Compelling concerts are a sure cure for chilly November nights. Here’s a look at three bright spots on the live-music horizon.
Thursday – Mikaela Davis and Southern Star
Rising singer-songwriter Mikaela Davis is not your average singer-songwriter. For one thing, she’s a classically trained harpist, albeit a decidedly original one who makes compelling music that blurs genres and defies preconceptions.
On Thursday, the 27-year-old songstress brings her band Southern Star to Nectar’s. The show will feature a live performance of the Grateful Dead’s 1969 album, “Live/Dead,” in honor of its 50th anniversary. Attendees can also expect to hear choice cuts off Davis’s excellent 2018 solo album, “Delivery,” and new songs from a forthcoming album that will likely be released sometime next year.
On “Delivery,” which was produced by Grammy-winner John Congleton (St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, David Byrne) Davis “displays a newfound sense of artistic confidence, with a range of clear-eyed and varicolored songs that blur the lines between folk and dream pop,” said Slant magazine. And Uproxx called it “a sonic and stunning 10-track, genre-bending record.”
Signal Kitchen and Nectar’s present Mikaela Davis and Southern Star at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at Nectar’s, Burlington. Tickets are $10 (age 18 and older); for information, go online to https://liveatnectars.com or www.signalkitchen.com.
Friday – Lady Lamb, Toth
Lady Lamb, aka 30-year-old singer-songwriter standout Aly Spaltro, has fast become one of the most compelling indie-pop artists around. The diminutive Brooklyn-based dynamo brings her band to ArtsRiot Friday in support of her stellar third album, “Even in the Tremor.”
Released in April via the independent Ba Da Bing Records label, the album is a follow-up to Lady Lamb’s acclaimed 2015 sophomore album, “After,” and her acclaimed 2013 studio album, “Ripley Pine.” Those releases followed a series of self-released home recordings, which the self-taught multi-instrumentalist recorded — at night in a basement below the DVD rental store in which she worked during the day — while living in Brunswick, Maine.
On “Even in the Tremor,” Spaltro has clearly hit her stride, delivering a soaring album that’s quite possibly her most brutally honest set to date. It’s also the first time that she explicitly sings about herself.
“The whole idea … is the push and pull between calmness and chaos, joy and anxiety, self-loathing and self-love,” she says of the album in press materials. “I’ve never let myself be this exposed before, but this whole album is about facing who you are and fighting your way toward self-acceptance.”
The album “showcases a rawness and vulnerability Spaltro has not yet shared so explicitly before,” said No Depression. “Although Lady Lamb records always seem to capture vivid emotion, Spaltro’s first-person narratives lend a special honesty to this collection.”
Opening the show is Toth, aka Alex Toth, best known as one half of the dynamic duo behind Rubblebucket, a lauded Brooklyn-based band formed 13 years ago in Burlington. Toth, a trumpet phenom who founded the group with singer-saxophonist Kalmia Traver, performs in support of his debut solo album, “Practice Magic and Seek Professional Help Necessary,” released in May on Northern Spy Records.
Lady Lamb and opener Toth perform at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22 at ArtsRiot, Burlington. Tickets are $18 (all ages); call 802-540-0406 or go online to www.artsriot.com.
Friday – Nomadic Massive
Two months after closing out the third season of the Levitt AMP St. Johnsbury Music Series at Dog Mountain in style, world-inspired Montreal hip-hop collective Nomadic Massive celebrates its 15th anniversary as a band Friday with a hometown show at Theatre Fairmount.
The multilingual group — which raps in English, French, Creole, Spanish and Arabic — fuses soul, hip-hop, reggae and other global influences for an infectious mix that’s both positive and potent.
Nomadic Massive has been touring the world in support of its stellar new album, “Times,” released in May. “It’s a culmination of a decade and a half of creation,” said the Link about the album, “blending the stories and cultures of the group in a brand-new way.”
Nomadic Massive performs at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22 at Theatre Fairmount, 5240 Avenue du Parc, Montreal. Tickets are $20 (Canadian prices; age 18 and older); go online to http://theatrefairmount.ca/en/.