When temperatures start to drop, it’s a sure sign that the live musical action in nightclubs and concert halls is starting to heat up – a welcome return after a long COVID-induced hiatus – and the lineup of this fall offers a plethora of pop music options, including some outdoor venues. Here’s a look at five notable shows taking place this month:
Tuesday September 21: Dr Dog
One of the most compelling indie rock bands around, Philadelphia-based Dr. Dog, wraps up Ben & Jerry’s Concerts on the Green series on their final tour. “It’s not a breakup or anything like that,” the band said in a press release, adding that the tour “is going to rule.”
The show’s opening is Bowerbirds, the recording project of North Carolina singer-songwriter Phil Moore, and Philadelphia-based indie rock band Hop Along.
Ben & Jerry’s Concerts on the Green, Shelburne Museum, 6 p.m. (Higher Ground Presents) $ 44 in advance, $ 48 on day of show (free for ages 12 and under); call 888-512-7469 or go online at www.highergroundmusic.com
Friday September 24: Soccer Mommy, Squirrel Flower
Soccer Mommy, aka Sophie Allison, 24, Nashville-born indie pop singer-songwriter, Switzerland-born – Under the Radar calls him “one of the brightest talents of his genre” – performs at the support of her second album of 2020, “Color Theory.”
Squirrel Flower, aka singer-songwriter Ella Williams, 25, opens the show in support of her second album, “Planet (i)”, released in June.
Backside 405, 405 Pine St., Burlington, 8 p.m. (Higher Ground Presents) $ 20 in advance, $ 25 on day of show (all ages); call 888-512-7469 or go online at www.highergroundmusic.com
Friday September 24: Aoife O’Donovan, Hawktail
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Aoife (pronounced EE-fah) O’Donovan, 38, has transcended the genre as a highly regarded solo artist and member of the acclaimed trio I’m With Her, among many many other projects (Goat Rodeo, Always Twisted). The extraordinary Boston-born, Brooklyn-based artist – called “a singer with an infallible instinct” by the New York Times – performs ahead of her upcoming superb album, “Age of Apathy,” due for release in January. .
Sharing the poster, the powerful instrumental quartet of Nashville Hawktail, a sort of super group made up of violinist Brittany Haas (Crooked Still, Dave Rawlings), bassist Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers), guitarist Jordan Tice (Tony Trischka) and mandolinist Dominick Leslie (Noam Pikelny).
Lyndon Institute Auditorium, Lyndon Center, 7 p.m. (KCP Presents) $ 15 to $ 52 (free for students); call 888-757-5559 or go online at www.catamountarts.org Hawktail also performs at 7:30 p.m. on Friday October 29 at UVM Recital Hall (UVM Lane Series) $ 33.50 ($ 5 for students); call 802-656-4455 or go online at www.uvm.edu/laneseries
Sunday September 26: John Fusco and the X-Road Riders
Best known as the screenwriter and filmmaker behind iconic films such as “Young Guns”, “Thunderheart” and “The Highwaymen” among others, Morrisville-based John Fusco is also a renowned blues musician with two recently released stellar albums. under his belt.
Fusco’s group, the X-Road (pronounced “crossroads”) Riders, is a collective made up of two groups of musicians: a “Southern Chapter” which includes Mississippi-based members like Cody Dickinson of North Mississippi Allstars and the trombonist. Sarah Morrow (Dr John, Ray Charles Orchestra); and a “northern chapter” which includes guitarist Kurt Pierson and bassist Denny Diego de Barre and drummer Spencer Perry from Montpellier, among several others who perform with the group.
North and South will unite for “Blues to the Bone”, a benefit concert featuring Fusco, who plays Hammond B3, and the X-Road Riders with special guest Marrow on trombone. Marrow will lead a young Vermont brass section, while the group will also include Hyde Park frontman Brickett Bailey and a gospel-style choir of Vermont singers.
Burlington singer-songwriter DonnCherie and the Maple Run Band will open for the new outdoor venue.
Town & Country Stowe, 876 Mountain Road, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. $ 15 (benefit Lamoille Community House; tickets available at Deep End, Ranch Camp and Stowe Beverage); go online to www.facebook.com/events/903339637222730
Tuesday September 28: Blackberry Smoke
Formed 20 years ago, the Atlanta band Blackberry Smoke have established themselves as the torchbearers of modern country southern rock. The touring group made a rare appearance in Green Mountain State in support of their latest album, “You Hear Georgia”. Released in May, the album debuted as the best-selling country and rock album and entered No. 1 on Billboard’s Americana / Folk Albums chart.
“Blackberry Smoke is still on fire,” said the American songwriter, who called the album “a testament to that tenacity and a shameless ode to an insurrectionary attitude and tradition,” adding: ” Blackberry Smoke continues to deliver with the confidence and reliability that their fans have come to expect.
Paramount Theater, Rutland, 8 p.m. $ 40- $ 60; call 802-775-0903 or go online at www.paramountvt.org
thomaswhuntington @ hotmail.com