If you woke up this morning with nothing but the winter blues, you will doubtless be interested to learn that the Milky Way Lounge in Jamaica Plain will be hosting roots and blues evenings every Friday throughout December, featuring some of the best talent in Boston. As Dennis Brennan’s Web site points out, “Sometimes just hearing something sung can lift a fog or trigger an emotion which can make you feel better.”
52-year-old Brennan, who is often called the “dean” of the Boston roots-rock scene, is first up, on December 3rd. Known for his intelligent, vivid lyrics and his musical style, which embraces rock, R&B, country, and more, Brennan has recently released his third solo album, Rule No. 1. The Chicago Sun Times described him as “a rootsy, hard-edged rocker with the barroom soul of the pre-Woodstock Graham Parker and the unsparing insight of a working class poet.” His band features such notable musicians as Duke Levine, Kevin Barry, and Andrew Mazzone. They will be supported by the Coachmen, otherwise known as “the Little Spurs,” whose sound is a mixture of country and honky-tonk roots.
Next up, on December 10th, is local songwriter Christian McNeill and his band—which, again, features Duke Levine on electric guitar, as well as Dana Colley on saxophone and harmonica, Jimmy Ryan on mandolin, Jeremy Dryden on bass, and Billy Beard on drums. McNeill, the man behind the bands Hybrasil and Schtum, has a new album ready for release this January on the Cambridge indie label Hi-n-Dry, and he plans to offer a taste of what to expect in his typically energetic fashion. The evening will be opened by Burlington, Vermont’s Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, whose debut Milky Way show opening for the Orchestra Morphine this summer—according to some in attendance—”floored” the unsuspecting audience.
Finally, on Christmas Eve, Dave Hannon and his band, the Solid Sinners, will do their bit for the festive spirit. Hannon, before a decade-long period of hibernation, was the singer and harmonica player for the One Eyed-Jacks. He reemerged last year with the successful release of a new album, Blues Canon, featuring jazz-infused vocals and intelligent lyrics about “modern love” (including one about “telephonous interruptus”), mixed with harp solos in a traditional blues melodic style. Just the thing, one suspects, to soothe your ears and clear your head of “Jingle Bells” for a few merciful hours.
Doors for all three shows are at 9 pm and the main shows start at 10 pm sharp. Admission is $8.