Unknown Hinson and Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, Feb. 27 at Jack Rabbits

The mutant chimera of a trailer-park gene pool and Conway-Twitty-off-his-meds, at his recent Northeast Florida appearance neo-psychobilly artist extraordinaire Unknown Hinson delivered a righteous concert to a devoted crowd. Following a blistering set by openers GCM, Hinson and his band kicked through such classics as “I Ain’t Afraid of Your Husband,” “Pregnant Again,” “Peace, Love and Hard Liquor” and “Hippie Girl.” Sporting his signature jet-black pompadour and equally obsidian and downright menacing eyebrows, Hinson (born Stuart Daniel Baker) did not disappoint. — Daniel A. Brown

Paul McCartney, Oct. 25 at Veterans Memorial Arena 

Yeah, OK, Sir Paul’s an obvious choice: Dude’s a freakin’ Beatle, the last living Beatle who isn’t Ringo, and after The Beatles came Wings and his long-running solo career — which, let’s be honest, is pretty hit-and-miss (without the ballast of John Lennon, McCartney’s pop sensibilities can skew toward the saccharine) — and now denim-clad collabs with Kanye and Rihanna. And yeah, my review ticket was gratis, and 12 rows back — my neighbors said they paid something in the ballpark of $500 a pop to be there — so I’m probably biased. So what? Paul killed it, from the opening “Magical Mystery Tour” to the string of Beatles classics (and the one Wings song I care about) that wrapped up his first set to the two encores, 39 (39!) songs in all, 24 of which were from the Fab Four, almost three hours of music from a 72-year-old who first played Jacksonville a half-century ago and knows how to put on a show. — Jeffrey C. Billman

Iron & Wine, March 1 at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall

Sam Beam, the lanky Texan with the angelic voice behind the misleading name Iron & Wine, strolled out on the stage with just his guitar and, when the applause died down, asked, “What would you like me to play first?” Someone shouted, “Such Great Heights” – the Postal Service song that he so righteously covered, of course – and Beam laughed and said, “Of course.” From that point on, any time Beam spoke or, better yet, sang, everyone in the room was quiet. He wove stories about weed and traveling and not understanding why people were yelling “Duuuuuvvvaaalll” at him earlier that day, with great, soul-shaking renditions of “The Boy With a Coin,” “Walking Far From Home,” “Cinder and Smoke” and “Grace for Saints and Ramblers.” If he messed up, he stopped and started over. Sometimes he laughed between verses if someone said something. It wasn’t the perfect performance – which can be a cold and replicated experience – but it was intimate. He connected, and I’m not sure I’ve ever been as entranced by a performer as I was by Sam that night. — Danny Kelly

Steve Hackett performing Genesis Revisited, April 2 at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall

I am an admitted nerd for early ’70s prog rock, so the chance to witness guitarist Steve Hackett play a concert of prime Genesis songs was akin to receiving an art rock speedball. The now-64-year-old Hackett and band delivered a jaw-dropping three-hour set that included epics like “The Cinema Show” and “Watcher of the Skies.” Bonus points for my girlfriend and me meeting an understandably exhausted-but-still-personable Hackett afterward and having him autograph our old Genesis and solo Hackett vinyl. Geeks! — Daniel A. Brown

Justin Townes Earle and Cory Branan, Nov. 15 at Colonial Quarter

The son of country outlaw Steve Earle and godson of Townes Van Zandt, Justin Townes Earle has always intrigued me. So when I heard that the Americana singer-songwriter was going to be playing the Colonial Quarter in downtown St. Augustine, I grabbed a group of friends and headed that way. First of all, I totally dig the Colonial Quarter as a venue. Second, Earle’s opening act, Cory Branan, is magnificently entertaining. Finally, Earle was everything I imagined – oddly optimistic and quirky. He’s proved himself time and again to be one of the best storytellers of my generation. — Kara Pound

7 Seconds and Poor Richards, Nov. 4 at Jack Rabbits

Early in November last year, a musical tsunami swept over Jacksonville. It originated on the West Coast in 1980 and slammed into San Marco’s Jack Rabbits with the force of a freight train. Punk band 7 Seconds created a tidal surge so intense it did not pause in between the first 10 songs. The band’s non-stop energy was reflected in the crowd’s enthusiasm. The young punks swiftly formed a circular mosh pit that spun faster as the music accelerated. The audience sang along to “Walk Together, Rock Together,” “We’re Gonna Fight,” and “Regress, No Way.” Twentysomething skankers formed a bond with the fiftysomething band members and exalted a night for Jax punk history. — J. Scott Gaillard

Krishna Das,  April 4 at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum

The term “New Age music” can make one immediately think of snooze-inducing recordings of cheesy synthesizers, mashups blending whale mating calls with pygmies chanting, or, God forbid, an orchestra of wind chimes. Vocalist Krishna Das – KD to his fans – was nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award for Best New Age Album, but his music dispels the kind of fluffy, coma-causing soundtracks that are part and parcel of the genre. His is based on a form of Hindu devotional music known as the kirtan, a kind of call-and-response between the singer and his audience. At his Karpeles performance, joined only by tabla player Arjuna Bruggeman and electric bassist Mark Gorman, KD wove hypnotic drones on a harmonium as he led a capacity crowd through two hours of music ranging from the Hare Krishna mantra to “Jesus on the Main Line,” as the audience sang along to centuries of spiritual music from several faiths. While many musicians try to “raise the roof,” Krishna Das elevated the consciousness of a couple hundred people on a Friday night in Springfield. —Daniel A. Brown