Perhaps the greatest virtue of the Bluegrass Legends concert series, which presents music occasionally at the American Legion Hall in Evanston (1030 Central St.), is its focus on the hard-driving, tradition-minded side of the music. Programmers Chip Covington and Mike Miller aren’t closed-off to new sounds—in fact, I think they’ve introduced as many young acts as any presenter in the area—but they’ve got no time for the watered-down, crossover shit thatgets most of the attention.
This Saturday they welcome back Alabama’s David Davis & the Warrior River Boys . The singer’s uncle Cleo Davis, who, like him, played mandolin, was a charter member of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, so the younger Davis has been around the real deal for most of his life. His latest album, Troubled Times (Rebel), branches out a bit with some of its original material, slowing things down and splitting the difference between country and plaintive folk sounds--although a tune like “Chancellorsville” looks back well beyond the advent of bluegrass, to the Civil War, and the band still drives steel with its instrumental virtuosity and vocal harmonies.
Maquinado, Homem Binario (Trama)
Jacky Terrason, Mirror (Blue Note)
Scout Niblett, This Fool Can Die Now (Too Pure)
Dillinger Escape Plan, Ire Works (Relapse)
Seu Jorge, America Brasil (EMI, Brasil)