The Wailers, 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Ave., Madison. For tickets, call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.
Now an eight-piece reggae powerhouse, The Wailers were the group that backed up Jamaican icon Bob Marley in the 1970s. When Marley died in 1981, he reportedly asked the band to continue performing to help promote peace and justice through his music.
The Wailers have gone through some personnel changes over the years, but the band regularly tours internationally and impresses audiences with soulful music and authenticity.
Original bassist Aston “Familyman” Barrett began the process of reuniting past members of The Wailers in 2015, and today the group consists of a veteran lineup. Along with Barrett, the band includes original guitarist Junior Marvin, Josh Barrett (lead vocals), Donald Kinsey (lead guitar), Earl Linda (keyboards), Aston Barrett Jr. (drums), Tyrone Downie (keyboards) and Owen Reid (rhythm guitar).
The Wailers have performed with such international stars as Sting, The Fugees, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana and Alpha Blondy, as well as reggae legends Peter Tosh, Jimmie Cliff, Bunny Wailer and Burning Spear. They released three studio albums and seven live albums—the most recent in 2006.
Chase Rice, 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, The Rave, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. Tickets: $27. Call 414-342-7283.
Country music singer and songwriter Chase Rice released his fourth studio album, “Lambs & Lions,” in November, and he is touring nationally in support of that album.
Rice began his professional music career in 2010 with the release of his debut album, “Friday Nights & Sunday Mornings.” He followed with a second album in 2012, but it was his third album, “Ignite the Night,” that proved to be his breakthrough to commercial success in 2014. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and included the hit single “Ready Set Roll.”
In 2011, he co-wrote the single “Cruise,” a hit for the country band Florida Georgia Line. But Rice already had become known to millions of television viewers before recording his first album in 2010. That same year, he was selected as a cast member on the reality TV show “Survivor: Nicaragua,” on which he finished as runner-up.
Rice began playing guitar in college at the University of North Carolina, and he credits his father for encouraging him to write his own songs. Despite also playing linebacker for the Tarheels’ football team, an injury prevented Rice from pursuing a career in the NFL.
Ellis Paul, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, Café Carpe, 18 S. Water St., Fort Atkinson. Tickets: $20. Call 920-563-9391.
Singer-songwriter Ellis Paul is widely recognized as a master of the “Boston-style” of songwriting—a highly literate and introspective style that emerged in the early 1990s to become prevalent in the modern folk-music landscape.
He also has released 18 albums and is the recipient of 14 Boston Music Awards, one of the high honors in American folk music. He dominated the competition in Boston throughout the 1990s.
Paul began his music career in the late ’80s after graduating from Boston College, where he earned scholarships in track and cross country. While recovering from an injury during his junior year, he learned to play guitar and began performing at open-mic events.
Paul proved to be a natural performer, and in 1991 he was awarded the Boston Acoustic Underground Award. The honor set his career in motion, and he began touring the country as a solo artist. He made is his first appearance at Café Carpe in the early 1990s and has returned several times.
In an interview, Paul said he’s performed in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to small listening rooms that hold fewer than 100 people.
“I like playing a variety of stages, and I don’t have favorites,” he observed. “I just want a good crowd. It’s more about the people who are there rather than the size of the room. It’s still fun.”
Paul released his most recent album, “Chasing Beauty,” in 2014. He described the music as “more guitar-driven” than his previous recordings.
“It comes across as a folk-rock record, rather than a strictly acoustic thing,” he said. “This is a little more melodic and a little more guitar-driven.”
Sandra Bernhard, 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Ave., Madison. For tickets, call 608-241-8633.
A groundbreaking actress and comedian, Sandra Bernhard gained attention in the late-1970s with her stand-up comedy that bitterly critiqued celebrity culture and politicians. She also became famous for her role as Nancy Barlett Thomas on the ABC sitcom “Roseanne,” on which she appeared from 1991-97.
Bernhard is considered one of America’s leading comedians, and she is ranked No. 97 on Comedy Central’s list of 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time. Bernhard’s big break came in 1983, when she was cast by Martin Scorsese to star as stalker and kidnapper Masha in the film “The King of Comedy.” The film earned her a National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Bernhard also was one of the first actresses to portray an openly lesbian recurring character on American television with her “Roseanne” role. It is among her best-known roles, and something she has lamented in her stand-up as being both a blessing and a curse.