The best rock picks, March 29

dmenconi@newsobserver.comMarch 28, 2013 

From left, Tift Merritt and Simone Dinnerstein.


  • Other highlights: • Another stellar Duke Performances show is Portuguese Fado singer Ana Moura, holding forth Friday at Durham’s Carolina Theatre; also Friday, Dex Romweber Duo plays the Casbah in Durham; Saturday brings singer/songwriter Curtis McMurtry (son of James, grandson of Larry) to Raleigh’s Berkeley Cafe, with Elizabeth South opening; also Saturday, guitar god Cool John Ferguson plays two shows at Raleigh’s Pour House, while Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and the equally godlike Richard Thompson make for a delectable trio at Durham Performing Arts Center; singer Nataly Dawn, on a solo flight from Pomplamoose, plays the Casbah Tuesday; speaking of guitar gods, Eric Clapton plays Raleigh’s PNC Arena Wednesday with Wallflowers as a solid opening-act bonus (see page 5D) ; and Redd Kross, one of the most venerable indie-rock bands in the land, plays Thursday at Kings in Raleigh.

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt met before they performed together at Duke University in 2011, but that was where they truly solidified their artistic partnership. It comes together beautifully on their duo album “Night” (Sony Classical), a melding of classical and roots-pop sensibilities that enhances the virtues of both women’s music without giving the sense that either had to compromise much. From Franz Schubert to Patty Griffin, Johann Sebastian Bach to Billie Holiday, Johnny Nash to Brad Mehldau, Merritt and Dinnerstein both bring exquisitely tasteful pieces from their respective worlds to the table, and it’s splendid. Fittingly, they’ll return to Durham on Thursday to play the album live at two Duke Performances shows. Showtimes are 7 and 9:30 p.m. at Durham’s First Presbyterian Church, and tickets are $28 ($10 for Duke students). See for details.

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