Live music picks

For more music news, interviews and concert reviews, visit The Music Scene blog with Melissa Ruggieri at


Tab Benoit

The Louisiana-born bluesman has been christened with the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award and named Best Contemporary Male Performer at the Blues Music Awards (previously known as the W.C. Handy Awards) in Memphis, Tenn. His professional accolades are backed by two decades of albums, most recently 2011’s “Medicine,” on which he collaborated with Anders Osborne. Benoit is on the road through the holidays before trekking through Florida in January.

8 p.m. Dec. 6. $20 (in advance) and $25 (at the door). Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 1-877-725-8849.

Carolina Chocolate Drops

The Grammy-winning string band from North Carolina is still touring behind its 2012 release, “Leaving Eden,” which showcases the group’s ability to stay true to organic string band form, but also keep its sound modern. The band also recently had some personnel changes: Last month, Dom Flemons announced his departure to begin a solo career, and two new members, cellist Malcolm Parson and multi-instrumentalist Rowan Corbett, have joined Rhiannon Giddens and Hubby Jenkins on Team CCD.

With Bombadil. 8:30 p.m. Dec. 6. $22.50 (in advance), $25 (at the door). Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.


Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Rocks!

Mr. Stray Cat has been decking the halls with Christmas-fueled rockabilly songs for a decade and is prepping to “Dig That Crazy Santa Claus” again. Fans can expect to hear plenty of holiday hoppers from Setzer’s two Christmas albums, including, we hope, “Stray Cat Strut” melded with “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

With Firebird. 8 p.m. Dec. 7. $35-$75. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. 1-800-745-3000.


Dar Williams

The acclaimed singer-songwriter from New York recently released “In the Time of Gods,” her first original album in four years. Between guests such as Shawn Colvin and Larry Campbell and guest musicians Gerry Leonard and Rob Hyman, Williams has culled a top-notch crew for the release, which offers 10 songs that explore social issues told against the parable of Greek mythology.

6 and 9 p.m. Dec. 8. $25-$30 (in advance) and $28-$33 (at the door). Red Clay Theatre, 3116 Main St., Duluth. 404-478-2749.


Patterson Hood

Back for another show at the Attic, the co-founder of Drive-By Truckers is performing solo, but will be joined by Charles McNair, author of “Pickett’s Charge,” for a reading. Hood continues his solo run through January, but a new DBT album, “English Oceans,” arrives March 4.

8 p.m. Dec. 10. $20 (advance), $26 (at the door) and $100 (reserved table of four). Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. 1-877-725-8849.


Power 96.1’s Jingle Ball 2013

Miley Cyrus. Robin Thicke. Anyone got a foam finger? Ah, we jest. Yes, the MTV VMA duo is on the powerhouse bill — the second holiday fest from the Top 40 station — but probably won't share the stage simultaneously. Then again, who knows? Or maybe that creepy kitty from the American Music Awards will join Cyrus' stage presentation. Also performing will be Pitbull, Flo Rida, Travie McCoy, Fifth Harmony, Armin Van Buuren and Bonnie McKee. Also, $1 from each ticket sold will benefit the Ryan Seacrest Foundation.

7:30 p.m. Dec. 11. $25-$180. Philips Arena. 1-800-745-3000.


“A John Waters Christmas”

The cult classic filmmaker returns with his one-man holiday show that pokes fun at the season (using adult-appropriate language, of course) and, as he says, “puts the X in Xmas.” Waters also spouts off about his desire to remake his own films as seasonal children’s films and his “religious fanaticism” for Santa Claus.

8 p.m. Dec. 12. $35 (general admission) and $100 (VIP). Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000.

About the Author

Editors' Picks