Several local venues are open through the holidays this year (including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) to celebrate with musical and liquid cheer. For all updated listings, check out the JFP music calender online.
In the Irish tradition, Fenians will have an intimate neighborhood atmosphere this Christmas Eve. This year, you can welcome Santa with a Guinness and see the Irish Dance group Legacy, from 8 to 11 p.m. And at Fenian's, there is never a cover charge.
If you're in the mood for a bluesy Christmas, there are plenty of options. On Friday night, Grady Champion will perform at The Auditorium at 9:18 p.m.; $25 cover. On Saturday, free performances include Scott Albert Johnson at Underground 119 and Sherman Lee Dillon at Fenian's. Dillon's style is more acoustic roots, folk-blues, while Johnson will feature his harp for a true roots/rock blues juke down. The big show Saturday is the Holiday Blues Fest at the Mississippi Coliseum, 7 p.m. $20. You can even BYOB in the coliseum for this show as long as it's a plastic bottle. Featured for the long night of blues are some of the best, with Bobby Bland, Bobby Rush, Sir Charles Jones, Shirley Brown, Mel Waiters, Floyd Taylor and Omar Cunningham. This is the must-see blues show of the fortnight.
Nothing helps bring on the holiday spirit like seeing bands you have fond memories ofor groggy, half-conscious memories of. If you want to break away from the blues this weekend, turn the time machine back a few years see to local indie-rock favorites King Elementary and The Rockwells Friday at Martin's, 10 p.m. for free. It's been a long time since these guys have played in Jackson. King Elementary moved to Los Angeles to go for the big time a few years back. The guys from The Rockwells have been busy as well, with bassist Patrick Addison playing full-time with Colour Revolt and vocalist Dent May with his solo career. It may be some time before these hook-savvy talents are back this way, so welcome them Christmas night for a great double-bill. It's free, but you must be 21 to enter.
Another huge show in Jackson is this Saturday, when north Mississippi alt.country/roots-rock favorite Blue Mountain returns to Hal & Mal's Big Room, 9 p.m. Blue Mountain also has long roots in Jackson. Husband and wife founders Cary Hudson and Laurie Stirratt have been part of the Jackson music scene since their band The Hilltops was a regular at W.C. Don's back in the '80s.
There are too many local New Year's Eve options to mention them all. Keep checking online for the latest updates. Be sure to check out the huge blues line-ups at F. Jones Corner downtown all New Year's weekend till 4 a.m. Tickets for Eddie Cotton at The Auditorium New Year's Eve are available now. They are $100, which includes dinner, while they last. Southern rock favorites Electric Mudd are at Martin's. Fire and Rock 93.9 have a big rock 'n' roll show with Sevendust. Blues favorite King Edward is at Underground 119. The Mississippi Museum of Art will have an evening-long event with Krackerjacks and DJ Mario with fireworks when the clock strikes 12.
Got the day off and want to take a road trip? Check out the Stone Temple Pilots at the Biloxi Hard Rock Dec. 29, Better Than Ezra also, at the House of Blues, New Orleans Dec. 30-31, and Galactic at Tipitina's, New Orleans New Year's Eve. The Pointer Sisters are at the Silver Star in Choctaw Jan. 1.
Happy New Year.