Detroit has one of the most storied blues histories in the country. And the Detroit Blues Society’s mission is to preserve it and foster a vital present. The society hosts Blues Aid, to benefit the Detroit Blues Heritage Series, 5-9 p.m., May 12 at the Music Menu Café, 511 Monroe in Greektown. Performers include Alberta Adams, Bettye Lavette, R.J.’s Blues Crew and the Blue Suit Blues Band. Suggested donation is $7, and there will be a silent auction for framed photographs, CD box sets, etc. Headliner Adams personifies the society’s mission. She’s performed for more than 50 years with artists such as Duke Ellington and Tiny Bradshaw. And she continues to perform regularly. Call the Detroit Blues Society hotline at 248-262-6890 for info.
The Concert of Colors expands to a free, three-day worldbeat kaleidoscope July 13-15 at Chene Park. Just some of the names: Los Lobos, Temptations Review, War, Angelique Kidjo, Cheb Mami, Femi Kuti, Poncho Sanchez, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Tom Tom Club, Cibo Matto, Walela (with Rita Coolidge), the Specials, Trans-global Underground. Full listing soon to the Web site at www.concertofcolors.org.
The Witches front man, an at-one-point member of other semi-legendary bands (Wasted Youth, Flotsam and Jetsam, Prong, Swans, Mice Termite) and general man of mystery about town, Troy Gregory, has a May 4 date at Club Bart. He’ll be doing two sets, including songs off the next Witches record, Witches on Parade, a few from a solo record he’s working on called Sybil and some from older Witches records, Universal Mall and Let’s Go to the No Go Zone. There’ll also be a few Witches songs he’s never recorded and maybe a few covers: “I dunno, maybe Morrissey or Blind Lemon Jefferson or Kiss, not sure. I’ll play it by ear. I may improvise a few tunes that night as well. You never can tell what may possess you until you are there, y’know,” he e-mailed. Yeah, you sure don’t — especially when Gregory’s in charge. Noelle Christine from Ghost World and the Bob McReedy Trio will open with her own solo material, backed by members of Outrageous Cherry and Ghost World and describes the songs as “Beach Boys meets Françoise Hardy.” Noelle also tells me that after much turmoil and debate, Ghost World has changed its name to the Alphabet to avoid confusion with Ghost World, the movie.
The long-awaited, Jack White-produced compilation for Sympathy for the Record Industry, The Sympathetic Sounds of Detroit, has finally hit the shelves.
Jack and Meg of the White Stripes also have finished their follow-up to the popular De Stijl, an album called White Blood Cells. The release is rumored to be taking place three nights in a row at three different venues.
The Paybacks, a band featured on the SFTRI comp (“The Real Black Girl”), have a few big shows scheduled themselves. May 4, they’re at the Magic Bag with the Gore Gore Girls and Shep Wrench (Chuck Burns’ relatively new band). May 25, they headline an all-ages show at the Magic Stick with Stroker Ace, the Unfriendlys and the Bomb Pops. The band has been hard at work recording at the 54 Sound studio. Wendy Case, the band’s front woman, says it’s a shocker. Stay tuned for release info.
One of Detroit’s hip-hop all-stars, Paradime, is collecting live recordings for his upcoming album, Vices. The record button will be pressed at his May 5 show at Blind Pig (208 S. First in Ann Arbor, 734-996-8555). Total Disregard, Black Magic Crossing and DJ Pay Per Kutt share the bill. Doors at 9:30 p.m. Everyone 19 and up can come inside and the door charge is $6. Don Johnson will most likely not be there. But phat beats and cool rhymes will abound.