9 p.m. Oct. 21 at Cosmic Charlie's, 388 Woodland Ave. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. (859) 309-9499. Cosmic-charlies.com.
What better way to gear up for Halloween than an evening with Unknown Hinson?
Despite his name, we know a fair amount about the North Carolina-bred psychobilly stylist. Specifically, he hails from Charlotte and introduced his vampire-esque profile — which makes the singer look like a cross between Bela Lugosi and Conway Twitty — through a self-produced TV series.
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Hinson's mix of hot-rod rockabilly licks and monstrous kitsch spread from there. He has been a favorite of local clubs — especially the original West Main location of the now-demolished Dame — for years.
His bio and booking information more succinctly state the ghoulish fun Hinson creates in concert: "What do ventriloquism, hoola-hoop contests, target practice, monster sideburns and hellacious guitar solos have in common? Book Unknown Hinson and find out."
Well, he's booked. You will need to head to Cosmic Charlie's on Friday night to discover the rest.
8 p.m. Oct. 22 at Natasha's Bistro & Bar, 112 Esplanade. $22. (859) 259-2754. Beetnik.com.
Back in the region this weekend after a prolonged absence will be Cris Williamson, a songwriter who has long been a groundbreaking folk force in terms of artistic, social and commercial visibility.
A native of Deadwood, S.D., but raised in Wyoming, Williamson issued her first album of original songs while in her teens. Her vision as an autonomous artist has not wavered since.
From the '70s on, she became a leading voice not only for women's music but for independent artists of all genres. Her career-defining 1975 album, The Changer and the Changed, has been described by Allmusic.com as being "to women's music what Michael Jackson's Thriller was to the music industry in general in the mid-'80s." But she also has independently released, in steadfast fashion, more than two dozen albums throughout the decades.
Her recent recordings include 2008's Fringe, a tribute to the prairies and life lessons of her Wyoming upbringing.
Williamson will perform Saturday evening at Natasha's and will offer a daylong songwriting workshop beginning at 10 a.m. at the venue.
The week ahead
■ A master songsmith, a wildly heralded guitarist and a veteran of a groundbreaking British folk-rock movement that began in the 1960s, Richard Thompson can now officially add OBE to his name. He was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth in June. In Living Sunday we discuss with Thompson the honor, an inspirational career in music and an upcoming concert Monday at The Kentucky Theatre. (7:30 p.m. $28.50. (859) 231-7924. Troubashow.com.)
■ Also kicking off a very busy concert week will be Eoto, the duo keyboardist Michael Travis and drummer Jason Hann that balances electronica with "real world instruments." The resulting music balances deep pocket grooves and computerized beats with occasionally punkish overtones. Eoto performs Monday at Cosmic Charlie's. (9 p.m. $15.)
■ Cosmic Charlie's keeps the cool shows rolling Tuesday with New Riders of the Purple Sage, the veteran psychedelic country jam band. Born essentially as an outgrowth of the Grateful Dead (Jerry Garcia and several Dead members initially doubled as New Riders), the band is led by founding guitarist David Nelson. (8 p.m., $20.)
■ Finally, we have the return of contemporary string band The Avett Brothers. The group has all but grown up in Lexington, having played as an unknown at The Dame during its formative years before selling out a Kentucky Theatre performance in 2009. Now the Avetts head to the big house, Rupp Arena, on Thursday. Get to this one on time. The twisted, torchy music of Jessica Lea Mayfield will open. (8 p.m. $29.75, $35, $39.75. (859) 233-3535 or Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000 or Ticketmaster.com.)