The holiday season is over and Nashville's concert calendar is pivoting from holiday content to winter tour stops in January. While January isn't as packed as some months, there's still plenty to choose from in Music City, from country legends to hip hop supergroups to all-star jams. These five concerts should offer something for every musical taste.
2016 may have taken too many of our music heroes, but 83 year old outlaw country pioneer Willie Nelson is not only alive but continuing to keep up a rigorous touring schedule. Anytime Willie hits Music City, it's going to be a special show, but the added bonus of getting to see him in an intimate and historic War Memorial Auditorium, former home to the Grand Ole Opry, makes it even more special. As would be expected in such a small venue, tickets to the show are extremely limited and will likely sell out soon.
With the surprise release of Run the Jewels 3 on Christmas Eve, three weeks ahead of the announced date, Nashville couldn't be catching Run the Jewels at a better time. The hip hop supergroup made up of El-P and Killer Mike is already arguably the hottest hip hop act on the festival scene over the past several years and only look to increase their standing in 2017. They will play Nashville's Marathon Music Works on Jan. 17. The Gaslamp Killer and Spark Master Tape will provide support.
40 years ago, The Band made one of the most influential live albums and concert films of the 20th Century in The Last Waltz. The number of artists who have cited the show as formative for them is numerous and many of them will be on hand at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on Jan. 25 to pay tribute. Led by Allman Brothers and Gov't Mule guitarist Warren Haynes and producer Don Was, the tour also includes Michael McDonald, Jamey Johnson, John Medeski, Terrance Higgins, Ivan Neville, and original Last Waltz guitarist Bob Margolin. Considering the album's impact on Nashville's musical community, it's safe to expect plenty of guest appearances as well.
Whether you call them country, Southern rock, or Americana, Alabama's Drive-By Truckers have been forging their own musical path since 1998. Their politically charged 2016 album American Band dropped right in the middle of the most contentious Presidential elections in recent memory and has garnered praise, and inclusion on many year end lists, for its frank discussion of gun violence, war, and censorship. They take the Ryman Auditorium stage on Jan. 26 with Kyle Craft in support.
Part of 3rd and Lindsley's regular Nashville Sunday Night lineup, Yonder Mountain String Band, more than most artists who play that slot, should not be passed up for the live radio broadcast of the show on Lightning 100. Known for their hyper-kinetic bluegrass jams, their penchant for covering everything from Bowie to Black Sabbath, and their tendency to effortlessly trade extended solos, this is one show that is best experienced in person. Long a festival favorite on the jam circuit, Yonder Mountain String Band continues to be one of the most dynamic live shows going. The Railsplitters will provide support.