Sam Amidon (pictured) embraces unusual partnerships. The Vermont folksinger, who plays fiddle and guitar (and married British counterpart Beth Orton), has collaborated with artists from the hip composer Nico Muhly to jazz guitarist Bill Frisell. And he continues to merge the traditional and experimental in a duo with psychedelic saxophonist Sam Gendel that settles into Club Passim on Friday. The same night brings the resurrected emo powerhouse Dashboard Confessional to House of Blues, while the Moroccan-tinged psych/dub/jazz collective Club d’elf incorporates Alloy Orchestra’s Roger Miller on keyboards at the Lizard Lounge.
Saturday offers two shows with New Orleans brass band the Soul Rebels in their own border-crossing partnership with rapper Talib Kweli at the Sinclair as well as a show by the indie-folk artist S. Carey (also the drummer/vocalist for Bon Iver) at Great Scott. Guitarist Larry Campbell (who’s served with Bob Dylan and Levon Helm) and singer Teresa Williams recently sat in with the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and Phil Lesh at the Wang Theatre, and the married duo shares their own brand of Americana at City Winery the same night, while the legendary Kinks guitarist Dave Davies surfaces at the spanking Tupelo Music Hall in Derry, N.H.
Providence noise-rock duo Lightning Bolt doesn’t always set up in the middle of the floor the way it used to. But drummer Brian Chippendale and bassist Brian Gibson prove no less compromising with their chaotic sonic assault (iced by the drummer’s vocals through a mic in his wrestling-style mask), to be unleashed at the Sinclair on Sunday. The same night also brings perhaps the biggest show of the weekend to town when Chrissie Hynde leads the Pretenders at the Orpheum Theatre.