This week's guide contains:
YES, PLEASE: Jon Dee Graham, Sam Baker, Tom Maxwell, Thao & Mirah, The Rosebuds, Orquesta GarDel
VS.1: Tedeschi Trucks Band vs. JD Souther
VS.2: The Parkington Sisters vs. David Mayfield Parade
06.09 JON DEE GRAHAM, SAM BAKER @ BERKELEY CAFE
"Once you've opened for The Clash, it's kind of hard to go back to class," Jon Dee Graham once explained about his youthful days in Austin's punk rock scene, when he quit school at the University of Texas to play guitar full-time. Graham's early tenure with the Skunks was followed by a stretch with Alejandro Escovedo in the True Believers and sideman gigs with John Doe and Michelle Shocked. He finally bloomed as a gruff-voiced writer of material that strikes an exquisite balance between tough and tender. Half a dozen exemplary solo albums attest to his heart and vision. Opener Sam Baker is a more recently rising Austin star. A troubadour, Baker's weathered vocals and carefully crafted lyrics place him square in the Townes Van Zandt tradition. $12–$15/ 8 p.m. —Peter Blackstock
06.10 TOM MAXWELL CD RELEASE @ MOTORCO
It's easy to lose sight of Tom Maxwell's talent. Though he wrote the Squirrel Nut Zippers' biggest song and many other fine cuts, his departure was acrimonious, and he's released but a single solo album since, 2000's middling Samsara. He's played out periodically, but it takes something like Kingdom Come to remind us of just how good he is. This eclectic 14-track album shines completely, from his irreverent country ode about a shoplifted Piggly Wiggly, "Ham," to the sophisticated baroque mien of "Fuck It," from the supple swing of "So High" to the lively garage-abilly rave-up of "Jump Over Here and Love Me." This is a witty, masterful tour de force deserving of re-recognition. With Justin Robinson & the Mary Annettes. $8–$11/ 8 p.m. —Chris Parker
- Photo courtesy of the band
- Thao & Mirah
06.11 THAO & MIRAH @ LOCAL 506
Only a year after their first live set together at San Francisco's Noise Pop festival, Thao & Mirah now have excellent credentials: John Vanderslice offered up his studio to the Bay Area duo, and tUne-yArDs' Merrill Garbus produced their self-titled debut. But the singer-songwriters used Garbus' backing vocals and dense aesthetic only as a prompt for their unique brand of ditties, which sit somewhere between lust-driven Afro-fits and love-penned rhythmic lullabies. Thao wails from her bongos, and Mirah purrs harmonies at the mic. At once poised and frenetic, their act is one of the most magnetic combos you'll catch on stage this year. With Bobby and Led to Sea. $14–$15/ 8:30 p.m. —Marissa Muller
- Photo courtesy of the band
- The Rosebuds
06.11 THE ROSEBUDS @ KINGS
Written and recorded soon after Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp—the leaders and sole constants of Raleigh's The Rosebuds—decided a divorce might be best, Loud Planes Fly Low is a predictably sobering affair that continues to trade their early chirpy blitheness for lush arrangements and mature songwriting. The Buds kick off a six-week cross-country club trek with this hometown show before touring with Bon Iver this summer. Wilmington quintet Charlie The Horse's twisted amalgamation of ramshackle Americana and indie rock puts them in the company of Langhorne Slim and Lonnie Walker. $10–$12/ 10 p.m. —Spencer Griffith
- Photo by Jeremy M. Lange
- Orquesta GarDel
06.11 ORQUESTA GARDEL @ MOTORCO
Motorco's terrazzo floor will take a shoe-leather polishing Saturday night when Orquesta GarDel, the Triangle's highest-octane salsa band, takes up residence. That is, if tonight's anything like the sold-out CD-release party held there in January for Lo Que Tú Querías, GarDel's fan-funded EP. Whether spinning out funky Havana timba or classic '70s Fania, the powerful sound of this 13-member outfit comes from fully loaded sections of horns, percussion and vocalists. "The name of the game is keeping our songs and covers fresh with surprise changes, transitions and solos, all in the name of interacting with our audience," says pianist and leader Eric Hirsh. With DJ Salsa Mike spinning tropical grooves between sets, this night is primed to give Durham the Latin dance party it deserves. —Sylvia Pfeiffenberger
SUNDAY, JUNE 12
TEDESCHI TRUCKS BANDFrom: Jacksonville, Fla.
Claim to fame: Burned up the road with solo bands
After previously performing together sporadically as the Soul Stew Revival, the husband-and-wife duo of guitar wunderkind Derek Trucks and spirited singer/ guitarist Susan Tedeschi disbanded their respective backing units in 2009. They then teamed the following year to co-write an album, reassembling their accomplished sidemen into a nine-piece powerhouse for recording and touring. Trucks' slide guitar scorches and sings, while Tedeschi's versatile vocals soar through soulful, rootsy ballads and stormy blues-rockers. Grammy-winning Hall of Fame bluesman John Hammond supports. At Durham Performing Arts Center. $25–$65/ 7:30 p.m.
JD SOUTHERFrom: Detroit
Claim to fame: Penned hits with The Eagles
Though "You're Only So Lonely" gave JD Souther his own a glimmer of success in the late '70s, the grizzled veteran's better known by the songs he crafted for others rather than his own recordings. Souther helped shape the California country-rock sound by writing alongside The Eagles—including chart-toppers "New Kid in Town," "Heartache Tonight" and "The Best of My Love"—and for Linda Ronstadt, but he's also written for and with artists as diverse as Brian Wilson, Jimmy Buffett and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Souther's solo work is tranquil pop-folk with sparse piano and guitar; the accompaniment allows his legendary lyricism to shine. Former everybodyfields co-leader Jill Andrews showcases cuts from her excellent full-length debut. At THE ARTSCENTER. $22–$26/ 7 p.m. —Spencer Griffith
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15
THE PARKINGTON SISTERS
From: Wellfleet, Mass.
Claim to fame: Five sweetly harmonizing sisters
This battle royale involves a pair of acts forged from deeply musical, roots-loving families. The Parkington Sisters have more than their dear dulcet vocals and tight five-part harmonies to recommend them. They've attended universities and music conservatories, earning degrees in string performance. That instrumental approach lends a chamber music air to their moody atmospheric folk. The result is a frequently haunting traditionalism, with classical orchestral and gospel overtones, while tracks like "Let Go" indulge more of a somber pop vibe. At the DUKE GARDENS. $5–$10/ 7 p.m.
DAVID MAYFIELD PARADE
Since: Early '00s
From: Kent, Ohio, by way of Nashville, Tenn.
Claim to fame: Played in Cadillac Sky and with lil' sis Jessica Lea in family bluegrass band
David Mayfield faces stiff competition, but he's up to the challenge: He's spent much of his life as a sideman, earning national awards for his guitar and mandolin playing as a youth. He's been a Nashville hired gun, too, playing with his sister, Andy Griggs and The Avett Brothers. He even spent a couple years in Cadillac Sky, honing his songwriting chops. His bluegrass background is but a jumping-off point for songs ranging from honky-tonk and rock to folk and soul-soaked country. That versatility and experienced assurance allow him to outdistance the equally talented Parkingtons, but barely. At LOCAL 506. $8–$10/ 8:30 p.m. —Chris Parker
06.14 THIEVES @ KINGS
Thieves have had the type of success a talented, promising hardcore band ought to have: Last year, they released an eight-song 7-inch, Positive Vibrations, through To Live A Lie Records and Suburbanite Records. They toured behind it to positive response. It was certainly well beyond what the band had planned or imagined.
"When we started out, it was just, 'Let's play one show,'" member Rodney Finch says. "It was just, 'Hey, we're friends. Let's have fun. And when it's not fun, let's just break up.'"
The success Thieves had shouldn't come as a surprise, though. Positive Vibrations is a worthy document of a powerful punk band with a steady blend of New York hardcore's heaviness, D.C. hardcore's forceful directness and the musicality of N.C. peers Corrosion of Conformity, circa Animosity. It's a succinct and thrilling bombardment; in a Raleigh hardcore scene full of standout bands, Thieves earned its keep.
But the fun didn't last. Tonight, Thieves bid their farewell atop a stacked bill that also features Canadian punks White Lung and Nu Sensae, and Raleigh garage stalwarts The Loners. Thieves, writes drummer Ira Rogers, "literally are going to play hardcore like it's the last thing they'll ever do." $5–$7/ 9 p.m. —Bryan Reed