Thursday, July 24, 2014

This week's hot concerts

Eric Roberson
Friday  8 p.m., Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St., $35-$40,  
The Grammy nominated R&B singer (whose work delves into gospel and smooth jazz) is having a particularly prolific year with his new album “The Box” coming August 12 just months after his B-Sides collection. He’s paired with Atlanta singer Algebra Blessett.

Rascal Flatts & Sheryl Crow
Saturday  7:30 p.m., PNC Music Pavilion, 707 Pavilion Blvd., $40.25-$80.50,  
The award winning country trio returns following the May release of “Rewind” (which boasts its heavily R&B-influenced title track). Grammy winning rock singer Crow needs no introduction to the country crowd. Like Jewel before her, she’s moving into country, but her storytelling writing style was never far off to begin with.

London Souls
Saturday  7:00 p.m., US National Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy, Free,
This eclectic New York band - one of a handful of acts sweeping through on its way to and from Floydfest in Virginia this weekend - is a bit different than the Americana roots acts that frequent USNWC’s River Jam series. While the duo has roots in blues, it shifts from ska to funk to soul to rock and does it all well with fired up performances.

Michael Tracy
Saturday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $10-$12,  
The Charlotte-based rock singer-songwriter, whose sound bridges the classic `70s rock of Peter Frampton (there’s even a reference in his live show) with the grunge era Southern blues-rock of Drivin’ n’ Cryin’, celebrates the release of his new EP with a set that will be recorded live.

Joe Firstman
Saturday  9 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 35th St., $14,  
The Charlotte born singer-songwriter made a name for himself early on as an Atlantic Records freshman who opened for Jewel and Willie Nelson and later as Carson Daly’s late night band leader. Since then he’s become one of the least predictable indie artists out there churning out jazz, soul, blues, rock - which is probably why the labels had a tough time categorizing him.

Mates of State
Sunday  8 p.m., Chop Shop, 399 E. 35th St., $12-$15,
There’s no other band that sounds quite like these married parents playing drums and vintage-sounding synthesizer-based indie rock and trading off shout-sung vocals and frequently harmonizing. The duo’s 2011 release “Mountaintops” was one of the best unsung releases that year.

Sara Bareilles
Monday  7 p.m., Uptown Amphitheatre, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $40.77-$71.09,
The piano pop singer behind hits “Love Song” and “Bottle It Up” jumps to outdoor amphitheaters with the success of her latest hit single “Brave” and third album “The Blessed Unrest,” which showcases the sweet, romantic pop she’s known for as well as quirkier Fiona Apple-style avant pop.

Andy Vaughan & the Driveline
Tuesday  10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., Free, 
This Richmond quintet make authentic, old school country that rides in on weepy, but not maudlin pedal steel, shuffling tempos, and Vaughan’s traditional storytelling style which stirs memories of vintage honky-tonks and late `70s/early `80s urban cowboys. It’s not exclusively retro with a touch of pop in the writing, but honors the classics.

Umphrey’s McGee
Thursday  8 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $31,
On its new album “Similar Skin” the jam stalwarts explore a new path. Inspired by the Oprah-approved, celebrity-endorsed self-help book “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment,” which focuses on living in the now, the album (which is less hokey than that sounds) is the band’s heaviest mixing rippling dance grooves with classic arena and progressive hard rock.