A new year in these parts typically takes a little while to gather up steam in the live music department, though things tend to really start rolling by mid-January — as we looked at in last week’s preview of noteworthy January shows. And for such a short month, February is seriously smokin’ with several hot music options to start planning for. Here are eight to consider.
Feb. 12: A.J. Croce – 'Croce Plays Croce'
Nashville-based piano virtuoso and acclaimed recording artist A.J. Croce performs “Croce Plays Croce,” a program featuring a complete set of classics by his late father, the legendary folk singer Jim Croce, in addition to his own tunes and songs that inspired them both.
A.J. Croce performs “Croce Plays Croce” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12 at Barre Opera House (Celebration Series). Tickets are $24-$36; call 802-476-8188 or go online to barreoperahouse.org
Feb. 15, 19: Anaïs Mitchell, Bonnie Light Horseman
Grammy Award-winning Vermont singer-songwriter extraordinaire Anaïs Mitchell celebrates her much-anticipated new self-titled album, scheduled for release Jan. 28, with area shows in Burlington and Hanover, New Hampshire.
The native of New Haven in Addison County pulls double duty, as she’s one-third of Bonnie Light Horseman, a widely lauded indie-folk supergroup that also includes Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats) and multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaufman (The National, Hiss Golden Messenger).
Anaïs Mitchell and Bonnie Light Horseman play the following area shows:
— 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15 at Spaulding Auditorium, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H. (Hopkins Center for the Arts). Tickets are $25-$45; call 603-646-2422 or go online to hop.dartmouth.edu Pre-show talk with Mitchell at 6:15 p.m.
— 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19 at The Flynn, Burlington. Tickets are $15-$52; call 802-863-5966 or go online to www.flynnvt.org
Feb. 18: Alan Doyle
Noteworthy Newfoundland singer-songwriter Alan Doyle, who burst onto the folk-rock scene in the early 1990s with celebrated band Great Big Sea, returns to Vermont in support of his 2021 folk EP, “Back to the Harbour,” released in May.
Alan Doyle performs at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18 at Barre Opera House (Celebration Series). Tickets are $28-$32.50; call 802-476-8188 or go online to barreoperahouse.org
Feb. 19: Susto
Rising Charleston, South Carolina band Susto performs in support of its captivating 2021 album, “Time in the Sun,” released in October on New West Records. The follow-up to its acclaimed 2019 album, “Ever Since I Lost My Mind,” is Susto’s “most pop-infused and rhythmically adventurous album to date,” according to No Depression, which called it “a fluid and engaging listen.”
Susto perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19 at Higher Ground Showcase Lounge, S. Burlington. Tickets are $18 in advance, $22 day of show (all ages); call 888-512-7469 or go online to www.highergroundmusic.com
Feb. 21: ‘A Tribute to Aretha Franklin’
Led by musician and composer Damien Sneed, who toured with powerhouse singer Aretha Franklin during the latter years of Aretha Franklin’s illustrious career, the multimedia tribute to the Queen of Soul also features singer Valerie Simpson, best known as half of the acclaimed Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson, and an accomplished cast musicians and vocalists.
“A Tribute to Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul” is 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21 at Fuller Hall, St. Johnsbury Academy (KCP Presents). Tickets are $15-$56 (free for students); call 888-757-5559 or go online to www.catamountarts.org
Feb. 23: Lawrence
Lawrence, a rising New York City soul-pop group led by the uber-talented sibling duo of Clyde Lawrence and Gracie Lawrence, brings its dance-friendly, keyboard-driven pop in support of its 2021 album, “Hotel TV,” released in July.
Lawrence performs at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23 at Higher Ground Ballroom, S. Burlington. Tickets are $25 in advance, $28 day of show (all ages); call 888-512-7469 or go online to www.highergroundmusic.com
Feb. 26: Brian Fallon & the Howling Weather
Best known as the front man for former standout rock band the Gaslight Anthem, lauded New Jersey singer-songwriter Brian Fallon has released three acclaimed solo albums. His latest is the acoustic-leaning and introspective “Local Honey,” released in 2020 on Thirty Tigers. American Songwriter called the album “his highest achievement to date.”
Brian Fallon & the Howling Weather and openers Warriors and Hurry perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26 at Higher Ground Ballroom, S. Burlington. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 day of show (all ages); call 888-512-7469 or go online to www.highergroundmusic.com
Feb. 27: Aoife O’Donovan, Yasmin Williams
Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Aoife (pronounced EE-fah) O’Donovan has transcended genre as both a widely lauded solo artist and member of acclaimed trio I’m With Her, among many other projects (Goat Rodeo, Crooked Still).
The Boston-born, Brooklyn-based artist extraordinaire — called “a vocalist of unerring instinct” by the New York Times — performs in advance of her stunning forthcoming album, “Age of Apathy,” scheduled for release Jan. 21.
Opening the show is rising acoustic guitar virtuoso Yasmin Williams whose spellbinding 2021 sophomore album, “Urban Driftwood,” made numerous best-album lists — Pitchfork called it “a contemplative balm with an expressive emotional core.”
Aoife O’Donovan and opener Yasmin Williams perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 at Higher Ground Ballroom, S. Burlington. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of show (all ages; seated show): call 888-512-7469 or go online to www.highergroundmusic.com