Guitar octogenarians rip on Friday night. Recent video shows that 80-year-old Dick Dale hasn’t lost his gnarly spark as the king of the surf guitar. Putting aside the physical ailments of his golden years (or helping to pay for the medications to keep going), the Quincy-bred Dale flaunts his continued vitality when he returns to the Middle East Downstairs on Friday. And from California surf-rock to Chicago blues, 81-year-old Buddy Guy does his own genre proud as the stylish firebrand returns for Lowell Summer Music at Boarding House Park the same night, with young New Bedford understudy Quinn Sullivan in support. Speaking of elder statesmen of blues and roots music, Springfield-born Taj Mahal teams with Keb’ Mo’ to perform on Friday at Hyannis’ Cape Cod Melody Tent and on Saturday at Cohasset’s South Shore Music Circuit. Jump here to my recent TajMo interview. And for another, more unique pairing, Marshall Crenshaw y Los Straitjackets unites the ’80s pop chart-cracker with that instrumental guitar band in Mexican wrestling masks.
Saturday brings Katie Crutchfield, who performs as Waxahatchee (pictured), brings her band to the Sinclair behind her new inward-looking, guitar-boosted album Out in the Storm, with Boston’s own great Palehound in support. The same night, the former frontman of the Black Crowes reflects the style of the Grateful Dead with his Chris Robinson Brotherhood at House of Blues, while Seattle grunge-era veteran Mark Lanegan brings his band to Brighton Music Hall. The prog-rock trio Stick Men—with bassist Tony Levin and drummer Pat Mastelotto of King Crimson, plus touch-guitarist Markus Reuter—play the Natick Center for the Arts. And also on Saturday, the David Grisman Sextet brings old-school bluegrass adventures to Lowell’s Boarding House Park, while Johnny Trama and the B-3 Kings headline the first day of the free Salem Jazz and Soul Festival on the Salem Willows waterfront.
Sunday keeps cooking with former paramours and ’60s icons Stephen Stills and Judy Collins performing on a tour together at Lowell’s Boarding House Park and Lucinda Williams stopping at New Hampshire’s Hampton Beach Casino, while the stylish crooner Chris Isaak holding court in town at the Wilbur Theatre.