WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where each Friday we’ll be taking a look at shows coming to the region over the next week. Whether your musical tastes are rock and roll, jazz, heavy metal, singer-songwriter or indie, there’ll always be something to check out in the coming days.
Here are seven of the best for the week beginning May 29:
Les Racquet – May 29 at North Star Bar
Brooklyn-based jazz/roots/rock power trio Les Racquet brings its three-part vocal harmonies and technically expressive musicianship to the North Star Bar Friday. Performing songs that draw the interest of learned musicians and mainstream listeners alike, the band conveys energy and vitality on stage by unleashing bursts of rock n’ roll improv around intimate vocal moments. Solid in the pocket and able to still maintain a looseness isn’t a duality many acts can pull off; but these guys do it deftly.
Dr. John – May 29 at ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks
Dr. John, or Mac Rebennack as he’s known to friends and family, is universally celebrated as the living embodiment of the rich musical heritage exclusive to New Orleans. Lucky us that he tends to impart that storied locale on the road for devoted music lovers who don’t get the chance to make it to Nola. His latest album, last summer’s Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch, pays tribute to yet another legend from The Big Easy, trumpeter Louis Armstrong. Expect the good doctor to be pulling much of the setlist from there.
Buckcherry – May 30 at Xfinity Live
There was a time period in the late-90s when Buckcherry was poised to become the next mega tattooed sleaze rockers from Los Angeles in the vein of Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses. Unfortunately, a few years after a promising self-titled debut in 1999, the musical landscape changed drastically with the influx of garage-rock revivalists and the advent of filesharing. The band broke-up, but reunited in 2005 with a revamped lineup. Since then they’ve been going non-stop, opening for the likes of The Crue and Kiss, and while playing a bunch of festival dates this summer, Philly gets a headlining show.
The Roots Picnic – May 30 at Festival Pier
Celebrating its eighth year, the annual Roots Picnic returns with an eclectic lineup over three stages boasting performances by The Weeknd, Phantogram, Erykah Badu, who will be backed by The Roots, A$AP Rocky and Hiatus Kaiyote, along with many others. While not as big as some of the other music fest dotting the Northeast, the smallness of the Picnic works in its favor; it’s always a day of fun, food, drink and, obviously, music.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – June 3 at The Merriam Theater
While many – including his brother Liam – are hoping that Britpop titans Oasis will reunite, Noel Gallagher is busy touring his second solo album under the High Flying Birds moniker, Chasing Yesterday. Despite the cheeky title, Gallagher is hardly looking toward the past. New songs like “In the Heat of the Moment” and “Riverman” sit nicely along Oasis hits like “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova,” a true testament to one of the greatest songwriters of his generation.
Merle Haggard – June 4 at The Keswick Theatre
When it comes to “outlaw country,” few can boast that they are the epitome of the subgenre. Merle Haggard, with multiple times spent in prison and lyrics that reflect what can only be described as a hard knock life, is one of them. Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson are just some of Haggard’s contemporaries both past and present, and that’s not shabby company to be placed. Having just turned 78 years old last month, he might not be a spring chicken any longer, but he’s still got that outlaw kick. June marks the release of his album with co-conspirator Willie Nelson called Django and Jimmie, and it’s easily one of the most anticipated of the year.
The Wailers – June 4 at The Santander Performing Arts Center
Together with Bob Marley, The Wailers have sold in excess of 250 million albums worldwide. In England alone, they’ve notched up more than 20 chart hits, including seven Top 10 entries. Outside of their groundbreaking work with Marley, the Wailers have also played or performed with international acts like Sting, the Fugees, Stevie Wonder and Carlos Santana. It’s no stretch to call them the greatest living exponents of Jamaica’s reggae tradition, and they’ve also been the first reggae band to tour new territories on many occasions, including Africa and the Far East. It’s a treat then to have them in our backyard.
Listen to these tracks
Les Racquet – “Oh Yeah!”
Dr. John – “What a Wonderful World”
Buckcherry – “Lit Up”
The Roots [Feat. Erykah Badu] – “You Got Me”
Noel Gallagher – “In the Heat of the Moment”
Merle Haggard – “Okie from Muskogee”
The Wailers – “Get Up, Stand Up”