By John Christensen

Music City Hit-Makers

Are you a fan of Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, and Martina McBride?

Have you not gotten a chance to see them perform live right here in Alaska? Well here’s your chance — sort of.

The Music City Hit-Makers are coming to Anchorage this Friday. You may not see the famous faces you associate with your favorite country hits, but this intimate night of music will bring the songwriters themselves to the stage. Having penned over a dozen hits over the years, these musicians are now touring their hit songs themselves. It is bound to be a night of stories, laughs, and new versions of songs we know and love.

For more information, go to anchorageconcerts.org, call CenterTix at (907) 263-2787, and look for the official press release in this week’s Anchorage Press. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., this Friday (the 13th), in the Atwood Concert Hall, at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, in Anchorage.

Parlor in the Round w/ Lee Thomas Miller, LuLu Small, Shaun Pacarro

If you get shut down looking for tickets for the Hit Makers show, but you still want to get a taste of what it is like, The Parlor in the Round is the place to be. Local musicians LuLu Small and Shaun Pacarro (of the band H3) join Music City Hit-Maker Lee Thomas Miller, for a night of hits, laughs, and musical improv, truly unlike any other.

The Parlor in the Round is a truly unique experience in our Alaskan music scene. Once a month, host and show-runner Kevin Worrell takes the talents of three musicians (some local, some touring through Alaska) and brings them all to stage together. The show begins in their comfort zone, performing their own original music. Next, each musician has a chance to perform their version of a song written by one of the other artists on stage. But as this is happening, the audience is also given homework, to write their own ideas for a song. As Worrell always reminds the audience, “A short phrase works best.” The artists then choose a card, and voila! they write a song right on the spot. The show then ends with the mother-of-all-musical-tests with the artists coming together to write and perform a song made of the audiences requests, and while that may seem like an impossibly tall task to many of us, these musicians never shy away from it and some true hits have been written.

As with the Hit Makers’ show, tickets are going fast.

On the 12th of March, The Parlor takes its act to the Bear Tooth Theatrepub at 1230 W 27th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99503. Show starts at 7:30 pm. Don’t fret if you can’t get a ticket because Parlor in the Round is broadcast here in Anchorage on KNBA 90.3FM (at a later date).

Ja Rule

If you’re one of the many people who took to Twitter last month to express their disappointment that Ja was not on-stage during the Super Bowl Halftime Show, here’s your chance to see him! Ja Rule is coming to Alaska. Yes, THAT Ja Rule! After not making an appearance in Miami last month, Ja will be taking the stage at the Egan Center right here in Anchorage, Alaska on Friday, March 13th, at 7:30 p.m. Yes, this does mean you have to make a choice between this show and the Music City Hit-Makers at the PAC, but I trust you to make the decision that is right for your own musical needs. Either way, you will be in for a night of fun, jams, and good energy. You can not go wrong.

With hits like ‘Always on Time’ & ‘Caught Up’, Ja is sure to ‘Mesmerize’ the crowd like back in the days of baggy-pants, bandanas and chains.

This show promises to be anything but a Fyre Fest, so grab your friends, grab your girl, and your tickets! If you do not already have said tickets, tickets (including the Meet & Greet package) are still available through EventBrite. This event is 21+ but, chances are that if you are a big Ja Rule fan, you probably are too.

And more!...

Even if you make it to Parlor in the Round on Thursday night, and either Ja Rule or Music City Hit-Makers on Friday night, your Saturday night plans might be looking a bit too wide open. Thankfully, SunDog, Wash Your Hands (a timely name, don’t you think?) & Man-Time are triple-billing a show together on Saturday, right here in Anchorage.

In celebration of SunDog’s new single, they are hosting a show Van’s Dive Bar, with the funds of said show going to AKIMI, the Alaskan Independent Musician’s Initiative, to help fund their upcoming music-exchange trip to Boise, Idaho’s TreeFort Music Festival, at the end of March. SunDog and a handful of other Alaskan bands and artists are in the lineup for this year’s TreeFort Music Festival after Eric Gilbert, the festival director for TreeFort, spoke at the AKIMI Musicians’ Summit here in Anchorage, this past winter.

Alaska has so much great music. It is opportunities like this one that give our local bands the chance to show off their talents to the world. And as Alaska seems to be yet

unaffected by the encroaching COVID-19 outbreak, wash your hands, sneeze into your arm, and get out to see some live music before it’s too late. Thanks for supporting live music. Be safe out there, friends!

The show starts Saturday night at Van’s Dive Bar at 1027 E 5th Ave., in Anchorage, at 9 p.m. There is no cover charge and all donations will go straight to fund the AKIMI-exchange trip to TreeFort Music Festival. To learn more about TreeFort, head to treefortmusicfest.com . You can also find SunDog and their music on all social media and streaming platforms (including BandCamp).

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