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The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Kacey Musgraves is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, February 14, at The Van Buren.
Kacey Musgraves is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, February 14, at The Van Buren. Kelly Christine Sutton

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Kacey Musgraves in concert in 2016. - BRANDON MARSHALL
Kacey Musgraves in concert in 2016.
Brandon Marshall
Kacey Musgraves
Wednesday, February 13
The Van Buren

Kacey Musgraves’ reputation for delivering a classic country sound rife with progressive lyrics has made her a star in the country scene and beyond. It's also made her phenomenally popular to boot. Her music has been lauded by publications such as Pitchfork, The Fader, and others that traditionally bypass country music altogether. Musgraves’ wide-ranging appeal has made her a regular at the CMT Awards, South By Southwest and Bonnaroo. And, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about how she had a stellar night at the Grammys this past weekend, winning four awards (including Album of the Year) and paying tribute to country legend Dolly Parton. So when Musgraves comes to The Van Buren this week, we’re expecting the mood of her show to be ecstatic and celebratory. (The show is officially sold out but tickets can be found on the secondary market.) Mikel Galicia

click to enlarge The legendary Neko Case. - COURTESY OF ANTI- RECORDS
The legendary Neko Case.
Courtesy of ANTI- Records
Neko Case
Thursday, February 14
The Van Buren

Neko Case knows how to twist and turn a phrase to make her lyrics sparkle and crackle, conjuring tender, fading memories and gossamer dreams in listeners’ minds. A sonic storyteller for more than 20 years as a member of Canadian indie rockers The New Pornographers, Case’s work with the Pornographers, with her band (Her Boyfriends) and as a solo artist has firmly established her as indie rock royalty. Released in June, Case’s self-produced Hell-On is her eighth studio album and seventh solo LP. In 2016, she teamed up with k.d. lang and Laura Veirs for case/lang/veirs, which received rave reviews. Hell-On has been described by reviewers as one of her best and appeared on a handful of year-end 2018 best-album lists. Daniel Rodriguez

click to enlarge Keller Williams - COURTESY OF PARADIGM TALENT AGENCY
Keller Williams
Courtesy of Paradigm Talent Agency
Keller Williams
Thursday, February 14
Crescent Ballroom

According to Harry Nilsson, one is the loneliest number. But for singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams, one is more than enough. Unlike one-man bands of old, Williams doesn't have cymbals on his knees, horns under his arms, taps on his toes, or a drum on his back. Rather, Williams has propelled the art of the solo performer into the modern age with the help of electronic effects. Williams' weapon of mass construction is the sequencer. Mastering what he calls "live phrase sampling," looping and delay effects allow Williams to harness a snippet of sound and, with the touch of a button, put that sound into a looped rotation. He then works around that sample, layering on more guitar, bass lines, keyboards, and drums, slowly building each song's foundation, all the while singing over the top. The result is a cacophony of sound that is far beyond what one man should normally be capable of creating – to the point that one naturally assumes there's a whole band backing him. Glenn BurnSilver

click to enlarge Esteemed violinist Joshua Bell. - COURTESY OF IMG ARTISTS
Esteemed violinist Joshua Bell.
Courtesy of IMG Artists
Joshua Bell
Thursday, February 14
Mesa Arts Center

Never play Six Degrees with Joshua Bell. He's got us all beat. Not only has he performed with just about every contemporary classical artist there is out there, he's also recorded with pop musicians such as Sting and Regina Spektor. Even if we go back a couple of centuries, Bell's got a direct link to the most talented musicians from the 1900s. Here's how: The Grammy Award-winning violinist studied for years with master teacher Josef Gingold (that's one degree). Gingold in turn studied with Eugène Ysaÿe during the 1930s (that's two degrees). César Franck composed "Violin Sonata in A Major" for Ysaÿe's wedding in 1886 (that's three degrees – and three centuries). See if any more connections can be made through Bell's music when he shares the stage with pianist Sam Haywood at Mesa Arts Center on Thursday night. Olivia Flores Alvarez
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers