January, for touring acts, is often a time for uniting with family or entering the recording studio to work on future projects.
But this month, the Triangle hosts prominent artists featuring a range of bluegrass styles, from traditional to progressive. Here are some to help you get over the post-holiday blues.
▪ Charles R. Humphrey III, founding member and bassist with Steep Canyon Rangers, has left the Rangers behind and launched a new musical adventure with Songs From the Road Band. The band will serve as an outlet for his compositions and those of his talented bandmates.
The details: Jan. 5, 7:30 p.m. Fletcher Opera Theater, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. $31.11 to $33.25 for non-PineCone members. $25.75 to $27.89 for members. 919-664-8302 or pinecone.org
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▪ Grammy-winning bluegrassers Steep Canyon Rangers got their start at UNC-Chapel Hill. Now, they return with two evenings of award-winning fan favorite songs and new ones from their forthcoming CD, “Out in the Open,” which will be released later this month.
The details: Jan. 12 and 13, 8 p.m. Memorial Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill. Ticket prices vary. 919-843-3333 or carolinaperformingarts.org
▪ Yonder Mountain String Band has won loyal fans and hosted festivals since forming in 1998. This year marks two decades for the Colorado-based bluegrass band, and the 20th anniversary tour is underway. The Southern Belles will also perform.
The details: Jan. 12, 8 p.m. Cat’s Cradle, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro. $25, or $30 day of show. 919-967-9053 or catscradle.com/events
▪ The Stray Birds have made the musical leap from sidewalk buskers to acclaimed touring and recording artists. Their 2017 CD, “Magic Fire,” was released on Hillsborough’s Yep Roc Records and earned praise from NPR as one of Folk Alley’s Top 10 albums of the year.
The details: Jan. 13, 8 p.m. Cat’s Cradle Back Room, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro. $12, or $15 day of show. 919-967-9053 or or catscradle.com/events
▪ With their roots in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the Steel Wheels have developed the same stellar musicianship characteristic of the region’s old-time and bluegrass traditions. Lilting vocals and blended harmonies set the band apart, with appeal to fans of fully-formed Americana melody.
The details: Jan. 19, 9 p.m. Motorco Music Hall, 723 Rigsbee Ave., Durham. $15-$23. 919-901-0875 or motorcomusic.com
▪ From Hot Rize to a stellar solo career, Tim O’Brien has remained among the most creative and productive artists on the bluegrass/Americana scene. O’Brien was named IBMA’s top male vocalist in 1993 and 2005, the same year he won song of the year for “Look Down that Lonesome Road.” This time, he’s touring with the Banjo Tramps, Jan Fabricius, J.D. Hutchinson and Old Man Luedecke.
The details: Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m. Fletcher Opera Theater, 2 E. South St., Raleigh. Tickets start at $34. 800-745-3000 or pinecone.org