Durhamite Brice Randall Bickford used to perform as The Strugglers, releasing a series of terrific and undeservedly obscure folk-rock albums under that name. But whether as The Strugglers or just himself, Bickford still has one of the most distinctive voices in Triangle music — a richly emotional baritone, usually deployed in a low-key murmur of a yowl (like Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder dialed way, way down). Bickford’s new album “PARO” (Brightwell Records) is another elegant effort, eight lovely chamber-pop songs with not a note out of place. He’ll unveil it Saturday at the Carrboro ArtsCenter.
JPhono1 opens at 8 p.m. and tickets are $12-$15. See artscenterlive.org for details.
- Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater will be “American Idol”-focused this weekend, with 2004 winner Fantasia opening for Maxwell on Friday and 2012 winner Phillip Phillips on Sunday with Matt Nathanson.
- Friday also brings Dumpstaphunk to Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre and Gross Ghost & Friends (including Wailin’ Storms and Sarah Shook) to haunt the Back Room of Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle.
- Saturday, renowned fiddler Eileen Ivers plays Raleigh’s N.C. Museum of Art and Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson visits The Cave’s friendly confines in Chapel Hill.
- And Thursday’s latest Oak City 7 show at Raleigh’s City Plaza features the mighty Birds of Avalon.