Music News & Reviews

Live acts lined up to brighten your winter

Brantley Gilbert is to perform Jan. 29 at Rupp.
Brantley Gilbert is to perform Jan. 29 at Rupp. Getty Images

It happens at the start of every year. Holiday cheer is put in cold storage as the dead of winter takes hold. Of course, there is always spring to look forward to… in about two months or more. To brighten things up, we offer a few modest means of warmth via news of six concerts in six area venues scattered through midwinter.

The biggest seasonal item, interestingly enough, doesn’t involve a performance heading our way, but rather one really big one that isn’t. Janet Jackson has postponed all dates on her Unbreakable World Tour, including a Jan. 30 show at Rupp Arena, until spring because of impending surgery. The nature of that surgery has not been announced.

“Every date will be rescheduled,” Jackson said in a Christmas Eve posting on her website. “Please hold on to your tickets. They will be honored in a special way when the new schedule is announced.”

With Jackson on the shelf, here is a look at other sounds heating up the region during this winter.

Jan. 8: Gregg Allman, Norton Center for the Arts, 600 West Walnut Street, Danville. The Allman Brothers Band might be defunct, but its namesake co-founder remains a road warrior with a tour modeled after the retrospective repertoire offered on his recent CD/DVD set Back to Macon, Ga., which was recorded slightly more than a year ago in the city that has essentially been ground zero for Southern rock. Allman will swing through the region again in the spring for an April 6 performance at the Lexington Opera House. (8 p.m., $38-$75). 877-448-7469. Ticket info on the Lexington show is to be announced.

Jan. 18: Sweet Honey in the Rock, WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, 300 East Third Street. Capping a day of Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations will be the return of this Grammy-winning female a cappella vocal troupe. Active since 1973, Sweet Honey in the Rock has performed its hybrid of spiritual, social and topical music on Sesame Street and in venues around the world. (6:45 p.m., $20). 859-252-8888.

Jan. 22: Billy Gibbons and the BFGs, Lexington Opera House. After nearly 47 years as guitarist and frontman for ZZ Top, Gibbons steps away from trio-based blues and boogie and into the new Latin and Afro-Cuban saturated grooves of his new album, Perfectamundo. Gibbon’s trademark “fuzzy” guitar sound will be in abundance, but so will atypical emphasis on keyboards and percussion. This will be Gibbons’ regional debut as a solo artist and his first Lexington appearance of any kind in 26 years. (7:30 p.m., $65.50). 800-745-3000.

Jan. 29: Brantley Gilbert, Rupp Arena. Having made himself at home in Lexington through a 2012 show-opening set for Eric Church at Rupp Arena and a headline date at the University of Kentucky’s Memorial Coliseum six months later, Georgia hitmaker Gilbert has matched his reputation as a country songwriter (he wrote Dirt Road Anthem and My Kinda Party for Jason Aldean) with his own platinum-selling hits (Bottoms Up, One Hell of an Amen). Canaan Smith and Michael Ray will open. (7 p.m., $34.75, $39.75). 800-745-3000.

Feb. 20: Patty Griffin, Sara Watkins and Anais Mitchell, Singletary Center for the Arts, 405 Rose Street. It has been eight years since Americana stylist Griffin has played locally. As with her 2008 visit (with Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin and Buddy Miller), her return will be at Singletary and will be a collaborative outing. This time, her stage mates will be Nickel Creek’s Sara Warkins and folk fave Anais Mitchell. (7:30 p.m., $32-$45). 859-257-4929.

Feb. 25: Jimmy Webb, EKU Center for the Arts, 1 Hall Drive at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond. The songs of Jimmy Webb have been covered by artists as varied as The 5th Dimension and R.E.M. But no one took his tunes — specifically, Wichita Lineman and By the Time I Get to Phoenix — to a higher commercial profile than Glen Campbell. Not surprisingly, Webb’s EKU program is billed as The Glen Campbell Years. (7:30 p.m., $21-$35). 859-622-7469.

Feb. 26: Delbert McClinton, Grand Theatre, 312 West Main Street in Frankfort. There seems to be no stopping the Texas/Tennessee roadhouse rock and soul of McClinton, a singer who remains a tireless touring artist at age 75. He also remains active as a recording artist, releasing a string of 11 albums for the New West label since 2001. His most recent entry is Blind, Crippled and Crazy, a reunion session with ’70s performance pal Glen Clark. (7:30 p.m.; $35-$55). 502-352-7469.