Jolie Holland and Matt Bauer
7 p.m. Oct. 16 at Cosmic Charlie's, 388 Woodland Ave. $10. (859) 309-9499.
Here's a show we didn't see coming. Well, we did, but we had given it up for lost.
In the lingering days of summer, Texas songstress Jolie Holland, long a Lexington favorite, was booked for a return performance at The Dame. Come August, of course, The Dame called it a day. So those of us who have been championing the stark, poetic nature of Holland's songs, and the fascinating encyclopedia of folk, jazz and pop voices she uses to display them, sat with sunken hearts.
But fear not. Holland's concert is still on, but at a new venue. She will perform Friday night at the new Cosmic Charlie's, the site of the old Lynagh's Music Club on Woodland Avenue.
This will be Holland's first local outing since a set at WRFL-88.1 FM's FreeKY Fest last year. Since then, she has sent us another stunner of an album: a collection of sweetly sung stories of heartbreak, addiction and isolation titled The Living and the Dead. Holland co-produced it with the great Shahzad Ismaily, who performed as guitarist and percussionist (at times, simultaneously) during an in-store show last year at CD Central with the experimental bi-coastal pop trio 2 Foot Yard.
Eastern Kentucky-born New Yorker Matt Bauer will open Friday night's performance.
We used to hear Scotland's Battlefield Band in Lexington on a regular basis during the late '80s and early '90s. Since then, visits have become increasingly rare. Thankfully, the ensemble, which presents politically savvy, traditionally based Scottish folk music in often-contemporary settings (as in its frequent pairings of bagpipes with electric keyboards) will be back on Monday for a set at The Kentucky Theatre for WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. The performance coincides with the release of a new album, Zama Zama. Bardstown-by-way-of-Australia song stylist Pauly Zarb also will perform. (7 p.m. $10. (859) 252-8888. www.woodsongs.com.)
Heading to the Lexington Opera House on Friday night will be a performance featuring American Idol finalists Michael Johns and Brooke White, 2006 Nashville Star winner Chris Young, country artist Jennifer Hanson (of Beautiful Goodbye fame) and Idol bandleader Rickey Minor. The concert is a benefit for Shrinecrest Equine Education Center and Kentucky Children's Hospital. (7 p.m., $45-100. Call (859) 233-3535 or Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com.)
It was a draw as to whether the performance or the audience was more fascinating when the Punch Brothers and roughly 150 fans squeezed into Natasha's Bistro and Bar for a late- addition concert to the Alltech Fortnight Festival last week. Understandably, mandolinist Chris Thile and company were in typically dazzling technical form during the third and fourth movements of The Blind Leaving the Blind and precise as ever in delivering the giddy string-band punctuation of Punch Bowl and The White Stripes' Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground.
But what was equally riotous was picking out the diversity of the guest list. Among those in the audience: Lexington Philharmonic director Scott Terrell, who will conduct Thile and his new mandolin concerto with the Portland Symphony in March; violin virtuoso Mark O'Connor, fresh from a WoodSongs performance across the street at The Kentucky Theatre; and the entire lineup of The Decemberists, who arrived in town a day ahead of their Singletary Center show. The celebs seem to dig the Punch Brothers, too. When Thile launched into an encore version of Radiohead's Packt Like Sardines in a Crushed Tin Box, Decemberist vocalist Shara Worden, moonlighting from her own band, My Brightest Diamond, offered a concise but vocal review: "Yeah, dude."