8 p.m. Oct. 1 at Buster's Billiards & Backroom, 899 Manchester St. $20 advance, $25 day of show. (859) 368-8871. Bustersbb.com.
In many ways, the contemporary pop landscape has shifted considerably since Edwin McCain hit the top of the charts with I'll Be.
A light but anthemic ballad, the song was a natural fit with other similarly structured pop confections of the time. Such brightly urgent music helped balance the proliferation of post-grunge acts that supplied the other 50 percent of the programming diet adopted by rock radio.
That was 1998, when ultra-safe pop attractions like Hootie and the Blowfish and, to an extent, the early radio hits of The Dave Matthews Band reigned. More than 13 years later, the Blowfish are gone (although Hootie, aka Darius Rucker, is a country hitmaker), and the Matthews Band has long since broken through to lasting, stadium-size popularity. But what of McCain?
A listen to the South Carolina-born McCain's new album, Mercy Bound, reveals just how little his music has changed. The Boy Who Cried Love is propelled by an easy electric bounce; Strange Angel is a solid, brassy spiritual shuffle; and Uncharted is a love ballad, all quiet and spacious, that comes straight out of the I'll Be songbook. Uncharted, indeed.
Giving even more evidence to the notion that the pop terrain has changed far more than McCain's music are two songs from Mercy Bound: Boom and Better Story to Tell. Both pack a keenly produced and affirmative lyricism that, by today's terms, could pass for country music.
McCain music new and old will be on display when the singer-songsmith returns to Lexington on Saturday for a show at Buster's.
The Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts, 521 Lancaster Avenue, Richmond, has been duly christened. That means it's time for its extensive fall concert lineup to get rolling.
Next up is veteran rocker Peter Frampton, who will perform his career-defining 1976 concert album Frampton Comes Alive! in its entirety, along with a full set of other songs from his 40-year career, on Tuesday. The performance is a collaborative production of the EKU Center and Lexington's long-running Troubadour Concert Series.
In Living Sunday, Frampton discusses his career — from his days in the landmark British soul/boogie band Humble Pie to his current 35th-anniversary celebration of Frampton Comes Alive! (7:30 p.m. $75-$125. (855) 358-7469. EKUcenter.com.).
In recent years, we have witnessed Buddy Miller — guitarist, producer, songwriter and more — leap from one collaborative project to another.
Introduced to Kentucky audiences in 1996 as the guitarist in Emmylou Harris' band Spyboy and at several subsequent shows with his wife, Julie Miller, at the long-defunct Lynagh's Music Club, Miller has gone on to become one become of the country's most in-demand guitarists and roots-music professionals.
Among his most recent projects was a yearlong tour as a member of Robert Plant's Band of Joy. Miller also assembled the all-star Americana troupe that supported Plant on the road, which included fellow songsmith Patty Griffin and songwriter/multiinstrumentalist Darrell Scott. He also produced the self-titled album Band of Joy that triggered the entire project.
Now we have something altogether different: a night of Miller's own stellar music, with longtime pal Griffin as special guest. The Buddy Miller Band featuring Patty Griffin will perform Wednesday at Headliners Music Hall, 1386 Lexington Road, Louisville. (9 p.m. $20. (502) 584-8088. Headlinerslouisville.com.)
The performance, one of only a handful of dates Miller is playing this fall, will help showcase music from The Majestic Silver Strings, an extraordinary collaborative work with fellow guitar giants Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot and Greg Leisz. Griffin is among the many guest vocalists who help flesh out one of the year's most fascinating recordings.
It's about time we had Jimmie Vaughan back in town to rock the joint.
The founding guitarist of The Fabulous Thunderbirds has spent the past few decades forging a delicious collision of two roots-music worlds — the profoundly soulful Texas blues that were the foundation of the T-Birds' early recordings, and a mixture of soul and swing that rockets back to the vintage juke-joint tunes of the '50s.
On Thursday, Vaughan — older brother of the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan — spotlights the rocking R&B music of his two most recent albums — 2010's Plays Blues, Ballads and Favorites and 2011's Plays More Blues, Ballads and Favorites — at Buster's Billiards & Backroom. (9 p.m. $20-$25.)
Along with Vaughan originals and instrumentals, the repertoire features the music of Jimmy Reed, Johnny Ace, Jimmy Liggins and many other pioneers. Dig that.