While our “Winter of Discontent” has lasted eight full seasons, I truly believe that hope is on the horizon. I’m sensing a rebirth, a renewal, a reawakening that goes beyond seasonal. Yet, what better time than April — being a transition month — is there to shake off the shackles, divest the doldrums and breathe in the beauty? So, let’s go dancing in the moonlight, singing in the sunshine and letting the music keep our spirits high.
• April 7, Haw River Ballroom: Not long after “Americana” became au courant (circa ’95), Todd Snider ambled onto the scene to perfectly define the idiom as a nonmainstream mixture of folk, alt-country, blues, acoustic funk and all things East Nashville. He immediately became the Americana poster boy and remains so today. To say he is a revered figure would not be a stretch.
• April 8, Ziggy’s: Back when the original Ziggy’s was packin’ them in nightly, one of the prime packers was guitar whiz Keller Williams. And it does my heart good to see that both are still alive and kickin’. Yes, the reborn Ziggy’s is now in High Point, but all that means is a shorter drive from G-boro to see Keller kill it.
• April 14, The ArtsCenter (Carrboro): Apologies for sending you down the road, but when the show is James McMurtry, I trust you’ll forgive me. Few singer-songwriters dare be mentioned in the same breath as Guy Clark or Townes Van Zandt, but McMurtry has earned the comparisons. The son of famed novelist Larry McMurtry, he comes by it honest.
• April 19, Greensboro Coliseum: Where do you start in describing the career of Sir Elton John? It literally gives me chill bumps thinking of the impact he has had, not only on pop music, but on the music industry as a whole. But, yes, after 50 years, he really is saying goodbye to Yellow Brick Road and snuffing out the candle in the wind, but not before a Greensboro appearance.
• April 22-23, The Crown: This show originally was scheduled for last October but, well, you know, that thing that refused to go away . . . I feared that it would not be rescheduled, but the gods of music have smiled down on us. Bus Stop (Evan Olson, Britt “Snuzz” Uzzell, Chuck Folds, Eddie Walker) was H-U-G-E throughout the ’90s, arguably the biggest band ever to come out of Greensboro. The Crown was wise to schedule two nights for the reunion.