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by Ryan Snyder

There’s a special kind of romance between great bands and the cities they love that manifests on New Year’s Eve, and the Avett Brothers concert at the Greensboro Coliseum could quite possibly be the start of something beautiful. The Concordraised Bros. could have been found ringing in the New Year in Asheville in years past, at least until 2011 when they hopped the border to play the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, SC. This year, their Greensboro Coliseum show with low-key soul man Amos Lee supporting opens the door for a Phish in MSG or Panic in Philips Arena-type scenario. If it goes over well, they could very well be singing “Auld Lang Syne” here for the foreseeable future.

Another event with annual potential is springing up this weekend, as the inaugural North Carolina Music & Arts Festival will start on Friday night in the most unlikely of places — Lexington — and carry through to late Saturday night. Given a lineup that includes the Mantras, Big Something, Big Daddy Love, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, the New Familiars and the Broadcast, it’d make perfect sense to prepare to endure the late December cold for a string of outdoors shows on portable stages, but this isn’t that type of festival. This is a chance to see these great bands by the hearth of High Rock Outfitters, in the cozy confines of the Smith Civic Center, and even by the nostalgic glow of the Bob Timberlake Gallery.

Elsewhere, is it possible that Lexington is holding it down for all of the Triad over the holidays? The grand finale to High Rock Outfitters’ Songcraft Live series on Thursday brings in flat picking master Larry Keel and Steve “Big Daddy” McMurry of Acoustic Syndicate. Ziggy’s takes it back to 1995 with Kevin Kinney’s Southern rock stalwarts Drivin’ ‘N Cryin’. At the Green Bean, itinerant songwriter Nathan Leigh is joined by Matty Sheets.

House of Fools headline the last Saturday of the year at the Blind Tiger with Luna Arcade and Moonlight Bride, while members of the Movement debut their jam-pop side project the Executives at Ziggy’s on Sunday.

Who else but the Mantras ring it in at the Blind Tiger on Monday night with Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band.

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