Jason Mraz makes his second Atlanta appearance of the year at Star 94’s Jingle Jam on Thursday, Dec. 13. Photo: Akili-Casundria Ramsess
Emily Saliers and Amy Ray have spent about a quarter of a century entertaining us — and making us think — with heart-touching songs and gorgeous harmonies. They began performing together as students at DeKalb County’s Shamrock High School (now a middle school). For this show, they’ll be joined by the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, adding a new layer of sound to their signature blend of folk and rock.
8 p.m. Dec. 7. $35-$85. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770-916-2800.
Johnson’s “The Guitar Song” was the consensus choice for best country album of 2010. It’s a collection of bone-deep country that provides a jarring and welcome contrast to the bloodless, antiseptic stuff that passes for country music these days. We still haven’t had a proper follow-up collection of new original material, but this year saw the release of “Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran.” That album resurrected some stellar country classics from the pen of one of the genre’s greatest songwriters — including “I Fall to Pieces” and “Make the World Go Away” — and found Johnson duetting with Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, Lee Ann Womack and many more.
9:30 p.m. Dec. 7. $20-$100. Wild Bill’s, 2075 Market St., Duluth. 678-417-0477.
Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Rocks! Extravaganza
Back in the ’80s, Setzer resurrected rockabilly with the Stray Cats, but he’s been digging even further back with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, adding swing to his rock. At his Christmas shows, you get a little bit of both styles applied to a holiday repertoire.
8 p.m. Dec. 8. $40-$60. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770-916-2800.
WCLK Merry Jazzy Jingles Concert featuring Ronnie Laws
Jazz and R&B saxophonist Ronnie Laws was once a member of Earth, Wind & Fire, where he played tenor and soprano sax for two years before beginning a solo career in 1975. His work was a precursor of later pop-jazz fusionists like Dave Koz and Najee. Laws will be joined by his sister, vocalist Debra Laws, best known for her 1981 hit “Very Special.”
8 p.m. Dec. 8. $40; $35 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.
Classy pop-folk singer-songwriter Colvin scored a big hit in 1997 with the Grammy winning “Sunny Came Home.” She’s touring in support of her latest album, “All Fall Down,” and this show is a co-production of Eddie Owen Presents and Agnes Scott College. Let’s hope this is the first of many in a resurrected Eddie & Agnes series, which has brought some great shows to the school in the past.
8 p.m. Dec. 8. $35; $30 in advance. Agnes Scott College, Presser Hall, Gaines Chapel, 141 E. College Ave., Decatur.
Dave Matthews Band
Musically elastic adventurers with loyal, insatiable fans. Maybe that’s why no group in recent memory — certainly not one that still exists — has inspired so many seemingly sane people to form a tribute band. Still, it’s always best to stick with the original when you can. DMB is touring behind its eighth studio album, “Away From the World,” which reunited the band with producer Steve Lillywhite, who produced the band’s 1998 album “Before These Crowded Streets.”
7 p.m. Dec. 11. $55-$85. Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-813-7500.
Power 96.1 Jingle Ball
The newest player on Atlanta’s Top 40 radio landscape displays its power with a star-studded lineup of hitmakers. The big names include Justin Bieber, Enrique Iglesias, Ke$ha, Flo Rida and Owl City. You’ll also get sets from up-and-comers Bridgit Mendler and Austin Mahone.
7 p.m. Dec. 12. $35-$175. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta. 404-878-3000.
The Musical Box
Though the name comes from one of Genesis’ earlier extended pieces, this show will revisit the band’s final studio album with Peter Gabriel, “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.” The Musical Box is licensed and authorized by Genesis and Peter Gabriel, giving the band access to archives that contribute an air of authenticity to this re-creation of the original stage shows that followed the 1974 release of that concept album.
8 p.m. Dec. 12. $40; $35 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.
Star 94’s Jingle Jam
The long-serving Atlanta Top 40 station brings a slightly mellower and perhaps more grown-up lineup to town than the newer Power 96.1. Star 94’s show brings in Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran, Alex Clare, Grace Potter, “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips and Andy Grammer.
7 p.m. Dec. 13. $27-$47. Gwinnett Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-813-7500.
By Shane Harrison, email@example.com