8 p.m. April 6 at Natasha's Bistro, 112 Esplanade. $15. (859) 259-2754. Beetnik.com.
Kim Richey has been playing Lexington clubs since her self-titled 1995 debut album introduced her as a powerfully versed Nashville singer-songwriter.
Since then, the Ohio native has seen her songs and singing championed by all manner of country and Americana contemporaries. All the while, though, Richey's finest music was being issued under her own name.
With initial albums bearing production touches and pop accents designed for country radio airplay, Richey found herself at the helm of an almost subversive career. Her songs were covered by hit makers like Trisha Yearwood yet were featured in then-current TV programs like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She also collaborated with fellow Americana renegades Ryan Adams and Radney Foster.
All this brings us to a sublime performance Richey gave in June at Natasha's. The show came on the heels of Thorn in My Side, a 2013 recording largely devoid of contemporary country sensibility. Released in the wake of a three-year residency in London, Thorn in My Side was more atmospheric and intimate in terms of song structure. It sported a hearty guest list (Yearwood, Jason Isbell, Wilco's Pat Sanscone, My Morning Jacket's Carl Broemel), and the album boasted songs (Come On and the title tune, in particular) that balanced folkish reflection with light country anguish.
Richey returns to Natasha's on Sunday. Dutch singer Stevie Ann will open.
The Felice Brothers, The Rooster's Crow
9 p.m. April 5 at Buster's Billiards & Backroom, 899 Manchester St. $13 in advance, $15 day of show. (859) 368-8871. Bustersbb.com.
The Felice Brothers are nothing if not resourceful.
While the Brooklyn, N.Y.-bred troupe's homey blend of folk, Band-style rock and Zydeco-ish grooves took a decidedly electric turn with 2011's synth-savvy album Celebration, Florida, the initial word on the soon-to- released Favorite Waitress is that it marks a return to the band's rootsy beginnings.
But what occurred between the two records speaks volumes for the Felices' musical ingenuity.
In 2012, faced with multiple setbacks topped by the demise of a well-worn RV used as a makeshift tour bus, the band quickly cut a lo-fi album called God Bless You Amigo. The Felices used the digital-only release to generate funds for a new means of tour transport and a more properly financed studio recording.
Raising visibility further was a series of 2013 shows at which the Felices opened for Mumford and Sons and The Killers. If that wasn't enough, the band's music was featured prominently in a Dell Computers commercial starting in December. That's the Felices singing a sparse, melancholy cover of The Drifters' This Magic Moment in the background.
On Saturday, the Felices cover all the bases, from its Brooklyn beginnings through new Favorite Waitress material, at Buster's.
With lute to boot
Raised on rock 'n' roll in Columbus, Ohio, Paul O'Dette began playing guitar transcriptions of lute music. That led to a fascination with Renaissance and Baroque music, and a multiple Grammy-nominated career as a performer, researcher and educator of the lute.
O'Dette returns to the Singletary Center for the Arts on Thursday. (7:30 p.m. $10-$25. (859) 257-4929. Singletarycenter.com.)
In stepping further outside her longtime work as half of Indigo Girls, Amy Ray returns to WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour on Monday at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, 300 East Third Street, to showcase an unexpected new project: a country album titled Goodnight Tender. Grammy-nominated Oklahoma songsmith John Fullbright completes the bill. (6:45 p.m. $10, $5 students. Reservations recommended: (859) 252-8888. Woodsongs.com.)