Smile Politely

Surprise early announcement for The Great Cover-Up

Dateline April 1.

This community is rich in its output of great music, and one of the highlights of the year is always The Great Cover-Up. Usually, the names of which acts are being covered by local bands are kept top-secret, allowing for music lovers’ minds to be blown on the night of the actual performance.

But that was Then.

This year, a handful of locally-based groups have decided to announce their selections early. This is an unprecedented–some might say seriously foolhardy–move so far in advance of the show, but one must admire the creative spirit of these artists and their desire to change the rules of the game.

So, without further ado….

Leading off the first night’s festivities will be the immensely talented Mike Ingram, performing an acoustic set of “Batdance”-era Prince. When asked for comment on why he would choose to cover one of the creative lowpoints of a great performer’s otherwise prolific and impressive career (not my opinion, but still), he said that after years of singing “Arms of Orion” in front of his bathroom mirror, it was finally time to “put up or shut up.” There is no word yet on whether or not Kayla Brown will join him in the Sheena Easton part, but we can all wait and hope.

Next on our list of rulebreakers will be Brother Embassy, who will also perform on the first night of The Cover-Up. B-E frontman Nathon Jones was excited to announce that he and his eclectic band would follow recent performances as Rick James and Bobby Brown with yet another iconic (and iconoclastic) choice. This year, get ready for Brother Embassy as The Dixie Chicks. Expect Jones to throw himself into character once again this year, and we can only hope that the group’s penchant for including guest dancers will continue, possibly on their cover of “Goodbye Earl?”

On the roster for Night Two will be interpretive powerhouses Carnivale Debauche, who will seek to top last year’s Blues Brothers-influenced outing by creating a new mix of choreography and dramatic flair to bring new life to the work of classic artist Kenny G. How they intend to do this is anyone’s guess, but if anyone can do it, they can.

And finally, a last-minute announcement from Ryan Groff of Elsinore. It was unclear from his phone call whether this would be a solo set or a full band experience, mostly due to his combination of mumbling and maniacal cackling. (This guy is very different on the phone. Can’t stress that enough.) The one thing he was clear about, however, was which musical genius he would be covering. For the closing performance of Night Three, look for Groff to wrap his dulcet tones around the catalog of contemporary singer/songwriter 2 Chainz. Shocked? Don’t be. Groff’s love and respect for hip-hop is well-known. In fact, Groff has long considered a Garth Brooks/Chris Gaines-type makeover. Could this be it? If so, I’m crossing my fingers for a long-haired, bespectacled rapper named 3 Chainz in the near future. (Why 3 Chainz? Because it’s got an extra Chain. Obviously.)

For more information on the next Great Cover-Up, check Smile Politely on a daily if not hourly basis. Seriously. Just click on every single article. Repeatedly. Over and over and over again.

See you at the show!

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