Friday, September 12, 2014

This week's hot concerts

Funk Fest
Friday and Saturday  4 p.m. and 3 p.m, respectively, Metrolina Expo Fairgrounds, 7100 Statesville Rd., $65-$100 1 day pass, $100-$375 2 day pass,
This year’s killer hip-hop, old school, soul, and R&B festival expands to two days and features Outkast - fresh from its festival-hopping reunion - B.O.B., Fantasia, Doug E. Fresh, Forever FC, and Salt n’ Pepa on Friday and LL Cool J., Ice Cube, the Roots, War, 112, Olivia, and 95 South/69 Boyz on Saturday.

Robin & Linda Williams
Friday  7:30 p.m., Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Ave., Free,  
The internationally known duo and longtime “Prairie Home Companion” staple celebrated 40 years of making music together (and 42 as a couple) in 2013 with the album “Back 40.” Robin - a Charlotte native - and his wife return to his birthplace for a rare free concert of traditional bluegrass, old time and folk.

Amanda Shires
Saturday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $12-$15,
Acclaimed songwriter Jason Isbell’s fiddler bride is quite an accomplished singer-songwriter in her own right on her 2013 album “Down Fell the Doves,” which isn’t an obvious straight alt-country record. It’s more stylistically textured, darker, and bookish in a chamber rock meets art-folk sort of way.

Saturday  8 p.m., Chop Shop, 399 E. 35th St., $22-$25,
Following frontman Kirk Windstein’s departure from Down, the New Orleans’ sludge metal stalwarts commemorate their 25th year (celebrate would be too “up” a word) with the well-received tenth album “Symmetry in Black” (released earlier this year), which exercises Windstein’s demons by lacing methodical riffs with thrash and hardcore assault in classic Crowbar style.

Midnight Ghost Train
Sunday  8 p.m., The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Rd., $5-$7,  
Started as an ongoing creative eulogy for a friend after guitarist/singer Steve Moss’ best friend died in 2007, the Buffalo-based stoner trio ready the follow-up to 2012’s excellent “Buffalo” - a moody mesh of biting grooves, psychedelic expansion, and slow building, growling metal - with the upcoming “Cold Was the Ground.”

Trombone Shorty
Thursday  8 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $27-$30,  
TV viewers may have seen this Grammy nominated funk powerhouse performing with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Madonna on the Grammys earlier this year or as himself on HBO’s “Treme.” His third album is spiked with rock n’ roll furor (think Lenny Kravitz) and classic R&B grooves amid the jazz and funk base. With Honey Island Swamp Band.

Ray Wylie Hubbard
Thursday  9 p.m., Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave., $17-$20,  
The troubadour may not be as well-known as some of his Texas blues and folk songwriting contemporaries (Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark), but as a writer and band leader he’s one of the Lone Star State’s best lesser known secrets with a flair for doing whatever he’s doing - soul, rhythm & blues, country, blues or rock - well.

Tom Keifer
Thursday  8 p.m., Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St., $20-$23,
Aligned with the hair metal movement of the `80s, Philly’s Cinderella had as much in common with blues and Southern rock as it did glam and on his 2013 debut solo album, “The Way Life Goes,” frontman Keifer stretches even further. Expect impressive new material as well as Cinderella staples.

Thursday  8 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $33.58,
Although the distinctive singer/emcee’s look has changed since he debuted in 2004 with beard, ringlets, yarmulke and the hit “King Without a Crown,” his reggae and hip-hop-flavored alternative rock remains some of the most positive and spiritual pop music out there and his live show rides that same feel good vibe. With Radical Something.