As the holiday season approaches, there are plenty of opportunities in Nashville to see Christmas concerts from a variety of artists ranging from Brian Setzer to R. Kelly. AXS has a guide to them here. But just because it's December doesn't mean there isn't plenty of non-Christmas fare to go around in Music City. From Rock and Roll Hall of Famers to Americana legends, there's something for everyone's December concert tastes in Nashville.
In the pantheon of rock and roll legends, it doesn't get much bigger than David Crosby. A two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer for his work with country-rock pioneers The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, and Nash, David Crosby is also a prolific solo artist. Billed as “An Evening With David Crosby and Friends”, Crosby will take to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center for the first time ever with a four piece band spotlighting some of his biggest hits from Crosby, Stills, and Nash as well as selections from his recent solo album Lighthouse.
While many Nashville residents might associate Irish music with St. Patrick's Day, there's no reason why it can't be enjoyed year 'round. The recently renovated Belcourt Theater obviously agrees, booking two of the hottest names in Celtic music to perform. Eamonn McCrystal is an Emmy Award winning Irish pop tenor. In addition to his own work, McCrystal has also collaborated with the likes of country star Randy Travis and Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth and is a frequent performer at The Grand Ole Opry. McCrystal will be joined by Chloe Agnew, whose voice can be heard on fourteen albums from Irish vocal group Celtic Woman. For their Coast to Coast tour, McCrystal and Agnew will perform classic Irish standards as well as music from their respective careers.
Just a short hop down I-65 from Nashville is one of the city's best weekly music franchises, Music City Roots. Held at The Factory in Franklin, Music City Roots is a showcase of some of the best that Americana music has to offer. On Dec. 14, they will host one of Americana's most unusual groups when duo Hymn for Her takes the stage. Fueled by a driving kick drum, a cigar box guitar, and a banjo, Hymn for Her meld psychedelic rock, country, and liberal doses of punk ethos to create their unique sound. Joining Hymn for Her on the Music City Roots lineup will be The Farmer and Adele, The Buckleys, and Southern rockers The Kentucky Headhunters.
Celebrating their thirtieth year on the road, jam rock mainstays Widespread Panic will hit Nashville's Bridgestone Arena for a two-day residency beginning Dec. 30 for those wanting to begin their New Year's Eve party early. With a sound that blends the Southern rock of bands like The Allman Brothers with the genre-bending musical virtuosity of The Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic are perennial festival headliners and carry with them a loyal fanbase. Expect a varied setlist for each night, as well as extended improvisational solos and plenty of surprise guests.
Fans of Americana music will get a chance to spend their New Year's Eve with three generations of Americana stars at The Grand Ole Opry House. John Prine has been a fixture on the scene since his self-titled debut album in 1971 yielded hits like “Sam Stone” and “Illegal Smile.” He has recently found the charts again with his recent album of duets For Better... Or Worse. Jason Isbell is easily the hottest act on the scene today. His most recent album, Something More Than Free hit #1 on three different album charts and Isbell has sold out shows nationwide, including a history making four night run at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Opening the show is one of the genre's youngest stars, Kacey Musgraves. Musgraves has managed to find success in the mainstream country world with songs like “Follow Your Arrow” while maintaining enough roots credibility to retain a significant Americana fanbase. Musgraves has most recently been heard as one of John Prine's duet partners on his new album, a collaboration that is sure to be repeated when the two share a stage.
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