Weekend Music Ideas: April 7, 2017

Moe., John Mayer, Lionel Richie, Peter Wolf and more.


It’s rare to see the seasoned, in-the-pocket (and into the space beyond) jam-band Moe. (pictured) play a venue as small as the Sinclair, which is why tickets are hard to come by for the group’s four-night stand that closes out Friday and Saturday. Wednesday’s opener included a double-shot of Pink Floyd among originals (Moe. writes and sings better than most bands of that ilk) but I wouldn’t expect repeats. Jam fans who can’t snag tickets have another fine option across the river as rising percolators Dopapod hold court at the Paradise Rock Club on Friday and Saturday.

Hard to believe that Lionel Richie—the picture of ’80s schmaltz as a solo artist—has reemerged as a now-hip survivor who’s been headlining major festivals as well as TD Garden on Friday (still waiting to hear Richie and Adele sing a mashup of their respective “Hello” hits). Other Friday options include African wunderkind Vieux Farka Toure in a World Music/CRASHarts concert at the South End’s Villa Victoria Center for the Arts and bluegrass veteran Ricky Scaggs and Kentucky Thunder at the Cabot in Beverly.

Saturday brings local legend Peter Wolf and the Midnight Travelers to the Cabot (they’ll likely give a rootsy twist to J. Geils Band classics in addition to cuts from Wolf’s worthy solo albums, including 2016’s A Cure for Loneliness). Plus there are two great jazz options that night with saxophonist/singer Grace Kelly enlivening Scullers Jazz Club and vocal chanteuse Cassandra Wilson performing as a special guest with Harvard jazz bands in a “Women in Jazz” program at Sanders Theatre.

Sunday runs the gamut from reborn heartthrob/part-time Dead re-energizer John Mayer at TD Garden in support of his new solo effort The Search for Everything to theatrical tribute band the Musical Box recreating Genesis’ 1974 “Black Show” (heavy on the album Selling England by the Pound and Peter Gabriel’s hijinks) at the Wilbur Theatre and a forward-grooving jazz double-bill of Kneebody and the Donny McCaslin Group at the Sinclair. Here’s a jump to my recent interview with saxophonist McCaslin, whose group backed David Bowie on Blackstar.

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