Out and about: Jessie Davis, YMSB and Cults among highlights of jam-packed week of music
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Jessie Davis

Spotlight show • Soulful singer-songwriter and keyboardist Jessie Davis is from New York City. She is also from Atlanta. And also from Salt Lake City. Davis grew up in Sugar House and attended Highland High School before graduating from Judge Memorial, with much of her time spent learning classical piano. But in between her freshman and sophomore years of college, she attended the Berklee College of Music and fell in love with her true calling. "It was the freedom of the music" that attracted her to jazz, said Davis in an interview. "I always loved classical piano, but it's hard to hit every note," she added with a laugh. She linked up with internationally known drummer Vinx and followed him to Atlanta, where she lived between 2007 and 2011, eventually receiving her degree in jazz piano performance. Along the way, she found herself singing along to her own music, because every singer she auditioned never matched the music Davis heard in her head. Davis moved to New York City right after Thanksgiving. In September 2011, the blue-eyed soul singer released her second album, "Him & Gemini," inspired by Amy Winehouse, Esperanza Spalding, Adele and D'Angelo. Tonight, Davis is returning to Bar Deluxe for a homecoming show.

When • Friday, April 6, at 9 p.m.

Where • Bar Deluxe, 668 S. State St., Salt Lake City

Tickets • $5 at door

Yonder Mountain String Band

Spotlight show • "No one gets into bluegrass to be famous," said Ben Kaufmann, bass player for Yonder Mountain String Band, in an interview. "I think at least one jaw dropped several inches when I told my parents I wanted to be a bluegrass musician." Kaufmann's parents need not worry, for YMSB has grown into one of the most popular bluegrass groups in the world. The Colorado-based band keeps its material fresh and innovative by touring endlessly and constantly creating new songs. "We're always writing," Kaufmann said. "There's always someone with something new. We're not good at sitting on things. We have short attention spans." That's why when we hear YMSB on Wednesday, we will hear plenty of new stuff that won't be recorded until well in 2013 — if at all. "We're a live band," he said. "That's where we shine." Kaufmann has a young son at home, and he is playing piano and singing Frank Sinatra tunes to the boy to jump-start his musical aspirations. "I'm going to tell him not to be a doctor or a lawyer," he said. Brown Bird guests.

When • Wednesday, April 11, at 8 p.m.

Where • The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $20 in advance, $25 day of, at SmithsTix show

Cults

Spotlight show •Singer Madeline Follin said there are three states the New York City-based indie-pop duo hasn't visited in two years of nonstop touring: Alaska, Hawaii and Utah. That helps explain the rapid Utah ticket sales for Follin and guitarist Brian Oblivion, backed by three members of a touring band. The group's self-titled debut album was released last June, with many flocking to the music of the dynamic pair that blends influences from girl groups of the 1960s with a modern sensibility and unusual references. Those references include a quote from cult leader Jim Jones serving as the introduction to the duo's biggest hit, the sunny "Go Outside." The song, written first as an instrumental, was the first time Follin heard Oblivion craft a song, and like the rest of us, she was hooked. The pair began writing together, with Oblivion generally writing the music and Follin the lyrics. They initially believed no one would ever hear the music, she said. "It was definitely not calculated," she said. But three songs posted on a blog — including "Go Outside" — were picked up by several influential blogs in New York City, and within a year, Columbia Records came calling. "We've had an amazing time," Follin said. Spectrals and Mrs Magician are also on the bill.

When • Wednesday, April 11, at 9 p.m.

Where • Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $12 at 24Tix

Protest the Hero with Periphery, Jeff Loomis, The Safety Fire, Today I Caught The Plague

Headlining this In The Venue show is Canadian prog-rock outfit Protest the Hero. Also in the lineup: Periphery, Jeff Loomis (guitarist for Nevermore), The Safety Fire and Today I Caught The Plague.

When • Friday, April 6, at 5:30 p.m.

Where • In The Venue, 219 S. 600 West, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $20 at SmithsTix

Small House Strings and Detour Utah

The Intermountain Acoustic Music Association's Local Concert Series presents Small House Strings (Marty Morrison and Drew Frink on guitar and mandolin) and Detour Utah.

When • Friday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m.

Where • South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society, 6876 S. Highland Drive, Cottonwood Heights

Tickets • $10 at door; $5 for IAMA members

Metro Station

Metro Station, an emo-pop band from California formerly led by Miley Cyrus' brother, performs with guest DJ Electronic Battleship.

When • Friday, April 6, at 8 p.m.

Where • The Copper Club, 315 24th St., Ogden

Tickets • $20 at SmithsTix

Neon Trees

New Wave-inspired local alt-rock band Neon Trees headlines in a concert to benefit Giant Steps Autism Preschool. Special guest The Lower Lights also will perform.

When • Saturday, April 7, at 5 p.m.

Where • Mountain View High School, 665 W. Center St., Orem

Tickets • $20 at door

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky's instrumental indie rock music is best experienced live, as those who saw the band last summer at a Twilight Concert can attest. Zammuto opens.

When • Saturday, April 7, at 7 p.m.

Where • In The Venue, 219 S. 600 West, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $20; $22 day of show;bit.ly/xkI2Lu

Comeback Kid

The Symptoms & Cures Tour features the headlining Canadian hard-core band Comeback Kid and guests Close Your Eyes, Foundation, Such Gold and Living With Lions.

When • Saturday, April 7, at 7 p.m.

Where • In The Venue, 219 S. 600 West, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $13 in advance, $15 day of, at SmithsTix

Burnell Washburn

A concert to mark the release of local hip-hop MC and beatmaker Burnell Washburn's new CD, "An Apple a Day," with guests JNatrual, Pat Maine, Highdro, Dumb Luck, Hurris & Gig, The Nag and Oso Negro.

When • Saturday, April 7, at 7 p.m.

Where • Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court (330 West), Salt Lake City

Tickets • $10; bit.ly/HsLjus

Evening in Brazil

Some of Utah's top musicians will re-create the sound of early bossa nova, including the gentle Brazilian grooves and melodies of songs such as "Once I Loved" and "The Girl From Ipanema." The concert is presented by the Excellence in the Community foundation.

When • Saturday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Where • Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main St., Salt Lake City

Tickets • Free

Band of Skulls

The gritty English trio Band of Skulls crafts bluesy slices of atmospheric indie rock that echo the Kills, Duke Spirit and the Black Keys. Special guests will be We Are Augustines.

When • Saturday, April 7, at 8 p.m.

Where • The Complex, 537 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $18 in advance, $22 day of, at SmithsTix

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real are a rock group based out of Venice, Calif., consisting of Lukas Nelson on vocals and guitar, Anthony LoGerfo on drums, Tato Melgar on percussion and Corey McCormick on bass. Nelson appears prominently on his father Willie's new album "Heroes."

When • Monday, April 9, at 8 p.m.

Where • State Room, 638 S. State St., Salt Lake City

Tickets • $20 at thestateroom.com

The Polyphonic Spree

Dallas-based choral symphonic pop-rock band The Polyphonic Spree brings its You+Me tour to The Depot. Tim DeLaughter is the lead singer, previously of Tripping Daisy.

When • Monday, April 9, at 8 p.m.

Where • The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $12 in advance, $15 day of, at SmithsTix

GWAR

Alien-monsters GWAR make their first appearance in Utah since the death of member Cory Smoot in 2011. Guests include Municipal Waste, Ghoul and Legacy of Disorder.

When • Tuesday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m.

Where • Saltair, 12408 W. Salt Air Drive, Magna

Tickets • $20 in advance, $22 day of, at SmithsTix

Neon Indian with Friends

Texan indie electronic band Neon Indian — named one of the hottest new bands of 2010 by Rolling Stone — performs with guest Friends.

When • Tuesday, April 10, at 9 p.m.

Where • Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $15 at 24Tix

Jazz at the Station with WSU Jazz Ensemble

The Union Station Foundation presents the Weber State University Jazz Ensemble in the Grand Lobby of Ogden's Union Station. The group will be performing contemporary and Latin-beat numbers, with vocalist Casey Wood.

When • Wednesday, April 11, at 7 p.m.

Where • Union Station, 2501 Wall Ave., Ogden

Tickets • Free

Red Desert Ramblers

Local bluegrass band Red Desert Ramblers will perform at Sugarhouse BBQ.

When • Thursday, April 12, at 6:30 p.m.

Where • Sugarhouse BBQ, 2207 S. 700 East, Salt Lake City

Tickets • Free

Uncle Kracker

Kenny Chesney and Kid Rock's buddy Uncle Kracker will perform a concert on this "Hometown Tour, promoting the release of his new single, "My Hometown."

When • Thursday, April 12, at 7 p.m.

Where • The Westerner, 3360 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City

Tickets • $15 at SmithsTix

Sleigh Bells

Experimental pop duo Sleigh Bells performs to promote its latest release, "Reign of Terror."

When • Thursday, April 12, at 8 p.m.

Where • The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $20 in advance, $25 day of, at SmithsTix

Foxy Shazam

Cincinnati-bred theatrical rock band Foxy Shazam headlines, with Maniac and Cadaver Dogs on the bill.

When • Thursday, April 12, at 7 p.m.

Where • Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court (330 West), Salt Lake City

Tickets • $12 at 24Tix