Spring Preview 2014: Popular music

Contributing Music WriterMarch 20, 2014 

  • More major concerts

    More major concerts that, if not exactly highlights of the season, will certainly make a mark.

    Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. 7:30 p.m. April 1. Lexington Opera House, 401 W. Short St. $85.50. Ticketmaster. Troubashow.com.

    Of Montreal. 10 p.m. April 1. Cosmic Charlie's, 388 Woodland Ave. $20. Cosmic-charlies.com.

    Billy Joel. 8 p.m. April 6. KFC Yum Center, Louisville. $32.50-$124. Ticketmaster.

    The Werks. 10 p.m. April 11, 12. Cosmic Charlie's, 388 Woodland Ave. $15-$25. Cosmic-charlies.com.

    Bobby McFerrin. 7:30 p.m. April 17. Centre College's Norton Center for the Arts, Danville. $60-$85. 1-877-448-7469. Nortoncenter.com.

    Brantley Gilbert. 7:30 p.m. April 18. KFC Yum Center, Louisville. $24.75-$37. Ticketmaster.

    Melissa Etheridge. 7:30 p.m. April 19. EKU Center for the Arts, Richmond. $51-$71. (859) 622-7469. EKUcenter.com. Troubashow.com.

    Miley Cyrus. 7:30 p.m. April 19. KFC Yum Center, Louisville. $42.50-$93.50. Ticketmaster.

    Goo Goo Dolls. 7 p.m. April 21. Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center. Sold out. Lexingtonlyric.com, Troubashow.com.

    Joe Bonamassa. 8 p.m. April 25. Rupp Arena. $69-$99. Ticketmaster.

    Southern Culture on the Skids. 9 p.m. May 1. Cosmic Charlie's, 388 Woodland Ave. $15. Cosmic-charlies.com.

    Cher, Cyndi Lauper. 7:30 p.m. June 2. KFC Yum Center, Louisville. $28.50-$136. Ticketmaster.

    Rod Stewart, Santana. 7:30 p.m. June 3. KFC Yum Center, Louisville. $39.50-$149.50. Ticketmaster.

    Ichthus. June 4-7. Kentucky Horse Park. $39-$99. Ichthusfestival.com.

    Lionel Richie, Cee-Lo Green. 7:30 p.m. June 17. KFC Yum Center, Louisville. $49.50-$125. Ticketmaster.

There was a Rolaids antacid commercial back in the '70s: "How do you spell relief?" Place that query in the middle of March 2014, and your answer would be easy: S-P-R-I-N-G.

As one peruses the lineup of concert acts heading to the region in the coming months, one could come up with a few ways to spell spring. All involve a few four-letter words.

Furs. King. Boss. Jazz. Love.

These are the welcome musical guests who will help us give Old Man Winter the boot once and for all.

SPRING HIGHLIGHTS

Here are select popular music events to put on your calendar this spring.

The Psychedelic Furs. A quintessential post-punk band during the '80s, the Furs rock on in the 21st century, with brothers Richard and Tim Butler still at the helm. Although British by birth, Tim Butler has lived with his wife in Liberty, Ky., for several years. (9 p.m. March 29. Buster's Billiards and Backroom, 899 Manchester St. $22, $25. (859) 368-8871. Bustersbb.com.)

B.B. King. Few artists have been more closely associated with a genre of music as B.B. King has been with the blues. At age 88, the undisputed King of the Blues tours, champions the blues and engages in righteous dialogues with his guitar, Lucille. (7:30 p.m. April 8. Lexington Opera House, 401 W. Short St. Sold out. Ticketmaster. Troubashow.com.)

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The Boss rocks on. Having scored his 11th No. 1 album over the winter with High Hopes, Springsteen again rolls out the mighty 17-member version of the E Street Band, with whom he has shared the road for much of the past three years. (7:30 p.m. April 8. U.S. Bank Arena, 100 Broadway, Cincinnati. $48-121. Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000 or Ticketmaster.com.)

Rosie Flores. Known for years as the "Rockabilly Filly," Flores is the real deal when it comes to vintage country, rockabilly, surf and more. As a guitarist, vocalist and singer, she continues to set the roots-music standard. Her new album, Working Girl's Guitar, is proof. (8 p.m. April 23. Willie's Locally Known, 805 N. Broadway. $10. (859) 281-1116. Willieslex.com.)

Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Hailing from one of the French Quarter's most cherished jazz venues, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has set the standard for New Orleans jazz for 50 years. Amazingly, its new album, That's It!, is the band's first record of all original songs. (7:30 p.m. May 14. Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, 300 E. Third St. $36.50. (859) 280-2218. Lexingtonlyric.com. Troubashow.com.)

Darlene Love. Bolstered by the popularity of the Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, Love is a star again at age 72. Her voice remains, a half-century removed from her seasonal hit Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), a vehicle of unstoppable soul and spirit. (7:30 p.m. May 21. Grand Theatre, 308 St. Clair St., Frankfort. $40-65. (502) 352-7469. Grandtheatrefrankfort.org.)

Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas. Here's how you want to spend the first Friday night in June: on the banks of the Ohio with this all-star double bill, which visits Louisville as part of a 35-city tour. The two headliners have never toured together before, but they cut a duet of No Mas Amor for Nelson's newest album. (7 p.m. June 6. Waterfront Park, 300 E. River Rd., Louisville. $55. Ticketmaster.)

Conor Oberst, Dawes. True to the collaborative spirit, West Coast folk-rockers Dawes will open for Bright Eyes frontman Oberst on his impending tour and then play as his back-up band. This performance will mark the Lexington debut of both acts. (9 p.m. June 7. Buster's Billiards and Backroom. $27, $30. (859) 368-8871. Bustersbb.com.)

Best of Bluegrass: Lonesome River Band, Town Mountain. The Best of Bluegrass fest, or BoB, will offer exactly that when it kicks off its second year with a free double bill featuring a prized veteran act with contemporary leanings (Lonesome River Band) and comparative newcomers with traditional tastes (Town Mountain). (7 p.m. June 9. Natasha's Bistro, 112 Esplanade. Free. (859) 259-2754. Bluegrasslex.com. The festival continues through June 14.)

Festival of the Bluegrass. This is what BoB grows into: the 41st annual Festival of the Bluegrass. Its lineup boasts longtime favorites (The Seldom Scene, IIIrd Tyme Out, Dry Branch Fire Squad), recent returnees (Louisville's 23 String Band) and first timers (The Gibson Brothers). (June 12-15. Showtimes vary. Kentucky Horse Park, 4089 Iron Works Pkwy. $10-$45 for single day; $100 for four-day pass. (859) 253-0806. Festivalofthebluegrass.com.)

Drive-By Truckers. Now with dual songsmiths Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley as the band's uncontested frontmen, the Truckers continue their reign as one of the most literate and seriously rocking troupes to rise out of what it lovingly calls "the Dirty South." (9 p.m. June 13. Buster's Billiards and Backroom. $25, $28. (859) 368-8871. Bustersbb.com.)

Read Walter Tunis' blog, The Musical Box, at LexGo.com.

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