Music News & Reviews

KC concerts Aug. 30-Sept. 5: Jethro Tull, Banda MS, Leela James, Ringo Starr

Leela James will bring R&B to the VooDoo Sunday, Sept. 2.
Leela James will bring R&B to the VooDoo Sunday, Sept. 2.

Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Dave Alvin

8:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, at Knuckleheads

The members of this three-man bill at Knuckleheads aren’t household names, but their cumulative talent is staggering. Jimmie Dale Gilmore, a self-described “hippie country singer,” possesses a distinctively rustic drawl. Dave Alvin is best known as the author of classic roots-rock songs for the Blasters, including “Marie Marie.” Backed by Alvin’s group the Guilty Ones, Gilmore and Alvin will perform together. Jon Langford, the wild-eyed front man of the experimental British punk band the Mekons, will open the show. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $28.50 through

Banda MS

8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, at the Sprint Center

Anyone considering flying south of the border for a vacation is advised to delay the trip until after Saturday. There’s no need to go to Mexico when a vital piece of the country’s culture is coming to Kansas City. The Mexican institution Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizárraga is a horn-centric ensemble that fills arenas throughout North America. Although the expansive band can’t bring the delectable cuisine of its homeland to the Sprint Center, its jubilant concert will offer an authentic taste of Mexico. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $62-$152 through

Jethro Tull

8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, at Starlight Theatre

Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull Nick Harrison

One of the most remarkable aspects of the 50th anniversary of Jethro Tull is that its co-founder and primary artistic force is just 71. Ian Anderson still throws himself into classic rock staples such as “Aqualung” and “Locomotive Breath” with gusto. Abetted by a formidable band of hired guns, the charismatic flautist and vocalist will also revive Jethro Tull’s venerable jazz-inflected folk-rock material like “A Song for Jeffrey” and blues-rock jams including “Some Day the Sun Won’t Shine For You.” 816-363-7827. Tickets are $49.50-$125 through


8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, at the Bottleneck

The unapologetically precious songs of Sales are so fragile they seem likely to shatter if removed from the bedrooms of lovelorn agoraphobics. Even so, the Orlando-based dream-pop duo of Lauren Morgan and Jordan Shih will attempt to duplicate the delicate melancholy of songs such as “Sorry Bro” and “Off and On” in Lawrence. Morgan mournfully asks, “Is it just our indifference, or the distance that keeps us on this path?” in the latter dirge. With No Vacation. 785-749-3434. Tickets are $15 through

Leela James

8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, at VooDoo

Leela James will bring R&B to the VooDoo Sunday, Sept. 2. Patrik Hamberg

Leela James lamented the sound of modern R&B on her debut single “Music” in 2005. Fretting that “we don’t sing no more,” she pined for the era in which “I heard Aretha sing.” The Queen of Soul died in August, but her soaring sound survives in James. “Hard For Me” is among James’ stirring hits that honor Franklin’s legacy. Anyone not wanting to feel out of place at Sunday’s white linen-themed concert is advised to dress appropriately. With Raheem DeVaughn and Le Velle. 816-472-7777. Tickets are $48-$58 through

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band

7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3, at Starlight Theatre

Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band Jeff Daly Jeff Daly/Invision/AP

When Ringo Starr sings “With a Little Help From My Friends” on Monday, he won’t necessarily be referring to his former bandmates in the Beatles. Instead, he’ll be surrounded by an accomplished cast of fellow hit-makers. Graham Gouldman of 10cc, Colin Hay of Men At Work, Steve Lukather of Toto and Gregg Rolie of Journey and Santana will help the loveable Beatles drummer interpret their groups’ hits and vintage Starr classics, including “It Don’t Come Easy” and “Photograph.” 816-363-7827. Tickets are $36-$175 through

Brent Faiyaz

8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, at RecordBar

Frank Ocean has largely avoided the spotlight since he altered the R&B landscape with his brilliant album “Channel Orange” in 2012. Brent Faiyaz is among the most promising artists attempting to fill the enormous void left by Ocean’s disappearing act. Like Ocean, the Maryland artist sings and raps. Although he’s best known for his contribution to “Crew,” a Grammy-nominated collaboration with Goldlink and Shy Glizzy, Faiyaz is on the fast track to achieving even greater success as a solo artist. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $20 through

Amanda Shires

8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, at Knuckleheads

Amanda Shires eclipses her husband on her stellar new album “To the Sunset.” Songs such as “Eve’s Daughter” rock just as hard as the 400 Unit, the band led by her husband, Jason Isbell. Shires’ group often sounds like the house band of a heavenly honkytonk at which Patsy Cline and John Lennon are celestial regulars. As a showcase for Shires’ fine vocals and impressive fiddle playing, Wednesday’s show should be just as satisfying as the 400 Unit’s area performance in July. With Leah Blevins. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $25-$35 through