Right Place, Right Time
This is the album you might expect from a guy who's going solo after years leading the city's premier party/cover band. There are steel-drum sounds and reggae-style upstroke guitar parts, but McDonald is consciously trying to declare independence from his life as the Jimmy Buffet cover guy. These are happy pop songs with a degree of self-reflection and observation — McDonald won't be an indie darling, but that's not what he's shooting for. The journey of the cover artist coming into his own is an interesting one, and Right Place, Right Time documents it well.
JOHN MCDONALD CD RELEASE. 6:30 p.m. Sun., March 16. Stage AE, 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $10-12. 412-229-5483 or www.stageae.com
Charm & Chain
I Know What You Are
Three-song EP from the local band fronted by singer and keyboardist Laurie Kudis. The sprawling grooves range from mid-paced funk-influenced stuff to Southern-rock-style jams. Things could stand to be tightened up here and there, but Kudis' vocals are reminiscent of Kate Bush at times, Ann Wilson at others — a nice range to have.
CHARM & CHAIN EP RELEASE. 10 p.m. Sat., March 15. Club Café, 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $7. 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafelive.com
Songs for the Offering
Full-length of psych-rock from the local songwriter. Brings to mind T. Rex and Lou Reed; nothing here stands out as amazing, but it's all pretty decent. A little more confidence in King's vocals would go a long way, but a lot of the instrumental arrangements are nice.