Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver
3 and 7 p.m. Jan. 16 at Meadow green Park Music Hall, 303 Bluegrass Lane in Clay City. $20. (606) 663-9008. www.kyfriends.com.
On the cover of his 2009 release Lonely Street, Doyle Lawson strikes an especially wintry pose. As opposed to the sunny, summery images usually associated with bluegrass innovators — summer, after all, is when bluegrass festivals hit their peak — Lawson comes to us on the album bundled in a black overcoat, with snow falling briskly about him.
Now that's an image Kentucky audiences can relate to as Lawson prepares for a pair of Saturday performances at Clay City's Meadowgreen Park Music Hall. The weather promises not to be as frightful as the teen temps and snow showers of last weekend, but an indoor outing by Lawson and the newest lineup of his band, Quicksilver, is sure to warm any string-band soul.
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The Lonely Street material should be especially pleasing. The album's far-reaching repertoire runs from spry covers of Marty Robbins' Call Me Up and I'll Come Back to You and Porter Wagoner's Big Wind to the original swing-savvy instrumental Down Around Bear Cove.
Driving Rain will open both of Lawson's Clay City shows.
What a pity it is that the appealing pop-rock charge of Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles hasn't caught on in Lexington. The band's last local outing, before no more than 20 at a January 2009 concert at The Dame, was full of vintage girl-group pop charm, NRBQ-esque roots rock and the kind of dark rockabilly rumblings that would do the Rev. Horton Heat proud.
So, with a Lexington return unlikely in the near future, might I suggest a trip Friday night to Southgate House, 24 East Third Street, Newport, to catch the Broken Singles in action?
Bostonian Borges and her pals have been busy. They recorded a pair of concerts from New Year's weekend at the Lizard Lounge — the Cambridge, Mass., club where the band got its start — for an upcoming live album. On Sunday, the band will travel to Benton Harbor, Mich., to record another performance for a DVD.
Nashville's The Deep Vibration, a veteran of several fine Lexington shows, will open Borges' Newport concert. (8:30 p.m. $10. (859) 431-2201. www.southgatehouse.com)
A trusted Brand
Outside of Pete Seeger, few folk artists have maintained a career for as long as Oscar Brand. Since the 1940s, he has recorded 100 albums and performed with iconic artists Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. His weekly radio show, Oscar Brand's Folksong Festival, has broadcast from New York since December 1945.
Brand, who turns 90 next month, seldom makes it to Kentucky. An early-'80s performance at the Singletary Center for the Arts with Jean Ritchie was one of his rare Central Kentucky shows in recent decades.
But on Monday, Brand will be a featured guest at the weekly taping of WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour at The Kentucky Theatre, 214 East Main Street.
Josh White Jr., another veteran folk singer with a career that has taken him to Broadway, television and beyond, also is on the bill/ (6:45 p.m. $10. (859) 252-8888. www.woodsongs.com)
Saturday on Thursday
It's called the American Saturday Night Tour, even though it will stop by Rupp Arena on Thursday. But when country stars Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert and Justin Moore are part of the package, one feels inclined to start the weekend early. Lambert, who will perform in Lexington for the second time in four months, checks in with us in Sunday's Life + Arts section. (7:30 p.m. $39.75, $54.75. (859) 233-3535 or Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com)