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Jingle Bell Rock

A guide to this week’s Christmas concerts.

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While some entities — such as record shops Goner and Shangri-La — have already had their holiday festivities, local Christmas concerts really jump off this week. Here's a guide to a handful of the best bets:

"A Very Neighborly Christmas" with Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors and Star & Micey
Minglewood Hall
Friday, December 21st
8 p.m., $18
After a decade or so as a performer, Memphis-bred and now Nashville-based singer-songwriter Drew Holcomb seems to be coming into his own. Holcomb and his band, the Neighbors, have built up a successful touring schedule, including opening slots for high-profile acts such as the Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams, and Susan Tedeschi. And they've been very successful on the licensing front, particularly with their song "Live Forever," which got a significant placement on an episode of the television series Parenthood and then got Holcomb an Emmy for its use in a spectacular National Basketball Association television ad last Christmas.

"We were all pretty blown away by it," says Holcomb, an NBA fan who says he wishes Grizzlies games were easier to find on the Nashville dial. (Holcomb was scheduled to sing the national anthem at Monday night's Grizzlies game against the Chicago Bulls.) Holcomb says that the licensing deals have "helped us make a record and buy a van and convert new fans."

Holcomb and his crew return to the bandleader's hometown for what Holcomb estimates to be his fifth annual Christmas concert, which started at the Hi-Tone Café but has since graduated to a bigger room at Minglewood Hall. Expect to hear some tracks from Holcomb's upcoming album, Good Light, which is due out February 26th and which was recorded locally at Ardent Studios in September.

"Some people come out of the gate knowing what kind of artist they want to be," Holcomb says. "It took me a decade. [Good Light] is more of a singer-songwriter record. I feel like, for me at least, it's the record I always wanted to make."

Local folk rockers Star & Micey make for a particularly fine and compatible opener.

"Lucero Family Christmas," with Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalition
Minglewood Hall
Saturday, December 22nd
8 p.m., $22
Local titans Lucero cap off a very good year with what has become an annual local gig. The band's 2012 album Women & Work saw them harness their newish big-band Southern-rock sound with more confidence than ever before. The band's sporadic local concerts are always special events, but this one especially.

"JingleBilly" with Jason D. Williams, Sleepy LaBeef, and Dale Watson
Hi-Tone Café
Sunday, December 23rd
6 p.m.
Why hire a bunch of young actors to replicate the "Million Dollar Quartet" for Broadway when it's possible to corral these roots-rock stalwarts into one show? The piano-pounding Jason D. Williams is, as songwriter Todd Snider asserts, "the stone second coming of Jerry Lee," while honky-tonk specials LaBeef and Watson can more than handle the Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash spectrum of rockabilly and country. Okay, so there's no Elvis here, but this is still a pretty amazing triple bill for fans of the Sun Records sound and American roots music in general.

Project Xmas
409 S. Main
Sunday, December 23rd
10 p.m.
Well-traveled Memphis bassist and bandleader David Parks is organizing this downtown party where hip-hop and R&B will blend with a live band, DJs, and MCs.

"The Regan Family Christmas Show"
Otherlands Coffee Bar
Sunday, December 23rd
Tim Regan's indie-rock credits include Snowglobe, Antenna Shoes, and the Austin-based Oh No Oh My. For this one, the Memphis native will swap songs with wife and musician Kelley Mickwee Regan and local notables Steve Selvidge and Mark Stuart, with others sure to pop in.

Snowglobe's 10th Annual Christmas Show
Hi-Tone Café
Tuesday, December 25th
9 p.m., $10

One of the city's best bands of the past decade, Snowglobe doesn't play or record (or at least release) much anymore, but their Christmas shows have become a fixture, and this will be the last one played at the Hi-Tone before its February close.

Riverbluff Clan's Boxing Day Show
Otherlands Coffee Bar
Wednesday, December 26th
The bluegrass and Americana fixtures will aid your post-Christmas recovery.

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