Music roundup: Celtic punksters Flogging Molly at Orpheum on Oct. 27

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By Bill Livick/Special to The Gazette
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

John Anderson, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Ave., Madison. Tickets: $45. Call 608-241-8633.

Country music singer-songwriter John Anderson has been on the Nashville scene since 1975. In the past 40 years, he has emerged as a leading artist in the genre—a point proven by his 2014 induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Anderson has released 20 studio albums since his debut in 1980, with his latest, “Gold Mine,” coming out two years ago. He won a Grammy Award in 1982 for Best Male Country Vocal Performance after the release of his 1981 single, “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna be a Diamond Someday”).

In ’82, Anderson released the album “Wild and Blue,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country Music chart and peaked at No. 43 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The single became the biggest selling record in the history of Warner Bros. Records, according to Anderson’s website. The singer also received five nominations for Country Music Association awards that year, with the song being named Single of the Year. Anderson also received nominations that year for Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year.

The Florida native moved to Nashville in his late teens and worked as a laborer for a few years while performing in music clubs at night. He was spotted by a record company rep in 1977, signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records the same year and released his first single, “I’ve Got a Feelin’ (Somebody’s Been Stealin’”).

A strong backwoods accent and distinctive vocal timbre set Anderson apart from the competitive Nashville songwriters crowd and placed him at the forefront of the then-burgeoning new traditionalist county movement with other artists such as Ricky Skaggs.

Bumper Jacksons, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, Capitol Theater, Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State St., Madison. Tickets: $25-$35. Call 608-258-4141.

The seven-piece, Washington D.C.-based band Bumper Jacksons comes to Madison with a trove of songs ranging in styles from hot jazz to country swing to Americana and blues.

The group has been repeatedly recognized as D.C.’s best traditional folk band for its mix of 1930s jazz and early blues, old-time music and country swing. The band’s repertoire of modern American roots music brings a hard-driving energy to the stage.

The band has released four albums including “Too Big World” in 2016. The album includes covers of Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington classics with clarinet, brassy horns and swinging rhythms. But it also includes fiddles and guitars, banjo and a ton of percussion on songs that fall into categories such as old-time folk and vintage gospel.

Bumper Jacksons started out more than 10 years ago as a duo with singer-songwriters Jess Eliot Myhre and Chris Ousley. The pair bicycled around the country toting their instruments and performing at clubs and folk festivals. Within five years, the band had grown to seven members. It has since been honored as Artist of the Year and Best Traditional Band in the Washington Area Music Awards.

Keyshia Cole, 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, The Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St., Milwaukee. Tickets: $35-$55.

Call 414-286-3663.

Rhythm and blues singer Keyshia Cole has recorded seven albums since her 2005 debut. Her music also incorporates elements of soul and hip-hop, and her voice has been described as having a “smoky flavor and husky texture.”

Cole grew up in Oakland, California. She moved to Los Angeles at 18 and signed with A&M Records, which released her debut album, “The Way It Is,” in 2005. The album produced five singles and eventually sold more than 1.5 million copies, according to her website.

In 2007, Cole released her second album, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album. The album, “Just Like You,” sold more than 1.7 million copies and reached No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 200. Cole has achieved similar results with each successive album.

Her biggest influences include her mentor, the late rapper Tupac Shakur, along with soul/R&B singers Anita Baker and Mary J. Blige, and rap and hip-hop artists Big Daddy Kane, Queen Latifah and LL Cool J. Cole’s album “11:11 Reset” is set for release next week on Epic Records. It follows Cole’s sixth album, “Point of No Return,” which was released in 2014.

Flogging Molly, 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, Orpheum Theater, 216 State St., Madison. Tickets: $27.50-$39.50. Call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.

The Celtic-punk band Flogging Molly returns to Madison with songs from its latest album, “Life is Good,” released in June. The album is the band’s sixth studio production and features the seven-piece band in classic high-energy form, led by founder and frontman Dave King.

“Life is Good” marks Flogging Molly’s first studio album in six years, since 2011’s “Speed of Darkness.”

In an April 2017 interview with Billboard magazine, King talked about the new album, saying, “To me, it’s a pretty optimistic album, not as dark as some of our previous ones.”

The new album marks the 20th anniversary of Flogging Molly’s first release, the live concert album “Alive Behind The Green Door.”

“It really is unbelievable to think it’s been 20 years,” King said. “But I think we all still believe in what we’re doing, songwriting-wise. We have a really good chemistry in the band. Everybody has their own little vibe going on, and we give each other all the space we can, and when it comes to the shows it’s all or nothing. We’ve always been that way.”

King, 55, was born in Dublin, Ireland, and in his early 20s moved to Los Angeles, where he joined the British rock band Fastway in 1983. He formed Flogging Molly in 1997.

Flogging Molly’s music is influenced by such artists as The Dubliners, The Pogues, Johnny Cash and The Clash. The band’s third album, “Within a Mile of Home,” was released in 2004 and is dedicated to the memories of Cash and The Clash frontman Joe Strummer.

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