It’s possible there isn’t a more exciting band in San Diego than Lady Dottie & The Diamonds. Performing every Wednesday at Gallagher’s, the band excels at gritty R&B, with elements of funk and garage rock mixed in. The quintet plays a mix of great originals such as “I Ain’t Mad at Ya,” which sounds just like the tunes of their musical heroes, authentically performed with real passion. There are plenty of excellent cover tunes in the set as well, like “Have Love Will Travel,” but whether you enjoy the old classics or the new material, this band provides some of the best dance music to be found in San Diego.
• Lady Dottie & The Diamonds perform at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays at Gallagher’s, 5046 Newport Ave. 21 and up. Visit www.gallagherspubob.com.
There are lots of open-mic nights in San Diego, but there is only one Jefferson Jay, who hosts one of the best at Winston’s Beach Club on Wednesday evenings. Flamboyant with a great sense of humor and deep music knowledge, he interjects just enough to keep the night flowing. You never know what you’ll hear at one of his open-mic nights, with well-known artists trying out new material rubbing elbows with new-comers trying to get past their first case of stage fright. In lesser hands, a night like this could be a scary proposition. But under Jay’s capable guidance, it’s always a great time and always entertaining.
• Open-mic night: Wednesdays at Winston’s Beach Club, 1921 Bacon St. 4 p.m. No cover. 21 and up. www.winstonsob.com
The corner of Newport Avenue and Bacon Street is a fairly unassuming traffic juncture, but on Wednesdays between 4 and 7 p.m., music fans know it as one of the best places to catch San Diego’s up-and-coming talent. As the westernmost end of the weekly OB Farmers Market, it’s a mixed crowd ranging from the families with toddlers to the local homeless, all mingling peacefully while enjoying the tunes. The lineup changes weekly, ranging from country to rock, but it’s practically guaranteed fun and always free.
• OB Farmers Market: Newport Avenue and Bacon Street, 6 p.m. All ages.www.oceanbeachsandiego.com/events/farmers-market-wednesdays
The best cover band in town? Easy. It’s Rockola, which performs at Humphreys Backstage Lounge on Saturday, Jan. 5. Specializing in classic rock from the 1950s to the 1970s, the band is so exacting in its performances that it’s sometimes hard to tell their versions of tunes from the originals, with vocal harmonies a particular strength. The band features some of the area’s top players, led by guitarist Bob Tedde, who is able to play everything from garage rock like “Hang On Sloopy” to psychedelic rock like Procul Harum’s “Conquistador.” Most importantly though, Rockola is a lot of fun, with a huge interactive component that keeps audiences coming back for more.
• Rockola performs at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5 at Humphreys Backstage Live, 2241 Shelter Island Drive. www.humphreysbackstagelive.com