Let’s give ourselves a hand for making changes as we head into the new year.
I’m very into resolutions, at least for this month. While enjoying January, maybe work on that new project, make that wellness commitment to yourself, cultivate your creative side, get into better habits, or spend more time with your family.
It’s my hope that you turn some of that focus and energy toward the amazing music scene here in Harrisburg and continue to support local artists and venues that support our wonderful and inclusive community. Have a great start to your new year, and here are some shows to get it started right.
RICHARD THOMPSON, 1/25, 7:30PM, WHITAKER CENTER, $49.50-69.50
Another Grammy-nominated artist is making his way through Harrisburg, feeling hot after releasing his 19th solo album last year and scoring music for the movie, “The Cold Blue.” If you don’t know already, I’m talking about singer/songwriter Richard Thompson, who will grace the stage with his profound talent at Whitaker Center later this month. Back in 1967, he made his debut on guitar and vocals in the iconic British folk group Fairport Convention. While coming from a folk-heavy background musically, he is known as a gifted, multi-genre guitarist who isn’t afraid to get deep and dark with his lyrics. His remarkable talent earned him an Ivor Novello award for songwriting and composing and a lifetime achievement award from BBC Radio in 2006, and, in 2011, he was appointed an officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to music. Throughout his career, he has won the hearts of many, but most of all, Britain’s. Maybe he’ll win your heart, too.
CHUCK PROPHET, 1/30, 7PM, NOTE BISTRO, $30
Every once in awhile, the comfy atmosphere of Note Bistro is transformed from restaurant to concert space with an intimate musical evening. This time, the celebrated Chuck Prophet brings his roots rock to 2nd Street. He’s known from his days with psych-rock group Green on Red in the ‘80s and continues a strong solo career today as an alt-country singer/songwriter. Recently, his music has been featured on shows like “True Blood,” “Californication,” “Billions” and “Sons of Anarchy,” and he’s worked with artists such as Warren Zevon, Kelly Willis, Lucinda Williams, Jim Dickinson and Alejandro Escovedo. His roots-rock style challenges genres, and his unique live performances showcase his talent. Check out his album, “No Other Love,” for an appetizer before the show. Then make your way to Midtown for this one and be sure to bring your appetite for some tasty dishes and tunes.
LETTUCE, 1/31, 9PM, XL LIVE, $31
Early last year, Lettuce played their hearts out at Whitaker Center, and, now, they’re back again. This time, they’re at XL Live, bringing their energetic fusion of sound inspired by a more jazzy, psychedelic side. This show is part of a tour for their newest album, “Elevate,” which is definitely worth a listen. Fun story: When they were starting out in the early ‘90s as undergrads at Berklee College in Boston, band members would ask jazz venues if they would “let us play,” which is where their name came from. Apart from Lettuce, current and past members have been involved with or toured with other acts such as Soulive, Rustic Overtones, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Dave Matthews and the Soul Rebels Brass Band. These genre-bending wonders close out the month and set a great tone for the rest of the year.
The Give Take, Jan. 4, River City Blues Club;
Mountain Road, Jan. 11, River City Blues Club;
Shoot for the Stars, Jan. 11-12, The Forum;
Third Coast Percussion, Jan. 15, Whitaker Center;
Ghost Light, Jan. 17, XL Live;
Winter Slaughterland, Jan. 18, JB Lovedraft’s;
Moon Hooch, Jan. 25, H*MAC Capitol Room;
Shawan and the Wonton, Jan. 30, Boneshire Brew Works