Christmas MusiCares Benefit

Presidents of the U.S.A. guitarist Andrew McKeag helms a lovely annual holiday tradition of gathering his best pals at his side to cover a classic double album from front to back, with all the proceeds going to MusiCares, the healthcare safety net for uninsured musicians. This year, he's taking on Eric Clapton's Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, a somewhat surprising choice, even to him. "I'm not a gigantic Eric Clapton fan," he admits. "However, this record kicks ass. That Tulsa-meets-Florida-meets-England vibe is real fucking groovy and serves as a reminder of how high the bar was once set for pop music musicianship." Luckily, McKeag's friends—including Kurt Bloch, Jeff Fielder and the Sangster brothers—are some of the strongest players in town, so that bar will no doubt be met this evening. With Blue Spark, Kim Virant, Mike McCready, The Jelly Rollers, Sean Bates, James Apollo & His Sweet Unknown, The Glass Notes, Nathan Wade & The Dark Pioneers, Persephone, Sam Russell. HANNAH LEVIN

Sat., Dec. 17, 9:30 p.m., 2011

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