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.

Currently touring in support of his most recent album Ytilaer that Mojo magazine awarded five stars and deemed an "outright classic," singer/songwriter and guitarist Bill Callahan headlines a March 8 concert at Davenport's Raccoon Motel, the apocalyptic-folk and gothic county artist's latest also leading to rave, "This is how an expert singer/songwriter captures the tenor of the moment: with songs of timeless quality."

Touring in support of their latest album that, according to Rock at Night, boasts "head-bobbing music with sing-along choruses and one toe-tapping song after another," married punk rockers Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas bring their outfit The Dollyrots to Davenport's Raccoon Motel on March 12, the duo's most recent recording Down the Rabbit Hole also deemed by Rock at Night as "definitely the music you need to have playing in order to amp up a lackluster party."

A celebrated Virginia string outfit currently enjoying its 24th year of professional performance, the country, folk, and Americana musicians of the Hackensaw Boys play Davenport's Raccoon Motel on March 3, the group's talents having inspired Pitchfork to rave, "The band infuses their grassy tornado with brazen punk attitude and catchy pop structure, while simultaneously remaining vehemently sincere."

A seminal voice in progressive rock for roughly a quarter-century, the Florida-based talents of Underoath headline a March 10 concert at East Moline venue The Rust Belt, the musicians' accomplishments including a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance and their 2006 album Define the Great Line debuting at number two on the Billboard 200.

Performing in a special concert event at Davenport's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Parish Hall on March 11, New-York based violinist Anna Elashvili and Chamber Music Quad Cities co-director Thomas Sauer will deliver a recital program of classic violin sonatas by Johannes Brahms and Maurice Ravel, these beautiful works presented alongside short, melodious character pieces by composers Christoph Glück, Antonin Dvorák, and Georges Boulanger.

Performing a singular blend of Chicago blues, New Orleans funk, Grateful Dead-style psychedelia, and jazz fusion, and also touring in support of their recent albums Solo Guitar and JMB4, the gifted musicians of the Joe Marcinek Band play Davenport's Redstone Room on March 9, a night also boasting the significant musical talents of special guest Jason Hann of String Cheese Incident.

A consistently popular and lauded presence on the Midwestern touring circuit, beloved folk singer/songwriter Cody Diekhoff – better known by his recording alias Chicago Farmer – headlines a March 16 concert with his band The Field Notes at Davenport's Redstone Room, the artist a soulful crooner and guitarist who inspired No Depression to rave, “If the Midwest is looking for a voice, the search is over.”

Lauded by Living Blues magazine as “21st Century blues at its best,” the Memphis-based artists of the Ghost Town Blues Band perform a March 4 concert at the Moline Viking Club presented by the Mississippi Valley Blues Society, treating audiences to the soulful, electrifying effects of, as Living Blues stated, “what can happen when the past is distilled through young sensibilities, voices, and instruments.”

A pair of disparate musical artists celebrating the releases of 2023 recordings will take the stage at Davenport's Raccoon Motel on March 10, the night bringing with it a set by Georgia-based folk-rock, country, and blues vocalist Pony Bradshaw, celebrating the release of his new album North Georgia Rounder, and the Canadian singer/songwriter poolblood, delivering impassioned indie rock and lush baroque flourishes in their LP mole.