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Amy Burger

At age 35, alt-country singer/songwriter/guitarist Jason Isbell is finally having the shining moment of his somewhat tumultuous 13-year career. His fourth solo album, "Southeastern," came out last year to much critical acclaim, lauded by many as one of the best of 2013.

Most folks have football on the brain this weekend, but for the sold-out crowd that packed the Pageant wall-to-wall Saturday night, it was all about the music. Fans lined up in the cold clear down the block for the chance to get down with Phish's fearless leader, guitarist, composer and prolific poet, Trey Anastasio, and his acclaimed solo band.

New Year's Eve is tricky. Expectations are high, and more often than not, the evening never quite seems to live up to them. Seeing a couple of bands that you know will rock your socks off seems about the best you can do. The line outside the Old Rock House as the doors opened on Tuesday night proved that to be a popular idea.

2013 was a great year in music with both new and veteran artists putting out some quality stuff. Of course, music is subjective; and so are lists. No two music lovers' Top 10 is going to be the same, but it's fun to share nonetheless.

At the age of 27, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews possesses soul beyond his years and the musical skills to match.

A longtime fan of Florida-based swamp rockers JJ Grey & Mofro, I was excited to herald their return to the Pageant just nine months after they rang in the New Year at the venue; but my excitement only grew stronger when it was announced that the opening act would be funky New Orleans rockers the Revivalists.

At age 46, after more than a decade touring, writing and recording his Florida-steeped, swampy blend of rock, soul, funk and blues with his band Mofro, JJ Grey may be at the sweetest point in his essay writer life.

When most people hear mention of Hanson, they immediately picture the fresh-faced, white-bread teen brothers who busted onto the pop scene in 1997 with their first major label release, "Middle of Nowhere," which went 4x Platinum in the U.S. and featured the Grammy-nominated, sun-shiny hit "MMMBop."

Life is heavy, and the world can seem like a cold, harsh place. Sometimes you just need a hug. Other times you need a release – to scream at the top of your lungs, or jump up and down or dance until you literally collapse. Along with his band, Spearhead, Michael Franti offered plenty of opportunities for all of the above as he returned to the Pageant Thursday night.

Fans of live music and tasty barbecue flocked to Columbia, Mo.'s Stephens Lake Park last weekend for the seventh annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival.

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