On the Town with John Harper

Saturday 1.19

Bad Weather Birds

The Hampton Roads-based group sound suggests Phish meets Stevie Wonder meets the Allman Brothers Band.

It's sort of jam-band, kind of funky, somewhat psychedelic and a bit jazzy, with elements of pop and bluegrass.

The music will definitely will get you on the good foot.

The sextet, playing at Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills, employs two guitars, bass, keyboards, drums and percussion.

Together since 2014, the Birds are flying high with the release of the full-length album “Reliever.”

The Birds' songs are built on catchy melodies, inventive instrumentation and righteous harmonies.

Among the album's highlights is the slice-of-Northern California-soul title track, which brings to mind the legendary band Tower of Power.

“Get Up” is a pop-rock tune that sounds like Fleetwood Mac jamming with Mumford and Sons.

Other tunes range from dreamy (“Clovers”), to Southern-soul (“Georgia”) and to free-flowing jams (“Midas”).

On stage, the band also remakes tunes by some of their influences.

  • When: 10:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $5
  • Where: Outer Banks Brewing Station, 600 S. Croatan Hwy., milepost 8, Kill Devil Hills
  • Info: 252-449-2739, obbrewing.com

Friday-Sunday 1.11-13, 1.18-20

Theatre of Dare: “Tuesdays with Morrie”

“Morrie's” subject matter — a man dying of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) – may sound like a downer.

But if you're even slightly familiar with the 1999 best-selling book on which the play is based, you know there's more to it.

“Tuesdays With Morrie” tells the story of journalist Mitch Album's weekly conversations with his favorite college professor. (Morrie Swartz).

There are tears and laughter in equal measure.

Theatre of Dare's production runs Jan. 11-13 and Jan. 18-20 at Dare County Arts Council in downtown Manteo.

Tim Haas, 49, plays Albom and Theatre of Dare veteran Don Bridge, 66, plays Swartz.

Jessica Sands directs the two-character play.

The “Tuesday” chats involve subjects ranging from love to relationships to day-to-day living.

Among the nuggets to come out the highly-personal conversations are: “Accept who you are, and revel in it,” “the truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live” and “without love, we're like birds with broken wings.”

“There are some heart-felt life lessons, for sure,” says Haas. “And there are some funny lines.”

“But people may want to bring their hankies.”

  • When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
  • Cost: $12 for adults, $6 for students
  • Where: Dare County Arts Council, 300 Queen Elizabeth St., Manteo waterfront
  • Info: theatreofdareobx.com

Saturday 2.9

Refugee: The Ultimate Tom Petty Experience

The New York City-based sextet pays tribute to one of rock and roll's greatest performers, who died last year.

Petty was a triple threat: a gifted songwriter, a unique singer and skilled multi-instrumentalist.

His songs are staples of classic-rock radio stations, and probably will be played until the end of time.

Petty's no-nonsense approach to songwriting was a thing of beauty, from the gritty “American Girl,” to the stirring “I Won't Back Down” to the lighters-in-the-air anthem “Mary Jane's Last Dance.”

Of yeah, there's also “Free Falling,” “The Waiting,” “Don't Do Me Like That,” “ and “Stop Dragging My Heart Around,” among dozens of other gems.

The tribute band, which plays at Paparazzi OBX in Kitty Hawk, gets it all right, from leader Mike Epstein's absolute capture of Petty's nasally voice to the note-for-note recreations of the melodies.

All of the members of Refugee, including Epstein's wife Hillary who gets in touch with her inner Stevie Nicks, are excellent.

  • When: 7 p.m.
  • Cost: $20
  • Where: Paparazzi OBX, 3848 N. Croatan Hwy., milepost 4.5, Kitty Hawk
  • Info: 252-715-1673, paparazziobx.com

Wednesday 2.6

Bryan Cultural Series: “Sabato's Crystal Ball”

You may have noticed there's some talk about politics these days.

So the time couldn't be better for Larry Sabato's “Crystal Ball,” which will be held at First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills.

Sabato, who's a professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., a best-selling author and a nationally known TV and radio political analyst, is considered one of the country's premier political prognosticators.

Over several decades, he's been uncannily accurate with predictions about elections in the U.S. House and Senate, state governors' races and presidential voting.

But in 2016, Sabato, 66, was way off and readily admits it.

He was, however, back on track for the 2018-midterm elections.

Sabato's non-partisan program, which will include a question-and-answer session, will look ahead — thus the “Crystal Ball” - to the 2020 elections.

  • When: 7 p.m.
  • Cost: $15
  • Where: First Flight High School, 100 Veterans Drive, off Colington Road, Kill Devil Hills
  • Info: bryanculturealseries.org

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