This week’s list of recommendations includes three shows featuring bands led by, and including, some of Kansas City’s best women performers.
Jan. 10 at Knuckleheads Saloon: The Waydown Wanderers
This ensemble from central Illinois started in 2013 as a roots/country/bluegrass band. Since then, their sound has evolved significantly, breaching the boundaries of pop, blues, reggae, and, according to a review of their 2019 release, Illusions, even rap:
‘The fifth track, All My Words, combines reggae rhythms and a mid-song rap with a closing Foggy Mountain Breakdown-style banjo.” The review goes on to cite the Beach Boys, the Band, and Bo Diddley as some of the other music inspirations on the record.
Show time is 9 p.m. Tickets are $15.
Jan. 10 at the Silverstein Eye Center: Cody Johnson & Friends
Johnson grew up in east Texas as a devout young bull rider. But at the onset of puberty, music became his passion. He was 19 in 2006 when he released his debut, Black and White Label. He would release three more albums before he cracked the country charts in 2014—at No. 7—with Cowboy Like Me. Its follow-up, Gotta Be Me, peaked at No. 2.
In January 2019, Johnson released his major-label debut, Ain’t Nothin’ To It, which rose to No. 1 on the country chart.
In its 3.5-star review of the album, Rolling Stone praised Johnsons’ fidelity to his east Texas roots and his indifference to Music Row’s trends.
“Cowboys are an endangered species in modern Nashville writing rooms; Johnson still sings about them as if Chris LeDoux never went out of style. … Fiddles have mostly gone the way of the dodo; Johnson is still a believer. And while much of country music is no longer made for dancehalls, Johnson still knows how to make listeners partner up and move.”
Show time is 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $44.
Jan. 11 at the Uptown Theatre: The Greeting Committee
This quartet comprises Blue Valley High grads who got things started as underclassmen at a talent show in 2014. Their self-released debut EP, It’s Not All That Bad, prompted interest from Harvest Media, a major indie label, which released the two follow-up EPs, re-released Bad, and, in October 2018, released the band’s premier full-length, This It.
The band is fronted by dynamic lead vocalist Addie Sartino, who deftly conveys the spirit of the Committee’s bristling indie-pop anthems.
A writer at Flood Magazine captured the band’s essence by describing the sound of This Is It’s title song: “The track is a sparkling pop confection, punctuated by bracing horn blasts like an updated take on the Waitresses day-drinking with Florence + the Machine.”
Samia opens the all-ages show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20-$45.
Jan. 11 at RecordBar: Claire Adams with Rewound
Adams has led or been a part of some of Kansas City’s most inventive bands: the spectacular octet Claire and the Crowded Stage, the B’Dinas, Appropriate Grammar, and, for several years, Katy Guillen & The Girls.
After Guillen and the Girls disbanded, Adams, a gifted singer-songwriter and musician, launched a solo project, one that pursued fresh takes on folk and pop, like in this track, Better Luck.
For this show, she will be more than capably supported by Alyssa Murray on keys, Fritz Hutchison on drums, and the rapturous Rewound string trio. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $15.
Jan. 11 at Knuckleheads Saloon: Katy Guillen and The Drive
Katy Guillen started out in a duo, playing guitar backed by drummer extraordinaire Go-Go Ray. She has been best known for her trio, Katy Guillen & The Girls, comprising Guillen, drummer Stephanie Williams, and bassist Claire Adams.
When that band split up, Guillen started another trio, The Drive, but then stepped forward into the past and turned it into a duo. Backed again by another supreme drummer, Williams, she is taking rock and blues and other guitar-centric genres into inventive places.
Saturday night at Knuckleheads, they will celebrate the release of their seven-song EP Dream Girl, and Guillen said she’s aiming to have “something special” in store for the crowd.
Jenny Woods opens at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.
OTHER SHOWS TO KNOW ABOUT
Teduschi Trucks Band, Jan. 21 at the Kansas City Music Hall: Two of the most dynamic live performers in the jammy blues are also wife and husband. Sometimes marriage is musical bliss.
Miranda Lambert, Feb. 6 at Sprint Center: In 2019, she released Wildcard, one of the year’s best country records. This year, she’ll celebrate the 15th birthday of her stellar debut, Kerosene. Between the two, she has maintained an excellence and consistency surpassed by few others.
Dweezil Zappa, Feb. 29 at The Truman: Frank’s son continues to honor his father’s legacy by reviving his iconic and uber-eclectic compositions.
George Thorogood and the Destroyers, March 1 at the Uptown Theater: Nothing much has changed since he launched his band out of Delaware during the Nixon administration. They’re still rocking the hard boogie blues.
The Del McCoury Band, March 26 at Knuckleheads Saloon: They still are what they’ve always been: legends and pioneers in traditional bluegrass with roots in Bill Monroe ensembles.