Music News & Reviews

Natasha's calendar is packed with diverse musical acts

Stoll Vaughan

9 p.m. March 12 at Natasha's Bistro, 112 Esplanade. $12. (859) 259-2754.


8 p.m. March 13 at Natasha's Bistro. $15

Billy Dean

7 p.m. March 14 at Natasha's Bistro. $20.

Now this is what you call a full weekend. But that seems to be the norm at Natasha's Bistro and Bar, which has become one of the busiest — and in terms of the performances that now fill its calendar seven days a week, most versatile — venues in town.

Here's the rundown. Friday night brings in Lexington-bred songsmith Stoll Vaughan — who has spent recent years sharing amphitheater stages with John Mellencamp, John Fogerty, Journey and Def Leppard — for his first local headlining show in ages.

On Saturday, there's the imaginative West Coast a capella troupe Sonos — which reinvents pop fare by such disparate acts as The Jackson 5, Radiohead and Depeche Mode.

Headlining on Sunday is veteran country songsmith Billy Dean — whose '90s hits include Only Here for a Little While and If There Hadn't Been You.

And those are just the weekend's prime-time shows. Natasha's also will host the monthly multi-stylistic summit LexJam at 1 p.m. Saturday (admission is free) and a late-Sunday punk outing with longstanding local rockers Infected, plus Dun Bin Had and Arsenic on the Rocks. (10 p.m.; $5)

Dynamites in Newport

Alas, the return Saturday of The Dynamites is not to be.

The Nashville soul band fronted by veteran vocal steamroller Charles Walker was to have played Cosmic Charlie's this weekend, but the performance was canceled without explanation last week. The local debut by The Dynamites last year at The Dame was plenty stirring, so we can only hope that Walker and company make it back our way soon.

However, those bent on hearing some serious old-school soul should note that Friday night's Dynamites concert at the Southgate House, 24 East Third Street in Newport, is a go. (9 p.m.; $13. (859) 431-2201.

Blue Battle

Everyone expects a little blue blood to be shed during March Madness. But Buster's Billiards and Backroom, 899 Manchester Street, will showcase some very off-court blood-letting Friday night that follows a long-honored competitive music tradition.

It's the Bleed Blue Battle of the Bands, so named because Bleed Blue Tattoo and Piercing is the principal sponsor. Squaring off will be Dead By Violence, The Middlefork, The Slagsmiths and This Season's Color (all from Lexington), Up from Ashes (from Harrodsburg), August and Anger (from Berea), MidWest (from Owensboro) and Last Round (from Evansville, Ind.).

Get set for a full night. The music starts at 10. Cover charge is $5. Call (859) 368-8871.

Cadillac Chris

The pride of Slaughters, Ky., is returning to Lexington. And he's bringing the Trailer with him.

For his performance at Cadillac Ranch, 2320 Palumbo Drive, on Thursday, Western Kentucky native Chris Knight will promote an album called Trailer II. It's a sequel of sorts to 2007's The Trailer Tapes, a collection of demo songs cut in Knight's un-air-conditioned single-wide trailer in the summer of 1996. The earlier album was a major critical hit, as the sketch-like recordings made the dark rural realities of his John Mellencamp-meets-James McMurtry songs all the more vivid.

Trailer II is more of the same, although this newer demo set is more of a review of Knight's formal recording career. Several tunes, including Love and a .45, The River's Own, It Ain't Easy Being Me and Bring the Harvest Home (performed on Trailer II in a simple but revealing folk-country setting) were on Knight's 1998 self-titled debut album for MCA.

For tickets, call (859) 335-8800.