Lest you thought Richmond was becoming too Yankee for its own good, the Drive-By Truckers come to the Canal Club to bring back "The Dirty South." The Truckers were kept out of town earlier this year by Gaston's mighty floodwaters, kind of appropriate for a band whose music elevates the Southern experience to biblical proportions. Nevertheless, the group has returned with a new album and Shonna Tucker, a female addition to the testosterone orchestra. From playing sets in small clubs to playing two dates at the Canal Club, the Truckers' combination of driving rock, epic lyrics and the artistic brand of local artist Wes Freed prevents them from getting too citified with their continued success. They play with Southern Bitch and DJ Jay Friday, Dec. 17, and Saturday, Dec. 18, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15. For more information, visit www.thecanalclub.com.
Eddie From Ohio at Ashland Coffee and Tea
Yes, there are in fact "Edheads," folks who don't miss this D.C.-based foursome if they're playing in the same time zone. Eddie From Ohio, like any good folk band, lets you know things are a little off right there in the title: Drummer Eddie, like the rest of the band, is from Northern Virginia. In their 13 years together, they've released eight albums and played festivals and smaller venues across the country. Having maintained their independence from major labels in that time, a lot of their rep stems from word of mouth and extensive touring not to mention their music, a harmonic folk that has a little too much rock to let you relax completely. But just ask the Edheads: They'll no doubt be at Ashland Coffee and Tea Friday, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. www.ashlandcoffeeandtea.com.
The Blind Boys of Alabama at the Carpenter Center
For those keeping score, Eddie's not from Ohio, but, like the Drive-By Truckers, the Blind Boys are from Alabama. Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter and George Scott met at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in 1939 and have been delivering their soul-inspired gospel to the world ever since, achieving recognition with their performance in the 1983 Broadway musical "The Gospel of Colonus." After a number of albums and a couple of Grammys, the Blind Boys have added a few members and sung a lot of gospel since those first days of school. They play the last show at the Carpenter Center before it closes for renovation, Saturday, Dec. 18, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $31.50-$37.50. 600 E. Grace St. For tickets, call 262-8100 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
Richmond has a lot of do-gooders, each with ideas to help the less fortunate. Of all of them, the Ham-A-Ganza may be the weirdest. Now in its ninth year, the Ham-A-Ganza at Poe's Pub brings together musical members of the media, including Times-Dispatch columnist Mark Holmberg, Richmond Magazine's Greg Weatherford, WRVA talk show host Mac Watson, Style Weekly publisher Jim Wark and 102.1 the X DJ Alyssa, as well as former City Councilman Chuck Richardson, juggler Jonathan Austin and art photographer Tom Daniel. These folks display their talents for the benefit of the Central Virginia Food Bank. Look for the illustrious Dirtwoman's portrayal of Ms. Claus and Chuck Wrenn as "Elfis." They save the world, one ham at a time, Friday, Dec. 17, at 9 p.m. Admission is one ham or $8. For more information, visit
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