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Live music picks: Dec. 17-23

North Carolina quartet Chatham County Line brings its Christmas celebration to the Variety Playhouse on Dec. 17. Photo: Dave Wilson

North Carolina quartet Chatham County Line brings its Christmas celebration to the Variety Playhouse on Dec. 17. Photo: Dave Wilson

FRIDAY
Chatham County Line Special Holiday Show

North Carolina’s Chatham County Line puts an alt-country spin on bluegrass and on Christmas. The band’s holiday celebration began six years ago as a party for friends and family, but last year they decided to take it on the road. The show opens with an acoustic set, followed by a full electric set with bassist Jay Brown and drummer Zeke Hutchins joining in. Johnny Irion plays emcee and will join in on a few songs.
8:30 p.m. Dec. 17. $18. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” with T.T. Mahoney and Jeffrey Butzer
These Atlanta musicians are back again for the third year to perform Vince Guaraldi’s classic jazzy score from the ’60s “Peanuts” holiday special. Sorry No Ferrari will also be on hand with a run through the Ventures’ surf-inspired Christmas album.
9 p.m. Dec. 17; 6 p.m. Dec. 18. $10. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta. 404-522-3950.

FRIDAY-SATURDAY
Ed Roland & Friends

Collective Soul is still a going concern, but Ed Roland, the main man behind CS hits such as “Shine” and “The World I Know,” takes the occasional solo jaunt. He’s making his annual December appearance at Eddie’s Attic for a pair of not-strictly-solo performances. The “Friends” come in the form of special guests and you never know who will show up to play along. The shows will benefit four local charities, including First Tee of Atlanta, which provides facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf to children ages 7 to 17. Patrons are also being asked to bring new and old blankets, which Share the Warmth Atlanta will distribute to the homeless.
8 p.m. Dec. 17-18. $400 tables; $50 bar stools; $30 standing room; $15 patio seats. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

SATURDAY
Jonn Serrie

New Age musician will bring his live show to the Tellus planetarium for an otherworldly concert experience. He’ll play music from his Christmas album, “Upon a Midnight Clear,” under the planetarium’s stars.
7 and 8:30 p.m. Dec. 18. $25; $15 members. Tellus Science Museum, 100 Tellus Drive, Cartersville. 770-606-5700.

SATURDAY
Five Eight

The long-awaited new album isn’t available yet, but here’s your chance to hear what these guys have been cooking up in the studio. There really should be a picture of Five Eight beside the dictionary entry for perseverance. For more than 20 years, this Athens/Atlanta band has rocked the socks off of audiences in Georgia and around the country, crafted some very fine albums and made fans of many far more famous musicians. Former member Mike Rizzi makes a cameo appearance behind the drum kit for this gig even though the band’s longest serving percussionist, Patrick “Tigger” Ferguson, returned in 2007 and is still the band’s permanent drummer. If you’ve never seen Five Eight, you really should. These guys still put on a blazing live show.
8 p.m. Dec. 18. $15; $12 in advance. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Road, Atlanta. 404-875-1522.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY
18th annual Atlanta Celtic Christmas Concert

Emory University professor and Irish drama scholar James Flannery is the director and host of this 18th edition of this popular yuletide celebration. This year’s line-up includes Moya Brennan and the Alison Brown Quartet with Joe Craven and John Doyle.
8 p.m. Dec. 18; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Dec. 19. $10-$25. Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, 1700 N. Decatur Road, Atlanta. 404-727-5050.

THURSDAY
Justin Bieber

Bieber fever grips Atlanta just in time for Christmas. The Canadian-Atlantan returns to town to sing for the masses of screaming tweens that are sure to gather at Philips Arena.
7 p.m. Dec. 23. $39.50-$66. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta. 404-878-3000.

THURSDAY
Joe Gransden, Francine Reed

Last week, this pair of Atlanta favorites joined forces for a show at Spivey Hall. This week, they’re in the even more intimate space at Eddie’s Attic. If you’re looking for a holiday treat, this will be one of the sweetest.
8 p.m. Dec. 23. $25; $20 in advance. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

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