Twin Cities winter in country music: From Brandi Carlile to Big & Rich

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January's a heady and diverse month for country shows in the Twin Cities, kicking off with a pair of sold-out New Year's performances at the Varsity Theater by Brandi Carlile, and ending with that pair PETA has not yet recognized for their important work saving horses.

See also:
John Rich and Cowboy Troy rep for MuzikMafia or: WTF?
Big & Rich bring "Xtreme Muzik" Tour to Mystic Amphitheater Friday
Wits featuring Maria Bamford and Brandi Carlile, 11/30/12
Brandi Carlile on Bear Creek and Kris Kristofferson
Dwight Yoakam at Mystic Lake Casino, 2/11/11

Brandi Carlile
Sunday 12/30 7:00 and Monday 12/31 8:30
Varsity Theater, Sold Out

Just how in the fuck do you get Kris Kristofferson, in an orange prison jumpsuit, to appear in your music video? Brandi Carlile has obviously got somethin' goin' on (Sheryl Crow and Elton John also count themselves among her fans), and she returns to Minnesota next week for a pair of sold-out New Year's Eve shows. By the way, I can't watch that video because the thought of Kris Kristofferson in jail breaks my heart.

Colt Ford
Thursday January 10 8:00
The Cabooze, $25

He's a country music rapper and former professional golfer. Are you sick yet?

Dwight Yoakam
Friday January 11 8:00
Treasure Island Casino, $38-48

It appears tickets are almost sold out, so move fast on this one. Yoakam will no doubt play plenty of songs off his just-released, hillbilly-hiccuping album, 3 Pears , in addition to several of his over thirty chart-topping hits.

Kelly Joe Phelps and Peter Mulvey
Friday January 11 7:00
The Cedar, $15

Kelly Joe Phelps' slide guitar licks soulfully smoke, and overtop it all, his soft vocals smolder, while opener Peter Mulvey's adept folk-jazz guitar picking will no doubt inject some pep into the evening. Did I just say "pep?" Apologies.

Blackberry Smoke
Tuesday January 15 8:00
The Varsity, $16-18

Blackberry Smoke returns to Minneapolis not long after their stop opening for Zac Brown Band at the Target Center. So, like, a lot of the Allman Brothers and several of Skynyrd have died, but their long hair and scruffy beards live on, man. Nashville singer-songwriter and Alabama native Drake White opens.

Willy Mason
Saturday January 19 8:00
Turf Club, $10-12

He was born in New York City (get a rope), and raised on Martha's Vineyard (yup). His parents are folks singers, and he's a direct descendent of 19th-century philosopher William James, brother of novelist Henry James. He's played the Montreux Jazz Festival, and he's big in the U.K. Okay, so he's unlikely to be playing Toby Keith's anytime soon, but we think his gruff vocals and rhythmic, folksy melodies place him easily alongside a number of contemporary outlaw country musicians.

Kelly Hogan
Thursday January 24 7:30
Turf Club, $13-15

Hovering over the crossroads of pop, country and soul, Hogan's new album I Like to Keep Myself In Pain features songs written by pop/country/soul outlaws like herself - Vic Chesnutt, The Handsome Family, Robbie Fulks, Robyn Hitchcock, M. Ward, Andrew Bird and more.

Big & Rich
Party Like Cowboyz Tour with Special Guest Cowboy Troy
Saturday January 26 8:00
Mystic Lake Casino, $55-69

You know you wanna. Kinda. No? Okay.



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