A major precursor for REM, The dBs combined the power pop bounce of The Sneakers with the warm, jangling guitars of what would become known as Southern pop. While Holsapple and Rigby forged on, Stamey left the band after their two initial seminal releases, Stands for Decibels and Repercussions, releasing a trio of solo albums across the late eighties before beginning his second life as one of the region's most sought after producers, working with many of the Triangle's best acts (Whiskeytown, Tres Chicas, The Mayflies USA). Aside from a free improvisation album, Stamey's remained quiet as a solo artist until last week's release of Travels in the South. As richly melodic as you'd expect from Stamey, it's a sugary rush of pure joy from the archetypal jangle pop of "14 Shades of Green" to gentle, sonorous numbers like "Insomnia." A noted audio perfectionist, the album sparkles and gleams like a multifaceted pop diamond well worth digging.
For the release party, The Chris Stamey Experience includes drummer Kenny Soule and Mayflies USA guitarist Matt McMichaels, along with guest vocalists Caitlin Cary and Tift Merritt. Darren Jessee's new band, Hotel Lights, opens the show, which also features the Dr. Hypknotronic Projection Light Show. Tickets are $7 in advance and the show starts at 8:30 p.m.