Live music picks

FRIDAY

John Hiatt and the Combo

The masterful lyricist and purveyor of visceral Americana released his 22nd studio album last summer, “Terms of My Surrender.” He and his band, the Combo, will stay on the road until deep into fall, bringing fans another dose of “Have a Little Faith in Me,” “Slow Turning” and “Perfectly Good Guitar.”

With the Taj Mahal Trio. 8 p.m. Aug. 21. $46.50 ($44.50 for members). Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 1-877-725-8849, ticketalternative.com.

Luke Bryan

The Leesburg native is riding a massive crest of success, evidenced not only by the pair of arena dates he’s playing in his home state and the other multi-night arena stands (and stadiums) he’s sold out in the rest of the U.S., but also by the muscular debut of his new album, “Kill the Lights.” Bryan’s fifth studio album is also his third No. 1 on the Billboard chart, and its 320,000 copies sold in week one is the third-best weekly sales total this year. Clearly, there are a lot of bro-country fans out there.

With Randy Houser and Dustin Lynch. 7:30 p.m. Aug. 21-22. $39.75-$69.75. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.

Lyle Lovett

The quirky Texan has established one of the most eclectic careers in music. He’s a little bit country, a little bit rock ’n’ roll, a little bit gospel and even a little bit folk and blues. He’s also a lot intelligent and interesting, and his live shows with his Large Band tap into every dizzying genre in his 14-album oeuvre.

7:30 p.m. Aug. 21. $29.50-$79.50. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive N.W., Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.

SATURDAY

Air Supply

Fans of the ’80s-centric Australian ballad kings might have been surprised to learn that lead singer Russell Hitchcock resides in Marietta. He and musical partner Graham Russell are eager to perform in Atlanta for the first time since 1996. It’s also the 40th anniversary for the duo behind such soft rock nuggets as “All Out of Love” and “Two Less Lonely People in the World.” In our recent sit-down interview, Hitchcock said he attributes their longevity to a simple personality alignment: “I don’t want to write songs and Graham doesn’t want to be the lead singer,” he said. The pair might introduce a couple of new songs at the Atlanta show as well.

8 p.m. Aug. 22. $19.50-$65.50. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive N.W., Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.

Melissa Etheridge

Just because this is a solo show to support her “This Is M.E.” album does not mean fans are in for a sleepy, laid-back night of acoustic guitar music. Nope. Etheridge rocks just as hard alone as she does with her band, by using a guitar looper to build drum beats and layered riffs. “I know some people might be having some wine or dinner at first, so I start at a medium pace and play some ballads,” Etheridge said in a recent interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But, by the last half hour, we’re all up dancing.”

8 p.m. Aug. 22. $67.50 ($65.50 for members). Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 1-877-725-8849, ticketalternative.com.

TUESDAY

Gladys Knight

Earlier this summer, Knight received her own road. Or, rather, a portion of State Route 9, from Peachtree Street to 14th Street, which is now officially dubbed Gladys Knight Highway. It’s a well-earned honor for the Atlanta-born “Empress of Soul,” who not only has brought us 50 years of priceless music (“Neither One of Us,” “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me,” “Midnight Train to Georgia”), but some of the best fried chicken in the country at her Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles emporiums.

With the O’Jays. 8 p.m. Aug. 25. $45-$75. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive N.W., Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.

THURSDAY

Kacey Musgraves

One of the freshest, sassiest voices to come out of Nashville in recent years, Musgraves catapulted from cute upstart to bona fide star in a matter of months thanks to the searing songs on her 2013 debut album, “Same Trailer, Different Park” (the awards-laden “Follow Your Arrow” will be her “Coal Miner’s Daughter” for years to come). Musgraves’ recent release, “Pageant Material,” is no less intoxicating.

With Humming House. 7:30 p.m. Aug. 27. Sold out. Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 1-800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.

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For more music news, concert reviews and interviews, visit the Music Scene blog at AJC.com.

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