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The best things to do in Chicago this month,
selected by our culture criticsJanuary 2016

Music
Country, Folk, World

Josh Ritter
Josh Ritter Photo: Laura Wilson

RY COODER, SHARON WHITE, AND RICKY SKAGGS

1/29 at 8:30 Husband-and-wife duo of 34 years Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White hit the road with guitarist Ry Cooder. The virtuoso (and welcome third wheel) has played with the likes of Clapton, Neil Young, and the Stones in his five-decade career—so he’s more than capable of coloring standalone stars like Skaggs and White. $39–$100. Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport. ticketweb.com

 

STEVE EARLE

1/4–5, 25–26 at 8 Country rock’s perennial rough edge and latter-day activist returns for another four-night stint at City Winery, where he last year told audiences, “I just played a song I wrote at 20 and another I wrote at 60.” Fans can expect a similar range this year, plus hefty representation from Earle’s newest album, Terraplane, a bluesy ode to divorce. $50–$65. City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. citywinery.com

ELIADES OCHOA AND BARBARITO TORRES

1/30 at 8 Cuban guitarist Eliades Ochoa is most well-known for his involvement with the Buena Vista Social Club (and its namesake 1999 Wim Wenders film), but he’s built a four-decade career around his dexterous hard-picking on the tres and cuatro chordophones. Here he’s joined by laúd maestro and Buena Vista bandmate Barbarito Torres. $48–$50. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln. oldtownschool.org

JOSH RITTER

1/29 at 7:30 This Americana-steeped Idahoan has all the trappings of a big-box folk-pop crossover: radio-friendly love tunes peppered with just enough twang and rasp to reel in the country set. $33. Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine. etix.com

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