Folk Music

15 must-see shows for folk and country fans

Brent Cobb will perform at The Sinclair on Sept. 23.
Brent Cobb will perform at The Sinclair on Sept. 23. Terry Wyatt/Getty Images /file

BRENT COBB “Honky-tonk’s the trick/But get a guitar and grab your pick/Let the old tunes possess you, and play,” sings Brent Cobb on “King of Alabama,” his ode to a songwriting friend who died a few years ago. Cobb does what he sings, adding swaths of swampy soul and Southern rock to his honky-tonk along the way. Sept. 23. $15. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 888-929-7849, www.axs.com

DANIEL NORGREN/JAKE XERXES FUSSELL A double-sided double bill that pairs Swedish songsmith Daniel Norgren, touring in support of his outsider travelogue through American roots music, “Wooh Dang,” and Fussell, a North Carolinian folklorist whose albums, including his latest, “Out of Sight,” record his takes on the results of his musical spelunkings. Sept. 28. $18. Brighton Music Hall, Allston. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com


BIG LAZY The website for this instrumental guitar-upright bass-drums combo elegantly distills the essence of their sound: “Big Lazy dwells in the unmistakable landscape of gritty yet gracefully crafted American music, simultaneously noir and pastoral, gothic and modern, conjuring images of everything from big sky country to seedy back rooms.” They’ll play from their latest iteration of that, “Dear Trouble.” Oct. 3. $15. Lizard Lounge, Cambridge. 617-547-0759, www.lizardloungeclub.com

AUSTIN PLAINE He hails from Minnesota, now makes his home in Nashville, but recorded his sophomore record, “Stratford,” in a Brooklyn apartment (and named it after the street on which the dwelling was located), opting to bring a full-band treatment to his intense, folk-country sound. Oct. 3. $10. Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge. 866-468-3399, www.ticketweb.com

EILEN JEWELL One-time Boston-area resident Jewell returned to her native Idaho several years ago, but the inveterate explorer of the vast array of American roots forms is still a regular visitor to these parts. She’ll be showcasing her brand-new album, “Gypsy,” her first original music since 2015. Oct. 11. $22. Bull Run Restaurant, Shirley. 877-536-7190, www.bullrunrestaurant.com


KACY & CLAYTON Saskatchewan cousins Kacy Anderson and Clayton Linthicum release their fourth album, “Carrying On,” just ahead of this date, and it’s another marvelous conjuring of their lonesome, electrified-ancient sound and sensibility. They’re opening for Ray Lamontagne. Oct. 12. $39.50 and up. Boch Center Wang Theatre, Boston. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com

BARNSTAR! Zachariah Hickman and his fellows only get together as Barnstar! once in a while, because of the impositions of solo careers and sideman obligations. Here are two chances to see their off-kilter bluegrass-y takes on outside-the-lines covers and their own songs, including, maybe, some new ones. Oct. 15-16. $30. Club Passim, Cambridge. 617-492-7679, www.passim.org

THE TOWN AND THE CITY FESTIVAL The second edition of this multivenue Lowell festival is once again nothing if not musically diverse. There’s plenty on offer on the roots-music side, including Dori Freeman, Darlingside, Michaela Anne, Jonah Tolchin, Jeffrey Foucault, and Twisted Pine. Oct. 18-19. See website for venues, times and ticket prices. www.thetownandthecityfestival.com

WARD DAVIS He’s written and played with his pals Cody Jinks and Whitey Morgan, and got Jamey Johnson and Willie Nelson to pitch in on his cover of Ed Bruce’s classic “Old Wore Out Cowboys.” Suffice it to say that when he plays, he’ll scratch your outlaw itch. Oct. 25. $20. The Porch, Medford. 781-874-9357, www.theporchsouthern.com

FRUIT BATS Fruit Bats, the on-again, off-again folk-rock project of Eric D. Johnson and whoever he’s playing with on whatever he’s working on, comes through town in support of delightfully diverse June release “Gold Past Life.” Andrew Combs opens. Nov. 6. $16. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 888-929-7849, www.axs.com


ALEXA ROSE Rose grew up in the midst of the Virginia Alleghenies, and there is mountain music to be found on her debut album, “Medicine for Living,” but not just; it’s electric as well as acoustic, ranging through rolling alternative country and snatches of rock ’n’ roll. Nov. 7. $10. Atwood’s Tavern, Cambridge. 800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com

THE FLATLANDERS As the title of a reissue of the lone 1972 obscurity they recorded before drifting apart put it, these forefathers of Americana or alternative country (call it what you will) were indeed “more a legend than a band” — until, decades later, the legend became an actual band. Nov. 15. $35-$50. City Winery, Boston. 617-933-8047, www.citywinery.com/boston

JOAN SHELLEY The Kentucky singer-songwriter is touring in support of “Like the River Loves the Sea,” which she decamped to Iceland to make. The album, she says, “is built as a haven for over-stimulated heads in uncertain times”; if ever there was music with a beckoning stillness suitable to that purpose, it is hers. Nov. 15. $15. Red Room at Cafe 939. 617-747-2261, www.cafe939.com

JONATHAN BYRD This North Carolinian has been called one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years. He probably didn’t earn that assignation with the likes of “I met my baby at a tractor pull/She dropped her hammer on my heart and soul,” but that lyric has the virtue of bringing a smile to your face while the high-test hillbilly beat that accompanies it puts a tap in your foot. Nov. 17. $18. The Burren, Somerville. 617-776-6896, www.burren.com


ROBERT GORDON AND CHRIS SPEDDING Gordon is a bit north of 70 years old these days, but still playing the rockabilly that he had a leading role in rediscovering and reanimating in the 1970s. He’s doing a brief East Coast tour, and bringing along his longtime compadre Chris Spedding on guitar. Nov. 21. $20. ONCE Ballroom, Somerville. 617-285-0167, www.oncesomerville.com

Stuart Munro can be reached at sj.munro@verizon.net.