The Avett Brothers play their acoustic guitar, banjo, and upright bass with such force, there are times the members of the Americana trio wish they were plugged in. "The way we approach our instruments, we should be playing electric ones," says Scott Avett, who plays banjo in the group he leads with sibling Seth. "We play like we were in a hard rock band. These instruments aren't built for that."
Like Uncle Tupelo before it, the band bridges vintage front-porch country with finger-blistering punk. "We approach it the same way we did our hardcore punk band," says Avett. "There's a lot of angst and aggression, which makes for some great music."
The band's latest album, Live, Volume 2, captures an incendiary 2004 gig in its home state of North Carolina. "There are photographs of us [onstage] in rock-and-roll poses. But with a banjo." The Avett Brothers play the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Road) at 9 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $10; call 216-383-1124. -- Michael Gallucci
Busy bluesman doesn't rest.
If he's not playing "damn fine blues" with his eponymous quartet, guitarist Austin "Walkin' Cane" Charanghat either moonlights with the Barflys, performs with trumpeter Kristine Jackson, or goes solo. "It's juggle or get a real job," says Charanghat. "That's part of the game." Walkin' Cane's busy schedule this week includes gigs from 9 p.m. to midnight Thursday at the Old Stand (15527 Madison Avenue in Lakewood; 216-227-7600); 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday at Sidetrack (13429 Lakewood Heights Boulevard; 216-688-1498); 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday at the Sly Fox (4755 Great Northern Boulevard in North Olmsted; 440-777-0961); 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Southside (2207 West 11th Street; 216-937-2288); 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Hoggy's (5975 Canal Road in Valley View; 216-328-9871); and 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday at the Parkview (1261 West 58th Street; 216-961-1341). Admission is free to all the shows except Saturday's Sly Fox concert, which costs $5. -- Cris Glaser
A Sublime Tribute
For a band whose career pretty much ended before it started, Sublime sure lives large. Two months before the release of its self-titled, major-label debut in 1996, leader Brad Nowell died of a heroin overdose. Since then, its record company has released a half-dozen Sublime records (including live, acoustic, and a pair of greatest-hits discs). The ska-skewing modern-rock band has even inspired a new tribute album and a successful tribute band, Badfish, which has the original group's style, sound, and sway down pat. And with the Rhode Island imitators now in their fourth year, they're close to outlasting the real thing. Badfish plays Sublime at the House of Blues (308 Euclid Avenue) at 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15, $11.50 in advance, available by calling 216-241-5555. -- Michael Gallucci