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Critic's picks: Busty and the Bass; Pony Gold, Northcote; Big Hank

Arts writer Mike Devlin pics his fave upcoming events, including Busty and the Bass at Wicket Hall on Sunday.
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Montreal party posse Busty and the Bass perform Sunday at Wicket Hall. KANE OCEAN

BUSTY AND THE BASS

Where: Wicket Hall, 919 Douglas St.
When: Sunday, Dec. 3, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $30 from strathconahotel.com

Why: Thanks to the presence of singer-keyboardist Evan Crofton, Montreal’s Busty and the Bass has maintained a consistent presence around these parts. The Victoria native (who performs under the moniker Alistair Blu) and his extra-large party posse appeared at the Laketown Shakedown in Lake Cowichan this summer, but their jazz/soul/hip-hop/funk hybrid is better suited to somewhere like Wicket Hall, where they will perform an early show Sunday night. The band is celebrating 10 years as a group, and will showcase songs from Forever Never Cares, the band’s third studio album and one which continues to focus on that for which they have become known: Top-tier musicianship, and a hustle and bustle approach to rump-shaking music.

PONY GOLD & NORTHCOTE

Where: Lucky Bar, 517 Yates St.
When: Thursday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $12 from showpass.com ($15 at the door)

Why: New music from two of the best roots acts in Victoria is the genesis behind this appealing double-bill, which pairs indie folk favourite Northcote with alt-country combo Pony Gold for a slate of early-evening goodness. Pony Gold’s new EP, Take Me Somewhere, is a showcase for the estimable talents of real-life couple Matt and Theresa Bromley, whose experience gleaned from several local projects over the years shines through. Matt Goud of Northcote comes across as a West Coast version of Bill Janovitz on his new EP, Wholeheart Live, on which he employs his full menu of skills, including his keen Springsteen-esque storytelling. Talel McBriar will open up the event at Lucky Bar tonight, which is positioned to warm a club full of hearts.

BIG HANK’S CHRISTMAS BLUES SHOW

Where: Hermann’s Jazz Club, 753 View St.
When: Saturday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m. (doors at 5:50)
Tickets: $25 from hermannsjazz.com

Why: Local blues institution Big Hank will never, ever steer you in the wrong direction at Christmastime. His bluesy seasonal setlist is hewn to a fine point, and he has the collaborators, dubbed the Smoking Hot Toasters, any blues bandleader in this city would dream of fronting: guitarist Steve Cross, bassist Mick Woodhouse, drummer Matt Pease, keyboardist Steve Ranta, and saxophonists Jerry Cook and Paul Wainwright. The former frontman of Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band not only looks a bit like Santa, white hair and all, but he also has the charitable character traits you love to see at this time of year, spreading the goodtime gospel wherever he goes in December. Highest recommendation.

mdevlin@timescolonist.com