Sound Bites: James Taylor, Paleface, and more

James Taylor. Photo provided

Saturday, May 19
The Velo Fellow,
1 Augusta St.
9:30 p.m.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been about seven years since Paleface, a sort of anti-folk singer who mixes his tuneful acoustic musings with psychedelic production flourishes and a deliberately lo-fi aesthetic, has put out an album. After all, between 1991 and 2011, he put out 15 releases, and that’s not counting his numerous guest spots and collaborations. And during that seven years, he’s made some changes to his music, though one is more of a formality: His longtime girlfriend and drummer Mo Samalot is officially part of the band now, and he’s experimenting with loops and effects pedals for the first time. “Mo and I have played together for so long that everyone referred to us and ‘PF and Mo,’” he says. “But the looping and pedals have changed our sound quite a bit. All we had before was an acoustic guitar and a drum, but I heard so much more in the music and had so many musical ideas.” –Vincent Harris

Friday, May 18
A Tribute to Sharon Jones, featuring Shannon Hoover, Darby Wilcox, Monte Butler, Kelly Jo, Audrey Hamilton, Evan Jacobi, Peter Dimery, Troy House, Matt Dingledine, Jeff Holland, and Tez Sherard
Gottrocks, 200 Eisenhower Drive
9:30 p.m.

Last year, bassist Shannon Hoover from the Greenville Jazz Collective organized a large ensemble to pay tribute to the late soul singer Sharon Jones, who took the country by storm earlier in the decade with her band, The Dap-Kings. A fan for years, Hoover discovered just how tight the group was while he was arranging the charts for his tribute band. “I really loved her music because it had a lot of the same sensibilities as James Brown,” Hoover says. “Her horns followed that pattern of old soul stuff. But as I started putting everything together, I learned about the way they presented her music and how all the parts worked together. It was cool to hear how intricate the background singers, guitar, percussion, drums, and guitar parts could be, even on funk or soul tunes.” As for the musicians Hoover selected, including four vocalists who will each get four-song solo spots, Hoover says it was an easy process. “I knew they were fans, and I love all the things the four vocalists do with their own groups,” he says. “I just picked out tunes they could shine on.” –Vincent Harris

Saturday, May 19
James Taylor & His All-Star Band
Bon Secours Wellness Arena,
650 N. Academy St.
7:30 p.m.
$75, $111

It’s hard to overestimate the effect that James Taylor’s nakedly vulnerable confessional folk songs had on the music scene of the early 1970s. His delivery and instrumentation were so placid and understated that it was sometimes easy to miss the disturbing tales of drug abuse, mental instability, and self-doubt within immortal songs like “Something in the Way She Moves” and “Fire & Rain.” As Taylor matured (and became healthier), he continued to score multiplatinum hits like “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You),” “Shower the People,” “Her Town, Too,” and “Copperline,” and he’s one of the few artists who’s been able to continually sell albums into the 21st century. In a sense, Taylor’s audience has grown up with him, and they’ve shared the experience of becoming parents and moving through middle age through his personal, often autobiographical songs. There will no doubt be a lot of nostalgic classics in his set at Bon Secours, along with a sprinkling of songs from his most recent album, “Before This World,” which topped the Billboard charts in 2015. –Vincent Harris



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