Dream the Electric Sleep
Wine and Dine: An Evening with Justin Wells
6 p.m. Dec. 23 at The Burl. $12, $20. Justinwellsmusic.com.
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The Burl has a veritable aural buffet on tap for the final two Fridays before Christmas. It begins Friday night with the wonderfully indefinable trio from Lexington, Dream the Electric Sleep.
Prog, psychedelic rock (sometimes with a progressive-folk imprint) and neatly textured guitar adventures pepper the band’s repertoire. On any given song from its new album, “Beneath the Dark Wide Sky,” influences of versed favorites Rush, Pink Floyd and even early U2 might surface. But the music also extends to a variety of sounds and eras, from the vintage guitar prog experiments of early Hawkwind to such modern stylists as My Bloody Valentine.
Catch the band — vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist Matt Page, drummer and vocalist Joey Waters and bassist Chris Tackett — on home turf while you can. The trio is heading overseas for an extensive tour of Germany beginning in late January.
Next Friday, the buffet becomes quite literal for the last business day before Christmas. In an event called “Wine and Dine,” The Burl is presenting Lexington fave Justin Wells, firmly established as a solo artist after the release of his fine 2016 album, “Dawn in the Distance,” in two distinct settings.
The first show will be a solo acoustic set that comes with dinner from Bourbon n’ Toulouse. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the music beginning about 7. After that, Wells plugs in with his band (guitarist and pedal steel ace J. Tom Hnatow, bassist Blake Cox, keyboardist Ryan Allen and drummer John Clay) and gets down to serious electric business for a 9 p.m. show, with Alanna Fugate opening.
Here’s the admission breakdown: $20 covers the early dinner show and, should you decide to make a full evening of it, the electric set. But if you’re just into rocking out during the late show, the cover is $12.
Think of Owsley County in purely geographical terms and you’re talking coal country, the heart of Eastern Kentucky. But as a band, Owsley County is very much a Lexington enterprise, begun in 2012 by drummer Dino English of the Chicago-rooted Dark Star Orchestra, the Grateful Dead cover troupe that tours nationally throughout the year.
Owsley County began in 2012 under the moniker of the Very Garcia Band, a performance project devoted to music that guitarist Jerry Garcia performed and recorded outside of the Dead. It also allowed English an artistic outlet to perform with musicians from his then-newly adopted hometown of Lexington when he was off the road.
In 2014, Very Garcia sought to expand its repertoire to include tunes falling outside the Dead family tree (Talking Heads being a prime example) plus original compositions. Thus the name change to Owsley County and a reintroduction through shows at the old Cosmic Charlie’s in University Plaza.
Fittingly, Owsley County finds its way to the brand spanking new Cosmic Charlie’s on National Avenue on Friday night.
One touring troupe that thrives on performing right through the holiday season is Mannheim Steamroller, the progressive pop enterprise founded by Chip Davis that released its first album of reinvented seasonal music 32 years ago.
The current touring production of “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” plays the Lexington Opera House, 401 West Short Street, at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 ($31-$88.50). Call 859-233-3535 or go to Lexingtonoperahouse.com.