to come along from the ride. “When I thought of the idea for the class, I wanted to infuse both their styles into it,” Sherard says. “We’re from totally different worlds in terms of drumming. I wanted to have interplay between the three of us.” The first half of the class will feature each of the drummers on the kit, displaying their styles with a trio. Then in the second half, the real fun begins. “Each player’s going to play something from a different genre,” he says. “Sonny’s going to be playing ‘Old Time Rock and Roll,’ by Bob Seger, using the brushes. Colt will be playing a funk song, and I’ll be playing something totally out of my jurisdiction.”

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