by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out

Jamey Johnson returns to Ziggy’s

Jamey Johnson’s Greensboro Coliseum performance in 2011 was likely an introduction to the burlap-voiced songwriter for someone who was there on the notion that he’s the savior of country music, and it was extremely likely they came away disappointed. The cavernous coliseum was not the most ideal spot for the Grammy-nominated country star’s rumbling, mumbling baritone — not like the intimate, if perilous, confines of his performance at the ill-fated Hollywood Hollow, his show inside a rowdy Millennium Center or last year’s sold-out performance at Ziggy’s. All of the latter gave Johnson leeway to throw away his set list of hit songs at some point and draw from deep in the bowels of country history: Merle Haggard, Don Williams, Willie Nelson B-sides and Vern Gosdin tunes all made it in, along with some rather radio unfriendly deep cuts. Johnson returns to Ziggy’s this Friday, with support from rising star Chris Hennessee. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door, and the music starts at 8 p.m.

Christmas with the Isley Brothers

Only one music act has had a Top 50 hit song in every decade since the 1950s, so it’s no coincidence that that same act has had as much influence on Jimi Hendrix and Prince as they have R. Kelly and Dr. Dre. The Isley Brothers are more than legends; they are a living, breathing cornerstone of American rock and soul that can still make gold out of Ernie’s majestic riffs and Ronald’s buttery tenor. The pair are going back on tour after a long layoff in 2013, but for the time being, they’re playing a command one-off at the Durham Performing Arts Center this Friday. There’s no accompanying tour for this one, it’s just Christmas with the Isleys — plenty from their outstanding 2007 holiday album, but decades’ worth of hits as well. Tickets are $45 and $70, and the music starts at 8 p.m.

Apocalypse WOW

First sign of the apocalypse? That might be the zombie chewing on your face, but the second would most definitely be the appearance of good indie rock at Ziggy’s. At only a $2 cover, Saturday’s performances by the Love Language’s Stuart McLamb, Tim Poovey of Nightdogs fame and Dust Bowl folk songwriter Joe Blevins is priced for the complete devaluation of all currencies. The raw materials will best be served as fuel for the performers to heat themselves at night, or possibly whatever change is collected could be smelted into ammunition or used to patch up McLamb’s rusty old fixie. Because there will be no electricity, it’s likely that all three sets will be acoustic, but the flexible format opens up the possibility of some Autopassion tunes from Poovey or maybe even some old Capulets songs from McLamb. The music starts at 8 p.m.