Live Music Picks: March 23-29 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Live Music Picks: March 23-29 

The Infamous Stringdusters, Ghost of Paul Revere, Mighty Mystic, Red Sage and more

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THURSDAY 3/23
The Infamous Stringdusters, Ghost of Paul Revere
Founded in Charlottesville, Va., in 2006, the Infamous Stringdusters navigate the path between traditional bluegrass and a modern jam-band aesthetic. The quintet builds its music on a foundation of old-time folk and bluegrass, and its arrangements allow for plenty of jamming in a live setting. The Stringdusters' seventh and most recent studio album, Laws of Gravity, released in January, it debuted on the Bluegrass Albums charts at No. 26, and quickly shot to the very top. But while many artists view live performance as an extension of studio work, the Stringdusters focus on their shows. Beginning in 2010, the group hosted The Festy Experience, an annual three-day concert festival in Virginia that casts a wide musical net, featuring acts from within and without the bluegrass idiom. Neo-folk act Ghost of Paul Revere opens. (Bill Kopp) Park City Live, 427 Main, Park City, 8 p.m., $20-40, parkcitylive.net

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Mighty Mystic, Red Sage
Originally from St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, reggae artist Mighty Mystic (born Kevin Holness) has spent most of his life in Boston. But his connection to his homeland runs deep; his older brother Andrew is the current prime minister of the Caribbean island. Mighty Mystic calls his style of music "hard roots," a blend of reggae, rock and roots. His arrangements do sometimes venture outside the relatively strict confines of traditional reggae, but not so far as to alienate purists. He has released three albums; his second, Concrete World, features his best-known track, "Cali Green," a tune that—like many of his songs—extols the virtues of the sacred herb with little in the way of subtlety. The fan-friendly artist knows his audience: He shrewdly scheduled his current nine-date tour supporting his latest release, 2016's The Art of Balance, in March and April, as close as possible to spring break. Red Sage opens. (BK) The Royal, 4760 S. 900 East, 9 p.m., $7, 21+, theroyalslc.com

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SATURDAY 3/25
Eric Church
Eric Church calls his music country—but it sounds more like pre-fab pop built on focus-grouped talking points. Can you think of any other style of music that works so hard to market a particular lifestyle and ideology? True, music is entertainment, and it's not just country that's fake and greedy. But this is exponentially truer in pop music, and today's most successful country acts are pop artists purporting to be simple-living, hardworking men and women in order to appeal to the same, and lull them all into working hard and asking no questions. That handbook, then, becomes scripture, and the music is essentially organized religion—an opiate for the masses served in a red Solo cup. Why that's a problem: It exploits the good intentions of good people, reinforces fallacious logic, slaughters free thought and robs country music of its original authenticity. And then there's the fact that, on Church's Holdin' My Own Tour (a reference to this being a Church-only show), a portion of the proceeds of only the premium "Chief Cares Platinum Tickets" benefit his Chief Cares charity. Sigh. (Randy Harward) Vivint Smart Home Arena, 301 W. South Temple, 8 p.m., $20-$86, vivintarena.com

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Taj Mahal
Named for one of the world's Seven Wonders and regarded as an international treasure, Taj Mahal is more than a bluesman. Sure, that's how he made a name for himself, first with the mid-'60s band Rising Sons (with another more-than-a-bluesman, Ry Cooder) and then as sideman with guys like Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters. In 1968, he commenced a storied solo career with Taj Mahal (Columbia). He's since dropped two dozen more albums, all rooted in the blues, but incorporating a litany of other styles owed to his broad musical interests, including the music of India (1995's Mumtaz Mahal with N. Ravikiran and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt), Africa (1999's Kulanjan with Toumani Diabaté) and Hawaii (1998's Sacred Island with the Hula Blues Band). He's also done jazz, gospel and R&B—not to mention zydeco and rock 'n' roll, which he blended on the track "Freedom Ride" from the singular and unsung Largo project, helmed by Rob Hyman of The Hooters and featuring Joan Osborne, Willie Nile, Carole King, Cyndi Lauper, The Chieftains and Levon Helm. But what makes Taj Mahal extra special is the warmth and exuberance he brings to his music. To feel it for yourself, get on YouTube and check out "Lovin' in My Baby's Eyes," the live performance of "Freedom Ride" on Letterman and the whole of Taj Mahal. (RH) George S. & Dolores Doré Eccles Center, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City, 7:30 p.m., $29-$79, ecclescenter.org

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SUNDAY 3/26
The Dig, Nico Yaryan, Mojave Nomads
I'm hard-pressed to think of a band with multiple singer-songwriters that sucks. Certainly some exist, but the ones we actually hear about, whether they're bands on indie labels or long-running acts, are all quality—and, in spite of the number of cooks in their kitchens, have cohesive and distinct sounds. The Beatles, The Posies, Kiss (a matter of taste), NRBQ, Drive-By Truckers, Fleetwood Mac, The Beat Farmers, X, Broken Social Scene, Whiskeytown all come to mind among many others. The Dig, out of New York City, is fronted by childhood friends Emile Mossen and David Baldwin. They're releasing only their third album, Bloodshot Tokyo (Roll Call), but are already showing signs of similar greatness. The 10 airy pop gems on the album are driven by piano, guitar or beats, and you can tell Mossen's songs from Baldwin's, but the band's sound is solid. The experience of listening to Bloodshot Tokyo from front to back is immensely satisfying, a gauzy nighttime daydream well suited to headphones and a La-Z-Boy or a solo desert drive. You dig? I do. (Randy Harward) Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 7 p.m., $10 presale, $12 day of show, kilbycourt.com

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TUESDAY 3/28
An Evening with The Growlers
Ever since Are You in or Out?, The Growlers' 2009 album, the California-based group has made a name for itself as a multi-genre act. The Growlers' music is variously described as psychedelic, surf, garage and nearly any other genre one might care to name. And while "The Daisy Chain" (on City Club, the band's latest) hearkens back to '60s rock, it might remind some listeners of '90s alt-pop band Smash Mouth, and the first couple of songs on that set suggest reggae more than anything else. From there, things head into a more laid-back, groove-leaning alternative rock style. Of late, the group's personnel has centered around vocalist Brooks Nielsen and guitarist Matt Taylor, and the influence of producer Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) has found its way into their music. Now, isn't your stomach growling for some of this ear candy? (BK) The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, 7 p.m., $23-$28, depotslc.com

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