Music roundup for Nov. 7-13, 2013

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By Kareesa Wilson, Special to The Gazette
Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Blind Boys of Alabama at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, The Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St., Milwaukee. With My Brightest Diamond. Tickets: $32.50. Call 414-286-3663.

Blind Boys of Alabama are a gospel institution. Led by founding member Jimmy Carter, the 74-year-old group boasts an overwhelming list of accolades and accomplishments, accompanied by genuine humility.

Carter continues the Blind Boys' tradition of delivering classic gospel music with an uplifting message. He and Clarence Fountain, who tours as his health allows, are the only original members left in the group, which started in 1939 at the Alabama Institute for the Blind.

Current member Ricky McKinnie, who is also blind, said Blind Boys of Alabama have a message to share. “Our disability doesn't have to be a handicap,” he said. “It's not about what you can't do. It's about what you do. And what we do is sing good gospel music.”

Blind Boys have released more than 60 studio albums and have won five Grammy Awards, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Helen Keller Personal Achievement Award. Mainstream success finally found them in the 1990s, when their album “Deep River” earned a Grammy nomination. They collected all of their Grammy Awards during the 2000s.

Jake Shimabukuro at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, Capitol Theater, Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State St., Madison. Tickets: $23-$33. Call 608-258-4141, TTY 608-258-4967.

Hawaiian Jake Shimabukuro gives the ukulele a run for its money. A consummate professional and gifted virtuoso, the 37-year-old Shimabukuro has taken the ukulele out of its pigeonhole and into the worlds of jazz, classical and folk music.

Shimabukuro's career began more than a decade ago, and he became well known in Hawaii and Japan as a solo musician. When a video of him playing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral in 2006, Shimabukuro attained worldwide fame.

He has composed music for several movie soundtracks, collaborated with other musicians and was featured last year in an acclaimed documentary about his life, “Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings.”

Genghis Barbie at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, Young Auditorium, UW-Whitewater, 930 W. Main St., Whitewater. Tickets: $9.25-$19.50. Call 262-472-2222.

Genghis Barbie is conquering the world of horn music. This unorthodox group features four female horn players who perform pop, rock, jazz and classical music specially arranged for a horn quartet. They even dabble in punk rock.

Members Danielle Kuhlmann, Rachel Drehmann, Alana Vegter and Leelanee Sterrett travel the country teaching workshops and master classes and performing. They were featured at the 2011 International Horn Society Symposium and have performed with the Southern Methodist University Wind Ensemble and the New York Youth Symphony.

Genghis Barbie has released two studio albums, including this year's holiday album, “Genghis Barbie: Home for the Holidays.”

Colin Meloy of The Decemberists at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12,
Majestic Theatre, 115 King St., Madison. Tickets: $30. Call 608-255-0901.

Colin Meloy's musicianship is worth the price of admission. The 39-year-old guitarist, best known as the lead singer for folk band The Decemberists, easily fills the spotlight alone.

As a soloist, Meloy tours infrequently—this is only his fourth solo tour in eight years. His solo tours usually have themes featuring the music of other artists, including Morrissey, Shirley Collins and Sam Cooke.

His solo albums can be hard to find because they're sold only at his tour stops. He has recorded five of them, including this year's “Colin Meloy Sings The Kinks.” Fans of Meloy, The Decemberists and The Kinks should be in seventh heaven with this tour. It's rare and worth the wait.

Last updated: 5:06 pm Wednesday, November 6, 2013

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