Robert Hein/For American-Statesman

Here are 6 underrated artists worth seeing in Atlanta this month

With a new month, comes a new slew of fresh and talented artists to catch in Atlanta right before their meteoric rise to stardom.

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Of course, there will be plenty of celebrity acts hitting Atlanta stages this month − like Regina Spektor, The Internet, Jeezy and Rick Ross. However, there’s nothing like attending a live show of an earnest, lesser known artist and later bringing your friends up to speed on some music they must add to their SongKick app.

If you’re looking for some fresh new music and some bragging rights, add these artists’ shows to you calendar this month:

Valerie June performs Tuesday at the Paramount Theatre to give a sneak preview of her upcoming album. Ashley Landis for American-Statesman
Photo: American-Statesman Staff

Valerie June

9 p.m. Mar. 4 @ The Loft. Tickets: $20 in advance; $25 at the door and can be bought here.

1374 West Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta

Valerie June got her first guitar when she was 15, but she was well on her way to fame before she ever even learned to play it. The reason? Her delivery. There isn't anything else quite like it. Growing up in a Tennessee church community, June took the services as a chance to sing like the person next to her, week after week. As she grew up and began peppering in 1920's and 1930's era jazz influences, she wove the ingredients into her own stylistic mix. She blends gospel, folk, and a little bluegrass into a timeless, refreshing sound. Her next album “The Order Of Time” drops later this month and if it's anything like her previous work, it is sure to be a stirring success. Catch her more intimate shows while you can. Dawn is breaking for Valerie June's rising star.

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Vince Staples

8:30 p.m. Mar. 8 @ Center Stage. Tickets start at $20 and can be bought here.

1374 West Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta

Vince Staples made a name for himself in hip-hop by offering striking perspective on life and it's struggles. He flows with honesty and precision, and his beats are always clean too. His 2015 debut album “Summertime '06" landed at number three on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart, and made many other notable year-end lists. The follow-up “Prima Donna” was released in August of 2016, and with it came Staples' lyrical acrobatics, flipping across subject matter and societal issues. Staples originality finds unique life to breathe into the subject, weaving elegant, brutal and sometimes ambiguous thoughts into still fresh beats.

Fantasy Guys

9 p.m. Mar. 10 @ 529. Tickets are $7 at the door.

529 Flat Shoals Ave. SE, Atlanta

Fantasy Guys
Photo: Kelly Reardon

One listen (or more) to Fantasy Guys latest album “On Poppy Island” will have you wishing you were on a boat with nothing but crystal clear water for miles. This Atlanta band takes listeners on a tropical escape with their instrumental, cheeky island pop, and their chill R&B vibes − a sound that's earnest yet playful and unlike anything else being produced in the city. Be sure to catch them live. Their shows burst with energy like the sun and sand you can practically feel between your toes.

Royal & Toulouse

8 p.m. Mar. 11 @ Smith's Olde Bar. FREE.

1578 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta

Royal & Toulouse bring rock and roll built on delta blues. With members born in Texas and Alabama, and bound together by way of New Orleans, the band has held Southern roots at their center since their first jam together in 2006. Loose-limbed coolness and a big band aesthetic help fill out the vibe in the band's latest album “Shake that Reputation”. With it, Royal & Toulouse show a bonafide connection to the greats that came before them like Bessie Smith and Janis Joplin. If you aren't able to make the show at Smith's, be sure to catch them at this year's SXSW festival in Austin.

Kristine Leschper of Mothers performing at 2016's Savannah Stopover Music Festival
Photo: Mike Gerry


Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Mar. 22 @ The Earl. Tickets are $12 in advance; $15 at the door and are available here.

488 Flat Shoals Ave. SE, Atlanta

This young band from Athens, Georgia, is on the cusp of bigger things. Mothers began in 2013 as a Kristine Leschper solo project while she was a student at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at University of Georgia. Eventually, the solo project became a full band in 2015, and with the group rounded into form, their debut album “When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired,” released in 2016. Mothers has been gaining momentum ever since. They've toured with of Montreal, supported Unknown Mortal Orchestra and many others, leaping from house party shows to a major league touring schedule in a matter of months. See them live while they're close to home.

Noam Pikelny

8 p.m. Mar. 31 @ The Earl

Tickets are $22 in advance; $25 at the door and are available here.

488 Flat Shoals Ave. SE, Atlanta

In 2013, Noam Pikelny released an album that was clever in its humor and skill. The album “Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe” essentially found Pikelny offering his take on a cover album Kenny Baker made of old Bill Monroe tunes. If that seems convoluted, it is. And, it pretty much sums up why Noam is wry and indifferent and amazing at once. Pikelny is a bluegrass banjo purist through and through, rarely if ever sings on his albums. Though his baritone doesn't disappoint on the occasion he does get to sing. He offers up his back up harmonies for his day-job with the band The Punch Brothers. 

On the seminal Punch Brothers album “The Phosphorescent Blues,” Pikelny can be found delicately weaving some of the most progressive bluegrass music ever recorded. Be sure to catch this one of a kind, Grammy-nominated banjo player. His latest album “Universal Favorite” at the Earl toward the end of the month.

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