Music News & Reviews

With 'Rain,' it pours

'Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles'

7 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Singletary Center for the Arts, 405 Rose St. $31.50, $39.50, $47.50. (859) 257-4929.

This is undeniably a great time to be a Beatles tribute band.

Recent remasters of the band's entire studio catalog currently claim eight of the top 10 positions on Billboard's catalog chart (not surprisingly, Michael Jackson anthologies account for the other two) and the simultaneous release of The Beatles: Rock Band has essentially reinvented the Fab Four's iconic music for the gaming generation.

Now we have Rain, which is not all a new celebration, but a touring band and tribute production that has honored The Beatles for more than two decades and more than 4,000 performances.

In concert, Rain uses live music and three video screens as it traces the career of The Beatles from their American debut, on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, through selections from Abbey Road.

Sure, Rock Band and the remasters are persuasive reasons to enjoy the legacy of The Beatles at home. But to experience even a shadow of the music's live impact, you will need to get out in the Rain.

On the Mark and up the Creek

Violinist/composer Mark O'Connor begins the first of two mini-residences in the area this weekend with a pair of performances by his Appalachian Waltz Trio.

The first is a full-length concert Sunday afternoon at The Kentucky Center's Bomhard Theater in Louisville (3 p.m.; $25, $32; 1-800-775-7777; A return visit to WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour at The Kentucky Theatre, 214 East Main Street, follows Monday (6:45 p.m., $10, (859) 252-8888,

Then the timing gets really interesting. As soon as O'Connor's WoodSongs set winds up, ex-Nickel Creek mandolinist (and longtime O'Connor pal) Chris Thile kicks into action across the street at Natasha's Bistro, 112 Esplanade, with the Punch Brothers. (8:30 p.m., $25, reservations at (859) 259-2754,

O'Connor discusses his Americana music vision — which now includes an entire method of violin instruction — as well as return performances later this month with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra in Sunday's Life + Arts section.

Carpenter trio

Let's keep fingers crossed that Friday night's performance by Mary Chapin Carpenter at Equus Run Vineyards, 1280 Moores Mill Road, Midway, receives better weather than last weekend's Jason Aldean stormfest at Applebee's Park. Both performances are part of the Alltech Fortnight Festival. Those heading to Midway on Friday night should know that this won't be a full-band performance. Carpenter will perform only with her two longtime guitarists, John Jennings and Kevin Barry, a configuration referred to as "sort of an acoustic chamber group." (6 p.m., $55, (859) 846-9463,

Decemberists in October

The Alltech Fortnight Festival and the Singletary Center for the Arts team up again Tuesday for the Lexington debut of The Decemberists.

Together for nearly a decade, the Portland, Ore., troupe was a longtime fave of indie-pop audiences, releasing an extraordinary 2005 album titled Picaresque before defecting to the major labels (Capitol Records) for 2006's The Crane Wife. Commercial sellouts, however, The Decemberists aren't. The band's recent The Hazards of Love is an hourlong concept work of sometimes indecipherable lyrical fancy, even though its musical accents shift from psychedelic British folk-rock to '70s-era prog-rock from song to song.

We will let the band further explain its artful sound in Sunday's Life + Arts.

Laura Viers and the Hall of Flames will open. (7:30 p.m.; $30, $35, $40; (859) 257-4929;