The Mavericks/Whitney Rose
6:45 p.m. Aug. 31 at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. $20. (859) 252-8888.
8 p.m. Aug. 31 at Al's Beer Garden, 6th and N. Limestone. $5. (859) 257-4636.
Labor Day weekend is still a week away. But we're hoping you might be up for the idea of a three-day weekend now because Lexington has two primo concert picks ready to roll on Monday.
The first is Americana favorite The Mavericks, the Grammy-winning troupe that began playing Lexington clubs (specifically, the long-gone Breeding's) as far back as 1992 when its From Hell to Paradise album was making waves at country radio. But that was before the Cuban roots of singer/frontman Raul Malo began to show, allowing the Mavericks to morph into a genre-hopping ensemble. Nashville turned away, but the booming, Roy Orbison-esque voice of Malo prevailed both in a series of grand solo recordings (his last Lexington visit was a solo show at The Dame in 2009) and on Mavericks discs like the recent Mono. The latter served as a blast of summery relief when it was released in the midst of the snowstorms that buried Lexington in late February.
The Mavericks will perform as a guest of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour along with Whitney Rose. The Canadian songstress has toured with The Mavericks and is supporting a new album, Heartbreaker of the Year, that was produced by Malo.
In another stylistic corner altogether, we find Chicago drummer Frank Rosaly, who returns for an evening of solo percussion and electronics on Monday at Al's Beer Garden.
An immensely skilled, intuitive and soulful instrumentalist, Rosaly is a veteran of numerous Outside the Spotlight performances, but has been absent from Lexington stages for awhile. His previous outings here have included shows with Tres Hongos, The Nick Mazzarella Trio, Chicago Luzern Exchange, The Valentine Trio, Fast Citizens and an especially arresting duo setting with another OTS regular, saxophonist Dave Rempis.
On Monday, though, Rosaly will carry on alone with the improvising. To discover more about his music, go to Fjrosalbio.blogspot.com.
While you're circling calendars, note also that there will be a quick turnaround before another OTS concert lands: a duo display by Ken Vandermark and Paal Nilssen-Love Sept. 3 at the Niles Gallery located in the University of Kentucky's John Jacob Niles Center for American Music (8 p.m., $5). Vandermark will fill us in on that show in Saturday's Living section.
Throughout the decades, Louisville has been a frequent performance stop for rock 'n' roll journeyman Todd Rundgren. Each time through, the musical presentation has differed. There was synth-laced prog rock in the 1970s, the elemental pop charge of his Utopia band in the '80s and large ensemble soul-charged groups in the '90s. His last outing, a full six years ago, was built around the leaner, streetwise guitar rock of his Arena album. On Sept. 2, Rundgren, 67, is back in Louisville in yet another guise.
For the Wednesday concert at the Mercury Ballroom, 611 S. Fourth St., he will be aided only by an onstage DJ, a pair of singer/dancers and a multi-media sound and light presentation designed to bring the rave-like pop of his new Global album to life.
Those expecting the pop-soul that defined Rundgren over 40 years ago will get a few brief nods in the show. Mostly, though, they will experience today's Todd with a concert heavy on music from Global and 2013's State album (8 p.m., $25).
For tickets, call (800) 745-3000 or go to Livenation.com.