For years, guitarist Anders Osborne filtered his blues through New Orleans funk. His musical reach is broader now, and his songs and playing meld a host of influences into a more distinctive, exploratory sound that owes a lot to the spirit of the ’60s.
Osborne doesn’t play in New Orleans as often as he once did, but he tries to make his shows into events like his two-night “Holiday Spectacular,” which in the past has involved unannounced musical guests.
Friday and Saturday
Anders Osborne Third Annual Holiday Spectacular
Tipitina’s, 501 Napoleon Ave.
(504) 895-8477, Tipitinas.com
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Smoothie King Center, 1501 Dave Dixon Drive
(504) 587-3663, SmoothieKingCenter.com
R&B singer Usher has had a couple of likable seasons as a judge on “The Voice,” but he’s back in the music business working on his overdue “UR” album. If previous stops on the tour hold to form, Usher will only perform the singles from the album that were released this year; otherwise, “The UR Experience” tour is more of a career retrospective. Fortunately, it has been a hit-filled career.
Civic Theatre, 510 O’Keefe Ave.
(504) 272-0865, CivicNola.com
No one from British rock band alt-J is in any danger of embarrassing himself overemoting onstage. The band’s physical reserve has become a calling card, along with richly textured songs that are sonically gorgeous. This year’s “This is All Yours” is a fitting follow-up to 2012’s Mercury Prize-winning “An Awesome Wave.”