This week Thursday shapes up to be the top night of music, with two great shows to choose from. M Ward will haunt the Masonic Lodge in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (he has a new disc coming this spring, A Wasteland Companion. Meanwhile, over the Avalon (not the Music Box), the Jayhawks continue the wonderful revival sparked by last year’s marvelous Mockingbird Time. It’s always a treat to hear Gary Louris and Mark Olson sing together.
However, the act that I am putting out money for a babysitter is Ruthie Foster, who is appearing at the Grammy Museum on Tuesday night. Her new album Let It Burn features her soulful takes on a wide range of tunes, from the Black Keys’ “Everlasting Light” to the classic “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” featuring songwriter William Bell. I’m excited to see her bring these songs to life.
Monday night, Death Songs will fill the Silverlake Lounge. Not songs about death, necessarily, but Nick Delffs’ Portland-based band that inject some African rhythms into their Americana folk sound.
If you find yourself in Santa Barbara – and not DTLA – on Tuesday night, then head over to the Soho Restaurant and Music Club, where the legendary Van Dyke Parks will shares songs and stories.
This weekend has a definite bluesy/jammy quality. Jorma Kaukonen, of Hot Tuna fame, has several shows at McCabe’s Friday and Saturday (although they may be all sold out by now). Keller Williams has a show at Club Nokia on Feb. 4 in support of his new disc, Bass, in which he will just be playing the bass guitar. Bluesman Eric Bibb comes to Ojai’s Matilija Auditorium on Friday. That night the El Rey hosts Martin Sexton, whose exquisite music combines nimble acoustic guitar playing with soulful singing.