Friday, March 27, 2015

This week's hot concerts

John Mellencamp/Carlene Carter
Friday  7:30 p.m., Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd., $40.50-$117.50,
The Heartland rocker explores his Americana roots on The Plain Spoken Tour (named for his 2014 album). He touches on songs from the musical he wrote with Stephen King “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County”  with the help of opener Carlene Carter, but by the end he’s “R.O.C.K.”-ing many of his expected hits.

Asleep at the Wheel
Saturday  8 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $25-$28,    
Forty-five years into its career, the veteran Western swing band is still honoring forefather Bob Wills - this time with another all-star collection. “Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys” features guests like Elizabeth Cook, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, and the Avett Brothers.

Martin Sexton
Sunday  8 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $22-$25,
The veteran singer-songwriter taps into the true idea behind an old school mix tape on his appropriately titled “Mixtape for the Open Road,” shifting from bare bones old time folk to heartfelt R&B to bluesy soul within the first three songs, illustrating his ability to channel Guy Clark and the Neville Brothers.

Rittz/Kxng Crooked
Sunday  8 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $17-$20,  
On their South West Kings Tour the lightning-tongued Atlanta rapper and the Long Beach Slaughterhouse emcee formerly known as Crooked are touring behind new projects. Ginger emcee Rittz returned in September with “Next to Nothing;” Crooked released the “Sex, Money & Hip-Hop” mixtape in December.

Rhiannon Giddens
Wednesay  7:30 p.m., McGlohon Theatre, 345 N. College St., $25-$35,  
The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ founder teamed with T-Bone Burnett on her first solo album, “Tomorrow is My Turn,” on which she interprets work by influential female artists in country, folk, blues, and gospel, often casting them in a new light with fresh arrangements and a soulful voice that sometimes makes you forget the original.

Chuck Prophet
Wednesday  9 p.m., Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave., $15,   
Prophet may be the greatest California folky pop-rock songwriter that you haven’t heard of. Striking in similar territory to John Doe and Tom Petty with a knack for classic boogieing rock n’ roll, he continues to put out one quality collection after another on NC’s Yep Roc label. His latest is 2014’s “Night Surfer.” Jeffrey Dean Foster, whose new album is produced by Carolinians Don Dixon and Mitch Easter, opens the show.

Death of Paris
Wednesday  9 p.m., The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Rd., $5-$7,
The hardworking Columbia combo, which has evolved from an impressive dream pop outfit to a more widely accessible pop-rock powerhouse,  plays the final night of its tour on the way home from SXSW. Echoing Paramore, the female-fronted act make the sonic equivalent to hard candy - snappy, sweet, colorful and irresistible. 

Andy the Doorbum
Wednesday  10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., Free,
Musician, visual and performance artist Andy Fenstermaker kicks off a busy month for his Alien Native Movement’s arts takeover of Charlotte. The weekly live music residency begins with a ceremonial burning symbolizing a fresh start and each week the premier of a new performance and guests artists. He’s also curated the art show next door at Twenty-Two.