Music Scene: Flogging Molly, John Brown’s Body, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

By matthew Godbey  Special to The Post and Courier – Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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Flogging Molly will perform Friday at the Music Farm.
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    Flogging Molly

Flogging Molly

Dave King wasn’t always this way — the bespectacled, jovial lad standing before a sonic wall constructed with his native land’s folk instruments, but with a significantly quickened pace, to be sure.

No, King was once a metal god, a screeching, big-haired version of himself fronting the heavy metal band Fastway alongside former Motorhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke, former UFO bassist Pete Way and former Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley.

When King left Fastway in the late ’80s, he dabbled in the metal scene for a few more years before deciding on an experimental approach with his music, one that could incorporate his love for traditional Irish music and his passion for loud and fast rock ’n’ roll.

By 1997, he had found his solution: Flogging Molly.

Today, King and his six bandmates seem to be as sharp as ever.

The band taped the season premiere of “Austin City Limits” last year to coincide with the release of its fifth studio album, “Speed of Darkness,” which ranked on the charts in nearly every major market worldwide, even cracking the Top 10 in the United States.

Flogging Molly will perform Friday at the Music Farm, 32 Ann St. Tickets are $30 and are available online at etix.com, the Music Farm box office or the door. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Go to musicfarm.com or call 577-6969.

John Brown’s Body

Since 1995, John Brown’s Body has been fusing reggae with electronica and hip-hop in a revolutionary manner that has earned nods from the traditional and progressive sects of reggae.

With its eight members hailing from Boston and New York, John Brown’s Body earned best world music act at the 2001 Boston Music Awards and best live act in 2002.

The band has released eight albums, including its 2008 effort, “Amplify,” which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s reggae chart.

The band is touring in support of its latest studio album, this year’s “JBB in Dub.”

John Brown’s Body will perform at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway, on Saturday with the Asheville, N.C.-based Toubab Krewe. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 the day of the show and are available at the door or online at etix.com. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Go to charlestonpourhouse.com or call 571-4343.

Jason Isbell

At 22, Jason Isbell joined an up-and-coming band from Muscle Shoals, Ala., though based in Athens, Ga., called the Drive-By Truckers and found himself at the forefront of one of alternative country’s most beloved new groups.

He spent half a decade with the band before embarking on a solo career, facing down a skeptical public with an impressive debut, 2007’s “Sirens of the Ditch.”

As a guitarist, singer and songwriter for DBT, Isbell penned some of the band’s most popular songs, including “Outfit,” “Danko/Manuel,” “The Day John Henry Died” and “Never Gonna Change” among others.

Bringing the same observational storytelling and simple-man style to his solo work, Alabama-born Isbell continues to write about what he knows rather than stretching himself for dramatic appeal.

Isbell released his third studio album, “Here We Rest,” last year to roaring critical praise from such outlets as USA Today, GQ, Esquire, Spin, Paste and NPR.

Isbell also celebrated the release of his second live album, “Live From Alabama,” earlier this year and finished a European tour with Ryan Adams last spring.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit will perform at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway, on Sunday with Communist Daughter. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 the day of the show and are available online at etix.com or at the door. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Call 571-4343 or go to charlestonpourhouse.com.