by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out


Though you’ll most often see him charting under “country,” Texas troubadour Lyle Lovett remains about as genre-less as a man in a bolo tie can be. The musician, songwriter and actor is one of the most distinctive and original artists in all of country music, but it’s merely the platform for his examinations of folk, big-band swing and traditional pop. Currently touring with his four-piece acoustic group — a virtuosic unit featuring violinist Luke Bulla, mandolin player Keith Sewell, bassist Viktor Krauss and drummer Russ Kunke — Lovett will takes the stage for his Friday performance at War Memorial Auditorium with a repertoire that’s much deeper than the covers of John Prine and Townes Van Zandt you might hear. He can dig into Buddy Holly right alongside the Grateful Dead, and standards like “Brown-Eyed Handsome Man” and obscure greats like “White Boy Lost In the Blues.” It’s hard to know what to expect, other than a flawless evening. Tickets for the performance start at $34.50 and the show begins at 8 p.m.


Sure, Matthew E. White’s performance at this fall’s Hopscotch Music Festival was ostentatious to the point of excessive. Not even insufferable cheapskate Amanda Palmer would seek to recruit a 30-plus-person backing band — including string section, horns, choir and a litany of idiophones — and not pay them solely for the sake of achieving some grandiose creative ideal. This performance, however, was no doubt a labor of love of pure logistical improbability, and the result was undeniably incredible. Owing to his solo debut Big Inner, it was an out-from-nowhere beauty of bicoastal soul bursting with pop swagger and jazzy time warps. The Fight the Big Bull guitarist returns to a North Carolina stage this Saturday with a considerably slimmed-down production, but with music still possessing the same impossible depth. He’ll be joined by pawn folk quartet Midtown Dickens, a Durham-based band who carved their own niche in the crowded Triangle folk scene through sheer the ingenuity: the idea that cast-off, junky instruments could breathe new life in the right hands. Tickets for the show are $10 and the music starts at 8 p.m.


Ah, the things the touring musician will do for a free meal. For Minneapolis indie-pop songwriter Jeremy Messersmith, there’ll be no stale sandwiches and government cheese plates on his current East Coast swing. He’s found a way to eat like a king at every stop, along with everyone else in attendance. His Supper Club tour asks its attendees to prepare their favorite dish (in sufficient quantities) and bring it along for everyone to share and discover the recipe. Messersmith, whose The Reluctant Graveyard was tabbed as a Top 10 album in 2010 by his local NPR affiliate, provides the tunes — smart, geeky, poignant and wry as they often are. The Supper Club tour will stop in Winston-Salem this coming Monday, Nov. 19 at a private location to be disclosed upon ticket purchase. They’re only $15, can be purchased at, and there are 10 spots available as of press time.