downtown dirty by manhole: January

wqwm4Longtime readers (that is to say, both of you) may have noticed that Scruffington Post took a brief hiatus at the end of 2016, a rejuvenating little intermission necessary to recover from the enervating effects of a dreadful election cycle and an all-around lousy year.

But we’re back now, lured by the tantalizing promise of a brand New Year. To wit, we’re already in the publicity phase of the release of Scott West’s The Crook Books, Volume One, the compendium of fun facts, autobiographical weirdness, history, personal musing and criminal philosophy West wrote whilst spending time in the lock-up for money laundering in a massive marijuana peddling scheme — see the review in this issue of Scruffington Post for deets, and visit Earth to Old City on Market Square to purchase your copy.

Also in this issue is a visit with Preservation Pub’s de facto house band, Realm, featuring bartender/drummer Nick Leichtweis and bassist/keyboardist Kurt Bell. Realm are making their welcome return to the Pub stage Jan. 13, with special guests Indighost in tow. The Johnson City-based band ply a brand of alternately fierce and mesmerizing psych-rock — they recall Austin-based psych-rockers the Black Angels just a bit, if the Angels had a powerhouse female vocalist — and would be worth the cover charge even if our favorite beer-battered southern sci-fi power trio wasn’t on the bill.

Moving through the month, the Pub’s Speakeasy second floor stage will host Lebanon outfit Sugar Lime Blue on Jan. 19. Look out for these folks; theirs is a smooth blend of blues, classic southern rock and Americana, heavy with allusions to likes of Brothers and Sisters-era Allman Brothers and Bonnie Raitt.

Also well-worth your hard-earned shekels, come Jan. 21, is Baltimore-based band Community Center. Chamber rock? We didn’t know what the hell it was, either, but suffice to say that this Maryland six-piece is far more intriguing than their prosaic name would seem to allow, offering rich, textured, and wonderfully moody rock that occasionally aspires to high drama, with a hint of cabaret.

We probably don’t have to prompt you much to come out Jan. 27, for Roman Reese’s latest appearance at Preservation Pub with the Cardinal Sins — their socially conscious brand of Americana has long been a favorite in these halls. But be sure and stick around for the second set, from Atlanta’s Copious Jones.

Copious Jones brand themselves as “progressive jam,” but their online oeuvre indicates the band has a lot more songwriting savvy than most of their peers in the progressive/jam/hippie milieu.

And finally, Jan. 29 will see Virginia’s Dawn Drapes mount the stage at Preservation Pub. Though ostensibly a southern outfit, the band draws inspiration from the sophisticated side of 70s rock — think Steely Dan, rather than Skynyrd, with a dollop of bell-bottom-era singer-songwriter sensitivity.

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