Joe Nichols, 8 p.m. Friday, May 18, The Rave/Eagles Club, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. Spencer Crandall also performs. Tickets: $24-$77. Visit TheRave.com or call 414-342-7263.
Country music singer and songwriter Joe Nichols began his professional career at the age of 19 in 1996 with the release of a self-titled album. He has since gone on to record nine albums and has had 14 Top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, including five No. 1 singles, according to his website.
Nichols’ biggest hit to date has been “Yeah,” which was on his eighth album. The song was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and achieved similar chart success in Canada.
Nichols released his latest album, “Never Gets Old,” in July 2017. Allmusic.com rated the album 3.5 out of 5 stars and said it has more modern influences in the production and lyrics than Nichols’ previous work.
Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine praised Nichols’ “easy touch” on the songs, stating, “He’s an old-fashioned guy who is happy living in the modern world, and that’s why ‘Never Gets Old’ is so appealing: It feels familiar yet fresh.”
The Black Donnellys, 8 p.m. Saturday, May 26, Boxcars Pub & Grub, 108 Allen St., Clinton. Tickets: $20. Call 608-676-1149.
An Irish duo called the Black Donnellys are attempting to get another listing in the Guinness Book of World Records and will appear at Boxcars Pub and Grub in Clinton as part of the effort.
The pair—Dave Rooney and Dave Browne—are originally from Dublin, but they now reside in Las Vegas. They joined with more than 20 other bands in October 2014 to set a world record for the Longest Concert by Multiple Artists, playing for 372 hours straight.
The duo’s current attempt at a world record has them doing 60 shows in 50 states in 40 days. Their “This is My Home” tour began May 11 in Las Vegas, and the May 26 appearance in Clinton will be their only performance in Wisconsin.
Rooney and Browne perform a wide range of acoustic music from traditional Irish ballads to covers of pop hits to Rooney’s original songs. Rooney plays guitar and sings leads, while Browne performs on guitar and a host of other instruments, including tin whistle and mandolin.
Browne set a world record in June 2011 for the longest marathon playing guitar by an individual (360 hours), while Rooney was named Best Irish Singer-Songwriter in 2012 by an Irish radio network.
Boxcars owners Randy and Tim Pogorelski booked the Black Donnellys after seeing them perform in Las Vegas in January. A mutual friend who is also a national recording artist, Jeremy McComb, introduced the couple to Rooney and Browne.
Randy Pogorelski learned about the Black Donnellys’ upcoming tour and world record attempt from their Facebook page.
“I called them up, and they said they didn’t have a Wisconsin stop (for the record attempt), so the date worked out,” Tim Pogorelski told The Gazette. “It was kind of luck of the draw because they remembered me from meeting them with Jeremy.”
On their Facebook page, the Black Donnellys note their concerts are being filmed as part of a documentary on their record attempt. They add the “primary cause behind this attempted record is to highlight immigration in America and to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. All merchandise proceeds will be donated to this charity.”
Heather McDonald, 8 p.m. Saturday, May 19, Turner Hall Ballroom, 1040 N. Fourth St., Milwaukee. Tickets: $24.50. Call 414-286-3663.
An actress, comedian and author, Heather McDonald is best known for her appearances on the television series “Chelsea Lately,” a late-night comedy talk show that ran from 2007-14 and was hosted by comedian Chelsea Handler. McDonald was one of the eight writers on the show, and she often participated in sketches and segments. She also wrote and appeared in the show’s spin-off, “After Lately.”
As a stand-up comedian, McDonald’s performances include impressions of a cast of women characters she has created. Another claim to fame is the memoir of her college years that she wrote in 2010, which made the New York Times’ Bestseller List. The book, “You’ll Never Blue Ball in This Town Again: One Woman’s Painfully Funny Quest to Give It Up,” covers her college and sorority experience while attending the University of Southern California. She published a second memoir in 2013.
McDonald began her career in the late 1990s, when she started writing with fellow comedian Keenan Ivory Wayans, who created the Fox Network series “In Living Color.”