Between now and the new year, you have quite a few choice options for getting out of the house. Starting off strong, local blues icon Jesse Robinson's Musician's Christmas Ball will be at Hal & Mal's Thursday Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. Jesse and blues musician favorites from all over Mississippi will shake those Christmas blues away; $15 admission for the public, $10 for musicians. Keep an eye on the JFP music calendar for the complete line-up.
New Orleans favorite Dirty Dozen Brass Band returns to Martin's Friday night, for one of the most anticipated shows of the year. For more than 30 years, the double D spread the love of New Orleans brass and funk throughout the world.
D'mar and the Nu-Funk Society is back at The Auditorium this Friday and Saturday night at 9:18 p.m. for a tribute to Prince and Michael Jackson. Catch D'mar before he goes back on tour as a drummer for Little Richard. Tickets $25 at the door.
Fans of the raw, raspy vocals and punk roots of The Replacements, The Pogues or The Gaslight Anthem will rejoice in the return of the Memphis-based southern-punk band Lucero to Ole Tavern this Saturday night. Lucero is the most original melding of classic punk influences, combined with a hard-drinking, good-time and Memphis roots with Southern twang. The group has gotten great national buzz this year with its major label debut, "1372 Overton Park," on Universal Republic, produced by Gaslight Anthem producer Ted Hutt. Lucero has added some true Memphis soul to this album with veteran Jim Spake leading the horn section. Listen at http://www.luceromusic.com. Opening for the Lucero show is the new band Furrows with former members of local favorite, Goodman County.
Nationally known folk singer/songwriters John McCutcheon and Kate Campbell will perform at the Belhaven University Center for the Arts on Riverside Drive this Saturday night, 7:30 p.m., $25. This is the kind of lush, pastoral, American-roots music made for NPR listeners. It's heart-felt music for evoking the literary in any Mississippian. You might want to call 601-981-5000 for advance tickets to make sure you get one.
If you're looking for songs of the season for the whole family, try the Irish Christmas Concert at Covenant Presbyterian this Thursday, 7 p.m. Also this Thursday, Lisa Palmer will perform her holiday jazz spectacular along with the Knight Bruce Group, 8 p.m. at Hal & Mal's.
The Mississippi Boychoir Christmas Concert will perform at St. Philip's Episcopal Church this Saturday, 4 p.m. The Vernon Brothers will have their annual bluegrass Christmas concert at Hal & Mal's next Wednesday, Dec. 16. The free Mississippi Community Symphonic Band Christmas concert will be at the Belhaven Center for the Arts on Riverside Drive next Saturday, Dec. 19, 7-9 p.m.
It's not too late to stop by Be-Bop or Hal & Mal's to get your tickets for the nationally renowned blues-rock jam of the North Mississippi Allstars at Hal & Mal's next Friday, Dec. 18, 9 p.m. Be sure to mark next Saturday, Dec. 19 on your calendar for the Zeppelin tribute band Zoso at Fire. Honoring another tradition, this year's Esperanza Holiday Showcase line-up will feature special guests Law School (with ex-Colour Revolt guitarist Jimmy Cajoleas), Tommy Bryan Ledford, El Obo, Chase Pagan, Johnny Bertram, The Weeks and Bear Colony. It's happening Dec. 19 at the Pix/Capri Theater. 7 p.m.; $10. Keep watching the JFP music calendar online for details.
Further ahead, The Brian Setzer Orchestra will be at the Horseshoe Casino in Tunica Dec. 11. Stone Temple Pilots will be at the Biloxi Hard Rock Dec. 29; Better Than Ezra is at the House of Blues, New Orleans Dec. 30-31, and Galactic at Tipitina's, New Orleans, New Year's Eve. The hot tickets to jump on now are indie-rock group Midlake at the Hi-Tone in Memphis Jan. 11 and Tegan & Sara at Tipitina's, New Orleans, Feb. 24. These two are expected to sell out. Happy Holidays.