George Strait, Martina McBride
Sixty-eight million albums sold and 58 No. 1 singles (the most chart-topping hits by any artist in history) attest to George Strait’s popularity. His first No. 1 was in 1982 and his current single, “Love’s Gonna Make It Alright,” sits at No. 11 on the country singles chart, bearing witness to his enduring appeal. With 33 albums certified platinum, he has more million-sellers than anyone not named Elvis Presley or the Beatles. Beloved by the music-buying public and the industry powers in Nashville, big-voiced Martina McBride probably needs a separate house just for her awards.
7:30 p.m. Feb. 10.$69.50-$79.50. Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-813-7500.
Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Eric Benet, Kevon Edmonds
This lovefest at the Civic Center is getting to be a habit. The smooth, soulful and sensual R&B stylists bring Valentine’s Day romance a few days early, just like they did last year.
8 p.m. Feb. 10. $60-$80. Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, 395 Piedmont Ave. N.E. 404-523-6275.
Forbert’s a frequent — and very welcome — visitor to Atlanta’s stages, usually the one in Eddie’s Attic’s great listening room. This time around, he’s venturing into new environs, though still under the auspices of Eddie Owen in the new Eddie Owen Presents series. Once tagged as the next Dylan, this Mississippi-born troubadour is best known for “Romeo’s Tune” (and for his cameo as Cyndi Lauper’s flower-toting boyfriend in the “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” video), but he has a résumé overflowing with great songs. That 1979 hit was his only foray into the mainstream, but he’s maintained a loyal fan base, still enjoys critical favor and is a mesmerizing live performer.
8 p.m. Feb. 11. $25; $20 in advance. Eddie Owen Presents at the Red Clay Theatre, 3116 Main St., Duluth. 404-478-2749.
The Sexual Side Effects
The Atlanta alt-rock outfit is gaining momentum and buzz both around Atlanta and farther afield after a successful trek up the East Coast. This homecoming show is a celebration of the release of the band’s debut four-song EP, “High Maintenance,” a disc that has already spawned videos for the songs “All She’ll Ever Hurt” and “Aurora.” The latter is a propulsive bit of atmospheric glam, brimming with ringing guitars and yearning vocals, and one of the catchiest songs released by a local band in recent memory. Check out the videos and the songs on the band’s website and at iTunes.
9 p.m. Feb. 11. $10. The Masquerade, 695 North Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-577-8178.
Capote Family Benefit
Carlos Capote of the Breeze Kings received a new kidney Feb. 2 and his wife, Terri, will be donating one as part of a donation chain. That process matches an incompatible donor/recipient pair to another, and one half receives a new kidney and the other donates, often resulting in a chain of donations. Since the couple will both be out of commission for a time, the local blues community has come together to help raise money for the family. The performer lineup is a who’s who of Atlanta blues talent and includes Tinsley Ellis, Francine Reed, Bill Sheffield, Mudcat, Eddie Tigner, Sandra Hall, Luther “Houserocker” Johnson and many more. They also will have items up for auction and other ways to raise funds for the family. For more info on the event, check out the Facebook page created for the fundraising effort.
5 p.m. Feb. 12. $25. Blind Willie’s, 828 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta. 404-873-2583.
Sandra McCracken and Derek Webb
Nashville-based singer-songwriter Webb might be better known for his role as frontman for Christian rock outfit Caedmon’s Call, but his solo work is outstanding. Where so much of contemporary Christian music seems to be a pale imitation of mainstream pop, Webb is an adventurous musician who happens to create music with Christian themes (and sometimes, without Christian themes). McCracken, Webb’s wife, is an accomplished musician and singer-songwriter, too, with five albums of her own. The pair is touring behind their second joint EP, “TN.” It follows 2008’s “Ampersand.”
7 p.m. Feb. 12. $23; $20 in advance. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.
Mariachi Los Camperos di Nati Cano
This venerable troupe of musicians originated in the late ’50s and has been at the forefront in bringing the treasured Mexican mariachi tradition to a much larger audience. The group might be best known through its collaborations with Linda Ronstadt, including the album “Canciones de Mi Padre.”
5 p.m. Feb. 12. $32-$42. Ferst Center for the Arts, 349 Ferst Drive N.W., Atlanta. 404-894-2787.
Willie Nelson and Family
Willie Nelson is a living legend, but if you look at his works, there are only a few times they have coincided with the pop mainstream. The first was Patsy Cline’s recording of “Crazy,” a song Nelson wrote that has become inextricably linked with her. Nelson, now 78, only gained fame as a recording artist in the mid-’70s, well over a decade after “Crazy” hit the pop charts in 1961. And he did it brilliantly. “Red Headed Stranger” was a career-making record for a man who’d been working for years. An amazing songwriter took his distinctive vocal talent to the masses. He hit a mainstream chord again with “Always on My Mind” in 1982, but he hasn’t had an album reach the Top 40 since 1983. Some younger folks might know his name best from his tangles with the IRS (settled back in the early ’90s) and his marijuana arrests, but those issues fade away when the man takes the stage. Legal and financial troubles come and go, but he will always be a star.
7:30 p.m. Feb. 12. $47.50-$57.50. Tabernacle, 152 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-9022.
Shane Harrison, email@example.com