A new year in these parts typically takes a little while to gather up some 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. 1: Rayland Baxter – The son of pedal steel maestro Bucky Baxter (Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams), Rayland Baxter has been making a name for himself as one of the more intriguing singer-songwriters around. The lauded Nashville troubadour, 34, returns in support of his third album, “Wide Awake,” released in July on ATO Records.
Rayland Baxter and opener Illiterate Light perform at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1 at Higher Ground Showcase Lounge, S. Burlington. Tickets are $15 advance, $18 day of show (all ages); call 877-987-6487 or go online to www.highergroundmusic.com.
Feb. 1: Ryan Montbleau – The soulful Mass.-born singer-songwriter – who now calls Burlington home – performs solo in support of a new live album, “Woodstock Sessions,” released in October. The album is a follow-up to his excellent 2017 album, “I Was Just Leaving,” and a stellar duo album “Yes Darling,” with singer Hayley Jane.
Ryan Montbleau (solo) performs at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1 at ArtsRiot, Burlington. Tickets are $20 (all ages); call 802-540-0406 or go online to www.artsriot.com.
Feb. 9-10: Zoe Keating – A former member of the acclaimed cello-rock band Rasputina, cellist and composer Zoe Keating – who moved from California to Burlington last year, following the death of her husband in 2015 – performs two shows in support of her stunning 2018 EP, “Snowmelt,” her first new solo music since 2010.
Zoe Keating performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 (sold out) and Sunday, Feb. 10 at ArtsRiot, Burlington. Tickets are $25 (all ages); call 802-540-0406 or go online to www.artsriot.com.
Feb. 10: Andy Shauf, Haley Heynderickx – Acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf brings his band of childhood friends, Foxwarren, for a rare appearance in support of the group’s self-titled album, released in November on Anti Records. Opening the show is rising Portland, Oregon-based singer-songwriter Haley Heynderickx, performing in support of her stellar 2018 debut album, “I Need to Start a Garden.”
Andy Shauf and opener Haley Heynderickx perform at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10 at the Higher Ground Showcase Lounge, S. Burlington. Tickets are $15 advance, $18 day of show; call 877-987-6487 or go online to www.highergroundmusic.com.
Feb. 11-12: The Devil Makes Three — Since leaving southern Vermont 15 years ago, the innovative acoustic trio has built a solid reputation for its genre-blurring sound and renowned live show. The Santa Cruz, Calif.-based band based brings it all back home for a pair of shows in support of its 2018 album, “Chains Are Broken.”
The Devil Makes Three and opener Lost Dog Street Band perform at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11 and Tuesday, Feb. 12 (sold out) at Higher Ground Ballroom, S. Burlington. Tickets are $27 advance, $30 day of show (all ages); call 877-987-6487 or go online to www.highergroundmusic.com.
Feb. 14: Bill Frisell — An unassuming master guitarist, Bill Frisell is known for his fluid fret work and gorgeously dreamy soundscapes that deftly fuse everything from American and African roots music to blues and rock styles with a jazz sensibility.
Bill Frisell performs solo at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 at ArtsRiot in Burlington. Tickets are $42 advance, $47 day of show (all ages; seated; general admission); call 802-540-0406 or go online to www.artsriot.com.
Feb. 14: Kurt Vile & the Violators — The singular, Philadelphia-based, indie-rock singer-songwriter returns to Vermont in support of yet another stellar album, “Bottle It In,” released in October on Matador. Rolling Stone called it “the loosey-goosiest record Vile has ever made, and at times it’s an outright hoot, adding: “But there’s real warmth and tangled-up soul. Virtually no one else was making records like this in 2018.”
Kurt Vile & the Violators and opener the Sadies perform at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 at Higher Ground Ballroom, S. Burlington. Tickets are $25 advance, $28 day of show (all ages); call 877-987-6487 or go online to www.highergroundmusic.com.
Feb. 20: moe. — The beloved Buffalo-born jam band returns to Vermont, one year after its triumphant return to the stage after an indefinite hiatus while bassist Rob Derhak battled cancer.
moe. performs at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20 at the Paramount Theatre, Rutland. Tickets are $39 advance, $44 day of show (general admission); call 802-775-0903 or go online to www.paramountvt.org.