Praised by Smooth Jazz Therapy as “a major player on the contemporary jazz scene,” the gifted saxophonist, flautist, and vocalist Paula Atherton headlines Great Sounds Promotions' latest Smooth Jazz Valentines Concert at Davenport's Redstone Room, the February 14 event sure to demonstrate why The Smooth Jazz Ride lauded the artist for her “stylish, sleek, and energetic talents.”

Touring in support of his 2019 album State I'm In, Aaron Lewis – the chart-topping outlaw-county singer/songwriter and co-founder of rock outfit Staind – headlines an acoustic February 15 concert at Davenport's Rhythm City Casino Resort Event Center, treating fans to a repertoire that inspired Saving Country Music to rave, “Aaron's voice comes with a familiarity and richness of tone that endears itself to the songs he writes.”

With The New Yorker deeming the group “an ensemble of eloquent intensity” and “one of the mainstays of the American chamber-music scene,” the gifted musicians of the Jupiter String Quartet appear as special guests in the WVIK/QCSO Signature Series, their February 15 performance at Augustana College's Centennial Hall sure to deliver what the Boston Classical Review called “an intensely alert investigation of the musical possibilities in each work.”

A musical showcase held in support of Black History Month, the latest presentation in Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz Workshop and Matinée Series finds the Midwestern greats of the Peter Callaway Quartet bringing their significant talents and deep love of jazz to Davenport's Redstone Room on February 16, offering a celebration of African-American jazz composers and musicians including Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Duke Ellington, and many others.

A bill of pummeling post-hardcore, screamo, and full-throated black metal hits Rozz-Tox on February 16 as St. Louis’ Mystic Will forms a bill with local acts The Dead Girl Medallion and Suburban Commando.

What follows is a subjective list of my 10 favorite releases of 2019, as well as some honorable mentions. My personal tastes tend toward rock and metal, and this list reflects that, with a few exceptions. There's much good music that I've either missed or haven't fully appreciated. You are probably in the same boat. So read on – and feel free to recommend anything I may have overlooked.

The droning, doom-soaked duo A Light Among Many take the stage at Rozz-Tox on February 9, on the bill with local heads Everlasting Light and Archeress.

Aqualife at Rozz-Tox -- February 7.

Rozz-Tox puts on a free show of Iowa talent on February 7 as a companion event to follow an exhibition opening that showcases new works on paper by artist Lucas Berns. Acts include Quad Cities-based projects Aqualife and Dog Hairs and Iowa City-based projects Haunter and Gabi Vanek, and the show concludes with a special set in which all four of these solo performers play together.

Praised by Americana Highways for his “great storytelling sense and beautiful melodies,” as well as for being “a triple-threat as a new Americana artist,” outlaw-country sensation Cody Jinks takes the stage at Davenport's Adler Theatre on February 6, the artist having inspired Saving Country Music to rave, “Cody Jinks country is the best of both worlds, carrying all the twang and grit you’d ever want, but with the singer/songwriter sentiments that challenge the best poets from country to Americana.”

Based in the Chicago area, the spirited genre-blenders of Classical Blast bring their stage show From Bach to Rock to Maquoketa's Ohnward Fine Arts Center on February 8, thrilling audiences with a unique meld of classical and rock tunes that has led to the sextet opening for such varied artists as Joan Jett, Michael McDonald, Don Felder of the Eagles, and The Orchestra featuring members of ELO.