So far, 2014 has been a tough year for singer/guitarist William Earl Mace, a linchpin of the music community over in the Triad. Mace suffered a heart attack and stroke on New Year’s Day and landed in the hospital for an extended stay, without benefit of health insurance. Needless to say, the expenses have been staggering. Mace has a lot of friends in the Triangle music community, many of whom are playing a benefit show Saturday at Raleigh’s Southland Ballroom – JujuGuru, Be The Moon and Idlewild South among them. It starts at 6 p.m. and suggested donation is $10. See southlandballroom.com for details.
• Friday brings Charlotte roots-rock quartet Amigo back to play with Debonzo Brothers at Slim’s in Raleigh, and Merlefest/World of Bluegrass favorites Scythian to Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre. Saturday, Robert Randolph/Dixie Chicks keyboardist John Ginty plays Papa Mojo’s in Durham while Neon Trees bring pop in brightly colored shades to the Lincoln. Cousins open for Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ Sunday at the Lincoln.
• Ghost Trees, a transplanted New York-to-Charlotte saxophone/drums free-jazz duo, play Wednesday at The Cave in Chapel Hill. And Thursday is crazy busy – Miami gospel jam band Lee Boys at Raleigh’s Pour House with Hank Sinatra, the unfortunately named (but melodically cool) Diarrhea Planet at Kings in Raleigh, Mandolin Orange playing Durham’s American Tobacco for WUNC’s “Back Porch Music on the Lawn” series, and another Oak City 7 season kicking off with Atlanta Rhythm Section, Bobby Bryson and others on Raleigh’s City Plaza.