Music News & Reviews

KC concerts Dec. 20-26: Danielle Nicole, For King & Country, Katy Guillen & The Girls

Blues artist Daniell Nicole of Kansas City has been nominated for a Grammy.
Blues artist Daniell Nicole of Kansas City has been nominated for a Grammy.

Danielle Nicole

8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20; 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21; 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22; at Gospel Lounge at Knuckleheads

Even before Danielle Nicole was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album earlier this month, her three-night stand in the intimate Gospel Lounge at Knuckleheads was an inviting opportunity for fans to get up close and personal with the Kansas City musician. “Cry No More,” the second solo album by the primary vocalist of the blues-rock band Trampled Under Foot, is worthy of besting releases by luminaries including Boz Scaggs when the Grammy winners are revealed Feb. 10. 816-483-1456. Tickets are $40 per show or $100 for all three shows through knuckleheadskc.com.

Chase Rice

8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, at VooDoo

Although he’s issued four engaging solo albums, Chase Rice’s most notable contribution to popular culture is as a songwriter of Florida Georgia Line’s infuriatingly catchy “Cruise.” The 2012 hit proves that Rice is an expert purveyor of country tropes. The lyrics of the North Carolina native’s “Everybody We Know Does” — “not everybody throws their empties in a truck bed, pours sweat off 40 hours for a paycheck … but everybody we know does” — make his 2016 hit almost as memorable as “Cruise.” 816-472-7777. Tickets are $32.50-$62 through voodookc.com.

For King & Country

7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at Sprint Center

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For King and Country is coming to Sprint Center. Courtesy photo

“Joy,” the effervescent 2018 hit that validates For King & Country’s status as an arena headliner, is an up-to-the-minute indie-pop song. Yet the merger of electronic dance music elements and transcendent folk contains a subtle message that differentiates the Australian duo from groups with similar sounds. The repertoire of brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone contains nuanced lyrics with inspirational Christian messages. Few of For King & Country’s secular counterparts convey a commensurate generosity of spirit. With Cory Asbury. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $25-$76 through sprintcenter.com.

Tee Grizzley

8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at Uptown Theater

If a rapper’s status can be gauged by the company he keeps, Tee Grizzley operates at a rarified level. The two albums the rugged Detroit rapper released in 2018 feature guest appearances by Chance the Rapper, Jeezy, Lil Yachty, Chris Brown and two members of Migos. Terry Wallace Sanchez, the 24-year-old who raps as Tee Grizzley, holds his own with the stars. As a convicted felon who has experienced multiple forms of trauma, Sanchez has plenty on his mind. With Sada Baby. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $38-$50 through uptowntheater.com.

Radkey

9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at RecordBar

Even the most dogged traveling salesperson might marvel at Radkey’s relentless schedule. The Kansas City trio opened shows across the country for the legendary punk bands the Damned and Dead Boys in October and November. Radkey’s next barnstorming tour of Europe will commence in January. Since the brothers formed the family band in St. Joseph in 2010, audiences around the world have applauded Radkey’s brawny blend of punk and metal that’s squarely in the tradition of the Misfits and the Ramones. With Drop a Grand and The Bad Ideas. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $12 through therecordbar.com.

Brooks Brown

8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at Riot Room

Brooks Brown, a young musician based in Leawood, has yet to establish a formidable reputation on Kansas City’s music scene. Even so, Brown has accomplished more than many of his better-known peers. Inspired by electronic dance music artists like Flume, Brown has developed an accessible form of synthetic pop. Not only is his new EP “Fontana” one of the most impressive locally released projects of 2018, but Brown is close to racking up a million cumulative streams on Spotify. With Mvrk, Joy Camp and Connor Leimer. 816-442-8179. Tickets are $8 through theriotroom.com.

Katy Guillen & the Girls

9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at BB’s Lawnside BBQ and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, at Knuckleheads

Katy Guillen & the Girls are going out on a high note. The trio is playing two final shows this weekend. Since filling the void left by the dissolution of Trampled Under Foot — which preceded Katy Guillen & the Girls as Kansas City’s most popular blues-rock band — Katy Guillen, Claire Adams and Stephanie Williams have toured the country and released three albums. They’re parting ways before any sign of artistic decline tarnishes their reputation as a top-tier party band. (Olivia Fox opens Saturday’s show.) Friday: 816-822-7427. The cover charge is $10. Details are available at bbslawnsidebbq.com. Saturday: 816-483-1456. Tickets are $20 through knuckleheadskc.com.

Marcus Lewis Big Band

8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, at Blue Room

No Kansas City band found more traction in 2018 than the Marcus Lewis Big Band. The ensemble evolved from an unheralded curiosity into one of Kansas City’s most celebrated acts. The sprawling group that integrates two rappers with a jazz-based big band will celebrate its memorable year during its Jazzy Hip-Hop Christmas presentation. In addition to selections from its “Brass and Boujee” album, the group will play holiday favorites with contributions from vocalist Lisa Henry and saxophonist Bobby Watson. 816-474-8463. Tickets are $10 through americanjazzmuseum.org.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

3 and 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26, at Sprint Center

Ebenezer Scrooge wouldn’t know what to make of Wednesday’s concerts at the Sprint Center. Having undergone a series of transformative travails on the evening of Dec. 24, the central figure of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” would have been baffled that Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” shows would transpire the day after Christmas. Even though the production filled with pyrotechnics and blaring rock might astound Scrooge, he surely would appreciate the good cheer elicited by the beloved ensemble’s gaudy show. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $34.50-$76.50 through sprintcenter.com.

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