TUESDAY, JANUARY 15
On Alejandro Escovedo’s latest album, The Crossing, the Mexican-American singer-songwriter tells the well-timed story of two young immigrants who meet in Texas and pursue rock and roll, only to find the country’s not quite as inviting as they had expected. Catch Escovedo with Italian band and album collaborator Don Antonio at City Winery. Show 8 p.m. $28-$36. All ages, accessible venue.
Country legend Travis Tritt (of “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” fame, not to mention his solid take on The Eagles’ “Take it Easy”) comes to The Birchmere (also performing Wednesday). Show 7:30 p.m. $75. All ages, accessible venue.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16
Strathmore’s 2019 Artist in Residence program gets rolling with a performance from tender-voiced multi-instrumentalist Dante Pope, who taught and performed internationally in recent years through the American Music Abroad program. Show 7:30 p.m. $17. All ages, accessible venue.
Check out Boston alt-rock foursome daisybones (whose pithy lyrics include “I’m such a narcissist/I love the way I hate myself”) in a lineup with D.C.’s Coral Benders and others at The Dew Drop Inn. Show 6:30 p.m. Suggested donation $5-$10. 21+, accessible venue.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17
Grammy-wielding American DJ Diplo, who made waves last week when he responded to questions about his sexuality by calling masculinity a “prison,” comes to Echostage. Doors 9 p.m. $40-$50. 18+, accessible venue.
In the late 1990s and early aughts, Ja Rule seemed to monopolized the airwaves, unleashing his gravelly vocals on club-worthy hip-hop tracks from Jay-Z, Ashanti, Christina Milian, Jennifer Lopez, and more. Relive the magic at The Fillmore. Show 8 p.m. $26. All ages, accessible venue.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 18
Think a dream journal is a waste of time? Maybe so, but if you’re a songwriter, you might want to have your iPhone or a pen and paper at your bedside, as a stellar musical idea might strike at 4 a.m. Just take Matt Scannell’s word for it, frontman of ’90s rock band Vertical Horizon, who is hitting City Winery. Show 8 p.m. $32-$45. All ages, accessible venue.
John Oates, one half of best-loved male pop duo Hall and Oates, (whom, along with Wham and others, we can thank for latter-day sonic gifts like this) comes to the Wolf Trap Barns with The Good Road Band (also performing Thursday). Show 8 p.m. $42-$47. All ages, accessible venue.
Eddie from Ohio is actually a Virginia-based band, specializing in well-crafted folk-rock songs such as “Sahara.” They’ll be holding down The Birchmere for a three-night run, but try to catch them Friday when they’ll be joined by vocalist/guitarist duo Sara Niemetz and W.G. Snuffy Walden, one of the godfathers of TV scoring and theme writing (for, oh ya know, little-known shows like The Wonder Years, My So-Called Life, The West Wing, Felicity, Friday Night Lights, and Nashville). Show 7:30 p.m. $42.50. All ages, accessible venue.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 19
Ah, the beloved post-breakup T-shirt song, something we never have enough of. Enter gnash, who recently released his own take (which could easily have emerged on a Michelle Branch or Wheatus album back in the early 2000s). Catch the L.A.-bred singer/rapper/DJ at U Street Music Hall. Show 7 p.m. $20. All ages, accessible venue.
More rock songs could benefit from urgently bowed violin intros. Case in point? Camper Van Beethoven’s “Pictures of Matchstick Men,” an amped-up cover of a sleepy late ’60s tune by British rock band Status Quo. Catch the ’80s alt-rock band in concert with Cracker, both fronted by singer-songwriter and University of Georgia lecturer David Lowery, at the 9:30 Club. Doors 7 p.m. $25. All ages, accessible venue.
“Everything I think/Should be buried in the ground/Should be kept inside my head/But it’s knit into your brow.” Such are the simple yet poignant sentiments from Gabby’s World, a folk-rock project led by Brooklyn singer-songwriter Gabrielle Smith. Catch her at Songbyrd. Show 8 p.m. $13-$15. All ages, inaccessible venue.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 20
If you’re trying to sum up the music of Jackie Cohen, don’t bother—with hints of alt-country, psychedelic rock and disco, depending on the track, let’s just say it’s really good. See her at Songbyrd. Show 8:30 p.m. FREE. All ages, inaccessible venue.
MONDAY, JANUARY 21
Tony-winning (not to mention her Grammys and Emmy) soprano Audra McDonald joins fellow Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell and the Let Freedom Ring Celebration Choir for a musical homage to Martin Luther King Jr. at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Show 6 p.m. FREE. All ages, accessible venue.