Most people feel revitalized by the spring and the sense of awakening that comes from a winter thaw. That's all well and good, but similar sentiments can be applied to the fall.
When colleges reconvene in the area, one of the glorious side effects is a proliferation of outstanding concert events throughout the season.
You can get a full and generous peek at everything going on in the region in next week's Arts Preview 2013-14.
Until then, here is a list of 11 not-to-miss shows at 11 venues (actually more, given Boomslang's mobility).
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So as you bid adieu to summer this holiday weekend, here are essential sounds to listen for as fall settles in.
The Rides with Beth Hart, Sept. 16: The Rides is a new band boasting Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stephen Stills, blues titan Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Electric Flag alumnus Barry Goldberg. The trio will be promoting its self-titled, blues-inspired debut album. (7:30 p.m. Lexington Opera House, 401 W. Short St. $65.50, $75.50. Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000 or Ticketmaster.com. Troubashow.com. Lexingtonoperhouse.com.)
Christ the King Oktoberfest, Sept. 20-21: Once your standard church carnival, Christ the King Oktoberfest has become one of the city's most popular free outdoor music events. The Georgia Satellites and The Romantics headline this year. (Performances times vary. Cathedral of Christ the King, 299 Colony Blvd. Free. Ctkoktoberfest.com.)
Boomslang 2013, Sept. 20-22: Year after year, what remains so cool about this festival, sponsored by WRFL-88.1 FM, isn't so much the bands and music you know, but the sense of discovery that comes from music you have never imagined. Among the headliners this year are Blonde Redhead, Clinic and Body/Head, which features Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon. (Performance times, venues and prices vary. Boomslangfest.com.)
The Zombies, Sept. 23: Rock reunions are beyond a dime a dozen. Not so with Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, who continue to present The Zombies, the band they co-founded more than 45 years ago, as a still-vital and relevant pop voice. (7:30 p.m. Kentucky Theatre, 214 E. Main St. $35, $75. Kentuckytheater.com.)
Dwight Yoakam, Oct. 4: It's easy to champion Yoakam strictly for his Kentucky roots. But the bottom line is he remains the finest traditionally minded thrill seeker/song stylist to hit country music since Merle Haggard. (7:30 p.m. EKU Center for the Arts, 1 Hall Dr., Richmond. $50.50-$150. (859) 622-7469. Ekucenter.com.)
California Guitar Trio, Oct. 6: This is a group you can recommend to anyone regardless of musical preference. Classical, rock, prog, world music and expert originals dominate a repertoire that is as playful as it is scholarly. A must-see. (8 p.m. Natasha's Bistro, 112 Esplanade. $20. (859) 259-2754. Beetnik.com.)
The Lumineers with Nathaniel Rateliff, Oct. 11: The University of Kentucky Student Activities Board is wasting no time getting in on the fall fun by presenting the local debut of the platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated folk-pop Lumineers. Yep, this is the band that turned Ho Hey into an inescapable radio hit. (8 p.m. UK Memorial Coliseum. $15, $30. Uksab.org.)
Hot Club of Cowtown, Oct. 17: The endlessly fun fiddle/guitar/bass music of this veteran Austin, Texas, troupe falls somewhere between the Western swing of Bob Wills and the European jazz of Django Reinhardt. (8 p.m. Berea College Phelps Stokes Chapel, Berea. Free. Berea.edu/convocations.)
Les McCann with the Javon Jackson Band, Oct. 18: Celebrating the third anniversary of the Lyric's reopening will be vocal great, keyboard innovator, jazz giant and Lexington native McCann, who has been absent from his hometown for decades. (7:30 p.m. Lyric Theatre, 300 E. Third St. $25, $35. (859) 280-2218. Lexingtonlyric.com.)
Béla Fleck and Brooklyn Rider, Nov. 16: Banjo innovator Fleck returns to the area to perform new compositions with Brooklyn Rider, the string quartet that played here last spring as part of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. (8 p.m. Centre College's Norton Center for the Arts, 600 W. Walnut St., Danville. $24-$46. 1-877-448-7469. Nortoncenter.com.)
Arturo Sandoval and the UK Wind Symphony, Dec. 14: What do Cuban jazz trumpeter Sandoval and Loretta Lynn have in common? Both will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom this year. (7:30 p.m. UK Singletary Center for the Arts, 405 Rose St. $28-$40. (859) 257-4929. Singletarycenter.com.)