Grupo Fantasma, the Grammy-winning Latin rock group and short-lived backing band for Prince, knows how to find the groove and cozy into it for the duration. This will help attendees of the band’s hometown New Year’s Eve show more easily power through the sometimes seemingly endless hours approaching midnight.
Mohawk, December 31, 8 p.m., grupofantasma.com
For those who aren’t into braving the summer heat at Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic, consider Willie Nelson and Family New Year’s Celebration, three nights in the temperate confines of ACL Live at the Moody Theater, with opener Ryan Bingham, who won an Oscar for his song “The Weary Kind” from the 2010 movie Crazy Heart. At this point, the performances are all sold out but there’s always Craigslist.
ACL Live at the Moody Theater, December 29, 30 & 31, acl-live.com
Eight years after a scooter accident left her with a traumatic brain injury, Austin rockabilly singer Ruby Dee Philippa, who performs as Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers, has returned to fine form this year with the album Little Black Heart. The accomplishment will likely be cause for deep reflection and intense emotion during her New Year’s Eve show.
The Driskill, December 31, 10:30 p.m., rubydeemusic.com
Jonathan Tyler, the Dallas front man for Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights, a group that has played with such diverse acts as Erykah Badu and Leon Russell, will bring the blues to Granada Theater on New Year’s Eve as the headliner, and Paul Cauthen, the Austin singer formerly of the duo Sons of Fathers, will bring the gospel as the opening act. It’s a musical mix ripe for forging resolutions.
Granada Theater, December 31, 8 p.m., granadatheater.com
The Toadies, the rock band who hails from Cowtown, realize you love the catchy, guitar-riff-heavy hit song “Possum Kingdom,” from its 1994 debut album, Rubberneck. But there have been five studio albums released since then—including a resurrected version of the sophomore album that their original label scrapped—all of which the band will be happy to get you hip to on Friday at Billy Bob’s.
Billy Bob’s Texas, December 30, 9:15 p.m., thetoadies.com
Members of the brass quintet of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra will loosen their neckties for their Beer and Brass session on Thursday at the Saint Arnold Brewery, branching out from the usual Renaissance, Baroque, and modern classical fare to jazz music by the likes of Duke Ellington, which spectators can enjoy along with finger foods and all the beer they can drink for the price of a ticket.
Saint Arnold Brewing Company, January 5, 6 p.m., rocohouston.org
If you’re the sort that sees New Year’s Eve as an opportunity to dress to the nines, spend a lot of money, and hobnob with patrons of the arts, then consider Bachanalia, the annual gala fundraiser for the Grammy-nominated “early music” ensemble Ars Lyrica, featuring dinner and a program consisting of holiday cantatas by Bach.
Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, December 31, 7:30 p.m., arslyricahouston.org
When accordion and organ maestros Flaco Jiménez and Augie Meyers, both longtime members of the Texas Tornados, take the stage with Grammy-winning band Los Texmaniacs on Friday for the Tex-Mex Holiday Fiesta, the past, present, and future of conjunto will be on grand display.
Luckenbach, December 30, 8 p.m., luckenbachtexas.com
Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock will be without fellow Flatlander Joe Ely when they play Marfa’s hip new Hotel Saint George on New Year’s Eve. But Ely’s absence will be more than made up for with the addition of the duo’s singer-songwriter sons, Colin and Rory, respectively.
Hotel Saint George, December 31, 7 p.m., marfasaintgeorge.com
If cracking a cold one on New Year’s Day is your type of hangover cure, you’re in luck with Hair of the Dog Day at Gruene Hall, the oldest continuously running dancehall in Texas, featuring beer, beer, and more beer during nine hours of free music courtesy of Tom Gillam and the Kosmic Messengers, Guy Forsyth, and Walt Wilkins and the Mystiqueros.
Gruene Hall, January 1, 12 p.m., gruenehall.com