Fall Arts Preview: Music Listings

The Franklin Kite

Sunday, Oct. 16. 8:30 p.m. O’Brien’s Pub, 3 Harvard Ave., Allston.

“Someone once told me that we sounded like a cross between Coldplay and Beck, but with the seriousness of Spinal Tap,” says Ryan C. Hickox, lead singer and guitarist of local band The Franklin Kite. This comes from a man who himself is a cross of Carl Sagan and Gustavo S. Turner, as Hickox’s day job includes pursuing a PhD in Astronomy and acting as a resident physics tutor in Dunster House.

An intelligent rock-pop blend with an electronic twist, the Franklin Kite will appeal to listeners drawn to the sensible, melodious alternative rock movement of the ’90s who are now looking for something fresh.

The band, which also features Daniel M. Curtis on bass and John W. Mileham on drum machine and computer sampling, has completed its first album, and is scheduling a release party for early December. Free mp3s are available on their website.

As for live gigs, the band has a few this fall, all of which are listed on the band’s website ( The most convenient to transportation-disabled Harvard students may be their show at O’Brien’s Pub, a few blocks from the Harvard Ave. Green Line T stop. Though doors open at 8:30 p.m., the band performs later in the evening and doesn’t expect to go on before 11:00 p.m.

—Henry M. Cowles

John Scofield Plays the Music of Ray Charles

Thursday-Friday, Oct. 6-7. 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. both nights. Regattabar, Charles Hotel. Oct. 6 tickets $25, Oct. 7 tickets $28.

Guitarist John Scofield is no stranger to the Cambridge jazz haven Regattabar, but when he returns to the Charles Hotel’s fabled lounge for a two-night stand, he will abandon his usual frantic and funky post-bop for the deep soul of Ray Charles’ songbook.

Scofield, whose seamless improvisational fluidity and cerebral guitar playing have made him one of the most respected jazz guitarists of this era, has recently recorded a tribute album to the late Charles entitled “That’s What I Say,” and is now touring in support of the record.

Having interacted with some of the most creative minds in modern jazz, from Mingus to Miles to Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Scofield has the experience and chops to make a reworking of Charles’ canon exciting.

On his website, though Scofield acknowledges his aversion to most theme projects, he enthusiastically cites his natural affinity for Charles’ work as the motivation behind this venture.

Primarily a solo artist, Scofield often puts together new all-star casts for each of his projects, most recently enlisting bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bill Stewart for the John Scofield Trio.

For “That’s What I Say,” Scofield brought keyboardist Larry Goldings, legendary bassman Willie Weeks, and co-conspirator/producer/drummer Steve Jordan together to support a legion of remarkable guest vocalists, including Mac Rebbenack (Dr. John), Mavis Staples, John Mayer, and David “Fathead” Newman.

Scofield’s tour band, however, comprises a completely different set of musicians: Meyer Statham on vocals and trombone, John Benitez on bass, Gary Versace on Hammond B-3 and Wurlitzer and Steve Hass on drums.