Decatur’s Bobby Ray Simmons Jr. (aka B.o.B) has a lot to celebrate with this homecoming gig. There’s his Grammy nod for record of the year, for starters. “Nothin’ on You,” a No. 1 hit that features it-boy Bruno Mars, will compete for that prize. His debut album, “B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray,” debuted at No. 1 when it was released in April and provided two more Top 10 singles in “Magic” (featuring Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo) and “Airplanes” (featuring Paramore’s Hayley Williams).
8 p.m. Dec. 24. $25 in advance. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Road, Atlanta. 404-875-1522.
Drivin’ N’ Cryin’
For many years, you could count on Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ to play the day after Thanksgiving, but in 2007 the band rocked the Roxy on New Year’s Eve. In 2008, the venerable yet still raucous Kevn Kinney-led institution played a holiday gig on the day after Christmas, and it looks like we have a new tradition, since this marks the third time they’ve done this. Even if they switch holidays on us again, it’s good to know they’re always here for one of them.
8 p.m. Dec. 26. $25; $20 in advance. The Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-9022.
Traditional folk is just a jumping off point for the duo formerly known as two-thirds of the Lovell Sisters. Despite liberal doses of dobro and mandolin, the music these Calhoun sisters make has little to do with the mainstream country coming out of Nashville. Rock, pop, folk and even traces of jazz surface in the seasonal EPs (”Spring,” “Summer” and “Fall”) they released this year, but it’s Rebecca Lovell’s stunning voice that holds it all together.
7:30 p.m. Dec. 26. $15; $12 in advance. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.
If you think bigger is better when it comes to Christmas music, then Mannheim Steamroller is for you. Mannheim Steamroller is about as subtle as the second half of its name, but there’s something holiday-appropriate about the synthetically over-the-top concoctions created by Chip Davis. Perhaps that’s why Davis has sold more than 18 million copies of his Christmas albums.
7:30 p.m. Dec. 28. $34-$65. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-881-2100.
Dead Confederate and Friends
The Athens quintet and a few guests will perform Neil Young’s “Tonight’s the Night” in its entirety. Young’s eighth album, “Tonight’s the Night” was released in 1975, but it was written and recorded a couple of years earlier following the drug-related deaths of Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten and roadie Bruce Berry. It’s a dark, jagged and unsettling epitaph for Young’s friends, and, in many ways, for a generation.
8:30 p.m. Dec. 28. $12; $10 in advance. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta. 404-522-3950.
Col. Bruce Hampton & The Quark Alliance
From the legendary Hampton Grease Band to the Aquarium Rescue Unit and several other incarnations, Atlanta mainstay Hampton is always a crowd-pleaser. The Quark Alliance is the latest in a long line of Hampton backing bands, but no matter what he’s playing or who he’s playing with, it all gets filtered through Hampton’s singularly skewed sensibility.
8 p.m. Dec. 29. $10 advance. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Road, Atlanta. 404-875-1522.
North Mississippi Allstars
The Dickinson Brothers spent some time apart in recent years. Luther Dickinson was playing rock star with the Black Crowes, while Cody Dickinson and their NMA bandmate Chris Chew were recording and touring in Hill Country Revue. Then, their father, the great producer and musician Jim Dickinson, died in August 2009. The brothers reconvened with Chew to record a new album in spring 2010. This tour provides a taster for that album, “Keys to the Kingdom,” coming Feb. 1. Between now and then, Luther Dickinson will vie for best traditional folk album at the Grammy Awards. He’s nominated for “Onward And Upward,” which he recorded with the Sons Of Mudboy.
8 p.m. Dec. 29. $20. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.
You might have seen or heard this Atlanta quartet without even knowing it. They’ve recorded with OutKast’s Big Boi, providing the hook and appearing in the video for “Follow Me” from his latest solo album, “Sir Lucious Left Foot: Son of Chico Dusty,” and performing live with the Atlanta rapper (including an appearance on “The Late Show With David Letterman”). The band’s debut album is coming in 2011, released through a partnership between Big Boi’s Purple Ribbon label and Manchester Orchestra’s Favorite Gentleman Records.
8 p.m. Dec. 30. $12; $10 in advance. Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Road, Atlanta. 404-875-1522.
THURSDAY AND DEC. 31
The hypnotic sound of this Savannah-born band stretches across the jam-rock spectrum, taking in jazz, reggae, rock, country, blues and just about anything else that gets in its path. Luckily, these guys have enough ideas to sustain their sprawling auditory travels, and their dynamic instrumental workouts.
8:30 p.m. Dec. 30: $25;$22.50 advance (under 21); $22.50; $20 advance (over 21). 9:30 p.m. Dec. 31: $30; $27.50 advance (under 21); $27.50; $25 advance (over 21). Two-day passes: $45 (under 21); $40 (over 21). Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.