This week starts off on a relatively quiet note. The Hotel Café has a couple interesting shows during the week. Singer/songwriter Henry Wolfe, whom the LA Times hailed as one of their people to watch in 2011, plays there with the local band Willoughby on Tuesday night. Then on Thursday night, Nicole Simone has a gig there. Her music reminds me of Eleni Mandell’s Tom Waits-style chanteuse vibe.
Things really pick up when the weekend comes. Largo hosts a tremendous songwriter summit on Friday night when Jesse Winchester, Jimmy Webb and Tom Russell share the stage and share songs. There isn't enough space to mention all of the classic tunes that they have written. If you appreciate expert songwriting, then this is a can't miss show.
Otis Taylor has a show out at the Arcadia Blues Club on the 14th. Taylor is a creative, unique bluesman. A banjo player, Taylor fills his albums (which he gives names like Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs) with non-traditional blues instruments to bring to life his compelling, heartfelt, hard-lived tunes.
Jake La Botz also plays the blues - blues inspired by Delta blues and Chicago blues. While he once did a tour of tattoo parlors, this Friday, he’ll be at the Redwood Bar with his band.
John Doe will be performing at McCabe’s Friday and Saturday night. The X and Knitters frontman has put out a string of potent solo efforts, including 2009’s covers-based collaboration with the Sadies, Country Club.
Andrew Bird has a pair of sold-out solo shows at Largo this weekend. So if you want to see him, hopefully you have a ticket already.
The Bad Books is a collaboration between the Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull and Kevin Devine that has drawn a lot of critical raves. They’ll bring this new project to the Troubadour on 1/15.
Midwestern folk-rocker Lissie will be headlining the Music Box on the 15th. Her Catching A Tiger disc garnered a lot of praise last year and she has become a KCRW favorite.