Bob and Elvis, Mountain high, Bobby Selvaggio, Shaw”s all

Wednesday, Oct. 17
Unless you’ve been living in an underground bunker in Antarctica for the past 40 years, you’ve most likely heard of Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello. Celebrated individually for their pioneering fusion of folk-rock-pop artistry, the two living legends have combined forces to tour in support of the re-release of some of their greatest work.

Dylan, fresh on the heels of a career-spanning greatest-hits collection, aptly titled Dylan, also has a DVD set to be released at the end of the month chronicling his Newport Folk Festival performances from 1963-1965. However, unlike the solo performances of the ’60s, Dylan will be belting out his hits live with his current band, consisting of a couple guitars, stand-up bass, lap steel guitar and drums.

Likewise, Costello recently re-released a deluxe edition of his classic debut album, My Aim is True, which is accompanied by rarities, demos and a collection of live tracks, including his entire 1977 concert from London’s Nashville Rooms. This current tour also marks the first time Costello has performed solo in more than 10 years, making this a special, memorable engagement.

As if you needed another reason to attend the concert, opening the evening will be the critically acclaimed newcomer Amos Lee. Blending jazz, folk and soul into a creative new sound, Lee’s influences range from John Prine and James Taylor to Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder.

Dylan, Costello and Lee will perform Wednesday, Oct. 17, at Freedom Hall (937 Phillips Lane, 367-5000). The show starts at 7 p.m., and tickets range from $32.50-$62.50.

Tuesday, Oct. 16

Ryan Shaw
Ryan Shaw
While the heyday of jazz may have come and gone, it is far from dead. In fact, Cleveland-based saxophonist, band leader and music teacher Bobby Selvaggio is one of the many reasons the genre survives today. Selvaggio’s most recent album, Unspoken Dialogue, has garnered widespread attention for its sophisticated arrangements and exceptional musicianship. When asked about making the album, Selvaggio gushed about the experience.

“Oh, it was amazing!” Selvaggio said in a recent interview with LEO. “Kenny Werner, Ben Street, Jamey Haddad, Paul Tynan … these guys are major forces in jazz music today. It was just an incredible experience. We played together as a group at the recording studio for the first time. It’s challenging music, but everybody was willing to really go out of their way to see what we could do to make things as spontaneous and organic and conversational as possible.”

Don’t let Selvaggio’s studio mastery fool you. He’s a sucker for the live experience, as well, thriving on improvisation and spontaneity.

“That’s the great thing about jazz music. It’s not about recreation, it may be about influence from the past, or may be about what there is out there to inspire us. It’s what are you feeling at that given time, and what are you trying to get across to the audience as a breathing entity that’s trying to show what they are feeling at that point in time.”

The live version of Selvaggio’s current band consists of Tynan, Dan Murphy, Ashley Summers and Nathan Douds, all hand-picked by Selvaggio for their musical prowess.

“These are all people I love playing with, that to me, it’s the same thing as the guys I record with,” Selvaggio said. “People that I like, that I know will interact with each other, that will push the envelope, that will go out of the way to try to make things happen as opposed to just kinda playing the music and letting things happen around them. They make things happen, and that’s kinda the type of people I like to play with.”

The Bobby Selvaggio Quintet performs two sets Tuesday at the Jazz Factory (815 W. Market St., 992-3242). Showtimes are 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., and tickets are only $5.

Tuesday, Oct. 16

Black Mountain: Photo by Toby Bannister
Black Mountain: Photo by Toby Bannister
Up-and-coming R&B sensation Ryan Shaw has injected a renewed excitement into soul music, with fresh takes on old Wilson Pickett and Jackie Wilson songs, along with powerful original material of his own. Shaw got his start singing gospel music in Decatur, Ga., and discovered the golden age of R&B almost by accident.

“I moved to New York with hopes of doing Broadway, and that didn’t work out as fast as I thought it was going to, so I ended up working at the Motown Café as a singer in the Café Moments, and that’s how I got into it, out of necessity,” Shaw said in an interview. “If you don’t work, you don’t eat, and I wanted to eat. And then one morning, I woke up singing with those songs in my mind. I was like, those are actually great songs.”
Shaw soon realized that the difference between gospel music and classic R&B was only lyric-deep.

“Those singers were out of the church. I’ve been singing like that all my life. Initially, they were songs I would never have probably thought about listening to or singing, but I woke up, and I was like, wow, that’s a great melody. You know, (singing) ‘Get ready, cause here I come! Get ready …’”

Shaw has since rebuilt his image as a modern-day Otis Redding or Sam Cooke, performing impassioned versions of the classics, as well as his own stellar songs to enthralled audiences both young and old.
“Getting the crowd into it, getting the crowds reaction, and really sharing what it is and how much fun we have on stage, just really getting that energy across to the people — it’s a whole lot of fun, lot of dancing,” he says.
Shake your booty and share in the love with Ryan Shaw Tuesday at Phoenix Hill Tavern (644 Baxter Ave., 589-4957). Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets are $10 in advance, $12 day of show.

Monday, Oct. 15

Hailing from the mossy forests of Vancouver, B.C., the psychedelic hard rockers Black Mountain would have been right at home in San Francisco during the Summer of Love. Their acid-drenched riff-rock harkens back to the classic late-’60s era of progressive, heady music that pushed the envelope and the consciousness into uncharted territory.

But this band is hardly living in the past. In fact, they’ve been touring relentlessly, building up to the release of their second album, titled In The Future.

“We’ve been doing a lot of touring,” band member Jeremy Schmidt said. “It’s kind of the most fun part of the whole thing. Sitting in the van for eight hours or whatever, that’s pretty boring, but actually by virtue of contrast it makes going on stage and playing seem like a real breath of fresh air. It’s the reward!”

Black Mountain performs their tripped-out rock at Headliners (1386 Lexington Road, 584-8088) on Monday. Wax Fang and Cave Singers open the show. Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets are $12.

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