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Check It Out

Check It Out!: March 13, 2014

High Hopes:

Where The Boss Meets The Nightwatchman

Bruce Springsteen — High Hopes (Columbia) — According to the liner notes, Bruce Springsteen started cobbling together the idea for this collection of re-recorded versions of previously released material and covers during an Australian tour where Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello was subbing for Little Steven Van Zandt.

While diehard fans wishing that Springsteen would go back to the Jersey bar band playbook might be put off, what this represents is a mature artist still willing to take chances. And while the choice of Morello might seem odd given his pedigree as a rap rock innovator, the lefty pro-labor leanings reflected by his Nightwatchmen alter-ego gibes well with the iconic heartland rocker’s blue collar roots.

Among the nuggets the duo resurrect from the Springsteen canon is “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” If in its original rendition it comes across as a barebones rumination that might have been uttered by a starving Okie, then this rerecording Springsteen does with Morello is a beefed up drifter openly defying his barren existence. And while the controversial “American Skin (41 Shots),” originally written for Amadou Diallo and resurrected and dedicated to Trayvon Martin in recent years could have used some pruning, the Boss doesn’t disappoint in the storytelling department.

The syncopated groove at the heart of “Harry’s Place” and its cluster of wiseguys and Sopranos-like characters includes posthumous Clarence Clemons sax contributions while the short, sweet and rambunctious “Frankie Fell in Love” taps into Springsteen’s wellspring of romance. Other highlights include the atmospheric waltz “Hunter of Invisible Game” where the cinematic string arrangements take on an Aaron Copeland-like grandeur.

Elsewhere, “The Wall,” a song that Pittsburgh cult favorite Joe Grushecky had the idea and title for and has been a frequent live fave, is a somber tale of veterans and their immortality preserved forevermore at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial down in Washington D.C. Covers of obscure California band Havalinas (the clattering title cut), Australian punk icons The Saints (a jangly “Just Like Fire Would” complete with Sgt. Pepper-flavored brass) and No Wave stalwarts Suicide (a lush “Dream Baby Dream”) are just some of the more eclectic but no less effective cuts sprinkled throughout this array of musical odds and ends.

March 13


Soulive @ Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave. 9 p.m. $15.


Similar to how the Allman Brothers have their annual March Madness string of shows at the Beacon Theatre, so it goes with Soulive whose been hosting its own two-week, 10-night residency at the Brooklyn Bowl since 2010. This year, the funk trio invited its usual array of special guests including George Porter, Jr. London Souls, Jon Cleary, Susan Tedeschi, DMC (of Run-DMC) and Talib Kweli. Check the website to see who is showing up when. (Through March 15. Also appearing on March 18-22.)

March 14


Sharon Corr @ The City Winery, 155 Varick St.,

8 p.m. $35, $30, $25.


A member of the musical clan The Corrs, Sharon has been flying solo dating back to her 2010 debut, Dream of You, following the 2006 hiatus her family went on. The multi-instrumentalist recently wound up as a judge on the television talent show The Voice of Ireland preceding the release of last year’s sophomore bow, The Same Sun. (Also appearing on March 16 @ the YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 W. Main St., Bay 631-969-1101

March 15


An Evening with Justin Townes Earle

@ The City Winery, 155 Varick St.,

7 & 10:45 p.m. $40, $35, $30, $25.

As the son of a well-respected and highly outspoken Renaissance man who also happens to be a cornerstone of Americana music, it would be easy for Justin Townes Earle to reject winning the gene pool lottery. But much to the credit of Steve’s son, the younger Earle has not only embraced his legacy, but dealt with his own substance abuse problems and is already a few years into carving out a neat, musical niche of his own. With his latest, 2012’s Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now, JTE is a melancholy affair infused with a fair degree of honesty regarding nods to substance abuse and most impressively, the conflicting emotions he admits to in “Am I That Lonely Tonight?,” particularly when he mentions hearing his dad on the radio.

March 15


An Evening With the Stars of Doo-Wop And Rock & Roll

@ The Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, 720 Northern Blvd.,

7 p.m. $59, $49, $38. 516-299-3100

With Herb Reed’s Platters (“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” “Only You”), The Four Aces (“Love is a Many Splendored Thing”), Emil Stucchio & The Classics (“Till Then”), Gary U.S. Bonds (“Quarter to Three”), Johnny Tillotson (“Poetry in Motion”), La La Brooks, original lead singer of The Crystals (“Da Doo Ron Ron”) and Marty “G” & The “G” Men. Special guest emcee, Don K. Reed.

March 18


Jessica Kirson @ The Brokerage Comedy Club, 2797 Merrick Rd.,

7:30 & 10 p.m. $17. 2-drink minimum

516-781-LAFF (5233)

One of fellow comedienne Joy Behar’s favorite stand-ups, Jessica Kirson has made her hay inhabiting her routines with an array of characters drawn from her personal life. Her talents have landed a number of prestige gigs including appearances on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, NBC’s Last Comic Standing, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, VH-1’s Awesomely Bad and Showtime’s White Boyz in the Hood.

March 16


The Celtic Tenors @ The Paramount, 370 New York Ave.

7:30 p.m. $69.50, $58, $52.50, $42, $35.


Ever since the original Three Tenors (Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo) started racking up platinum albums and crossing opera over to the masses in the ’90s, there have been numerous vocal groups that have followed in their wake. From the Emerald Isle come the Celtic Tenors. Matthew Gilsenan, James Nelson and Daryl Simpson have carried on the legacy of bringing opera to the masses. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, the trio will be pulling into Huntington, where you can expect them to be drawing material from its last studio outing, 2011’s Feels Like Home.

March 17


Tracks Raw Bar & Grill St. Patrick’s Day Celebration,

LIRR level of Penn Station.

8-1 a.m. Free. 212-244-6350

With an Irish pub ambiance and quaint yet appropriate railroad theme, Tracks Raw Bar & Grill is where you can get oysters to go with your Guinness. So the venue’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities are right in its wheelhouse. This is the day where you’ll be able to dig into house-cured corned beef and Guinness beef stew along with a wide array of grub ranging from burgers, sandwiches, salads and entreés to Shepherds Pie, lobster ravioli and salmon.

March 18


Rosanne Cash @ Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St. 8 p.m.

$75, $50, $35. 212-307-4100

Coming off her last album, 2009’s all-covers project The List, Rosanne Cash returns with The River & the Thread. Always one to draw from her background and rich musical legacy, Cash continues the tradition with a group of songs that blend gospel, country, blues and rock. Aided by a number of special guests including John Paul White (The Civil Wars), Derek Trucks, John Prine and Tony Joe White, Cash is already getting early accolades that could well land her on a number of Best of 2014 lists at the end of the year.

March 20


Drive-By Truckers & Blitzen Trapper

@ Terminal 5, 610 W. 56th St. 8 p.m.

$30 adv. $35 DOS. 212-582-6600

Southern rock often gets derided as music being made by rednecks by the uninformed despite the brilliance of lyricists like Ronnie Van Zant. Drive-By Truckers carry that tradition on of banging out the kind weighty and far more compelling fare that has them residing in the shadow of fellow southerners Kings of Leon. The band’s tenth and newest studio album, English Oceans, produces a sound that features the best elements of all three outfits. Bookending this bill is Blitzen Trapper, whose alt-folk/country vibe has been the source of seven studio albums including last year’s most excellent VII.

March 20

Bay Shore

Royal Southern Brotherhood

@ the YMCA Boulton Center

for the Performing Arts,

37 W. Main St. 8 p.m. $65, $60.


Southern bloodlines run deep in this quasi-supergroup, some of whose members are members of a pair of the South’s most esteemed musical families. Devon Allman (son of Gregg) and Neville brother Cyril joined forces with blues ace Mike Zito, respected jam-band bassist Charlie Wooten and drummer Yonrico Scott. The quintet all grew up south of the Mason-Dixon line and are touring behind their band’s self-titled 2012 debut. (Also appearing on March 21 @ B.B. King Blues Club and Grill, 237 West 42nd St. 212-997-4144