John Fullbright is a freak.
And by that we mean he's really good.
A gifted musician and songwriter, Fullbright also carries within his young body one of those old souls. (And The Beat is not claiming anything supernatural, but we should point out Fullbright was born and raised in Okemah, Okla., the hometown of Woody Guthrie.)
Accompanied by a full band, Fullbright will play the Grand Valley Dale Ballroom Friday, Jan. 11, in a show hosted by Zeppelin Productions.
Tickets are $25. Visit zeppcolum-bus.com.
The biological Bob Marley family tree is represented by Ziggy Marley and his Melody Makers.
The musical Bob Marley family tree is tended by Aston "Familyman" Barrett, who leads The Wailers, carrying on the musical legacy he helped Marley create.
It's arguable that, if you're only going to see one reggae show, this should be it -- "this" of course referring to the Friday, Jan. 11, show at Lifestyle Communities Pavilion.
Tickets are $10/$15. Visit promowestlive.com
Patty Larkin's road to becoming one of the foremost singer-songwriters of her time was a combination of nature and nurture.
Nature came courtesy, in particular, of her grandmothers, both of whom played piano, often while young Patty was standing underneath the keyboard, absorbing the music via at least three of her senses.
Sure, that's nurture, too, but she topped off her musical experiences with a degree in English literature. All the better a foundation for this smart, witty and insightful lyricist.
Larkin is joined by crack songwriter Ari Hest in a Six String Concerts-sponsored show Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Columbus Performing Arts Center.
Tickets are $22/$15/$5. Visit sixstring.org.
As if Minneapolis-based duo Bella Ruse isn't interesting enough for its minimalist folk-pop impressionism, delivered courtesy suitcase organ, glockenspiel, kazoo and other, more-canonic instruments.
Kay Gillette and Joseph Barker travel the country in the "Veggie Van," a variation on the tour van that runs on vegetable oil or, more specifically, grease intended for disposal by restaurants in tour stop cities across the U.S.
Bella Ruse plays Kobo Thursday, Jan. 17, sharing a bill with Maza Blaska and Nick D & The Believers.
Tickets are $5. Visit kobolive.com.
There are some bands that walk a fine line between brilliant and demented.
The Walkmen, 10 years removed from its debut Everybody Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone and now settled and comfortable on that line, is one such band.
The flashes of chaos and dynamism recall Television, but they're not afraid of a meandering lyric-fest a la Pink Floyd.
It's all delivered with a sort of brainy detachment, the sort of brainy detachment that will be on display Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Newport Music Hall.
Father John Misty opens. Tickets are $17/$20. Visit promowestlive.com.