Some of Boston’s best musicians revel in thematic cover outfits, including Duke Levine’s Super Sweet Sounds of the ’70s, which returns to the Lizard Lounge to kill with instrumental eclecticism on April 16. But the late ’70s/early ’80s heyday of Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson will be on tap Friday at Arlington’s Regent Theatre for the 40th anniversary of Costello’s Armed Forces tour and Jackson’s debut in Boston. First, singer John Powhida will fete Jackson with friends Peter Moore, Jim Haggerty, Charles Hansen and Andy Plaisted. Then Moore pulls double duty with Dee Zaster and the Designated Drivers (Tony Savarino, Sean McLaughlin and Mike Levesque, as well as guest singer Corin Ashley) to pay homage to Costello.
Three of the best Boston acts to emerge in recent years also hit the Paradise Rock Club on Friday when brash, angular indie-rockers Vundabar are joined by clever DIY singer/songwriter Sidney Gish and the indie-pop upstart Future Teens. Rising singer/rapper Cliff Notez continues his Sketchbook series at Atwood’s Tavern with Red Shaydez and Mint Grint. The Courage Brothers, a popular American outfit around town in the early ’90s, reunite at the Burren Backroom Series. And co-founding Yes singer Jon Anderson brings his latest solo band to Lynn Memorial Auditorium.
The Barr Brothers (pictured) were once part of Providence jam-fusion trio the Slip before moving to Montreal and finding fame as an eclectic alt-folk outfit that blends Andrew’s percussion and singer Brad’s guitars with an evolving cast of kindred players. The band’s about to showcase their three albums in their entirety across a San Francisco residency, and they’ll warm up at the Sinclair on Friday and Saturday.
A even rarer two-night stand takes place at the Regattabar when vaulted jazz composer/pianist Carla Bley comes to town in her trio with electric bassist Steve Swallow and saxophonist Andy Sheppard on Friday and Saturday. Jump here to my recent interview with Bley. Also on Saturday, Canadian saxophonist Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, her acclaimed group of young female Cuban musicians, roll into Scullers Jazz Club. Seasoned local folk-rocker Nate Leavitt & the Elevation celebrate their new album I Miss Me Too at the Lizard Lounge for soul-Americana combo OldJack’s Last Saturday. And for another rare occasion, Superhoney – a former local funk-rock favorite fronted by singer Joan Pimental – reunites to get in the groove at Thunder Road on Saturday.
Sunday includes a few notable shows. One’s the return of Fleetwood Mac to TD Garden, touring with Neil Finn (from Crowded House) and Mike Campbell (from Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers) in place of longtime singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. The other’s a World Music/CRASHarts concert at Sanders Theatre with the Joshua Redman Quartet, where the Harvard-educated sax star’s joined by pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Rueben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. And hip-hop pioneers the Sugarhill Gang, with original members Wonder Mike and Master Gee, bring the “Rapper’s Delight” to City Winery.