Arts & Events » Night and Day

Black Joe Lewis, Pickwick and People’s Blues of Richmond at Strange Matter

Monday, Feb. 17. 8 p.m.

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History will always remember Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” as a hopeful soul classic and a civil rights movement staple. But if Pickwick breaks big, the tune will be notable for another reason. Years ago, Galen Disston led Pickwick as an ambient folk outfit — one unsatisfied with how its Ryan Adams-esque material was coming along. Then Disston caught “A Change” on the radio and was inspired to alter the group’s path, mapping out a new route as a soulful indie-pop act. The Seattle six-piece, whose name stems from a 1960s record label, began composing songs in more unconventional methods, singing melodies over bass and piano riffs. The sparkling results on Pickwick’s 2013 debut full-length, “Can’t Talk Medicine,” bring to mind a louder, considerably cooler version of Jason Mraz circa “Waiting for My Rocket to Come.” Pickwick plays Monday, Feb. 17, at Strange Matter with Black Joe Lewis and the People’s Blues of Richmond. Doors open for the 18 and older show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $14 to $16. strangematterrva.com.

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