Sea Wolf, Jan. 16, Jack Rabbits
LA-based folk-popper Alex Brown Church spiced up his most recent album, 2012’s “Old World Romance,” with slick production and lush electronic flourishes, reaching a wider audience while turning off many hardcore fans. Perhaps that’s why Church will set out on a solo tour in January to celebrate self-recording a crowd-sourced album that harks back to Sea Wolf’s early work. Because hey, back to basics never hurt nobody.
The Corbitt Brothers, Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, JacksonVegas and Parker Urban Band, Jan. 25, Underbelly
This homegrown midwinter hootenanny should warm Jacksonville’s spirits. The Corbitt Brothers, born and raised locally but now based in North Carolina, do hell-raising Southern jam-rock perfectly, while Duval regulars Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, JacksonVegas and Parker Urban Band handle black-hearted bluegrass, graceful folk-pop and gospel-tinged R&B, respectively, with ease. Expect lots of creative cross-pollination among these good friends, frequent collaborators and true ambassadors of the 904.
Merle Haggard, Feb. 1, The Florida Theatre
This Okie from Muskogee has been perfecting his twangy Bakersfield sound since the mid-1950s, when he overcame the stigma of a string of prison stints to turn buttoned-down country music on its head. Bouncing between contrarian positions as a drug-taking outlaw, avowed American patriot and traditionalist icon, Haggard’s career is still best summed up by this quotation from a 1990 New York Times profile: “I’ve never been a guy that can do what people told me.”
Queens of the Stone Age, Feb. 3, The Florida Theatre
No one has expanded the modern hard-rock palette more than Josh Homme, who founded pioneering stoner-rock band Kyuss when he was 14. Since 1996, Homme has focused on Queens of the Stone Age, releasing six albums that explore every possible permutation of heavy metal, Krautrock, experimental hardcore and beyond. The one constant? A triple-whammy of sledgehammer riffs, a captivating stage show and a tongue-in-cheek attitude rare in the macho hard-rock orbit.