No matter what lineup it encompasses, Hiss Golden Messenger – the shape-shifting country-soul collective led by M.C. Taylor – is one of the Triangle’s best musical assemblages at any given time. So Taylor’s crew is the perfect choice for a very cool Duke Performances commission, a song cycle inspired by evocative photos of life around a Kentucky mining camp circa 1972. That’s “Heart Like a Levee,” with visuals by renowned photographer William Gedney. This version of Hiss Golden Messenger will include the Cook brothers from Megafaun, Phil and Brad, plus members of Bon Iver and Bowerbirds along with Tift Merritt and actor/playwright Mike Wiley.
They’ll perform it at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Duke’s Reynolds Industries Theater in Durham. Tickets are $10-$38. See dukeperformances.duke.edu for details.
- Friday also brings Boston’s Palehound to Durham’s Pinhook with Mitski, Americana singer/songwriter Will Hoge to Durham’s Motorco Music Hall and the always-droll Chatham County Line to the Raleigh Ritz.
- Cajun blues guitarist Tab Benoit is back at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre Saturday, the same night Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle hosts a large Music For Fences benefit (for Coalition to Unchain Dogs) with I Was Totally Destroying It, Backsliders and more.
- The wonderful soul woman Mavis Staples sings Monday at Durham’s Carolina Theatre, on a bill with Joan Osborne.
- Texas guitarist Jesse Dayton, who was awesome playing in X at September’s Hopscotch Music Festival, returns to play Chapel Hill’s Local 506 Tuesday with Scott H. Biram and Jonny Two Bags.
- Frank Sinatra Jr. holds forth at the Carolina on Wednesday.
- And Thursday offers an embarrassment of riches: Jason Isbell at Durham Performing Arts Center, Brian Wilson (!) at the Carolina, Futurebirds at Kings, Wood Brothers at Saxapahaw’s Haw River Ballroom and Sylvan Esso’s Nick Sanborn showing off his new side project Made of Oak at Pinhook.