Country with a bit of blues, pop, rock – even a shot of R&B – marks the music of five-time Grammy-winning artist Wynonna, live Friday with her new backup band, The Big Noise, shaking it up at The Old Town Amphitheater in Rock Hill.
Wynonna found fame first as half of 1980’s country music duo The Judds, alongside mom Naomi Judd. Together they recorded music, toured and dominated the country charts, selling more than 20 million albums while regularly picking up Grammy, CMA and ACM awards.
From that high-flying start, she eventually would choose to carry on alone when faced with her mother’s retirement due to illness. Her first order of business as a solo artist was to establish personal independence. What better way to do that than to drop her last name in favor of a fancy one-word moniker? Following the lead of Cher, Sting, Pink, Oprah and others, the artist now known as Wynonna set out to blaze her own trail of glory, evolving into a remarkable, multifaceted star in her own right.
The road was bumpy. After such a high-profile start, the process might have been fateful as she transformed her “sidekick” persona and stepped out of her mother’s shadow into the spotlight. However, thanks to her soulful, bluesy edge, storyteller skills and a powerhouse voice, Wynonna’s success was a sure thing. Plus, she deftly manages to fulfill that extra-special status of being “a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.”
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Her influences – from Bonnie Raitt, Reba McEntire and Carlene Carter to Patty Loveless, Tammy Wynette, and Elvis – helped. Her first solo album was a 3-million-selling hit that topped both country and pop charts. Going solo gave Wynonna personal independence and the impetus to widen her career path. Now, add to her singer/songwriter/recording artist fame, the dazzling directions of TV star, best-selling novelist and shoe designer with her own line of women’s sneakers, wedges and flats.
But the heart of Wynonna’s career is music and her rare ability to bring “something for everybody.” Reviews tout her expressive face and performance skills, with the finesse to blur the lines between genres. Expect a great show with a turn toward a more rock and roll sound.
Ambitious and bold, Wynonna entertains with honest, lush expertise Friday at The Old Town Amphitheater, 144 E. Black St., Rock Hill. Guest support for this concert includes Rock Hill’s Zach Ludlam and his sister, Alexa Ludlam; and the GalFriday Band from Charlotte. For concert details, call 803-326-3838 or go to onlyinoldtown.com/concerts. Find more on the music at wynonna.com.
Longing for an up-close prog/rock heavy metal experience? Wish granted with Queensryche featuring Geoff Tate live Thursday at the Chop Shop in Charlotte. Tate is the original lead vocalist/frontman of Queensryche, which formed in Seattle in the 1980s. Their albums – particularly “Operation Mindcrime’ and “Empire” – produced hit songs, four Grammy nominations, worldwide tours and more than 20 million albums sold.
But somewhere along the way, their camaraderie fell apart. For a number of years there have been two separate bands operating under the name Queensryche. However, this tour is titled “Queensrÿche Starring Geoff Tate – The Farewell Tour,” and thanks to a court ruling and settlement, there soon will be only one Queensryche. Former bandmates will tour with a new singer using the Queensryche name, logos, etc.
Meanwhile, Tate and his gathering of musicians – Rudy Sarzo, bass; Robert Sarzo, guitar; Kelly Gray, guitar; Simon Wright, drums; and Randy Gane, keyboards – will carry on under the another name.
For this current farewell tour, Tate and company – an impressive group of talented musicians with a long list of high-profile references – will be playing all the hits: “Silent Lucidity,” “Empire,” ‘Jet City Woman” and I’m betting “Queen of the Reich,” plus a few other rarities.
Bask in the hard/heavy embattled glory of power metal awash with moody, lush, volatile and sometimes triumphant rock from “Queensryche Starring Geoff Tate – The Farewell Tour” live Thursday, with opening guests The Voodoos at The Chop Shop, 399 E. 35th St., Charlotte. For more show info, call 704-765-2467 or go to chopshopnoda.com. For music details, go to queensryche.com.
Friday – Shotgun Saints at the EndZone, Rock Hill; Weekends at Empire Pizza and Bar-Newport, Rock Hill; Mike Faulkenberry and The Whiskey Prophets at Luke’s Sports Bar and Grill, Rock Hill; Wynonna & The Big Noise, Zack Ludlam, Alexa Ludlam, & Gal Friday Band at Old Town Amphitheater, Rock Hill; David Williams at Amici Lovin Oven, Rock Hill; Crib and Freebird Acoustic Show at Handle Bar, Catawba; Donnie Honeycutt at Six Pence-Baxter, Fort Mill; Charlie “CC” Martin at McKoy’s Smokehouse & Saloon, Charlotte; Peter Murphy, My Jerusalem at Tremont Music Hall, Charlotte; The Toadies, Black Pistol Fire at Amos’ Southend, Charlotte; Cosmic Charlie at Visulite Theater, Charlotte; Amy Hart at Double Door Inn, Charlotte; Growing Pains, Modern Primitives at Snug Harbor, Charlotte; Lazy Birds at Smokey Joe’s Café, Charlotte; David Gray at Uptown Amphitheater-NC Music Factory, Charlotte; Mitch Hayes at Puckett’s Farm Equipment, Charlotte; Preacher Stone at Stooges Pub & Grub, Mint Hill; Mimosa w/ Mindelixir at Chop Shop, Charlotte; Hooray for Earth, Grooms at Neighborhood Theater, Charlotte; Levi Weaver, Charlie King; The Mastersons; at Evening Muse, Charlotte; White Trash Folk Punk Fest at Tommy’s Pub, Charlotte.
Saturday – Donnie Honeycutt (9 a.m.) at the Old Town Market, Rock Hill; Darrell Harwood at City Limits South, Rock Hill; Sonny Skyyz and The Rainmaker at Original Empire Pizza, Rock Hill; Mike Faulkenberry & The Whiskey Prophets for Bartenders Appreciation Night at Handle Bar, Catawba; Oneppo Brothers Band at John’s Place, Fort Mill; Tattermask, Triton, Inviolate, Skyfold at Tremont Music Hall, Charlotte; Purgatory 59 at Amos’ Southend, Charlotte; Analog Daze, Kevin Marshall and the J Walkers, The Menders at Double Door Inn, Charlotte; Ballroom Thieves at U.S. National Whitewater Center, Charlotte; Crashbox at RiRa, Charlotte; Booker T. Jones at McGlohon Theater, Charlotte; Jay Brannan at Visulite Theater, Charlotte; K. Michelle & Jagged Edge at Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte; Little War Twins, The Fill Ins, more at Milestone, Charlotte; The Rockaholics at Puckett’s Farm Equipment, Charlotte; God Save the Queen City with Jeff the Brotherhood, Johnny Fritz, Apache Relay, Temperance League, more at Chop Shop, Charlotte; Clean Slate Fest at Neighborhood Theater, Charlotte; Christian Lee Hudson, Michaela Anne at Evening Muse, Charlotte.
Sunday – G. Love & Special Sauce, Bubonik Funk at The Fillmore, Charlotte; Comet Sunshine Festival with Truckstop Preachers, Renelvis, Lenny Federal, Loose Lugnuts, more at Comet Grill, Charlotte; School of Rock Summer Preview Show at The Metropolitan, Charlotte; Summer Jam 2014 at Chop Shop, Charlotte.
Monday – Origin, Lust of Decay, Umbra at Tremont Music Hall, Charlotte; Open Mic with Adam Burrows at Evening Muse, Charlotte.
Tuesday – Every Passing Dream, Regions at Tremont Music Hall, Charlotte; Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, AFI at PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte; The Bohannons, Elonzo at Snug Harbor, Charlotte.
Wednesday – Panic at the Disco, Walk the Moon, Youngblood Hawke at Uptown Amphitheater-NC Music Factory, Charlotte; Southside Punx, Drone at Milestone, Charlotte; Dixie Moon at Puckett’s Farm Equipment, Charlotte; S.O. Stereo, The High End at Chop Shop, Charlotte; Tosco House Party at Evening Muse, Charlotte
Thursday – Chuck Johnson Duo at Libretto Pizzeria-Ballantyne, Charlotte; Kishi Bashi, The Ridges at Visulite Theater, Charlotte; George Porter Jr. & The Runnin’ Pardners, Dead End Parking at Double Door Inn, Charlotte; Get Right Band at US National Whitewater Center, Charlotte; Slippery When Wet-Bon Jovi Tribute at Pavilion-EpiCentre, Charlotte; Tracy Taylor Band at Comet Grill, Charlotte; Queensryche w/ Geoff Tate-The Farewell Tour, plus The Voodoos at Chop Shop, Charlotte; Baby Gramps; Bella’s Bartok at Evening Muse, Charlotte; One Republic, The Script, American Authors at PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte.