The Suspect: Jimbo Mathus & The Tri-State CoalitionJimbo Mathus spent the early part of his career as the ringleader of the Squirrel Nut Zippers. These days he’s gone country, and solo. He released his debut, Confederate Buddha, last spring. The late Memphis producer Jim Dickinson called him “the singing voice of Huck Finn,” according to the band’s ReverbNatoin. Mathus himself describes the band’s sound as “a true Southern amalgam of blues, white country, soul and rock ‘n’ roll.”
Can Be Found: The Grey Eagle on Friday, Jan. 27
RIYD (Recommended if You Dig): Lynryd Skynyrd, Steve Earle, The Black Crowes.
You Should Go If: The amount of love and money you shower on your truck is a frequent source of conflict between you and your partner; the terms “state line,” “property,” “vehicle” and “varmint” are part of your everyday vocabulary; there are more deep fryers than people in your house; you’re actually registered Republican because you love guns and you hate taxes.
The Suspect: Gustafer Yellowgold
Created by Morgan Taylor in 2005, the New York Times described Gustafer as “a cross between Yellow Submarine and Dr. Seuss.” He earned a Best Kids’ Performer accolade from New York Magazine. The show is a multimedia performance of live music, animated illustrations and storytelling. Gustafer (the character) is a “friendly creature who came to Earth from the sun ... living in the Minnesota woods.”
Can Be Found: Asheville Music Hall, Sunday, Jan. 29
RIYD: The concept of the Shins playing kids’ music
You Should Go If: You build in an extra 20 minutes each morning to find your keys and wallet; bananas are a main ingredient in every recipe you know how to make; next to your comic-book collection, you are most proud of being double jointed; you’re actually registered Republican because you were in the midst of an hallucinogenic mushroom experience and you misread the form.
Ani DiFranco founded her own record company, Righteous Records (later to become Righteous Babe Records), when she was 19 years old. This singer-songwriter is equal parts punk and poet; On Jan. 17, she released her first studio album in three years, ¿Which Side Are You On? a political plea which features a 92-year-old Pete Seeger on banjo.
The Suspect: Ani DiFranco
Can Be Found: The Orange Peel, Thursday, Feb. 2
RIYD: Liz Phair, Tori Amos
You Should Go If: You fall in love with the person, not the gender; by carefully combining classes from your school’s most obscure departments you managed to design the most unmarketable college major ever; you dress like a refugee from the skateboard park; you’re actually registered Republican because you’ve given up on Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul doesn’t scare you.