by Pat Moran
POOR OLD SHINE
Like Tarheel contemporaries the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Poor Old Shine revitalizes, rather than simply revives, the stomping, galloping country swing of an old-time string band. While the Chocolate Drops draw from Blue Ridge Mountain styles, much of it rooted in African-American string-band music, Connecticut's Poor Old Shine sticks closer to the strip-mined hollers of West Virginia. Differences in geography don't mean much for this music. Poor Old Shine still draws from the same ancestral well as the Drops, as a fiery but respectful cover of "Can the Circle be Unbroken" - a tune popularized by the Carter Family - attests. A young band, Poor Old Shine has the audacity to show just how weird "tradition" can be, particularly when it whips a singing saw into a pretty good imitation of a theremin. When the band goes off script, as when it uses the feedback of two cell phones to lay down a spectral drone on "Ghosts Next Door," the result fits right in with its more authentic arsenal of fiddle, banjo, washboard, pump organ and drum kit cobbled together from scrap metal. Poor Old Shine charts a course between imitation and innovation, and the tension between those two poles gives its invigorated mountain music a sense of urgency. $8-$10. Jan. 12, 8 p.m. Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. 704-376-3737.