Perhaps there’s nothing better to wind down the summer than seeing Boston-born, SoCal-launched surf guitar pioneer Dick Dale, still twanging that reverbed Stratocaster at age 81, on Friday at the Middle East Downstairs. But other proper Friday options include Baltimore dream-pop duo Beach House at House of Blues, singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin at City Winery and soul-pop favorites Kool & the Gang at Lynn Auditorium. Jazz-rock icon Jean-Luc Ponty gracefully manipulates his electric violin at the Cabot in Beverly that same night (you can jump here to my recent interview). Country roots come through in distinctly different shades when Arkansas-bred singer/songwriter Iris DeMent (who recently set music to the words of Russian poet Anna Akhmatova) plays Fall River’s Narrows Center for the Arts on Friday and City Winery on Saturday while country-pop star Kenny Chesney makes his annual pilgrimage to Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium on Friday and Saturday.
Local ska-punk heroes the Mighty Mighty Bosstones (pictured) headline the inaugural Skanking & Cranking Fest outdoors at Worcester’s Palladium on Saturday to toast While We’re At It — their hearty first album in a decade — and party down with a lineup that also includes Toots & the Maytals, Bouncing Souls and Fishbone. Or doomy hard-rock fans might take a shine to another local institution Godsmack, hitting Mansfield’s Xfinity Center with Shinedown on Saturday. Another Boston-rooted musician Dean Wareham rolls into the Sinclair with Luna the same night while roots-rock veterans the Blasters, led by Phil Alvin, roll into Brighton Music Hall.
Sunday afternoon brings the venerable beards and blues-rock of Texan trio ZZ Top to Webster’s lakeside Indian Ranch. And that night brings the mighty E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg’s Jukebox to City Winery and the acclaimed Martha’s Vineyard troubadour Willy Mason to Atwood’s Tavern.