Otis Taylor's picks of the week

8 tonight: The Del McCoury Band at Newberry Opera House. Del McCoury's bluegrass is steeped in heritage and tradition, one that will be passed through generations. His sons, Ronnie and Rob McCoury, play mandolin and banjo, respectively, in his band. Bluegrass is best when the music is kept close to the heart, kept close to home. The opera house is at 1201 McKibben St., Newberry. $37.50; (803) 276-6264

8 tonight: RB Morris at Alien Carnival House. Listening to RB Morris requires the listener to peel through layers, as his music is a collage of genres. Blues, country, gospel and rock 'n' roll get patched together underneath Morris' earthy flow. $15. For reservations, call (803) 413-5676 or e-mail bocelts@yahoo.com.

8:30 tonight: Josh Roberts & The Hinges at New Brookland Tavern. It's hard to find new ways to (briefly) described Roberts' music, so I'll just says this: The energy in the music is inescapable, and the performance is one of the best in town. With The Whiskey Gentry and Have Gun Will Travel. NBT is at 122 State St., West Columbia. $8 and $10; (803) 791-4413

9 tonight: Todd Mathis, Mac Leaphart, Rob Lindsey and Zach Seibert at The White Mule. The four songwriters will perform "in the round," which means they'll share the stage and microphone. Most likely they'll also share stories about what their songs mean to them. The White Mule is at 1530 D Main St. $6; (803) 661-8199

On Sunday, Mathis and Seibert, who have recorded an album of gospel songs that will be released later this year, will perform at Red Bank United Methodist Church. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. The church is at 2909 Old Barnwell Road, Lexington. Free, but an offering will be collected for the performers; (803) 359-4031

9 tonight: Andy Lehman & The Night Moves at the Elbow Room. Andy Lehman & The Night Moves' new concept CD, "Lowcountry," is about a relationship that goes horribly wrong, leading to death. The narrative - and the music that moves it - is smart and punctual. It's good for the car, but is it good for the club? With Papa String Band. Elbow Room is at 2020 Devine St. (803) 253-7888

10 tonight: Big Boi at Club Ice. Big Boi, the clubbing half of the hip-hop duo OutKast, will celebrate his birthday at the club. Big Boi released "Shine Blockas," a spectacular single featuring the ubiquitous Gucci Mane, last year but his long-awaited solo album "Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty" has continuously been delayed. I wish he were celebrating an album release instead of his birthday. Club Ice is at 920 Lady St. (803) 765-1574

8 p.m. Saturday: Danny Schmidt at Unitarian Universalist Coffeehouse. Danny Schmidt, an Austin-based folk and Americana songwriter, plays in the pocket. His conversational delivery allows his songs to nestle, even bury, deep into you. Will Pittman and the Runaways will open. The UU is at 2701 Heyward St. $5 to $12; (888) 849-4224, ext. 4

8 p.m. Saturday: Rodney Dillard Band at Bill's Music Shop & Pickin' Parlor. Rodney Dillard grew up playing with his family in The Dillards. His own band carries the tradition of old-timey music that appeals to children and adults. In another word, families. Bill's is at 710 Meeting St. West Columbia. $12; (803) 796-6477

9 p.m. Saturday: Valentine's Heart Break at Art Bar. American Gun, for the third year, will host the heart-breaking show. Love takes the blame for a lot of what's wrong in our lives, but isn't heart-clutching pain the best inspiration for a musician? With the Capital City Playboys and Whiskey Tango. Art Bar is at 1211 Park St. $4; (803) 929-0198