Weekend Ideas: September 16, 2016

Gordon Lightfoot, New England Festy, MIXFest, FreshGrass and more.


There’s a chill in the air, but this weekend remains hot with music options both indoors and out, from veteran pop troubadours to bluegrass revivalists. You can kick off Friday with a rootsy New Orleans rock band actually called the Revivalists, showing off their musical charisma at the Paradise Rock Club. However, the same night offers the also-eccentric (vibes, horns, strings!) Oregon indie-rockers Blind Pilot at Royale, New Jersey’s enigmatic folk-rockers the Feelies at the Sinclair and grizzled Canadian songsmith Gordon Lightfoot (pictured) at the Cabot in Beverly.

Festival options include the free pop showcase MIXFest with OneRepublic, Ingrid Michaelson and Shaggy at the DCR Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade on Saturday afternoon or two multi-day events that favor roots and bluegrass—with the Infamous Stringdusters appearing at both. The New England Festy takes over Canton’s Prowse Farm (former home to the Life is Good fest) on Saturday and Sunday with artists also including Greensky Bluegrass, Josh Ritter, Justin Townes Earle, Session Americana and David Wax Museum. And if you want to spin west, FreshGrass rolls into North Adams’ MASS MoCA complex Friday through Sunday with acts also including the Devil Makes Three, Glen Hansard, Old Crow Medicine Show, Aoife O’Donovan, Rosanne Cash and Ricky Scruggs’ Kentucky Thunder.

Boston also gets dueling English troubadours celebrating 50th anniversary tours on Saturday with magical folk-pop icon Yusuf/Cat Stevens bringing A Cat’s Attic” tour to the Citi Wang Theatre and trippy pop legend Donovan turning Jordan Hall mellow yellow. Saturday’s also busy with spunky Scottish pop singer KT Tunstall at Royale, the Alarm’s Mike Peters at Once Ballroom and sharp, clever indie-rock upstart Car Seat Headrest at the Sinclair. Finally, on Sunday, check in with singer/songwriter (and onetime Grant Lee Buffalo frontman) Grant Lee Phillips at Club Passim

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