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Critic's picks: Coleman Hell, Hot Chip, John Prine Tribute

Arts writer Mike Devlin picks his favourite upcoming events, including Coleman Hell at Wicket Hall on Tuesday.


Where: Wicket Hall, 919 Douglas St.
When: Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m. (doors at 6)
Tickets: $25 from; $30 at the door

Why: Thunder Bay’s Coleman Hell came into the pop world with three radio hits from his 2016 debut, each of which was built around a simple premise (banjo on 2 Heads, harmonica on Fireproof, and a horn section on Devotion). The efforts earned him a breakthrough artist of the year nomination at the Juno Awards that same year, and won him pop album of the year at the 2017 awards telecast. He’s been relatively quiet since, but Hell is employing the format of his previous singles on three new tracks — the fiddle-based Home, electric guitar-driven High Off U, and Post Malone-like Joyride. His set at Rifflandia in 2016 was impressive, so expect to hear songs old and new delivered with gusto during his first local appearance in seven years.


Where: Capital Ballroom, 858 Yates St.
When: Thursday, March 28, 9:30 p.m. (doors at 9)
Tickets: $48.89 from

Why: British synth-pop group Hot Chip shapeshift when they go out on the road, and play under several guises — one of which is a DJ set commandeered by one or several members of the Grammy-nominated group. It’s unclear who will be manning the decks tonight, but recent sets by one or both of Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard, the singer-keyboardists who co-founded Hot Chip in 2000, have been well received. Don’t expect to hear a ton of Hot Chip tunes, but these are experts at their craft, so the beats will be fresh, regardless of who is running things.


Where: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 924 Douglas St.
When: Saturday, March 30, 7:30 p.m. (doors at 6:45)
Tickets: Sold out

Why: This concert by Kendel Carson, Doug Cox, Tom and Kalissa Landa and Mick Sherlock qualifies as must-see music, without or without the music of John Prine as its foundation. But when you put in the hands of these area standouts the catalogue of one of the top wordsmiths in American music history, the evening has the potential to be one for the hall of fame. Carson played with Prine, so she has a working knowledge of how the late Chicago icon wanted the songs to be presented. You’re getting the real thing with this bunch, no doubt. Enjoy.