10 p.m. Dec. 8 at Cosmic Charlie's, 388 Woodland Ave. $10. (859) 309-9499. Cosmic-charlies.com.
The members of the new-generation rock, soul and boogie troupe The Weeks began assimilating their roots-music inspirations while still in their teens. Perhaps that's why this Jackson, Miss., outfit sounds as if it is comprised of seasoned naturals.
That also explains the design of The Weeks' new Dear Bo Jackson, its second record for Kings of Leon's label Serpents and Snakes. The album is a swampy, guitar rock joy ride through vintage Southern rock, Muscle Shoals-style rhythm and blues, and the kind of meaty boogie runs that make one check to make sure the music wasn't recorded in 1971.
The addition of keyboardist Admiral Collier to The Weeks' core quartet lineup (vocalist Cyle Barnes, guitarist Samuel Williams, bassist Damien Bone and drummer Cain Barnes) only adds to the dense Americana mystique of Dear Bo Jackson, as do a pair of tasty cameos by steel guitarist Bucky Baxter, whose many credits include a stint as one of Steve Earle's original Dukes.
The Weeks bring the new music of Dear Bo Jackson to life — minus Baxter and the record's beefy brass accompaniment — on Sunday at Cosmic Charlie's with Heyrocco and Buffalo Rodeo opening.
Signs of the Rimes
At age 31, LeAnn Rimes has seemingly lived two lives in the spotlight, both of which have been in almost constant conflict with each other.
The first is her singing career, which sent singles like Blue up the country charts while the Mississippi-born Rimes was a teenager. In ensuing years, Rimes' popularity would reach worldwide pop audiences while earning her a pair of Grammys and record sales of nearly 40 million.
Then there is the Rimes who can't seem to stay out of the tabloids, the star who sued her father, sued record companies and became involved in marriages and breakups that eventually earned more headlines than her music.
The latter is especially cumbersome given that Rimes' 2013 album Spitfire is one of her strongest recordings in recent years. It takes her out of formulaic Nashville country-pop with an arsenal of original material and a pair of well-picked covers (Buddy and Julie Miller's Gasoline and Matches, Missy Higgins' Where I Stood); some expert vocal assistance from Alison Krauss, Dan Tyminski and Ron Thomas; and a truly out-of-nowhere guitar solo on the Millers tune by Jeff Beck.
Rimes' regional concert return next week originally was scheduled at the EKU Center for the Arts, 521 Lancaster Avenue, Richmond, on Dec. 14, a Saturday night, but has been moved up to Thursday due to what the venue's website calls "an unforeseen scheduling issue."
The change does more than just rob Rimes of a prime weekend performance slot. It places her in direct competition with a concert at the KFC Yum Center in Louisville by pop-soul diva Beyoncé. Her touring production, The Mrs. Carter Show, has become one of the top grossing concert draws of the past two years.
What ultimately might work in Rimes' favor, however, is price. Tickets for her 7:30 p.m. performance at the EKU Center are $50.50 to $70.50. The opportunity to jam with Mrs. Jay-Z, starting at 8 p.m., will be $48.50 to a wallet- emptying $256.
For tickets to Rimes' concert, call (859) 622-7469 or go to Ekucenter.com. For Beyoncé, call Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000, or go to Ticketmaster.com.
Last 'Songs' of 2013
WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour will close out its performance year at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Center, 300 East Third Street, on Monday with a bill that features the contemporary bluegrass troupe Steep Canyon Rangers and singer-songwriter Shannon Whitworth. (6:45 p.m. $10. (859) 252-8888. Woodsongs.com.)
Rangers banjoist, harmony vocalist and songwriter Graham Sharp discusses the group's fine new album The Ones I Love, its encounter with the late Americana hero Levon Helm and its ongoing collaborative work with Steve Martin in this weekend's Living Sunday section.
Whitworth should be a fine complement to the Monday bill. A Virginia native raised in eastern South Carolina, she played banjo and guitar in a Carolina-based bluegrass troupe, the Biscuit Burners, that performed at Bonnaroo, MerleFest and other prestigious music festivals.
Whitworth cut two albums with the band before establishing a solo career that broadened the stylistic scope of her songwriting into folk and pop territory. That earned her opening acts spots on tours by the Tedeschi-Trucks Band and Chris Isaak.
Whitworth's third and newest album is High Tide.