Love is in the air, dear readers.
Whether or not you follow Valentine’s Day traditions, I’ve got you covered if you’re looking for a date idea or maybe just something fun to do. If you want to find a great show to entertain your love this month, we have a lot of variety coming your way. The Millennium Music Conference returns for another year. New venues continue to pop up with new acts. Bluegrass makes a big move on the city. Rock n’ roll musicians surprise us with something new. There’s something here for everybody and every occasion. Feel the love around you this month and be sure to listen for it in the music around you, too.
RODDY WALSTON & THE BUSINESS, 2/5, 8PM, THE ABBEY BAR, $15-20
This band is amped up and more than ready to give you the business through their rock n’ roll vibes. J. Roddy Walston & The Business are four guys—Billy C. Gordon on guitar, J. Roddy Walston on piano and guitar, Steve “The Sleeve” Colmus on percussion and Logan Davis on bass—heavily influenced by both old and new rock sounds. In their latest and upcoming releases, the band explores a brighter, poppier sound. Their single “The Wanting” draws inspiration from the new—keeping their sound “D.I.Y. but hi-fi,” says band leader Walston. Departing from their original classic rock-inspired sound, their fourth LP and latest release, “Destroyers of the Soft Life,” is worth a listen if you’re looking for something fresh and new among the community of progressive rock n’ roll artists. “Nostalgia is a cancer,” Walston warns. “Acknowledge that you are in the present.”
JIM HURST, 2/10, 7:30PM, FORT HUNTER CENTENNIAL BARN, $10-22You really don’t want to miss out on this unconventional but amazing venue featuring a true master of his craft. Bluegrass and country music virtuoso Jim Hurst will bring his velvety smooth vocals and incredible guitar skills to the Fort Hunter Centennial Barn for an evening that’s sure to be memorable. For two years in a row, Hurst won the International Bluegrass Music Award for “Instrumental Performer of the Year” on guitar. Starting his solo career in 2010, he has previously played with Holly Dunn’s Rio Band, Claire Lynch, Trisha Yearwood, the Front Porch String Band and Missy Raines, among others. If you want an idea of Hurst’s skills, look up his video for “Long and Lonesome Old Freight Train” and listen for those sweet southern vocals paired with the nimblest fingers plucking away complex melodies on his guitar. Even if you’re not that into bluegrass and country, you’ve got to admire his style.
TIGERS JAW, 2/24, 7PM, H*MAC CAPITOL ROOM, $15-18
There’s a lot of hype about this show, and, since it’s in the Capitol Room, you know it’s going to be a good time. Tigers Jaw is a Scranton-born, indie-rock emo band originally consisting of frontman and vocalist Adam McIlwee, Mike May, Dennis Mishko and Pat Brier. In 2013, the band split apart when the four members announced that they couldn’t continue because of personal reasons. The band then transitioned from being a larger group to a two-piece act with remaining members Ben Walsh on vocals and guitar and Brianna Collins on vocals and keyboards, backed by guest musicians. Since then, Tigers Jaw has opened for co-headliners New Found Glory and Yellowcard during their U.S. tour, as well as working with Basement on tours together. Check out their latest album, “Spin,” for a taste of what these two have going on.
Deletions & Good in the Dark, Feb. 3, The Underground Bike Shop
Manian Van Hacker, Feb. 10, River City Blues Club
Al Di Meola, Feb. 13, H*MAC Capitol Room
Lucy Isabel, Feb. 16, Little Amps Uptown
The Flat Wheels, Feb. 16, Midtown Scholar Bookstore
The Mellowship Slinky, Feb. 17, Joe K’s Brewhouse
Millennium Music Conference, Feb. 23-24, various venues