Imagine a weekend that's nearly an entire week long. That's essentially what the Alltech Fortnight Festival has on tap.
With the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games now at their midpoint, the Fortnight fest is in full performance mode.
Here is the embarrassment of concert riches this weekend clear through the week ahead.
Friday: Phil Lee and Tommy Womack at Natasha's Bistro & Bar, 112 Esplanade. Last month at an informal outdoor concert in Millville, Phil Lee reaffirmed himself as a world-class Americana songsmith, full of abundant humor and serious neo-country smarts — kind of like a cross between Merle Haggard and Mark Twain. Now he's back with Madisonville native and longtime Kentucky rock fave Tommy Womack. (9 p.m., $10. (859) 259-2754. Beetnik.com.)
Friday: Dave Barnes at Buster's Billiards & Backroom, 899 Manchester Street. Barnes is what you call a well-connected pop stylist. Having gained radio notice with 2008's On a Night Like This, he wound up singing the song in two episodes of the soap opera All My Children. Last month, he was opening a sold-out show in New York for country-pop sensation Lady Antebellum. On Friday night, Barnes finds out what Lexington is like by playing Buster's. (9 p.m. $15. (859) 368-8871. Bustersbb.com.)
Saturday: The Del McCoury Band at the Grand Theatre, 308 St. Clair Street, Frankfort: In terms of performance, soul and attitude, there is no finer bluegrass brigade on the planet than the Del McCoury Band. Father Del still has one of the most commanding and clear mountain tenors anywhere, and sons Robbie and Ron (on mandolin and banjo, respectively) maintain the band's extraordinary instrumental drive. (7:30 p.m. $30-$50. (502) 352-7469. Grandtheatrefrankfort.org.)
Monday: The Chieftains with the Haitian Harmony children's choir at the Singletary Center for the Arts, 405 Rose Street. The most esteemed Irish band of all leads a benefit concert for Haiti that should be the Fortnight Fest's finest hour. I talk with the chieftain of The Chieftains, Paddy Moloney, in Sunday's Life + Arts section about the unexpected global reach of Irish music and what it's like being one of the only artists to collaborate with both Mick Jagger and The Muppets. (7:30 p.m. $45-$100. (859) 257-4929. Singletarytickets.com.)
Monday: Tony Bennett at the Norton Center for the Arts, 625 West Walnut, Danville. Frank Sinatra is famous for, among many things, claiming Bennett as his favorite singer. He wasn't alone. Through an extensive and justly celebrated career, Bennett has championed popular songs with a majestic jazz sensibility that defies styles and generations. Best of all, he does it with unassuming attitude. He's a true living legend in every sense of the term. (8 p.m. $85-$150. 1-877-448-7469. Nortoncenter.com.)
Tuesday: Ivan Neville's Dumpstafunk at Buster's: The son of Aaron Neville, an alumnus of Keith Richards' X-Pensive Winos and a second-generation member of the Neville Brothers, Ivan Neville brings the booming rock and funk of his band Dumpstafunk to Lexington for the first time. The performance will be tied to the release of the band's new album, Everybody Want Sum. (9 p.m. $10. (859) 368-8871. Bustersbb.com.)
Wednesday: The Beach Boys at the Singletary Center for the Arts. Mike Love and Bruce Johnston are the only holdovers from the Beach Boys' glory years. But that doesn't stop the pioneering surf group from filling concert halls 45-plus years after hits like Help Me Rhonda, Surfin' U.S.A. and Good Vibrations scaled the charts. Guess that means their daddy hasn't taken their T-Bird away. (7:30 p.m. $45, $55, $65. (859) 257-4929. Singletarytickets.com.).