- - Monday, November 10, 2014


Country stars Carrie Underwood and the Zac Brown Band are among the musical artists (Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna, Metallica) who will perform at “The Concert for Valor,” a free Veterans Day celebration on the Mall that begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

But if you can’t attend the gala, don’t fret: The D.C. area is set for a very country holiday season. Be sure to buy your tickets early for these shows, as they are likely to sell out.

Emmylou Harris made her name playing the club circuit in Washington, D.C., and it seems she pays it forward — with extra — whenever she performs here.

This time that extra includes performances by (and likely with) Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, Rodney Crowell, Mavis Staples, Martina McBride, John Hiatt, Lucinda Williams and others who will pay tribute to her during “The Life & Songs of Emmylou Harris: An All-Star Concert Celebration.” Grammy Award-winning producers Buddy Miller and Don Was are the music directors.

Organizers call this a tribute to “one of the most influential musicians of our time.” We call it the must-attend event of the season. 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, at DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D St. NW. Tickets $73 to $223.

Vince Gill has the most recognizable name among the Western swing band The Time Jumpers, but the group’s players are all country-Americana royalty. (Do you think Bonnie Raitt, Reba McEntire, Norah Jones, Robert Plant, Jack White, Kelly Clarkson and Jimmy Buffett will play just with anyone?)

The Time Jumpers’ lineup changes often — right now it includes Mr. Gill, as well as Brad Albin (upright bass), Larry Franklin (fiddle), Paul Franklin (steel guitar), “Ranger Doug” Green (vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar), Andy Reiss (electric guitar), Dawn Sears (vocals), Kenny Sears (vocals, fiddle), Joe Spivey (fiddle, vocals) Jeff Taylor (accordion, piano) and Billy Thomas (drums, vocals).

Want to attend something like an informal Nashville jam session with A-list players? This is it. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, at the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Tickets $59.50.

Dierks Bentley has come a long way since he stopped by Nashville’s Station Inn, heard bluegrass king Del McCoury play, and decided to give Music City one more shot. Now he joins Mr. McCoury as a top-selling artist who just won a Country Music Association award for his “Drunk on a Plane” video.

Know what’s great about Mr. Bentley? He’s a master musician and songwriter who boasts the same self-deprecating humor and modesty as traditionalists, including Mr. McCoury. Some artists might grumble that they hadn’t won a Grammy after 13 nominations, but Mr. Bentley takes it in stride.

“I have a gig next week and the week after that,” he told Kay West of People Country before this year’s CMAs, where he was nominated for five awards but took home only one. “Every night I get to walk onto stage and start the show it’s like its own acceptance speech.”

It’s tough not to love that country attitude. (With Randy Houser and Eric Paslay) 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at Royal Farms Arena (formerly Baltimore Arena), 201 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore. Tickets $22 to $41.75.

Every week we hear fans grump that they missed a favorite country artist because they forgot to buy tickets. Consider this your official reminder. Tickets can be purchased from Ticketmaster, 202-397-SEAT, www.ticketmaster.com.

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