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KC concerts Sept. 14-20: Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo, Tech N9ne, Banks

Tech N9ne will help open the new music venue in the Crossroads, the Truman, on Saturday, Sept. 16.
Tech N9ne will help open the new music venue in the Crossroads, the Truman, on Saturday, Sept. 16. SUSAN PFANNMULLER Special to the Star

Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo

Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Uptown Theater

Taj Mahal turned 75 in May. Keb’ Mo will celebrate his 66th birthday in October. The men born Henry Fredericks and Kevin Moore combine more than a century of experience as elite bluesmen in TajMo. The splendid collaboration is greater than the sum of its formidable parts. Thursday’s concert will include favorites from each man’s solo career including Fredericks’ “She Caught the Katy” and Moore’s “Am I Wrong” as well as new material that wouldn’t have sounded out of place 100 years ago.

8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $35-$65 through

The New Respects

Friday, Sept. 15, at Knuckleheads

Major labels have taken notice of the remarkable popularity of vintage R&B and retro-rock revivalists. The groundswell of organic support garnered by independent acts like Lee Fields and St. Paul and The Broken Bones compelled Capitol Records to deploy their formidable resources into promoting the career of the New Respects. Feel-good material like the propulsive dance song “Frightening Lightening” and the throwback pop anthem “Money” by the photogenic family band from Tennessee deserve the support.

10:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $12 through

Tech N9ne

Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Truman

What better way to inaugurate a new music venue than with a performance by a hometown hero? Tech N9ne, an artist known as the Kansas City King, has pledged on social media that “we gon’ break that b---- in” at the christening of the Truman on Saturday. The concert by the ribald rapper is the first in a series of prestigious bookings that immediately make the new venue near the Sprint Center an integral component of Kansas City’s live music scene.

8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16. The Truman. 816-205-8560. Tickets are $35 through

Eli Young Band

Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Granada

“Skin & Bones,” a standout track on the Eli Young Band’s ingratiating new album “Fingerprints,” is an instant classic.

As chipper as a contemporary country hit by Sam Hunt while feeling as authentic as one of George Strait’s vintage gems, the love song helps make “Fingerprints” one of the year’s most essential country albums. The artistic triumph is proof that persistence pays off. The hard-touring Texans have been applying a glossy polish to Red Dirt country since 2000.

8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16. The Granada. 785-842-1390. Tickets are $22 through


Sunday, Sept. 17, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

The sonic equivalent of the latest Tesla sedan, the sleek, state-of-the-art sound of Banks is fashionably functional. By putting a goth spin on contemporary R&B, Banks’ songs like “Crowded Places” sound as if Beyonce had suddenly become obsessed with Depeche Mode. The resulting voguish dance music of the California-born Jillian Rose Banks matches the tenor of the times. “Gemini Feed” and “F*** With Myself” are among the Banks songs that are simultaneously ominous and sexy.

8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. Tickets are $25 through

Roky Erickson

Sunday, Sept. 17, at RecordBar

The attention-grabbing antics of ostensibly reckless rock stars seem like child’s play when contrasted with the turbulent saga of Roky Erickson. By many accounts, the Texan shouldn’t even be alive, let alone still capable of entertaining star-struck fans. Soon after recording the unhinged garage-rock classic “You’re Gonna Miss Me” with the 13th Floor Elevators in 1966, Erickson’s life was wracked with travails. He reemerged with sporadic bursts of brilliance including the miraculous song “Starry Eyes” in the 1980s. With Death Valley Girls.

8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $22 through

Sheer Mag

Monday, Sept. 18, at the Bottleneck

Mainstream rock and punk rock were oppositional forces in the late 1970s. Forty years later, Sheer Mag gleefully blends the formerly adversarial styles. The ensuing sound often resembles a poorly behaved Alabama Shakes. The buzzsaw voice of Tina Halladay creates tension even when her Philadelphia band is laying down smooth Doobie Brothers-style grooves. The unlikely approach has made Sheer Mag one of the most exciting breakout bands of 2017. With Laffing Gas, the Whiffs and Nancy Boys.

8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18. The Bottleneck. 785-749-3434. Tickets are $10 through


Wednesday, Sept. 20, at the Granada

Prior to his contribution to Kendrick Lamar’s game-changing 2015 album “To Pimp a Butterfly,” Stephen Bruner was a respected bassist and producer known among music industry insiders for his work with the likes of the R&B star Erykah Badu. The connection to the hip-hop luminary Lamar has significantly elevated the prominence of the Los Angeles man who performs as Thundercat. “Drunk,” an eclectic collection of funk, jazz and yacht-rock jams, is one of the year’s most acclaimed albums. With Saco & Uno.

8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20. The Granada. 785-842-1390. Tickets are $18 through