With the arrival of June, the concert season is in full swing. A range of artists, from superstar shed acts to small venue Americana singer-songwriters, provide 5-star choices for music fans. Here are some to consider:
Karla Bonoff was already acclaimed by her peers Linda Ronstadt and Wendy Waldman before releasing her debut album in 1977. She sang background vocals for those artists, and Ronstadt had recorded Bonoff songs, including “Lay Down Beside Me.” Bonnie Raitt would record Bonoff’s wistful off-the-road anthem, “Home,” while Bonoff scored a top-5 hit in 1982 with “Personally.”
The details: June 6, 8 p.m. ArtsCenter, 300-G East Main St. Carrboro. $25 public. 919-929-2787 or artscenterlive.org
Blind Boys of Alabama
The Blind Boys are synonymous with sanctified African-American gospel. The 5-time Grammy-winning vocal ensemble began in 1939, in the segregated Jim Crow era of the South. Honored in 1994 with a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Blind Boys received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.
The details: June 9, 7:30 p.m. NC Symphony Summerfest, Koka Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary. $34 and up. 919-733-2750 or ncsymphony.org
“Bless the Broken Road” band Rascal Flatts is one of the most popular country acts of the past decade. Multiple Vocal Group of the Year awards, 17 No. 1 hits, and over 23 million records sold is a career any country artist would embrace. There’s more in store as the “Back to Us Tour” brings them to Raleigh along with Dan & Shay and Carly Pearce.
The details: June 16, 7:30 p.m. Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, 3801 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh. $24 and up. 919-831-6400 or walnutcreekamphitheatre.com
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
Following in the hallowed footsteps of George and Tammy, Conway and Loretta, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are today’s reigning king and queen of country music. They’ve ruled the airwaves together or solo for more than 21 years, and now they’re together on the concert trail on their Soul2Soul Tour, along with newcomer Caitlyn Smith.
The details: June 22, 7:30 p.m. PNC Arena, 1400 Edwards Mill Road, Raleigh. $45 and up. 919-861-2323 or thepncarena.com
CMA Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan is a bona fide country superstar. The Georgia native has scored some 14 No. 1 hits while selling over 7 million albums. With his stint at "American Idol" judge over for the season, he has set off on his “What Makes You Country” tour with Jon Pardi and Morgan Wallen.
The details: June 28, 7 p.m. Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, Raleigh. $31 and up. 919-831-6400 or walnutcreekamphitheatre.com.