Living

Otis Taylor's picks of the week

6 tonight: Randall Bramblett at The White Mule. What this show really makes me think about is Doc's Gumbo Grille, Doug Goolsby's Assembly Street restaurant that closed last month. Bramblett had played a few shows at Doc's, where his Southern rock and blues was always welcome. The White Mule is at 1530 D Main St. $12; 803-661-8199

At 9 p.m., Herbie Jeffcoat, a former member of Sourwood Honey who is now gigging with John Satterfield, will play a set with his instrumental rock band, the Herbie Jeffcoat Projekt. $7

8 and 10:30 tonight: The Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet at Blue Martini. Jason Marsalis, a jazz drummer, is the youngest of the legendary family of jazz musicians. In recent years, Marsalis has incorporated the vibraphone into his compositions. Blue Martini is at 808 Lady St. $25; http://www.ez-tixx.com or (877) 993-8499

8:30 tonight: Josh Roberts and the Hinges at New Brookland Tavern. "Like the stuff he's doing": That's how a respected local songwriter described some of his new work - and his new work ethic. He was referring to Josh Roberts, whose songs fit in all the right places like well-worn jeans. They're good to you in the morning even if the night before was as hard as it gets. With Magnetic Flowers and The Whiskey Gentry. NBT is at 122 State St., West Columbia. $8 for over 21, $10 for under

10 tonight: Hot Lava Monster at The Venue on Broad. Hot Lava Monster, a band that has perfected an updated version of classic rock, also has something for mainstream music fans: a song that should be on the "Breaking Dawn" soundtrack. "Some Call it Hell," a video to a HLM song, features Midlands high school students acting out the four books in the "Twilight" series. I was completely lost watching it without Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart making eyes at each other. The Venue is at 1020 Broad St., Camden. Free; (803) 713-8333

6 p.m. Saturday: Bill's Annual Christmas Covered Dish Supper and Music party at Bill's Music Shop & Pickin' Parlor. The shows at Bill's are always family friendly, but this dinner will allow you to share what comes out of your kitchen. Just don't bring drinks and chips, as those will be provided. And by drinks, I mean soda pop and sweet tea. Those other drinks aren't allowed. Bill's is at 710 Meeting St., West Columbia. Free; (803) 796-6477

10 p.m. Saturday: American Gun at Art Bar. American Gun will release its new CD, "Devil Showed Me His Hand." From the opening song, "Thirteen Women," a backhanded love song sung by Todd Mathis, AG is at its best: precise, to the point and a bit ticked off. The switching of lead singers - Mathis to Donald Merckle - fits harmonically and comfortably. If "Thirteen Women" is fiery, the second track, "Girl in Texas," is the kind of love song that would make a girl - or a guy - believe in destiny. But please don't stop at the first two songs. This album is 11 songs deep. Budding local songwriters would be wise to notice the musicianship that backs the songs. The potency of the music isn't always in the lyrics. With Westbank and Rob Lindsey. Art Bar is at 1211 Park St. $4 or $6 with a CD; (803) 929-0198

8 p.m. Saturday: The New Familiars at The White Mule. The New Familiars were named best local band in Charlotte in the critic's pick section of Creative Loafing in 2008. If you don't believe in the best-of lists printed by weeklies, as many local readers here shook their heads at recently released polls (I do think readers were right about The Shop Tart), you might think this band is suspect. But the Americana and folk of the New Familiars is legit. More importantly, it's pretty darn good. With Corduory Road. $6 in advance, $8 at the door

6 p.m. Sunday: Billy Joe Shaver at The White Mule. Billy Joe Shaver is a country singer who can recall a time when country music didn't have subgenres - and pop aspirations. He's the type of singer who can sing "if you don't love Jesus, go to hell" without a hint of pretentiousness. With Cary Ann Hearst, who, to borrow a line from the ever-eloquent Drake, sings like a Shepherd with the muzzle off. $18 in advance and $20 at the door

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