Rock Picks

The best rock picks, September 20

dmenconi@newsobserver.comSeptember 19, 2013 

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Richard Thompson

RON SLEZNAK — RON SLEZNAK

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    • Friday: Kenny Roby, Tres Chicas, John Howie Jr. and various Backsliders are among the local twang-leaning acts paying respects to the late great Gram Parsons at a Cat's Cradle tribute show marking the 40th anniversary of the alternative-country icon's untimely passing; also, Loamlands, the exceptionally fine country-rock duo of Kym Register and Will Hackney, show off their new mini-album "Some Kind of Light" (Trekky Records) at Durham's Pinhook on a bill including Hiss Golden Messenger and Akron/Family's Miles Cooper Seaton; and Alabama Shakes' never-ending tour comes to Cary's Booth Amphitheatre.

    • Saturday brings Outkast's Big Boi to Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium for a Hopscotch makeup show, and Icelandic mood-rock ensemble Sigur Ros to Raleigh's Red Hat Amphitheater; also Saturday, Southern Culture on the Skids headlines a "back to school" bash for Carrboro Elementary at the Cat’s Cradle.

    • Rising honky-tonk star Hayes Carll plays Raleigh's Southland Ballroom Monday.

    • Tuesday brings City and Colour to the Ritz in Raleigh, iconic grunge band Mudhoney to the Cradle and the hot guitar pairing of Joe Satriani and Steve Morse to Durham's Carolina Theatre; also Tuesday, Bela Fleck teams up with the N.C. Symphony for a pre-International Bluegrass Music Association festival show at Raleigh's Meymandi Hall.

    • Grammy-winning band Fun. plays Red Hat on Wednesday with Tegan & Sara.

Richard Thompson has been one of the finest guitarists on earth for close to half a century, going back to his days leading English folk-rock pioneers Fairport Convention in the late ’60s. But it still took Buddy Miller to make him swing. Miller produced his quite-fine new album “Electric” (New West Records), lightening up Thompson’s usual tautness to something more loose-limbed with hints of country blues. The result falls somewhere close to old-country country, highlighted as always by Thompson’s blindingly brilliant guitar and razor-sharp drollery. After opening Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell’s DPAC show back in March, Thompson returns as headliner to Raleigh’s Fletcher Theater on Monday. Showtime is 7 p.m. and tickets are $45.25-$56. See catscradle.com for details.

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