Across his career, Josh Ritter (above) has swung from literate folk to groovy Americana, from shades of divorce to the light of new marriage, and the singer/songwriter will favor the latter categories when Ritter leads his Royal City Band at House of Blues on Friday behind his bright, beefy new album Sermon on the Rocks. The soon-to-close Johnny D’s Uptown continues its classy streak of local band reunions on Friday with the Courage Brothers — a Todd Thibaud-fronted quintet of ’90s folk-rockers — and on Saturday with energized poli-funk rockers Chuck.
Technicolor pop-rockers Best Coast and scruffy indie-rockers Wavves pair up at Royale on both Friday and Saturday, and the Mike Stern Band does the same two-night dance with power-drummer Dennis Chambers aboard the jazz-fusion train at the Regattabar. The Soul Rebels Sound System blend New Orleans brass band with funk, jazz and hip-hop – courtesy of guest rapper Talib Kweli – at the Sinclair. Here’s a taste of the Soul Rebels covering a Eurythmics classic and here’s a jump to my recent interview with the band’s co-founding drummer Lumar LeBlanc. And Sunday brings Ron Pope and his soulful new outfit the Nighthawks to Royale.