Music News & Reviews

KC concerts Feb. 21-27: Turnpike Troubadours, Kiss, I’m With Her, Ella Mai

KISS is coming to Sprint Center Feb. 27.
KISS is coming to Sprint Center Feb. 27. Invision/AP

Turnpike Troubadours

8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at Granada

The spotlight that follows the personal lives of country’s biggest stars rarely illuminates Turnpike Troubadours. Evan Felker, the group’s front man, received a bit of unwelcome attention when he dated glamorous hit-maker Miranda Lambert last year. His Tahlequah, Okla., band continues to thrive on the periphery of the music industry. Turnpike Troubadours’ most recent album, “A Long Way From Your Heart,” topped Billboard’s Americana/Folk Albums chart and hit No. 3 on the publication’s Country Albums chart. With Vincent Neil Emerson. 785-842-1390. Tickets are $35 through

Shy Boys

9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, at RecordBar

“Something Sweet,” the most popular song on the Shy Boys’ 2018 album, “Bell House,” is a sugary nugget that evokes the wistfulness of a hit by 1950s teen idol Ricky Nelson. The Kansas City band is launching a national tour Friday that includes a jaunt to Austin as an official showcasing artist at the SXSW music conference. The group will also present its wistful indie-rock on the East Coast in April and on the West Coast in May. With the Creepy Jingles and Natural Man. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $12 through

Gene Watson

8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at Ameristar Casino

Baleful tunes associated with Nashville are commonly known as country weepers. Accentuated by the mournful whine of a pedal steel guitar, Gene Watson’s “Farewell Party” epitomizes the form. The narrator of Watson’s best-known hit admits that “I know you’ll be glad when I’m gone,” and he asks a woman to “pretend you loved me” at his funeral. Born in Texas in 1943, Watson is very much alive. He’ll revive beloved country weepers from the ’70s, including “Farewell Party” and “Paper Rosie.” 816-414-7000. Tickets are $20-$35 through

Soccer Mommy

8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, at RecordBar

Sophie Allison, the 21-year-old who makes introspective indie-rock as Soccer Mommy, glimpsed one possible version of her future this month. She was on tour with Kacey Musgraves when the singer-songwriter accepted Grammys for Album of the Year, Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance. Many prognosticators insist that Allison is destined to receive similar acclaim. “Clean,” her impressive 2018 album, was one of the most lauded releases of the year. With Hovvdy and Mess. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $12 through


7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Sprint Center

Kiss is a marketing juggernaut. The outrageously garish New York rock band has been aggressively slinging merchandise along with its music for more than 45 years. Fans may purchase Kiss-branded gear such as waffle makers, door mats and lunch boxes at the band’s website. Local admirers can get a taste of Kiss at Rock & Brews, the Overland Park restaurant franchise co-owned by Kiss members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. The savvy businessmen still perform rock classics such as “Rock and Roll All Nite” with lurid relish. 816-949-7100. Tickets are $49.50-$1,000 through

I’m With Her

8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Folly Theater

There’s strength in numbers. Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan and Sara Watkins are highly respected folk-based singer-songwriters, but they’ve found that collaborating as I’m With Her allows them to present their artful songs to larger audiences. Jarosz is best known in Kansas City for her 2015 appearance on “A Prairie Home Companion” at Starlight Theatre. O’Donovan rose to prominence as the vocalist of Crooked Still, and Watkins became famous as a member of Nickel Creek. With Mipso. 816-474-4444. Tickets are $30-$45 though

Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan make up I’m With Her. LINDSEY BYRNES

Kurt Vile and the Violators

8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at The Truman

Kurt Vile’s latest album, “Bottle It In,” includes a faithful interpretation of Charlie Rich’s 1977 hit “Rollin’ with the Flow.” Some fans might be puzzled by the cover, but the sentiment of the country chestnut accurately reflects Vile’s laidback persona. It’s oddly reassuring to hear Vile, 39, insist that “while guys my age are raising kids, I’m raising hell just like I did.” With his signature long hair and laconic voice, the alternative rock hero continues to do things his way. With the Sadies. 816-205-8560. Tickets are $28.50 through

Ella Mai

8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Granada

“Boo’d Up,” the breakout hit by the British R&B artist Ella Mai, initially was released as the lead track on her “Ready” EP in February 2017. The silky song went largely unnoticed for more than a year. By the summer of 2018, however, “Boo’d Up” was inescapable. Several innovative remixes and an appearance on “Saturday Night Live” three months ago helped sustain the momentum for the promising artist born Ella Mai Howell. With Kiana Ledé and Lucky Daye. 785-842-1390. Tickets are $27.50 through