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Check It Out

Check It Out: March 1, 2013

Otis Taylor – My World is Gone (Telarc) With a cover shot that could have come from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown’s seminal 1970 book of Native American history, Otis Taylor’s 13th studio album, not surprisingly, embraces some of the same topics. Aided and inspired by friend and Indigenous frontman Mato Nanji, Taylor applies his unorthodox style of trance blues to stories dealing with the world of hardship found on the rez that’s oblivious to the mainstream world (the organ-kissed “Never Been to the Reservation”) to one of the more shameful incidents in America (a mournful “Sand Creek Massacre Mourning.”) Not unlike the better-known Taj Mahal, Taylor possesses gruff vocals that are a perfect fit for singing blues music. Likewise, his creative approach thankfully skips over trite Southside Chicago posturing and instead leans heavily on repetitive riffing and hypnotic vamping coupled with the use of non-blues instruments like tuba, banjo, cornet and fiddle. It works particularly well on “The Wind Comes In,” a John Lee Hooker-like lament of an alcoholic quitting and trying to woo his true love back as well as “Sit Across Your Table,” a song of domestic bliss full of chugging beats and dancing hooks that would fit perfectly into Gary Clark, Jr’s creative wheelhouse. Otis Taylor’s tinkering with the blues is helping it evolve beyond hidebound approaches that threaten to make it stagnant.

Fri. 3.1
NYC
The Allman Brothers Band @ the Beacon Theatre

74th Street & Broadway. 8 p.m. $150.99, $100.99, $60.99.

866-858-0008 www.beacontheatre.com

Far more important than the NCAA, the Allman Brothers Band’s traditional run of dates at the Beacon is truly the only March Madness whose mania is worth getting caught up in. The granddaddies of southern rock and jam-band nation have been playing this annual event since 1989. With frontman/keyboardist Gregg Allman recovering from a 2010 liver transplant and hot on the heels of his 2012 autobiography My Cross to Bear, the Tennessee native is rumored to have penned some new songs that will be getting road-tested at these Beacon shows. If so, it’ll be the first new song the Brothers have trotted out since the Warren Haynes/Derek Trucks collaboration “Bag End.” (Also appearing on March 2, 5 & 6, 8 & 9, 15 & 16.)


Fri. 3.1
Port Washington
Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett @ Landmark on Main Street
223 Main St. 8 p.m. $55, $50, $45. 516-767-6444 www.landmarkonmainstreet.org


One of rock music’s most eclectic groups, Little Feat was a hodge-podge of Americana genres that somehow managed to blend blues, jazz, Southern rock, funk and country into a tasty stew whose musical chef was the late Lowell George. And while he passed from this mortal coil back in 1979 at the young age of 34, the band carried on thanks to a number of surviving members that included Paul Barrere. And while Fred Tackett was never officially part of the group while George was alive, he was a close friend who nonetheless did session work on a number of albums including Dixie Chicken and Time Loves a Hero and later joined Little Feat in its second incarnation. The longtime friends have most recently been touring as an acoustic duo and given their long history together, expect plenty of gems from the Feat canon including “Willin’,” “Down On the Farm” and “Skin It Back.”


Sat. 3.2
Westbury
En Vogue @ NYCB Theatre @ Westbury

960 Brush Hollow Rd., 8 p.m. $49.50, $39.50. 877-598-8497 www.livenation.com

With more drama going on than an episode of Smash, En Vogue is in the midst of a squabble between two factions—Maxine Jones and Dawn Robinson versus Cindy Herron and Terry Ellis—and whatever gals each side has rounded up to fill out the lineup. Regardless of who takes the stage at Westbury, expect a wealth of hits from arguably one of the greatest girl groups to emerge from the contemporary R&B scene in the past 25 years.
With D Train, Lillo Thomas and Cherelle.


Through March 28
50/50 Hofstra University Museum Exhibit  @ Emily Lowe Gallery

Hempstead Tpke., Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m; Saturday & Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Free.

516-463-6819 www.hofstra.edu

To commemorate its five decades of existence, the Hofstra’s University Museum is highlighting 50 of the 605 acquisitions that have been donated since 2006. Featured works include paintings, prints, photographs and drawings by a wide array of 20th and 21st century American, Latino and European artists. Among those featured are Luis Cruz Azaceta, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Stanley Brodsky, Lucien Clergue, Yonia Fain, April Gornick, Robert Kipniss, Howardena Pindell, Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Resnick, Alison Saar, W. Eugene Smith and Stanley Twardowicz, among others. The exhibition also includes Pre-Columbian figures and vessels as well as early to mid 20th-century African masks.