Autumn is the best time of the concert year, and here are five concerts representing five regional performance venues that underscore why.
Sept. 11: Bela Fleck and Chris Thile at the Lexington Opera House: Although a generation apart in age, banjo great (and onetime Lexingtonian) Fleck and mandolinist Thile have the same virtuosic but stylistically inquisitive nature to their music. The alliance isn’t new, but performing exclusively as a duo is.
Oct. 13: Aoife O’Donovan/Willie Watson at the Weisiger Theatre of the Norton Center for the Arts in Danville: If the co-headlining debut, after three superlative albums (including the new concert set “Man in a Neon Coat”), by Americana songstress O’Donovan wasn’t enough, this double bill also sports the return of Watson, the folk-savvy alum of Old Crow Medicine Show.
Oct. 15: Amanda Shires at The Burl: Fiddler and songsmith Shires last visited Lexington when opening a sold-out 2015 Singletary Center concert for John Prine, with husband Jason Isbell as an unannounced accompanist. Her Burl debut celebrates the release of her splendid new album, “My Piece of Land.”
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Oct. 25: Doyle Bramhall II at Willie’s Locally Known: A second-generation member of Texas music royalty, Bramhall is an industrious songwriter, producer and, above all, guitarist who has had extended tenures in the bands of Eric Clapton and Roger Waters, in addition to promoting his own music.
Oct. 26: John Mellencamp and Carlene Carter at the EKU Center for the Arts at Eastern Kentucky University: Amazingly, this will be the Indiana rocker’s first Central Kentucky concert since 1988. Mellencamp’s tour is named after his 2014 album “Plain Spoken,” but his show covers music from throughout his career. Country music vet Carlene Carter opens.