Claire Lynch Band
Lynch has Grammy nominations for best bluegrass album and has been named female vocalist of the year by the International Bluegrass Music Association (in 1997 and this year). She deserves all the accolades we can toss her way. “Crowd Favorites” is a good place to start for those new to Lynch. It’s a 2008 compilation of the cream of her recent recorded output along with re-recordings of a few songs she did in her days with the Front Porch String Band.
8 p.m. Dec. 3. $15. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.
84th annual Spelman-Morehouse Christmas Carol Concert
A yearly tradition that can put the Grinchiest of Scrooges in a festive holiday mood, the program features Spelman and Morehouse glee clubs’ hallmark blend of carols, spirituals and sacred tunes. All performances are free, but tickets are required for the Sisters Chapel concert on Dec. 4.
8 p.m. Dec. 3 and 6 p.m. Dec. 5. Free. King Chapel At Morehouse College, 830 Westview Drive S.W., Atlanta.
8 p.m. Dec. 4. Free; tickets required. Sisters Chapel, Spelman College, 350 Spelman Lane S.W. Atlanta. 404-270-5066.
Fans of John Mayer and Maroon 5, you owe it to yourself to check this guy out. Barnes occupies the place where the soul-tinged pop of Maroon 5 meets Mayer’s sensitive-boy pop-rock. His voice bears a distinct similarity to Mayer’s, too, but it’s his melodic, hooky tunes that elevate his work above mere imitation. His most recent album, “What We Want, What We Get,” was released in early April.
9 p.m. Dec. 3. $18; $16 in advance. The Loft, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.
This Houston troubadour is a welcome young addition to the pantheon of great Texas singer-songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Robert Earl Keen and Guy Clark. His expressive and leisurely drawl recalls another great Texan, Billy Joe Shaver.
8:30 p.m. Dec. 3. The Five Spot, $15. 1123 Euclid Ave,.Atlanta. 404-223-1100.
Carolina Chocolate Drops
These three young African-American musicians are keeping the traditional string-band music of the Carolina Piedmont alive. The trio’s latest album, “Genuine Negro Jig,” was released in February and includes a startlingly unusual version of Blu Cantrell’s 2001 hip-hop-influenced R&B hit, “Hit ’Em Up Style,” retrofitted with banjo and fiddle.
8 p.m. Dec. 4. $18; $16 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.
Some of the sweetest melodies that have ever flowed from the pop-punk fountain can be found on this quintet’s albums. The latest, “Forget and Not Slow Down,” was released in October 2009 and it might be among their best. And it’s one of the most optimistic break-up albums you’ll ever hear. This show is part of the band’s first acoustic Christmas tour, dubbed “Twas the Tour Before Christmas.” Expect to hear a hefty dose of the band’s terrific 2007 holiday album, “Let It Snow, Baby … Let It Reindeer.”
7 p.m. Dec. 5. $18 in advance. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-577-8178.
99X Mistletoe Jam
Switchfoot headlines the alt-rock radio station’s holiday event, with support from American Bang and Paper Tongues. A mainstream graduate from the Christian rock market, San Diego’s Switchfoot had a successful run on Columbia Records. With 2009’s “Hello Hurricane,” the guys made the album on their own and released it through their independently owned label, Lowercase People Records. To give the album wider reach, the band signed a distribution deal through Atlantic Records that still allows some independence from the major label’s machinery.
8 p.m. Dec. 7. $19.79. Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.
His heart-stopping melodies and that choirboy-with-issues voice are the heart and soul of Scottish quartet Travis. There are hints of the anthemic melancholy of his band’s best work on Healy’s recent solo album, “Wreckorder,” but many of the songs take a low-key approach. There’s nothing low-key about the guest list, though, as he gets a little help from his friends, including Paul McCartney and Neko Case.
9 p.m. Dec. 8. $20. The Loft, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.
The jazzy R&B vibe of this New Orleans resident’s music is the perfect fit for a set of festive tunes. This Christmas-themed show is a reprise of her holiday concerts of 2008, which were done in the wake of the album “It’s Christmas.” Her latest album is “Turn Me Loose,” which was nominated for two Grammy Awards.
8 p.m. Dec. 9. $30. $27.50 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.