Music News & Reviews

KC concerts Oct. 17-23: Bob Dylan, Mason Ramsey, Aldous Harding, Norman Brown, Incubus

Herb Alpert

7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

Herb Alpert’s wholehearted embrace of kitsch continues to serve him well. Beginning with the zany 1962 instrumental “The Lonely Bull,” the trumpeter, bandleader and entrepreneur has enjoyed decades of commercial success. The ostentatiousness of “Whipped Cream” and “Spanish Flea,” theme songs on the campy television show “The Dating Game,” are mirrored by snazzy versions of “What a Wonderful World” and “Copacabana” on the octogenarian’s new album, “Over the Rainbow.” With Lani Hall and Lonnie McFadden. 816-283-9900. Tickets are $35-$75 through

Kansas City Music & Arts Festival

1 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 19-20, at Theatre in the Park Amphitheater

Organizers of the Kansas City Music & Arts Festival bill the inaugural edition of their two-day party as “the area’s largest free music event.” The audacious claim is based on the ostensible draw of eight country, rock and blues bands. Creed Fisher, a Texan specializing in patriotic country-rock songs like “Freedom Ain’t Free,” is Saturday’s headliner. The Nashville-based Southern rock band the Steel Wheels top Sunday’s bill. Revelers can also partake of food and beverages, an arts and crafts exhibition and car and motorcycle shows. Shawnee Mission Park. 913-826-3012. Free.

Mason Ramsey

8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at Granada

190216_NR_Mason Ramsey_1.jpeg
Mason Ramsey NOAH RIFFE

Mason Ramsey is the polar opposite of Young Thug, with whom he rubbed shoulders on the third remix of Lil Nas X’s hit “Old Town Road.” Young Thug is a subversive rapper; Ramsey, 12, became famous as “the Walmart yodeling kid” after a video documenting his rendition of Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues” went viral. Ramsey’s concert is likely to attract a mix of country traditionalists, pop fans and aficionados of novelty. With Ernest and Jenna Paulette. 785-842-1390. Tickets are $15 through

Outer Reaches Festival

7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at RecordBar

Psychedelic music isn’t limited to long-winded guitar jams. Kansas City’s annual Outer Reaches Festival is dedicated to “celebrating the variety of freethinking music around the globe.” The Oakland-based Lumerians will perform a droning version of Krautrock during their headlining set. The festival opens with BCR, the experimental Kansas City group that began playing a danceable form of jazz in the 1970s. Two stages at RecordBar will also host Monta at Odds, Thunder Jackson, FaceFace, Be/Non and Unicorns in the Snow. 816-753-5207. Tickets are $15 through

Bob Dylan

8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

The most striking component of the new “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese” may be the humongous list of previous concert dates that scroll across the screen at the end of the documentary. Even though most of those appearances confounded and enraged significant portions of the audience, Dylan’s so-called Never Ending Tour continues apace. The deeply enigmatic Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is best viewed as an uncompromising performance artist who is indifferent to the expectations of casual fans. 816-283-9900. Tickets are $48-$135 through

Aldous Harding

8:45 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at Encore Room

Countless singer-songwriters model their sound on the gentle folk-rock crafted by the likes of Paul Simon and James Taylor in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Hannah Harding, the New Zealand woman who works as Aldous Harding, is one of the few contemporary musicians creating work that rivals the best music of that influential era. Harding’s lustrous voice and poetic lyrics make her riveting new album, “Designer,” seem as timeless as Simon’s “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon” and Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James.” With Hand Habits. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $20 through

Norman Brown

7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at Folly Theater


Norman Brown is the yin to Pat Metheny’s yang. Metheny, the revolutionary guitarist from Lee’s Summit, earned 20 Grammy Awards while altering the course of jazz. After growing up in Kansas City, Brown became a smooth-jazz luminary by closely adhering to the format’s soothing sound. His sole Grammy Award came in 2003. Brown’s gentle new album, “The Highest Act of Love,” is as refreshing as a cool breeze on a warm day. Brown will be joined at his homecoming concert by Euge Groove and Lindsey Webster. 816-474-4444. Tickets are $57.50-$67.50 through


8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, at Uptown Theater


“Make Yourself,” the 1999 album that propelled Incubus to stardom, is a curious period piece. “Battlestar Scralatchtica,” a showcase for the California band’s turntablist, is among the tracks that evoke the quaint era in which bands like Incubus, Limp Bizkit and 311 inserted elements of hip-hop into mainstream rock. Even “Drive,” the breakout hit on “Make Yourself,” features DJ scratching. Fans of Incubus clearly remain loyal to the sound. This show celebrating the 20th anniversary of “Make Yourself” is sold out. With Wild Belle. 816-753-8665. Face value of tickets to sold-out concert $64.50-$120.50.