STORY WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where each Friday we take a look at shows coming to the region over the next week. Whether your musical tastes are rock and roll, jazz, heavy metal, singer-songwriter or indie, there’ll always be something to check out in the coming days.
Here are seven of the best for the week beginning Dec. 11:
Jessy J: Dec. 13 at Sellersville Theater 1894
Celebrating the season and creating fresh new holiday traditions, top contemporary jazz and Latin saxophonist Jessy J has brought all of her eclectic jazz passions and exotic influences into an inviting and festive setting on her first ever holiday collection, California Christmas. Raised in Southern California, Jessy brings a fun, sand-filled spin on the seasonal favorites, and live is one of the many who will be in town to spread the holiday joy in the coming weeks.
The Ghost of Paul Revere: Dec. 14 at Boot & Saddle
The stomping folk of the Ghost of Paul Revere not surprisingly, given their name, comes from New England, but their music is the kind that appeals to fans everywhere. Members of a subset of the folk genre dubbed “holler-folk,” it’s powerful, energetic, non-traditional American folk that has the Ghost of Paul Rever renowned for harmony fueled, heart-pounding performances full of songs with unique identities that remain undeniably their own.
Mannheim Steamroller: Dec. 14 at Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Three decades ago, Chip Davis, the leader of Mannheim Steamroller, released what would end up being one of the most popular, and enduring, new age holiday albums in what was simply titled, Christmas. Since then, Davis has sold 40 million records – 27 million in the Christmas genre – making the group one of the top 50 biggest selling musical artists of all time and hands down the biggest selling Christmas artist of all time. And while Mannheim Steamroller has crossed over into the more traditional, mainstream new age genre, it’s this time of year that so many of their fans look forward to when they get to hear the songs which put the outfit on the map in the first place.
Tyler Hilton and Kate Voegele: Dec. 15 at Sellersville Theater 1894
For fans of the CW drama One Tree Hill, this is a dream double-bill, with both Tyler Hilton and Kate Voegele having acted and performed in major roles on the television show at various points during its nine year run. And while it’s unfortunate that the show came to an end in 2012, the music lives on with two artists who had followings under their respective belts long before appearing on the tube elevated their presence. Hilton is known for his indie-rock and folk leanings, while Voegele’s pop rock is both stirring and buoyant in its emotional baring.
The Stray Birds: Dec. 16 at World Café Live Downstairs
Lancaster’s own Stray Birds are back in town, fresh off last year’s win of the Folk Alliance International Song of the Year for “Best Medicine.” Their new album, Magic Fire, builds on the success of their 2014 debut, also called Best Medicine, which brought them national attention and helped add to their breakout into the mainstream. There are hints of Appalachian folk and Nashville on the record, but overall, Best Medicine feels like a much tighter and ambitious work, and it will be interesting to see how the songs come across in a live setting.
The Oh Hellos: Dec. 16 at Union Transfer
Since forming, folk-rock duo The Oh Hellos have earned a reputation as a very special live act. The sibling duo is surrounded on stage by a rotating cast of pickers and players, numbering as many as 13 at any given time, often spilling into the audience. This year, they are doing the first annual “Christmas Extravaganza” tour a unique event that mixes the band’s critically acclaimed live show with music from their fan-favorite holiday album, The Oh Hellos Family Christmas Album. The duo are also promising additional carols, bad jokes, sing-alongs, dancing, revelry, and all the yuletide cheer you can squeeze onto one stage.
Children of Bodom: Dec. 17 at Theatre of Living Arts
More than 20 years into the tough, heroic grind that represents the lifeblood of extreme musicians, Finnish metal outfit Children of Bodom have won over crowds globally through a songcraft that is theirs alone. The building of their career has been aided by the simple math of hard work and intense touring, the latter that is made up of engaging, personable and energetic thrash parties indelibly stamped on the circuit boards of headbangers worldwide. Just over a year ago, Children of Bodom released their ninth album, I Worship Chaos, a full-on melodic metal assault that received glowing reviews worldwide.