Over the past 30 years, Michael Rank has played everything from snarling hard rock to murmured country-soul – including his latest solo album “Red Hand” (Loads Hymn Records), a starkly beautiful set of sepia-toned songs sung with Mount Moriah’s Heather McEntire. But no sooner was “Red Hand” released, than Rank left it behind. His next incarnation is more toward funk, fronting a band in which he plays keyboards on beat-heavy songs from a new album he’s already recording. You can sample the new direction at this weekend’s Carrboro Music Festival, the huge annual free event, in which Rank is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at The Station.
See the complete schedule at carrboromusicfestival.com.
- Friday is a huge night for concerts, with the great New Orleans balladeer Aaron Neville at Duke’s Baldwin Auditorium, the latest Jimbo Mathus-led incarnation of Squirrel Nut Zippers at Durham’s Carolina Theatre, Chris Stamey presenting his “Occasional Shivers” jazz show at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan Music Building, Grace Potter playing the latest “Band Together” charity show outdoors at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre and blues combo Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials playing Durham’s Blue Note Grill.
- Saturday brings singer/songwriter Ben Rector to Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater, Glass Animals to the Raleigh Ritz and Deslondes to Saxapahaw’s Haw River Ballroom.
- Jamaica’s Black Uhuru plays Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre Sunday, the same night Robbie Fulks is at Haw River.
- The Sword lowers the boom on the Lincoln Theatre Monday and the always-delightful Syd Straw plays Chapel Hill’s Cave on Tuesday.
- Wednesday brings Dandy Warhols to Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle, and Violent Femmes to Raleigh’s N.C. Museum of Art. And Darrell Scott plays Durham’s Blue Note Grill on Thursday.