Sara Morgan plays a very special benefit for Rose Brooks. Aaron Menken | .

Less work, more music: Thanksgiving week in KC

Joywave has top billing at the Truman, but make sure you’re there in time for Hembree. Mary Ellen Matthews | .

Happy Thanksgiving week to you. This is one of the best weeks of the year to go to shows because everyone is home for the holiday. Music fans have carved out their own traditions—like seeing Ha Ha Tonka every year around Thanksgiving. That tradition continues this year on Thanksgiving Eve at recordBar.

Also this week: touring acts like Hembree are back in town after spending the past couple months on tour.

And then of course, Black Friday is a special day for independent record stores as they host a holiday version of Record Store Day, offering limited editions of vinyl and other special offers to help you take care of folks on your holiday shopping list. Just don’t forget to grab something for yourself, too.

11/22 Ha Ha Tonka/Me Like Bees at recordBar

Two great bands from southern Missouri that a lot of KC music fans have adopted as our own: Ha Ha Tonka and Me Like Bees. Such a great bill on Thanksgiving Eve. If you’re trying to think of a great night out for visiting family and friends you can’t go wrong with this duo and it’s also very family friendly. Earlier this year, Ha Ha Tonka put out “Heart-Shaped Mountain” via Bloodshot Records, adding another stellar album to their catalog. I’m sure they’ll be playing a good mix of their old songs and some new stuff to entertain you as well. Grab your tix in advance as this well sell out.

11/25 Steddy P and DJ Mahf/Lincoln Marshall/Nakama Music Group/Scotty Wu at recordBar

Back in 2009 someone gave me a copy of Steddy P’s album, “Style Like Mind.” Almost a decade later, I’m still hooked. He’s put together a great Thanksgiving weekend roster featuring great hip hop from KC and Lawrence. Once you get through the Macy’s Day Parade, a couple football games and your turkey, this would be a great way to wrap up your festive day.

11/24 Yes You Are/Rachel Mallin and the Wild Type/YGodY at recordBar

This has been a promising year for Yes You Are. Their music was in a national commercial that aired right as the Super Bowl ended. The Super Bowl! The featured song was “HGX,” which stands for holy ghost explosion. It’s a loud and dancey tune and they’ve been working on new music as well. I’m sure some of that will be on display at recordBar on Friday night. Check out the video above, it’s a powerhouse of a song and it’s sure to win you over and make you a fan.

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11/24 Kasey Rausch/Sara Morgan/Kelly Hunt a benefit for Rose Brooks Foundation at Knuckleheads

It’s the holidays and with all of that good cheer comes a lot of charitable efforts and here’s a great one. Three powerful women from three different genres of music are on this bill and I’m a fan of all three. Kasey Rausch, playing her blend of alt-country, Kelly Hunt with her stripped down folk music and Sara Morgan with her take on country music. Her music is so good, it’ll make you want to drive a tractor. Also, if you aren’t familiar, Rose Brooks Center is a very important non-profit that provides emergency shelter to people escaping life-threatening abuse. They do amazing things at Rose Brooks and this concert is your chance to help.

11/25 Joywave/Hembree/The Aces/Maybird at The Truman

Hembree just returned from a run of shows that had them crossing our northern border into Canada. As they played their way back and forth to Toronto, they found themselves playing to packed rooms in cities still new to the band. The band’s new EP, “Had It All,” is one of my favorite albums to come out this year and you can grab your copy on Saturday night at The Truman as they open for Joywave. Perhaps you’ve seen Joywave, an indie rock band out of Rochester, New York, gigging through KC before. They opened up for Young The Giant this summer at Starlight Theatre.

Chris Haghirian is Ink magazine’s resident fan boy. Get him in your inbox every Tuesday with Ink’s Side Note.

11/21 Alice Merton at recordBar

11/21 I Prevail at The Truman

11/22 Mac Lethal/DJ P at The Truman

11/22 Danielle Nicole Band/HiLux at Knuckleheads

11/23 The Schwag at Uptown

11/24 and 11/25 The Rainmakers at recordBar

11/25 Bad Dreamer (album release show)/Hate Shapes/Les Riley at miniBar

11/25 The Architects/Brandon Phillips & The Condition/The Gadjits/Other Americans at Daveys

11/25 The Elders at Knuckleheads

11/25 The Grand Marquis/The Big Sky/Dan Bliss at Westport Saloon

11/29 Straight No Chaser at The Midland

11/29 The Life and Times/Giant’s Chair/Ex Acrobat at recordBar

11/30 Chad Prather at The Truman

11/30 Damien Escobar at The Midland

11/30 Freight Train Rabbit Killer/Smokestack Relics/Ghosts of Grandad’s Past/Erik Arvoy at Westport Saloon


Less work, more music: Thanksgiving week in KC