One of the best ways to push through Thanksgiving's tryptophan coma and the Black Friday hangover is with synapse-clearing sound. To that end, singer/ songwriter Jon Shain has enlisted his friends in yet another Post-Turkey Day Benefit Jam. It's a show that keeps working long after the club is closed, too, with proceeds going to the Inter-faith Council of Social Service.
True to the spirit of the weekend, the evening evokes a spirit of comity and connection with participation from Squirrel Nut mainstays (Tom Maxwell, Stu Cole), a little Old Ceremony (Mark Simonson) and the Triangle's resident pocketful of soul, Greg Humpheys, among others. Shain and Maxwell's bands will play, while Humphreys will lead a klatch of songwriters in sharing songs and stories in the round.
"It's really more of a half-circle," Humphreys cracks on his way back from a gig in Charleston, S.C. "It's great not just to hear the songs but the stories how and why that song was written; it's just a fun way to share songs."
In fact, it won't feel that different to Humphreys than a typical evening at home in Durham. These days, he and Shain foment impromptu hootenannies in their neighborhood. "We'll get together on his porch, and his wife, Maria, will make Maria-hattans, and we will trade songs and tell stories. Sometimes friends will come over," Humphreys says. (Editor's note: Maria Bilinski Shain is an employee of the Independent Weekly.) "It's a perk of being a musician."
After living and playing in Prague this past summer, Humphreys returned home to release his third solo album in as many years, People You May Know, in September. Meanwhile, Shain's supporting his own new release, The Kress Sessions by the Jon Shain Trio. Recorded live at a Durham house concert this spring, it pulls Shain's shuffling acoustic folk through the muds of Mississippi.
Tonight, Shain's trio will join Humphreys, Simonsen, Cole, Lizzy Toss, SONiA from Disappear Fear and Tom Maxwell & the Minor Drag at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. —Chris Parker