January Raleigh-area Local Music Concert Guide

By Grant Golden

January 6, 2023

Mellow Swells and Cosmic Collective

Saturday, January 7 at The Pour House

Tickets: $10 plus

When acts like Mellow Swells and Cosmic Collective come together for a show, it makes for a truly amazing night of music. While the two acts vary significantly in styles, they both have jazzy foundations. Mellow Swells’ music wildly unfurls into dance-ready rhythms, distorted guitars and passionate vocal melodies while Cosmic Collective errs more on the side of mathematical neo-soul, dazzling with smooth vocals and abrupt rhythmic changes. It’s a bill that will surely leave attendees basking in the bands’ afterglow.

By George with Harvey Street Company and Late Notice

Thursday, January 12 at Lincoln Theatre

Tickets: $12.50 plus

Lincoln Theater houses three of central North Carolina’s most promising young acts for a powerhouse bill to kick off the weekend. By George, Harvey Street Company and Late Notice bring youthful energy with indie rock foundations for jam-ready live shows. Late Notice is liable to drop a few Kendrick Lamar covers to align with their hip-hop-inspired vocals, Harvey Street Company brings tight songwriting, vivacious rhythms, and careening guitar solos, while By George closes out the evening with their earworm hooks and infectious live energy. Catching all three of these bands together is an absolute treat and will satisfy any lover of indie rock tunes.

Victoria Victoria and Charlie Hunter

Saturday, January 14 at Cat’s Cradle

Tickets: $15 plus

Victoria Victoria is already solidified as a promising young pop outfit with singles like “Body Body” and their 2019 EP When to Talk, When to Pray, but collaborating with the iconic guitarist Charlie Hunter has only propelled the group to even higher acclaim. Last year’s To The Wayside found the group veering even deeper into neo-soul territory, bringing complex arrangements and nimble rhythmic changes that serve as an enchanting background for vocalist Tori Elliott’s lush vocals. Getting to see tracks like “Over My Shoulder” and “Hardware Store” come to life with Hunter’s masterful guitar work is well worth the ticket price. Expect a workshop on restraint and an awe-inspiring display of vocal prowess at the intimate Cradle Backroom.

Town Mountain and Cole Chaney

Friday, January 20 at Cat’s Cradle

Tickets: $15 plus

Asheville’s Town Mountain has steadily risen in the roots-rock world. Their debut record for iconic Nashville label New West Records, Lines in the Levee, helped to solidify their transition from bluegrass-adjacent to outright alt-country/honky-tonk bastions of the North Carolina scene. Their impeccable songwriting skills has led to collaborations with roots-rock visionary Tyler Childers and finds them blossoming even further into their own terrain. The band is joined by young Kentucky upstart Cole Chaney, a 21-year-old blue collar songwriter who spins tales of rustic roots.

An Evening with Rissi Palmer

Friday, January 20 at North Carolina Museum of History

Tickets: $19 plus

Rissi Palmer has become a powerhouse country artist and a champion of BIPOC roots artists across the country. Palmer’s Apple Radio show “Color Me Country,” has propelled her work and the work of countless other artists of color to long-deserved heights. Palmer’s efforts in both radio and music also earned her a spot in the “Power of Women in Country Music” exhibit at the NC Museum of History, so why not catch her rich melodies and captivating songwriting at the very museum that’s highlighting her? Palmer’s tunes are steeped in R&B and soul, and shine with a bright country veneer for an attention-grabbing output that appeals to folks of all ages, races and orientations. Hard to think of a better way to spend a night at the museum.

An Evening with NiiTO

Friday, January 20 at Transfer Co. Ballroom

Tickets: $10 plus 

NiiTO has found the sweet spot between being technically proficient and attention grabbing, with a real “your favorite band’s favorite band” kind of vibe. Their live show leans heavily on interplay, as each member’s musical voice shines in the familiar call and response melodies they showcase. Harkening back to jazz traditions, each member’s creativity is able to shine with rotating solos, which makes for an enthralling performance. Throughout the set, NiiTO blends their soulful original tracks with an all-encompassing selection of popular covers from timeless funk songs, jazz standards, contemporary Top 40 tunes making NiiTO shows a good time for all involved. 

Emanuel Wynter with Courtney Puckett and Emily Musolino

Saturday, January 21 at The Pinhook

Tickets: $10 plus

Charlotte’s Emanuel Wynter doesn’t make too many stops through the Triangle, so it’s best to catch him whenever you get the chance. This eclectic songwriter is a proficient multi-instrumentalist who blends soul, blues, pop and R&B for a sound that reverberates in your soul. Wynter’s passionate vocals command attention alongside his entrancing violin work, and his band’s tight rhythms keep your body grooving. Courtney Puckett of Salisbury’s Paper Wasps joins the bill alongside Durham’s own blues guitar phenom Emily Musolino.

9th Wonder & The Musalini with Swank & King Draft, 3AM Sound, Tanajah and more

Saturday, January 21 at Transfer Co. Ballroom

Tickets: $20 plus

Transfer Co. Ballroom becomes a hip-hop hub on this Saturday night as Grammy-winning producer 9th Wonder joins The Musalini. Their collaborative release, 2022’s highly acclaimed The Don & Eye, is an impressive collection of tracks showcasing 9th Wonder’s jazzy beats and Musalini’s effortlessly impressive flow. Musalini blends a blasé vibe with sharp delivery that makes his words weave in and out of 9th’s dense beats. Frequent collaborators Swank, King Draft, Izzy Hott and more join the bill alongside local acts like 3AM Sound and Tanajah.

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers

Saturday, January 28 at Lincoln Theatre

Tickets: $17.50 plus

Sarah Shook has long been one of the state’s most beloved outlaw country acts, but shows have become few and far between as Shook’s national attention grows larger with each release. That’s what makes this late January performance all the more special. Shook’s warbly vocals and distorted guitar lines will turn one of Raleigh’s largest indoor rooms to a good old fashioned honky-tonk club. 

Southern Culture on the Skids and Aquarian Devils

Saturday, January 28 at The Pour House

Tickets: $15 plus

Few acts have been a consistent stay among the North Carolina scene like Southern Culture on the Skids. Since the early ‘80s, the band has brought unique tongue-in-cheek rockabilly vibes to venues across the country, and their entertaining live shows are always a sight to be seen. SCOTS sets are high-energy affairs full of engaging crowd work and, when you combine that with the powerful presence of the Americana-leaning Kamara Thomas’ Aquarian Devils opening up the evening, it makes for a compelling night of music.

The Old Ceremony and Reese McHenry

Saturday, January 28 at Transfer Co. Ballroom

Tickets: $12 plus

The Old Ceremony makes their long-awaited return to Raleigh with one of the city’s most beloved songwriters in recent memory, Reese McHenry. Since the early 2000s Django Haskins and The Old Ceremony have crafted expansive takes on indie-rock tunes, bringing cinematic soundscapes that melt together with a wide variety of stringed instruments. The adventurous nature of TOC’s tunes are directly juxtaposed with McHenry’s plain-spoken approach to her music. McHenry’s work bounces between all-out rock ‘n’ roll and a swinging take on bluesy soul; she’s a musical force of nature that blows past anything in her path. 

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