Weekend Music Ideas: June 15, 2018

Paul Simon, John Prine, Rhiannon Giddens, Ted Leo, Mavericks and more


By unfortunate coincidence, two of the most acclaimed songwriters of the past four decades perform across town from each other on the same Friday night. Paul Simon brings his farewell tour to TD Garden, ready to roll through his vaulted repertoire, from Graceland to (sans) Garfunkel and beyond, backed by a cross-cultural cavalcade of musicians even including the chamber group yMusic. And country/folk sage John Prine (pictured) celebrates The Tree of Forgiveness — his first album of original material in more than 13 years – downtown at the Boch Wang Theatre, with Boston’s own icon Peter Wolf aboard the opening slot.

In turn, singer/multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens covers expansive ground as a roots dynamo with Dirk Powell and the rest of her band at Lowell Summer Music’s Boarding House Park on Friday. When it comes to jazz vocalists, Cecile McLorin Salvant leads today’s class with her cool, stylish delivery, and she’s back at Scullers Jazz Club with piano accompanist Sullivan Fortner both Friday and Saturday. Likewise, punk-groomed tunesmith Ted Leo takes over the Brighton Music Hall with his band the Pharmacists both Friday (mainly toasting the 15th anniversary of their Hearts of Oak) and Saturday, for a more career-spanning set. On a larger scale, the Zac Brown Band brings its crowd-pleasing mix of country-rock and covers to Fenway Park on Friday and Saturday, while the Louisiana soul-blues rocker Marc Broussard settles into City Winery from Friday through Sunday.

Oldies fans could flock to Lynn Memorial Auditorium for the “Happy Together Tour,” featuring the Turtles (the Flo and Eddie partnership split as the Archies singer Ron Dante joins Mark Volman since back issues have sidelined Howard Kaylan), ex-Three Dog Night singer Chuck Negron, Gary Puckett & the Union Gap, the Association, Mark Lindsay (formerly with Paul Revere & the Raiders) and the Cowsills.  And Somerville’s Once delivers a double-header of local greats past and present with dynamic pop-rock singer/songwriter Will Dailey celebrating his latest top-notch album Golden Walker in the Ballroom while ’80s-born jangle-rockers Dumptruck (ever fronted by singer/songwriter Seth Tiven) return to the Lounge upstairs.

On Saturday afternoon, Webster’s Indian Ranch kicks off its season with perennial favorites the Mavericks raising the roof (jump here for my interview with singer Raul Malo) while Okkervil River – the Austin, Texas, band led by New Hampshire native Will Sheff – keeps on rolling at Royale that night. And Sunday rounds out a busy weekend with three options of note. KISS 108’s annual KISS Concert takes over Mansfield’s Xfinity Center with the Backstreet Boys, Dua Lipa, Allessia Cara and 5 Seconds for Summer leading the charge into the (Father’s Day!) evening to benefit the Genesis Foundation for children with genetic disorders. Matthew Sweet (known for his ’90s hit “Girlfriend”) rocks Brighton Music Hall and Fitz & the Tantrums make hands clap at Lowell Summer Music’s Boarding House Park series on Sunday as well.

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