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Wednesday, September 26,2012

Turn it down

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
Joe Buck Yourself at Mac´s

Jim Finkley, better known by his stage name Joe Buck, is a hard-stomping one-man band. With a kick drum at his feet and a beat-up acoustic in his hands, Buck viciously mixes classic hillbilly music with snarling gutter-punk vocals and distortion. Buck owns his own tour company, the Bucket City Agency, which handles his — and an array of other — down-and-dirty tours. Buck is set to play Saturday at Mac’s Bar. Sharing the bill is American roots rockers Viva Le Vox and locals Dead Ben Rooster. A native of Kentucky, Buck got his start in punk back in the ´90s when he formed his first notable band, Gringo. After which, he emerged as the guitarist for the Legendary Shack Shakers, a punk-blues band based out of Nashville. In 2003 Buck left the Shakers and joined forces with Hank Williams III, playing a variety of amped-up, unconventional forms of country music. Buck was also a member of another project of Williams´ — the "hellbilly" band Assjack, which specializes in mixing metal, goth, punk and rockabilly. Music fans who have old Buck Owens records piled next to some Misfits LPs should give this Buck a shot.

Saturday, Sept. 29 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 East Michigan Ave., Lansing, 18 and over, $10, 9 p.m.


Kick out the Jazz 

Dee Hibbert & Company performs a mix of jazz, R&B, and old school funk Friday at the Best Western Plus Hotel Ballroom in Lansing. The Lansing-based group was started by vocalist and songwriter Daryl "Dee" Hibbert, who recruited a long list of local musicians and soon created a huge, jazzy sound. The band includes Cassandra Riley (lead vocals), Richard Wolfolk (keyboard), Leonard Washington (bass), James Flanagan (drums), Tom Jones (saxophone/flute) and James Jones on lead guitar.

Friday, Sept. 28 @ The Best Western Plus Hotel Ballroom, 6820 S. Cedar St., Lansing, all ages, $20 advance, $25 at door, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., for tickets call 517-930-5531.


Mid-Michigan Women of Blues takes over Uli´s 

While Uli’s Haus of Rock has become known for hard and heavy rock shows, Saturday the venue turns into the Haus of Blues when four of the area’s busiest female vocalists share one bill. The event, “Mid-Michigan Women of the Blues,” includes the “Princess of Rockin’ Gospel” Sharrie Williams, Detroit blues/R&B singer Kathleen Murray, Motor City-blues veteran Thornetta Davis and local blues diva Twyla Birdsong, who is also known for her leading spot in The Hoopties. Backing up these award-winning vocalists is a crew of local music scene fixtures, including keyboardist Mike Skory, drummer Boonie Dottery, guitarist Stan Budzynski and bassist Louis Rudner. The concert was organized by Birdsong, who said she is preparing to start work on a new solo album. While she does fancy herself a blues singer, Birdsong said she has a soulful, spiritual style. “I want it to be the gospel-soul feel of the blues,” she said. “I’m always rooted in the blues, but the gospel has to come out.”

Saturday, Sept. 29 @ Uli’s Haus of Rock, 4519 South Martin Luther King, Lansing, $15, 8 p.m. to Midnight, for advance tickets call 517 894-5137.


DJs go for the gold

Thirty-two DJ’s are lined up for this year’s Capital City DJ Olympics competition this Friday at The Loft. This is the fourth year for the competition, which is spread out over many qualifying rounds and is hosted by Patrick “DJ Duke” Duke and Marcus McKissic of Boxcar Management. From this qualifying event, 13 will advance to the 2013 final showdown in April, joining the top three from 2012, DJ Sizl (Lansing), DJ Cha Chi (Flint) and DJ Ruckus (Lansing). While the event is a battle, one of its primary missions is to display the creativity and artistry of the art form. Adding to the atmosphere, there is also major production of sound, lights and showmanship. Organizers of the event call it “the Decathlon Competition of DJing,” with a broad range of styles including Top 40, house, techno, hip hop, and drum and bass.

Friday, Sept. 28 @ The Loft, 414 East Michigan Ave., Lansing, $8, all ages until 9 p.m., 18 and over after, doors open at 6 p.m.

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