It’s Wednesday and the weekend is fast approaching, so that means there are some fantastic live shows to be seen all over the Southeast.  The only questions I have are (a) How long does it take to get to each of these? And (b) Who is watching my kids?

Here’s a Thursday through Sunday slate of shows from around the region that you should consider taking in if you find yourself in any one of these locales.

Thursday, March 20th – Athens, Georgia/St. Paul & The Broken Bones.

I’ve never been to the recently refurbished – but still iconic – Georgia Theater, but I can’t imagine a better way to complete my first visit than by dropping by to catch St. Paul & The Broken Bones, the vintage soul quintet out of Birmingham, Alabama.  These guys are touring hard following the release of their debut record, Half The City, and you should catch them when you can.  For more info, check out the Georgia Theater’s website at http://www.georgiatheatre.com/.

Friday, March 21st – Johnson City, Tennessee/The Stray Birds

This is a show I could actually make, as The Down Home – long one of East Tennessee’s premiere listening rooms – is just an hour or so down the road from my house.  I discovered The Stray Birds when I visited the IBMA conference back in the fall and had the pleasure of meeting Oliver Craven, one of the members of the band.  He handed me one of the band’s discs, which I poured over on the drive home the next day.  Seeing them at The Down Home would be a nifty way to wrap up the week.  For info, check out http://downhome.com/.

Saturday, March 22nd – Raleigh, North Carolina/Jonathan Scales Fourchestra

Five bucks?  Just five bucks to see the jazzy steel pan mastery of Jonathan Scales and his mates in the Fourchestra?  This is too good to be true. A few years back, I named Character Farm & Other Short Stories my favorite record of 2011.  Order your tickets online – or pay a couple more at the door – and catch JS4 at The Pour House, one of my favorite beer halls and music rooms in Raleigh, and you can see why.  More information can be found at http://www.thepourhousemusichall.com.

Sunday, March 23rd – Washington, D.C./Drive-By Truckers

I’d like to tell you to make your way over to the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, to catch the first of a two night run by the Drive-By Truckers, but I’d be wasting your time.  The show is already sold out.  However, if you want to catch a rock show on a Sunday night, this is your chance.  Tickets are still available for the Truckers’ second night at the 9:30, where you will surely hear some tunes off the band’s new record, English Oceans.  Grab your tickets before they are gone at http://www.930.com.

Of course, this is just a whiff of all the tasty shows taking place this weekend.  If you can’t make one of these, find another one.  Go listen to some live music.  It’ll do you right.