Performing blues, folk, country, and Americana music that, according to NPR, “evokes the old-timey spirit of a thousand crackling 78 RPM records” whose “energy makes them feel new and alive,” Midwestern singer/songwriter Pokey LaFarge plays Davenport's Redstone Room in support of his most recent album Manic Revelations, described by Paste magazine as “all sass and swagger, with plenty of juke-jump energy to spare.”

Described by Glide magazine as “a classic folk artist that somehow manages to never remain too predictable,” the Nashville-based, alternative-country musician Rayland Baxter performs a Moeller Nights concert on January 17, playing from a repertoire that includes his most recent album Imaginary Man, praised by for the “vibrant and lucid way in which he paints the characters of his stories.”

Let's put a new twist on an old format – the ubiquitous year-end lists about music. We invited over 50 Quad Citizens who we know contribute to, support, and/or promote the local-music scene to give us their takes on 2017 via a 3-2-1 format. We asked: What are the three top songs they loved listening to this year; the two top live shows they saw in the Quad Cities; and the number-one artist they most want to see perform here live in 2018?

A good friend of mine once relayed a phrase that her mother would lob at her as an explanation for her poor choice in men, saying, “Your taste is only in your mouth.” I suppose that’s how it is with music, too, isn’t it?

Additional and amended listings can be sent to, and this page will be updated through the afternoon of December 31, 2017. The entire Reader team wishes you and yours a very Happy & Safe New Year's!

Named in honor of the program's beloved founder who passed away last December, the River Music Experience's Ellis Kell Winter Blues Jam, taking place on December 30, will showcase the burgeoning talents of students who completed the venue's week-long Winter Blues Camp for area musicians ages eight to 18.

Performing in support of his new album Flickering Light, singer/songwriter Benjamin Cartel headlines a December 30 Rozz-Tox concert with songs from his latest release, his acclaimed EP Money & Love, and his 2015 album Gothenburg, which Rust magazine deemed “a great collection of contemporary Americana-style songs with subtle songwriting and very personal instrumentation.”

Hailing from Champaign, Illinois, the ever-popular, time-traveling tribute musicians of The Brat Pack return to the Rock Island Brewing Company for a December 23 concert event that finds their “almost totally '80s music” playlist updated with a smattering of modern hits.

The Iowa-based indie rockers of The Penny Serfs will play a Moeller Nights concert on December 18, treating audiences to the genre-hopping sound that lead vocalist Michael Loy described to the Prelude Press thusly: “Take The Beatles out for a drink or five; introduce them to Kurt Cobain (preferably under the influence); give them a few topics to discuss (i.e. politics, fear, past, present, and future); convince Paul and John to let Kurt sit in for a few sessions; hit the record button.”

With the 100-year anniversary of Nat King Cole's birth less than two years away, Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz Series and the Redstone Room will celebrate the legendary artist's life in a December 17 tribute featuring Tony Sconyers & the Ron Tegeler Quartet – the second in a trio of Polyrhythms performances dedicated to the jazz and swing legend.