With the Canadian Broadcasting Company calling him "an absolute juggernaut" and The Guardian deeming him "a storytelling titan," folk singer and guitarist Willi Carlisle headlines a March 26 concert at Davenport's Raccoon Motel, the Washington Post adding of the artist, “Carlisle has a poetry in describing songs passed down through generations as a most precious cultural commodity, and a passion and immediacy in performing them.”

March in the Quad Cities sees the return of spring, or something like it. It also brings a wide variety of live music, from past masters and new faces. My top live picks for March fall into each category, from returning rock veterans to debut performances in the Quad Cities.

Held in honor of the Figge Art Museum’s major exhibition Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960, a quintet of classical-music talents will share the spotlight when the Davenport venue and the Quad City Symphony Orchestra host the special March 25 program Up Close with the Figge: Women in Music, a night of glorious compositions featuring Hannah Holman on cello, Marian Lee on piano, and Emily Nash, Janis Sakai, and Deborah Dakin all on viola.

A trio of country-music superstars will combine their chart-topping talents at the Rust Belt on March 25 when the East Moline hosts the national tour of Roots & Boots: '90s Electric Throwdown, a night of exhilarating genre smashes boasting the energetic stylings of Sammy Kershaw, Collin Raye, and Aaron Tippin.

Touring in support of their fall release Flowers for June, Jay Ernest and the Minneapolis-based musicians of Church of Cash bring their Johnny Cash tribute to Davenport's Raccoon Motel on March 24, performing from the legendary singer's expansive repertoire and the album's repertoire that boasts undersung hits such as “A Thing Called Love,” “Dark as a Dungeon,” and “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky.”

A Grammy-winning icon and bona-fide county-music legend makes her eagerly awaited appearance at the Rhythm City Casino Resort Event Center on March 24 with the Davenport arrival of Tanya Tucker, whose first radio hit "Delta Dawn" – recorded when she was only 13 years old – has thus far led to the release of 25 studio albums, three live albums, and 30 compilation albums.

A oountry-music superstar boasting sales of more than 90 million records worldwide, Reba McEntire brings her eagerly awaited national tour to Moline's Vibrant Arena at the MARK on March 18, the beloved entertainer's many accomplishments including more than 100 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, a well-reviewed lead in a Broadway musical, and a six-season run on her eponymous sitcom that earned the star a Golden Globe nomination.

Performing in their wildly anticipated 50th Anniversary Celebration Freedom Tour alongside the Grammy-winning chart-toppers of Toto, the iconic arena-rockers of Journey play Moline's Vibrant Arena at the MARK on March 21, the band currently composed of of guitarist/vocalist Neal Schon (the longest-serving original member), keyboardists/vocalists Jonathan Cain and Jason Derlatka, drummer/vocalist Deen Castronovo, bassist Todd Jensen, and lead vocalist Arnel Pineda.

T.I., March 18

One of the most successful, and certainly most controversial, artists in rap history appears at the Rhythm City Casino Resort Event Center when the Davenport venue hosts a concert with Tip “T.I.” Harris, the Grammy Award-winning rapper/songwriter and business mogul who has sold more than 10 million albums in the United States alone.

Performing in support of their latest album Unify, a 70-minute record that Live for Live Music raved “emanates brotherhood, evokes oneness, and embodies inspiration in the face of adversity,” the funk artists of Lettuce bring their national tour to East Moline venue The Rust Belt on March 22, their 2022 release also inspiring Glide magazine to rave that the group “does more than enough here to solidify their well-earned status as one of today’s leading fun-and-funk bands.”