Live music offerings abound

A s December raises its pointed little head toward the North Pole, it seems logical that a column composed of the highlights from this year's Music by Turner should be in order.


Unfortunately, there's the proverbial "Ed" on my face yet again as there just wasn't enough choice material for an entire piece. Gee, that's 21 years in a row!

But just as the yuletide season rapidly reaches its zenith in joy, mirth and frankincense, the music business goes into hibernation during the 12th month as extremely few new CDs are released.

However, several good concerts are hither and yonder. If you like your New Year's of the Chicken Fried variety, the Zac Brown Band's Dec. 31 show at Philip's Arena in Atlanta should definitely curl your party toes. Recently named the 2010 Artist of the Year by the folks at the Country Music Association, Brown is returning to his home state to ring in 2011 at what is sure to be a sold-out arena.

NO SILENT NIGHTS DEPT.: One of our area's favorite sons (and all-around great guy) Wycliffe Gordon will deck the halls with his fabulous jazz quartet Friday for "Pops at the Bell" in conjunction with Symphony Orchestra Augusta. You can enjoy some cool Yule jazz for Gordon's first collaboration with Symphony Orchestra Augusta's conductor extraordinaire Shizuo "Z" Kuwahara.

There will be an encore performance at USC Aiken's Etherredge Center on Saturday.

SURE, THE 2011 Masters Tournament will be history when Lady Gaga's wildly successful tour reaches the Atlanta area. But fans should strongly consider two things: Get your tickets now, because the show will definitely sell out and, of course, be sure you've got plenty of room on your credit card.

Tickets start at a reasonable $63, but "Gold" and "Silver" packages can be yours for the paltry sums of $240 and $440.

HONKY TONK OPEN TUNING DEPT.: Looks as though the Rolling Stones will hit the road for a worldwide tour next year. It will be interesting to see what technological surprises will be employed by Mick and Keith and the guys, especially since the current Roger Waters shows are so advanced that even Steven Jobs would be impressed. In the meantime, pick up Life , the new autobiographic tome from Keith Richards. It's a great read!

TURNER'S QUICK NOTES: The Indigo Girls visit Atlanta's Tabernacle on Dec. 10 ... Robert Plant will perform in Atlanta in February ... The Beatles' first week on iTunes was a massive success with the Fabs cyber-selling more than 450,000 albums and 3 million songs. The most popular single download? George Harrison's Here Comes the Sun from Abbey Road .