Hot tickets, new shows

01:00 PM, Feb 06, 2013

The Chesterfield Kings lead singer Greg Prevost has released a solo album, the glam-blues Mississippi Murderer. (Provided photo)/

Written By Jeff Spevak | Staff music critic

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Click on this story at to hear Greg Prevost discuss his music.

With Rochester garage-rock legends The Chesterfield Kings on another extended hiatus — Greg Prevost says this one’s permanent — the band’s lead singer has released a solo album, the glam-blues Mississippi Murderer.

For this project, Prevost has acquired a nickname, “Stackhouse,” and a forgotten talent from his pre-Kings nights: playing guitar. The new album features him on electric, electric slide, National steel and acoustic, delivered with ragged devotion. In some respects, Mississippi Murderer is not too far from The Kings in their rawest moments. The psychedelia is not there, this is electric white-boys blues of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion genre.

Prevost is a Rochester native, and has had only brief encounters with Mississippi. “Hate the humidity,” he says. But Prevost approaches this southern-styled music with enthusiasm and honesty. As he correctly suggests, any album called Mississippi Murderer tips off listeners as to what they’re getting. Prevost has never killed anyone himself, although he does confess to hitting a guy on the head with an ash tray. Mort importantly, “Mississippi Murderer” was the B-side of the Amboy Dukes single “Journey To The Center Of The Mind” — you get the feeling that Prevost listens only to B-sides. While “Mississippi Murderer” is not on his album, that song, he notes, “basically sums up the song content in that they are all about guys I knew over the years that were off the track. Alcoholics, junkies, drifters, bums and murderers. One anyway.”

Yet Prevost is quick to point out that some of these characters do find salvation. That’s a grand theme of southern music and literature: Sometimes the Lord wins, sometimes the devil wins.

Other influences on his seven original songs are pretty much what you heard for years with The Kings. Accompanied only by a trio of young local guys — drummer Zachary Koch, bassist Alex Patrick and pianist Keenan Bartlett — on “Stoned to Death” Prevost has the snotty delivery of The New York Dolls. “Too Much Junk,” a rocking eulogy to a heroin casualty, and the country-bluesy “Ain’t Nothin’ Here To Change My Mind” are from that Mick Jagger sound, territory where Prevost is quite comfortable.

He’s an archivist in many fields, including extinct 1950s and ’60s TV shows, on which he is a bit of a nationally-known expert. Go ahead, ask him about Combat. And he submerged himself in his record collection last summer to write a very long, geeky essay for Ugly Things #33, a dense fanzine published by the retro-minded Sundazed Records. So it’s not unexpected that Prevost turns to a few covers, although he doesn’t dig too deep: Blind Willie Johnson’s “John the Revelator,” Robert Johnson’s “Ramblin’ on My Mind” and Skip James’ “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues.” The Stones’ “I Ain’t Signifying” is a perfect fit, of course, and Prevost wails nicely on harmonica on Donovan’s, “Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness).”

Prevost has no gigs planned, but he has a few things in the works: He and Kings bassist Andy Babiuk are completing the final tinkering on their new book, Stones Gear, and Mike Murray will be playing a few Mississippi Murderer selections from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday on his WRUR-FM (88.5) radio show “Whole Lotta Shakin’.” The Bop Shop already has copies of the vinyl version, and all of the local indie stores should have vinyle and CDs soon.

Fun., the punctuation-bonus pop band that exploded last summer with hits “Carry On,” “Some Nights” and the omnipresent, Grammy-nominated monster hit “When We Were Young,” has an 8 p.m. July 13 show at Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center, on the campus of Finger Lakes Community College near Canandaigua. Tegan and Sara open. The New York City band has been nominated for six Grammys, including Best New Artist, and performs at Sunday’s awards show. A portion of the tour ticket sales will benefit The Ally Coalition, a partnership created by the band and designer Rachel Antonoff aimed at encouraging the music, fashion and entertainment communities to support LGBTQ equality: Each stop on the tour will feature The Ally Coalition Equality Village. Tickets ($25 and $40, plus service charges) go on sale at noon Feb. 15 at, (800) 745-3000 and the Blue Cross Arena box office. But you can also go to for a pre-sale until 10 p.m. Feb. 14.

Five of the summer’s top country shows — featuring Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Jason Aldean and Rascal Flatts — are packaged together as the Country Megaticket at Darien Lakes Performing Arts Center, and go on sale at 10 a.m Saturday. Tickets ($150 for the lawn, $350 and $450) will be available at Ticket prices for individual concerts will be announced later. The shows:

Tim McGraw, Brantley Gilbert and Love & Theft, May 26.

Brad Paisley, Chris Young and Lee Brice, July 12.

Toby Keith and Kip Moore, July 21.

Jason Aldean, Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett, Aug. 17

Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry, Sept. 7.

Music Through the Ages, the music-education program founded in memory of the late local musician and teacher Dennis Monroe, holds it second-annual Winter Tunes fundraising concert 2 p.m. Sunday at the Visual Studies Workshop Auditorium, 31 Prince St. Featured is the café jazz of The White Hots, The Nate Rawls Band and The String Song Orchestra, founded Monroe. The event wraps up at about 4 p.m. with a jam session involving all of the bands. The suggested tax-deductible donation is $10 for the concert, with the proceeds going to this year’s Music Through the Ages programs at School No. 19.