It’s an eclectic week of music. Some of it feels like it’s more than six degrees from Kevin Bacon. The range is from folk to ska to pop to R&B.
1. Bacon Brothers
The details: July 23, 8 p.m., Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St., Durham. Tickets start at $37.50. 919-560-3030, carolinatheatre.org
When The Bacon Brothers released their first album nearly a quarter of a century ago, many thought that it was a lark for actor Kevin Bacon and his singer-songwriter brother, Michael Bacon. But nine studio albums later, the Bacon Brothers are still creating and touring. They’ve released a new single, “Play!” and kicked off the Shakey Ground Tour July 13 in New Jersey.
“We work around Kevin’s acting gigs,” Michael Bacon explains while calling from suburban Philadelphia. “He worked throughout the winter and he’s off for the summer. We work this out.”
It’s not surprising that Kevin Bacon is listening to a lot of country music, particularly Kacey Musgraves, as many of the Bacon Brothers songs are narratives. Kevin Bacon said he loves Musgraves, a formidable singer-songwriter and performer.
“I grew up listening to people like her,” Kevin Bacon says while calling from Central Park. “A number of people today have turned something that is nothing into massive careers.”
2. Mary J. Blige and Nas
The details: July 25, 8 p.m., Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, 3801 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh. Tickets start at $30.99. 919-831-6400 or walnutcreekamphitheatre.com
Since Aretha Franklin died last year, Mary J. Blige is arguably the greatest living R&B and soul singer around. The nine-time Grammy Award winner has sold more than 80-million albums and rarely does interviews. Blige, 48, has an endless arsenal of hits, such as “Be Without You,” “Family Affair” and “Just Fine.” The iconoclast has accomplished a great deal during her 30-years as a recording artist. Veteran rapper Nas will open.
3. Carly Rae Jepsen
The details: July 21, 8 p.m. The Ritz, 2820 Industrial Drive, Tickets start at $35. 919-424-1400 or ritzraleigh.com
The pop performer had one-hit wonder written all over her after her relentlessly catchy single “Call Me Maybe” hit the charts in 2011. Jepsen was under the radar for much of the last few years. However, the Canadian singer is back with her fourth album, “Dedication,” which is comprised of a number of sturdy pop songs.
Jepsen, who is always writing, crafted more than 200 songs while working on the album. “Want You In My Room,” which was co-written by professional hitmaker Jack Antonoff of Bleachers, is the standout track. Jepsen can’t shut her creativity off. She’s constantly writing
“I rarely write a song and am like, ‘It’s done!,” Jepsen told Rolling Stone magazine. “It’s sort of my passion and obsession in a way. Late at night being like, ‘I found the lyric!’ I envy writers that are like, ‘I just wrote this and put it on the album.’ I’m like, ‘How do you sleep at night?!’ ”
4. The Tom Joyner Experience featuring KEM
The details: July 19, 7:30 p.m. Coastal Credit Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek. Tickets start at $50, 919-831-6400 or walnutcreekamphitheatre.com
One of the best tales of overcoming adversity in music is KEM, who was once homeless and suffered from addiction. But the smooth R&B singer found his way delivering mellow and uplifting tunes. Romantic ballads are KEM’s calling card. Not only has KEM beat the odds to make it in a very competitive industry, the Nashville native, who came of age in Detroit, is a philanthropist. Maze featuring Frankie Beverly is also on the bill.
5. Sublime With Rome
The details: July 21, 6:30 p.m. Koka Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary. Tickets start at $38. 919-462-2025. boothamphitheatre.com
It’s hard to believe but Sublime With Rome has outlived Sublime. The latter ended in 1996 after singer-songwriter Brad Nowell’s fatal overdose. Some fans have had a difficult time dealing with the former since the driving force of Sublime is no longer alive. But Sublime With Rome has released three albums and is celebrating its 10th anniversary with Rome Ramirez as the frontman.
“We’ve whittled out all of the doubting naysayers, so to speak,” Ramirez told Billboard magazine. “Now it’s like, ‘OK, you know we exist as a band. You’ve either seen us and like us, or you don’t.’ The band is better than ever, as tight as we’ve ever been. We’ve come into our own entity, but obviously existing with such a rich legacy. It’s such an interesting place to be 10 years later, but it feels really good.” Soja and Common Kings will open.
6. Teyana Taylor
The details: July 24, 8 p.m., The Ritz. Tickets start at $40. 919-424-1400, ritzraleigh.com
What can’t Teyana Taylor do? The R&B singer is also an actor, dancer and choreographer. She’s been making headlines for her music, which is both stylish and celebratory.