Local blues-rock guitar hero John Fries blows into the holiday season with a new rhythm section - bassist Corina Malbaurn (ex-Recur Occurence) and Hartford drummer Michael Crivellone - and a batch of shows including two this weekend.
It's a great chance to see the interlocking magic of Malbaurn and Crivellone as Fries headlines Friday at Burke's Tavern in Niantic and Saturday, just around the corner, at the Black Sheep Tavern.
These gigs still focus on material from Fries' very fine "U.S. 50" album, released last May, and help the trio prepare for the dawn of the new year and a Jan. 31 slot at the prestigious International Blues Challenge in Memphis. A tour up the coast back home will follow.
- RICK KOSTER
John Fries, 8 p.m. Friday, Burke's Tavern, 13 Hope St., Niantic; free; (860) 739-5033; 9 p.m. Saturday, Black Sheep Tavern, 247 Main St., Niantic; free; (860) 739-2041.