February Raleigh-area Local Music Concert Guide

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 By Grant Golden

February 2, 2023

American Aquarium with Lucero, Katie Pruitt, Murder By Death, Samantha Crain, Morgan Wade and John Paul White

February 2 – 4 at Lincoln Theatre 

Tickets: Sold Out

American Aquarium’s annual three-night run at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theater has become a staple of the local scene. For the past eight years the band has packed out Lincoln Theater alongside some of the nation’s most esteemed alt-country and Americana acts, and this year’s lineup is arguably their strongest yet. With Lucero and Murder By Death alongside one of country music’s fastest rising songwriters in Morgan Wade, this year’s Roadtrip to Raleigh is one to remember.

The Fritz and Rebekah Todd

Friday, February 3 at The Pour House at 8:00 p.m.

Tickets: $12 plus

It’s a night full of vivacious tunes at The Pour House as one of the state’s finest funk outfits, The Fritz, performs with vocal powerhouse Rebekah Todd. Between The Fritz and Todd, each group interweaves elements of soul, rock, blues and funk with a sense of dynamism that allows for equal moments of intensity and serenity. Todd’s music is entrancing, pivoting between emotional ballads and roaring anthems, while The Fritz’s blues-infused funk can compel even the most stoic of attendees to catch a vibe. It’s hard to think of a better local pairing, and one can only imagine we’ll get some special collaborations between the two, making for a must-see evening of music.

Lovell Bradford Quartet

Friday, February 3 at Sharp Nine Gallery at 8:00 p.m. 

Tickets: $20 plus

Durham’s Sharp Nine Gallery has become one of the region’s hotbeds for fantastic jazz shows, and Lovell Bradford’s Quartet will bring an evening of gospel and R&B inspired jazz tunes to the intimate venue. Having performed alongside legendary artists like Wynton and Bradford Marsalis, Lovell has garnered acclaim as one of the region’s finest jazz pianists. Alongside a tight quartet of sax, bass, and drums, expect an evening full of enchanting and soulful songs to guide folks through a cool winter evening.

Daddy’s Beemer with Sweet Dream and Newspaper Taxis

Saturday, February 4 at The Pour House at 8:00 p.m. 

Tickets: $12 plus

Charleston’s Daddy’s Beemer crafts a brand of hazy indie rock that meshes elements of psych-rock and shoegaze with pulsing energy. With songs that range from reverb-soaked, contemplative ballads to coarse bluesy cuts, Daddy’s Beemer casts a wide sonic net that can wrap up any listener within reach. Greensboro’s Sweet Dream brings similar aesthetics, featuring a focus on soft-edged psychedelic elements of the indie rock spectrum. Raleigh’s Newspaper Taxi opens up the evening to round out a night packed with diverse indie rock.

Julia. with jAndr and Swansgate

Friday, February 10 at Transfer Co. Ballroom at 7:00 p.m. 

Tickets: $15 plus

Transfer Co. Ballroom will host an eclectic night of bands, from Julia.’s Parliament-inspired funk tunes to jAndr’s neo-soul extravagance to the blazing jazz-infused psych-rock of Swansgate. Julia. provides a captivating live show, with an undeniable energy that engages crowds with memorable melodies and contagious energy. jAndr brings spirited harmonies with complex rhythms and deep grooves, while Swansgate leans more into exploratory sonic territory, serving up a tight trio of instrumentals. 

Speed Stick with Entrez Vous

Saturday, February 11 at Cat’s Cradle Back Room at 8:00 p.m.

Tickets: $10 plus

Formed as a self-described “ever-evolving” super group, Speed Stick produces gnarling rock music that careens into an array of different genres. Built around members of Polvo, Bat Fangs, The Love Language, and The Paul Swest, the group’s tracks feature collaborations with members of Super Chunk, The Breeders and more. They’ll be celebrating the release of a new tape alongside Entrez Vous, a fresh new fuzzed-out rock project featuring the seemingly musically omnipresent Clark Blomquist. The Cat’s Cradle Back Room is guaranteed to be awash in heavy distortion and blistering drums, so maybe pack a pair of earplugs for this one.

Lou Hazel and Libby Rodenbough

Thursday, February 16 at Rubies on Five Points at 8:30 p.m. 

Tickets: $10 plus

Two of the Triangle’s finest folk songwriters come together for a special evening in Durham. Lou Hazel’s music feels reminiscent of writers like John Prine, packing an equal ability to crack a smile or break a heart in a moment’s notice. These frequently sardonic tunes have simplistic arrangements, but plain-spoken and insightful lyrics that have lulled many a room in the Triangle. Libby Rodenbough’s music blends old-time and contemporary folk in a unique manner, with her 2020 release, Spectacle of Love, brilliantly showcasing that balance between traditional roots and pop-tinged melodies. Rodenbough’s music finds a way to delicately toe the line between deeply personal and relatable in a way that strikes the listener and keeps them yearning for the next line. 

WOAH, The Criticals and Bird and Byron 

Friday, February 17 at Cat’s Cradle Back Room at 8:00 p.m. 

Tickets: $12 plus

The Criticals are a band out of Nashville packed with undeniable bass grooves, harmonic flare and timeless rock ‘n’ roll swagger. The Criticals are joined by fellow Nashville act Bird and Byron, a duo with doo-wop inspired soul/rock songs and Charlotte’s WOAH. WOAH feels a bit out of place on the bill, but in the best way, like a jolt of energy to kickstart the evening. WOAH brings uplifting sonics yet despondent lyricism in a dream-pop haze, making for a compelling output that will surely grab the attention of concertgoers. This one’s definitely worth arriving early for.

Jimbo Mathus with C. Albert Blomquist and Shaefer Llana

Saturday, February 18 at Transfer Co. Ballroom

Tickets: $18 plus 

Few songwriters shaped the course of the modern-day North Carolina music scene like Jimbo Mathus and his work with the Squirrel Nut Zippers. The Zippers are one of the acts responsible for both the swing revival and the revitalization of the North Carolina scene on a national level. Mathus has traded in his old swing inspiration for forthright Southern rock and blues, slinging muddy guitar riffs atop driving beats. With supporting sets by C. Albert Blomquist’s honky-tonk country  and Schaefer Llana’s affectionate and delicate songwriting, it will make for a splendid evening of eclectic roots tunes.

Blue Footed Boobies and Riverdawg

Friday, February 24th at Transfer Co. Ballroom at 7:00 p.m. 

Tickets: $10 plus

The snarling psych-rock duo of Blue Footed Boobies is a force to be reckoned with. This Wilmington-based outfit brings a robust sound to the stage with heavily distorted riffs, scorching drum beats, and a penchant for ending the evening with sweaty attendees and a beer-drenched floor. Fans of both ‘70s psychedelic rock and contemporary indie rock will find themselves right at home with the sounds of Blue Footed Boobies. Riverdawg joins as support with a contrasting sound of crisp, upbeat rock that ensures that fans in attendance will have an evening full of high-energy live music.

Hank Sinatra with Tan and Sober Gentlemen and Charles Latham

Friday, February 24 at The Pour House at 8:00 p.m. 

Tickets: $12 plus

A night full of roots music of all varieties will take over The Pour House in celebration of a long-awaited new Hank Sinatra album. Hank Sinatra’s “y’all-ternative” brand of twangy country music has been a staple of the Raleigh scene for well over a decade, and they’re joined by equally esteemed regional acts in Tan & Sober and Charles Latham. While Tan & Sober’s music leans more to a blend of old-time, punk and bluegrass, they’re liable to steal the show with their infectious energy and sing-alongs. Charles Latham’s tunes are more melodic in nature than the rhythmic swing of the other acts on this bill, making for an appropriate kick-off to a night full of raucous roots music. 

Jazz Brunch with Sam Fribush Organ Trio

Sunday, February 26 at Transfer Co. Ballroom from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Tickets: $15 plus

If there’s ever been a reason to drag yourself out of the house on a Sunday morning, brunch and an organ trio sounds like a good one. Sam Fribush is an esteemed collaborator with his contributions to Hiss Golden Messenger, works with Charlie Hunter, and sit-ins with artists like Taylor Maier of CAAMP. Two sets of his New Orleans-inspired brand of funk, soul and jazz make for an excellent accompaniment to a sit-down “food and a show” vibe. Fribush’s arrangements are complex and dynamic, which lend itself to an introspective seated show, but full of enough swing to compel folks to kick back those chairs and groove.

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