Bern’s a folksy troubadour with a rock ’n’ roll heart and the all-too-rare skill of combining humor and intelligence. Sometimes he rocks with a Tom Petty-like heartland rumble, at others he delivers his topical, astute lyrical musings with quiet acoustic backing. He’s at his best in a live setting, exuding charm, charisma and a touch of mischief. You can hear a bit of that on “Live in Los Angeles,” released last year, and the just-issued “Live in New York.” His latest studio recording is a children’s album called “Two Feet Tall,” which brings out his playful side.
8 p.m. Feb. 4. $18; $15 in advance. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.
Guster is a quirky pop combo from Massachusetts with an acoustic bent and a college-band sensibility. The band has built a large and loyal following through seemingly endless touring and a charismatic live presence.
8 p.m. Feb. 4. $ 23.50. Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-9022.
Nothing like an evening of jazz-inflected soul to keep the winter chill at bay. Downing is no chart superstar, but his audience isn’t a Top 40 kind of crowd. His velvety baritone delivers sweet, soulful and soothing R&B for adults.
8 p.m. Feb. 4. $35-$75. Atlanta Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-733-5000.
Once the guitarist for progressive rockers Procol Harum, Trower left that band to embark on a long solo career that often seems like an extended homage to Jimi Hendrix. But, boy, can Trower play guitar. Just pick up the 2007 remaster of his 1974 classic “Bridge of Sighs” for evidence of his brilliance.
8:30 p.m. Feb. 5. $30; $27.50 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.
The Civil Wars
The voices of John Paul White and Joy Williams (aka the Civil Wars) create a beautiful friction when they blend and set off sparks when they careen into each other. Just take a listen to “Barton Hollow,” the title track from their just-released studio debut album and you’ll see why both of these shows are sold out. The buzz surrounding these two is becoming a roar.
6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 8. Sold out. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.
Wild Nothing, Abe Vigoda
Virginia’s Jack Tatum began Wild Nothing as a one-man band and the dreamy pop on his 2010 debut album “Gemini” is basically a bedroom concoction. He’s now gathered a band to play it live. The distance from his gauzy, lo-fi cover of Kate Bush’s “Cloudbusting” in 2009 to tracks such as “Gemini’s” Smiths-like “Chinatown” is impressive. The more recent “Golden Haze” EP proves that he’s still growing while remaining enthralled by the music of the ’80s, a decade that was in its waning years when he was born. California quartet Abe Vigoda is the perfect companion for Wild Nothing, evoking the chilly synth-guitar collisions of Psychedelic Furs and early Simple Minds without devolving into slavish imitation. There’s a new millennial edge and urgency to the music on the band’s latest (and catchiest) album, “Crush,” that keeps it rooted in the here and now.
9 p.m. Feb. 8. $10. The Drunken Unicorn, 736 Ponce de Leon Ave N.E., Atlanta.
Broken Social Scene
Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning are the prime movers, but BSS serves as a launching pad for many cool Canadians (including Feist). BSS makes kitchen-sink indie rock that,despite all the cooks, worksin mysterious and melodic ways.
8 p.m. Feb. 10. $26. The Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road, Atlanta. 404-843-2825.
Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker
Paisley is simply the most consistently entertaining mainstream country artist of his generation. The only album he released in 2010 was a live set called “Hits Alive,” but he’s still in the running for entertainer of the year and top male vocalist in the just announced list of nominees for Academy of Country Music awards. He did add two more No. 1 singles to his résumé in 2010 with “Water” and “Anything Like Me,” bringing his total to 16.
Think back to those Hootie and the Blowfish hits of the mid-1990s. They wouldn’t seem at all out of place on current mainstream country radio. Hootie frontman Rucker’s solo career ups the twang factor just to make sure. It’s working. He scored three No. 1 country hits with his 2008 album “Learn to Live” and “Come Back Song,” from 2010’s “Charleston, SC 1966,” gave him a fourth chart topper.
7:30 p.m. Feb. 10. $29.75-$59.75. Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-813-7500.