Ry Cooder is one of those musicians whose influence transcends mere popularity. Buena Vista Social Club aside, he’s never been a huge record-seller. And yet his omnivorous influence continues to crop up in the most unexpected places, including among young bands with freak-folk leanings. Thus we have “Boomer’s Story -- A Celebration of Ry Cooder,” a tribute show to Cooder’s 1972 cult-classic album. Megafaun guitarist Phil Cook is the ringleader, aided and abetted by like-minded players from Hiss Golden Messenger, Mount Moriah, Chatham County Line, Mandolin Orange, The Tender Fruit and more. It should be a splendid evening, commencing at 8 p.m. Friday at Saxapahaw’s Haw River Ballroom. Tickets are $15. For details, see hawriverballroom.com.
• Also Friday, The Darkness brings your most excessive rock-star dreams to life Friday at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre; Bevel Summers shows off a new album Saturday at Chapel Hill’s Local 506, with Wylie Hunter also on the bill; Josh Ritter, one of the finest songwriters in all the land nowadays, plays Sunday at Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle; also Sunday, old-time icon Alice Gerrard is at the Carrboro ArtsCenter, Robert Randolph’s Family Band lights up Haw River Ballroom, dusty-voiced troubadour Ryan Bingham plays the Lincoln Theatre and Carol Burnett holds forth at Durham Performing Arts Center; Fleet Foxes alumnus Father John Misty plays the Cradle Wednesday; and earthy New Orleans singer-songwriter Luke Winslow-King plays Durham’s Pinhook on Thursday (and Kings in Raleigh next Friday, May 17).