Starhaven Rounders, with Ruddy Swain
Classic country revivalism — think Hank, Johnny, Merle, Waylon — is the notion behind this relatively new group, which includes local stalwarts Mike Alexander, Kirsten Paludan and Bill Sundahl, among others. Ruddy Swain, a collaboration between the Grisly Hand singer Lauren Krum and David Regnier of Dead Voices, lends an Americana lead-in to the evening's festivities.
Friday, March 30, at the Brick (1727 McGee, 816-421-1634)
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, with Hearts of Darkness
Seun Kuti, the son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, has emerged as a torch carrier of his father's sound and legacy. He currently heads up Egypt 80, the funky, fiery big band that Fela once fronted.
Friday, March 30, at the Granada (1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390)
Cheyenne Marie Mize
Louisville songstress and multi-instrumentalist Cheyenne Marie Mize made a valuable friend in 2009, when she teamed up with indie cult hero Bonnie "Prince" Billy for Among the Gold, an EP of 19th-century parlor songs. She has since made smart use of the opportunity. Her latest, We Don't Need, offers a wide sampling of sounds — percussive folk, vintage blues, minor-chord guitar rock — as a backdrop to the star of the show: Mize's elastic, captivating vocals.
Thursday, March 29, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)
Yonder Mountain String Band
On the Venn diagram of jam band and bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band occupies the overlap. The Colorado "newgrass" act merges formalist string plucking with loose, improvisational jams and buttresses its sound with memorable melodies.
Thursday, March 29, at Liberty Hall (644 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1972)
Franz Nicolay lasted five years as keyboardist in hyper-American bar band the Hold Steady before quitting the group to chase his vaudevillian muses. He has since released two solo theatrical gypsy-rock records, Major General and Luck and Courage. Nicolay's sonic aesthetic is miles from the Hold Steady's, but he shares with former bandmate Craig Finn a knack for clever, specific storytelling. He's joining Kepi Ghoulie and Kevin Seconds, who were in Lawrence a few weeks back, for this leg of the tour.
Friday, March 30, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)
The Kauffman Center lined up many big names for its inaugural season, but perhaps none bigger than Philip Glass. The legendary composer performs new works on piano, accompanied by violinist Tim Fain.
Tuesday, April 3, at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (1601 Broadway, 816-994-7222)