Old Crow Medicine Show, with Chatham Rabbits
Friday, April 29
Old Crow’s sound defies easy summary.
The Nashville-based sextet, playing at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, has been making music of their own curious invention since 1998.
It’s jangly with touches of old-timey country, bluegrass, rock and alt-country, played with an attractive looseness and filled with joyful harmonies.
They’re members of the Grand Ole Opry and they won a Grammy for “Best Folk Album” for 2015’s “Remedy.”
Oh, and if you’ve been to a wedding or attended a frat party over the last nine years, their country-rock jam “Wagon Wheel” probably had you busting a move.
The group employs a wide range of instruments for their hybrid sound, including guitars, banjo, fiddle, drums, keyboards, Dobro and mandolin.
Old Crow has released six studio albums as of April 1.
On April 22, the band will drop a full-length record called “Paint This Town.”
A sneak listen to the title track finds the sextet getting in touch with their inner John Mellencamp (not that there’s anything wrong with that) for a slice of rootsy Americana with a “Cherry Bomb” vibe.
Chatham Rabbits — made up of husband-and-wife Austin and Sarah McCombie — opens for Old Crow.
With Sarah on banjo and vocals and Austin on guitar and vocals, the Bynam-based duo traffics in traditional folk music.
It’s low-fi, but plenty lively with some sweet close harmonies.
When: Friday, April 29, doors open at 5 p.m., with music starting at 6:30 p.m. (rain or shine)
Cost: $35 in advance, $40 at the door
Where: Roanoke Island Festival Park,
1 Festival Park, Manteo
Info and tickets: vusicfest.com
Note: It’s lawn seating, so bring a blanket or low-back chair.
Zack Mexico, with Community Witch
Saturday, April 23
Zack Mexico is playing Saturday, April 23, at Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills.
That’s all most local club-hoppers need to know.
The homegrown sextet — John Saturley on guitar and vocals, Jamie Brumbeloe on guitar, Matt Wentz on guitar, Stephen Brown on bass, Joshua Martier on drums and Joey LaFountaine on drums — has been a major force on the Outer Banks music scene since 2010.
They’ve recorded five albums and Eps and toured the U.S. and Europe.
Their live performances are best described as sonic flights, inviting listeners to join them on a higher plane.
For the uninitiated, here’s an introduction to Mexico’s sound: It’s abstract, but melodic and accessible. Think Pink Floyd meets Radiohead, with a touch of pop.
Saturley’s spatial voice is surrounded by atmospheric textures created by the six inventive musicians.
“We try to make John’s brain come alive,” says LaFountaine of Saturley, who writes most of the band’s material. “But it (songwriting) has become more collaborative over the years.”
The group’s last album, 2020’s “Sound Waves for the Relaxed and Dying,” contains some of the group’s most-compelling songs, which LaFountaine, the band’s spokesman, describes as “ long movements.”
“My Star” is a dreamy but pulsating blast of space-age rock; “The Odyssey” features swirling, distorted guitar sounds, shotgun drumming and whale-sized bass riffs; and the almost-10-minute opus “Meric Clanson” is both hypnotic and danceable.
“John writes good, simple melodies,” says LaFountaine. “It puts us in the pressure cooker to flesh them out.”
These kids — the musicians are all in their 30s — are all right.
Community Witch is a Norfolk-based, all-female band that merges punk, garage-rock and new-wave using the basic unit of two guitars, bass and drums.
When: 10 p.m. April 23
Where: Outer Banks Brewing Station, 600 S. Croatan Hwy., milepost 8, Kill Devil Hills
Info: 252-449-2739, obbrewing.com