Friday 8 p.m., Chop Shop, 399 E. 35th St., $20-$30, www.chopshopnoda.com
With his double neck guit-steel (dual six-string and steel guitar), Brown is a honky-tonkin’ original with a nod to the past. Yet with songs newer songs like “Hang Up and Drive” and “Apathy Waltz” he keeps a foot firmly in the present.
Southern Culture on the Skids
Friday 8:30 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $15-$18, www.visulite.com
Having recently re-recorded 1994’s touchstone “Ditch Digging” album as the new “Dig This” (complete with Karaoke versions), the NC favorite return before readying 2014’s collaboration with the B-52’s Fred Schneider.
Saturday 7:25 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $36, www.livenation.com
While fans may debate how “punk” it is to play a corporate-owned venue after years of chiding “the man” in its lyrics, few fans will deny the joy of hearing "The Decline" EP and "Punk in Drublic" in their entirety live (although recent posted set lists don't always include both). With Off With Their Heads and Implants.
John Prine/Justin Townes Earle
Saturday 8 p.m., Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd., $52.50-$74.05, www.ticketmaster.com
With the recent revelation that the songwriting legend has operable lung cancer, he’s keeping his NC tour dates while having to reschedule others because of his surgery. Steve Earle’s son, who’s an old soul with his own sound, joins him.
Tyler James Mechem
Saturday 8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $8-$10, www.eveningmuse.com
The former frontman of Charleston Americana favorite Crowfield celebrates the release of his new solo EP with a final Charlotte show before relocating to his hometown in Indiana where he’ll take up the still musical family business of guitar strap-making.
Saturday 10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., $5, www.snugrock.com
This punky indie trio released one of the best local albums of the year - a brazenly frank, intimate, and not usually very nice look at love, sex, death, and excess in your twenties. It’s risky rock n’ roll reminiscent of the best debuts.
Joe Firstman & Meiko
Saturday 10:30 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $13-$15, www.eveningmuse.com
The Charlotte native's ups included tours with Willie Nelson and Jewel and a stint as Carson Daly’s band leader, but lately Firstman's carved out a niche as a prolific, versatile indie artist. His tour mate brings her own soft, sexy adult folk-rock songs.
The Wanted/Tegan and Sara
Sunday 7 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $33, www.livenation.com
The British boy band and the Canadian twin sister duo (who have taken a decidedly polished pop turn on their latest album after 15 years as indie darlings) co-headline Kiss 95.1’s annual Kissmas Concert with A Great Big World.
Wednesday 8 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $25-$28, www.visulite.com
A sought after sideman in the `60s and acclaimed solo artist in the `70s, this guitar wizard turned luthier gave it up to build violins, but in the last six years he’s been lured back to making his own music - like 2013’s excellent blues record “Only Slightly Mad.”