SAM BUSH In traditional mountain music circles, fiddle and mandolin virtuoso Sam Bush is rightly a legend, but he’s far from a traditionalist. It’s hard to believe now, but when Bush formed New Grass Revival in 1972, the combo’s seamless mix of bluegrass, rock, jazz and gospel was seen as a heresy on the order of Bob Dylan going electric at the Newport Jazz Festival. If that made Bush a “Judas,” he clearly didn’t care, pushing the Newgrass hybrid he invented further afield with his all-star bluegrass super group Strength in Numbers and as a sideman with Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett and others. Bush’s distinctive rhythmic “chopping” style on the mandolin was inspired by Bob Marley’s percussive rhythm guitar with the Wailers, and the reggae infusion into Newgrass reportedly pissed off Bush’s idol, bluegrass elder statesman Bill Monroe. Yet Bush says that purism is an illusion, pointing out that Monroe invented bluegrass in the 1930s as a hard-driving hybrid of Appalachian string music and blues. A three-time Grammy winner, Bush is also a two-time cancer survivor, so it’s doubly fitting that this treasured performer is the tent pole for a fest committed to raising funds and awareness for cancer organizations.
Inspired by popular culture and famous folks from varying creative fields, Charlotte-based artist David Allen Goldberg — better known as “DAG” — has created a new series of works with Carolina ties. The exhibit, Carolina Reveries: Legends and Landmarks, is on display at Summit Coffee in Davidson's historic district, and currently features six acrylic paintings, though more are planned to be added, depending on sales. Bold brush strokes and loud colors define DAG's portraits, which are rich in facial detail despite the unconventional color tones. In the exhibit, you can expect to see quirky paintings of Thelonious Monk at a UFO welcome center, John Coltrane at South of the Border roadside attraction, Barney Fife and Andy Griffith with Big Foot lingering in the background and Western rascal, Fred Kirby, among others. Free admission
Bette Davis, an overbearing house guest? The actress left her mark on Hollywood for her roles in dramas, but she also left her mark on playwright Elizabeth Fuller, who went on to pen Me & Jezebel. The play, based off of Davis' stay — what was supposed to be a few days turned into a month-long sojourn — at Fuller's home, gives an inside look at the real-life Davis. Queen City Theatre Company presents the play with Hank West starring as the glamorous, chain-smoking, cursing diva and Sheila Snow Proctor as a fan turned hospitable host. $22-$24
Hard-hitting, fast-paced live roller derby: TWO games for the price of one! Plus, Active Military with ID can buy tickets at the door for $8. Face painting, skater artwork auction and more! Fun for the whole family! **Be sure to line up early to get a seat** Advance tickets $6 for children (ages 6-12) and $10 for adults; Day of tickets $14/$8; Parking is $5