Richard Bicknell and the Shameless Lovers
Longtime Atlanta singer and songwriter Bicknell will preview songs from his upcoming recording project, “Shakedusting Lazarus,” as well as old favorites. The new album will include original songs, plus covers of songs by such artists as Emmylou Harris, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Maria McKee, David Olney, Townes Van Zandt and Jesse Winchester. That list gives a good indication of Bicknell’s work, a stylish blend of rustic Americana and urbane alt country.
10 p.m. Dec. 10. $12; $10 in advance. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Road, Atlanta. 404-875-1522.
Jimmy Herring Band
The Jimmy Herring Band is led by Widespread Panic’s lead guitarist, who is also a favored sideman for several former Grateful Dead members. The latest edition of Herring’s band will perform material from his 2008 solo album, “Lifeboat.” Both the album and tour include drummer Jeff Sipe. Keyboardist Matt Slocum and Neal Fountain on bass complete the quartet.
8:30 p.m. Dec. 10. $22.50; $20 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.
A Peter White Christmas with Rick Braun and Mindi Abair
An all-star evening of smooth jazz with a festive yuletide flavor. Guitarist White, trumpeter Braun and saxophonist Abair will play selections from the collaborative Christmas album they released in 2009.
8 p.m. Dec. 10. $39-$59. Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech, 349 Ferst Drive N.W., Atlanta. 404-894-2787, 404-894-9601.
Yacht Rock Holiday Special
It’s the holidays, ’70s-style. Specifically, beloved Atlanta cover band Yacht Rock Revue does that mellow soft-rock that dominated AM radio and had a big presence in the Top 40 during that decade. It might be easy to sneer at some of those songs, but it’s hard to forget them. Anyone who was around during that time can probably sing along to a little Captain and Tennille, Hall and Oates, Boz Scaggs or even oft-forgotten tracks such as “Brandy” by Looking Glass. So break out your ugliest Christmas sweater for this second annual event and enjoy the kind of variety-show cheese not seen since the days of Donny and Marie and Sonny and Cher.
8 p.m. Dec. 10. $20 plus two canned goods. Park Tavern, 500 10th St. N.E .,Atlanta. 404-249-0001.
“The Happenstance: A Battle of Hastily Assembled Bands”
30 local musicians meet in the morning and are randomly divided into five-piece bands. Then they must create a 20-minute set of music to be performed later the same evening, but only one of the songs can be a cover version. The rest of the set has to be crafted that very day. This is the seventh annual edition of this rocking mad scientist experiment and, as in previous years, it’s a benefit. Past beneficiaries have included the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund.
9 p.m. Dec. 11. $8; or $5 with food donation. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta. 404-522-3950.
Joe Gransden’s Big Band Holiday Show with Francine Reed
If you’re looking for a swinging holiday, here’s the place to be. The Atlanta trumpeter and his band will be joined by the bold, big-voiced Francine Reed. The charisma of these two beloved performers could light up Spivey Hall without benefit of electricity.
8:15 p.m. Dec. 11. $40. Spivey Hall, 2000 Clayton State Blvd., Morrow. 770-960-4200.
Bold, brassy pop with a ’70s AM pop vibe and a new millennial wink. “Be Calm,” the stunning lead track from debut album “Aim and Ignite, “ is a weird and wonderful cocktail of Queen and Weezer. Despite those obvious influences, this trio sounds fresh and, yes, fun. After all, beautiful melodies, sweet harmonies and lush arrangements never go out of style. With Steel Train, the Postelles.
8:30 p.m. Dec. 11. $15. The Loft, 1374 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.
Gainesville, Fla.-born pop-rock quintet Sister Hazel has been prolific lately. The band’s latest, the October-released “Heartland Highway,” followed 2008’s “Release” by little more than a year. Since it’s December, don’t be surprised if they pull out a few tunes from their 2007 holiday album, “Santa’s Playlist.”
8:30 p.m. Dec. 11. $24; $20 in advance. Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.
Even if the name is unfamiliar to you, the songs certainly aren’t: “Galveston,” “Up, Up and Away,” “Wichita Lineman,” “By the Time I get to Phoenix,” “MacArthur Park” (you know, the one where someone left a metaphorical cake out in the rain), “Worst That Could Happen.” Presented by Eddie’s Attic and Agnes Scott College.
7:30 p.m. Dec. 12. $35. Gaines Chapel in Presser Hall, Agnes Scott College, 141 E. College Ave., Decatur. 404-377-4976.
Tyler Ramsey, Patrick McKinney
Ramsey is probably best known as the guitarist in South Carolina-based Band of Horses, but he’s also a solo artist (and based in Asheville). His 2008 album “A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea” is a delicate, folky beauty distinguished by Ramsey’s yearning, Neil Young-tinted voice. It’s easy to understand what caught the ear of Band of Horses leader Ben Bridwell, who brought Ramsey in following the release of Band of Horses’ second album, “Cease to Begin.” He’ll be joined on this date by Patrick McKinney, the phenomenal guitarist and banjo player from Sam Beam’s Iron & Wine. McKinney also has a solo career, though, releasing “As Upon the Road Thereto” in 2004 under the name Langtry. He’s been working on another new album with producer David Barbe in Athens.
8 p.m. Dec. 15. $15. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.