COLUMN WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
For Digital First Media
Welcome to “Seven in Seven,” where each week we take 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 July 29:
Davy Knowles – July 29 at Levitt Pavilion Steelstacks
With major accolades coming guitar legends like Joe Satriani and Peter Frampton, the former who called him, “My favorite modern bluesman,” it’s clear Davy Knowles is a force with which to be reckoned. Coming from the Isle of Man and sustaining on a steady diet of Eric Clapton, John Mayall and Peter Green, Knowles hit the States with his outfit Back Door Slam when he was still a teenager. At age 29, he’s now got two solo albums under his belt and a third, Three Miles from Avalon, on the horizon.
Paul Anka – July 29 at PNC Plaza at Steelstacks
Even on the eve of his 75th birthday, Paul Anka is not one to rest on his laurels; his two most recent albums – Rock Swings and Classic Songs, My Way – featured songs originally created by some of the biggest rock performers of the day along with other established artists across several genres. The twist being Anka did the songs “his way.” The songs that made the cut were diverse and included Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life,” Lionel Richie’s “Hello” dramatic transformations of “Wonderwall” by Oasis, “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Friday, he’ll be breaking out some of them, along with the classics “Diana” and “Lonely Boy.”
Luke Bryan – July 29 and 30 at BB&T Pavilion
Since the debut of his 2007 album I’ll Stay Me, Luke Bryan has placed 12 singles at number one and sold nearly seven million albums with 27 million digital tracks from his four studio albums. Last year saw the release of the country superstar’s fifth record, Kill the Lights, which continued the trajectory. Not only did it top the charts its first week, but four of the singles hit number one on the country charts. The latest single, “Move,” was released Monday, and not surprisingly is on a similar path.
The Rock Hall Three for All – July 31 at BB&T Pavilion
Now here’s a tour that legitimately rocks. Three Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members in one night with Heart, Cheap Trick and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and it’s hardly a nostalgia tour. Ann and Nancy Wilson have just released Heart’s 16th album, Beautiful Broken. This year, Cheap Trick put out their 17th record and first in five years, Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello, to rave reviews across the board. And Joan Jett? Well, she’s been busy just being a musical fighter, having spent 2015 opening more than 40 shows with her hard rocking Blackhearts.
Sarah Jarosz – July 31 at Ardmore Music Hall
Wimberley, Texas native Sarah Jarosz has earned her credibility in the world where contemporary folk, Americana and roots music intersect. Her reputation is built on three fronts; she is a gifted multi-instrumentalist proficient in the mandolin, octave mandolin, guitar, and banjo, an expressive and distinctive vocalist, and an accomplished songwriter. Last month saw the release of her fourth album, Undercurrent, on Sugar Hill Records. It follows up 2013’s Build Me Up from Bones, which was Grammy nominated for Best Folk Album.
Deftones with Refused – Aug. 2 at Sands Bethlehem Event Center
It’s a double dose of heaviness with Deftones and Refused. The former released their long-awaited eight record, Gore, earlier this year to positive reviews across the board. And Swedish hardcore legends Refused have been welcomed back with open arms since their unexpected reunion in 2012, and last year dropped the excellent LP Freedom. Hands down, this is one of the best double bills of the summer for hard rock.
George Thorogood & The Destroyers – Aug. 2 at The Keswick Theatre
The pride of Wilmington, Delaware, George Thorogood has been going strong since the early 70s with a blend of raucous rock and roll inspired by the blues artists from many decades prior. Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Pinetop Perkins, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Hound Dog Taylor and more paved the way for hits like “Bad to the Bone,” “Madison Blues” and “Move It On Over.” While so many of the legends he followed in the beginning have long passed on, Lonesome George carries on the tradition like few others, playing the blues from his soul.