Lucero, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Matrimony Rock Your Week
'Ocean Floors,' Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford, 'From Swastika to Jim Crow,' Earl Klugh and Nnenna Freelon are also on your agenda
There is one, and only one, proper way to watch Lucero: around 1 a.m. drinking a PBR in a tiny corner honky-tonk reeking of cheap whiskey and, if you’re lucky, stale cigarette smoke, a place where Ben Nichols’ voice-on-the-edge rasp and his band’s alt-country-by-way-of-Memphis-soul music can be appreciated in the half-loaded stupor it so richly deserves, surrounded by half-loaded people slurring every damn word of “My Best Girl” along with you. Which is to say, this gig at Mavericks at the Landing may not be ideal — they’re opening for Dropkick Murphys (um?) — but what in life is, really? Sometimes good enough is good enough. And Lucero is always good enough. 6 p.m. March 6 at Mavericks at the Landing, Downtown, $25, 356-1110.
OLD-TIME STRING BAND
CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS
Take a second and go listen to Carolina Chocolate Drops’ take on Blu Cantrell’s R&B semi-classic “Hit ’Em Up Style.” We’ll wait. (Fingers tap impatiently.) So we’ll see you at the show, then. Want to join us as CCD apologists? Tell your friends how the old-time string band’s 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. Show them where Rolling Stone lauded the band’s “dirt-floor dance electricity.” Point out that many of CCD’s songs — and they’re mostly covers — date back to the ’20s and ’30s, and how CCD is keeping alive a very vital flame of American music history, specifically the traditional Southern black music of the Piedmont region of North and South Carolina. But really, one listen should suffice. Worked for you, didn’t it? 8 p.m. March 6 at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, Ponte Vedra Beach, $40-$50, 209-0399.
At first blush, starting a band with a spouse and a sibling might seem a poor move. Most bands are sick of each other after a few hours of rehearsal or travel — add to that the drama of living together. Yet Matrimony, an alt-rock outfit steeped in Southern culture from a North Carolina upbringing, sets a strong example to keep it in the family. Elements of alternative rock and country take the forefront on the band’s new four-song EP, Montibello Drive. Songs like Mecklenburg Co. Jail visit one of Johnny Cash’s favorite subjects (prison blues) with palm-muted guitar, banjo twang and vocalist Ashlee Hardee Brown’s gentle, almost falsetto voice. Her singing is in contrast the band’s other vocalist, Jimmy Brown (and her spouse), who adds a grittier, rough-around-the-edges style to the bloodline; Ashlee's bros Jordan Hardee and CJ Hardee (drummer and picker, respectively) complete the quartet. 8 p.m. March 8 at Jack Rabbits, San Marco, $10 (in advance).
FILM & DISCUSSION
FROM SWASTIKA TO JIM CROW
Told by those who witnessed and experienced it, this documentary is the story of Jewish-German refugee professors who, expelled from their homeland by Nazis, found new lives in the historically black colleges of the American South. The event includes a concert — Ties that Bind: Negro Spirituals, Freedom Songs and Soulful Hasidic Melodies — the film screening and a panel discussion led by award-winning filmmaker Steven Fischler and Dr. Donald Cunnigan. In partnership with WJCT, the Cummer commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement with an exhibit of photographs from the period in continuation with One Family: Photographs by Vardi Kahana, which examines the Jewish-Israeli narrative. 5:30-8:30 p.m. March 11 at WJCT Studios, Northbank, free (registration required).
Students and community writers, prepare to get your creative juices flowing. Douglas Anderson School of the Arts presents the 2014 Writer’s Festival, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford. “He is gifted in creating characters that are never what they appear to be,” says festival coordinator Liz Flaisig, head of the school’s Creative Writing Department. The festival includes workshops by nationally renowned writers followed by a reading, Q&A session and a book-signing with Ford. Festival, UNF’s Student Center, 8:30 a.m., general public $70; students, seniors $35; Ford reading and book signing only, $20, 7 p.m. March 8, Robinson Theater, Southside, douglasandersonwritersfest.com.
EARL KLUGH & NNENNA FREELON
“Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life,” legendary jazz drummer Art Blakey said. Smooth jazz artists Earl Klugh and Nnenna Freelon will cleanse the soul in the intimate Riverside Fine Arts series concert. Between them, they have 19 Grammy nominations (13 and a win for Klugh), and Klugh has proved a jazz-fusion guitar virtuoso. The soulful Freelon (pictured) has shared the stage with Ray Charles, Anita Baker and Dianne Reeves, but none of those pairings captivates quite like Klugh and Freelon. 7:30 p.m. March 6, Church of the Good Shepherd, Riverside, $20.
Sculptor Celeste Roberge brings art and science together in Ocean Floors, an exhibit of her latest work that uses a type of seaweed called “sea lace.” Roberge began researching the plant in 2008 after a trip to Nova Scotia, incorporating it into her work by casting her sculptures in sea lace. Roberge’s art emphasizes the fragility of that underwater world. For the exhibit, Roberge asked museum director Julie Dickover to screen the documentary A Man Named Pearl, which influenced her pieces. Reception 5-9 p.m. March 7; exhibits through April 19 at Flagler College’s Crisp-Ellert Art Museum. Film screens 7 p.m. March 26 at Gamache-Koger Theater, St. Augustine.