Courtney picked up the six string guitar just after end of WWII and he's also mentored generations of musicians along the way, helping to preserve the blues music he loves so much. Sadly father time is taking it's toll on our music legends. If you haven't caught a set from him yet, make it a priority.
Tom Cat Courtney: Wednesdays at The Turquoise, 873 Turquoise St., at 8 p.m. All ages. theturquoise.com.
Tio Leo's hosts a particularly diverse bill on Nov. 30, with four musical genres on the bill including Celtic-inspired combo, Ass Pocket Whiskey Fellas, Cajun/Zydeco band The Bayou Brothers, The Jazz Pockets and classic country rocker Dave Gleason. All the groups are highly rated, but the standout here is guitarist Gleason, who can pick and twang with the best of them. Mixing in elements of surf and R&B, Gleason's guitar playing is stellar and the perfect way to kick off a great night of music.
Dave Gleason: Friday, Nov. 30 at Tio Leo's, 5302 Napa St. at 9 p.m. 21 and up. tioleos.com.
Rap-rockers Kottonmouth Kings hit the stage at Brick by Brick on Nov. 30. Touring in support of two albums released this year, "The Harvest" and "Kingdom Come," the band has developed an intensely loyal following that has sustained them over more than two decades. The Kottonmouth Kings new single, "Loyalty is Royalty," shows them hitting just as hard as ever, with atmospheric beats and an anthemic chorus. If you like your shows heavy on the beats, full of inspired wordplay and loud, this ones for you.
Kottonmouth Kings: Friday, Nov. 30 at Brick by Brick, 1130 Buenos Ave. at 8:30 p.m.
Jazz fans won't want to miss a special concert from The Bi-National Mambo Orchestra at Dizzy's on Nov. 30. Under the direction of trumpeter Bill Caballero, the 18-piece big band will present, TP Meets PP, an evening devoted to the music of Latin music legends, percussionist Tito Puente and pianist Perez Prado. With more than 100 years of music between them, the song possibilities are endless. It's a shame Dizzy's doesn't have a dance floor, these are songs with irresistible rhythms.
The Bi-National Mambo Orchestra: Friday, Nov. 30 at Dizzy's, 1717 Morena Blvd. at 7 p.m. 21 and up. dizzysjazz.com.
Java Joe's in Old Town is now The Backdrop. The venue is expanding beyond its traditional singer-songwriter shows, with game nights, movie nights and hip-hop amongst the upcoming additions to its schedule. On Nov. 30, the bill will be topped by Rob Deez. His music is hard to categorize, ranging as it does from traditional topical folk to acoustic hip-hop, but his tunes are always lyrically clever with plenty of hooks. Deez has released plenty of music, but live is where engaging humor an observations work best.
Rob Deez: Friday, Nov. 30 at The Backdrop, 2611 Congress St., at 8 p.m. thebackdropsd.com.
Jazz icon Bob James stops in at Humphrey's Backstage Live for two nights, Dec. 4-5. He's released more than six dozen acclaimed albums since 1963, ranging from free jazz to smooth jazz, but its likely that many music fans don't even realize it's him on his best known tune, "Angela's Song." Used as the theme to 1970s sitcom classic, "Taxi," the song has become a pop culture signpost on the sound of the era. James is still going strong, currently on tour promoting a new album, “Espresso.” Don't miss this rare opportunity to take in an intimate set from this jazz master.
Bob James: Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec.4-5 at Humphrey’s Backstage Live, 2241 Shelter Island Drive. 7:30 p.m. humphreysbackstagelive.com.