With the Grammys Awards fast approaching, it makes sense that the Grammy Museum is a place to be this week. On Monday, it welcomes R&B legend Aaron Neville, who has a new disc My True Story to talk, and sing, about. Tuesday night, the fabulous Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly will be the museum’s guest, while another great singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith visits on Wednesday to preview his new album, Forever Endeavor.
More talented singer-songwriters can be heard this week too. Jackson Browne plays in Thousand Oaks on Monday and Long Beach on Tuesday. Lisa Loeb stops by the Grove’s Barnes & Noble on Wednesday night to celebrate her new CD, No Fairy Tale. The Fowler Museum hosts a singer/songwriter showcase on Thursday night featuring Rosalind Peppy and James Bunning.
January wraps up with a couple more eclectic shows. Norway’s Niki and the Dove land at the El Rey on the 28th; their music has generated a lot of buzz. Moldy Peaches’ co-founder Adam Green has paired up Binki Shapiro (from Little Joy) and they will be stopping at Santa Ana’s Constellation Room on the 28th and the Bootleg on the 29th. Another rather new collaboration, the Fiction Family, which features Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman and Nickel Creek’s Sean Watkins, arrive at the House of Blues on the 30th. That night you could also find a groove at the Troubadour when those amazing rhythm aces’ Antibalas do a show or you can check out the brews and the tunes (including a set from Thorcraft Cobra) at the Satellite’s Near Mess Craft Beer Night.
From the Agora to Agoura Hills (oh, I couldn’t resist a little Cleveland shout-out in this case), Ian Hunter – one of my favorite rockers – performs at the Canyon Club on the 31st and the El Rey on the 2nd (more on that night’s jammed offering of shows). The Bootleg hosts Two Gallants, a duo who perform rather dynamic folk-rock (with the emphasis on the rock.
On Feb. 1st, you can experience the fabled South African poet/activist/musician Yusi Mahlaseia at the Mint or hear Vieux Farka Touré pay tribute to his father Ali Farka Touré at Royce Hall, with the talented local band Fool’s Gold opening. The Wood Brothers (featuring Medeski, Martin & Wood’s Chris Wood (and his brother Oliver) will be jamming at Largo at the Coronet with blues-rocker Seth Walker. while the Echo hosts a pairing of impressive young bands: Geographer and On and On.
All this is a prelude to a Super Saturday of Shows. Besides Mr. Hunter at the El Rey, February 2nd finds folk/blues master Spider John Koerner playing at Claremont’s Folk Music Center. Texas “Wylie”-man, Ray Wylie Hubbard will entertain his audience with Lone Star State-size tales at the Bootleg. The Cinema Bar presents a strong Americana pairing of Rich McCulley and Grant Langston. Or you can seek out the Radar Brothers at the Echo where they just might showcase their fine new album, Eight.
And for those looking for something special post-Super Bowl on Sunday – head to the Echo, where the legendary NYC-based post-punk, avant-dance band The Bush Tetras will be making a rare appearance.