Jennifer Hudson Plays Pride in the Street; Feed More Festival w/The Naked and the Famous at AE (Sat., 6/10/17)

1) Twelve artists have clinched the EGOT, winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Could the 13th be Jennifer Hudson? The former “American Idol” contestant won an Academy Award for portraying Effie White in 2006’s Dreamgirls. She won two Grammys: one for her 2008 self-titled R&B album, the other for her work on The Color Purple cast album. She won an Emmy … if you count a Daytime Emmy. The cast of The Color Purple won it for a performance on NBC’s “Today.” She debuted on Broadway in 2015, playing Shug Avery in a revival of The Color Purple. Could a Tony be next? For now, she will coach on NBC’s “The Voice” this year.

Hudson headlines Pride in the Street. The Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh hosts the event, and a portion of all proceeds go to The Center That CARES, a Hill District-based organization which seeks to reduce gun violence. It’s a cause close to Hudson, who lost three family members to gun violence in 2008. Gates open 7 p.m. Liberty Avenue, the Cultural District. (CM)

2) The Feed More Festival, one day of rock at Stage AE, benefits the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The Naked and Famous headline. Dreamy yet grungy, meditative yet punky, this quintet hails from Auckland, New Zealand. Buoyed by the single “Young Blood” and Alisa Xayalith’s vocals, 2010’s Passive Me, Aggressive You was a breakout debut album. In Rolling Waves followed in 2013 and Simple Forms in 2016. Max Frost, who is from Austin, Texas, can vacillate between rapping over a kick drum and snare to crooning over power chords. Despite just two EPs and a handful of singles, he’s received top billing too. Another rising artist is Joy Ike, who splits her time between Philadelphia and her hometown of Pittsburgh. According to her website, “her percussive piano-playing and soaring vocals give homage to her African upbringing.” Ike has performed at many Pittsburgh benefit events. Local acts include Donora, Balloon Ride Fantasy, Molly Alphabet, and Bad Custer. Doors open 2 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (EC/CM)

3) The Tampa Bay, Florida, area has some very talented blues guitarists and one of those players—Selywn Birchwood—is on the rise. Rolling Stone said of Birchwood, “a young, powerful guitarist and soulful vocalist.” He started playing at the age of 13 and later met a neighbor—noted blues guitarist Sonny Rhodes—who taught him about blues guitar, lap steel guitar, and the business of running a band. Rhodes also insisted that Birchwood get a college education. He played in Rhodes’s band, took classes, and would even eventually earn an MBA from the University of Tampa. 2013 saw him winning the International Blues Challenge (IBC) and the next year he released Don’t Call No Ambulance on Alligator Records. Birchwood and band won several major awards for the release. A new album, Pick Your Poison, was released on May 17. He will be performing at Moondog’s. 8:30 p.m. 378 Freeport Rd., Blawnox. 

Bill Toms plays some killer lead guitar riffs (c.) while Hard Rain and the Soulville Horns jam on.

Bill Toms plays some killer lead guitar riffs (c.) while Hard Rain and the Soulville Horns jam on at the Moondog’s Holiday Rock party. photo: Rick Handler.

4) Bill Toms and Hard Rain with the Soulville Horns are in the full summer swing and will be rockn’ out Excuses Bar on the South Side tonight. Toms’s slightly raspy, deeply soulful voice and his guitar playing prowess combine with the drums, horns, and rest of the band to create a hot rock sound. Toms’ next gig will be Monday at Slippery Rock’s North Country Brewing. 9 p.m. 2526 E. Carson St.

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Rick Handler

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