Pop music will be booming this fall


A pair of country music behemoths, the return of northwest Ohio homegirl Crystal Bowersox, and a steady lineup of smaller but wildly entertaining acts highlight another eminently entertaining popular music calendar.

A series of must-see musicians kicks off right away this week with the return of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue to the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle on Wednesday. Shorty, aka Troy Andrews, is a multitalented, charismatic performer whose shows blow your face out with funk, rock, pop, jazz, and old school soul.

On Friday veteran blues guitarist Jimmy Thackery and his appropriately named band the Drivers will rattle the walls at Mainstreet in East Toledo.

The Birds of Chicago return Saturday for one of their semi-regular shows at the Village Idiot. Toledo native Jeremy Lindsay and Canadian Allison Russell are now married and their concerts exude a joyous mix of pristine vocal harmonies and what can only dubbed soul folk music. They usually pack the Idiot in Maumee and just like with Trombone Shorty, you’ll walk out feeling better about yourself and the state of the world.

That’s a pretty good start for what looks like another promising series of guaranteed-good concerts.

Here’s a rough breakdown of what else is coming to northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, in chronological order:

Friday — Dragon Wagon Band will bring its “country folk bluegrass with a shot of Irish whiskey” to the Tecumseh Center for the Arts.

Oct. 1 — Veteran indie rockers the Meat Puppets hit Frankie’s Inner City.

Oct. 13 — Country-pop band Florida Georgia Line will be at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green with opening acts Colt Ford and Dallas Smith.

Oct. 19 — Choices will have to be made on this Saturday night: the kids are going to want to be at Mainstreet in East Toledo for Motion City Soundtrack, a power pop band; older alt-rockers will be across the street for Detroit’s The Hard Lessons at Frankie’s, and everyone else can head up to Monroe County Community College to catch Elliston, Ohio native Crystal Bowersox at the La-Z-Boy Meyer Center. Oh, and for people in an older demographic will want to see the Gaither Vocal Band at the Stranahan Theater.

Oct. 24 — Former pop idol (you don’t get to be a pop idol anymore when you’re 26 years old) Aaron Carter will bring his hip-hop and radio-friendly music to Howards Club H in Bowling Green.

Nov. 1 — Ohio jam band Ekoostik Hookah, which makes Toledo a regular stop on its touring schedule, will take up residence at Mainstreet.

Nov. 9 — Detroit area outlaw country rockers Whitey Morgan will be at Mainstreet. They opened for Bob Seger the last time he was at the Huntington Center.

Nov. 13 — If the holidays are approaching that means the Huntington Center will be sold out for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which is always a big seasonal draw.

Nov. 16 — Speaking of selling out, the Huntington Center will be packed to the rafters for country superstars Lady Antebellum, who headline a concert that also features Kacey Musgraves and Kip Moore.

Nov. 24 — Modern country reigns supreme just eight days later at the downtown arena when Keith Urban, Little Big Town, and Dustin Lynch hit town.

Dec. 6 — The country music cavalcade continues with Collin Raye at the Lourdes University Franciscan Center.

Dec. 21 — The Oak Ridge Boys return to the Stranahan Theater for one of their combo holiday/hits shows.

Dec. 22 — Just in time for Christmas, Jim Brickman brings his seasonal concert to the Stranahan.

Dec. 26 — In 2009 comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham was the first to play what was then called the Lucas County Arena. Now it’s the Huntington Center and Dunham is back.

Dec. 29 — Let the New Year’s celebrations start early with the explosive Cincinnati band Foxy Shazam who will bring their insanely fun blend of rock and glam to Mainstreet.

March 2 — The Irish Rovers, dubbed the “ambassadors of Irish music” hit the Tecumseh Center for the Arts for what they say is their last U.S. tour ever.

April 19 — Grown-up boys band Boyz II Men will play what promises to be a classy, romantic concert at the Stranahan with the Toledo Symphony providing the instrumentation.

That’s it for now, but keep an eye on The Blade and our Thursday Peach Weekender section for more shows when they appear.

Contact Rod Lockwood at: rlockwood@theblade.com or 419-724-6159.