The coronavirus crisis kept a lot of people indoors for a long time, but it still couldn’t kill rock ’n’ roll. When live music returns to local stages, these three Valley-based artists are among the first we want to see.
As far as blues-guitarist bona fides go, Phoenix’s own “King of Strings” has some high praise. Years ago, Eric Clapton called Jones “the next up-and-coming blues player,” and, more recently, he was named one of the 50 greatest blues guitarists of all time by Guitarist magazine. He’s also a tour de force live, and has been known to get up on the bar for a searing solo or two. carvinjones.com
J. David Sloan and the Herndon Brothers
Every week before the pandemic, these legendary local country artists with national reputations tore up the stage at the Handlebar-J in Scottsdale, performing original tunes as well as impressive covers (the fierce dueling fiddles on “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” always ignite audiences). handlebarj.com
Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra
This 16-person funk collective is led by vocalist Camille Sledge, daughter of Debbie Sledge of disco-era superstars Sister Sledge. Though based in the Afrobeat tradition, Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra’s music incorporates eclectic elements including funk, jazz and hip-hop. On stage, that translates to a seriously danceable sonic smorgasbord. phoenixafrobeatorchestra.com